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...)
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam (Arabic: عبد الملك ابن مروان ابن الحكم, romanized: ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam; July/August 644 or June/July 647 – 9 October 705) was the fifth Umayyadcaliph, ruling from April 685 until his death. A member of the first generation of born Muslims, his early life in Medina was occupied with pious pursuits. He held administrative and military posts under Caliph Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680), founder of the Umayyad Caliphate, and his own father, Caliph Marwan I (r. 684–685). By the time of Abd al-Malik's accession, Umayyad authority had collapsed across the Caliphate as a result of the Second Muslim Civil War and had been reconstituted in Syria and Egypt during his father's reign.
Deutschland served as the flagship of the High Seas Fleet until 1913, when she was transferred to II Battle Squadron. With the outbreak of World War I in July 1914, she and her sister ships were tasked with defending the mouth of the Elbe and the German Bight from possible British incursions. Deutschland and the other ships of II Battle Squadron participated in most of the large-scale fleet operations in the first two years of the war, culminating in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916. Late on the first day of the battle, Deutschland and the other pre-dreadnoughts briefly engaged several British battlecruisers before retreating. (Full article...)
A Hellenistic portrait bust of Attalus I king of Pergamon
Attalus I (Ancient Greek: Ἄτταλος Α΄), surnamed Soter (Greek: Σωτήρ, "Savior"; 269–197 BC) ruled Pergamon, an Ionian Greek polis (what is now Bergama, Turkey), first as dynast, later as king, from 241 BC to 197 BC. He was the first cousin once removed and the adoptive son of Eumenes I, whom he succeeded, and was the first of the Attalid dynasty to assume the title of king in 238 BC. He was the son of Attalus and his wife Antiochis.
Attalus won an important victory over the Galatians, newly arrived Celtic tribes from Thrace, who had been, for more than a generation, plundering and exacting tribute throughout most of Asia Minor without any serious check. This victory, celebrated by the triumphal monument at Pergamon (famous for its Dying Gaul) and the liberation from the Gallic "terror" which it represented, earned for Attalus the name of "Soter", and the title of "king". A courageous and capable general and loyal ally of Rome, he played a significant role in the first and second Macedonian Wars, waged against Philip V of Macedon. He conducted numerous naval operations, harassing Macedonian interests throughout the Aegean, winning honors, collecting spoils, and gaining for Pergamon possession of the Greek islands of Aegina during the first war, and Andros during the second, twice narrowly escaping capture at the hands of Philip. (Full article...)
A Fleet Air Arm crewman chalks a message on the 1,600-pound bomb carried by a Fairey Barracuda of HMS Furious
The British decision to strike Kaafjord was motivated by fears that the battleship, upon re-entering service, would attack strategically important convoys carrying supplies to the Soviet Union. Removing the threat posed by Tirpitz would also allow the Allies to redeploy the capital ships which had to be held in the North Sea to counter her. After four months of training and preparations, the British Home Fleet sailed on 30 March 1944 and aircraft launched from five aircraft carriers struck Kaafjord on 3 April. The raid achieved surprise, and the British aircraft met little opposition. Fifteen bombs hit the battleship, and strafing by fighter aircraft inflicted heavy casualties on her gun crews. Four British aircraft and nine airmen were lost during the operation. (Full article...)
The original letter from Balfour to Rothschild; the declaration reads:
His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Immediately following their declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914, the British War Cabinet began to consider the future of Palestine; within two months a memorandum was circulated to the Cabinet by a Zionist Cabinet member, Herbert Samuel, proposing the support of Zionist ambitions in order to enlist the support of Jews in the wider war. A committee was established in April 1915 by British Prime MinisterH. H. Asquith to determine their policy towards the Ottoman Empire including Palestine. Asquith, who had favoured post-war reform of the Ottoman Empire, resigned in December 1916; his replacement David Lloyd George, favoured partition of the Empire. The first negotiations between the British and the Zionists took place at a conference on 7 February 1917 that included Sir Mark Sykes and the Zionist leadership. Subsequent discussions led to Balfour's request, on 19 June, that Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann submit a draft of a public declaration. Further drafts were discussed by the British Cabinet during September and October, with input from Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews but with no representation from the local population in Palestine. (Full article...)
The Victoria Cross (VC; French: Croix de Victoria) was created in 1993, perpetuating the lineage of the British Victoria Cross, while serving as the highest award within the Canadian honours system, taking precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals. It is awarded by either the Canadian monarch or his or her viceregal representative, the Governor General of Canada, to any member of the Canadian Forces or allies serving under or with Canadian military command for extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing hostile forces. The British Victoria Cross was recommended prior to the creation of the Canadian medal. The previous Victoria Cross remains the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system and was also awarded in other Commonwealth countries; although most, including Canada, later established their own honours systems and no longer recommended British honours.
Whereas in many other Commonwealth countries the relevant version of the Victoria Cross can only be awarded for actions against the enemy in a wartime setting, the Canadian government has a broader definition of the term enemy. In Canada, the Victoria Cross can be awarded for action against armed mutineers, pirates, or other such hostile forces without war being officially declared. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal lettersVC (for both English and French) and also to receive an annuity of CA$3,000. The decoration has not been awarded since its inception. (Full article...)
A battle between French and English armies, as imagined by a contemporary chronicler
The Gascon campaign of 1345 was conducted by Henry, Earl of Derby, as part of the Hundred Years' War. The whirlwind campaign took place between August and November 1345 in Gascony, an English-controlled territory in south-west France. Derby, commanding an Anglo-Gascon force, oversaw the first successful English land campaign of the war. He twice defeated large French armies in battle, taking many noble and knightly prisoners. They were ransomed by their captors, greatly enriching Derby and his soldiers in the process. Following this campaign, morale and prestige swung England's way in the border region between English-occupied Gascony and French-ruled territory, providing an influx of taxes and recruits for the English armies. As a result, France's ability to raise tax money and troops from the region was much reduced.
Ralph, Earl of Stafford, had sailed for Gascony in February 1345 with an advance force and, following conventional practice, laid siege to two French strongholds. Derby arrived in August and immediately concentrated available Anglo-Gascon forces and headed directly for the largest French force, which was gathering at Bergerac, 60 miles (97 km) east of Bordeaux. Bergerac had good river supply links to Bordeaux and would provide a suitable forward base from which to carry the war to the French. He decisively defeated the French there, before moving to besiege the provincial capital of Périgueux. By this time the French had diverted their main effort to the south-west, under the overall command of John, Duke of Normandy, the son and heir apparent of King Philip VI of France. Unable to take Périgueux, and threatened by John's much larger force, Derby left garrisons blockading it and withdrew. One garrison, at Auberoche, was besieged by the French. Derby advanced with a small force, launched a surprise attack against the much larger French army and won another decisive victory. (Full article...)
SMS Prinzregent Luitpold was the fifth and final vessel of the Kaiser class of battleships of the Imperial German Navy. Prinzregent Luitpold's keel was laid in October 1910 at the Germaniawerft dockyard in Kiel. She was launched on 17 February 1912 and was commissioned into the navy on 19 August 1913. The ship was equipped with ten 30.5-centimeter (12 in) guns in five twin turrets, and had a top speed of 21.7 knots (40.2 km/h; 25.0 mph).
In the course of the warship's eight-month career under its sole commanding officer, Captain Ernst Lindemann, Bismarck conducted only one offensive operation, lasting 8 days in May 1941, codenamed Rheinübung. The ship, along with the heavy cruiserPrinz Eugen, was to break into the Atlantic Ocean and raid Allied shipping from North America to Great Britain. The two ships were detected several times off Scandinavia, and British naval units were deployed to block their route. At the Battle of the Denmark Strait, the battlecruiserHMS Hood initially engaged Prinz Eugen, probably by mistake, while HMS Prince of Wales engaged Bismarck. In the ensuing battle Hood was destroyed by the combined fire of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, which then damaged Prince of Wales and forced her retreat. Bismarck suffered sufficient damage from three hits to force an end to the raiding mission. (Full article...)
VOC troops storming Trunajaya's stronghold in Kediri. Depicted in an 1890 Dutch children's novel.
The 1678 Kediri campaign (also, in Dutch sources, Hurdt's expedition or the Kediri expedition) took place from August to December 1678 in Kediri (in modern-day East Java, Indonesia) during the Trunajaya rebellion. The forces of the Mataram Sultanate, led by Amangkurat II, and the Dutch East India Company (VOC), led by Anthonio Hurdt, marched inland into eastern Java against Trunajaya's forces. After a series of marches beset by logistical difficulties and harassment by Trunajaya's forces, the Mataram–VOC army crossed the Brantas River on the night of 16–17 November. They then marched on Trunajaya's capital and stronghold at Kediri and took it by direct assault on 25 November. Kediri was plundered by the Dutch and Javanese victors, and the Mataram treasury—captured by Trunajaya after his victory at Plered—was completely lost in the looting. Trunajaya himself fled Kediri and continued his greatly weakened rebellion until his capture at the end of 1679.
During the march to Kediri, the Mataram–VOC army purposefully split itself into three columns which took different, indirect routes to Kediri, as suggested by Amangkurat. This enabled the army to meet more factions and to win over those with wavering allegiance, swelling its forces. The army marched through areas previously unexplored by the Dutch. The Dutch account was recorded in a journal by Hurdt's secretary Johan Jurgen Briel. Accounts of the campaign also appear in the Javanese chronicles, known as babads. (Full article...)
The son of Tughj ibn Juff, a general of Turkic origin who served both the Abbasids and the autonomous Tulunid rulers of Egypt and Syria, Muhammad ibn Tughj was born in Baghdad but grew up in Syria and acquired his first military and administrative experiences at his father's side. He had a turbulent early career: he was imprisoned along with his father by the Abbasids in 905, was released in 906, participated in the murder of the vizieral-Abbas ibn al-Hasan al-Jarjara'i in 908, and fled Iraq to enter the service of the governor of Egypt, Takin al-Khazari. Eventually he acquired the patronage of several influential Abbasid magnates, chiefly the powerful commander-in-chief Mu'nis al-Muzaffar. These ties led him to being named governor first of Palestine and then of Damascus. In 933, he was briefly named governor of Egypt, but this order was revoked after the death of Mu'nis, and Ibn Tughj had to fight to preserve even his governorship of Damascus. In 935, he was re-appointed to Egypt, where he quickly defeated a Fatimid invasion and stabilized the turbulent country. His reign marks a rare period of domestic peace, stability and good government in the annals of early Islamic Egypt. In 938 Caliph al-Radi granted his request for the title of al-Ikhshid, which had been borne by the rulers of his ancestral Farghana Valley. It is by this title that he was known thereafter. (Full article...)
No. 79 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flight training unit that has been formed on four occasions since 1943. The squadron was established in May 1943 as a fighter unit equipped with Supermarine Spitfires, and subsequently saw combat in the South West Pacific theatre of World War II. Between June 1943 and the end of the war in August 1945 it flew air defence patrols to protect Allied bases and ships, escorted Australian and United States aircraft, and attacked Japanese positions. The squadron was disbanded in November 1945, but was re-formed between 1962 and 1968 to operate CAC Sabres from Ubon Air Base in Thailand. In this role it contributed to the defence of Thailand against a feared attack from its neighbouring states and exercised with United States Air Force units. No. 79 Squadron was active again at RAAF Base Butterworth in Malaysia between 1986 and 1988 where it operated Mirage III fighters and a single DHC-4 Caribou transport during the period in which the RAAF's fighter squadrons were transitioning to new aircraft.
The structural history of the Roman military concerns the major transformations in the organization and constitution of ancient Rome's armed forces, "the most effective and long-lived military institution known to history." From its origins around 800 BC to its final dissolution in AD 476 with the demise of the Western Roman Empire, Rome's military organization underwent substantial structural change. At the highest level of structure, the forces were split into the Roman army and the Roman navy, although these two branches were less distinct than in many modern national defense forces. Within the top levels of both army and navy, structural changes occurred as a result of both positive military reform and organic structural evolution. These changes can be divided into four distinct phases.
;Phase I: The army was derived from obligatory annual military service levied on the citizenry, as part of their duty to the state. During this period, the Roman army would wage seasonal campaigns against largely local adversaries. (Full article...)
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.
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.
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.
Buried machinery in a barn lot, Dallas, South Dakota, United States, due to Dust Bowl conditions, May 1936. Dust storms from 1930–1939 caused major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands. This ecological disaster was a result of drought conditions coupled with decades of extensive farming using techniques that promoted erosion.
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 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.
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.
Phan Đình Phùng (Vietnamese: [faːn ɗîŋ̟ fûŋm]; 1847 – January 21, 1896) was a Vietnamese revolutionary who led rebel armies against French colonial forces in Vietnam. He was the most prominent of the Confucian court scholars involved in anti-French military campaigns in the 19th century and was cited after his death by 20th-century nationalists as a national hero. He was renowned for his uncompromising will and principles—on one occasion, he refused to surrender even after the French had desecrated his ancestral tombs and had arrested and threatened to kill his family.
Born into a family of mandarins from Hà Tĩnh Province, Phan continued his ancestors' traditions by placing first in the metropolitan imperial examinations in 1877. Phan quickly rose through the ranks under Emperor Tự Đức of the Nguyễn Dynasty, gaining a reputation for his integrity and uncompromising stance against corruption. Phan was appointed as the Imperial Censor, a position that allowed him to criticise his fellow mandarins and even the emperor. As the head of the censorate, Phan's investigations led to the removal of many incompetent or corrupt mandarins. (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).
Bourgeoisie takes more and more importance throughout the modern era.
Model for the Three Superior Planets and Venus from Georg von Peuerbach, Theoricae novae planetarum.
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.
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 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
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