Wikipedia:Main Page history/2012 December 29

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The War against Nabis, or the Laconian War, of 195 BC was fought between the Greek city-state of Sparta under their ruler Nabis (depicted) and a coalition composed of Rome, the Achaean League, Pergamum, Rhodes, and Macedon. During the Second Macedonian War (200–196 BC), Macedon had given Sparta control over Argos, an important city on the Aegean coast. Sparta's continued occupation of Argos thereafter was used as a pretext for Rome and its allies to declare war. The anti-Spartan coalition laid siege to Argos, captured the Spartan naval base at Gythium, and invested and besieged Sparta itself. Negotiations led to peace on Rome's terms, under which Argos and the coastal towns of Laconia were separated from Sparta and the Spartans were compelled to pay a war indemnity to Rome for eight years. Argos joined the Achaean League, and the Laconian towns were placed under Achaean protection. As a result of the war, Sparta lost its position as a major power in Greece. All consequent Spartan attempts to recover the losses failed and Nabis, the last sovereign ruler, was eventually murdered. Soon after, Sparta was forcibly made a member of the Achaean League, ending several centuries of fierce political independence. (Full article...)

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Two samples of crystal bars of pure zirconium on a white glass plate showing different surface textures, made by the crystal bar process, and a 1 cm3 cube of it for comparison. Zirconium is a lustrous, grey-white, strong transition metal that resembles titanium. It is mainly used as a refractory and opacifier, although it is used in small amounts as an alloying agent for its strong resistance to corrosion.

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