Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows' Eve

Historian Nicholas Rogers on the origin of All Hallows' Eve: while some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin. The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf.

The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

History Trivia

On October 30 in 852 Swithun, counselor to Kings Egbert and Aethelwulf, became Bishop of Winchester and in 1485 Henry VII was crowned King of England.

Friday, October 29, 2010

History Trivia

On October 29 1618 English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh was executed for treason under a sentence passed 15 years earlier. He was a known writer, poet, soldier, courtier,spy and explorer who was also largely known for popularising tobacco in England. He fell out of favor with Queen Elizabeth I when his secret marriage to Elizabeth "Bess" Throckmorton was discovered. Because they were wed without the Queen's permission, they were imprisoned in the Tower of London. After being released, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

History Trivia

On October 28, in 312 AD Roman emperor Constantine I, the Great, defeated Maxentius, his major rival in the west, at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge and became undisputed master of Rome. In 1401 Catherine of Valois was born. The neglected daughter of King Charles VI of France, Catherine married King Henry V of England and gave birth to his son, Henry VI. After her husband's untimely death, she began a relationship with Owen Tudor and married him in secret. One of their sons was the father of King Henry VII.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Runes: Celtic Cast

Runes: Celtic Cast: Elhaz
Elhaz represents your power to protect yourself and those around you. It also connotes the thrill and joy of a successful hunt. You are in a very enviable position right now, because you are able to maintain what you have built and reach your current goals.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

History Trivia

On October 25, 1400 Geoffrey Chaucer died at the age of 57. He was the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey. In 1415, in Northern France, England won the Battle of Agincourt over France during the Hundred Years' War. Almost 6000 Frenchmen were killed while fewer than 400 were lost by the English.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

History Trivia

On October 24, 51 AD, Domitian was born. He was Roman emperor from 81-96 AD and in 1537 Jane Seymour, the third wife of England's King Henry VIII, died after giving birth to Prince Edward. Prince Edward became King Edward VI.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

History Trivia

On October 23, 42 BC Marcus Junius Brutus Caepio, leader of the plot to murder Julius Caesar, committed suicide and in 1642 Royalist forces defeated the Parliamentarians at Edgehill, the first major battle of the English Civil War.

Friday, October 22, 2010

History Trivia

On October 22,741 AD, French king Charles Martel, the grandfather of the great emperor Charlemagne, died at age 53.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

History Trivia

On October 21, 1096 The People's Crusade, led by Peter the Hermit, was slaughtered by Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Civetot and in 1422 when Henry VI was eight months old he succeeded to the English throne, and shortly afterwards, by the death in 1422 of his maternal grandfather, Charles VI, he became titular king of France.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

UK Fans - BBC Four History Night

BBC Four History Night
From Thursday 7.30pm BBC Four
In Seven Ages of Britain, David Dimbleby looks at a rare children's toy; an antique jigsaw puzzle depicting the world.

•Seven Ages of Britain: Age
of Empire
•In Search of Medieval Britain: Scotland
•Michael Wood's Story of England

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

History Trivia

On October 19, 202 BC, the Romans under Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal's army of Carthaginians and Numidians in the Battle of Sama in the Second Punic War. In 439 AD, Gaiseric, King of the Vandles, seized the Roman city of Carthage, and made it his capital. In 1466 the Treaty of Torun ended the Thirteen Years' War between Poland and the Teutonic Knights, reuniting Pomerania with the rest of the country.and in 1469 Ferdinand of Aragon married Isabella of Castile creating the alliance that will unify Spain.

Monday, October 18, 2010

History Trivia

On October 18, 514 AD, the Mayan city of Chichen Itza was first occupied by the Itzas. In 768 AD, Charlemagne and his brother Carloman were crowned co-rulers of the Franks, after the death of their father, Pepin the Short. In 1016 Cnut of Denmark became the heir of Edmund Ironside, King of England, with victory at Ashingdon and in 1685 Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, effectively banning Protestantism in France.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

History Trivia

On October 17, 532 Pope Boniface II died. In 1346 at the Battle of Neville's Cross, the English were victorious over the Scots. In 1404 Innocent VII became Pope. During his pontificate, Innocent summoned a council in an attempt to heal the Western Schism but it never assembled.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

History Trivia

On October 16, 1793, Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded during the French Revolution

Friday, October 15, 2010

History Trivia

On October 15, 70 BC, Virgil was born. He is considered to be one of the greatest classical poets of the Roman Empire and in 1389 Pope Urban VI died.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

History Trivia

On October 14, 996 AD Hugh Capet, the French king who founded the Capetian line, died in Paris at age 56 and in 1066 William the Conqueror defeated Harold Godwinson (Harold II) heir to the English throne, in the famous Battle of Hastings, which resulted in the Norman conquest of England.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

History Trivia

On October 13,54 AD, Emperor Claudius died from poison given him by his physician Xenophon and his empress Agrippina, and Nero became emperor of Rome. (Some debate this story, but it was not beyond the ambitious Agrippina). In 1307, on Friday the 13th, King Philip IV "the Fair" of France arrested all the Templar Knights.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

History Trivia

On October 12, 1428 the Siege of Orleans began which lasted until Joan of Arc persuaded King Charles VII of France to send an army to relieve the city in April. In 1537 King Edward VI was born; he was the only son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
(3rd wife); he became King at the age of 9 and died in his early teens.

Monday, October 11, 2010

History Trivia

On October 11, 732 AD, Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer), the great Frankish leader, defeated the Moors in the famous Battle of Tours, ending the Moorish advance into Europe. In 1303 Pope Boniface VIII died. 1521 Pope Leo X granted Henry VIII the title 'Defender of the Faith' for a tract defending Catholicism And of interest in 1982 Henry VIII's flagship 'Mary Rose' was raised to the surface after 437 years at the bottom of the Solent.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

History Trivia

On October 10th 680 Caliph Yazid killed his rival Hussein at Karbala. In 732 at the Battle of Tours, Charles Martel succeeded in stopping Muslim invaders and in 1361 Prince Edward (Black Prince) married Joan Plantagenet. The "Fair Maid of Kent" was not considered the ideal wife for the heir of the English throne. Joan is the mother of Richard II.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

History Trivia

On October 9th 1000 AD, Leif Ericson, the great Norse explorer, became the first European to land in North America, which he called Vinland. The date is celebrated as Leif Ericson Day in Norway. In 1047 Pope Clement II died and in 1390 King John I of Castile was killed in a fall from his horse while riding in a fantasia (equestrian performance) with some of the light horsemen known as the farfanes, who were mounted and equipped in the Arab style.

Friday, October 8, 2010

History Trivia

On October 8, 451 AD, the fourth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church opened in Rome.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

History Trivia

On October 7th 1571 The 'Holy League' of the Papal States, Spain and Venice routed the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1,111 Books for Soldiers

Omaha's The Morning Blend has featured my publisher's book project to send donated books to our deployed military on the Wednesday website. You can access Canonbridge's site via the Morning Blend link or directly at

History Trivia

On October 6, 877 Charles the Bald died. In 891 Formosus was elected Pope. During his Pontificate, he attempted to liberate Rome from the Spoletan Holy Roman co-emperors Guy and his son Lambert, crowned Arnulf of the East Franks Emperor and requested he invade Italy which left the German states in discord.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rune Cast

Rune For Today: Kenaz

Kenaz foretells the coming of clarity and knowledge. It is time for you to grow by exchanging knowledge with others. Opportunities are upon you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

History Trivia

On October 4th 1535 the first English translation of the entire bible was printed, with translations by Tyndale and Coverdale and in 1582, the Gregorian calendar was reformed. To adjust the inaccuracy in the date caused by an extra day per century in the Julian calendar, Pope Gregory XIII ordered ten days to be subtracted from October of 1582. The calendar jumped from October 4 to October 15 and the new Gregorian calendar, used today, was devised.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

History Trivia

On October 3rd 1187, Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, captured Jerusalem after a siege, ending 88 years of Christian rule and in 1226, Saint Francis of Assisi, the great Roman Catholic churchman and founder of the Franciscan order died at his beloved Poriuncula chapel at age 44.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


On October 2nd in 1187 the Muslims, led by the warrior Saladin, captured Jerusalem which brought about the Third Crusade. In 1264 Pope Urban IV died. His brief pontificate was largely occupied with his attempts to restore papal power in Italy and in 1452 King Richard III of England was born.

Friday, October 1, 2010

History Trivia

On October 1st 331 BC, Alexander the Great defeated Persian emperor Darius III in the Battle of Arbela in Mesopotamia in one of the fifteen decisive battles of history. In 959, Edgar, King of the Mercians and Northumbrians, became King of the West Saxons and was then considered to be King of all England. In 965 John XIII became Pope. In 1207, Henry III was born. King of England 1216-1264, his 56-year reign was one of the longest in history. The building of the Westminster Abbey was his most enduring moment and in 1596 the Duke of Norfolk was imprisoned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth for trying to marry Mary the Queen of Scots.