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...)
Doctor Pierre-François Percy's original paper on Tarrare's medical history, Mémoire sur la polyphagie (1805)
Tarrare (c. 1772 – 1798), sometimes spelled Tarare, was a French showman and soldier, noted for his unusual appetite and eating habits. Able to eat vast amounts of meat, he was constantly hungry; his parents could not provide for him, and he was turned out of the family home as a teenager. He travelled France in the company of a band of thieves and prostitutes, before becoming the warm-up act to a travelling charlatan. In this act he would swallow corks, stones, live animals and a whole basketful of apples. He then took this act to Paris where he worked as a street performer.
At the start of the War of the First Coalition, Tarrare joined the French Revolutionary Army, where even quadruple the standard military ration was unable to satisfy his large appetite. He would eat any available food from gutters and refuse heaps but his condition still deteriorated through hunger. He was hospitalised due to exhaustion and became the subject of a series of medical experiments to test his eating capacity, in which, among other things, he ate a meal intended for 15 people in a single sitting, ate live cats, snakes, lizards and puppies, and swallowed eels whole without chewing. Despite his unusual diet, he was underweight, and with the exception of his eating habits he showed no signs of mental illness other than what was described as an apathetic temperament. (Full article...)
After World War II in Europe ended in May 1945, former Slovak partisans were often appointed as national administrators of businesses that had been Aryanized, or confiscated, from Jews by the Axisclient state known as the Slovak State, leading to conflict with Jews seeking to regain their property. This conflict sporadically erupted into attacks on Jews. Tensions between Jewish and non-Jewish Slovaks were exacerbated in May 1946 by the passage of an unpopular law that mandated the restitution of Aryanized property and businesses to their original owners. Both antisemitic leaflets and attacks on Jews—many of them initiated by former partisans—increased following the restitution law. (Full article...)
Mells War Memorial is a First World War memorial by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the village of Mells in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, south-western England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial is one of multiple buildings and structures Lutyens designed in Mells. His friendship with two prominent families in the area, the Horners and the Asquiths, led to a series of commissions; among his other works in the village are memorials to two sons—one from each family—killed in the war. Lutyens toured the village with local dignitaries in search of a suitable site for the war memorial, after which he was prompted to remark "all their young men were killed".
The memorial takes the form of a marble column topped by a sculpture of Saint George slaying a dragon, an image Lutyens used on two other public war memorials. At the base of the column, the names of the village's war dead are inscribed on stone panels. The memorial is flanked by identical rubble walls in local stone, on top of which grows a yew hedge. Low stone benches protrude from the walls to allow wreaths to be laid. Additional panels were fixed to the wall after the Second World War to commemorate that conflict. The memorial was unveiled on 26 June 1921 by Brigadier-General Arthur Asquith, whose brother is among those commemorated on it. It is a grade II* listed building and since 2015 has been part of a national collection of Lutyens' war memorials. (Full article...)
Operation Kita (北号作戦, Hoku-gō sakusen, "North") was conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the Pacific War in February 1945. Its purpose was to return two Ise-class hybrid battleship-aircraft carriers and four escort ships to Japan from Singapore, where they had been based since November the previous year. The movement of the Japanese force was detected by the Allies, but all attempts to attack it with submarines and aircraft failed. Nevertheless, as a result of the intensifying Allied blockade of Japan, the Ise-class battleship-carriers and their escorts were among the last IJN warships to safely reach the country from the Southwest Pacific before the end of the war.
Before departing Singapore, the Japanese ships, which were designated the Completion Force, were loaded with supplies of oil and other important raw materials. This formed part of an effort to run increased quantities of supplies through the Allied blockade of Japan before the country was cut off from its empire. The Allies had learned of the Completion Force's composition and goals through intelligence gained from decrypting Japanese radio signals, and plans were developed for coordinated attacks on it by submarines and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) aircraft. As part of these preparations, 26 submarines were eventually positioned along the ships' expected route. (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.
On 14 October 1939, Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland, when she was torpedoed by the German submarineU-47. Of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 835 were killed that night or died later of their wounds. The loss of the outdated ship—the first of five Royal Navy battleships and battlecruisers sunk in the Second World War—did little to affect the numerical superiority enjoyed by the British navy and its Allies, but it had a considerable effect on wartime morale. The raid made an immediate celebrity and war hero out of the U-boat commander, Günther Prien, who became the first German submarine officer to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Before the sinking of Royal Oak, the Royal Navy had considered the naval base at Scapa Flow impregnable to submarine attack, but U-47's raid demonstrated that the German navy was capable of bringing the war to British home waters. The shock resulted in rapid changes to dockland security and the construction of the Churchill Barriers around Scapa Flow. (Full article...)
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operated Vultee Vengeancedive bombers during World War II. The Australian Government ordered 297 of the type in late 1941 as part of efforts to expand the RAAF. This order was later increased to 400 aircraft. A few Vengeances arrived in Australia during 1942, and large-scale deliveries commenced in early 1943; further orders were cancelled in 1944 after 342 had been delivered.
The RAAF was slow to bring its Vengeances into service, their first combat missions being flown in June 1943. The main deployment of the type took place between mid-January and early March 1944, when squadrons operated in support of Australian and United States Army forces in New Guinea. This force was withdrawn after only six weeks as the Vengeance was considered inferior to other aircraft available to the Allied air forces. All of the RAAF's five Vengeance-equipped squadrons were re-equipped with Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombers. Vengeances continued to be used in training and support roles with the RAAF until 1946, and some were transferred to the Royal Australian Navy between 1948 and 1950 for ground training. (Full article...)
The campaign in North Africa of which this battle was a part; the approximate location of the battle is shownby"5"
Instead of holding his position, Regulus advanced towards the city of Carthage and defeated the Carthaginian army at the Battle of Adys. The Romans followed up and captured Tunis, only 16 kilometres (10 mi) from Carthage. Despairing, the Carthaginians sued for peace, but Regulus's proposed terms were so harsh the Carthaginians decided to fight on. They gave charge of the training of their army, and eventually operational control, to the Spartanmercenary general Xanthippus. (Full article...)
On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After Cauchon declared her guilty, she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age. (Full article...)
Vonnegut in February 1972
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (/ˈvɒnəɡət/; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five nonfiction works, with further collections being published after his death.
The Partisan plan had been set out in the November 1943 Second Session of the communist-led Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). While the Chetnik movement and Mihailović had been working towards a return to the Serb-dominated, monarchist Yugoslavia of the interwar period, AVNOJ had resolved that post-war Yugoslavia would be a federal republic with six equal, constituent republics, and denied the right of the King to return from exile before a popular referendum to determine the future of his rule. AVNOJ had further asserted that it was the sole legitimate government of Yugoslavia. (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.
"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%.
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 baseball team composed mostly of child laborers from an Indiana glassmaking factory, as photographed by Lewis Hine in August 1908. Hine (1874–1940) was an Americansociologist who promoted the use of photography as an educational medium and means for social change. Beginning in 1908, he spent ten years photographing child labor for the National Child Labor Committee. The project was a dangerous one, and Hine had to disguise himself – at times as a fire inspector, post card vendor, Bible salesman or industrial photographer – to avoid the factory police and foremen.
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 crying Sudeten woman salutesAdolf Hitler as German forces sweep into Czechoslovakia, October 1938. Originally published in the Völkischer Beobachter, it supposedly showed the intense emotions of joy which swept the populace as Hitler drove through the streets of Cheb, 99% of whose inhabitants were ardently pro-Nazi Sudeten Germans at the time. In contrast, when the photo was published in the U.S., it was captioned, "The tragedy of this Sudeten woman, unable to conceal her misery as she dutifully salutes the triumphant Hitler, is the tragedy of the silent millions who have been 'won over' to Hitlerism by the 'everlasting use' of ruthless force." It is unknown what the true circumstances surrounding the photo are.
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.
During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but he fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, however, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies and felt forced to defect to Persia. There he served as an adviser to the satrapTissaphernes until his Athenian political allies brought about his recall. He then served as an Athenian general (Strategos) for several years, but his enemies eventually succeeded in exiling him a second time. (Full article...)
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.
A painting depecting the Qing Chinese celebrating a victory over the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan. This work was a collaboration between Chinese and European painters.
Gutenberg reviewing a press proof (a colored engraving created probably in the 19th century)
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.
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
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.
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.
Map of the approximate political boundaries in Europe around 450 AD
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
"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
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