Thursday, May 29, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Five

Rollo the Walker was a Viking chieftain that helped lead the initial siege of Paris in 885 that lasted 13 months. The Vikings eventually gave up the siege but returned again 25 years later in 911. Rather than endure another siege Charles King of the Franks gave the Vikings part of Francia and that territory became Normandy. Rollo was the first Duke of Normandy and his great-great-great grandson was William the Conqueror. 

Viking page

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Five

Colonel Santos Benevides reached the highest rank of a Mexican American in the Confederate army. He was from Laredo, TX and his greatest military accomplishment came in defense of his hometown. On March 19, 1864 he led his 33rd Texas Calvary to defeat the Union First Texas Calvary.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Five

Developing agriculture along the Nile River led to grain based food to be a large part of the diet. Bread and beer were two staples that provided nourishment for all no matter the economic class.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Five

Pierre Le Grand is credited with being the first to give piracy a try in the America's as he operated in the Caribbean in the late 1620's. He started with a small boat and 28 men and made the bold move to upgrade when his crew boarded and overtook a Spanish galleon that had fallen behind the rest of the Spanish treasure fleet. He reportedly returned to his native France with the ship while word of his actions inspired many others to turn to piracy in the Caribbean.

Pirate page

Sunday, May 25, 2014

St Zephyrinus 15th Pope

St Zephyrinus was the 15th Pope 199 to 217. His birth date is not known and it is believed he was born in Rome with the birth name Zepheniah. He spent his time dealing with the persecutions of the Christians set forth by Roman Emperor Septimus Severus, countering the heretical teachings for both the Montantists and the followers of Theodotus and trying to remain neutral as the theological schools of Hippolytus on one side and Cleomenes and Sabellius on the other debated the modality of God. Hippolytus did not think highly of Zephyrinus and referred to him as a simple man without education. Pope Zephyrinus was close to Callistus who he brought to Rome from Antium and made him a deacon. Upon his death Callistus was elected to succeed him which further infuriated Hippolytus as he and his scholars withdrew from the Roman Church causing a schism as Hippolytus declared himself a rival Pope. The Feast day of St Zephyrinus is celebrated on December 20.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Four

The Parian marble used in the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus came from the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. Paros was nearly on the same 37th latitude about 200 km or 124 miles to the west. The marble quarries were on the north side of the island.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 23, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Four

King Alfonso I of Navarre and Aragon had willed his entire country to the Knights Templar when he died in 1134. The territory was actually controlled by the Moors at the time. Plus the aristocracy of both the kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon rejected the bequest and seized control in each.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Four

Known as the Vale of York hoard, a large collection of Viking artifacts was found buried near Harrogate, England in 2007. It is speculated it was buried by a wealthy Viking leader in 927 AD in reaction to the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria. The collection showed the wide reaching travels of the Vikings as it contained Islamic dirhams, Russian jewelry and artifacts from Afghanistan, Ireland and many of the countries which spanned between. It is on display at the British Museum.

Viking page

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Four

There were only two people convicted of war crimes in the Civil War. The first was Captain Henry Wirz who was tried and executed for crimes associated with his command of the prison camp at Andersonville, GA. The second was Champ Ferguson who operated as a Confederate guerrilla during the war and was tried and executed for killing by his own admission over 100 Union soldiers and pro-Union civilians.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Four

The twenty-eighth dynasty was the shortest dynasty and only had one Pharaoh. Amyrtaeus led a successful revolt against the Persians and ruled 404 to 398 BC.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Four

Another bad luck superstition was that it was believed whistling on board a ship would bring stormy weather. It spawned the phrase "whistle up a storm".

Pirate page

Sunday, May 18, 2014

St Victor I 14th Pope

St Victor I was the 14th Pope from 189 to 199. While his exact date of birth is unknown it is thought that he was born in Leptis Magna which became part of the Roman Province of Africa and later would be in modern Libya. Pope Victor I once again addressed the Easter controversy over when it was celebrated. He called a meeting of the Italian bishops of Rome in the first known Roman synod to discuss the matter. He also requested the Bishop Polycrates of Ephesus have a similar meeting with the bishops of Asia. The ultimate decision by Pope Victor I was that the Eastern practice of observing Easter on the 14th day of Nisan should change to be in line with Rome which observed Easter on Sunday. Those that did not comply would be excluded from the church. The Pope also dealt with more heretics during his years and excommunicated Theodotus of Byzantium. 

Pope Victor I saw some peace for the Christians under the later years ruled by Emperor Commodus and the early years of Emperor Septimus Severus. The favorite mistress of Commodus thought highly of the Christians and may have been Christian herself. She requested a meeting with Pope Victor I and asked for a list of those persecuted and she used the list to free those condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. One twist was that Marcia was one of the assassins of Commodus because she saw he name on a list of those to be executed. During the reign of his successor Severus the fifth persecution against Christians by the Romans started when he decreed that no one was allowed to convert to Christianity or Judaism. 

Pope Victor I was also the first to bring Latin to the church. He also introduced sequentes or acolytes among the clergy which were assistants to the priests and later became the alter boys.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Three

The city of Ephesus where the Temple of Artemis was constructed was a city on par with Athens and Rome. The prosperous city had over 250,000 people living there at its peak.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 16, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Three

The Knights Templar had many business ventures that ranged from farming, manufacturing, shipping, banking and hospitals. The wealth of the order grew at a staggering rate and over time more man power was devoted to overseeing these businesses than adding to the forces of their military interests. 

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Three

There were several large Viking settlements in northern and Eastern England and they ruled most of that territory by 880 AD. Some of the towns and villages of Viking origin are indicated when they end in "by" and "thorpe" such as Selby, Whitby, Crownthorpe and Tholthorpe. 

Viking page

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Three

Shortly after the beginning of the war the estate of Robert E. Lee in Arlington, VA was confiscated by Union soldiers in May 1861. The main house served as the headquarters for the Army of the Potomac and later the Army of Northeastern Virginia. In 1864 it was decided to be the location of the new military cemetery as the military cemeteries in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, VA were reaching capacity. It was also motive to put the cemetery there to remind General Lee what he helped cause. The location later became Arlington National Cemetery.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Three

While the Egyptians did worship over 2000 gods as a whole, fewer than 100 were worshiped through out the entire country. Most were just local gods. Those worshiped nationally tended to be part of the state religion. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Three

Captain Oruç Reis was one of the first known pirates to wear a hook after he lost his arm. He was a Turkish pirate in the 1500's who operated in the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. In 1512 he lost his left arm in a battle against Spaniards and a doctor in Egypt later fashioned him a silver prosthetic device with a hook for him to use. That earned him the nickname Gümüş Kol which is silver arm in Turkish. Over the years he was also known as Baba Oruç, Baba Aruj, Red Beard and Barbarossa.

Pirate page

Sunday, May 11, 2014

St Eleutherius 13th Pope

St Eleutherius was the 13th Pope from 175 to 189. He was born in Nicopolis, Greece. He had been a deacon in the Roman Church under both Pope Anicetus and Pope Soter before succeeding St Soter. After giving the issue much study Pope Eleutherius declared against the Montanists. He was also dealing with the heretical Gnostics and Marcionites. Pope Eleutherius made the decree that no food should be despised by Christians which likely was a counter to the Montanists whose followers were forbidden to eat meat. The conversion to the British King Lucius is credited to Pope Eleutherius. He died on May 24, 189. His Feast day is celebrated on May 26.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Two

The people of Rhodes had a budget of 300 talents after the sale of all the abandoned equipment left by the forces of Demetrius. One talent was equal to about 928 ounces or 26,308 grams of silver. The modern value would be over $5 million U.S.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 9, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Two

The Knights Templar went into battle well armed. Besides the standard broadsword each was issued a lance, three knives of different lengths and a Turkish mace. Some knights were also known to use crossbows. It was also common for them to take weapons they found on the fallen enemy in battle.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Two

Vikings enjoyed playing many games including chess. Chess pieces of many designs have been discovered at many locations with the most famous being those found on the Isle of Lewis. Now on display at the British Museum the Lewis Chessmen were carved out of walrus ivory and whales teeth sometime between 1150 and 1200. The rooks resemble Viking berzerkers as they chewed on their shields.

Viking page

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Two

Nearly one-third of the soldiers that fought for the Union Army were immigrants with 10 percent of the army being Germans and 7.5 percent being Irish.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Two

It was believed that the flooding of the Nile each year was caused by the tears of the goddess Isis as she mourned the death of the god Osiris who had been killed by his brother Set. An annual festival was called Night of the Tear Drop.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Two

The bilge is the part of the ship below the floor boards on the bottom level but above the hull. It is a dark, dirty and smelly. Therefore it was one of the greatest pirate insults to call someone a bilge rat.

Pirate page

Sunday, May 4, 2014

St Soter 12th Pope

St Soter was the 12th Pope from 168 to 175. He was born in Fondi, Campania which is now in southern Italy. As Pope he declared that marriage is valid as a sacrament only if blessed by a priest. He was also responsible for setting a yearly festival to celebrate Easter. Pope Soter was also known for caring for the poor in Rome. His Feast day is on April 22.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty One

The distance between the Statue of Zeus at Olympia to the Colossus of Rhodes was about 435 miles or 700 km.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 2, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty One

Tomar, Portugal was founded in 1162 under the orders of Dom Gualdim Pais. Pais was the fourth Grand Master of Portugal who had fought in the crusades along side Alfonso Henriques who became the first king of Portugal when they gained their independence. The castle of Tomas was built in 1160 and the Convent of the Order of Christ was constructed within the next few decades as an extension of the castle. It was one of the famous round churches the Templars were known for. Nearby the Church of Santa Maria do Olival was also constructed and that became the burial place of Pais and all the Grand Masters of Portugal that followed him.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty One

Sigrblot was a festival and corresponding feast the Vikings had in April to welcome summer. April 14 was viewed on their calendar as the first day of the summer half of the year. The word sigrblot translates as victory sacrifice. Prized livestock was sacrificed at the festival and provided for the feast held outdoors. The sacrifice to the gods may also been done to ensure a successful or victorious upcoming raiding season.

Viking page