Daily History

todayinhistory:

February 23rd 303: Great Persecution begins

On this day in 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian began the systematic persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. It was this day that Diocletian ordered the total destruction of the new Christian church in Nicomedia, demanding the building and its scriptures to be burned and its treasures seized. The following day Diocletian issued an ‘Edict Against the Christians’; the persecution of Christians had begun. Christians had been targeted throughout the history of the empire, but violence was at its fiercest between 303 and 313. The campaign did not end with Diocletian’s retirement in 305, as his successors continued what he had begun (though to varying degrees of intensity). The persecution saw the execution of Christians, the rescinding of their legal rights and the requirement that they embrace traditional Roman polytheistic religion. The persecution is generally considered to have ended with the 313 Edict of Milan issued by the converted Christian Emperor Constantine and Licinius.

bantarleton:

The Battle of Cape St. Vincent took place off the southern coast of Portugal on 16 January 1780 during the American War of Independence. A British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney defeated a Spanish squadron under DonJuan de Lángara. The battle is sometimes referred to as the Moonlight Battle because it was unusual for naval battles in the Age of Sail to take place at night. It was also the first major naval victory for the British over their European enemies in the war and proved the value of copper sheathing the hulls of warships.

Admiral Rodney was escorting a fleet of supply ships to relieve the Spanish siege of Gibraltar with a fleet of about twenty ships of the line when he encountered Lángara’s squadron south of Cape St. Vincent. When Lángara saw the size of the British fleet, he attempted to make for the safety of Cádiz, but the copper-sheathed British ships chased his fleet down. In a running battle that lasted from mid-afternoon until after midnight, the British captured four Spanish ships, including Lángara’s flagship. Two other ships were also captured, but their final disposition is unclear; some Spanish sources indicate they were retaken by their Spanish crews, while Rodney’s report indicates the ships were grounded and destroyed.

After the battle Rodney successfully resupplied Gibraltar and Minorca before continuing on to the West Indies station.

gaskells:

history meme; 4/9 kings/queens { countess teresa }

Teresa (or Tareja) was an illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VI of Léon, Imperator totius Hispaniæ, and supposedly, his favourite child. At the age of thirteen, she was given in marriage to Henry of Burgundy, a younger grandson of the Duke Robert I of Burgundy. As payment for his services in the war against Islam, Henry was also given the county of Portucale and all the territory he could conquer to its South.
Teresa had three surviving children by her marriage, Urraca, Sancha, and Afonso Henriques. She ruled the county as queen after her husband’s death. However, Portucale was still a vassal county of Léon, ruled by her half-sister Urraca I, against whom she revolted in 1116, in alliance with Pedro de Trava, a galician nobleman. In the following year, she began signing as regina, a title recognised by the Pope. The conflit lasted until 1121, when her sister’s army forced her to retreat to the castle of Lanhoso. The treaty signed between them allowed Teresa to keep the govern of the county. In the same year, she began an affair with Fernão Peres de Trava, the son of her ally, by whom she had two daughters.
The death of Urraca, the following alliance between Portucale and Léon and the great power exercised by the Trava family, indisposed the old nobility of the county, who rallied around her estranged son, Afonso, who is known to have been in opposition against his mother since the age of thirteen. The forces of Teresa and Afonso met in battle in 1128, where she was defeated and fled, dying in Galicia in 1130. Her son would crown himself the first King of Portugal nine years later, at the quasi-mythical battle of Ourique.

gaskells:

history meme; 4/9 kings/queens { countess teresa }

Teresa (or Tareja) was an illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VI of Léon, Imperator totius Hispaniæ, and supposedly, his favourite child. At the age of thirteen, she was given in marriage to Henry of Burgundy, a younger grandson of the Duke Robert I of Burgundy. As payment for his services in the war against Islam, Henry was also given the county of Portucale and all the territory he could conquer to its South.

Teresa had three surviving children by her marriage, Urraca, Sancha, and Afonso Henriques. She ruled the county as queen after her husband’s death. However, Portucale was still a vassal county of Léon, ruled by her half-sister Urraca I, against whom she revolted in 1116, in alliance with Pedro de Trava, a galician nobleman. In the following year, she began signing as regina, a title recognised by the Pope. The conflit lasted until 1121, when her sister’s army forced her to retreat to the castle of Lanhoso. The treaty signed between them allowed Teresa to keep the govern of the county. In the same year, she began an affair with Fernão Peres de Trava, the son of her ally, by whom she had two daughters.

The death of Urraca, the following alliance between Portucale and Léon and the great power exercised by the Trava family, indisposed the old nobility of the county, who rallied around her estranged son, Afonso, who is known to have been in opposition against his mother since the age of thirteen. The forces of Teresa and Afonso met in battle in 1128, where she was defeated and fled, dying in Galicia in 1130. Her son would crown himself the first King of Portugal nine years later, at the quasi-mythical battle of Ourique.

gaskells:

ttrincea:

gaskells:

history meme; 1/2 wars { 1383-1385 dinastic crisis }

The death of Fernando I opened a problem of succession to the Portuguese throne. His only child, Beatriz, was only twelve and married to the king of Castile, whilst his will granted his widow, the unpopular and hated Leonor Teles, the regency until his daughter’s male heir reached adulthood, thus securing her power for at least fifteen years.
João was an illegitimate brother of Fernando, raised to be Master of Avis, a military and religious Order. According to some historians, he was pressured to take part in the coup against his sister-in-law. In December 6th, he and his men entered the palace under the guise of requesting more troops. Outside the palace, the population was being mobilized to aid João, viewed as the people’s champion. The Queen’s lover, the Count of Andeiro, was stabbed by the Master of Avis and thrown out of a window and torn apart by a furious mob. The Queen fled and in Castille, Juan I proclaimed himself King of Portugal by his marriage to Beatriz. João, Master of Avis, is proclaimed regent and Defender of the Realm.
Juan II invades and is defeated by Nuno Álvares Pereira, João’s brother-in-arms. Lisbon is besieged for five months, during which there’s a shortage of supplies and every animal inside the walls is eaten. The siege is lifted due to a plague that strikes the castillian troops and Juan is forced to retreat. In 1385, the troops requested to Richard II by the Master arrive, led by John of Gaunt, on the agreement of João’s betrothal to John’s eldest daughter, Philippa.
The Courts of Coimbra, an assembly of the nobility, clergy and people, is summoned in April, to elect the King from the candidates, the Master of Avis, Beatriz, or the eldest illegitimate children of Pedro, by Inês de Castro. His position defended by João das Regras, João is elected by several reasons, not the least of which is the revolutionary for the 14th century “[will] of the greats and the common people”.
In August, the battle of Aljubarrota is fought. The portuguese and english, though vastly outnumbered against the castillian and french, crushed the invading forces. The civilian population took it upon themselves to slaughter the fleeing soldiers, with the famous Baker of Aljubarrota beating several hiding soldiers to death with her shovel.
Defeated in Aljubarrota, the Castillian invasion was not repeated and during the next year Nuno Álvares Pereira submited the remaining fortresses loyal to Beatriz. Viewed by some historians as a revolution, the crisis did indeed determine a radical change in portuguese society. The old nobility which had sided with Beatriz fled to Castille, and a new nobility, composed of illegitimate (as was the case of João I and Nuno Álvares Pereira) and second sons rose in their place. The very concept of portuguese national identity has been pointed as being born during these two years. João I was the first king of the Dinasty of Avis, which ruled until 1581 and saw the height of the portuguese maritime empire in Asia.


João I of Portugal was a usurper and nothing more. It wasn’t the very concept of portuguese national identity that was born there, rather the concept of portuguese hysterical and ridiculous hate towards the spanish.

i disagree with both points. the idea that he was a usurper is an extreme reduction of the entire situation at stake in 1383. it’s true that juan i already had a child and heir to the throne of castile and thus there would have been no union of the crowns. however, it is naive to think that portugal would not have entered the sphere of castillian influence the way aragon did when fernando de antequera became king of aragon, during roughly the same period.
in the 14th century, in the iberian peninsula, the laws of succession were not yet set in stone the way they were in the 16th century. joão, a bastard, became king the same way henrique de trastamara, also a bastard, became king of castille. a majority, and i do mean majority, of the population wanted joão on the throne. you can reduce joão to a mere usurper, sure. but usurper of what? beatriz? she wouldn’t have been queen, fernando’s will bypassed her and gave the succession to her hypotethical male heir, which she never had.
finally, the idea of national identity tends to go hand in hand with defense, in this case of an invading army. and it was an invasion, make no mistake, with quite brutal consequences to the small folk. it was this small folk that, combined with a propaganda machine, changed the mental conceptions, changed them to view themselves as portuguese. it’s a modern process that has echos all over europe, that isn’t found in the middle ages.

gaskells:

ttrincea:

gaskells:

history meme; 1/2 wars { 1383-1385 dinastic crisis }

The death of Fernando I opened a problem of succession to the Portuguese throne. His only child, Beatriz, was only twelve and married to the king of Castile, whilst his will granted his widow, the unpopular and hated Leonor Teles, the regency until his daughter’s male heir reached adulthood, thus securing her power for at least fifteen years.

João was an illegitimate brother of Fernando, raised to be Master of Avis, a military and religious Order. According to some historians, he was pressured to take part in the coup against his sister-in-law. In December 6th, he and his men entered the palace under the guise of requesting more troops. Outside the palace, the population was being mobilized to aid João, viewed as the people’s champion. The Queen’s lover, the Count of Andeiro, was stabbed by the Master of Avis and thrown out of a window and torn apart by a furious mob. The Queen fled and in Castille, Juan I proclaimed himself King of Portugal by his marriage to Beatriz. João, Master of Avis, is proclaimed regent and Defender of the Realm.

Juan II invades and is defeated by Nuno Álvares Pereira, João’s brother-in-arms. Lisbon is besieged for five months, during which there’s a shortage of supplies and every animal inside the walls is eaten. The siege is lifted due to a plague that strikes the castillian troops and Juan is forced to retreat. In 1385, the troops requested to Richard II by the Master arrive, led by John of Gaunt, on the agreement of João’s betrothal to John’s eldest daughter, Philippa.

The Courts of Coimbra, an assembly of the nobility, clergy and people, is summoned in April, to elect the King from the candidates, the Master of Avis, Beatriz, or the eldest illegitimate children of Pedro, by Inês de Castro. His position defended by João das Regras, João is elected by several reasons, not the least of which is the revolutionary for the 14th century “[will] of the greats and the common people”.

In August, the battle of Aljubarrota is fought. The portuguese and english, though vastly outnumbered against the castillian and french, crushed the invading forces. The civilian population took it upon themselves to slaughter the fleeing soldiers, with the famous Baker of Aljubarrota beating several hiding soldiers to death with her shovel.

Defeated in Aljubarrota, the Castillian invasion was not repeated and during the next year Nuno Álvares Pereira submited the remaining fortresses loyal to Beatriz. Viewed by some historians as a revolution, the crisis did indeed determine a radical change in portuguese society. The old nobility which had sided with Beatriz fled to Castille, and a new nobility, composed of illegitimate (as was the case of João I and Nuno Álvares Pereira) and second sons rose in their place. The very concept of portuguese national identity has been pointed as being born during these two years. João I was the first king of the Dinasty of Avis, which ruled until 1581 and saw the height of the portuguese maritime empire in Asia.

João I of Portugal was a usurper and nothing more. It wasn’t the very concept of portuguese national identity that was born there, rather the concept of portuguese hysterical and ridiculous hate towards the spanish.

i disagree with both points. the idea that he was a usurper is an extreme reduction of the entire situation at stake in 1383. it’s true that juan i already had a child and heir to the throne of castile and thus there would have been no union of the crowns. however, it is naive to think that portugal would not have entered the sphere of castillian influence the way aragon did when fernando de antequera became king of aragon, during roughly the same period.

in the 14th century, in the iberian peninsula, the laws of succession were not yet set in stone the way they were in the 16th century. joão, a bastard, became king the same way henrique de trastamara, also a bastard, became king of castille. a majority, and i do mean majority, of the population wanted joão on the throne. you can reduce joão to a mere usurper, sure. but usurper of what? beatriz? she wouldn’t have been queen, fernando’s will bypassed her and gave the succession to her hypotethical male heir, which she never had.

finally, the idea of national identity tends to go hand in hand with defense, in this case of an invading army. and it was an invasion, make no mistake, with quite brutal consequences to the small folk. it was this small folk that, combined with a propaganda machine, changed the mental conceptions, changed them to view themselves as portuguese. it’s a modern process that has echos all over europe, that isn’t found in the middle ages.

fuehrerbefehl:

Color photographs of Berlin in full decoration for the 1936 Olympics.

These historic photographs are from a National Geographic article in the February 1937 issue titled “Changing Berlin”. It offers a fascinating look at Berlin, Germany, a few years before the start of World War II.

dr-hexagon:

According to the legend, Martim Moniz was a knight participating in the Christian invasion force, led by king Afonso I of Portugal, in the Siege of Lisbon, during the Reconquista. At one point in the siege of São Jorge Castle, he saw the Moors closing the castle doors. He led an attack on the doors, and sacrificed himself by lodging himself in the doorway, preventing the defenders from fully closing the door.
This heroic act allowed time for his fellow soldiers to arrive and secure the door, leading to the eventual capture of the castle.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martim_Moniz)

dr-hexagon:

According to the legend, Martim Moniz was a knight participating in the Christian invasion force, led by king Afonso I of Portugal, in the Siege of Lisbon, during the Reconquista. At one point in the siege of São Jorge Castle, he saw the Moors closing the castle doors. He led an attack on the doors, and sacrificed himself by lodging himself in the doorway, preventing the defenders from fully closing the door.

This heroic act allowed time for his fellow soldiers to arrive and secure the door, leading to the eventual capture of the castle.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martim_Moniz)

myvintagelondon:

People gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, to celebrate the end of WW2 in Europe

myvintagelondon:

People gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, to celebrate the end of WW2 in Europe

art-of-swords:

Scottish Basket-hilted Broadsword

  • Dated: circa 1700
  • Culture: Scottish
  • Inscription: “Andrea Ferara” (on the blade)

It is unclear if the blade was indeed made by Andrea Ferrara since the name inscribed on the blade seems to be misspelled. Andrea was a maker of sword-blade highly esteemed in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Sir Walter Scott notes that the name of Andrea de Ferrara was inscribed "on all the Scottish broadswords that are accounted of peculiar excellence". No historical person of that name can be identified, but Scott reports a general belief that Ferrara was a Spanish or Italian artificer who was brought to Scotland in the early 16th century, by either James IV or V, to instruct the Scots in the manufacture of the high-quality steel blades current in Renaissance Europe.

According to some sources the name of the manufacturer was Andrea dei Ferrari of Belluno, according to others, Andrew Ferrars or Ferrier of Arbroat.

Source: Copyright © 2013 Historical Arms & Armor

misanthropicmeena:

somedumbindiething:

history meme - 1/10 moments - the dreyfus affair

the political scandal known as the dreyfus affair divided france for over 10 years since its beginnings in 1894, when alsatian jewish captain of the french army alred dreyfus was publicly accused of treason through espionage against france and sentenced to life imprisonment on devil’s island

dreyfus was proven to be resoundingly innocent, the victim of institutional antisemitism and nationalism, and the truth was suppressed by members of the military and the government through the use of false documents

the immense government deceit and the corrupt nature of france’s political and judicial system throughout the dreyfus affair spurred protests and activism, most notably in the form of emile zola’s open letter “j’accuse” published in 1898, and threatened to split the country into two conflicting political factions

The level of corruption and anti-Semitism that prevailed in 19th and 20th century Europe was revealed by the Dreyfus Affair of 1894 – 1906. Indeed, the event was of such consequence that it has been continually linked by leading historians (notably James L. Gelvin) to Theodor Herzl’s embrace of Zionism. For Herzl, the Dreyfus affair revealed the isolated position of the Jewish population who were subject to discrimination and persecution throughout Europe. Thus it inspired within Herzl a desire to create a separate land for the Jews – one where their rights and freedom would be respected. Indeed, following the first two years of the Dreyfus affair, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (“the Jewish State”) in which he urged the Jewish population to leave Europe either for Argentina or their biblical homeland, Israel. Henceforth one cannot downplay the significance of the Dreyfus Affair in spurring on Jewish individuals like Theodor Herzl – the founder of modern political Zionism, and perhaps the State of Israel itself. 

unhistorical:

June 22, 1945: The Battle of Okinawa ends.

The Allied assault on the Okinawa Islands was the bloodiest and one of the last major battles of the Pacific War.The Okinawa Islands were of great strategic importance to the Allies for the role they would have played during the planned November invasion of the Japanese mainland; the islands’ airfields, located only several hundred miles away from the rest of the Japanese archipelago, would have served as launch pads from which the invasion would begin. Over 100,000 Japanese and American combatants were killed, along with an estimated 100,000 civilians and commanders on both the Allied and Japanese sides, during the eighty-day-long battle over the sixty-mile-long island. 

Not only was the Battle of Okinawa (codenamed “Operation Iceberg”) the bloodiest clash of the Pacific War, it was also one of the largest (and was, in fact, the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific)  over 100,000 troops participated on each side; some 1,400 American ships were also involved in the battle, dozens sunk by desperate kamikaze attacks; and, because of the sheer scale of the battle, it has been referred to as the “typhoon of steel”. Much of the combat and fiercest fighting took place in the southern portion of the island, but, despite fierce Japanese counter-attacks, resistance was mostly wiped out by mid-June. Realizing their force’s impending, inevitable defeat, the three Japanese commanders - Mitsuru Ushijima, Isamu Cho, and Minoru Ota - chose to commit seppuku toward the end of the battle rather than surrender. 

One other notable aspect of the Battle of Okinawa was the presence of a significantly large civilian population living on the island, caught in the crossfire between Japanese and Allied attacks. Around 300,000 people lived on Okinawa before the assault began, and, according to US Army estimates, nearly half were dead by the end, from bombings and artillery fire, starvation, forced military service, and mass executions. The vast majority of buildings on Okinawa were also destroyed during the battle. Some historians theorize that the bloody results of the battle may have influenced strategists to seek a different means to end the war besides a full-scale mainland invasion. 

collective-history:

U.S. soldier looks into washroom mirror with sign around it reading “IF YOU TALK TOO MUCH THIS MAN MAY DIE!”. Encouragement of not spreading information which might be sensitive in the War effort during World War II. Camp Hood, Texas, 1943.

collective-history:

U.S. soldier looks into washroom mirror with sign around it reading “IF YOU TALK TOO MUCH THIS MAN MAY DIE!”. Encouragement of not spreading information which might be sensitive in the War effort during World War II. Camp Hood, Texas, 1943.

origami10:

guerrilla-airwaves:

Evolution of the languages of Iberia.

Probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while

origami10:

guerrilla-airwaves:

Evolution of the languages of Iberia.

Probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while

unhistorical:

June 14, 1667: The Raid on the Medway ends in a British defeat.

The Second Anglo-Dutch War was one of four wars fought between the Dutch Republic and England (Great Britain after 1707) - at the time Europe’s greatest seafaring and trading powers, and natural rivals in that respect. The first concluded in 1654 (an English victory), and the second began eleven years later, after the restoration of Charles II to the throne, born of widespread pro-war sentiment and the continued competition between the two nations over maritime trade. 

The famous Raid on the Medway, also called the Battle of Chatham, was a naval clash that ended in the epic defeat of the Royal Navy, one of the worst in its history, and precipitated a quick end to the war. At this point in the conflict, Charles II was opening peace talks with the Dutch while also soliciting aid from the French, and, with war funds running low, his fleet was left in a temporary state of weakness - ripe for attack, according to the Dutch grand pensionary and planner of the raid, Johan de Witt. On June 9, the Dutch fleet under Admiral Michiel de Ruyter launched an attack on a group of English ships on the poorly-defended River Medway, destroying thirteen ships and capturing the HMS Unity,a Dutch warship-turned-English guard ship, and the fleet’s flagship HMS Royal Charles. The success of the Dutch attack and embarrassing defeat of the Royal Navy struck a blow to English morale; the ignominy of the loss was accompanied by a wave of panic and fear regarding rumors of a full-blown Dutch invasion. This did not come, but the end of the war a little over two weeks later. Of the Dutch fleet’s presence on the Thames, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary:

…it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, By God, says he, I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.

unhistorical:

June 6, 1944: The Allied invasion of Normandy begins.

In June of 1940, Nazi Germany successfully completed its invasion of France with the signing of an armistice at Compiègne, which divided France into two zones - one which was to be henceforth occupied by German troops, and a “free zone”, to be administered by a French government at Vichy. In late 1942 German-Italian forces carried out a complete military occupation of the free zone. By 1944 much of Europe was either occupied by Axis forces or controlled by direct allies; between the neutral Iberian Peninsula to the Eastern Front, France, Greece, the Baltics, the Netherlands, and  Denmark were among the states occupied by German or Axis forces. Along the western coast of Europe, Germany established a system of fortifications collectively known as the “Atlantic Wall”, whose construction began in 1942 to thwart any Allied invasion launched across the English Channel from Great Britain. 

The landing of Allied forces at Normandy on June 6, 1944 (commonly known as D-Day) marked the beginning of Operation Overlord and the beginning of the liberation of mainland Europe from its occupation by Nazi Germany. As Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower  was charged with planning and carrying out the beach landing assault, an enormous and momentous task - in the end, approximately 160,000 troops participated in the assault on an 80 km long stretch of Normandy coast, which was divided into five sectors: Gold, Utah, Sword, Juno, and Omaha, the link between the U.S. and British sectors, the most easily defensible beach, and the area where fighting was bloodiest. The troops were supported by a fleet of nearly 7,000 vessels, directed mostly by the Royal Navy; airborne operations were also a key element of the landings, with at least 13,000 paratroopers taking part. To mislead and confound Axis military leaders regarding the true date and location of the impending assault, the Allies implemented Operation Bodyguard.

The enormously successful operation was a decisive victory for the Allied powers and a major blow to Germany’s psyche and morale. Operation Overlord came to an end with the destruction of German forces at the Falaise Pocket in August of 1944 and the liberation of Paris days later.

glowingbunny:

History Meme. 3/4 Leaders → Boudica

Boudica (or Bouddica or Boudecia) was queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.

Boudica’s husband Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni tribe, who had ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman Emperor in his will; however, when he died, his will was ignored —the kingdom was annexed as if conquered, Boudica was flogged, her daughters were raped, and Roman financiers called in their loans.

In AD 60 or 61, while the Roman governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was leading a campaign on the island of Anglesey off the northwest coast of Wales, Boudica led the Iceni, Trinovantes and others in revolt.They destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), earlier the capital of the Trinovantes, then a colonia (a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers) and the site of a temple to the former Emperor Claudius. On hearing the news of the revolt, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (London), the twenty-year-old commercial settlement that was the rebels’ next target. He concluded that they did not have the numbers to defend the settlement, so it was evacuated and abandoned. 100,000 (Iceni, Trinovantes and others) led by Boudica burned and destroyed Londinium and Verulamium (St Albans) and the Legio IX Hispana was cut to pieces. An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities by those led by Boudica. Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces in the West Midlands and, despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.

The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius’ eventual victory over Boudica re-secured Roman control of the province. Boudica then either killed herself, so she would not be captured, or fell ill and died—the extant sources, Tacitus and Cassius Dio, differ. [more +]