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Important Events

Here we feature some of the most seminal, historical, and influential events throughout history – both celebrated and unheralded – from the emergence of powerful civilizations and empires, to famous battles, great achievements, and events that have helped shape the world we currently know.

13th-century depiction of Henry II and his legitimate children: William, Henry, Richard, Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan and John.

King Henry II Brought Law and Order to His Kingdom But His Rebellious Family Was A Different Matter

King Henry II of England ruled in the 12th century from Ireland to the Pyrenees, was warlike, given to anger, and was educated in law and languages. He was the first king of the Plantagenet dynasty...
Cavalry attack on the Bayeux tapestry. This tapestry depicts the Normans preparing for and invading England.

The Norman Invasion: An Epic 11th Century Battle for the English Throne

When Edward the Confessor died childless, the stage was set for the Norman invasion of England in the 11th century. Although the king was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson, the...
Still life with skull and withered opium head.

Heroin: Killer Drug was Marketed and Sold by Bayer as a Non-Addictive Cough Syrup

Heroin is a deadly drug with a notorious reputation. It is considered to be a dangerous addiction-producing drug, and the abuse of this substance has extremely negative results on individuals and...
Medieval castle

Were the Dark Ages Really Dark?

The idea of a worldwide Dark Age or universal decline in man’s knowledge may be difficult to accept because the broad deterioration of ancient civilizations didn’t happen at an even pace in all...
Great Fire of London in the year 1666 by William Russel Birch

Here is What it Would Have Been Like to be Caught in the Great Fire of London

Great explosions rang out in London’s Lower Thames Street: the sound of houses, shops, warehouses and taverns being blown up, a method intended to halt the spread of the seemingly unstoppable flames...
The Fall of Constantinople

The Fall of Constantinople: Relentless Ottoman Fire Power Finally Pulverizes the Last Vestiges of the Roman Empire

Constantinople stood against sieges and attacks for many centuries, until finally new technology—the big cannons of the Ottoman Empire—brought down the Byzantine Empire’s capital. The fall of...
The Hagia Sophia, an iconic work of architecture that housed many iconic works of art.

How Byzantine Art and Architecture Captivated the Known World

The rich, beautiful art and opulent architecture of the Byzantine Empire glorified Jesus, the saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the emperors. Byzantine art motifs, the mosaics, paintings, and...
The Pancake Bakery

Why Were The Shrove Tuesday Riots So Brutal?

The Shrove Tuesday Riots (known also as the Bawdy House Riots of 1668, or the Messenger Riots) were a series of brutal riots that took place in London in 1668. During the 17 th century, it was...
A 16th century fresco depicting the Council of Nicaea.

The Council of Nicaea: Pagan Emperor Constantine Used Christianity to Unify Church and State

The Council of Nicaea (also known as the First Council of Nicaea) was the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church. This council, which was convened in 325 AD, was assembled by the Roman...
‘Children’s Crusader’, 1905

The Children's Crusade: Thousands of Children March to Holy Land but Never Return

The Children’s Crusade is one of the more unusual events that occurred in Medieval England. In the year 1212, tens of thousands of self-proclaimed, unarmed crusading children set out from northern...
A foreboding comet crossing the sky. Ancient comet sightings were often linked to important, and sometimes frightening, events in the minds of those who witnessed them.

Ancient Comet Sightings Inspired, Frightened, Dazzled, and Baffled Past Astronomers and Star Gazers

Since the earliest days of humankind, our ancestors looked into the night sky and watched bright celestial spectacles we know today as comets. While modern astronomers have a rich understanding of...
Suspicious townfolk targeted Alice Kyteler.

Alice Kyteler: The Kilkenny ‘Witch’ Who Ran While her Servant Burned

Alice Kyteler (known also as the Kilkenny Witch ) was the first recorded person to have been condemned of witchcraft in Ireland. The alleged witch, however, succeeded in fleeing the country, thereby...
“Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099” (1847) by Émile Signol / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library. The Crusaders were mostly successful in the First Crusade.

The First Crusade: Christian and Muslim Bloodshed as Peasants, Princes, and Turks Clash in the Holy Land

The First Crusade (1095-1099 AD) was a military campaign launched by Christendom in an attempt to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims to make the holy site safe once more for Christian pilgrims. The...
Hanukkah menorah with wailing wall in the background

Hanukkah Origins: ‘Miracle of Oil’ Exalted a Religious Freedom Victory in Ancient Jewish Temple

Known also as the Festival of Dedication, as well as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is a major Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees...
Timurid Emperor Ulugh Beg, an astronomer and khan, seen here with scholars in this statue.

Timurid Empire’s Arts and Culture Influenced Much of the Known World

When people think of the Mongol warriors of the Middle Ages, they might imagine wild, bloodthirsty savages marauding across Eurasia dealing slaughter from horseback with arrows, spears, battle axes,...
Modern Mongol horsemen at the eagle festival. Life may have been tranquil for hunters during the time of Pax Mongolica too.

The Pax Mongolica: When the Mongols Brought Peace to Europe and Asia

The Pax Mongolica (translated from Latin to mean ‘Mongol Peace’) refers to a period in history when a large part of Europe and Asia was under Mongol control as a result of the military campaigns of...

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