Friday, April 30, 2010

History Trivia

On April 30, 0030 Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. In 313 Valerius Licinianus Licinius, Roman emperor ( 308 to 324), unified the whole of the eastern empire under his own rule. In 1250 King Louis IX of France was ransomed for one million dollars. In 1527 Henry VIII and King Francis of France signed the treaty of Westminster and in 1563 all Jews were expelled from France by order of Charles VI.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

History Trivia

On April 29, 1289 , Qala'un, the Sultan of Egypt, captured Tripoli. In 1429 Joan of Arc led Orleans, France, to victory over Britain. In 1661 The Chinese Ming dynasty occupied Taiwan and in 1672 King Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

History Trivia

On April 28, 357, Constantius II visited Rome for the first time and in 1282 villagers in Palermo led a revolt against French rule in Sicily.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

History Trivia

On April 27 4977 B.C., the universe was created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets. Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth.

Monday, April 26, 2010

History Trivia

On April 26, 1478, Pazzi conspirators attacked Lorenzo and killed Giuliano de'Medici. AND on April 26, 1514, Copernicus made his first observations of Saturn.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is widely believed to be the most useful and reliable history of England from the Roman conquest, through to the eleventh century. Although only nine copies of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle survive, at one time, there were multiple copies of the Chronicle, which were distributed to religious houses throughout England, with further copies being made by monks. Once copies had been made of the original, the documents were then independently updated at the monastery where they were housed. This means that there were many different versions in existence, each of which had initially been copied from the original.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

History Trivia: Easter Rebellion in Dublin

April 24, 1916 : Easter Rebellion begins in Dublin. The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launched the so-called Easter Rebellion, an armed uprising against British rule. Assisted by militant Irish socialists under James Connolly, Pearse and his fellow Republicans rioted and attacked British provincial government headquarters across Dublin and seized the Irish capital's General Post Office. Following these successes, they proclaimed the independence of Ireland, which had been under the repressive thumb of the United Kingdom for centuries, and by the next morning were in control of much of the city. Later that day, however, British authorities launched a counteroffensive, and by April 29 the uprising had been crushed. Nevertheless, the Easter Rebellion is considered a significant marker on the road to establishing an independent Irish republic.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare

The Great Bard, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. Church records show that he was baptized on April 26. He was 52 years-old when he died on April 23, 1616, after having retired to Stratford three years earlier.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cast your Runes

Today's Rune for your favorite author

Uruz is the Rune of harmony, order and inner strength. Often it marks endings and beginnings of periods in our lives. Uruz also symbolizes your ability to tackle new challenges by confronting them with the powers that lie within you. Opportunities probably abound for you right now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In the News

Your favorite author was featured in the Student Spotlight on the Winghill Writing School Facebook Fan Page. The entire article is posted on my webpage under the In the News Tab.

History Trivia

April 21, 753 B.C.: According to legend, Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, found Rome on the site where they were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants. The Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century B.C. Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman scholar, set the date of Rome's founding in the first century B.C.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

History Trivia

The Via Francigena is an ancient road between Rome and Canterbury which passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy. In medieval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route. The route was first documented as the "Lombard Way", and was first called the "Frankish Route” as recorded in 725 by the Bavarian Bishop Willibald.

Monday, April 19, 2010

History Trivia

825 The kingdom of Wessex wins in war and becomes the dominate power in England.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Diet of Worms

On April 18, 1521, Martin Luther confronted the emperor Charles V in the Diet of Worms where he refused to retract his views that led to his excommunication.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lost Gold of the Dark Ages

Television event: The National Geographic Channel (250 in the Omaha area) is airing “Lost Gold of the Dark Ages” on Sunday, April 18th at 8:00 p.m. This is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found to date. Move over King Tut 

Mary Ann's Book signing

April 17, 2010 -- Thank you Beth Black, owner of The Bookworm at Countryside Village for your hospitality.

Thanks to my family and friends who made this book signing event such a success.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Roman Coloseum

Emperor Vespasian ordered the construction of the Colosseum which was dedicated by his son and successor Titus a year after his father’s death. The Colosseum took ten years to complete with a seating capacity for 50,000-75,000 spectators. The "grand opening" consisted of 100 days of games. Earthquakes in 492 and 508 caused portions of the Colosseum to fall but it was a 9th century earthquake which caused half of the outer shell to collapse.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

9th Century Solar Eclipses

From 801 to 900 there were 222 solar eclipses of which 78 were partial, 74 were annular (sun and moon are exactly in line) , 64 were total and 6 were hybrids (transitions between total and annular; extremely rare). The greatest number of eclipses in one year was four, in 810, 828, 875, and 893.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 17 2010 Booksigning Omaha NE

April 17th, 2010 from 1:00pm until 2:00pm
Stop by The Bookworm in Countryside Village for "The Briton and the Dane" booksigning event. The address is 8702 Pacific Street, Omaha, NE 402-392-287

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

857 Rhine Valley

History Trivia: In 857, there was mass hysteria in the Rhine Valley due to Ergot poisoning. The hallucinogenic fungus (LSD) replaces the rye grain which was baked as bread and killed thousands. Ergotism is also known as Holy Fire and St. Anthony’s Fire because of the burning sensation symptoms noted in the extremities.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fourth Crusade

History Trivia: April 12, 1204 - Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) was sacked during the Fourth Crusade. Fire destroyed much of the city which left thousands homeless. The great Library was destroyed. Ancient Greek and Roman works not destroyed by fire were stolen. Unfortunately the Crusaders were ruthless and spared no one and nothing as they inflicted their revenge for the massacre of Roman Catholic merchants and their families which occurred in 1182.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Napoleon banished to Elba

April 11, 1814: Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history was banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba as required by the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

King of the Western Franks

History Trivia: April 10, 879 – Louis III becomes King of the Western Franks

Friday, April 9, 2010

Official Bransle (Toss the Duchess) Dance

Last night your favorite author learned the steps for the "Branle de l'Official" dance aka Toss the Duchess. Apparently some men were a bit over zealous with tossing - it was not unheard of to hit one's head on the ceiling or perhaps end up on the floor. We also practiced the Rufty Tufty - the steps are easy, it's putting everything in the right order that's a challenge!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Vikings and Paris - 845 AD

History Trivia: In 845 the Vikings led by Ragnar Lodbrok journeyed up the Seine River and arrived at Paris in search of plunder. Paris was spared when Charles the Bald paid a tribute of 7,000 lbs of silver.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oseberg Viking Ship

834 Norway - two women were buried in a Viking ship. In 2008 the “Oseberg ship” was excavated. One skeleton indicated the woman led a hard life. The second revealed a woman between 70 and 80 who had cancerous tumors in her bones which may have spread from breast or uterine cancer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Olympic Games reinstated on April 6, 1896

On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, were reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

The first recorded Olympic Games were held at Olympia in the Greek city-state of Elis in 776 B.C., but it is generally accepted that the Olympics were at least 500 years old at that time. The ancient Olympics, held every four years, occurred during a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus. In the eighth century B.C., contestants came from a dozen or more Greek cities, and by the fifth century B.C. from as many as 100 cities throughout the Greek empire. Initially, Olympic competition was limited to foot races, but later a number of other events were added, including wrestling, boxing, horse and chariot racing, and military competitions. The pentathlon, introduced in 708 B.C., consisted of a foot race, the long jump, discus and javelin throws, and wrestling. With the rise of Rome, the Olympics declined, and in 393 A.D. the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games as part of his efforts to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Steven Novak's "Forts: Fathers and Sons"

"The Briton and Dane's" talented illustrator's book, "Forts: Fathers and Sons" is now available on

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ancient Quotes

Julius Caesar 100 - 44 BC

I came, I saw, I conquered
The die is cast
You too Brutus
I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome
Men freely believe that which they desire.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Food choices of the Anglo-Saxon era

History Trivia: Food choices of the Anglo-Saxon era: Barley, Oats, Rye, Wheat; Cabbage, Carrots, Leeks, Legumes, Onions; Coriander, Dill, Opium, Poppy, Thyme, Summer savory; Apples, Berries, Cherries, Honey, Nuts, Plums, Sloes; Ale, Mead, Wine; Cattle, Ducks, Fish, Geese, Hens, Herons, Pigs, Wild Boar

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ancient Quotes

“If tones cannot be remembered by man in his memory they will vanish because they cannot be written down."
Bishop Isidorus, a 7th century theologian of Seville, writing about music

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds

History Trivia: The Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds was founded in the 6th century by the King of the East Angles. Its place in history was secured in 1214 when the barons met to propose the Charter of Liberties, known as Magna Carta and signed by King John in 1215.