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...)
Smyth was commissioned to write the report by Major GeneralLeslie R. Groves, Jr., the director of the Manhattan Project. The Smyth Report was the first official account of the development of the atomic bombs and the basic physical processes behind them. It also served as an indication as to what information was declassified; anything in the Smyth Report could be discussed openly. For this reason, the Smyth Report focused heavily on information, such as basic nuclear physics, which was either already widely known in the scientific community or easily deducible by a competent scientist, and omitted details about chemistry, metallurgy, and ordnance. This would ultimately give a false impression that the Manhattan Project was all about physics. (Full article...)
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the United StatesFirst Army under Lieutenant General Omar Bradley seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy campaign of World War II. The intention was to take advantage of the distraction of the Germans by the British and Canadian attacks around Caen in Operation Goodwood, and thereby break through the German defenses that were penning in their forces while the Germans were unbalanced. Once a corridor had been created, the First Army would then be able to advance into Brittany, rolling up the German flanks once free of the constraints of the bocage country. After a slow start, the offensive gathered momentum and German resistance collapsed as scattered remnants of broken units fought to escape to the Seine. Lacking the resources to cope with the situation, the German response was ineffectual and the entire Normandy front soon collapsed. Operation Cobra, together with concurrent offensives by the British Second Army and the Canadian First Army, was decisive in securing an Allied victory in the Normandy campaign.
Having been delayed several times by poor weather, Operation Cobra commenced on 25 July 1944, with a concentrated aerial bombardment from thousands of Allied aircraft. Supporting offensives had drawn the bulk of German armored reserves toward the British and Canadian sector and, coupled with the general lack of men and materiel available to the Germans, it was impossible for them to form successive lines of defense. Units of the U.S. VII Corps led the initial two-division assault, while other First U.S. Army corps mounted supporting attacks designed to pin German units in place. Progress was slow on the first day but opposition started to crumble once the defensive crust had been broken. By 27 July, most organized resistance had been overcome and the VII and VIII Corps advanced rapidly, isolating the Cotentin Peninsula. (Full article...)
Alexander II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm
Alexander II Theos Epiphanes Nikephoros (Ancient Greek: ?λ?ξανδρο? θε?? ?πιφαν?? Νικηφ?ρο?, surnamed Zabinas; c. 150 BC – 123 BC) was a HellenisticSeleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 128 BC and 123 BC. His true parentage is debated; most ancient historians and the modern academic consensus maintain he was a pretender who claimed to be a Seleucid, either a son of Alexander I or an adopted son of Antiochus VII. His surname "Zabinas" is a Semitic name that is usually translated as "the bought one". It is possible, however, that Alexander II was a natural son of Alexander I, as the surname can also mean "bought from the god". The iconography of Alexander II's coinage indicates he based his claims to the throne on his descent from Antiochus IV, the father of Alexander I.
Alexander II's rise is connected to the dynastic feuds of the Seleucid Empire. Both King Seleucus IV (d. 175 BC) and his brother Antiochus IV (d. 164 BC) had descendants contending for the throne, leading the country to experience many civil wars. The situation was complicated by PtolemaicEgyptian interference, which was facilitated by the dynastic marriages between the two royal houses. In 128 BC, King Demetrius II of Syria, the representative of Seleucus IV's line, invaded Egypt to help his mother-in-law Cleopatra II who was engaged in a civil war against her brother and husband King Ptolemy VIII. Angered by the Syrian invasion, the Egyptian king instigated revolts in the cities of Syria against Demetrius II and chose Alexander II, a supposed representative of Antiochus IV's line, as an anti-king. With Egyptian troops, Alexander II captured the Syrian capital Antioch in 128 BC and warred against Demetrius II, defeating him decisively in 125 BC. The beaten king escaped to his wife Cleopatra Thea in the city of Ptolemais, but she expelled him. He was killed while trying to find refuge in the city of Tyre. (Full article...)
A Serbian Orthodoxicon of Prince Jovan Vladimir, who was recognized as a saint shortly after his death
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...)
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars cap badge from the period of the Imperial Yeomanry
The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars was a volunteeryeomanryregiment which, in the 20th century, became part of the British Army Reserve. It traced its origins to the First or Cheltenham Troop of Gloucestershire Gentleman and Yeomanry raised in 1795, although a break in the lineage means that its formation is dated to the Marshfield and Dodington Troop raised in 1830. Six further troops – officered by nobility and gentry, and recruited largely from among landholders and tenant farmers – were subsequently raised in Gloucestershire, and in 1834 they came together to form the Gloucestershire Yeomanry Cavalry. In 1847, the regiment adopted a hussar uniform and the name Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Originally intended to counter insurrection and a French invasion that never materialised, the yeomanry's first deployments were ceremonial and as mounted police during times of civil unrest. Three Gloucestershire troops were deployed to Bristol on two separate occasions in the 1830s in support of the civil authorities.
From the mid-19th century, the yeomanry's policing role diminished with the establishment of a civilian police force, and renewed fears of invasion turned its focus to national defence. The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars' first battle honour was won in South Africa during the Second Boer War, when a contingent of Gloucestershire yeomanry served as mounted infantry in the Imperial Yeomanry. Before the First World War, all volunteer forces, including the yeomanry, were brought into the Territorial Force. On the outbreak of the war the regiment raised a second-line unit, which remained in the UK and became a cyclist unit in 1916, and a third-line unit, which served as a reserve. The first-line unit saw action as infantry at Gallipoli and as cavalry in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign; in the latter it fought both mounted and dismounted from the Suez Canal to Aleppo in modern-day Syria. Following the war, the regiment was downsized and converted to the 21st (Royal Gloucestershire Hussars) Armoured Car Company. (Full article...)
Both sides brought up further reinforcements, and seesaw fighting took place during much of the afternoon. Shortly before nightfall, Cooper's Confederates made an all-out attack against the Union line; this led Salomon to withdraw from the field. Militia commanded by Colonel George Hall covered the Union retreat, although Confederate artillery fire struck the retreating forces. This panicked some of Salomon's men, and the retreat turned into a disorderly rout. Union casualties are variously reported as either 245 or over 400, and Confederate casualties were 78. Blunt's whole division began advancing towards Newtonia in early October, leading Cooper to abandon Missouri. A portion of the battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 as the First Battle of Newtonia Historic District. (Full article...)
Wing Commander John Balmer, September 1942
John Raeburn Balmer, OBE,DFC (3 July 1910 – 11 May 1944) was a senior officer and bomber pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Born in Bendigo, Victoria, he studied law before joining the RAAF as an air cadet in 1932. An instructor at Point Cook from 1935 to 1937, he achieved renown in Air Force circles when he reportedly parachuted from a training aircraft to motivate his pupil to land single-handedly. He also became known to the general public as a cross-country motorist, setting records for trans-Australia and round-Australia trips prior to World War II.
Born in Bundaberg, Queensland, Spence worked in a bank before joining the RAAF in March 1940. In August the following year he was posted to North Africa with No. 3 Squadron, which operated P-40 Tomahawks and Kittyhawks against German and Italian forces; he was credited with shooting down two German aircraft. Spence commanded No. 452 Squadron in 1944, flying Supermarine Spitfires in defence of Australia's North-Western Area against the Japanese. After a brief return to civilian life following World War II, he rejoined the RAAF in October 1946. He took command of No. 77 Squadron, operating P-51 Mustangs as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan, in February 1950. The squadron went into action within a week of the outbreak of the Korean War in June. Spence was killed during a low-level mission over South Korea in September 1950. (Full article...)
The Continental Army had retreated from Quebec to Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point in June 1776 after British forces were massively reinforced. They spent the summer of 1776 fortifying those forts and building additional ships to augment the small American fleet already on the lake. General Carleton had a 9,000 man army at Fort Saint-Jean, but needed to build a fleet to carry it on the lake. The Americans, during their retreat, had either taken or destroyed most of the ships on the lake. By early October, the British fleet, which significantly outgunned the American fleet, was ready for launch. (Full article...)
From late 1987, the British authorities were aware that the IRA was planning to detonate a bomb at the changing of the guard ceremony outside the governor's residence in the British Dependent Territory of Gibraltar. When Savage, McCann and Farrell travelled to Spain in preparation for the attack, they were tracked at the request of the British government. On the day of the shootings, Savage was seen parking a white Renault in the car park used as the assembly area for the parade; McCann and Farrell were seen crossing the border shortly afterwards. (Full article...)
At Jutland, Harvey, although mortally wounded by German shellfire, ordered the magazine of Q turret on the battlecruiser Lion to be flooded. This action prevented the tons of cordite stored there from catastrophically detonating in an explosion that would have destroyed the vessel and all aboard her. Although he succumbed to his injuries seconds later, his dying act may have saved over a thousand lives and prompted Winston Churchill to later comment: "In the long, rough, glorious history of the Royal Marines there is no name and no deed which in its character and consequences ranks above this". (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.
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.
A lithograph of a watercolour painting depicting soldiers transporting winter clothing, lumber for huts, and other supplies through a snow-covered landscape, with partially buried dead horses along the roadside, to the British camps, during the Siege of Sevastopol of the Crimean War. In the winter, a storm ruined the camps and supply lines of the Allied forces (France, Britain and the Ottoman Empire). Men and horses became sick and starved in the poor conditions.
An 1805 depiction of a Khoikhoi family dismantling their huts, preparing to move to new pastures. The Khoikhoi are a native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen. Most of the Khoikhoi have largely disappeared as a group, except for the largest group, the Namas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
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).
A possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva", 2600–1900 BC
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.
"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.
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.
A political map of the Mauryan Empire, including notable cities, such as the capital Pataliputra, and site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
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