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...)
Despite concerns over a possible Axis invasion, orders for the general mobilisation of the Royal Yugoslav Army were not issued by the government until 3April 1941, out of fear that this would offend Adolf Hitler and precipitate war. When the invasion commenced on 6April, the 4th Army was only partially mobilised, and this weakness was exacerbated by fifth-column activities within its major units and higher headquarters. Revolts of Croat soldiers broke out in all three divisions in the first few days, causing significant disruption to their mobilisation and deployment. The town of Bjelovar was taken over by rebel troops. Widespread desertions of Croat troops, many of whom turned on their Serb comrades, made control even more difficult. German activity in the 4th Army sector in the first four days included limited objective attacks to seize crossings over the Mura and Drava rivers, along with air attacks by the Luftwaffe. (Full article...)
Air MarshalSir Richard Williams, KBE,CB,DSO (3 August 1890 – 7 February 1980) is widely regarded as the "father" of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He was the first military pilot trained in Australia, and went on to command Australian and British fighter units in World War I. A proponent for air power independent of other branches of the armed services, Williams played a leading role in the establishment of the RAAF and became its first Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) in 1922. He served as CAS for thirteen years over three terms, longer than any other officer.
The hemmema replaced the galleys that had made up the core of the Swedish archipelago fleets until the mid-18th century. Compared to galleys, the hemmema had a deeper draft and was slower under oars, but offered superior accommodation for the crew, carried more stores, was more seaworthy and had roughly ten times as many heavy guns. It could be propelled by either sails or oars but was still smaller and more maneuverable than most sailing warships, which made it suitable for operations in confined waters. (Full article...)
In late June 1944, during a strafing attack on a railway yard in the Po Valley in northern Italy, Smith was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. Parachuting from his aircraft, he landed without serious injury in the Ligurian Alps, in an area that was behind German lines, but largely under the control of anti-German Italian partisans. Smith spent three months working with the local resistance movement before trekking westwards, across the Maritime Alps, with three other Allied personnel, hoping to join up with the Allied forces that had just invaded southern France. After 23 days' hiking, he and his companions were recovered by American troops and repatriated. (Full article...)
75 mm pack howitzers of the 11th U.S. Marine Regiment fire in support of the operation against Japanese forces around Koli Point.
The first investigation into the explosion, conducted by the U.S. Navy, concluded that one of the gun turret crew members, Clayton Hartwig, who died in the explosion, had deliberately caused it. During the investigation, numerous leaks to the media, later attributed to U.S. Navy officers and investigators, implied that Hartwig and another sailor, Kendall Truitt, had engaged in a romantic relationship and that Hartwig had caused the explosion after their relationship had soured. In its report, however, the U.S. Navy concluded that the evidence did not show that Hartwig was homosexual but that he was suicidal and had caused the explosion with either an electronic or chemical detonator. (Full article...)
The protests were part of the Buddhist crisis, during which the Buddhist majority in South Vietnam campaigned for religious equality after nine people were killed by government forces while defying a ban that prevented them from flying the Buddhist flag on Vesak. The incident prompted the United States to privately threaten to withdraw support for Diệm's government and when the Americans finally reduced aid a few months later, the army took it as a green light for a coup. An inquiry determined that the chemical used in the attack was a liquid component from old French tear gas grenades that had never functioned properly. The findings exonerated the ARVN soldiers from charges that they had used poison or mustard gas. The outcry over the attack had already forced Diệm to appoint a panel of three cabinet ministers to meet with Buddhist leaders for negotiations regarding religious equality. The talks led to the signing of the Joint Communique, but the policy changes it provided were not implemented and widespread protests continued, leading to the assassination of Diệm in a military coup. (Full article...)
During the interwar period, T5 and the rest of the navy were involved in exercises of training and cruises to friendly ports, but activity was limited by reduced naval budgets. The ship was captured by the Italians during the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. After her main armament was modernised, she served with the Royal Italian Navy under her Yugoslav designation, conducting coastal and second-line escort duties in the Adriatic Sea. Following the Italian capitulation in September 1943, she was returned to the Royal Yugoslav Navy-in-exile and served as T5. At the end of the war, she was transferred to the new Yugoslav Navy and served as Cer until she was broken up in 1962. (Full article...)
The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the South Pacific Ocean on 28 April 1789. Disaffected crewmen, led by Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh, and set him and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship's open launch. The mutineers variously settled on Tahiti or on Pitcairn Island. Bligh navigated more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) in the launch to reach safety, and began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice.
Bounty had left England in 1787 on a mission to collect and transport breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies. A five-month layover in Tahiti, during which many of the men lived ashore and formed relationships with native Polynesians, led many men to be less amenable to military discipline. Relations between Bligh and his crew deteriorated after he began handing out increasingly harsh punishments, criticism and abuse, Christian being a particular target. After three weeks back at sea, Christian and others forced Bligh from the ship. Twenty-five men remained on board afterwards, including loyalists held against their will and others for whom there was no room in the launch. (Full article...)
Air Commodore Cobby (left) and Group Captain Caldwell at Morotai in January 1945
George Odgers summed up the cause of the incident in the official history of the RAAF in World War II as "the conviction of a group of young leaders that they were engaging in operations that were not militarily justifiable—a conviction widely shared also by many Australian soldiers and political leaders." Odgers concluded that the ensuing inquiry "made it clear that almost everyone concerned acted from the highest motives, and was convinced that, in the crisis, he acted wisely". (Full article...)
Group Captain Ian McLachlan as Officer Commanding No. 73 Wing at Goodenough Island, New Guinea, preparing to vote in the Australian federal election, c. August 1943
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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...)
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.
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
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.
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.
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
Battle of Vienna, 12 September 1683
"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
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).
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
A possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva", 2600–1900 BC
A political map of the Mauryan Empire, including notable cities, such as the capital Pataliputra, and site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
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