The Lombards or Longobards (Latin: Langobardi, Italian Longobardi [loŋɡoˈbardi]) were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. MORE
Book
The Lombards: Origins, Society and Army

The Lombards were already known to the Romans from the first century A.D. They were famous for their force, brutality and barbarian origins. Even though they were relatively scarce in numbers, they were able to move from their ancient and mythological land, called, by a Byzantine historian, The land of Thule, to modern Italy in less than six centuries. In this particular stage of their history, which is called, by modern scholars, volkerwanderung (i.e. migrations), the Lombards fought with many enemies; such as Vandals, Bulgars and Gepidans and they always won. They finally arrived in Italy in April 568. They conquered most of the northern part of the Italian peninsula, but they could not take it in its entirety. They were impeded by the Byzantines. For more than a century, Lombard fought Byzantine in a long-standing war, they won most of the battles and so they reduced the power of Constantinople in Italy. They were close to conquering the Italian peninsula, but they were blocked by the Franks and by the nascent power of the Pope. Charlemagne closed the political existence of the Lombards in Italy in 774 A.D. after a battle against the last Lombard king, Desiderius. Many Lombard communities found refuge in Benevento; the last duchy remained safe from the Frankish conquest and they prospered and preserved their ancient tradition until the fall of Salerno in 1076 to the Normans. This book will focus on: 1) Origins of the Lombards. Ethnicity, mythological identities and the history of old people according to origo gentis Langobardorum (i.e. origin of Longobards people). A description of ancient traditions will also be provided, such as the change of their name from Winnili to Longobards directly by Wotan will. 2) The ancient battles (from first to sixth century A.D.) The descriptions of the military tradition of the Lombards during the first period of migration. The battles and their equipment will be described in accordance with the few written primary sources available (especially by Historia Langobardorum by Paul the Deacon) and other material available, such as archeological finds. 3) The Lombard society during the migration. A description of Lombard society through the centuries. From a nomadic people to sedentary communities. Some particular figures will be described, such as: women, warriors, priests, dukes etc 4) The arrival in Italy. The constitution of the first duchy and the reign. Byzantine response led by kuropalates Baduarius and the great battle against the Lombards. The Byzantine military defenses. Relationships between the Lombard and Byzantine peoples will also be explored. 5) The wars between the Byzantines and the Lombards in Italy (568-688 A.D.). The military expedition of Exarchus Romanus. The conquests of Autari, Agilulf, and finally the big battle of Scultenna, between the Lombard king Alboin and the Exarchus Isacius. 6) The fall of the reign. The battles against the Franks. The Principality of Benevento and the continuation of the political and military Lombard entity. 7) Lombards in Southern Italy. The great battle against Adelchi, who led the Byzantine troops and the Duke of Benevento. The war against the Arabs. The Byzantine reconquering of southern Italy. The division of power into small political identities. The arrival of the Normans. The fall of Salerno in 1076."

Book
Lana Turner: Hearts and Diamonds Take All

After Betty Grable, but before there was Marilyn, America's penchant for popcorn blondes focused on LANA, the "ultimate movie star." She had it all: Looks to die for, money to burn, the romantic adulation of the world, and lovers who included the world's most desirable men. In her 1937 film, They Won't Forget, a 16-year-old Lana, without wearing a brassiere, walked down the street with her boobs bouncing. Censors protested, but when it was shown, America cheered and nicknamed her "The Sweater Girl." From there, Lana competed with Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth as the pre-eminent pinup girl ("so many men, so little time") of World War II. Horny GIs referred to her as "the Girl We'd Like to Find in Every Port." From the start, her private life was marked with scandal: She aborted Mickey Rooney's baby; seduced a young John F. Kennedy; and fell for Frank Sinatra, who later caught her in bed with another love goddess, Ava Gardner. In the early 1940s, after a nationwide campaign promoting the sale of War Bonds, Carole Lombard frantically boarded a small plane headed back to Hollywood, suffering a fiery death when it crashed within 13 minutes of takeoff. The risk she took during that thunderstorm was motivated, it was said, by her obsession with rescuing her husband, Clark Gable, from the amorous clutches of Lana Turner. Tyrone Power--tall, dark, photogenic, and famous--eventually evolved into the greatest love of her life until the Aviator, Howard Hughes, arguably the most psychotic billionaire in the history of Hollywood, flew in to seduce both of them. Lana (aka "The Ziegfeld Girl") didn't hear The Postman Always Rings Twice because she was in bed with John Garfield. Later, in search of love, she spent a Weekend at the Waldorf before moving to Green Dolphin Street and later to the notorious Peyton Place, she found it during an experiment with an Imitation of Life. Gable took her to a Honky Tonk and vowed, "Somewhere I'll Find You," before their Homecoming reunion. With Ray Milland, she found A Life of Her Own before dancing to The Merry Widow waltz with sexy Fernando Lamas. Many notoriously hot men--many of them her filmmaking co-stars--lay in her future: Richard Burton, Sean Connery, and Errol "in like Flynn." Samson (Victor Mature) was said to be "Lana's Biggest Thrill." Lana rescued Peter Lawford from Elizabeth Taylor; Ricky Ricardo from Lucy; and, when not singing amore with Dean Martin, Kirk Douglas learned that she was Bad and Beautiful both on and off the screen. "The bombshell" once said, "I wanted one husband and seven babies, but I got the reverse--seven husbands and an only child " She married Tarzan (Lex Barker) after his designation as "The Sexiest Man in the World," but the union ended when she caught him seducing her teenaged daughter. Opinions about Lana were as varied as her changing looks. "She was amoral," said MGM's CEO, Louis B. Mayer. Robert Taylor commented: "She was the type of woman a guy would risk five years in jail for rape." Gloria Swanson sniffed, "She wasn't even an actress...only a trollop." And Ronald Reagan--a man who later became U.S. president--asked, "In what cathouse did she learn those tricks?" And then there was that embarrassing murder: Did Lana fatally stab her gangster lover, Johnny Stompanato, known for his links to the Mob? Or was the heinous act committed by her daughter, a traumatized teenager who, after time in reform school, officially outed herself as a lesbian? How did these whirlwinds of scandal affect the gal who had it all? According to Lana, "I'd like to think that in some small way, I've helped to preserve the glamour and beauty and mystery of the movie industry."Never before has there been, until now, a definitive, uncensored, and comprehensive biography of "the Ultimate Movie Star," LANA TURNER. Until now.

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