History (from Greekἱστορία, 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...)
This portrait was first published in 1885 and alleged to be a 1625 likeness of Standish, although its authenticity has never been proven.
Myles Standish (c. 1584 – October 3, 1656) was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military adviser for Plymouth Colony. He accompanied them on the Mayflower journey and played a leading role in the administration and defense of Plymouth Colony from its inception. On February 17, 1621, the Plymouth Colony militia elected him as its first commander and continued to re-elect him to that position for the remainder of his life. He served as an agent of Plymouth Colony in England, as assistant governor, and as treasurer of the Colony. He was also one of the first settlers and founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts.
A defining characteristic of Standish's military leadership was his proclivity for preemptive action which resulted in at least two attacks or small skirmishes against Native Americans in the Nemasket raid and the conflict at Wessagusset Colony. During these actions, Standish exhibited courage and skill as a soldier, but he also demonstrated a brutality that angered the Natives and disturbed more moderate members of the Colony. (Full article...)
Clockwise from top: Remnants of Azerbaijani APCs; internally displaced Azerbaijanis from the Armenian-occupied territories; Armenian T-72 tank memorial at the outskirts of Stepanakert; Armenian soldiers
The First Nagorno-Karabakh War was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place from the late 1980s to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the war progressed, Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet Republics, entangled themselves in protracted, undeclared mountain warfare in the mountainous heights of Karabakh as Azerbaijan attempted to curb the secessionist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh. The enclave's parliament had voted in favor of uniting itself with Armenia and a referendum, boycotted by the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh, was held, whereby most of the voters voted in favor of independence. The demand to unify with Armenia began in a relatively peaceful manner in 1988; in the following months, as the Soviet Union disintegrated, it gradually grew into an increasingly violent conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, resulting in ethnic cleansing, with the Sumgait (1988) and Baku (1990) pogroms directed against Armenians, and the Gugark pogrom (1988) and Khojaly Massacre (1992) directed against Azerbaijanis being notable examples. Inter-ethnic clashes between the two broke out shortly after the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) in Azerbaijan voted to unify the region with Armenia on 20 February 1988. The declaration of secession from Azerbaijan was the final result of a territorial conflict regarding the land. As Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and removed the powers held by the enclave's government, the Armenian majority voted to secede from Azerbaijan and in the process proclaimed the unrecognizedRepublic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
An ironclad is a steam-propelledwarship protected by iron or steelarmor plates, which were predominantly constructed from 1859 to the early 1890s. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, Gloire, was launched by the French Navy in November 1859. The British Admiralty had been considering armored warships since 1856 and prepared a draft design for an armored corvette in 1857; in early 1859 the Royal Navy started building two iron-hulled armored frigates, and by 1861 had made the decision to move to an all-armored battle fleet. After the first clashes of ironclads (both with wooden ships and with one another) took place in 1862 during the American Civil War, it became clear that the ironclad had replaced the unarmored ship of the line as the most powerful warship afloat. This type of ship came to be very successful in the American Civil War.
Ironclads were designed for several roles, including as high seas battleships, coastal defense ships, and long-range cruisers. The rapid development of warship design in the late 19th century transformed the ironclad from a wooden-hulled vessel that carried sails to supplement its steam engines into the steel-built, turreted battleships and cruisers familiar in the 20th century. This change was pushed forward by the development of heavier naval guns (the ironclads of the 1880s carried some of the heaviest guns ever mounted at sea at the time), more sophisticated steam engines, and advances in metallurgy which made steel shipbuilding possible. (Full article...)
The German high command expected Montgomery (one of the best-known Allied commanders) to play a key role in any cross-channel bridgehead. Clarke and the other deception planners reasoned that a high-profile appearance outside the United Kingdom would suggest that an Allied invasion was not imminent. An appropriate look-alike was found, M. E. Clifton James, who spent a short time with Montgomery to familiarise himself with the general's mannerisms. On 26 May 1944, James flew first to Gibraltar and then to Algiers, making appearances where the Allies knew German intelligence agents would spot him. He then flew secretly to Cairo and remained in hiding until Montgomery's public appearance in Normandy following the invasion. (Full article...)
The U-1 class (also called the Lake-type) was a class of two submarines or U-boats built for and operated by the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine). The class comprised U-1 and U-2. The boats were built to an American design at the Pola Navy Yard after domestic design proposals failed to impress the Navy. Constructed between 1907 and 1909, the class was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Navy's efforts to competitively evaluate three foreign submarine designs.
Both U-1-class submarines were launched in 1909. An experimental design, the submarines included unique features such as a diving chamber and wheels for traveling along the seabed. Extensive sea trials were conducted in 1909 and 1910 to test these features as well as other components of the boats, including the diving tanks and engines for each boat. Safety and efficiency problems related to the gasoline engines of both submarines led to the Navy to purchase new propulsion systems prior to World War I. The design of the U-1 class has been described by naval historians as a failure, being rendered obsolete by the time both submarines were commissioned into the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1911. Despite this, tests of their design provided information that the Navy used to construct subsequent submarines. Both submarines of the U-1 class served as training boats through 1914, though they were mobilized briefly during the Balkan Wars. (Full article...)
By the end of 1835, all Mexican troops had been driven from Texas. Frank W. Johnson, the commander of the volunteer army in Texas, and James Grant gathered volunteers for a planned invasion of the Mexican port town of Matamoros. In February 1836, Johnson and about 40 men led a herd of horses to San Patricio in preparation for the expedition. Johnson assigned some of his troops to a ranch 4 miles (6.4 km) outside town to guard the horses, while the rest of his men garrisoned in three different locations in town. (Full article...)
La Clue was attempting to evade Boscawen and bring the French Mediterranean Fleet into the Atlantic, avoiding battle if possible; he was then under orders to sail for the West Indies. Boscawen was under orders to prevent a French breakout into the Atlantic, and to pursue and fight the French if they did. During the evening of 17 August the French fleet successfully passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, but was sighted by a British ship shortly after it entered the Atlantic. The British fleet was in nearby Gibraltar, undergoing a major refit. It left port amidst great confusion, most ships not having their refurbishments completed, with many delayed and sailing in a second squadron. Aware that he was pursued, La Clue altered his plan and changed course; half his ships failed to follow him in the dark, but the British did. (Full article...)
Along with the rest of the Yugoslav Army, the 27th Infantry Division Savska began mobilising on 3 April 1941, and was still engaged in that process three days later when the Germans began an air campaign and a series of preliminary operations along the Yugoslav frontiers. These attacks ignited rebellion within the Croat troops of the division. The chief of staff of the division became involved, countermanding orders for the sabotage of a key bridge over the Drava river at Zákány. The division briefly established a defensive line on the Yugoslav side of the river, but German troops began crossing on 7 April, forcing the division to begin withdrawing. A counterattack delayed the German advance during the night of 8/9 April, but the division began to disintegrate due to fifth column actions, rebellion and desertion. When the German 14th Panzer Division broke out of the bridgehead at Zákány on 10 April, the 27th Infantry Division Savska numbered only 2,000 men, mostly Serbs. In a single day, the German panzers, with overwhelming air support, brushed aside the remnants of the division and captured Zagreb, covering nearly 160 kilometres (100 mi) and meeting little resistance. On that day the divisional headquarters was captured, and the division effectively ceased to exist. (Full article...)
The British farthing is a continuation of the English farthing, struck by English monarchs prior to the Act of Union 1707 which unified the crowns of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain. Only pattern farthings were struck under Queen Anne as there was a glut of farthings from previous reigns. The coin was struck intermittently under George I and George II, but by the reign of George III, counterfeits were so prevalent the Royal Mint ceased striking copper coinage after 1775. The next farthings were the first struck by steam power, in 1799 by Matthew Boulton at his Soho Mint under licence. Boulton coined more in 1806, and the Royal Mint resumed production in 1821. The farthing was struck fairly regularly under George IV and William IV. By then it carried a scaled-down version of the penny's design, and would continue to mirror the penny and halfpenny until after 1936. (Full article...)
Territorial control by the contenders to the caliphate during the peak of the civil war (686)
The roots of the civil war go back to the First Fitna. After the assassination of the third caliph Uthman, the Islamic community experienced its first civil war over the question of leadership, with the main contenders being Ali and Mu'awiya. Following the assassination of Ali in 661 and the abdication of his successor Hasan the same year, Mu'awiya became the sole ruler of the caliphate. Mu'awiya's unprecedented move to nominate his son, Yazid, as his heir sparked opposition and tensions soared after Mu'awiya's death. Husayn ibn Ali was invited by the pro-Alids of Kufa to overthrow the Umayyads but was killed with his small company en route to Kufa at the Battle of Karbala in October 680. Yazid's army assaulted anti-government rebels in Medina in August 683 and subsequently besieged Mecca, where Ibn al-Zubayr had established himself in opposition to Yazid. After Yazid died in November, the siege was abandoned and Umayyad authority collapsed throughout the caliphate except in certain parts of Syria; most provinces recognized Ibn al-Zubayr as caliph. A series of pro-Alid movements demanding revenge for Husayn's death emerged in Kufa beginning with Ibn Surad's Penitents movement, which was crushed by the Umayyads at the Battle of Ayn al-Warda in January 685. Kufa was then taken over by Mukhtar. Though his forces routed a large Umayyad army at the Battle of Khazir in August 686, Mukhtar and his supporters were slain by the Zubayrids in April 687 following a series of battles. Under the leadership of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the Umayyads reasserted control over the caliphate after defeating the Zubayrids at the Battle of Maskin in Iraq and killing Ibn al-Zubayr in the Siege of Mecca in 692. (Full article...)
The Arg-e Bam, in Kerman Province in southeastern Iran, is the largest adobe building in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient citadel has a history dating back around two thousand years, to the Parthian Empire (248 BC – 224 AD), but most of its buildings were constructed during the Safavid dynasty. A strong earthquake on 26 December 2003 largely devastated the fortress and the nearby modern city of Bam. The Arg-e Bam, including the governor's residence, the main tower, the Four Seasons Palace and the hammam, were nearly totally destroyed; this photograph from 2016 shows the citadel partially reconstructed.
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.
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.
"The Trumpet Calls", a recruitment poster for the Australian Army in World War I. When the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, Australia followed without hesitation. This was considered to be expected by the Australian public, because of the very large number of British-born citizens and first generation Anglo-Australians at the time. A total of 331,814 Australians were sent overseas to serve as part of the Australian Imperial Force with a casualty rate (killed or wounded) of 64%.
A group of Australianinfantry wearing Small Box Respirators (SBRs) at the Third Battle of Ypres in September 1917. After the introduction of poison gas in World War I, countermeasures were developed. SBRs represented the pinnacle of gas mask development during the war, a mouthpiece connected via a hose to a box filter (hanging around the wearer's neck in this picture), which in turn contained granules of chemicals that neutralised the gas. The SBR was the prized possession of the ordinary infantryman; when the British were forced to retreat during the German Spring Offensive of 1918, it was found that while some troops had discarded their rifles, hardly any had left behind their respirators.
The first successful permanent photograph, created in 1826, is titled "View from the Window at Le Gras". It required an eight-hour exposure in bright sunshine and was printed on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. Due to the long exposure, the buildings are illuminated by the sun from both right and left.
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 Blösche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Blösche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.
Pedro Álvares Cabral (European Portuguese: [ˈpeðɾu ˈaɫvɐr(ɨ)ʃ kɐˈβɾaɫ] or Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈpedɾu ˈawvaɾis kaˈbɾaw]; né Pedro Álvares de Gouveia; c. 1467 or 1468 – c. 1520) was a Portuguese nobleman, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the European discoverer of Brazil. In 1500 Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life remain unclear, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received a good education. He was appointed to head an expedition to India in 1500, following Vasco da Gama's newly-opened route around Africa. The undertaking had the aim of returning with valuable spices and of establishing trade relations in India—bypassing the monopoly on the spice trade then in the hands of Arab, Turkish and Italian merchants. Although the previous expedition of Vasco da Gama to India, on its sea route, had recorded signs of land west of the southern Atlantic Ocean (in 1497), Cabral led the first known expedition to have touched four continents: Europe, Africa, America, and Asia.
His fleet of 13 ships sailed far into the western Atlantic Ocean, perhaps intentionally, and made landfall (April 1500) on what he initially assumed to be a large island. As the new land was within the Portuguese sphere according to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, Cabral claimed it for the Portuguese Crown. He explored the coast, realizing that the large land mass was probably a continent, and dispatched a ship to notify King Manuel I of the new territory. The continent was South America, and the land he had claimed for Portugal later came to be known as Brazil. The fleet reprovisioned and then turned eastward to resume the journey to India. (Full article...)
Reconstruction of the Oikumene (inhabited world) as described by Herodotus in the 5th century BC.
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.
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.
"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
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).
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.
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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