Friday, April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013

Today is the last day of my internship at the Pritzker Military Library. Over the course of the last few months, I really enjoyed learning outside of the classroom. In doing research for my PDPs on Nuclear Weapons, Artillery and Heavy Weapons, Wars of the Ancient Greeks, and Wars of the Roman Empire I learned the “talking points” of four subjects of historical significance. I also learned the ropes of the circulation desk and became familiar with the Library of Congress Classification System… Knowledge I was recently glad to have gained as I scoured the stacks at Cudahy. Opportunities were plentiful during my internship, including book readings and signings, author talks in the auditorium, and meetings and dinners where I met contacts for the future and learned of new veterans organizations. Just like on my first day at the library, today there was a book presentation—not a bad way to go out… Author Kathleen Cox discussed and read experts from her new release Destination Unknown: Adventures of a WWII American Red Cross Girl, a story captured from more than 200 original letters written to family and friends.

Wars of the Roman Empire

Wars of the Roman Empire were fought from its birth in 27 BC to the fall of the Western Roman Empire sometime around 476 AD. Following the Roman Empire’s defeat of Germanic tribes to the north and East, Rome launched the Conquest of Britain in 43 when it pushed north into central Scotland. Tribes in modern-day Scotland and Northern England rebelled against Roman rule and established two military bases to protect against rebellion and incursions from the north, where Roman troops built and manned Hadrian's Wall in 122. The Jewish Wars were fought from 66 – 135 between the Jews of Judaea Province and the Roman Empire following robberies from their temples and Roman insensitivity. Early successes, including the repulse of the First Siege of Jerusalem and the Battle of Beth-Horon attracted attention from Rome and Emperor Nero ordered troops to crush the rebellion. By the year 68, Jewish resistance in the North had been eliminated. A few areas managed to hold out, but by 132 all Jewish revolts had been quelled by the Roman Empire. The Parthian Wars were fought sporadically between the Roman armies and Armenia and Syria from 161 – 217, mainly over territorial expansion. Control of Mesopotamia changed hands between the Romans and the Parthians until Parthia’s defeat by the Persians in 224, when Persia replaced Parthia as Rome’s rival to the East. Following the murder of Emperor Alexander Severus in 235, the turmoil and civil war that marked the third century was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. Roman on Roman violence weakened armies leaving the empire open to invasion. Militarily, the empire fell after Rome was overrun by Germanic troops sometime around 476. The exact date of the fall of the Roman Empire is contested, ranging from the onset of its decline in the third century to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nuclear Weapons

Also, here is the Nuclear Weapons write-up...  

Beginning with the Manhattan Project’s scientific breakthrough in the 1930s and the first nuclear detonation in July 1945, the two atomic bombs detonated over Japan in August 1945 ended the war in the Pacific and helped shape the modern nuclear age. Further developments led to the hydrogen bomb and thermonuclear weapons -- theoretically thousands of times more powerful than the atomic bombs of 1945. Subsequent tests uncovered the devastating effects of nuclear fallout and led to the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which banned testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, underwater, or in outer space. Throughout the 50s and 60s, competition in the race for nuclear technology resulted in political and cultural tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In 1962, the U.S.S.R. stationed nuclear ballistic missiles in Cuba, and the Cold War culminated in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the modern era has become known as the “second nuclear age.” The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty officially recognizes states in possession of nuclear weapons technology and serves to monitor and set standards for development and use of nuclear technology on a global scale.

April 19, 2013

Today I continued researching Wars of the Roman Empire for the Patron Discovery Page I’ve been working on. The Roman Empire is marked by dictators and an autocratic government, in contrast to the more democratic Republican era of Ancient Rome. The 500-year-old Roman Republic was destabilized by civil war, and the appointment of Julius Caesar as dictator solidified Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire in 44 BC. The Roman Empire declined over the next four centuries until Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was defeated in 476 by Germanic tribes -- the Eastern Roman Empire lasted until Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453. The library has a vast amount of resources on everything from the reign of Julius Caesar to the uniforms and weaponry of the Roman Legions. The most challenging part of creating PDPs has always been choosing from the abundance of resources and summarizing the topic (400 years in the case of the Roman Empire) into a paragraph or two.

April 12, 2013

Today I attended the monthly meeting of veterans organizations at the Pritzker Military Library, unofficially called the "Circle of Friends." Among them, Veterans Upward Bound aids those recently separated from military service in starting or finishing their education. Arab American Family Services aims to use veterans to tutor children in the Bridgeview community. A Resource Coordinator from Easter Seals was also in attendance speaking of the organization’s need for veterans, specifically for their understanding of issues veterans face upon separation from service and military terminology. The meeting was a good example of the information the library's Veterans Resource Center has to offer. It's a consolidation of information and services offered by organizations to veterans -- books on tailoring military resumes to the civilian world and support and education services available to veterans and their families. I also learned of some future career fairs and potential job opportunities.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wars of the Ancient Greeks

Today I finished my PDP on Wars of the Ancient Greeks, here's the summary:

Mountainous terrain made travel and communication difficult throughout Greece and led to the creation of isolated city-states. These civilizations’ Independent development and differing organizational structures resulted in opposing ideology exemplified by democratic Athens and the military oligarchy of Sparta. From the writings of Homer, Thucydides, and other ancient Greek scholars it is apparent that ancient Greece is marked by war between city-states and invaders alike. Greek warfare was dominated by the “hoplite” -- the Greek infantryman armed with a spear (doru) and shield (aspis). Hoplites would form ranks, lock shields, and project spears out through the first rank as they advanced. This “phalanx” formation made a frontal assault by the enemy nearly impossible. The hoplite phalanx was a dominant military formation as long as all the soldiers were well trained and willing to hold the line.

Some of the major wars, battles, and conflicts fought by the ancient Greek are as follows. The Trojan War (1250 B.C.) was waged on the city of Troy after Helen of Sparta was kidnapped and is among the most important in Greek mythology. The Persian Wars (490-480 B.C.) were a series of conflicts between the Greek world and the Persian Empire that culminated in the Athenian and Plataean defeat of the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. The Peloponnesian War (441-404 B.C.) was fought between the Athenian Empire and the Peloponnesian League, which included Sparta and Corinth. The 27-year-long war had a six year truce in the middle and ended with Athens’ surrender. The campaigns of Alexander the Great (331-323 B.C.) conquered much of the world known to the ancient Greeks including Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March 29, 2013

I started research today on Wars of Ancient Greece. 5th century B.C. Greece was marked by conflict between Greek city-states and Persian invasion. The Peloponnesian War was fought between the Athenian empire and Peloponnesian league lead by the Spartans from 431 - 404 B.C. The First Persian War began with the Persian invasion of Greece in 492 B.C. and ended with a decisive Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. Greek warfare was dominated by the “hoplite” -- the classical Greek infantryman armed with a spear (doru) and shield (aspis). Hoplites would form ranks, lock shields, and project spears out through the first ranks as they advanced. This “phalanx” formation made a frontal assault by the enemy nearly impossible.