Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lee Harvey Arrested for Kennedy Murder

At first he told the police that had nothing to do with it. He said he was eating lunch at the time of the shooting. He also denied the murder of Police Officer Tibbit. As the policeman had crossed Harvey's path in the aftermath of the murder, he had been gunned down, too.

For more information on the Kennedy Assassination here is an installment from The Warren Report by Chief Justice Earl Warren, future President Gerald Ford, and other senior statesmen:
http://historyweblog.com/2015/12/oswald-charged-with-murder/

and Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->;

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Other Democratic Socialist Candidate for President: Who am I?

I was born in 1855. I started out as a labor leader. I founded the Social Democratic Party. I ran for President multiple times. In 1920 I ran from prison, having been convicted for my anti-war speeches. Who am I?

Find out at: http://historyweblog.com/2015/11/other-democratic-socialist-candidate-president/ 

and 
Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ancient China Video.

Another video from those folks at Crash Course. 



and

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How Big Was the City of Constantinople?

When Emperor Constantine finished building, it was actually small.  During the time of the Roman Empire, "Among the great cities of the ancient world its size was smaller than Babylon and Thebes. It yields to ancient Rome, to the 18th. century London, and even to Paris." Thus Edward Gibbon.

It stayed that way for a long time. Future emperors expanded it but that was in the far future.  More on Constantine's size and features here at our main history blog

and

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

History Moments Blog Passes Milestones

Over 2,500 subscribers, over 700 separate posts, 47 sets of The Basic History Library distributed.  Today is a passage from Herodotus describing the peoples of NW Africa.
Read more: http://historyweblog.com/category/general/herodotus/

also check our my review of The Landmark Herodotus: http://dld.bz/dXUmG/ 

Monday, November 16, 2015

What Would World History Post on Facebook?

From Our Humor Department:

Renaissance: Hey, I just woke up. What's up?
Dark Ages: You slept too long, bro!
Middle Ages: You spent too much time on MySpace.
Ice Ages: I thought that I had killed that off.
Renaissance: Alright. Just finished a cup of jo. Let's go paint something, or invent something, or explore somewhere. What's out west?

Got any additions to the conversation? 

and

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Constantinople Founded in 330 AD

Constantinople Circa 1100. Public Domain Image from Wikipedia.
Constantinople Circa 1100.
Public Domain Image from Wikipedia.

Before Constantine, the first town there was actually begun in 656 BC.  The great waters around the city connect Leander of ancient Greece with Lord Byron of 19th. century England how?
New series begins today at our main history blog.

and

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Remembering Last Night's Attack on Paris

French President Hollande declared that the attacks were an of war on France by ISIS
According to the Associated Press,

In a televised Friday night address he appealed to citizens to maintain "a determined France, a united France, a France that joins t
ogether and a France that will not allow itself to be staggered, even if today there is infinite emotion faced with this disaster, this tragedy, which is an abomination, because it is barbarism."

As France goes to war again, we remember the past wars of France.  Here is our continuing series on France's Wars. 

and

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ancient India Video

Let's go back to Ancient India in this video from those folks at Crash Course, told from the perspective of religious history.

Watch it at our main history blog.



Also don't overlook Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Last Mexican Stronghold at Los Angeles Falls

This ends our series of passages California Acquired by the United States by Henry B. Dawson from his book Battles of the United States by Sea and Land published in 1858.

Read more.

Read more at our main history blog. and Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

California Declares Independence; New Series Begins

At the beginning of 1846 the population of California included, with about 200,000 Indians, 6,000 Mexicans and perhaps 200 USA nationals. The United Stated had declared war against Mexico in May, 1845 and already General Taylor had won the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and had compelled the surrender of Monterey. Meanwhile back in California . . .

Read more at our main history blog. 

and
Don't forget The Basic History Library (free).

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Pilgrims' First Winter

Conclusion of our series on The Pilgrims Settle Plymouth.  The Mayflower Compact having been concluded, the Pilgrims construct their rude settlement and attempt to survive the winter of 1620-1621.  The weather was mild for Massachusetts but severe compared to Holland.  The Pilgrims had been weakened by the privations of their voyage and by the exploratory phase of their undertaking; death ensued.  Their settlement did not begin until December! 

While not so much in fashion now, their values formed a huge part of the beginning of American civilization.

Complete story at our main history blog: http://historyweblog.com/2015/10/pilgrims-first-winter/

and


Don't forget The Basic History Library (free).

Sunday, October 25, 2015

UN Memory of the World Project

Does anyone know how to access these documents? This project's purpose is to identify and preserve the basic documents of world history. This week China's proposed documents related to the Nanking Massacre were approved for inclusion by UNESCO, the UN agency responsible for this project.

More information on this project on our main history blog.

and don't forget Don't forget The Basic History Library (free).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Persians and Greeks Video

Here's another video in the Crash Course series, this one on the ancient civilizations.
Read more: http://historyweblog.com/2012/02/persians-and-greeks/

and 

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free).

Thursday, October 22, 2015

In History Moments for the Last Few Days

. . . the Pilgrims sight land in Plymouth, the Scythians of South Ukraine Crimea repulse the Persians led by Emperor Darius, Thomas Carlyle urges the study of great men, and in our Humor Department, Milton Berle explains why he stopped studying history.

Read more: http://historyweblog.com/

and 

Don't forget The Basic History Library (free).

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Series Pilgrims Settle Plymouth

Unfashionable today as they were then (how history travels in circles!) the Puritans came to The New World to create a society that would honor God as they saw it. Their zeal and dedication carried them through terrible hardships. Setting high goals, it tempts the hypocrisy haters to focus on the gaps between actual achievements and goals. But even if there is a little bit of Don Quixote in their aspirations, was it still better to try and fail than to not try at all?

 For 8 years, they resided in Leyden, Holland. Unhappy there, they decided to emigrate with a “great hope and inward zeal of laying some good foundation for the propagating and advancing of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ in these remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but as stepping-stones to others for performing of so great a work.”

New series Pilgrims Settle Plymouth starts here: http://historyweblog.com/2015/10/where-pilgrims-go/

Friday, October 2, 2015

Our Series on Henry VIII Takes Over the Church Continues

As Henry VIII consolidates his takeover of the Church in England, Scotland, and Wales his popularity wanes. His official in charge of the takeover is Thomas Cromwell. “Beknaved” by the King, whose confidence in him waned as he discerned the full meaning of the religious changes which Cromwell had brought about, met too by a growing opposition in the council as his favor declined, the temper of the man remained indomitable as ever. He stood absolutely alone. More information

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Historyweblog.com

Remember our new address.  Part 1:  HISTORY.
Part 2 is the original term of blog:  WEB LOG = BLOG.  So, WEBLOG.

Now put the two parts together:  HISTORYWEBLOG.
Add the .com at the end and you have it.

historyweblog.com  

See you all there!  Jack

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Move With Us to Historyweblog.com

Yes, we have moved this blog to a newer and much improved site.  History Moments is now at historyweblog.com.  (Weblog. Do you remember that term before the two words were run together to form "blog",)  This blog is dramatically improved in every way.  Among the improvements:

  • Easier to Read.  Nice big fonts and clean layout.
  • Crisper images and improved visuals and audios for the multimedia.
  • Fast loading times using the latest Genesis Wordpress engine.
  • Multi-device responsiveness, looking good on any device of any size from the smart phone to the large inch tv.
  • Easy to remember address:  history+web+log = historyweblog.  Just add the .com and you've got it!
Then there's the biggest improvement:  Easier navigation.  A simple menu structure masks the powerful engine under the hood.  A brand new Table of Contents allows readers to access the blog's 550+ posts three ways:  geographic region, time period, or category of history.  For example, if you want to see what's in military history, just click and all of the blog's content will be available.  A brand new Index displaying every country, place, person, event, and thing in the blog functions like a top index at the end of the best magazines only now powered with the latest HTML 5 programming.

With a combination of bite-sized servings of the great historians writing of the most important topics, the lastest developments in the field of history, and original writing and thinking, History Moments is now firmly positioned to rise to the top history blog on the internet.  Period.




Of Diviners and Kings

Previously in Herodotus

69. They put them to death accordingly in the following manner:—first they fill a wagon with brushwood and yoke oxen to it; then having bound the feet of the diviners and tied their hands behind them and stopped their mouths with gags, they fasten them down in the middle of the brushwood, and having set fire to it they scare the oxen and let them go: and often the oxen are burnt to death together with the diviners, and often they escape after being scorched, when the pole to which they are fastened has been burnt: and they burn the diviners in the manner described for other causes also, calling them false prophets. Now when the king puts any to death, he does not leave alive their sons either, but he puts to death all the males, not doing any hurt to the females.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Scythia’s Customs

Previously in Herodotus

63. Such are the sacrifices which are established among them; but of swine these make no use, nor indeed are they wont to keep them at all in their land.

64. That which relates to war is thus ordered with them:—When a Scythian has slain his first man, he drinks some of his blood: and of all those whom he slays in the battle he bears the heads to the king; for if he has brought a head he shares in the spoil which they have taken, but otherwise not. And he takes off the skin of the head by cutting it round about the ears and then taking hold of the scalp and shaking it off; afterwards he scrapes off the flesh with the rib of an ox, and works the skin about with his hands; and when he has thus tempered it, he keeps it as a napkin to wipe the hands upon, and hangs it from the bridle of the horse on which he himself rides, and takes pride in it; for whosoever has the greatest number of skins to wipe the hands upon, he is judged to be the bravest man. Many also make cloaks to wear of the skins stripped off, sewing them together like shepherds' cloaks of skins; and many take the skin together with the finger-nails off the right hands of their enemies when they are dead, and make them into covers for their quivers: now human skin it seems is both thick and glossy in appearance, more brilliantly white than any other skin. Many also take the skins off the whole bodies of men and stretch them on pieces of wood and carry them about on their horses.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lucky Chess Players

The good player is always lucky.

- Jose Capablanca, World Chess Champion 1921 - 1927


More on Jose Capablanca.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Religious Customs of Scythia

Previously in Herodotus

54. This is that which has to do with these rivers; and after these there is a fifth river besides, called Panticapes. This also flows both from the North and from a lake, and in the space between this river and the Borysthenes dwell the agricultural Scythians: it runs out into the region of Hylaia, and having passed by this it mingles with the Borysthenes.

55. Sixth comes the river Hypakyris, which starts from a lake, and flowing through the midst of the nomad Scythians runs out into the sea by the city of Carkinitis, skirting on its right bank the region of Hylaia and the so-called racecourse of Achilles.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

How Good Is Oral History?

Have you ever tried to listen to two different witnesses to a car accident?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Greatest Rivers of the World

Previously in Herodotus

49. These are the native Scythian rivers which join to swell its stream, while from the Agathyrsians flows the Maris and joins the Ister, and from the summits of Haimos flow three other great rivers towards the North Wind and fall into it, namely Atlas and Auras and Tibisis. Through Thrace and the Thracian Crobyzians flow the rivers Athrys and Noes and Artanes, running into the Ister; and from the Paionians and Mount Rhodope the river Kios, cutting through Haimos in the midst, runs into it also. From the Illyrians the river Angros flows Northwards and runs out into the Triballian plain and into the river Brongos, and the Brongos flows into the Ister; thus the Ister receives both these, being great rivers. From the region which is above the Ombricans, the river Carpis and another river, the Alpis, flow also towards the North Wind and run into it; for the Ister flows in fact through the whole of Europe, beginning in the land of the Keltoi, who after the Kynesians dwell furthest towards the sun-setting of all the peoples of Europe; and thus flowing through all Europe it falls into the sea by the side of Scythia.

Monday, June 8, 2015

S Africa’s Future Is Behind a Veil

Featuring an excerpt from an article first published in American Political Science Review by Stephen Leacock.

Previously in Union of South Africa Formed. And now Stephen Leacock.

Time: May 31, 1910
Place: South Africa

First Union Cabinet.  PM Botha sits at table in middle.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
South Africa will retain duality of language, both Dutch and British being in official use. There was no other method open. The Dutch language is probably doomed to extinction within three or four generations. It is, in truth, not one linguistic form, but several: the Taal, or kitchen Dutch of daily speech, the "lingua franca" of South Africa; the School Taal, a modified form of it, and the High Dutch of the Scriptural translations brought with the Boers from Holland. Behind this there is no national literature, and the current Dutch of Holland and its books varies some from all of them. English is already the language of commerce and convenience. The only way to keep Dutch alive is to oppose its use. Already the bitterness of the war has had this effect, and language societies are doing their best to uphold and extend the use of the ancestral language. It is with a full knowledge of this that the leaders of the British parties acquiesced in the principle of duality.

The native franchise was another difficult question. At present neither natives nor "colored men" (the South-African term for men of mixed blood) can vote in the Transvaal, the Orange River, and Natal. Nor is there the faintest possibility of the suffrage being extended to them, both the Dutch and the British being convinced that such a policy is a mistake. In the Cape natives and colored men, if possessed of the necessary property and able to write their names, are allowed to vote. The name writing is said to be a farce, the native drawing a picture of his name under guidance of his political boss. Some 20,000 natives and colored people thus vote at the Cape, and neither the Progressives nor the Bond party dared to oppose the continuance of the franchise, lest the native vote should be thrown solid against them. As a result each province will retain its own suffrage, at least until the South-African Parliament by a special majority of two-thirds in a joint session shall decide otherwise.

The future conformation of parties under the union is difficult to forecast. At present the Dutch parties--they may be called so for lack of a better word--have large majorities everywhere except in Natal. In the Transvaal General Botha's party--Het Volk, the Party of the People--is greatly in the ascendant. But it must be remembered that Het Volk numbers many British adherents. For instance, Mr. Hull, Botha's treasurer in the outgoing Government, is an old Johannesburg "reformer," of the Uitlander days, and fought against the Boers in the war. In the Orange Free State the party called the Unie (or United party) has a large majority, while at the Cape Dr. Jameson's party of progressives can make no stand against Mr. Merriman, Mr. Malan, Mr. Sauer, and the powerful organization of the Afrikanderbond.

How the new Government will be formed it is impossible to say. Botha and Merriman will, of course, constitute its leading factors. But whether they will attempt a coalition by taking in with them such men as Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and Dr. Jameson, or will prefer a more united and less universal support is still a matter of conjecture. From the outsider's point of view, a coalition of British and Dutch leaders, working together for the future welfare of a common country, would seem an auspicious opening for the new era. But it must be remembered that General Botha is under no necessity whatever to form such a coalition. If he so wishes he can easily rule the country without it as far as a parliamentary majority goes. Not long since an illustrious South-African, a visitor to Montreal, voiced the opinion that Botha's party will rule South Africa for twenty years undisturbed. But it is impossible to do more than conjecture what will happen. _Ex Africa semper quid novi_.

Most important of all is the altered relation in which South Africa will now stand to the British Empire.

The Imperial Government may now be said to evacuate South Africa, and to leave it to the control of its own people. It is true that for the time being the Imperial Government will continue to control the native protectorates of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland. But the Constitution provides for the future transfer of these to the administration of a commission appointed by the colonial Government. Provision is also made for the future inclusion of Rhodesia within the Union. South Africa will therefore find itself on practically the same footing as Canada or Australia within the British Empire. What its future fate there will be no man can yet foretell. In South Africa, as in the other Dominions, an intense feeling of local patriotism and "colonial nationalism" will be matched against the historic force and the practical advantages of the Imperial connection. Even in Canada, there is no use in denying it, there are powerful forces which, if unchecked, would carry us to an ultimate independence. Still more is this the case in South Africa.

It is a land of bitter memories. The little people that fought for their republics against a world in arms have not so soon forgotten. It is idle for us in the other parts of the Empire to suppose that the bitter memory of the conflict has yet passed, that the Dutch have forgotten the independence for which they fought, the Vier Klur flag that is hidden in their garrets still, and the twenty thousand women and children that lie buried in South Africa as the harvest of the conqueror. If South Africa is to stay in the Empire it will have to be because the Empire will be made such that neither South Africa nor any other of the dominions would wish to leave it. For this, much has already been done. The liberation of the Transvaal and Orange River from the thraldom of their Crown Colony Government, and the frank acceptance of the Union Constitution by the British Government are the first steps in this direction. Meantime that future of South Africa, as of all the Empire, lies behind a veil.


This ends our series of passages on Union of South Africa Formed by Stephen Leacock from an article first published shortly after the event in American Political Science Review. This blog features short and lengthy pieces on all aspects of our shared past. Here are selections from the great historians who may be forgotten (and whose work have fallen into public domain) as well as links to the most up-to-date developments in the field of history and of course, original material from yours truly, Jack Le Moine. – A little bit of everything historical is here.

More information here.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

S African Racial Perspective in 1910

Featuring an excerpt from an article first published shortly after the event in American Political Science Review by Stephen Leacock.

Previously in Union of South Africa Formed. And now Stephen Leacock.

Time: May 31, 1910
Place: South Africa

First Union Cabinet.  PM Botha sits at table in middle.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
Under Lord Milner's government the unification of the railways of the Transvaal and the Orange River colony with the Central South-African Railways amalgamated the interests of the inland colonies, but left them still opposed to those of the seaboard. The impossibility of harmonizing the situation under existing political conditions has been one of the most potent forces in creating a united government which alone could deal with the question.

An equally important factor has been the standing problem of the native races, which forms the background of South-African politics. In no civilized country is this question of such urgency. South Africa, with a white population of only 1,133,000 people, contains nearly 7,000,000 native and colored inhabitants, many of them, such as the Zulus and the Basutos, fierce, warlike tribes scarcely affected by European civilization, and wanting only arms and organization to offer a grave menace to the welfare of the white population. The Zulus, numbering a million, inhabiting a country of swamp and jungle impenetrable to European troops, have not forgotten the prowess of a Cetewayo and the victory of Isandhwana.

It may well be that some day they will try the fortune of one more general revolt before accepting the permanent over-lordship of their conquerors. Natal lives in apprehension of such a day. Throughout all South Africa, among both British and Dutch, there is a feeling that Great Britain knows nothing of the native question.

The British people see the native through the softly tinted spectacles of Exeter Hall. When they have given him a Bible and a breech-cloth they fondly fancy that he has become one of themselves, and urge that he shall enter upon his political rights. They do not know that to a savage, or a half-civilized black, a ballot-box and a voting-paper are about as comprehensible as a telescope or a pocket camera--it is just a part of the white man's magic, containing some particular kind of devil of its own. The South-Africans think that they understand the native. And the first tenet of their gospel is that he must be kept in his place. They have seen the hideous tortures and mutilations inflicted in every native war. If the native revolts they mean to shoot him into marmalade with machine guns. Such is their simple creed. And in this matter they want nothing of what Mr. Merriman recently called the "damnable interference" of the mother country. But to handle the native question there had to be created a single South-African Government competent to deal with it.

The constitution creates for South Africa a union entirely different from that of the provinces of Canada or the States of the American Republic. The government is not federal, but unitary. The provinces become areas of local governments, with local elected councils to administer them, but the South-African Parliament reigns supreme. It is to know nothing of the nice division of jurisdiction set up by the American constitution and by the British North America Act. There are, of course, limits to its power. In the strict sense of legal theory, the omnipotence of the British Parliament, as in the case of Canada, remains unimpaired. Nor can it alter certain things,--for example, the native franchise of the Cape, and the equal status of the two languages,--without a special majority vote. But in all the ordinary conduct of trade, industry, and economic life, its power is unhampered by constitutional limitations.

The constitution sets up as the government of South Africa a legislature of two houses--a Senate and a House of Assembly--and with it an executive of ministers on the customary tenure of cabinet government. This government, strangely enough, is to inhabit two capitals: Pretoria as the seat of the Executive Government and Cape Town as the meeting-place of the Parliament. The experiment is a novel one. The case of Simla and Calcutta, in each of which the Indian Government does its business, and on the strength of which Lord Curzon has defended the South-African plan, offers no real parallel. The truth is that in South Africa, as in Australia, it proved impossible to decide between the claims of rival cities. Cape Town is the mother city of South Africa. Pretoria may boast the memories of the fallen republic, and its old-time position as the capital of an independent state. Bloemfontein has the advantage of a central position, and even garish Johannesburg might claim the privilege of the money power. The present arrangement stands as a temporary compromise to be altered later at the will of the parliament.

The making of the Senate demanded the gravest thought. It was desired to avoid if possible the drowsy nullity of the Canadian Upper House and the preponderating "bossiness" of the American. Nor did the example of Australia, where the Senate, elected on a "general ticket" over huge provincial areas, becomes thereby a sort of National Labor Convention, give any assistance in a positive direction. The plan adopted is to cause each present provincial parliament, and later each provincial council, to elect eight senators. The plan of election is by proportional representation, into the arithmetical juggle of which it is impossible here to enter. Eight more senators will be appointed by the Governor, making forty in all. Proportional representation was applied also in the first draft of the constitution to the election of the Assembly.

It was thought that such a plan would allow for the representation of minorities, so that both Dutch and British delegates would be returned from all parts of the country. Unhappily, the Afrikanderbond--the powerful political organization supporting Mr. Merriman, and holding the bulk of the Dutch vote at the Cape--took fright at the proposal. Even Merriman and his colleagues had to vote it down.

Without this they could not have saved the principle of "equal rights," which means the more or less equal (proportionate) representation of town and country. The towns are British and the country Dutch, so the bearing of equal rights is obvious. Proportional representation and equal rights were in the end squared off against one another.


Continued on Monday, June 8th.

More information here.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

They’re Using FDR’s Deceptions as Excuses – Still!

by Jack Le Moine


From the latest happenings in things historical. This article Chris Matthews on Hillary’s ‘Secretive’ Reputation: Well, FDR Was Too was published 16 days ago in Mediaite. This described Christopher Matthews of MSNBC using Franklin D. Roosevelt’s example of secrecy to excuse Hillary Clinton’s use of e-mails. The video is at the link.

Presidents have used FDR’s example for secrecy and more importantly, deviousness to inadvertently hurt their administrations for decades now.

In the run-up to World War II, FDR tried to have it both ways, pleasing both isolationists and interventionists.
  • FDR based his 1940 re-election on a guarantee to the American people that he would keep America out of World War II. At the time, the Germans had already conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, and France. The Battle of Britain was on. At the same time he defended his programs of military preparedness.
  • He asked Americans to support Lend-lease to Britain while also asking them to think only neutral thoughts of Hitler.

Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon tried to follow FDR’s example for the Vietnam War but without FDR’s skill and the substantive reasons. Vietnam was a different situation that WWII.

FDR governing style of misdirection and deception in war was not just in war but in the other areas of his administration. His successors admired and attempted to build on that to their detriment. For Lyndon Johnson, “The Credibility Gap” became his worst problem creating many others for him and his administration.

For the Clintons now, it is time at long last to let go of this particular part of the Franklin D. Roosevelt legacy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Again: Confucious

cc Wikipedia
Confucious was a great leader in China around 500 BC. Adventure, scandal, defeat, and triumph – these were the elements of his story. This was the man few knew, told by one of the greatest historians of the ancient eras China.

Every so often we like to resurrect an article from the blog’s past. This one is from December, 2014. – Just one of the gems buried in the blog’s archives.
QUOTE:
Once again only, do we hear of Confucius presenting himself at the court of the duke after this. And this was on the occasion of the murder of the duke of T'se by one of his officers. We must suppose that the crime was one of a gross nature, for it raised Confucius' fiercest anger, and he who never wearied of singing the praises of those virtuous men who overthrew the thrones of licentious and tyrannous kings, would have had no room for blame if the murdered duke had been like unto Kee or Show. But the outrage was one which Confucius felt should be avenged, and he therefore bathed and presented himself at court.
Here’s the rest of the articles.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

When to Write

Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book.

- Edward Gibbon, author of one of the greatest books of all time.



More on Edward Gibbon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Conflicts of Interests in S African Union

Featuring an excerpt from an article first published shortly after the event in  American Political Science Review by Stephen Leacock.

Previously in Union of South Africa Formed. And now Stephen Leacock.

Time: May 31, 1910
Place: South Africa

First Union Cabinet.  PM Botha sits at table in middle.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
The convention met first at Durban, October 12, 1908, where it remained throughout that month; after a fortnight's interval it met again at Capetown, and with a three weeks' interruption at Christmas continued and completed its work at the end of the first week of February. The constitution was then laid before the different colonial parliaments. In the Transvaal its acceptance was a matter of course, as the delegates of both parties had reached an agreement on its terms. The Cape Parliament passed amendments which involved giving up the scheme of proportional representation as adopted by the convention. Similar amendments were offered by the Orange River Colony in which the Dutch leader sympathized with the leader of the Afrikanderbond at the Cape in desiring to swamp out, rather than represent, minorities. In Natal, which as an ultra-British and ultra-loyal colony, was generally supposed to be in fear of union, many amendments were offered.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Darius Explores India and Central Asia

Previously in Herodotus

44. Of Asia the greater part was explored by Darius, who desiring to know of the river Indus, which is a second river producing crocodiles of all the rivers in the world,—to know, I say, of this river where it runs out into the sea, sent with ships, besides others whom he trusted to speak the truth, Skylax also, a man of Caryanda. These starting from the city of Caspatyros and the land of Pactyïke, sailed down the river towards the East and the sunrising to the sea; and then sailing over the sea Westwards they came in the thirtieth month to that place from whence the king of the Egyptians had sent out the Phoenicians of whom I spoke before, to sail round Libya. After these had made their voyage round the coast, Darius both subdued the Indians and made use of this sea. Thus Asia also, excepting the parts of it which are towards the rising sun, has been found to be similar to Libya.

Monday, June 1, 2015

South African Constitutional Convention Meets

Featuring an excerpt from an article first published shortly after the event in American Political Science Review by Stephen Leacock.

Introduction to our series Union of South Africa Formed:
Within ten years of the end of one of the bitterest wars in Africa’s history, the Boer War, the leaders of the south African colonies united into one Dominion under the British Crown. The ablest and most dreaded of Britain’s enemies of that war was General Louis Botha. When he became the first Prime Minister of the new Union of South Africa, it would have been as if General Robert E. Lee had won the Presidential election of 1872. Even more impressive was his policies of racial equality, never achieved but hoped for. Those policies was to be trashed when the opposition party devoted to apartheid won the elections of 1948 but that sad event is for another of another post.

This series is from the pen of Professor Stephen Leacock, head of the department of Political Economy of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. A distinguished citizen of one great British federation may well be accepted as the ablest commentator on the foundation of another. And now, Stephen Leacock.


Time: May 31, 1910
Place: South Africa

First Union Cabinet.  PM Botha sits at table in middle.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.

On May 31, 1910, the Union of South Africa became an accomplished fact. The four provinces of Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State (which bears again its old-time name), and the Transvaal are henceforth joined, one might almost say amalgamated, under a single government. They will bear to the central government of the British Empire the same relation as the other self-governing colonies--Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, and New Zealand. The Empire will thus assume the appearance of a central nucleus with four outlying parts corresponding to geographical and racial divisions, and forming in all a ground-plan that seems to invite a renewal of the efforts of the Imperial Federationist. To the scientific student of government the Union of South Africa is chiefly of interest for the sharp contrast it offers to the federal structure of the American, Canadian, and other systems of similar historical ground. It represents a reversion from the idea of State rights, and balanced indestructible powers and an attempt at organic union by which the constituent parts are to be more and more merged in the consolidated political unit which they combine to form.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

As the Titanic Goes Down

Previously in The Sinking of the Titanic. And now William Inglis.

Time: April 15, 1912
Place: Atlantic Ocean, 41.46 N., 50.14 W

The Voyage of the Titanic
GNU image from Wikipedia.
The Virginian and the Parisian, which arrived at the scene of the disaster a few hours later, could find no sign of any living person afloat, though they cruised for a long time among the wreckage before standing away on their courses. The Carpathia at first was headed for Halifax, but upon learning by wireless that that harbor was ice-bound, Mr. J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of the Board of Directors of the White Star Line, suggested that the ship head for New York. This was done. The Carpathia, with nine hundred passengers of her own and the seven hundred survivors, reached New York in safety.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Scientific Mistakes

by Jack Le Moine


What does a rational scientist do with an impossible result? Today we turn to something from the history of science. - The history of a line on enquiry that threatened the very foundation of modern physics: the speed limit of light broken!

From the latest happenings in things historical. This article The Data That Threatened to Break Physics was published 23 days ago in Nautalis. The article’s author is Ransom Stephens.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Columbus and America

When he sailed from Spain in 1492 on his historic voyage, he believed the world was round like an egg.  He was wrong.  It is scrambled.

When he came to America, there were no taxes, no debts, the women did all of the work, and the men hunted and fished all day.  How did Columbus expect to improve on a system like that?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Titanic, Iceberg Collides

Previously in The Sinking of the Titanic. And now William Inglis.

Time: April 15, 1912
Place: Atlantic Ocean, 41.46 N., 50.14 W

The Voyage of the Titanic
GNU image from Wikipedia.
Not only were the bergs invisible to the keenest eyes, but the sudden drop in the temperature of the ocean which ordinarily is the warning of the nearness of a berg was now of no avail; for there were so many of the bergs and so widely scattered that the temperature of the sea was uniformly cold. Moreover, the submarine bell, which gives warning to navigators of the neighborhood of shoal water, does not signify the approach of icebergs. The newest ocean giant was in deadly peril, though probably few of her passengers guessed it, so reassuring are the huge bulk, the skilful construction, the watertight compartments, the able captain and crew, to the mind of the landsman. Dinner was long past, and many of the passengers doubtless turned to thoughts of supper after hours of talk or music or cards; for there were not many promenading the cold, foggy decks of the onrushing steamship.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Lands from Arabia to North Africa

Previously in Herodotus

39. This then is one of the peninsulas, and the other beginning from the land of the Persians stretches along to the Erythraian Sea, including Persia and next after it Assyria, and Arabia after Assyria: and this ends, or rather is commonly supposed to end, at the Arabian Gulf, into which Darius conducted a channel from the Nile. Now in the line stretching to Phoenicia from the land of the Persians the land is broad and the space abundant, but after Phoenicia this peninsula goes by the shore of our Sea along Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, where it ends; and in it there are three nations only.

40. These are the parts of Asia which tend towards the West from the Persian land; but as to those which lie beyond the Persians and Medes and Saspeirians and Colchians towards the East and the sun rising, on one side the Erythraian Sea runs along by them, and on the North both the Caspian Sea and the River Araxes, which flows towards the rising sun: and Asia is inhabited as far as the Indian land; but from this onwards towards the East it becomes desert, nor can any one say what manner of land it is.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day, 2015

by Jack Le Moine


Time: January 31, 1968
Place: Vietnam

A US "tunnel rat" soldier prepares to enter a Viet Cong tunnel.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
This Memorial Day we remember the Tet Offensive. The Communist forces launched 85,000 men at selected targets throughout the country. These included the major cities such as Hue and even the U.S. embassy in Saigon. Counter-attacks destroyed most of these forces. At the end, Across South Vietnam, 4,100 Americans and other allied troops, 4,900 ARVN, 14,000 civilians, and 20,000 NVA and Viet Cong lay dead.

Last year we remembered Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg.


Further information: The Tet Offensive.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Titanic Sets Sail

Introduction to our series The Sinking of the Titanic:
While there greater nautical tragedies before and since, the sinking of the Titanic is special in humanity's shared memory. The voyage of the Titanic was one of hubris. It was thought to be unsinkable. Therefore the builders did not provide for enough lifeboats. Therefore the captain steamed on at top speeds heedless of dangers. Therefore the passengers carried on as normal even after the iceberg collided. The sinking of the Titanic reminded civilization of the imperfections of even the most modern technologies.

An early author of this event was William Inglis. This is from his story.


Time: April 15, 1912
Place: Atlantic Ocean, 41.46 N., 50.14 W

The Voyage of the Titanic
GNU image from Wikipedia.
No other disaster at sea has ever resulted in such loss of human life as did the sinking of the Titanic on the night of April 15, 1912. Moreover, no other disaster has ever included among its victims so many people of high position and repute and real value to the world. The Titanic was on her first voyage, and this voyage had served to draw together many notables. She was advertised as the largest steamer in the world and as the safest; she was called "unsinkable." The ocean thus struck its blow at no mean victim, but at the ship supposedly the queen of all ships.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

About The Society For Creative Anachronism

by Jack Le Moine
Modern reenactment of a Viking battle.
CC BY-SA 3.0 image by Tone from Wikipedia.

From the latest happenings in things historical. This article Recreating the Middle Ages as They Should Have Been was published 35 days ago in Slate. The article’s author is Jordan G. Teicher.

In the last century the best development in the field of history has been the addition to the activities that are available to the historians. Researching, reading, writing, lecturing history was all there was to it since Herodotus' time. Then came archeology. Now people are doing history. Re-enactors are not just writing or talking but are doing history. Civil War re-enactments, Renaissance Fairs, and Medieval evens are just a few of the activities that now happen. This came from the grassroots not the professionals.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How Long Shall Public Men Boast of Conduct Which Would Disgrace a Private Individual?

Palmerston Addresses the House of Commons 1863
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
I see those pretended politicians who place all in their subtlety, and who think they serve their country best, in circumventing those with whom they treat, interpreting the conditions of a treaty in such a manner, that all the advantage results to their own country. Far from blushing at conduct so contrary to equity, to right, and to national honesty, they boast of their dexterity, and pretend that they deserve the name of great negotiators. How long shall public men boast of conduct which would disgrace a private individual?

- Lord Henry J.T. Palmerston, address to Parliament, July 16, 1832


More on Lord Henry J.T. Palmerston.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Greek Commerce Ruined

Featuring an excerpt from A History of Greece from the Roman Conquest to the Present Time by George Finlay published in 1877.

Previously in Roger Ravages the Byzantine Empire. And now George Finlay

Time: 1146
Place: Constantinople

The city of Constantinople during this time.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
The Sicilian admiral, after landing the Norman garrison at Corfu, sailed to Monembasia, then one of the principal commercial cities in the East, hoping to gain possession of it without difficulty; but the maritime population of this impregnable fortress gave him a warm reception and easily repulsed his attack. After plundering the coasts of Euboea and Attica, the Sicilian fleet returned to the West, and laid waste Acarnania and Etolia; it then entered the Gulf of Corinth, and debarked a body of troops at Crissa. This force marched through the country to Thebes, plundering every town and village on the way. Thebes offered no resistance and was plundered in the most deliberate and barbarous manner. The inhabitants were numerous and wealthy. The soil of Boeotia is extremely productive, and numerous manufactures established in the city of Thebes gave additional value to the abundant produce of agricultural industry.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Scandinavia, Then Turkey

Previously in Herodotus

32. About a Hyperborean people the Scythians report nothing, nor do any of those who dwell in this region, unless it be the Issedonians: but in my opinion neither do these report anything; for if they did the Scythians also would report it, as they do about the one-eyed people. Hesiod however has spoken of Hyperboreans, and so also has Homer in the poem of the Epigonoi, at least if Homer was really the composer of that Epic.

33. But much more about them is reported by the people of Delos than by any others. For these say that sacred offerings bound up in wheat straw are carried from the land of the Hyperboreans and come to the Scythians, and then from the Scythians the neighboring nations in succession receive them and convey them Westwards, finally as far as the Adriatic: thence they are sent forward towards the South, and the people of Dodona receive them first of all the Hellenes, and from these they come down to the Malian Gulf and are passed over to Euboea, where city sends them on to city till they come to Carystos. After this Andros is left out, for the Carystians are those who bring them to Tenos, and the Tenians to Delos. Thus they say that these sacred offerings come to Delos; but at first, they say, the Hyperboreans sent two maidens bearing the sacred offerings, whose names, say the Delians, were Hyperoche and Laodike, and with them for their protection the Hyperboreans sent five men of their nation to attend them, those namely who are now called Perphereës and have great honors paid to them in Delos. Since however the Hyperboreans found that those who were sent away did not return back, they were troubled to think that it would always befall them to send out and not to receive back; and so they bore the offerings to the borders of their land bound up in wheat straw, and laid a charge upon their neighbors, bidding them send these forward from themselves to another nation. These things then, they say, come to Delos being thus sent forward; and I know of my own knowledge that a thing is done which has resemblance to these offerings, namely that the women of Thrace and Paionia, when they sacrifice to Artemis the Queen, do not make their offerings without wheat straw.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Emperor Manuel's Military Policy

Featuring an excerpt from A History of Greece from the Roman Conquest to the Present Time by George Finlay published in 1877.

Previously in Roger Ravages the Byzantine Empire. And now George Finlay

Time: 1146
Place: Constantinople

The city of Constantinople during this time.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
In other districts, where the divisions were exposed to be called into action, or were more directly under central inspection, the effective force was kept up at its full complement, but the people were compelled to submit to every kind of extortion and tyranny. The tendency of absolute power being always to weaken the power of the law, and to increase the authority of the executive agents of the sovereign, soon manifested its effects in the rapid progress of administrative corruption. The Byzantine garrisons in a few years became prototypes of the shopkeeping janizaries of the Ottoman empire, and bore no resemblance to the feudal militia of Western Europe, which Manuel had proposed as the model of his reform. This change produced a rapid decline in the military strength of the Byzantine army and accelerated the fall of the empire.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Byzantine Empire Circa 1100

Featuring an excerpt from A History of Greece from the Roman Conquest to the Present Time by George Finlay published in 1877.

Introduction to our series Roger Ravages the Byzantine Empire:
George Finlay (1799 – 1875) was from Scotland. His book was re-issued in 1877 with the more descriptive title A History of Greece from the Roman Conquest to the Present Time (146 BC to 1864). This blog post is the first in a series of excerpts from passage from this book. Finlay’s premise is that Roger’s invasion was a major milestone in the decline and fall of the Byzantine Empire.

And now, George Finlay



Time: 1146
Place: Constantinople

The city of Constantinople during this time.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
The century and a half before Roger's invasion had been a period of tranquility for the distinctively Greek people of the empire, who had increased rapidly in numbers and wealth, and were in possession of an extensive commerce and many manufactures. Therefore they were perhaps the greatest sufferers from the adverse events which befell the State.)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bring Back the Serialized Novel

by Jack Le Moine


From the latest happenings in things historical. This article Bring Back the Serialized Novel was published 15 days ago in The Washington Post. The article’s author is Hillary Kelly.

The purpose is to boost book sales and general literacy. This is how the great books of the past such as the one illustrated above were promoted. Interesting way of reaching back into the past for innovative ideas for the present.

And yes, I know:  we do that here on this blog a lot.  Only we serialize histories instead of novels.
 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hollywood Holiday

They have a new holiday over there:  Unwed Mother's Day.  One lady is on a star's diet:  she's down to three men a day.

Celebrate the new holiday.  Stroll down the strip and observe all of the women who no longer wear bras and all of the men who do.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Caesar's Final Victory in Gaul

Featuring an excerpt from History of Julius Caesar by Napoleon III published in 1865.

Previously in Caesar Conquers Gaul. And now Napoleon III

Time: September 52 BC
Place: Alesia, Gaul (France)

Vercingetorix's surrender to Caesar after the
Siege of Alesia in 52 BC.
Public Domain from Wikipedia.
The mountain was surrounded almost on every side by very low ground, but on one side there existed a valley through which a river (the Tourmente) ran. As it flowed at the foot of two precipitous mountains the disposition of the localities did not admit of turning it aside and conducting it into lower channels. It was difficult for the besieged to come down to it, and the Romans rendered the approaches to it still more dangerous. They placed posts of archers and slingers, and brought engines which commanded all the slopes which gave access to the river. The besieged had thenceforth no other means of procuring water but by carrying it from an abundant spring which arose at the foot of the wall three hundred feet from the channel of the Tourmente. Cæsar resolved to drain this spring, and for this purpose he did not hesitate to attempt a laborious undertaking. Opposite the point where it rose he ordered covered galleries to be pushed forward against the mountain, and under protection of these a terrace to be raised--labors which were carried on in the midst of continual fighting and weariness.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

From Russia to Siberia

Previously in Herodotus

24. Now as far as these bald-headed men there is abundantly clear information about the land and about the nations on this side of them; for not only do certain of the Scythians go to them, from whom it is not difficult to get information, but also some of the Hellenes who are at the trading-station of the Borysthenes and the other trading-places of the Pontic coast: and those of the Scythians who go to them transact their business through seven interpreters and in seven different languages.

25. So far as these, I say, the land is known; but concerning the region to the North of the bald-headed men no one can speak with certainty, for lofty and impassable mountains divide it off, and no one passes over them. However these bald-headed men say (though I do not believe it) that the mountains are inhabited by men with goats' feet; and that after one has passed beyond these, others are found who sleep through six months of the year. This I do not admit at all as true. However, the country to the East of the bald-headed men is known with certainty, being inhabited by the Issedonians, but that which lies beyond both the bald-headed men and the Issedonians towards the North Wind is unknown, except so far as we know it from the accounts given by these nations which have just been mentioned.

Monday, May 11, 2015

More Uprisings in Gaul

Featuring an excerpt from History of Julius Caesar by Napoleon III published in 1865.

Previously in Caesar Conquers Gaul. And now Napoleon III

Time: September 52 BC
Place: Alesia, Gaul (France)

Vercingetorix's surrender to Caesar after the
Siege of Alesia in 52 BC.
Public Domain from Wikipedia.
During the night of the following day Fabius again sent his cavalry forward with orders to delay the march of the enemy so as to give time for the arrival of the infantry. The two bodies of cavalry were soon engaged, but the enemy, thinking he had to contend with only the same troops as the day before, drew up his infantry in line so as to support the squadrons, when suddenly the Roman legions appeared in order of battle. At this sight the barbarians were struck with terror, the long train of baggage thrown into confusion, and the infantry dispersed. More than twelve thousand men were killed and all the baggage fell into the hands of the Romans.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Caesar Wastes the Gaul's Lands

Featuring an excerpt from History of Julius Caesar by Napoleon III published in 1865.

Previously in Caesar Conquers Gaul. And now Napoleon III

Time: September 52 BC
Place: Alesia, Gaul (France)

Vercingetorix's surrender to Caesar after the
Siege of Alesia in 52 BC.
Public Domain from Wikipedia.
The Bellovaci and their allies, informed by the fugitives of the death of Correus, of the loss of their cavalry and the flower of their infantry, and fearing every moment to see the Romans appear, convoked by sound of trumpet a general assembly and decided by acclamation to send deputies and hostages to the proconsul. The barbarians implored forgiveness, alleging that this last defeat had ruined their power, and that the death of Correus, the instigator of the war, delivered them from oppression, for, during his life, it was not the senate which governed, but an ignorant multitude. To their prayers Caesar replied that last year the Bellovaci had revolted in concert with the other Gaulish peoples, but that they alone had persisted in the revolt. It was very convenient to throw their faults upon those who were dead, but how could it be believed that with nothing but the help of a weak populace a man should have had sufficient influence to raise and sustain a war contrary to the will of the chiefs, the decision of the senate, and the desire of honest people? However, the evil which they had drawn upon themselves was for him a sufficient reparation.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Great Mothers in Church History

by Jack Le Moine


Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Who do you think are the greatest mothers in religeous history? Compare with this article.

From the latest happenings in things historical. This article Great Mothers in Church History was published yesterday in Baptist Press. The article’s author is David Roach.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rivers' Influence on Civilizations

My favorite historian, Douglas Southall Freeman (1886 – 1953),
c. 1916 as the new editor of the Richmond News Leader.
Public domain image from Wikipedia.
A nation's rivers are its first highways. Down them pass its first adventurers. From them radiate its first explorers. About them develop its traditions and its mysteries. There was mystery in the Nile, mystery in the Tigris, mystery in the Maeander, mystery in the Tiber. Why were they the first settlements of great states, and why had the sons of those streams a distinctive spirit? Why did they cradle each a civilization, and why was each different? These questions, asked of the ancient, we may apply to our rivers of mystery, our James, our Potomac, our Hudson, our Ohio, and our Mississippi. From the James grew Virginia; from the Potomac came the wonderful group of Westmoreland 5 statesmen; from the Hudson came that daring spirit of trade; from the Mississippi came daring voyagers and men with mind of a stamp; from the Ohio came Abraham Lincoln.

- Douglas Southall Freeman


More on Douglas Southall Freeman.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Caesar's Decisive Battle Before the Aisne

Featuring an excerpt from History of Julius Caesar by Napoleon III published in 1865.

Previously in Caesar Conquers Gaul. And now Napoleon III

Time: September 52 BC
Place: Alesia, Gaul (France)

Vercingetorix's surrender to Caesar after the
Siege of Alesia in 52 BC.
Public Domain from Wikipedia.
Nevertheless, in one of the skirmishes which were continually taking place within sight of the two camps about the fordable places of the marsh, the German infantry--which Caesar had sent for from beyond the Rhine in order to mix them with the cavalry--joined in a body, boldly crossed the marsh, and, meeting with little resistance, continued the pursuit with such impetuosity that fear seized not only the enemy who fought, but even those who were in reserve. Instead of availing themselves of the advantages of the ground, all fled in a cowardly manner. They did not stop until they were within their camp, and some even were not ashamed to fly beyond it. This defeat caused a general discouragement, for the Gauls were as easily daunted by the least reverse as they were made arrogant by the smallest success.