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History (from Greek?, 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...)
Macdonald was born in Scotland; when he was a boy his family immigrated to Kingston in the Province of Upper Canada (today in eastern Ontario). As a lawyer he was involved in several high-profile cases and quickly became prominent in Kingston, which elected him in 1844 to the legislature of the Province of Canada. By 1857, he had become premier under the colony's unstable political system. (Full article...)
The Mk. XIVA sighting head, which would be mounted in the front of the aircraft and connected to the computor by the cables coiled up on the left. This example is found in the RAF Museum's reserve collection.
Developed starting in 1939, the Mk. XIV began replacing the First World War-era Course Setting Bomb Sight in 1942. The Mk. XIV was essentially an automated version of the Course Setting sight, using a mechanical computer to update the sights in real-time as conditions changed. The Mk. XIV required only 10 seconds of straight flight before the drop and automatically accounted for shallow climbs and dives. More importantly, the Mk. XIV sighting unit was much smaller than the Course Setting sight, which allowed it to contain a gyro stabilization platform. This kept the sight pointed at the target even as the bomber manoeuvred, dramatically increasing its accuracy and ease of sighting. (Full article...)
An infantryman from the Australian 2/43rd Battalion in a bomber dispersal bay at Labuan airstrip on 10 June 1945.
Following several weeks of air attacks and a short naval bombardment, soldiers of the Australian 24th Brigade were landed on Labuan from American and Australian ships on 10 June. The Australians quickly captured the island's harbour and main airfield. The greatly outnumbered Japanese garrison was mainly concentrated in a fortified position in the interior of Labuan, and offered little resistance to the landing. The initial Australian attempts to penetrate the Japanese position in the days after the invasion were not successful, and the area was subjected to a heavy bombardment. A Japanese raiding force also attempted to attack Allied positions on 21 June, but was defeated. Later that day, Australian forces assaulted the Japanese position. In the following days, Australian patrols killed or captured the remaining Japanese troops on the island. A total of 389 Japanese personnel were killed on Labuan and 11 were captured. Australian casualties included 34 killed. (Full article...)
She subsequently served as a storeship and depot ship, and in 1904 was assigned to the Royal Navy's torpedo training school. The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987. (Full article...)
Mary Bell at a council meeting of the Women's Air Training Corps, 1941
Mary Teston Luis Bell (3 December 1903 - 6 February 1979) was an Australian aviator and founding leader of the Women's Air Training Corps (WATC), a volunteer organisation that provided support to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II. She later helped establish the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF), the first and largest women's wartime service in the country, which grew to more than 18,000 members by 1944.
Born Mary Fernandes in Tasmania, Bell married a RAAF officer in 1923 and obtained her pilot's licence in 1927. Given temporary command of the WAAAF on its formation in 1941, she was passed over as its inaugural director in favour of corporate executive Clare Stevenson. Bell refused the post of deputy director and resigned, but subsequently rejoined and served until the final months of the war. She and her husband later became farmers. Nicknamed "Paddy", Bell died in 1979, aged seventy-five. (Full article...)
The law schools of the Roman Empire established organized repositories of imperial constitutions and institutionalized the study and practice of jurisprudence to relieve the busy imperial courts. The archiving of imperial constitutions facilitated the task of jurists in referring to legal precedents. The origins of the law school of Beirut are obscure, but probably it was under Augustus in the first century. The earliest written mention of the school dates to 238-239 AD, when its reputation had already been established. The school attracted young, affluent Roman citizens, and its professors made major contributions to the Codex of Justinian. The school achieved such wide recognition throughout the Empire that Beirut was known as the "Mother of Laws". Beirut was one of the few schools allowed to continue teaching jurisprudence when Byzantine emperorJustinian I shut down other provincial law schools. (Full article...)
On June 2, 1865, the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered. The men of the regiment were located at different points in Louisiana and Arkansas when they were paroled twelve days later, leading the historian James McGhee to believe that the regiment had disbanded before the surrender. (Full article...)
Mecklenburg spent the early period of her career in I Squadron of the German fleet, participating in the peacetime routine of training cruises and exercises. After World War I began in August 1914, the ship was mobilized with her sisters as IV Battle Squadron. She saw limited duty in the Baltic Sea against Russian naval forces, and as a guard ship in the North Sea. The German High Command withdrew the ship from active service in January 1916 due to a threat from submarines and naval mines, together with severe shortages in personnel. For the remainder of her career, Mecklenburg served as a prison ship and as a barracks ship based in Kiel. She was stricken from the navy list in January 1920 and sold for scrapping the following year. (Full article...)
Marshland around Blythburgh, near where Anna met his death
The mass migration of northerners was facilitated primarily by the French Air Force and Navy. American naval vessels supplemented the French in evacuating northerners to Saigon, the southern capital. The operation was accompanied by a large humanitarian relief effort, bankrolled in the main by the United States government in an attempt to absorb a large tent city of refugees that had sprung up outside Saigon. For the US, the migration was a public relations coup, generating wide coverage of the flight of Vietnamese from the perceived oppression of communism to the "free world" in the south. The period was marked by a Central Intelligence Agency-backed propaganda campaign on behalf of South Vietnam's Roman Catholic Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem. The campaign exhorted[undue weight? – discuss] Catholics to flee "impending religious persecution" under communism, and around 60% of the north's one million Catholics obliged. (Full article...)
Built at Dover, Kent, Speedy spent most of the interwar years serving off the British coast. Transferred to the Mediterranean after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, she spent the rest of her career there under a number of notable commanders, winning fame for herself in various engagements and often against heavy odds. Her first commander in the Mediterranean, Charles Cunningham, served with distinction with several squadrons, assisting in the capture of several war prizes, such as the French frigates Modeste and Impérieuse. His successor, George Cockburn, impressed his superiors with his dogged devotion to duty. Speedys next commander, George Eyre, had the misfortune to lose her to a superior French force on 9 June 1794. (Full article...)
Map of the Greek and Latin states in southern Greece c. 1278
Engaged in conflict with their original employers, the Byzantine Empire, the Catalan Company had traversed the southern Balkans and arrived in southern Greece in 1309. The new Duke of Athens, Walter of Brienne, hired them to attack the Greek ruler of neighbouring Thessaly. Although the Catalans conquered much of the region for him, Walter refused to pay them and prepared to forcibly expel them from their gains. The two armies met at Halmyros in southern Thessaly (or at the Boeotic Cephissus, near Orchomenos, according to an earlier interpretation). The Catalans were considerably outnumbered and weakened by the reluctance of their Turkish auxiliaries to fight. The Company did have the advantage of selecting the battleground, positioning themselves behind marshy terrain, which they further inundated. On the Athenian side, many of the most important lords of Frankish Greece were present and Walter, a prideful man and confident in the prowess of his heavy cavalry, proceeded to charge headlong against the Catalan line. The marsh impeded the Frankish attack and the Catalan infantry stood firm. The Turks re-joined the Company and the Frankish army was routed; Walter and almost the entire knighthood of his realm fell in the field. As a result of the battle, the Catalans took over the leaderless Duchy of Athens; they ruled that part of Greece until the 1380s. (Full article...)
Following Operation Cobra the advance was much faster than expected, and the rapid increase in the length of the line of communications threw up unanticipated logistical challenges. The logistical plan lacked the flexibility needed to cope with the rapidly changing operational situation; the rehabilitation of railways and construction of pipelines could not keep up with the pace of the advance, and resupply by air had limited capacity. Major shortages developed, particularly of petrol, oil and lubricants (POL). (Full article...)
Right-elevation drawing of the Francesco Caracciolo class
The class was never completed due to material shortages and shifting construction priorities after the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Only the lead ship was launched in 1920, and several proposals to convert her into an aircraft carrier were considered, but budgetary problems prevented any work being done. She was sold to an Italian shipping firm for conversion into a merchant ship, but this also proved to be too expensive, and she was broken up for scrap beginning in 1926. (Full article...)
Scars of a whipped slave named Peter, photo taken at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1863. In his own words, "Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer." The slave pictured here escaped from a plantation in Mississippi, made his way to Union forces, and joined the U.S. Army at the Union garrison located at Baton Rouge.
Slavery in the United States began soon after the English colonists first settled in North America. From about the 1640s until 1865, people of African descent were legally enslaved within the boundaries of the present U.S. mostly by whites, but also by a comparatively tiny number of American Indians and free blacks. By 1860, the slave population in the U.S. had grown to 4 million.
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.
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.
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.
Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Peruvian Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level, as viewed from Huayna Picchu. Established c. 1450, the settlement was abandoned at the time of the Spanish Conquest the following century. Although it remained known locally, it was not brought to international attention until after Hiram Bingham visited the site in 1911. Machu Picchu is now a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and restoration efforts are ongoing.
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'Étude 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.
Jovan Vladimir had a close relationship with Byzantium but this did not save Duklja from the expansionist Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria, who conquered the principality around 1010 and took Vladimir prisoner. A medieval chronicle asserts that Samuel's daughter, Theodora Kosara, fell in love with Vladimir and begged her father for his hand. The tsar allowed the marriage and returned Duklja to Vladimir, who ruled as his vassal. Vladimir took no part in his father-in-law's war efforts. The warfare culminated with Tsar Samuel's defeat by the Byzantines in 1014 and death soon after. In 1016, Vladimir fell victim to a plot by Ivan Vladislav, the last ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire. He was beheaded in front of a church in Prespa, the empire's capital, and was buried there. He was soon recognized as a martyr and saint. His widow, Kosara, reburied him in the Pre?ista Krajinska Church, near his court in southeastern Duklja. In 1381, his remains were preserved in the Church of St Jovan Vladimir near Elbasan, and since 1995 they have been kept in the Orthodoxcathedral of Tirana, Albania. The saint's remains are considered Christian relics, and attract many believers, especially on his feast day, when the relics are taken to the church near Elbasan for a celebration. (Full article...)
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.
Cossacks became the backbone of the early Russian Army.
A possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva", 2600-1900 BC
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.
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
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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