History for the Rest of Us

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Abraham Lincoln’s ‘House Divided’ Speech

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015

Abraham Lincoln delivered his ‘House Divided speech, one of the best known of his career, on June 16, 1858 in the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. He had won the...

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Pop Culture

The Far Side

Posted by on May 21, 2014

The Far Side first appeared in newspapers on January 1, 1980 and ran for fifteen years, it’s last appearance being on January 1, 1995. All 23 Far Side compilation books were...

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Re-Create

Temple of Concord

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014

Dedicated to the Roman goddess Concordia (goddess of concord and harmony), the Temple of Concord was vowed in 367 BC to commemorate reconciliation between patricians and plebians...

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Remember

Vexillum

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014

A portion of a Roman Legion on detached duty as a temporary task force, carried a standard called a Vexillum. These detached units became know as vexillatio derived from the name...

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Recent Posts

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra – Summary

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra – Summary

May 7, 2014

Zenobia had a deep understanding of affairs of state, and her husband’s successes (recovery of the Roman East), were said to have been due to her counsel. She became Queen of Palmyra when her husband died in 267. Within two years she had conquered Egypt and expelled the Roman prefect, who was beheaded when he attempted to reclaim the territory. Zenobia...

Theodora, Empress of Byzantium – Summary

Theodora, Empress of Byzantium – Summary

May 5, 2014

When the Nika riots broke out in the hippodrome of Constantinople in January 532, Theodora saved her husband Justinian’s throne. Public buildings were set on fire and Hypatius proclaimed the new emperor. Justinian and his officials were ready to flee, but Theodora convinced them that ‘royal purple is the noblest shroud’. Justinian took courage...

Mary, Mother of Jesus – Summary

Mary, Mother of Jesus – Summary

May 5, 2014

Mary, or Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ, a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee. While betrothed to Joseph the angel Gabriel told Mary that she had ‘found favour with God’ and that she should ‘conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.’ Mary, asking the angel how this could be, since she knew...

Cleopatra VII, Pharaoh – Summary

Cleopatra VII, Pharaoh – Summary

May 5, 2014

Cleopatra (at age 18) began to assert herself as sole ruler of Egypt at the expense of her co-ruling brother Ptolemy XIII (10), but within three years her enemies placed Ptolemy on the throne as the sole ruler. Thinking he would please Caesar, Ptolemy instead angered him by murdering the great Roman military and political leader Pompey. Cleopatra saw an...

Deborah, Israelite Prophetess – Summary

Deborah, Israelite Prophetess – Summary

May 5, 2014

Deborah was the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel, and only female Judge mentioned in the Bible. She was a prophetess of the God of the Israelites, a counselor, warrior, and wife. Some refer to her as the ‘Mother of Israel’. After 20 years of oppression at the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan, Deborah incited a rebellion, rallied 10,000 troops to...

Hatshepsut, Pharaoh – Summary

Hatshepsut, Pharaoh – Summary

May 5, 2014

Hatshepsut, fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, was one of the most prolific builders of ancient Egypt. She constructing more grand and more numerous buildings than her Middle Kingdom predecessors. Her mortuary temple was her masterpiece. Located near the entrance to the Valley of the Kings, and the first to be built in the area, the grandeur of...

The Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris brought an end to the American Revolutionary War. Signed September 3, 1783, the United States was represented by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay while David Hartley, a member of the British Parliament represented King George III. The document was signed in Paris at the Hotel d’York (presently 56 Rue Jacob). Great Britian...

Sif – Thor’s Golden-Haired Wife

Sif – Thor’s Golden-Haired Wife

Apr 22, 2014

Sif, Thor’s wife, was very vain of a magnificent head of long golden hair which covered her from head to foot like a brilliant veil; and as she too was a symbol of the earth, her hair was said to represent the long grass, or the golden grain covering the Northern harvest fields. Thor was very proud of his wife’s beautiful hair; imagine his dismay, therefore,...