What is the oldest verifiably correctly translated written work?

What is the oldest verifiably correctly translated written work?


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How old is the oldest written work where we have translated what is written on it in correctly that is verified?

Sigh. I've tried writing that sentence in a way that is understandable and am having trouble, which is fairly ironic. I guess I'm looking for the current demarcation of prehistory to history, but from the standpoint of writing that we have successfully translated beyond "we know someone wrote these symbols, but don't know what they were trying to say."

I've read the wiki page on prehistory and it says while in the past prehistory was 'that time before writing,' many historical scholars are moving beyond the writing and into artifacts. I'm currently interested in the oldest translated written works.


Writing emerged from indecipherable protowriting in the 4th millennium BC. Here's a really cool graph of the earliest dates we can ascribe to writing systems, from a long analysis of the question:

The oldest "written work", in the sense of visual symbols with a modicum of abstraction from being mere pictograms, is from Egypt circa 3400 BC. "Oldest writings, and inventory tags of Egypt". (simple write-up here) There are tablets of similar age in Sumer. We can "translate" both, but it's not too hard as they are just one or two words.

The oldest grammatical works, meaning documents with sentences on them, are the Kesh temple hymn and the Instructions of Shuruppak, written on clay tablets in 2600 BC. (details)

Various other 3rd millennium BC literatures are listed on Wikipedia.


The oldest texts that have been successfully deciphered are from Sumer (Southern Iraq) and Egypt. In both countries decipherable writing begins around 2700 BC.


Avery documents some of the oldest documents known, however, it should be noted that those examples have conjectural dates because it is hard to date the contexts accurately and the documents themselves are vague. The Pyramid Texts (circa 2400 BC) are in many ways the most notable old written texts, not only because they are in a datable context (the Old Kingdom pyramids themselves), but because the texts are extensive. Unfortunately the Pyramid Texts are of a mystical character, not historical, but nevertheless the use of sophisticated words and terms has given scientists much information about the earliest forms of Egyptian language. There are many ambiguities and question marks in the translation of both the Pyramid Texts and the Elamite/Akkadian texts, but the gist of them is known.

There have been attempts to translate neolithic inscriptions (see for example "Ice Age Language: Translations, Grammar, and Vocabulary" by Dr. Robert Duncan Enzmann), but that would probably fall into the category of "unverifiable translations".


I forgot the museum (maybe the Metropolitan of NY) where I saw a written text that claimed to be the oldest known. It was just a piece of archaic cuneiform that said something like " has given to me X amount of grain". Quite boring, but most oldest text are just for accountants.


Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which, according to Latter Day Saint theology, contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. [1] [2] It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. [3] The Book of Mormon is one of the earliest of the unique writings of the Latter Day Saint movement, the denominations of which typically regard the text primarily as scripture, and secondarily as a historical record of God's dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas. [4] Some Mormon academics and apologetic organizations strive to affirm the book as historically authentic through their scholarship, [5] [6] but mainstream archaeological, historical and scientific communities do not consider the Book of Mormon to be an ancient record of actual historical events. [7]

According to Smith's account and the book's narrative, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" [8] engraved on golden plates. Smith said that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named Moroni, buried it in the Hill Cumorah in present-day Manchester, New York, before his death, and then appeared in a vision to Smith in 1827 as an angel, [9] revealing the location of the plates, and instructing him to translate the plates into English for use in the restoration of Christ's true church in the latter days. Some critics say that it was authored by Smith, drawing on material and ideas from his contemporary 19th-century environment rather than translating an ancient record. [10] [11] [12]

The Book of Mormon has a number of doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the fall of Adam and Eve, [13] the nature of the Christian atonement, [14] eschatology, redemption from physical and spiritual death, [15] and the organization of the latter-day church. The pivotal event of the book is an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Americas shortly after his resurrection. [16] [17]

The Book of Mormon is divided into smaller books, titled after individuals named as primary authors or other caretakers of the ancient record the Book of Mormon describes itself as and, in most versions, divided into chapters and verses. [18] It is written in English very similar to the Early Modern English linguistic style of the King James Version of the Bible, and has since been fully or partially translated into 112 languages. [19] [20] As of 2020, more than 192 million copies of the Book of Mormon had been printed. [21]


The York Corpus Christi Plays: Introduction

The feast of Corpus Christi, celebrated annually on Thursday after Trinity Sunday, was devoted to the Eucharist, and the normal practice was to have solemn processions through the city with the Host, the consecrated wafer that was believed to have been transformed into the true body and blood of Jesus. 1 In this way the &ldquocultus Dei&rdquo 2 thus celebrated allowed the people to venerate the Eucharistic bread in order that they might be stimulated to devotion and brought symbolically, even mystically into a relationship with the central moments of salvation history. Perhaps it is logical, therefore, that pageants and plays were introduced in order to access yet another way of visualizing and participating in those events of times past that were believed to matter most for the lives of the citizens as well as of other residents and visitors in cities such as York. Thus the &ldquoinvisible things&rdquo of the divine order &ldquofrom the creation of the world&rdquo might be displayed, and this might be done in order to bring these events into the orbit of the collective memory. 3

There are, however, problems with the popular view that would take York as typical of an entire genre of early civic drama that was supposed to have been generated by the religious feast. The York Corpus Christi plays, contained in London, British Library, MS. Add. 35290 and comprising more than thirteen thousand lines of verse, actually represent a unique survival of medieval theater (see fig. 1). 4 They form the only complete play cycle verifiably associated with the feast of Corpus Christi that is extant and was performed at a specific location in England. Of the Coventry Corpus Christi cycle, texts have survived for only two pageants, the Shearmen and Taylors&rsquo and the Weavers&rsquo plays, while the Chester plays, though they developed from Corpus Christi drama, are in their present form a Whitsun cycle found in the main only in late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century transcriptions. 5 The Towneley manuscript, now in the Huntington Library and formerly thought to contain a Corpus Christi cycle from Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, has been surmised by recent scholarship to be instead a collection of plays, including some of them adapted from York, from which individual pageants might be selected for production on one occasion or another. Their association with Wakefield as its Corpus Christi cycle rested on the authority, now discredited, of a local town historian. 6 The N-Town manuscript is a compilation of separate plays, in this case from East Anglia, connected with Corpus Christi only by the words &ldquoThe plaie called Corpus Christi&rdquo written in a late hand across the top of the first page of the manuscript. 7 In fact, it is no longer possible even to speak of a Corpus Christ tradition of Creation to Doom pageants as the norm, for a &ldquoCorpus Christi play&rdquo noted in dramatic records of a medieval English town might have been simply a drama of some kind presented on this major feast day. 8 York&rsquos cycle, then, is of particular interest for its completeness as medieval religious street theater mounted nearly on an annual basis on wagons at stations throughout the city. It was not representative of anything like a national standard for Corpus Christi drama.

Completeness, however, must be seen as relative, since the York cycle as we have it mainly is representative of the pageants as they existed when entered into the Register, or official manuscript maintained by the city Corporation, in c.1463&ndash77. 9 In a manuscript that shows signs of considerable use, it may be no surprise that in some cases leaves have been lost, leaving unfortunate lacunae such as the crucial central segment of the Bakers&rsquo Last Supper. Notations in the margins, many of them by the John Clerke, &ldquounder clerk&rdquo to the &ldquocommon Clerk of this city&rdquo between the 1530s and the suppression of the pageants in 1569, 10 indicate that at least in the final years what was played had not always been entered in the Register. The city Corporation was always solicitous of the pageants and concerned about their quality. Auditions had been instituted to remove actors not &ldquosufficiant . . . either in Connyng voice or personne.&rdquo 11 By 1501 the town clerk or his deputy may have been on hand at the first station, at Holy Trinity Priory gates on Micklegate, to observe the plays. 12 The performances understandably were to be given scrutiny with both the speeches and the pageants&rsquo visual appearance in mind, and some discrepancies were duly noted in the Register. Further, some pageants were never registered: The Marriage in Cana (22 A ), The Feast in Simon&rsquos House (23 A ), and The Funeral of the Virgin, or Fergus (44 A ). In 1559 an order was issued to have the text of the Innholders&rsquo Coronation of the Virgin pageant copied from their &ldquoRegynall&rdquo or original guild copy into the official Register, either to replace or to supplement the version of the play already present in the manuscript. However, in this instance only a fragment, a text of vastly inferior quality, was entered, 13 while the copying of the Purification of the Virgin was not even begun at this time. A subsequent order to John Clerke to copy the Purification, the Vintners&rsquo Marriage in Cana, the Ironmongers&rsquo &ldquoMarie Magdalene wasshyng the Lordes feete etc.&rdquo (The Feast in Simon&rsquos House), and the conclusion of the Tilers&rsquo Nativity into the &ldquoold Registre&rdquo 14 was only partially fulfilled, with the Purification then being entered by him out of order in the manuscript. Only one pageant, the Scriveners&rsquo Doubting Thomas, appears both in the Register and also in a guild copy, the damaged Sykes manuscript. 15 No copies of the individual parchment rolls, or parcels, each containing the speeches of an individual character, survive. 16

The Register likewise will not provide readings of the playtexts as they must once have existed in earliest years before revisions were made to them, in some cases involving radical rewriting. For the state of the playtexts in those years it is necessary to refer, though with great caution, to the cast lists and brief descriptions in the Ordo paginarum. This document was designed to designate the content and order of the pageants for the use of the Corporation, which, rather than any ecclesiastical body, had responsibility for the cycle. The Ordo, dated 1415, is contained in the York Memorandum Book A/Y. 17 It is, unfortunately, extremely problematic on account of damage to the manuscript and also numerous erasures and changes that were made to correct and keep the list up to date. 18 Formerly believed to have been initially written by Roger Burton, the town clerk, Meg Twycross has recently demonstrated that it is in the hand of a different scribe, whose identity is uncertain. 19 When the Ordo&rsquos descriptions are not consistent with the playtexts, something nevertheless may be revealed concerning the changes that took place between 1415 and the date of the Register a half century or so later, though again caution must be urged. A second list in the Memorandum Book A/Y, apparently by Burton himself and usually dated in c.1422, gives, like the first list, names of responsible guilds, but only provides titles for the plays. 20 This list too was designed to be a record, but much less detailed, of the order of the pageants as they set out in order to play through the city. It also reveals some amalgamation of pageants as the list was kept up to date. 21

FROM WHENCE DID THEY COME?

Some of the earliest documentation concerning the York plays are records of pageant houses in which wagon stages were stored, and for the specific stations throughout the city where the pageants were played. The York Memorandum Book A/Y notes a structure used to house three Corpus Christi pageant wagons in 1377, 22 and the principal location of such buildings on Toft Green (sometimes called Pageant Green), near the Dominican Friary, was cited in 1387. 23 Already in 1394 there was an order promulgated that &ldquoall the pageants of Corpus Christi shall play in the places appointed from ancient times [in locis antiquitus assignatis] and not elsewhere.&rdquo 24 &ldquoAncient times,&rdquo however, would have been an indefinite period, but perhaps logically should refer to at least one generation in the past, if not longer. No certainty is possible here, except we know that displays on wagons were not invented at York even if performing plays on them possibly was a local or regional innovation.

Trade with the Low Countries would have brought the merchants of York, its most influential citizens, in contact with the tableaux vivants that were paraded on wagons through the streets in cities such as Bruges, Antwerp, Leuven, and Brussels. 25 These were moving wagons, not plays, and where the notion of using wagons originated for setting up and staging drama at fixed locations we cannot tell. It would seem to be too far-fetched to believe that the exception of Lille, which had a procession honoring the Virgin Mary that dated from 1270 and that did in fact develop into plays on various biblical and other subjects on wagons, provided the model. 26 One thing is very clear from the 1394 record, and this is that the York plays in earlier times were not mere tableaux vivants but presentations on wagon stages that stopped at a set number of fixed locations for viewing as designated by the city Corporation. In 1417 these stations were ordered to be marked with banners having the arms of the city. The awareness of movement &mdash the progress of human life as pilgrimage, and history as linear &mdash was a ground against which the pageants were played. Nevertheless, while they could have appeared like iconic &ldquofloats&rdquo when moving between the places appointed for playing, there is nothing in the records to support such a supposition. When a play had been staged at a specific location, its carriage could simply have been pulled, always by human labor and not impossibly with the accompaniment of minstrels playing, to the next playing station &mdash a task that would have been made easier if the wagons were lightened in weight by not having a cast of actors aboard.

French drama cycles are sometimes put forward as models for the York plays. In their sequential presentation of biblical history, these massive productions, acted on fixed stages and often taking several days to perform, had their roots in fourteenth-century community theater. 28 Potential awareness of Continental play cycles by York dramatists and producers still does not reveal precisely how these plays emerged in the form which they adopted.

But one aspect of the development of the York Corpus Christi plays needs especially to be emphasized. Any notion of a clear line of evolutionary development from the Latin liturgical drama must be set aside. 29 There is no evidence that these vernacular plays arose as a result of a process of secularization or dissatisfaction with the clerical control over liturgical plays mounted in the cathedral and churches, like the Pastores and the Magi in the Christmas and Epiphany seasons at York Minster in the thirteenth century. 30 From the first the Corpus Christi plays arose as an expensive display for the members of the various crafts or guilds of the city who were expected to perform them, even under threat of a hefty fine if they did not &mdash a fact that, however, does not suggest a lack of enthusiasm with the exception, it would appear, of times when the financial burden was felt to be excessive. 31 In no way could the plays have continued to be played for two centuries in a city under the stress of difficult times if the essential good will toward them had not been present.

Speculation concerning the plays&rsquo origin, though not explaining the source of using the wagons as stages at fixed locations, at the present seems to favor what has been dubbed the &ldquobig bang&rdquo theory. This theory, advanced by R. B. Dobson, is based on the supposition that the plays were part of a plan by the mayor and Council to establish an elaborate cycle of plays in order to provide a &ldquomechanism for identifying . . . crafts and their members&rdquo &mdash that is, as a way of rationalizing local industry. In so doing, the large amounts assessed the individual craft and mercantile guilds, intended to be based on their ability to pay, could be directed to the activity of play production, which was regarded as a charitable act for the good of the community. 32 It is, nevertheless, difficult to see the hand of the Corporation solely responsible for bringing the pageants into being ex nihilo. Their ultimate origin was undoubtedly more complex and surely must have involved wide community support.

There is good reason to suppose that the guilds, or the craftsmen who established such fraternities, were involved at the very beginning. Jeremy Goldberg even suggests not implausibly that the pageants &ldquopostdated the origin of the craft gilds,&rdquo and that there was a desire by them to &ldquogive religious meaning to their labours and to participate in this collective manifestation of civic pride, this act of devotion, and this work of mercy that in many cases gave rise to the gilds.&rdquo 33 In any case, to be so magnificently successful, the project could hardly have been sustained by the element of coercion alone. This does not mean that some guilds would not have expressed dissatisfaction at times, especially when we keep in mind the levying of fines for hindering the plays and the heavy assessments for their support when in later years the city&rsquos economy was declining. But the disorder caused by the Girdlers in tarrying and thus &ldquostoppyng of the rest of the pageantz folowyng and to the disorderyng of the same&rdquo for &ldquoan wholle hower,&rdquo for which they were fined 20s in 1554, seems to have been unusual. 34 We should not believe that a &ldquosumptuous&rdquo play cycle 35 of the magnitude of the York plays could have been carried on for centuries without the wholehearted enthusiasm of those directly involved. And of magnitude and magnificence the cycle truly seems to have been, attracting watchers and listeners from all around the region. In 1487, when King Henry VII visited York, he saw the plays, but not on Corpus Christi since they were deliberately deferred at his request until Lammas day to coincide with his coming to the city. 36

With one exception, the dramatic records of York are meager with regard to information about the construction and design of the wagon stages but nevertheless point to elaborate structures, many of them likely to have been as large as could be accommodated by the narrow streets of the medieval city. 37 Some details can, however, be surmised from the wagons used in those other cities that used this type of staging, but here too there is a paucity of reliable information. Chester&rsquos are described in Rogers&rsquo Breviary, albeit in a way that has been a source of confusion. 38 Whether of four or (less likely) six wheels, the Chester wagons were large and impressive structures, and, when necessary, they must have accommodated complex and sophisticated equipment in order to achieve spectacular effects in the city&rsquos Whitsun plays. At Norwich, the Grocers&rsquo wagon, left derelict out-of-doors, had been described in 1564&ndash65 as being &ldquoa Howsse of Waynskott paynted and buylded on a Carte with fowre whelys&rdquo with &ldquoa square toppe&rdquo placed overhead on it and having three painted cloths hanging about it. This meager information is accompanied elsewhere in the records by an inventory of the props and other accouterments, most famously the &ldquoRybbe Colleryd Redd&rdquo for the creation of Eve. 39 But as for the actual wagons, either at York or elsewhere, they have not left a trace behind, not even a drawing or sketch. There is nothing therefore remaining to match the elaborate illustrations of the Flemish tableaux vivants which likely would have set a standard of sumptuousness to which the York producers may have aspired. Attempts such as David Jee&rsquos illustration, purporting to show a Chester wagon and elaborated from Rogers&rsquo description, in Thomas Sharp&rsquos Dissertation (1825) reveal more about nineteenth-century preconceptions than about late medieval stages. 40

The exception to this paucity of information for York appears in a single document, a 1433 inventory of the Mercers&rsquo Doomsday pageant that remained unknown until 1972. 41 Truly remarkable, this list takes note of such equipment as a device for lowering and raising Jesus at his Second Coming and even puppet angels that run about the heavens. 42 As a prop list this is an essential document, and can profitably be compared with the depiction of similar aspects of Doomsday in the visual arts. Here reference is most fruitfully made to local examples such as the Doomsday illumination in the Bolton Hours (1410&ndash20), which has been associated with leading merchant families in the city. 43

The dramatic records nevertheless, since they are mainly accounts of expenditures, receipts, and enforcement of local ordinances, show very vividly that the making and maintenance of the pageant wagons, their accouterments, and all the other equipment necessary for the plays required wide community effort. The assistance of not only the carpenters, painters, and cloth workers but also other guilds is duly noted in the extant documents, albeit as financial records these are often fragmentary and sporadic. At least we know that the plays were a source of economic gain for some of the citizens, just as musicians brought in to assist were the beneficiaries of payment for their services. 44

Detailed information at York is, however, available about the stations along the streets at which the pageants were played, for here the records kept by the Corporation are very specific. The entire route can still be traced today since much of the old city remains, albeit with numerous changes (e.g., the shortening of Stonegate to create open space for St. Helen&rsquos Square in the eighteenth century). 45 As noted above, each station was to be marked with a banner, and fines were instituted for unauthorized stops for playing. An early sixteenth-century alteration to the official proclamation of the plays entered into the city records ordered that &ldquoeuery player that shall play be redy in his pagiaunt at convenyant tyme, that is to say at the mydhowre betwix iiij th and v th of the cloke in the mornyng and then all other pageantes fast followyng ilkon after other as ther course is without Tarieng&rdquo on pain of a fine of 6s 8d. 46 While this probably does not pertain to the early years of the York plays when a delay would plausibly have been needed to allow for the civic Corpus Christi procession to set out from the same location at Holy Trinity Priory, the 4:30 a.m. starting time is credible after the separation of the procession from the play in the course of the fifteenth century.

We can thus assume that either at a convenient time in earlier years, or in later times around dawn on Corpus Christi, the first of the pageants &mdash the Barkers&rsquo (i.e., Tanners&rsquo) Creation of the Angels with the Fall of Lucifer &mdash was being moved away from Toft Green and around to the first station before the gates of Holy Trinity Priory inside Micklegate Bar, the main entrance to the city on the route from London (see figure 2). From there the wagon stages proceeded down Micklegate and over the Ouse River, performing at the specified stations before audiences along the way. On the other side of the river, the stations would be spaced at intervals at the corner of Spurriergate and along Coney Street, Stonegate, Petergate, and the Pavement, the final station and, interestingly, the least popular. 47 In 1417, when the practice of leasing the stations was regularized according to a bid system, twelve stations were specified, the same number that had been awarded in 1398. 48 It appears that the lessees, initially some of the city&rsquos most affluent citizens, had financial gain in mind since in turn they were able to set up scaffolds and rent seats as well as to offer concessions to the spectators. This of course does not mean that they were entirely mercenary, if they believed, as surely they did, in the value of the plays as charitable acts to be presented for the general good of the community.

Much has been made of the theology inherent in the plays, and to be sure this is a part of their civic and religious context that needs to be explained for many modern readers and, when opportunity for seeing actual productions is presented, for viewers. A considerable portion of the Explanatory Notes in the present edition must thus be given over to notice of such matters, which for some scholars are nowadays sometimes treated under the rubric of &ldquoideology,&rdquo or what was generally assumed more or less by everyone living at that time and in that place. 49 Those who persist in seeing the plays as essentially didactic, as teaching devices focused on doctrine, will be seen to have a generally reductionist view of them. Among other things, they were intended as acts of charity, mnemonic instruments, so to speak, to inspire devotion and bring to mind the totality of the works of God, beginning with the Creation. Like the liturgy, which was to be sure imperfectly accessible to most people since it was in Latin rather than in the vernacular, the Corpus Christi plays were designed to bring to memory the events of salvation history. Pamela King&rsquos The York Mystery Cycle and the Worship of the City is a convincing overview of the deep interconnectedness of the civic drama, under the control of the secular administration of the city, and the content of the liturgy celebrated in parish churches, in York Minster, and in the monasteries and friaries. More directly than through the Latin liturgy, then, personal and communal engagement with cultural history and tradition through memory &mdash indeed, charismatic memory 50 &mdash might be advanced as the most important aspect of the production of the plays. And this was indeed also a communal project designed to bring together the crafts and trades in Christian harmony with each other, however imperfectly this may have been the case.

As religious drama deeply embedded in late medieval &ldquotraditional religion&rdquo 51 and congruent with the intense spirituality that is found in such writings as Nicholas Love&rsquos adaptation of the popular Latin Meditations on the Life of Christ (Meditaciones Vitae Christi), 52 the plays were designed to promote emotional involvement with the events being staged. Most intensely, the suffering and Crucifixion of Jesus were even to be felt as necessary for salvation. Love, who possibly had been prior of the Augustinian friary at York and at the time of his writing was prior of the Carthusian monastery at Mount Grace, is insistent that such identification be felt &ldquoinwardly&rdquo in one&rsquos thoughts through &ldquotrewe ymaginacion and inwarde compassion of the peynes and the passion&rdquo of the one who died for all humankind. 53 But drama is never quite so simple, even if it stirs strong emotions, such as the York plays must have achieved &mdash very possibly, as the author of the Wycliffite Treatise of Miraclis Pleyinge claims to have occurred in response to religious plays, &ldquoweping bitere teris.&rdquo 54 There is also the matter of engaging, whether one will or no, with the characters, even ones representing evil. 55 Leaving aside the matter of Schadenfreude, such symbolic participation in plays &mdash for in a deep sense the pageants are symbolic structures representing the essentials of human history &mdash would have had the effect of bringing to life the events of salvation history for late medieval audiences. As such, there is no doubt also that they were consistent with traditional iconography, especially since this would have been not only expected but also demanded in a time when innovation outside the boundaries of the acceptable visual limits was taboo. One could only imagine what the response would have been to the representation of God in an animal mask! 56 Jesus&rsquo wounds were to be seen bleeding, even after death, and devils were expected to be exceptionally ugly, often hairy and fitted with double (or triple) masks with one of them on the face and another in the groin area. 57 Particular attention to the iconography of the plays, especially with reference to examples in the visual arts at York, will appear in the Explanatory Notes. 58

The authors of the plays, attending to favored iconographic tableaux but not generally as static or fixed scenes that would freeze the action, were of differing talents, and their poetic techniques varied. Richard Beadle argues for the presence of a &ldquobasic range of vocabulary, often expressed in repeated formulae, which [the dialogue] is guaranteed to share with both its immediate and distant neighbours in the Cycle as a whole.&rdquo 59 This generalization holds true only in part, since some of the plays introduce vocabulary, including rhyme words, that are not only distinctly Northern but, to many readers, obscure and out of the ordinary. Stylistically, the most unusual plays or segments of plays are those that have been attributed to a &ldquoYork Realist,&rdquo 60 an attribution that is discussed in Paul A. Johnston&rsquos Appendix in the present volume. These are plays, and sections of plays, in the long alliterative line, probably otherwise best known through William Langland&rsquos Piers Plowman.

The poetic forms here differ from those found in Anglo-Saxon practices from which the alliterative technique is ultimately derived. This is particularly true in the choice to use rhyme and in the division into stanzas. While the stanza forms differ, their use of alliteration is &ldquometrically functional&rdquo and at the same time provides &ldquoa very effective vehicle for dramatic dialogue,&rdquo as T. Turville-Petre has noted. 61 The manuscript sometimes presents the parts of the long line as two lines, a practice that was followed by Lucy Toulmin Smith in her pioneering edition of 1885 and is generally retained in the present edition. In the manuscript the pageants in the long alliterative line are otherwise some of the most problematic. The handwriting itself suggests that the scribe had considerable difficulty coping with the copies with which he was working, and these portions of the Register are the least well presented on the page in the manuscript.

These and the other pageants in the cycle can firmly be said not to have been written by the guild members themselves. Alexandria F. Johnston has engagingly suggested the involvement in writing these texts of the canons from the Augustinian house next to the Common Hall, for the members of the Corporation were on close and friendly terms with the friary. 62 The York Augustinian friary possessed one of the greatest libraries in the North of England, 63 and was noted for its learning. The plays show signs of knowledge of a wide range of religious literature. The sources are not always evident, but echoes, for example, of the Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, the Cursor Mundi, the Northern Passion, the Stanzaic Life of Christ, and the Gospel of Nicodemus are present. 64 The spirit of St. Bernard of Clairvaux is evident. The Franciscan Meditations on the Life of Christ was also known to some if not all of the York playwrights, perhaps through the adaptation of Nicholas Love and whose work in any case, as noted above, often provides the most useful explication of passages in the pageants. The Revelations of St. Birgitta of Sweden can also be easily traced, most visibly in the Nativity where revisions are evident when the play is compared with the earlier description in the Ordo paginarum. 65 Other influences, such as Ludolphus of Saxony&rsquos Vita Christi, are cited by J. W. Robinson in his seminal work, left unfinished at his death and subsequently published as Studies in Fifteenth-Century Stagecraft.

The documents excerpted in Records of Early English Drama: York fail to give much direct indication of actual re-writing or revision, particularly in the decades about which we would like to know the most. However, in an entry in the York Memorandum Book A/Y in c.1422, the Crucifixion was reported to be shortened for the sake of efficiency in playing, herein joining the &ldquostretching out and nailing of Christ on the cross&rdquo and &ldquothe raising up of the Crucified upon the Mount.&rdquo 66 Another entry, dated 1432, indicated that further consolidation and regularization elsewhere in the cycle with regard to guild support had taken place. A single pageant was created from the Saucemakers&rsquo Suspencio Judas, the Tilemakers&rsquo Condemnation of Christ by Pilate, the Turners, Hayresters, and Bollers&rsquo Flagellation, and the Millers&rsquo <>Parting of Jesus&rsquoGarments. 67 These records do not prove that other revisions and rewriting took place between 1422 and 1432, but they can provide a plausible guide for dating alterations that would introduce the long alliterative line into the plays. The second quarter of the fifteenth century still represented a time of prosperity for the city of York, which would later decline both economically and demographically with the flight to the West Riding of the cloth industry and the dramatic reduction of its population, perhaps by the middle of the sixteenth century to a level little more than half of its earlier high point.1 1

Ironically, when prosperity and population growth began to return in the third quarter of the sixteenth century, the plays, in spite of the desire of the citizens to retain them, would be suppressed. In mid-century disease and other pressures had deterred the city from performing them in some years. In 1551 only ten pageants were ordered to be played at ten stations, and in 1552 the &ldquobillettes,&rdquo written orders issued to the guilds for playing, were called in. 69 Under King Edward VI, who had instituted a process of radical Protestantizing and iconoclasm, the Marian plays of the Death, Assumption, and Coronation of the Virgin were set aside, only to be reinstated under Queen Mary and then suppressed again in 1561. 70

Pressure on the pageants mounted as the crisis year of 1570 approached, when Catholic rebellion was in the air and Queen Elizabeth was to be excommunicated. The change in archdiocesan politics at York did not bode well for the plays, and in 1569 they were played, on Tuesday during Whitsun week rather than on Corpus Christi, for the last time. 71 In 1579 the Register would be taken to the archbishop and dean &ldquoto correcte, if that my Lord Archebisshop doo well like theron,&rdquo and in 1580 the House Books report that &ldquothe Commons did earnestly request of my Lord Mayour and others this worshipfull Assemblee that Corpus christi play might be played this yere,&rdquo 72 but to no avail. 73 The plays would not be staged at York again for nearly four centuries.

THE REVIVAL OF THE YORK PLAYS

The revival of the York plays was to be assured only in 1950, when E. Martin Browne, who was known for his successful productions of Murder in the Cathedral and other religious plays, was chosen as director. 74 The cycle was mounted the next year in the ruins of St. Mary&rsquos Abbey, a spectacular setting but demanding a fixed stage, in this case utilizing mansions more or less modeled on the famous illustration of the 1547 Valenciennes Passion play. 75 Its length too was regarded as a serious problem. Hence the text was condensed to allow only a three-hour production, and it would be done as a single unit, not broken into the segments originally staged as pageants by individual guilds. There also would be considerable modernization of the language, undertaken by Canon J. S. Purvis, who had been enthusiastic about such a project and was in fact the person who initially suggested producing the plays. Even the dialect was standardized to conform with BBC English. 76 For all its value in bringing attention to the York plays as theater, the production was a &ldquoheritage&rdquo event rather than either an authentic historical experiment or living theater. 77

Nevertheless, it will surprise many to learn that resistance to the revival emerged from Evangelicals, both within the Church of England and in sectarian protestantism. John R. Elliott, Jr., has noted that even Canon Purvis was nervous about the production, and he quotes the minutes of the York Festival Committee which report his remarks: &ldquoThere is an enormous and impassable gulf between us and the people who wrote, performed, and watched these plays. . . . The scourging and crucifixion scenes are too realistic for us today. Nobody would dare to put on some of these plays today. They are too shocking.&rdquo 78 After their successful run of two weeks, the archbishop of York was quoted in the Yorkshire Post as having his &ldquomisgivings . . . completely removed,&rdquo but nevertheless argued that there should not be another revival for &ldquoa considerable interval &mdash at least five years.&rdquo 79

Doctrinal and legal issues also had to be faced in 1951. The Last Supper, being the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, was a sensitive matter, but was retained as an offstage event, and the plays of the Death, Assumption, and Coronation of the Virgin along with other Marian content were omitted as too controversially &ldquoMariolatrous.&rdquo 80 Legal challenges were only sidestepped because the York cycle antedated the 1737 act for the licensing of plays, which normally allowed the Lord Chamberlain to censor those that were either licentious or blasphemous, with the appearance of representations of God and Jesus on stage falling into the latter category. 81

Subsequently, the York cycle, in similarly abbreviated versions, continued to be played at intervals in the ruins of the abbey. By the 1970s, emphasis had shifted to spectacle and humor and shied away from religious content as much as possible. 82 In 1976 pageant wagons were introduced onto the stage, but were largely stationary and used for indoor scenes only except for the parody of ceremony at Herod&rsquos entrance. The three kings arrived riding horses, and there were sheep, heifers, and donkeys along with &ldquo174 extras who somehow managed to make themselves present.&rdquo 83 Peter Happé&rsquos review of the 1980 production reported the choice of &ldquoSumer is icumen in&rdquo as a dance at the beginning, and thereafter a selection of mainly familiar music that culminated at Doomsday in the Old Hundredth (English Hymnal, no. 365), while the text was still so condensed that &ldquothere was often little sense of development in individual scenes.&rdquo 84 In 1992 the plays were moved indoors, and 2000 saw a Millennium production in the Minster. Eventually the success with audiences of Tony Harrison&rsquos text (largely derived from York) and Bill Bryden&rsquos directing of The Mysteries at the National Theatre would influence the staging of the cycle. 85

However, sporadic attempts to introduce processional wagon staging at York led in 1988 to a four-pageant production in the streets directed by Meg Twycross, whose efforts were a genuine effort to replicate the conditions of late medieval staging. 86 This, like a subsequent production in 1992, was a university production with actors not connected with the city. The plays were returned to community theater in 1994 &mdash a less fragmented version of nine plays, presented by York guilds (see fig. 3). 87 Three of the guilds were still in existence from medieval times, and thus the Butchers could once again play the Mortificacio Christi. The production was under the overall direction of Jane Oakshott, who repeated the effort in 1998. 88 By 2002 ten plays, now given over to local control, were able to be mounted at five stations, running from noon to seven o&rsquoclock in the evening and ending, of course, with the Last Judgment, which Margaret Rogerson judged to be appropriately capturing &ldquothe spirit of the Middle Ages while linking the message of the play to the present.&rdquo 89 In 2006 the number of plays had advanced to eleven, but at four stations. In 2008 Oakshott was awarded an MBE for her efforts in community theater &mdash a very encouraging sign of the recognition of this drama for our time.

The productions in York streets have not yet been able to offer a complete cycle, but this had in fact been accomplished elsewhere in academic settings. In 1975, various departments of the University of Leeds, with the leadership of Oakshott who was then a recent graduate, produced thirty-six pageants &mdash not yet a complete cycle, but certainly an historic event. 90 Thereafter, two productions of all forty-seven extant plays were presented on wagons at the University of Toronto in 1977 and 1998 under the auspices of Poculi Ludique Societas. The 1977 performance, for which David Parry was artistic director, encountered unexpected adversity in the weather, and the performances had to be moved indoors. Nevertheless, David Bevington could praise the effort as one that uniquely gave an incomparable &ldquosense of the vitality and richness of Corpus Christi drama.&rdquo 91

The 1998 performance fared much better, and has the advantage of being well documented in both Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama and Early Theatre. In this instance, the performances occurred at four stations at Victoria College, and, starting at 6:00 a.m., continued until midnight. The impossibility of staging forty-seven or more pageants at twelve stations widely separated in distance was made evident, resulting in discussion among the participants and spectators concerning the likelihood that some were simply omitted each year on a regular basis when the Corpus Christi cycle was staged at medieval York. 92 Among other things learned, one of the most important concerned the interaction between actors and audience. In Megan Lloyd&rsquos words, &ldquoWhatever the intent of individual plays, the effect of the York Cycle . . . was an obscuring of audience and actor, fiction and reality, that helped me feel as though I were participating in the Passion and Christian journey itself. I was not alone in my response.&rdquo 93 There was also some controversy, as with regard to Handmade Performance&rsquos Doomsday pageant, a &ldquoradical reinterpretation&rdquo which struck many as an extreme violation of the ethos of the original play, and certainly it would have been regarded as blasphemous in its own time. The idea that the devil was a classical music lover and that all-powerful God &ldquocan play anything he wants,&rdquo no matter how incompetent musically, was symptomatic of the inversion of values in this &ldquopost-modern&rdquo production. 94 The 1998 Toronto plays, on account of the very extensive commentary available in print, 95 will continue to be most valuable for future directors, while much can also be learned from the community theater productions at York where they have been reclaimed by the guilds.

The present edition adheres as closely as feasible to the text of the York Corpus Christi plays as they appear in the Register, London, British Library, MS. Add. 35290. However, as is the convention with TEAMS publications, the orthography is lightly modernized with respect to archaic letters. Thee is consistently given its modern spelling though normally it appears as the in the manuscript. Roman numerals are presented in their arabic equivalents. Emendations introduced by earlier scholars have only been adopted carefully when deemed necessary. In a few instances, however, corrections have been entered into the text from those plays derived from York originals in the Towneley manuscript and from the Sykes manuscript. In the Mortificacio Christi, the name Nichodemus has been corrected, the manuscript&rsquos Nichomedis being so obviously a scribal error.

It will be recognized that, in defense of choosing rather conservative principles of editing, there is no perfect Urtext available for the plays, nor ever was there one. The Register was based on the copies of the plays that had been supplied to the guilds, then subjected to further copying and revision. At times the copies from which the scribes worked in preparing the Register must have looked more like the &ldquofoul papers&rdquo famously posited for plays of the Shakespeare era. This must particularly have been true for those pageants that adopted the long alliterative line.

THE YORK CORPUS CHRISTI PLAYS, INTRODUCTION: FOOTNOTES

1 For a thorough discussion of the religious feast, see Rubin, Corpus Christi.

2 The term is from an entry dated 1408 in the Register of the Corpus Christi Guild see Records of Early English Drama: York, 1:15 (hereafter REED: York).

3 See Halbwachs, On Collective Memory.

4 British Library, MS. Add. 35290 is of parchment, 8 x 11 inches, and contains 268 leaves. For a full description of the manuscript, see York Play: A Facsimile, introd. Beadle and Meredith, pp. xi&ndashxix. The first eight folios are copied by Scribe A. Scribe B, the main scribe, entered the remainder with the exception of the sixteenth-century additions by John Clerke (Scribe C) and the very inferior late addition (not included in the present edition) to the Innholders&rsquo pageant, written by Scribe D. The manuscript&rsquos contents remained unknown until the middle of the nineteenth century, and were first edited by Lucy Toulmin Smith in 1885.

5 Coventry Corpus Christi Plays, ed. King and Davidson and, for convenience, Mills, &ldquoChester Cycle,&rdquo pp. 125&ndash29.

6 See Cawley, Forrester, and Goodchild, &ldquoReferences to the Corpus Christi Play in the Wakefield Burgess Rolls&rdquo Palmer, &ldquo&lsquoTowneley Plays&rsquo or &lsquoWakefield Cycle&rsquo Revisited&rdquo and Palmer&rsquos conclusion in &ldquoCorpus Christi &lsquoCycles&rsquo in Yorkshire,&rdquo p. 228.

7 British Library MS. Cotton Vespasian D.VIII, fol. 1 N-Town Play, ed. Spector, pp. xiii&ndashxvi, and especially the discussion of N-Town in Fletcher, &ldquoN-Town Plays.&rdquo See also the useful summary in N-Town Plays, ed. Sugano, esp. pp. 5&ndash17.

8 See A. Johnston, &ldquoWhat If No Texts Survived,&rdquo esp. pp. 11&ndash12 C. Davidson, Festivals and Plays, pp. 49&ndash79.

9 York Plays, ed. Beadle, pp. 10&ndash11.

10 York House Book 13, fol. 14v, as quoted by Meredith, &ldquoJohn Clerke&rsquos Hand,&rdquo pp. 249&ndash51.

11 REED: York, 1:109.

12 See REED: York, 1:187 in 1527 the Clerk&rsquos deputy is named for the task (REED: York, 1:263).

13 For the text of this fragment, see York Plays, ed. Beadle, pp. 404&ndash05.

14 REED: York, 1:351.

16 See MED, s.v. &ldquoparcel&rdquo (1c). An example of a parcel, though not from York, is Dux Moraud see Davis, ed., Non-Cycle Plays, pp. c&ndashci, 106&ndash13, pl. IV.

17 REED: York, 1:16&ndash24 see also the facsimile of this heavily damaged record in the York Memorandum Book A/Y included by Beadle and Meredith in York Play: A Facsimile (fols. 252v&ndash255r).

18 Twycross, &ldquoOrdo paginarum Revisited,&rdquo pp. 105&ndash31.

19 Twycross, &ldquoOrdo paginarum Revisited.&rdquo

20 REED: York, 1:25&ndash26. The titles in this second list have been adapted insofar as possible for the names of the pageants in the present edition. In the Register they are mainly identified by the names of guilds principally responsible for them.

21 See Twycross, &ldquoOrdo paginarum Revisited,&rdquo pp. 119&ndash20.

22 REED: York, 1:3, where the date is given as 1376.

23 REED: York, 1:5.

24 REED: York, 1:8 translation from 2:694.

25 See A. Johnston, &ldquoTraders and Playmakers&rdquo Twycross, &ldquoFlemish Ommegang and Its Pageant Cars&rdquo C. Davidson, Technology, Guilds, pp. 17&ndash25.

26 Knight, &ldquoProcessional Theatre and Social Unity,&rdquo and &ldquoManuscript Painting and Play Production.&rdquo

27 REED: York, 1:8, 29.

28 Muir, Biblical Drama, p. 33.

29 The notion of evolutionary development from Minster to Market Place, to borrow from the title of the book by Canon Purvis, has been considered untenable since the appearance of the seminal chapter on the subject by Hardison, Christian Rite and Christian Drama, pp. 1&ndash34.

30 REED: York, 1:1. There was, however, some connection, as yet not fully deciphered, between the York Corpus Christi plays and the Shrewsbury fragments (Davis, ed., Non-Cycle Plays, pp. xvii&ndashxix and 3&ndash7).

31 For recognition of the financial burden already in 1399, see REED: York, 1:11, and for the belief that the commons were thus antagonistic to what the Corporation made them do, see Swanson, &ldquoIllusion of Economic Structure,&rdquo p. 44. A refutation of this view is contained in C. Davidson, &ldquoYork Guilds and the Corpus Christi Plays.&rdquo

32 Dobson, &ldquoCraft Guilds and the City.&rdquo

33 Goldberg, &ldquoCraft Guilds, the Corpus Christi Play and Civic Government,&rdquo p. 148.

34 REED: York, 1:312.

35 See REED: York, 1:42. The description of the plays as &ldquosumptuous&rdquo appears in the well-known 1426 entry in the York Memorandum Book A/Y in which the Corporation takes account of the recommendations of the friar William Melton, who objected to the disorder that he saw at York on the day of the play. This, he argued, detracted from the spirit of devotion that should have obtained. A large part of the difficulty was that the civic Corpus Christi procession was held on the same day, and virtually along the same route as the plays Melton firmly recommended that the procession and the plays be separated, with the plays moved to the vigil of the feast. This did not happen, and when there was a change, it was the procession that was transferred. By the time the Register was compiled, the procession had been relegated to the following day, a Friday.

36 REED: York, 1:153&ndash54.

37 See McKinnell, &ldquoMedieval Pageant Wagons at York,&rdquo pp. 79&ndash99 and also the discussion of pageant wagons in C. Davidson, Technology, Guilds, pp. 17&ndash31.

38 REED: Chester, pp. 238&ndash39, 325, 355, and 436.

39 REED: Norwich 1540&ndash1642, pp. 52&ndash53.

40 Sharp, Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries, frontispiece.

41 See A. Johnston and Dorrell, &ldquoYork Mercers and Their Pageant of Doomsday.&rdquo

42 REED: York, 1:55&ndash56.

43 York Minster Library, MS. Add. 2, fol. 208 reproduced in C. Davidson, Technology, Guilds, fig. 93. Compare King, &ldquoCorpus Christi Plays and the &lsquoBolton Hours&rsquo, 1.&rdquo Also see the website of the Lancaster University Doomsday project: <http://www.lanc.ac.uk/users/yorkdoom/d06.htm>.

44 See C. Davidson, Technology, Guilds, passim.

45 See Raine, Mediaeval York, p. 123.

46 See Twycross, &ldquoForget the 4:30 a.m. Start&rdquo REED: York, 1:25.

47 See Twycross, &ldquo&lsquoPlaces to hear the play&rsquo: Pageant Stations at York, 1398&ndash1572.&rdquo

48 REED: York, 1:11, 29&ndash30. Placeholders are discussed by Crouch, &ldquoPaying to See the Play,&rdquo and E. White, &ldquoPlaces for Hearing the Corpus Christi Play,&rdquo as well as, by the same author, &ldquoPlaces to Hear the Play in York.&rdquo

49 The term ideology, Marxist in origin and as generally used, is a rather rubbery concept.

50 See Florovsky, &ldquoWork of the Holy Spirit,&rdquo to which Rowan Williams calls attention (Why Study the Past, p. 92).

51 See Duffy, Stripping of the Altars.

52 Love&rsquos Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ as a vernacular work that was given official approval, in part to counter Lollard translations of the Bible, provides perhaps the most useful single tool for interpreting the action of the York Corpus Christi plays in their treatment of the gospel narratives. Its date of composition seems to be c. 1410, for which see the comment of its editor, Michael Sargent (pp. xlv&ndashxlvi) this would imply its availability to those authors and revisers of the York plays who were active after this date. 53 Love, Mirror, p. 161.

54 Tretise of Miraclis Pleyinge, p. 98.

55 See C. Davidson, Deliver Us from Evil.

56 It seems rather absurd to try to force the York Corpus Christi plays into a pattern of carnival drama, though Martin Stevens has argued that they represent &ldquojust such a form&rdquo (Four Middle English Mystery Cycles, pp. 82&ndash83). However, in another sense they were to be sure festive, and hardly dull, solemn fare. See C. Davidson, History, Religion, and Violence, pp. 207&ndash25.

57 See, for example, Gray, &ldquoFive Wounds of Our Lord,&rdquo and, for an illustration of a hairy devil with masks on head, the genitals, and a knee in the St. Cuthbert window at York Minster, C. Davidson, Technology, Guilds, fig. 71.

58 In the Explanatory Notes, I have made frequent reference to York Art, the listing which I prepared in collaboration with David O&rsquoConnor many years ago as a rather tentative descriptive index of those scenes depicted locally in the visual arts relevant to the drama. An updated version of this list is available on the web at <http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/resources/edam/york.html>.

59 Beadle, &ldquoVerbal Texture and Wordplay,&rdquo p. 173.

60 See Reese, &ldquoAlliterative Verse in the York Cycle&rdquo Robinson, &ldquoArt of the York Realist&rdquo and Craig, English Religious Drama, pp. 224&ndash33.

61 Turville-Petre, Alliterative Revival, p. 123.

62 A. Johnston, &ldquoYork Cycle and the Libraries of York.&rdquo

63 For the very extensive catalogue, see Humphreys, Friars&rsquo Libraries, pp. 11&ndash154.

64 See York Plays, ed. Beadle, pp. 40&ndash41.

65 C. Davidson, From Creation to Doom, pp. 16&ndash18.

66 REED: York, 2:722 for Latin text, see 1:37.

67 REED: York,1:48 for translation, see 2:733. Compare the second list in the Ordo paginarum with the first (corrected) list (1:26, 22).

68 For demographic decline, see Palliser, Tudor York, p. 112, and C. Davidson, &ldquoYork Guilds and the Corpus Christi Plays,&rdquo pp. 11&ndash16.

69 REED: York, 1:298, 303, and see 1:9 for noting of billets as early as 1396, when two parchment membranes were purchased for use at Corpus Christi.

70 REED: York, 1:291&ndash92 and 331&ndash32.

71 REED: York, 1:355&ndash56.

72 REED: York, 1:390 and 392&ndash93.

73 The classic account is H. Gardiner, Mysteries&rsquo End, though subsequent scholarship has to some extent modified this description of the suppression of the vernacular religious drama.

74 For the director&rsquos account, see E. Browne and Browne, Two in One, pp. 183&ndash95. Additional information concerning the revival of the York Corpus Christi plays is found in Margaret Rogerson, Playing a Part in History: The York Mysteries, 1951&ndash2006 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), which was published after the present book was in page proofs.

75 E. Browne and Browne, Two in One, p. 184, and see the illustration in Nagler, Medieval Religious Stage, p. 85.

76 Browne was originally anxious to use the Yorkshire dialect, but quickly cooled to the idea when he found himself unable to understand a countrywoman in the North Riding (E. Browne and Browne, Two in One, p. 185). Purvis&rsquo modernization is in fact neither Middle English nor Modern English.

77 Rogerson, &ldquoLiving History,&rdquo pp. 12&ndash19.

78 Elliott, Playing God, pp. 76&ndash77.

79 Quoted in Eliott, Playing God, p. 82.

80 Elliott, Playing God, pp. 76&ndash77.

81 See the survey in Elliott, Playing God, pp. 14&ndash24.

82 Elliott, Playing God, pp. 97&ndash98

83 Review by Elliott, in &ldquoCensus of Medieval Drama Productions,&rdquo Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 20 (1977): 97&ndash98.

84 Review by Happé, in &ldquoCensus of Medieval Drama Productions,&rdquo Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 23 (1980): 91&ndash82.

85 See Harrison, Mysteries and Making of The Mysteries (production booklet, 1985). As for the stage production, Grantley considered it more of &ldquoa parody of medieval drama&rdquo (&ldquoNational Theatre&rsquos Production of The Mysteries,&rdquo p. 73).

86 A. Johnston, &ldquoFour York Pageants Performed in the Streets of York.&rdquo

87 Rastall, &ldquoMystery Plays 25 Years On.&rdquo

88 Oakshott, &ldquoYork Guilds&rsquo Mystery Plays 1998.&rdquo

89 Review by Rogerson, in &ldquoCensus of Medieval Drama Productions,&rdquo Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 42 (2003): 165&ndash66.

90 Rastall, &ldquoMystery Plays 25 Years On.&rdquo

91 Review by Bevington, in &ldquoCensus of Medieval Drama Productions,&rdquo Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 20 (1977): 110.

92 The listing of the 1535 receipts in the Chamberlain&rsquos rolls for pageant money for thirty-three pageants (as opposed to the full number in the Register) on a year when the &ldquoCorpus christi play was not playde&rdquo (REED: York, 1:260&ndash61) has been suggested as demonstrating the point.

93 Lloyd, &ldquoReflections of a York Survivor,&rdquo p. 233.

94 Johnson, &ldquoLast Judgment,&rdquo pp. 270&ndash71. The impression was of God the Father as a tyrannical ruler, and more in keeping with current earthly tyrants who are able to create their own &ldquoreality&rdquo at whatever cost to their people. It was a medieval commonplace that God the Creator is synonymous with harmony, as opposed to cacophony and dissonance, in this production recorded and played loudly on a boombox. The oedipal conflict between Father and Son in this pageant, however, would have been even more of a source of displeasure in the fifteenth century. Such an interpretation is precisely opposed to the meaning of both the play and orthodox thought on the subject. Though this interpretation was based on the difference perceived between the sternness of the Semitic Old Testament God and the Christian forgiveness offered by the Son of the New Testament, one can imagine that it would have resulted in a heresy trial had the pageant been staged in this manner by the Mercers in medieval York!

95 The entire issue of Early Theatre 3 (2000), under the title The York Cycle Then and Now, was devoted to discussion of the 1998 production.


What evidence is there that JS did not use the plates in the translation process?

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It gets a bit tricky. You have the following accounts:

Oliver Cowdery. Early account says Smith looked a the plates and then put his face into the hat and the inspiration flowed. Later accounts indicate that he looked at the plates through the Urim and Thummim (spectacles) and saw the English Translation. All of these accounts are suspect because Oliver changed his story 2-3 times and it doesn't match any of the other witnesses.

Oliver's wife: Brown stone in the hat method.

David Whitmer: Brown stone in the hat method. Talks about Joseph seeing a piece of parchment when looking at the stone and glowing letters appearing. A character from the plate (on top) would appear with the the translation in English below it. It would sometimes be a proper noun (one word) and other times 2-3 sentences. The character would not disappear until translated/written correctly. Whitmer talks about the plates being taken away after the 116 pages were lost and not returned. He also talks of the Urim and Thummim being taken and not returned (hence Joseph's use of the brown seer stone).

Martin Harris: Curtain method early on. Evidently Joseph took one of the white stone lenses from the spectacles (Urim and Thummim) out of their frame and put it in a hat to translate very early. Prior to the loss of the 116 pages however Joseph had switched to the brown rock in the hat method. At one point Harris decided to test Joseph and replaced his brown rock with a similar looking rock, at which point Joseph claimed that he could not translate - that everything was as "dark as Egypt". Harris then admitted that he had replaced the stone.

Emma Smith: Brown rock in the hat method.

Lucy Mack Smith: Basically wasn't around during the translation. She talks about magical spectacles that had triangular shaped diamonds as lenses. It appears that her account is a mix of Oliver Cowdery's, Joseph's later accounts (also based on Cowdery), and some imagination (with respect to the diamond and triangular description which are found nowhere else).

Bottom line: Those who talk about the brown stone are consistent over time. Other witnesses seem to be making things up over time with evolving stories, and this includes Oliver, Joseph, and Joseph's family member (esp. his Father & Mother).

I have a bunch of documents that go through the details if you are interested.


Firearms Training

When I watched this video, my blood began to boil.

When I watched this video I became FIGHTING MAD!

After you watch it you should be fighting mad too.

HOW DARE THEY! WHO IN THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?

NEVER BEFORE in our nation’s history has this EVER happened and it should NEVER happen again. Watch the propaganda arm of the Corruptocrats TOTALLY DISRESPECT the Office of the Presidency by WITHOLDING his 46 minute address FROM YOU and then LIE to YOU about what was shared by President Trump, in the most historic speech a president has ever given. This is gaslighting like we have never seen before…

As a reference, I have included the first two minutes of President Trump’s speech at the end of this 3 minute video. You can see his entire 46 minute address farther down in this email.

If you have not watched President Trumps’ 46 minute address, you can see it, and my full assessment of it farther down this email, but the short version of my assessment was that President Trump was setting the stage to justify a fight, in ANY and EVERY manner he has available to him, to protect you and our great country from the forces trying to destroy our American freedom. I was right.

Mike Adams, from NaturalNews.com confirmed my assessment in an article where he wrote…

…about 30 minutes into the speech, he (Trump) invokes legal language that clearly references Trump’s Sep. 12, 2018 executive order which describes remedies for foreign interference in U.S. elections. Here’s what Trump says:

The only conceivable reason why you would block commonsense measures to verify legal eligibility for voting, is you are trying to encourage, enable, solicit or carry out fraud. It is important for Americans to understand that these destructive changes to our election laws were NOT a necessary response to the pandemic. The pandemic simply gave the Democrats an excuse to do what they were trying to do with many many years.

Note carefully the phrase, “…trying to encourage, enable, solicit or carry out fraud.”

Where have we heard something very similar before? In the 2018 Executive Order, which describes who will be subjected to having all their assets seized by the United States government — and note that this applies to corporations, individuals, partnerships and even non-profits: (emphasis added)

Sec. 2. a (ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsection (a)(i)

Sec. 2. a (i) to have directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in a United States election

Thus, Trump just invoked the 2018 Executive Order and sent an undeniable signal to Chris Miller at the DoD (as well as many other groups) that the Democrats, the treasonous media and the complicit Big Tech giants have all engaged in concealing, advocating or supporting “foreign interference” in the U.S. election.

Treason, rendition flights and military tribunals

What is the remedy for such actions of treason against the United States?

Under existing U.S. law, it’s a felony crime to try to rig votes. Under military law during a time of war, it’s treason. And under the 2018 Executive Order, each of the entities engaging in this behavior will have all their assets seized by the U.S. Treasury.

Translated into plain language, this means that Twitter, Facebook, CNN, the Washington Post, Google, MSNBC, etc., are all now able to be completely seized, shut down or taken over by the Trump administration, as they all engaged in the defined behaviors outlined in the 2018 Executive Order, which Trump just cited…

Yes, the Left Wing Media and the Social Media Censors, and all the criminals involved in biggest heist in election history are going to get their deserved reward.

Thank God we have a president who is willing to FIGHT all the overwhelming forces that have been stacked against him, from the day he chose to run for president, through all the unfounded attacks during his presidency, and now the criminal attempt to steal his re-election. ANY OTHER president in our history with the exception of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and at the time, General, George Washington during the Revolutionary War, would have CAVED IN to the unrelenting pressure.

Not Trump. As long as he is willing to stand and fight the oppressors of truth who would steal our country from us, I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him, for whatever he may ask of me, and so should you.

For anyone STILL living under the Corruptocrats’ spell of disinformation, here is MORE evidence that supports President Trump’s decision to stand firm in his fight for the Republic…

I have another independent data analysis video for those who want to fully understand HOW the raw data being analyzed proves MASSIVE VOTER FRAUD. Don’t let the numbers and data on the screen scare you. This is what the Corruptocrats want. They want you to look the other way. They want you to think it is too complicated and convoluted. It is not. This narrator explains it so even a Corruptocrat-appointed judge can understand it…

I watched a Nevada judge sit for a hearing on voter fraud where no witnesses were called. The attorney for Trump was only allowed to reference written exhibits and written sworn affidavits of voter fraud that Trump’s Legal Team had submitted a few days before the hearing. When you see this video of the volumes of evidence submitted, do you really think the judge in the case studied ALL the evidence, before the hearing? Absolutely not.

Do you think the judge will study ALL of the evidence before he makes his ruling on a Friday afternoon the day after the hearing? Absolutely not.

He may not study ANY of it, but instead, do as most judges do, and assign their clerks (recent law school graduates who are mostly wet-behind-the-ears Democrats) to review the evidence and tell him what THEY think. Seriously. This is why they have a gaggle of law clerks who do all the heavy lifting for them.

Take a look at the volume of written evidence and tell me if you believe the judge is going to study all of it OVERNIGHT to make a correct ruling by the next afternoon…

And look who voted in Georgia. This video needs no explanation…

Better-late-than-never Georgia Governor Brian Kemp FINALLY, but reluctantly, recognizes that his state has an election corruption problem…

And remember the video I showed you of retired Army Colonel and now Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano, who after the Pennsylvania Fraud Hearings stated he was going to submit a Joint Resolution to the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives to take back the Legislature’s authority to appoint electors, and they would appoint all 20 to President Trump? The video is archived on My Blog here.

Well, Mastriano did what he said he was going to do and submitted his Joint Resolution on Friday November 27. But guess what happened? The Pennsylvania House and Senate went home for the holidays. Yep, these overpaid, underperforming “civil servants” go home for the entire month of December every year, with pay of course. They will be back after the first week in January, when it is conveniently too late for them to do anything.

When I inquired as to HOW IN THE HELL could the entire State Legislature take a vacation when the most important work they have ever been tasked to do, was given to them the day before, I was told that the Congressional Year had ended and a Special Legislative Session of the Pennsylvania Congress would have to be convened, in order to debate and sign the Joint Resolution to take back their authority to appoint the Presidential Electors.

Only the Governor of Pennsylvania can call a Special Legislative Session. Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Wolf is a Democrat. No Special Legislative Session was called by Corruptocrat Thomas Wolf, who was part of the cabal of criminals responsible for all the last minute changes in Pennsylvania’s voting rules, that enabled the massive voter fraud in the first place! This is the type of premeditated partisan corruption President Trump is fighting for ALL of us.

Remember Traitor to the Republic, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. He term limits out of the Office of Governor of Pennsylvania in 2022, but career Corruptocrats like him never retire, they just run for other offices to suck more pensions, more perks, and more benefits from taxpayer’s pockets. DO NOT LET HIM WIN ANOTHER OFFICE EVER AGAIN!

I try to present the evidence of fraud in themes each day, such as Michigan or Arizona or Georgia, but today the video proof is coming in from all angles, regions, and sources.

This is good because it shows that patriots disseminating the truth are making an impact as the entire nation figures out what really happened in the 2020 Presidential election.

So these are the videos I have for you with brief explanations of what is exposed.

Here is another US Post Office worker from Wisconsin blowing the whistle on his supervisors for their illegal activities of backdating ballots. We have similar testimony in other postal regions…

Here is a montage of videotaped questioning of poll workers from Michigan, who also testified under oath in the Michigan hearings, explaining all the illegal activities they witnessed…

Here is very intriguing video explaining how the Corruptocrats, supported by criminals in the US Postal Service inserted hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots into the 2020 Presidential Election. If this happened from New York to Pennsylvania, it very likely happened in every swing state…

Speaking of happening in every state, I wonder where these ballots came from that were pulled from under a table in Georgia to be processed, potentially MULTIPLE TIMES while no poll watchers were allowed in the room? Video surveillance cameras caught this fraud…

Here is a short video from retired Army Colonel Phil Waldron, a cyber political warfare specialist, testifying under oath regarding the illegal voting machine algorithms that stole the election from President Trump…

Col. Phil Waldron continues to explain how the Dominion Voting System allowed the Corruptocrats to modify the voting records at will…

And here Col. Waldron drops an 8 second bombshell to let the world (and the Corruptocrats) know that he is not the only expert that has uncovered this evidence…

And the biggest part of Col. Phil Waldron’s testimony is where he drops a MOAB on fired Director of US Cyber Security, and traitor to the USA, Chris Krebs who lied about the security of the 2020 Presidential election. Yes, when white hat hackers have the proof of data packets leaving the US for foreign interference, you have proof of treason…

The evidence of fraud and illegal activities in the 2020 Presidential Election keeps pouring in. I’m having a hard time keeping up with it all, even working 20 hours a day to expose and report all the findings that the Left Wing Media and Social Media Censors are trying to suppress.

There are days when I have more video proof than I can share with you in a single email, but I will provide a few more bombshell videos for you below…

FIRST, here is a video that President Donald Trump wants you to view. If you have not yet watched it, please take the time to witness one of the most important 46 minute speeches a president has ever given in the history of our country.

This is not an exaggeration. I try to explain to the young people of our country, including my own kids, that WE are living through one of the most historic periods in our nation’s history. A battle between the forces of good and evil, that will be talked about for generations to come, is actively being fought, and we will all be affected by the outcome, in one way or another.

We are standing at the crossroads of freedom OR tyranny. The path we either fight for or surrender to, will forever shape the future of our country, and the world. There is no Hollywood, crime-espionage-action adventure-thriller movie ever created that can top what is currently playing out in REAL LIFE, right in front of us, right now.

Watch this video President Trump filmed for you. I believe he is setting the stage to justify a fight, in ANY and EVERY manner he has available to him, to protect you and our great country from the forces trying to destroy our American freedom. I stand with President Trump. I am ready and willing to join him in any manner necessary, to protect the freedom our forefathers fought and died to provide us.

President Trump referenced in his speech the vast amount of proof of fraud and voter illegalities that the Left Wing Media, Social Media Censors, and sadly, even the Courts are refusing to review. This is why I have been working around the clock to study all the eyewitness video testimony, statistical analysis, and investigative reports that I am able to source, and sharing with you, the most credible and easily understandable evidence. My hope is you have been forwarding these emails to move public opinion to understand the significance and depth of the fraud. With this in mind, here are more videos…

This is another CNN video from many years ago that exposed the foreign bad actors in the electronic voting fraud that has NOW come to America. I captured this before CNN and YouTube removed it…

Here is the most verifiably proof of massive voter fraud I have seen so far. Thanks to the efforts of Matt Braynard, the FBI has the names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and voter record numbers of enough illegal votes in EACH of the swing states to OVERTURN the election and give President Donald Trump the win…

Here is confirming evidence from another source of Braynard’s work…

If you like seeing our fellow patriots stepping up to testify, here is more proof of fraud from an eyewitness with IT and cyber security experience who was contracted by Dominion Voting Systems and witnessed 27 hours of fraud in the Michigan elections. She was initially granted 3 minutes but her sworn testimony was so compelling that she testified for over 18 minutes…

Here is more eyewitness testimony at the Michigan Fraud Hearing of how the Corruptocrats stole thousands upon thousands of Trump votes. Watch an American patriot call the legislators on the carpet for not doing their job! If this fraud happened right in front of her, imagine what happened when poll watchers we not allowed to stand close enough to even see what was happening…

Here is another Michigan patriot givin’ em hell…

And yet another Michigan poll worker testifying how voting laws were violated by not allowing her to observe and verify the votes…

I have even more to evidence share with you, but the evidence I have shared with you over the last four weeks is quite frankly, OVERWHELMING in proving massive voter fraud. This evidence, as it is allowed to be presented to the Legislatures of the swing states involved, is resulting in the Republican controlled Senates and House of Representatives of these states, taking back their authority to control their Electoral College votes.

The Trump Legal Team, fronted by Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis have successfully presented significant evidence of massive voter fraud to the state legislatures of both Pennsylvania and Arizona, resulting in joint resolutions of the PA and AZ Senate and House of Representatives to claw back their authority to appoint Electoral College votes. They will deliver those Electoral College votes for Donald Trump, and rightfully so. This is a very successful strategy and will continue. See my blog for more details.

Hearings regarding voter fraud are Michigan and an evidentiary hearing in front of a Nevada judge have occurred and demonstrate massive fraud. Although these hearings are not as productive as the hearings where Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis are in full control of the pace of the hearing and the evidence provided DIRECTLY to the Senate and House of Representatives leadership, these hearings are still valuable in getting the evidence presented to the public that the Left Wing Media, Social Media Censors, and Deep State Traitors are actively suppressing.

Even with all the Left Wing Media suppression of voter fraud evidence, the American people are learning what happened, that includes Democrats! Look at the results of a recent Rasmussen Poll…

“How likely is it that Democrats stole votes or destroyed pro-Trump ballots in several states to ensure that Biden would win?”

Democrats – 30% – 20% say Very Likely (VL)

Unaffiliated – 39% – 29% say VL

Republicans – 75% – 61% say VL

All Voters – 47% – 36% say VL

Here is a video denouncing Smartmatic Voting Systems (later merged with Dominion Voting Systems) from back when CNN was not a mouthpiece of the Corruptocrats. This early CNN report exposes the electronic voter fraud connection to Hugo Chavez that the Left Wing Media NOW says is just “conspiracy theory”…

Here is just one of the numerous, proof of fraud video excepts from sworn, eye witness testimony coming out of the Michigan Voter Fraud hearing today. I should have more excerpts for you in the coming days…

And watch this salt-of-the-earth, contract, truck driver explain all the irregularities involved in his transporting 288,000 “completed” ballots he was told to drive from New York to Pennsylvania. Can anyone tell us WHY ballots from New York are going to Pennsylvania? Perhaps Attorney General Bill Barr can ACTUALLY DO HIS JOB and ask the Corruptocrats…

Trump is exposing the Democratic Party’s corruption and voter fraud that Republicans have complained about for years, through all the lawsuits and investigations needed to prove voter fraud.

Donald Trump has the Combat Mindset we teach students to demonstrate, when confronted with a lethal encounter: focused, overwhelming, controlled aggression. In Trump’s case it is a “legal” encounter involving what he believes is voter fraud. He will attack the Democrats with focused, overwhelming, controlled, legal aggression.

We have never had a candidate like Trump who is willing to take the fight to the Democrats with focused, overwhelming, aggressive, legal force.

He will defeat the Democrats and the Liberal Media, through the Supreme Court if he must, to claim his rightful victory in a FAIR election we all voted for…

Donald Trump has the Combat Mindset we teach students to demonstrate, when confronted with a lethal encounter: focused, overwhelming, controlled aggression. In Trump’s case it is a “legal” encounter involving what he believes is voter fraud. He will attack the Democrats with focused, overwhelming, controlled, legal aggression.

We have never had a candidate like Trump who is willing to take the fight to the Democrats with focused, overwhelming, aggressive, legal force.

He will defeat the Democrats and the Liberal Media, through the Supreme Court if he must, to claim his rightful victory in a FAIR election we all voted for…

This will get ugly before it is resolved.

There could be civil unrest and violence by the radical left like we have never seen before in this country.

It is time to get YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY trained.

If you have not already done so, simply take advantage of my offer BELOW to train you in a $2,000 Four Day Defensive Handgun Course absolutely FREE OF CHARGE, with no hidden surprises, catches or obligations that you can use at any time in the future, with no expiration date, or transfer to anyone who has not yet attended a course at Front Sight.

Forward this email to EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND CARE ABOUT and encourage them to get trained and prepared for the future, should this fraud on the American people escalate into a situation where we must protect and defend ourselves and families.

It all starts with you becoming a walking, talking representative of safe, responsible, proficient and expertly-trained gun ownership, by grabbing your free course! Get it here:

And remember, once you secure your course to use at any time in the future, I can give you even more amazing benefits and bonuses, including placing $100 in the Front Sight account you establish when you secure your free handgun course and give you the opportunity to get free guns… LOTS of free guns.

There is a reason why my hundreds of thousands of students and members call me the Millionaire Patriot. It’s time for you to find out why too!

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
7975 Cameron Drive, #900
Windsor, CA 95492
http://www.frontsight.com
[email protected]
1.800.987.7719

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Gravity Protocol FAQ

Gravity is a blockchain-agnostic protocol that handles communication of blockchain networks with each other (interchain) and with the outside world (through data oracles). It is focused around interchain communication, establishing a solid foundation for the creation of gateways and cross-chain applications and providing a solution to blockchain scalability challenges through the mechanism of sidechains.

What does “blockchain agnostic” mean?

Being “blockchain-agnostic”, the Gravity protocol at its core does not discriminate between different blockchains. Among blockchains supported by Gravity, no blockchain takes priority over another blockchain in terms of functionality or implementation.

Is Gravity an open network for new node operators?

Yes. The network is open for new members to join, and its internal governance mechanics serve as protection from attacks and allow it to remain flexible and regularly updated to adapt to the variability of technology and market.

Are Waves, Ethereum, Tron or other supported blockchains the primary ones for Gravity?

In the Gravity protocol, there is no concept of the primary blockchain, meaning that all blockchains support all operations within Gravity.

How is Gravity different than popular interchain solutions such as Polka, Cosmos, Aion etc?

Although Gravity solves the same global challenge with interchain communication, the solution that we propose does not entail the creation of a new master blockchain with a new native token which other public blockchain networks are integrated with. The Gravity protocol is blockchain-agnostic in a sense that instead of creating a new tokenomics with a new token, the Gravity network works with the economies of the native tokens of public blockchains integrated into Gravity.

How is Gravity different than popular oracle and interchain solutions such as Band, Chainlink, Provable etc?

Similarly to the interchain problem, although Gravity solves the same global challenge with oracle data provision, the solution that we propose does not entail the creation of a new oracle network that delivers data provision services in return for a payment in a new token. Paying for Gravity oracles’ services is done in the native liquid tokens of public blockchains integrated with the Gravity network.

Unlike Chainlink oracles, the Gravity network can be viewed as a single self-governing decentralized oracle with free entry for new members, instead of a framework to create centralized oracles or a marketplace with a partnership of oracles without free entry.

Unlike Provable, the Gravity network is decentralized.

How is Gravity different than popular token gateway solutions such as RenVM, Bisq, Atomic Swaps etc?

The Gravity protocol is a more low-level protocol vs. the protocols that provide transfers, which means that it can give rise to different asset provision protocols on top of it, thereby opening larger opportunities for fully automated and decentralized gateway solutions.

The key differences between Gravity and other popular solutions for oracles and interoperability are presented in the table below:

A more in-depth comparison of different token gateway solutions can be found in this article about SuSy — a gateway protocol based on Gravity.

What makes the security/verifiability of the mechanism for transferring information to user smart contracts secure?

The authenticity of information transfer is achieved via the verification work done through a multisignature. When the oracle chosen to be the so-called Pulse leader collects all hashes and their signatures from the peers, reading them from the internal ledger, it performs a pulse transaction in the target chain by passing the hashes and signatures to the corresponding nebula contract. As part of the outgoing transaction verification, the pulse verification status, validity of hashes from the aggregated data and the data transmitted to the user contract, and the recipient itself, are verified. The typical rules of leader selection are based on PoA (proof of authority), i.e. the mod of block height rotation rule.

What types of data feeds and data sources are supported by Gravity?

Any open web service endpoint that serves JSON or XML can be used in Gravity if it is defined by specification and supported by an extractor. An example of a data feed would be a number of newly registered COVID-19 cases in the world per day, cryptocurrency prices, or external events with boolean outcomes (“happened”, “didn’t happen”).

Can I become a Gravity node operator?

A system smart contract, deployed in each of the supported blockchain networks, takes care of system interaction and deposit locking, registration of nodes and collection of Gravity node scores about each other. As a data provider, you can enter the network by locking a deposit for one year in any of the supported public host-chains in the native token of the selected blockchain and installing all necessary infrastructure on your servers (a node with extractors).

How significant is the amount of deposited funds?

The required deposit is going to be in the vicinity of

1000–5000$ equivalent in any of the supported tokens of integrated chains.

Will I lose my locked deposit if the Gravity network recognizes me as malicious and disconnects me from participation in the data transfer activities?

In the case of malicious behavior of your node (i.e. if the data from it diverges greatly from the aggregate values, or if the node stops receiving and processing data feeds from its peers), your peers can set their peer rating to zero, which quickly shuts the node down to protect the Gravity network. If at the moment of exit the reputation level is zero, the deposit gets locked for one year after exit, otherwise one year after the registration.

How quickly is reputation earned?

For a long period after the start (>1 year), reputation will be increased manually by a DAO-like p2p score voting mechanics. This is necessary to prevent fraud attempts and perform a deeper research of potential automated reputation farming schemes.

Why do Gravity node operators need to lock a deposit?

In a trust-based system, the role of an oracle is critical and significant, and assumes a certain level of commitment on the part of data providers. Depositing tokens for a relatively long period of time can serve as confirmation of “good will” and is the first indicator of how trustworthy a new oracle is. Delaying the deposit lock for an extended period of time after the oracle voluntarily leaves the system is a security measure aimed at introducing complications for attacks such as the Sybil attack, which consists of registration and re-registration of a large number of nodes.

What is Gravity score for?

Gravity Score is a numerical representation of confidence level put into a Gravity node from its peer nodes, calculated on the basis of regular mutual evaluations of all nodes. The Gravity nodes evaluate each others’ performance and send their own confidence score for all other nodes of Gravity, which is then translated into the Gravity score of a particular node via the EigenTrust algorithm.

Do I have to make a list of oracles for my application as a user of Gravity?

Becoming a part of the data provision workflow, the user is not obligated to choose a specific oracle or their subset to trust. Instead, the entire data provision service of the Gravity network provides all necessary checks within itself to be ultimately trustful.

As a user, how can I get a less expensive data subscription option?

Gravity users can choose to use one of two options to pay for Gravity services: putting and maintaining a deposit above a certain threshold on a designated blockchain account, or paying a recurring subscription fee. Please note that different nebulae have different SLA and prices.

In the first case, a user can deposit tokens by calling the deposit method in NEBULA-SC. As long as the balance is sufficient, USER-SC will receive messages with data from Gravity oracles.

In the second case, the payment takes part alongside each execution of a user contract method (USER-SC) and is sent to the NEBULA-SC account. If payment is not received during this operation, the subscription is considered to be suspended and requires reactivation by the user.

How does shutdown of oracles happen when there is malicious activity?

When the data from some oracle diverges greatly from the aggregate values, or if the node stops receiving and processing data feeds from its peers, or if the node stops responding to any requests from the Gravity service, the scoring is automatically updated and decreased. In this case, the peers set their rating to zero, which guarantees a quick shutdown of the node to protect the Gravity network from malicious activity.

Can node operators customize the logic of data collection from external sources?

Extractors are services that request and process data feeds from external sources. One extractor corresponds to one data feed supported by the node but can use and combine multiple data sources. Datafeeds supported by a Gravity node can be described as a boilerplate source code or its implementations as a data extractor. Each extractor collects data in accordance with the specification for the required data. The specification defines: where to get data from (recommended sources or mandatory sources), how to process data points received from different sources (e.g. aggregate them as median, average or mode over a certain period of time), the format in which data will be delivered to customers in target blockchains. Each operator of a Gravity node can develop and use custom implementations according to the described specification. Development of the specification, documentation, or implementation of extractors are managed as part of open source development flow by Gravity developers.

As a user I don’t see the data feed that I need in the list of data feeds supported by Gravity. What should I do?

You should create a Nebula contract with a specification of data and ask providers to start serving this contract, or ask a provider to manage this whole process for you.

If I am a Gravity node operator with limited resources to support and monitor all Gravity data feeds, how do I work?

Nodes are not isomorphic, meaning that providers can freely choose to work in one or several target chains, or to implement extractors not for all possible data feeds, but only for their relevant subset.

As a Gravity node operator, do I need to have an account in each of the blockchains supported by Gravity?

Each node should have an associated account and public key in each of the supported target blockchains that it needs to serve.

As a user, how can I balance SLA vs price ratio for my application?

The variety of nebula contracts exists with different reputation thresholds, different SLAs and prices. This means that the Gravity network is flexible enough to suit anyone’s data provision needs.

As a user, is it true that data from Gravity becomes available for any contracts deployed on the target blockchain after getting into my application?

In order to monetise the work of oracles, verification of obtained data and its delivery to user smart contracts must be separated, and the data itself must be disclosed (decrypted) only at the time of delivery to the client.

The process of verifying the data without disclosing it in a target blockchain allows the data to be kept secret and disclosed only when delivered to the recipient, who has the right to determine its availability to other smart contracts in the blockchain. This solution increases the incentive for oracles to deliver data by safeguarding ways to receive rewards for data provision.

What is a target blockchain (target chain)?

Target blockchain is a supported blockchain network where data is written by nodes, that contains smart contracts to verify signatures and smart contracts of users who pay for data delivery.

Is the information about the internal log/history of a Gravity node public for external audit?

Yes. The information about communication of nodes between each other can be checked in the internal ledger.

As a user, do I need to verify the responses of Gravity oracles in my application and perform all necessary aggregation?

The user is not required to apply their own methods of data aggregation, as it can be executed automatically within the system, which can provide finalized and ready-to-use numbers or string values from a data feed to user applications (USER-SC).

As a node, do I have to go through KYC to become a part of Gravity?

No. To find out more about the legal aspects of using Gravity, please read the Terms of Use.

As a user, do I or users of my app need to pass KYC?

No. To find out more about the legal aspects of using Gravity, please read the Terms of Use.

Is Gravity a ready-to-use solution for token cross chain transfers?

It is possible to implement cross-chain transfer of digital assets (tokens) with Gravity. Data provision between two blockchain networks is the key link for such applications, with the primary principle being: to lock tokens on the account in one blockchain (origin), report this event to another blockchain (destination), which will issue exactly the same number of tokens. In the case of an emergency situation where the release of the token has not occured, the mechanism for resolving the dispute is triggered, which sends a signal to unlock the token on the origin blockchain. There are multiple ways to implement such applications, for example, based on the transfer of a Merkle tree and information to the origin blockchain from the destination blockchain, and if the existing cryptography supports this, it is possible to validate the presence of any requested transaction in the destination (e.g., issue transaction). This way of implementing the gateway requires a coordinated operation between oracles of the Gravity network in both target blockchains.

What is a nebula and what does it mean to subscribe to a nebula?

NEBULA-SC is a smart contract in the target chain used by a number of oracles that provide a certain data feed under certain conditions (price for delivery, reputation threshold, minimum required number of oracles). This contract verifies the threshold signature parameters, accumulates payments from users and controls the distribution of rewards among the oracle providers of the nebula.

Users can subscribe their USER-SCs to Gravity events, which will result in specified functions being called with aggregated data sent as parameters into the functions. Depending on the subscription configuration, users can change security settings, adjust pricing, or set up white lists of oracles.

Is Gravity a flexible system capable of smart contract updates and migrations?

The updates are possible with consuls, which are nodes with the maximum reputation score in the network that obtain special functions within the system. They are authorized to update/migrate the system smart contracts, nebula smart contracts and serve as consensus validators in the internal ledger.

How does the Gravity network achieve governance?

Governance in Gravity achieved through manual scoring by node operators. For example, via manual scoring, the process of score modification takes place either for the nodes disconnected as a result of automatic shutdown after an incident, or when it is necessary to manually “score-boost” nodes of the operators with an established reputation in the industry (for example, a large exchange or a popular data aggregator).

How do the nodes of Gravity communicate with each other and where is the history of their communications written?

The logs of internal communication of nodes are written in Internal Distributed Ledger (IDL), which is a “software message bus” that supports communication of Gravity nodes with each other and provides a storage with a quick finalization consensus (e.g.: BFT).

Are there any technical limitations to the connection of public blockchains?

The Gravity protocol is universal for most blockchain networks with smart contracts (Ethereum, TRON, Stellar etc). Some limitations exist for scripting only blockchains, such as BTC or LTC.

As a user, what token do I use to pay for services?

Users pay fees in the native token of the hostchain where their dApps are deployed.

As a node operator, how do I monetize the work of my node?

NEBULA-SC accumulates payments from users. All profits are distributed every week (on Mondays). Gravity smart contracts (SYSTEM-SC and NEBULA-SC), collect activity logs for each oracle in all host blockchains. At the moment of profit distribution, the percentage of funds that can be claimed by each of the Gravity nodes is calculated, where the share of rewards received by a single oracle is the product of its activity and reputation score normalized on the total amount of funds.

In each of the contracts that the oracle participated in, it has the ability to withdraw funds proportional to its impact share.

How does protection against nodes that do not collect information from the outside world, but simply copy data from each other, work?

To protect against this, a proof is needed that the data was obtained in the original way by each oracle independently of the others. This problem is solved in Gravity by the scheme of commit-reveal, where first the hash from the data is shown and then the values are disclosed, and if the disclosed hash does not correspond, it is considered that there has been an attempt of fraud.

Which oracle(s) writes data to the target chain and why is it safe?

Leader is a node selected to initiate data transfer transactions in the target chain within the current pulse. It calls two types of transactions in the target chain: pulseTx, which verifies the hash generated via multisignature from data aggregated within the Gravity system, and sendDataTx, which delivers the verified data to USER-SC. In addition, the leader collects hashes and proofs of aggregated data from all nodes that provide data feeds.

Who are Consuls?

Consuls are nodes with the maximum reputation score in the network that obtain special functions within the system. They are authorized to update/migrate the system smart contracts, nebula smart contracts and serve as consensus validators in the internal ledger.

What is pulse and how regularly does it happen?

The Pulse algorithm is a two-step procedure that encompasses the core internal mechanics of Gravity as a data service, as well as the external parts of on-chain data verification and delivery within one of the supported target blockchains. Pulse is a process that starts with a request to deliver data to a target blockchain and ends with a successful verification and delivery of data to subscribers (USER-SC).

Target chains may fork. Does this affect the quality of Gravity data?

No, the Gravity oracles resolve these issues by providing services with different SLA levels and ensuring the reliability of the crosscheck data. If a fork occurred in the target chain, the oracles will attempt to do the pulse again.

Who manages the schedule of data delivery to target chains?

The Scheduler manages processes that depend on the time and status of the tasks. For example, it can start scheduled data delivery to target chains and extraction from external sources based on a certain time condition.

Why do you need an internal distributed ledger?

Internal Distributed Ledger (IDL) is a “software message bus” that supports communication of Gravity nodes with each other and provides a storage with a quick finalization consensus (e.g.: BFT).

How is balanced participation of oracles in data provision achieved?

The rules of Gravity score distribution and the rotation of subsets of leaders (depending on the height of target blockchains), are some of the mechanisms that ensure a balanced participation of nodes.

How to stop being a Gravity node?

The exit from Gravity is free of charge. To leave the system, the node operator needs to call the deactivate method in SYSTEM-SC of the same blockchain where the registration took place. If at the moment of exit the reputation level is zero, the deposit is locked and can be released one year after exit, otherwise one year after the registration.

As a node operator, how do I obtain a high reputation score?

Make sure that your node provides correct data at all times and has a perfect uptime.

Is Gravity an open source protocol?

Yes. Development of Gravity is managed as part of open source development flow by Gravity developers.

If I want to become a Gravity node, in what token and blockchain do I have to open a deposit?

A data provider can enter the network by locking a deposit for one year in any of the supported public host-chains in the native token of the selected blockchain.

Why do I need a deposit if there is no slashing?

It is necessary for an oracle’s improper performance or malicious actions to have financial consequences for its owners.

What makes Gravity safe from a Byzantine attack?

The score for all new Gravity nodes is set to zero, which means that a node needs to show stable operation for a certain time period before it can take part in data provision. The deposit that is required when the node is registered is also helpful to filter malicious actors. Also, the mechanism of manual emergency node shutdown can help in case some malicious behavior is detected.

As a user, does my application need to request Gravity for fresh data?

No, you only need to subscribe once to make the Gravity network call your dApp methods and feed data into them.

I am a developer and I think that there aren’t enough data feeds. I would like to add and support my own data feed. Can I do this?

Yes, and you would need to create and deploy a new NEBULA-SC for that. It is a smart contract in the target chain that describes how to provide a certain data feed under certain conditions (price for delivery, reputation threshold, minimum required number of oracles).

How is the pulse leader selected?

The leader selection is based on the rules described in NEBULA-SC (for instance, nodes can alternate as leaders depending on the height of a target chain).

Can the pulse leader contribute arbitrary data to target chains?

No, only the data verified by multisignature.

How is a provider’s deposit locked?

A SYSTEM-SC is deployed in each of the supported blockchain networks, which takes care of system interaction and deposit locking, registration of nodes and collection of Gravity node scores about each other. A data provider can enter the network by locking a deposit for one year in any of the supported public host-chains in the native token of the selected blockchain.

Is Gravity a centralized service with a team of administrators and support?


Rick Moody on How a Photograph Can Tell an Entire Story

My wife, no stranger to photography workshops when young, is fond of recounting a tried-and-true bit of photo advice she heard at the Museum School in Boston, when she was an undergraduate. It goes like this: “Q: How do you take a good photograph? A: You take a photograph of some people and you put it in a drawer for thirty years. When you take it out of the drawer, you’ll have a good picture.”

The degree to which this is useful advice will be plain to anyone who has taken an interest in art photography over the years, in the way in which the contemporary, when aged properly, inevitably begins to acquire the intentionality of the thoughtfully curated, the insightful, and, often, the lastingly poignant. This is, I think, not deniable. (And fifty years is even better than thirty years, in terms of aging a photograph, assuming you’re willing to wait.)

But my wife’s good photographic advice also points in the direction of why writing and photography have come to appear more closely allied as media recently. It was never hard to point to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee, or On Photography by Susan Sontag, or Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes, or, say, anything by W.G. Sebald, in order to see a relationship between a still image and the kind of expressive power that we associate with narrative activity. The shared terrain was there to see in these books. That the gesture has now become relatively common, in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, or in Teju Cole’s work (Blindspot being an especially good example), only makes the facts of the case more apparent.

We perhaps thought the still photograph was narratively challenged, in the past, that it could have narrative implications, or that it could freeze a narrative instant, but less frequently that it could tell an entire story. But now it seems as though the still photograph, especially in a sequence (as in a book of photographs), can very well tell a story, powerfully so, and the evidence is in its passionate engagement with time.

Time, I often say in writing workshops, is the sign above all others that story is taking place. Without time, there is no indication of what life is like beyond the instantaneous, and the life beyond the instantaneous is when you reckon with the verifiably human. When the photographic sequence begins to suggest how time operates in lives lived, then it’s very clear how allied are photographs with the word-based. Much more so than in the case of the cinematic moving image, which is a whole different business, still photography implies a highly subjective, carefully elucidated story of gaps, and wishes, and losses, and desires. Photographs, in their lacunae and their surfeiting, their metonymy, their allusion, their suggestiveness, their idiosyncrasies, are a lot like the best writing. (Maybe in some ways photographs are even better than writing.)

It will be obvious how Rick Schatzberg’s project entitled The Boys sits in this discussion. Not only does it have text, exactly like a literary work, but it abundantly deals with time, with the predations of time, the mercilessness of time, the effect of time on bodies (the ultimate containment vessel for time in a work of art), and the meaning of time with respect to photography as a living and evolving form.

The first thing Schatzberg had to do to make this book as heart-rending and poignant as it is was to amass throw-away photos of his friends, the boys in the title, in the seventies. Mere snapshots. There was, it should be clear, nothing innately memorable about these historical photos as photos at the moment they were taken. They are photos of a group of friends of just the sort you might have taken yourself. They were taken as barely collectible documentations of a time, mementoes thereof. What I love about the early photos of The Boys, as Schatzberg’s crew call themselves, is exactly how unpretentious and routine they are. Of course, according to my wife’s advice about putting the photos in a drawer, these photos come radically alive, now, not only because of how much photo vocabulary has changed, but also because of how far away the 1970s seem to us.

And yet Schatzberg’s book lifts off not in the act of curation, however great the meaningful preservation is, but in the portraits of The Boys (aestheticized, in large-format images) now. Knowing the middle aged body of the white man pretty well, I know not only how hard it was to try to get these bodies to look anything but harrowing, dissolute, poignant, human, but also how brave it was of these men to take their shirts off. If American culture is youth-oriented, and about glamor, and sexuality, and if the large-format image, with its chewy detail and richness, is more frequently a thing featuring beautiful people and expensive clothes, then Schatzberg’s loving portrayal here of The Boys now, is both risky and liable to be, for many audiences, at the limit of what is pictographically permitted. Photos designed for the male gaze can be more extreme than this (the patriarchy makes it so), photos for the purposes of social change can be more extreme than this (the tradition of the documentary art makes it so), but photos of creaky, decaying, older white men struggling for dignity are perhaps the hardest photos to look at now. There is no audience, in the strictest sense, for these images, if audience is determined by fashion or by the merchandising demographics of the present.

But that’s exactly what makes this book terribly affecting. The relationship of Schatzberg’s gaze to his subjects is never less than loving, never less than intimate, but it is also, fair to say, remorseless. In this, I think, the book tells us a lot about how one thinks about one’s own past.

The project is also telling us about, and forecasting about, death. Schatzberg’s moving text abundantly fills out the images with the stories of members of the crew who died before or during the project, and this he does with a very literary insight into the implications. He both grieves, and feels the frustration and hurt about the deaths of friends, even as the project hints at the possibility of its own elongation into the further diminishment of the constituents. A reckoning with Time, as German philosophy might say, is a reckoning with Non-Being, and in the same way that Mike Disfarmer’s photos build in a sense of what they will mean later on, Schatzberg’s intimate and honest photos of these men are not only about what they will mean now, but also about what they will mean later. To live in this kind of expectation, the kind that speaks of the end-stages of aging in the midst of aging, is to be unflinching. Schatzberg’s sequence does exactly this, and the text, which mirrors the high and low of the images in being by turns poetical and diaristic, formal and informal, literary and colloquial, he has created his eulogy for both a youth long gone, and for the deaths of friends and loved ones yet to happen, his own included.

Is the aesthetic density of Schatzberg’s modern images out phase with the cultural neglect of men like this now? These mostly furloughed voices (and it is a measure of Schatzberg’s accomplishment as an artist that he has brought himself to the spot where he can, in coming from the same circumstances, look on these men in this way) are scarcely able to make their own case for political value now, in the face of a more than reasonable diversification of American culture. But it’s precisely where the negation begins that one feels a simultaneous warming to the cause of those neglected, and Schatzberg’s determination to speak lovingly of and to these men is a sign of the enduring loyalty among friends, no matter the cultural expenditure involved. Schatzberg sings of loyalty to the foresworn, no matter what it means, and, apparently, can do nothing less.

And what will these photos look like in another thirty years? Then, both sets of images, the snapshots from the seventies, and the juxtaposed large-format images of the fully-grown adults will be images for which we will have historical context (as with Disfarmer’s photos), in which we will perhaps see how this time brushes up against the past, and how apparent sympathy is, when uncontaminated by the ephemeral pressures of the contemporary, and also it will be obvious, as pictorial language moves on to some other place, implanted in your wrist maybe, and to some other set of interests, how sound and patient and calm and elegiac and honest these pictures are. Perhaps at that time none or few of the participants will still be living, but what they will be is men who at one time were seen, in this act of preservation of a time, a place, a group of people, and an attitude, one that is already passing away.

All photos copyright Rick Schatzberg, 2020, from The Boys, published by powerHouse Books.

Rick Schatzberg received his MFA in Photography from the University of Hartford in 2018. He holds a degree from Columbia University in Anthropology (1978), played French horn with Cecil Taylor’s Unit Core Ensemble in 1970s, and was a business executive and entrepreneur in the New York metropolitan area for many years. His first monograph, Twenty Two North (2015), was awarded first prize at Australia’s Ballarat Foto International Biennale. His second photobook, The Boys, was published in December 2020 by powerHouse Books. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and Norfolk, CT.

Conclusion

20.1.2 How is the event calculus used?

We have discussed a number of techniques for using the event calculus to perform commonsense reasoning. How do we go about doing this? First, we create an axiomatization that will be used to solve various problems. Second, we create a domain description for any given problem we wish to solve. Third, we solve the problem using manual proof techniques or using automated reasoning programs such as the Discrete Event Calculus Reasoner or answer set programming.

The axiomatization is created as follows. The kinds of problems to be handled are considered and the areas needing formalization are determined it is useful to work with several sample problems. Sorts, subsort relationships, and variables for each sort are defined. Predicate, function, fluent, and event symbols are defined. The symbols are then used to write the necessary axioms for the areas of interest.

The domain description for a problem is created as follows. The logical constants for the particular problem are defined. These constants are used to specify observations of time-varying properties (fluents) and a narrative of event occurrences. Temporal ordering formulas, which relate the times of properties and events, may be specified. For example, it may be known that one event occurs prior to another event. Unique names axioms for events and fluents are specified.


Contents

When considering whether or not an idea is scientific it is worthwhile remembering some principles from the philosophy of science. One of these is the concept of methodological naturalism. This states that supernatural explanations are excluded a priori from scientific considerations. In other words - from the get go - if the suggestion is Godidit then it isn't science.

This aspect of methodological naturalism is also tied into the question of falsifiability - the idea that there must be a theoretical way in which a claim could be disproved in order for it to be science. For example, there is no way that a claim such as: "A god created the world with the appearance of age last Thursday" could be tested or disproved. And if it cannot be tested, it cannot even theoretically be disproved (falsified) and thus it cannot be a scientific claim. A somewhat different question associated with disproof is whether a statement is both and falsifiable and has actually been falsified. For example the claim "the Earth and the universe came into existence within seven days of each other" is a a falsifiable claim - and it is also one which is easily falsified. In consequence, neither the "Last Thursday" claim not the "Seven day creation" claim is "scientific" - but for different reasons.

Another aspect of science is the question of evidence. Evidence is crucial to the scientific method - if no evidence is found for a proposed hypothesis then it does not meet even the lowest threshold for scientific acceptance.

The question of evidence is also strongly associated with the concept of burden of proof. Simply stated, this concept maintains that it the responsibility of the person (or book) presenting a claim to provide evidence for its veracity - it is not the responsibility of third parties to disprove any claim.


Verifiably True Ancient Greek and Roman Exercises

I hope I haven't posted this stuff here before, but anyhow, we do have documented evidence for actual strength and conditioning exercises from the Ancient Greco-Roman period. Here they are, from the ancient medical writer Galen. No pushups or squats, interestingly enough!:

Galen divides his exercises into three categories, which we may term "strong", "rapid and "violent", which is a combination of the preceding two. Galen's listing of the exercises gives us a fascinating glimpse into the everyday activities of the Paleastrae, Gymnasia and other more leisurely-areas of the ancient world.

The affinities they have with the various sporting events can be made out: kicking of the legs for Pankration, rope-climbing for wrestling, holding the arms up for boxing.

STRONG:
1) Digging
2) Picking up something heavy
3) Picking up something heavy and walking with it
4) Walking uphill
5) Climbing a rope using the hands and feet: commonly done to train boys in the wrestling schools
6) Hanging onto a rope or beam for as long as possible
7) Holding the arms straight out in front with fists closed
8) Holding the arms straight out to sides with fists closed
9) Holding out the arms while a partner pulls them down
10) The preceding three exercises but while holding something heavy such as jumping-weights
11) Breaking loose from a wrestling waist-lock
12) Holding onto a person trying to escape from a waist-lock
13) Picking up a man who is bending over at the hips and lifting him up and swinging him around
14) Doing the same but bending oneself at the hips also when picking him up
15) Pushing chest to chest trying to force the opponent backwards
16) Hanging from another's neck, attempting to drag him down

Exercises requiring a wrestling pit:
a) Entwine your partner with both your legs around one of his and try to apply a choke or force his head backwards
b) The same but using only one leg to entwine the opponent's leg closest to yours
c) The same but using both legs to entwine both of the opponents legs.

Rapid:
1) Running
2) Shadow-boxing
3) Boxing
4) Hitting punching bags
5) Throwing and catching a small ball while running
6) Running back and forth, reducing the length each time until finished
7) Stand on the balls of the feet, put the arms up in the air and rapidly and alternately bringing them forward and back stand near a wall if afraid of losing ones's balance
8) Rolling on the wrestling-ground rapidly by oneself or with others
9) Rapidly changing places with people next to one in a tightly packed group
10) Jumping up and kicking both legs together backwards
11) Kicking the legs forward alternately
12) Move the arms up and down rapidly with open or closed fist, increasing in speed

VIOLENT:
1) Digging rapidly
2) Casting the discus
3) Jumping repeatedly with no rest
4) Throwing heavy spears and moving fast while wearing heavy armour
5) Any of the 'strong' exercises executed rapidly: presumably running uphill, swinging jumping weights forward and back, and lifting them up and down, chin-ups and so on.

Other Exercises:
1) Walking
2) bending up and down repeatedly at the hips
3) Lifting a weight up from the ground
4) Holding up an object for a long time
5) Full and loud breathing
6) Placing two weights on the ground approximately six feet from each other, picking up the one on the left with the right hand and then the one on the right with the left hand, then in turn placing them back where they came from on the ground and doing this many times with the feet stationary



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