History (from Greek?στορ?α, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, and investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history", or, the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722BC although only 2nd-centuryBC texts have survived. (Full article...)
The Nike-X system was developed in response to limitations of the earlier Nike Zeus system. Zeus' radars could only track single targets, and it was calculated that a salvo of only four ICBMs would have a 90% chance of hitting a Zeus base. The attacker could also use radar reflectors or high-altitude nuclear explosions to obscure the warheads until they were too close to attack, making a single-warhead attack highly likely to succeed. Zeus would have been useful in the late 1950s when the Soviets had only a few dozen missiles, but would be of little use by the early 1960s when it was believed they would have hundreds. (Full article...)
A retiarius stabs at a secutor with his trident in this mosaic from the villa at Nennig, c. 2nd–3rd century CE.
A retiarius (plural retiarii; literally, "net-man" in Latin) was a Romangladiator who fought with equipment styled on that of a fisherman: a weighted net (rete (3rd decl.), hence the name), a three-pointed trident (fuscina or tridens), and a dagger (pugio). The retiarius was lightly armoured, wearing an arm guard (manica) and a shoulder guard (galerus). Typically, his clothing consisted only of a loincloth (subligaculum) held in place by a wide belt, or of a short tunic with light padding. He wore no head protection or footwear.
The retiarius was routinely pitted against a heavily-armed secutor. The net-fighter made up for his lack of protective gear by using his speed and agility to avoid his opponent's attacks and waiting for the opportunity to strike. He first tried to throw his net over his rival. If this succeeded, he attacked with his trident while his adversary was entangled. Another tactic was to ensnare his enemy's weapon in the net and pull it out of his grasp, leaving the opponent defenceless. Should the net miss or the secutor grab hold of it, the retiarius likely discarded the weapon, although he might try to collect it back for a second cast. Usually, the retiarius had to rely on his trident and dagger to finish the fight. The trident, as tall as a human being, permitted the gladiator to jab quickly and keep his distance. It was a strong weapon, capable of inflicting piercing wounds on an unprotected skull or limb. The dagger was the retiarius's final backup should the trident be lost. It was reserved for when close combat or a straight wrestling match had to settle the bout. In some battles, a single retiarius faced two secutores simultaneously. For these situations, the lightly armoured gladiator was placed on a raised platform and given a supply of stones with which to repel his pursuers. (Full article...)
Little is known of the first 20 years of Ecgberht's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain the independence of Wessex against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Ecgberht defeated Beornwulf of Mercia, ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 he defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Ecgberht received the submission of the Northumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Ecgberht as a bretwalda or 'wide-ruler' of Anglo-Saxon lands. (Full article...)
Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.
Three more waves of bombers attacked Belgrade on 6 April, and more attacks followed in subsequent days. The attacks resulted in the paralysis of Yugoslav civilian and military command and control, the widespread destruction of Belgrade's infrastructure, and many civilian casualties. The ground invasion had begun a few hours earlier, and air attacks were also made on VVKJ airfields and other strategic targets across Yugoslavia. Among the non-military targets struck during the bombing were the National Library of Serbia, which burned to the ground with the loss of hundreds of thousands of books and manuscripts, and the Belgrade Zoo. (Full article...)
The battle was fought at the town of Leuthen (now Lutynia, Poland), 10 km (6 mi.) northwest of Breslau, (now Wroc?aw, Poland), in then-Prussian (formerly Austrian) Silesia. By exploiting the training of his troops and his superior knowledge of the terrain, Frederick created a diversion at one end of the battlefield, and moved most of his small army behind a series of low hillocks. The surprise attack in oblique order on the unsuspecting Austrian flank baffled Prince Charles; the Prince took several hours to realize that the main action was to his left, and not to his right. Within seven hours, the Prussians destroyed the Austrian force, erasing any advantage the Austrians had gained throughout the campaigning in the preceding summer and autumn. Within 48 hours, Frederick had laid siege to Breslau, which resulted in that city's surrender on 19–20 December. (Full article...)
The Lince (Spanish pronunciation: [?linθe], meaning "Lynx") was a Spanish development programme for a proposed main battle tank that unfolded during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The intention was to replace the M47 and M48 Patton tanks that the Spanish Army had received under the U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Act between 1954 and 1975, and to complement the AMX-30E tanks manufactured for the army during the 1970s. Companies from several nations, such as German Krauss-Maffei, Spanish Santa Bárbara, and French GIAT, made bids for the development contract. The main priorities were mobility and firepower, with secondary priority placed on protection; the Lince tank was to have been lighter and faster than its competitors. The vehicle's size would also have been restricted by the Spanish rail and highway network. To achieve a sufficient level of firepower and protection, given the size requirements, the Lince was to use Rheinmetall's120 mm L/44 tank-gun and German composite armour from the Leopard 2A4.
The Spanish government decided to upgrade its fleet of AMX-30Es in the late 1980s. The focus on upgrading Spain's AMX-30E's distracted attention from the Lince plan, which was eventually shelved in 1990 after Spain acquired many M60 Patton tanks, which were no longer required by the U.S., in accordance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. These tanks replaced the M47s and M48s, and fulfilled Spain's need to modernize its tank forces in the short term. No prototype of the planned Lince tank was manufactured, and no announcements were made on who would receive the contract. Four years later the Spanish government procured and locally manufactured the Leopard 2, fulfilling the long-term modernisation goal established in the Lince programme. (Full article...)
A successful blockade of these bases would force German submarines to operate out of more distant ports, such as Wilhelmshaven, on the German coast. This would expose them for longer to Allied countermeasures and reduce the time they could spend raiding. The ports of Ostend and Zeebrugge (partially blocked in the Zeebrugge Raid three weeks previously) provided sea access via canals for the major inland port of Bruges. Bruges was used as a base for small warships and submarines. As it was 6 mi (5.2 nmi; 9.7 km) inland, it was immune to most naval artillery fire and coastal raids, providing a safe harbour for training and repair. (Full article...)
Discussion of a war memorial for Northampton began shortly after the armistice in 1918, and from July 1919 a temporary wooden cenotaph stood on Abington Street in the town centre. The Northamptonshire War Memorial Committee commissioned Lutyens to design a permanent memorial. The monument's design was completed and approved quickly, but its installation was delayed by six years until the site could be purchased from the Church of England, which required a faculty from the local diocese. The memorial was finally unveiled on 11 November 1926 after a service and a parade including local schoolchildren and civic leaders. (Full article...)
Born in Queensland to a farming family, Towner enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1915. Posted to the transport section of the 25th Battalion, he served in Egypt until his unit was sent to the Western Front. He then transferred to the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion where he was commissioned as a lieutenant and twice mentioned in despatches for his leadership. During June 1918, Towner led a machine gun section in attack near Morlancourt and assisted the infantry in reaching its objectives under heavy fire, for which he was awarded the Military Cross. In September, again commanding a machine gun section, he was involved in the Allied counteroffensive that broke the German lines at Mont St. Quentin and Péronne. Fighting for thirty hours after being wounded, his "conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty" earned him the Victoria Cross, which was presented by King George V in April 1919. (Full article...)
Antiochus X did not enjoy a stable reign as he had to face three of Seleucus VI's brothers, Antiochus XI, Philip I and Demetrius III. Antiochus XI defeated AntiochusX and expelled him from the capital Antioch in 93 BC. A few months later, AntiochusX regained his position and killed Antiochus XI. This led to both Philip I and Demetrius III becoming involved. The civil war continued but its final outcome is uncertain due to the contradictions between different ancient historians' accounts. AntiochusX married his stepmother, Antiochus IX's widow Cleopatra Selene, and had several children with her, including a future king Antiochus XIII. (Full article...)
Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.
A Chola dynasty sculpture depicting Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is the deity of destruction and one of the most important gods; in this sculpture he is dancing as Nataraja, the divine dancer who unravels the world in preparation for it being remade by Brahma.
On October 22, 1895, the Granville–Paris Express train overran the buffer stop at Gare Montparnassestation. The engine careened across almost 30 metres (100 feet) of the station concourse, crashed through a 60 centimetre thick wall, shot across a terrace and sailed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes 10 metres (30 feet) below where it stood on its nose. While all of the passengers on board the train survived, one woman on the street below was killed by falling masonry.
Edward Gibbon (1737–1794) was an English historian who published The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. Born in Putney, Surrey, he became a voracious reader while being raised by his aunt, and was sent to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in Switzerland. Returning to England, in 1761 Gibbon published his first book, Essai sur l'?tude de la Littérature. This was well received, but Gibbon's next book was a failure. In the early 1770s Gibbon began writing his history of the Roman Empire, which was received with great praise.
The Finnish markka was the currency of Finland from 1860 to 2002. The currency was divided into 100 pennies and was first introduced by the Bank of Finland to replace the Russian ruble at a rate of four markkaa to one ruble. The markka was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2002 and ceased to be legal tender on 28 February later that year.
This picture shows a 20-markka banknote issued in 1862, as part of the first issue of markka banknotes (1860 to 1862), for the Grand Duchy of Finland, then an autonomous part of the Russian Empire; 1862 was also the first year of issue for this particular denomination. The banknote's obverse depicts the coat of arms of Finland on a Russian double-headed eagle, and was personally signed by the director and the cashier of the Bank of Finland. The text on the obverse is in Swedish, whereas the reverse is primarily in Russian and Finnish.
Jews captured by SS and SD troops during the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are forced to leave their shelter and march to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The SD trooper pictured second from the right, is Josef Bl?sche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Bl?sche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.
Not much is known about Zotov's life aside from his connection to Peter. Zotov left Moscow for a diplomatic mission to Crimea in 1680 and returned to Moscow before 1683. He became part of the "Jolly Company", a group of several dozen of Peter's friends that eventually became The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters. Zotov was mockingly appointed "Prince-Pope" of the Synod, and regularly led them in games and celebrations. He accompanied Peter on many important occasions, such as the Azov campaigns and the torture of the Streltsy after their uprising. Zotov held a number of state posts, including from 1701 a leading position in the Tsar's personal secretariat. Three years before his death, Zotov married a woman 50 years his junior. He died in December 1717 of unknown causes. (Full article...)
The following are images from various history-related articles on Wikipedia.
World Colonization of 1492 (Early Modern World), 1550, 1660, 1754 (Age of Enlightenment), 1822 (Industrial revolution), 1885 (European Hegemony), 1914 (World War I era), 1938 (World War II era), 1959 (Cold War era) and 1974, 2008 (Recent history).
"If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it." An engraving from the 1772 edition of the Encyclopédie; Truth (center) is surrounded by light and unveiled by the figures to the right, Philosophy and Reason
Roman Empire 117 AD. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
The Chinese Han Dynasty dominated the East Asia region at the beginning of the first millennium AD
Map of the approximate political boundaries in Europe around 450 AD
A Japanese depiction of a Portuguese trading carrack. Advances in shipbuilding technology during the Late Middle Ages would pave the way for the global European presence characteristic of the early modern period.
Cishou Temple Pagoda, built in 1576: the Chinese believed that building pagodas on certain sites according to geomantic principles brought about auspicious events; merchant-funding for such projects was needed by the late Ming period.
Model for the Three Superior Planets and Venus from Georg von Peuerbach, Theoricae novae planetarum.
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. An object inspired by the art of the Siberian Altai mountain, possibly Pazyryk, unearthed at the site of Nalinggaotu, Shenmu County, near Xi'an, China. Possibly from the "Hun people who lived in the prairie in Northern China". Dated to the 4th–3rd century BC, or Han Dynasty period. Shaanxi History Museum.
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