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Paul Schneevogel grew up in the town of Plauen and went off to college in Ingolstadt. Next, he then received his masters degree in Leipzig. Schneevogel would then serve first as a school master Chemnitz and later as a rector in Halle. Finally, he went to work as City Recorder for Zittau and later for the town of Bautzen. Along his journey he changed his name to Latin, Paulus Niavis.

NOTE: Bautzen and Zittau are two of the six towns where the ancient language of Sorbian, an ancient Slavic language still used within the German, Polish and Czech borders. They are the only remaining native minority in the 3-state region. Most had been forced to assimilate into one of the more dominant cultures centuries ago.

Niavis was a great educator and sought to reform Latin so it would become more interesting to more students. Moreover, Niavis hated rote learning and wanted the language of Latin to become more truly universal. His reforms included the writing and publication of a the Iudicium Iovis in 1495, but earlier he had produced the work Dialogus parvulis scholaribus ad latinum idioma perutilissimus which was his first attempt at trying to write a novel in Latin.

The Iudicium Iovis (The Judgement of the God's on the Mines) was the landmark piece for Niavis and environmentalist literature reaching into the modern age, which points to the sagas of exploitation to be described in the centuries to come. It does so by describing life in the world of survival of the fittest in the mining towns of the Erzgebirge, a la befitting of Upton Sinclair and Emile Zola centuries later.

The mining towns of the Erzgebirge, which makes up the borders between the various local peoples and nations of Slavic and German descent (and dialects), include a great deal of upward thrusting mountains. (Not the floating kind seen in the AVATAR, though.) The Erzgebirge is where the first major silver rush in central Europe had occurred in the decades before Schneevogel mastered Latin. Like in any modern day gold rush or discovery of oil or of any other mining resource on the planet, the rush to the Erzgebirge brought different language speakers from all over Europe to fight for the natural resources and to become exploited by those who controlled the most strings or had the most luck in finding the secret deposits of valuable metal.

The locals mostly got run over in the process and gaping wounds soon ravaged the slopes and countryside of the once romantic Erzgebirge region that Niavis had grown up in as a child. Such were the tales of the Iudicium Iovis. It was a story in many ways, which lamented the changes that greed had wrought on the local population and on their landscape during the great silver rush of the 15th century in the Erzgebirge. It is the same sort of warning that the AVATAR film brings to the fore early on.

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The German-speaking population had "called the range Erzgebirge, which literally means "ore mountain range'. The word "dollar" dates from this region of the globe as the wealthy speculator and mine Baron Joachim pressed out the silver coins he called "talers" from his great exploitation of the Erzgebirge. Later, in the 19th century uranium, polonium, and radium were also found there. The Soviet Union exploited this find further and with even greater environmental destruction after WWII. That is why the mining company SDAG Wismut (later called Bismet), functioned in East Germany, and was allowed to continue to poison the earth for decades up through 1989 there in the Erzgebirge.

In short, in order to make nuclear weapons, the Soviets had continued the long tradition of poisoning the earth and exploiting the locals in the Erzgebirge--i.e. even after the Nazis had been run-out-of-Dodge. Likewise, some of the rich ore of the Erzgebirge was used to run deadly or life-threatening nuclear power plants elsewhere around Europe.

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Within Niavis' own lifetime many Renaissance capitalists and investors would approach the natural resources of South America and western Africa in the same fashion, i.e. as first Portugal and Spain divided up the world--and then as the other Western Powers arrived to fight over the same New World and stake their own claims. In short, the "talers" of Germany would join the coins of other investors and joint-stock companies across Europe to change the history of the globe forever in a short decades, i.e. by allowing the West to finance the Great Imperial takeover and the subjugation of 4 other continents, while leaving the locals in the Erzgebirge and elsewhere in Europe backwards, neglected, often un-empowered, and totally exploited.

The book, the Conquest of New Spain, written a few decades after the Iudicium Iovis by Bernal Diaz de Castillo, was about the exploitation of the indigenous peoples of Mexico made-into-slaves by the Spanish conquistadors (and the later Europeans investors to the region). This book would turn the King of Spain against slavery. However, Niavis' description of the miners' plight in the Erzgebirge went mostly ignored by literary specialists outside the region where he lived and die.

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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