history

Girolamo Savonarola’s Bonfires of Vanity

Girolamo Savonarola’s Bonfires of Vanity

On February 7, 1497, Florentine followers of Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola burned a bonfire of vanities. Supporters of Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy, on the Mardi Gras festival. Other targets included books that were deemed to be immoral, such as works by Boccaccio, and manuscripts of secular songs, as well as artworks, including paintings of Sandro Botticelli. Fra Girolamo Savonarola…
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Scaliger and the Science of Chronology

Scaliger and the Science of Chronology

On January 21, 1609, French religious leader and scholar Joseph Justus Scaliger passed away. He is referred to as being on of the founders of the science of chronology, expanding the notion of classical history from Greek and ancient Roman history to include Persian, Babylonian, Jewish and ancient Egyptian history. Brief Biography Joseph Justus Scaliger was born on August 5, 1540 at Agen on the Garonne, France, the tenth child of famous Italian…
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Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

On December 25, 1821, American pioneering nurse Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton was born. Barton is noteworthy for doing humanitarian work at a time when relatively few women worked outside the home. She worked as a hospital nurse in the American Civil War and was instrumental in the founding of the American Red Cross. Clara Barton was sent to school along with her brother Stephen when she was only three years old. There, it is…
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Averroes – The Commentator and Polymath

Averroes – The Commentator and Polymath

On December 10, 1198, medieval Andalusian polymath Abū l-Walīd Muḥammad Ibn ʾAḥmad Ibn Rušd, better known as Averroes, passed away. Averroes wrote on logic, Aristotelian and Islamic philosophy, theology, the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, psychology, political and Andalusian classical music theory, geography, mathematics, and the mediæval sciences of medicine, astronomy, physics, and celestial mechanics. Averroes had a greater impact on Christian Europe: he has been described as the “founding father of…
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Austerlitz – The Battle of the Three Emperors

Austerlitz – The Battle of the Three Emperors

On December 2, 1805, the Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, took place. It was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. Widely regarded as the greatest victory achieved by Napoleon, the Grande Armée of France annihilated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The battle occurred near the village of…
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Herodotus – the Father of History

Herodotus – the Father of History

About in 484 B.C., ancient Greek historian Herodotus was born. A contemporary of Socrates, he is widely referred to as “The Father of History“. Herodotus was the first historian known to have broken from Homeric tradition to treat historical subjects as a method of investigation: specifically by collecting his materials systematically and critically, and then to arrange them into a historiographic narrative. Despite Herodotus‘ historical significance, little is known of his personal…
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Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof and Esperanto, the Universal International Language

Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof and Esperanto, the Universal International Language

On November 24, 1887, the first German translation of Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof‘s ‘Unua Libro‘, the first book to describe the artificial universal language esperanto was published. Esperanto is a constructed international auxiliary language. It is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world. “Esperanto was a very useful language, because wherever you went, you found someone to speak with.” — George Soros “How Do You Say ‘Billionaire’ in Esperanto?” [5]  Ludwig…
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The Battle of Zama and Hannibal’s Defeat

The Battle of Zama and Hannibal’s Defeat

Around October 19, 202 BC, the Battle of Zama was fought between a Roman army led by Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (Scipio), who defeated a Carthaginian force led by the commander Hannibal. Despite Hannibal possessing numerical superiority, Scipio conceived a strategy to confuse and defeat his war elephants. The defeat on the Carthaginians‘ home ground marked an end to the 17-year 2nd Punic war. The second Punic war between Carthage and the Roman…
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The Works of Sallust

The Works of Sallust

On October 1, 86 BC, Roman historian, politician Gaius Sallustius Crispus was born. Sallust is the earliest known Roman historian with surviving works to his name, of which we have Catiline‘s War, The Jugurthine War, and the Histories (of which only fragments survive). The Bellum Catiline, Sallust‘s first published work, contains the history of the memorable year 63 and the story of Catiline’s Conspiracy. Back in school I already made the acquaintance…
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The Biosphere 2 Missions

The Biosphere 2 Missions

On September 26, 1991, the first mission of Biosphere 2 began. Biosphere 2 is an Earth systems science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona, built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system, or vivarium. It remains the largest closed system ever created. Biosphere 2 was constructed between 1987 and 1991 by Space Biosphere Ventures and was named Biosphere 2 because it was meant to be the second fully self-sufficient biosphere, after…
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