The History Portal
History is the discovery, collection, organization, analysis, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean a continuous, typically chronological record of important or public events or of a particular trend or institution. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of knowledge which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to objectively investigate the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and its usefulness. This includes discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. The stories common to a particular culture but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than as the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history. Events of the past prior to written record are considered prehistory.
Amongst scholars, fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus is considered to be the "father of history"; the methods of Herodotus along with his contemporary Thucydides form the foundations for the modern study of history. Their influence (along with other historical traditions in other parts of their world) has spawned many different interpretations of the nature of history which has developed over the centuries and are continuing to change. The modern study of history has many different fields, including those that focus on certain regions and those that focus on certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. Often, history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
was an ancient civilization
of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River
in what is now the modern country of Egypt
. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3500 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology
) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt
under the first pharaoh
. The history of ancient Egypt
occurred in a series of stable Kingdoms
, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods
: the Old Kingdom
of the Early Bronze Age
, the Middle Kingdom
of the Middle Bronze Age
and the New Kingdom
of the Late Bronze Age
. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power during the New Kingdom, in the Ramesside period, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was conquered by a succession of foreign powers in this late period. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great
's death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter
, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This Ptolemaic Dynasty
ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when it fell to the Roman Empire
and became a Roman province
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River Valley. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which fueled social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a Pharaoh who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.
Saint Joan of Arc
, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans
: Jeanne d'Arc
, IPA: [ʒan daʁk]
; ca. 1412
– 30 May 1431), is a national heroine
of France and a Roman Catholic saint
. A peasant
girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War
, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII
. She was captured by the Burgundians
, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court
, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old.
Twenty-five years after the execution, Pope Callixtus III
examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr
Joan of Arc was beatified
in 1909 and canonized
She is – along with St. Denis
, St. Martin of Tours
, St. Louis IX
, and St. Theresa of Lisieux
– one of the patron saints
Joan asserted that she had visions from God that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.
Did you know...
The Montgolfier brothers' balloon, 75 feet tall and 50 feet wide, was the first balloon to carry human passengers in 1783. This etching from 1786 depicts the historical flight with engineering properties and a description of its elaborate design.
On this day
As long as I breathe I hope. As long as I breathe I shall fight for the future, that radiant future, in which man, strong and beautiful, will become master of the drifting stream of his history and will direct it towards the boundless horizons of beauty, joy and happiness!
"There is but little room for doubt that Egypt led the way in the creation of the earliest known group of civilizations which arose on both sides of the land bridge between Africa and Eurasia in the fourth millennium B.C."
— James H. Breasted
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