Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 12 Caligula, Emperor of Rome 37-41, was born. He was noted for his insanity and cruelty. 161 Commodus, Emperor of Rome 180-192 was born. 651 St. Aidan died. A monk at Iona, Scotland, Aidan became the first bishop of Lindisfarne. 1056 Byzantine Empress Theodora became ill and died suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the throne, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty. 1314 King Håkon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo. 1422 King Henry V of England died of dysentery while in France. 1422 Henry VI became King of England at the age of 9 months. 1535 Pope Paul II deposed and excommunicated King Henry VIII.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

History Trivia

August 30, 1181 Pope Alexander III died. 1464 Pope Paul II elected. Although Paul II was considered a personally generous man, his political methods resulted in uneasy international relations. He fought stridently against the Hussites, convinced King Mathias of Hungary to declare war against Bohemia and its king, George, who was sympathetic to the Hussite cause. He also fought for a crusade against the Turks, which never materialized. Paul patronized scholars, collected antiquities, built the Palazzo Venezia, and founded the first printing presses in Rome. Yet he also closed the humanist Roman Academy, arrested its members, and had one of its leaders tortured on charges of conspiracy. 1525 Treaty of the More signed between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. England agreed to give up some territorial claims on France. In return, France was to pay a pension and was to prevent the Duke of Albany from returning to Scotland.

Monday, August 29, 2011

History Trivia

August 29,28 John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod at the request of his stepdaughter Salome. 70 The Temple of Jerusalem burned after a nine-month Roman siege. 1350 Battle of Winchelsea (Les Espagnols sur Mer): The English naval fleet under King Edward III defeated a Castilian fleet of 40 ships. Between 14 and 26 Castilian ships were captured, and some were sunk, while 2 English vessels were sunk and many suffered heavy losses. 1475 The Treaty of Picquigny ended a brief war between France and England. Louis XI of France paid Edward IV of England to return to England and not take up arms to pursue his claim to the French throne. Edward's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), opposed the treaty and refused the pension Louis offered.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

History Trivia

August 28, 430 Saint Augustine, the great Christian theologian, died at age 75.
476 the western Roman Empire founded by Augustus in 27 BC ended at Ravenna, where Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the barbarian leader Odoacer (Germanic chieftain). 489 Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths defeated Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo, forcing his way into Italy. 1189 Third Crusade: the Crusaders began the Siege of Acre under Guy of Lusignan. 1296 After the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar, Edward I had the Scottish land owners, churchmen and burgesses swear their allegiance by signing the The Ragman Rolls.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

History Trivia

August 27, 550 BC Confucius, famous wise man of China is believed to have been born around this date. 479 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Persian forces led by Mardonius were routed by Pausanias, the Spartan commander of the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea. 410 The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ended after three days. 1172 Henry the Young King and Margaret of France were crowned as junior king and queen of England. 1626 The Danes were crushed by the Catholic League in Germany, marking the end of Danish intervention in European wars.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26, 55 BC Julius Caesar and his Roman Legions invaded Great Britain. 1017 Turks defeated the Byzantine army under Emperor Romanus IV at Manikert, Eastern Turkey. 1429 Joan of Arc made a triumphant entry into Paris.1466 A conspiracy against Piero di Cosimo de' Medici in Florence, led by Luca Pitti, was discovered.
1498 Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pietà.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

History Trivia

August 25,357 Julian Caesar defeated the Alamanni(alliance of German tribes) at Strousbourg in Gaul. 608 Boniface IV became Roman Catholic pope. 1270 King Louis IX of France (Saint Louis) died in northern Africa while leading the Eighth Crusade. 1346 Edward III of England defeated Philip VI's army at the Battle of Crecy in France.1549 Kett's Rebellion was a revolt in Norfolk, England during the reign of Edward VI. The rebellion was in response to the enclosure of land. It began in July 1549 but was eventually crushed by forces loyal to the English crown when the Earl of Warwick attacked and entered Norwich on August 25.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

History Trivia

August 24, 49 BC Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio was defeated in the Second Battle of the Bagradas River by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio committed suicide to avoid capture. 79 Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were buried in volcanic ash Pliny the Elder died of asphyxiation at age 56 while witnessing the scene from the coast. 410 Alaric, leader of the Visigoths, sacked Rome, but spared its churches. This was first hostile occupation of the city since the fourth century BC. 1113 Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and ancestor of the Plantagenet kings of England was born. 1200 King John of England, signee of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

History Trivia

August 23, 79 Mount Vesuvius (a stratovolcano on the Bay of Naples, Italy) began to stir, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. 406 Battle at Florence: Stilicho's Roman army beat Radagaisus' Barbarians. Radagaisus King of the Goths (east Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin) was captured and executed. 1305 William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason by Edward I of England.

Monday, August 22, 2011

History Trivia

August 22, 392 Arbogast (Frankish general of the Roman empire) had Eugenius (a Christian who was the last Emperor to support Roman polytheism) elected Western Roman Emperor. 476 Odoacer was named Rex italiae (King of Italy)) by his troops. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the classical Roman Empire in Western Europe and the beginning of the Middle Ages. 565 St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness, Scotland. 851 Erispoe, King of Brittany, defeated Charles the Bald near the Breton town of Jengland. 1138 Battle of the Standard where English forces repelled the Scottish army led by King David I of Scotland. 1485 Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and Henry VII became the first king of the Tudor dynasty.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

History Trivia

August 21, 1165 Philip II (Philip Augustus) the first king of the Capetian dynasty in France was born. 1689 The Battle of Dunkeld in Scotland was fought between Jacobite clans supporting the deposed king James VII of Scotland and a government regiment of covenanters supporting William of Orange, King of Scotland, in the streets around Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunkeld, Scotland, and formed part of the Jacobite rising commonly called Dundee's rising in Scotland.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

History Trivia

August 20, 1119 Henry I defeated an invasion of his Norman lands by Louis VI (the Fat), King of France, at the Battle of Brémule. The defeat effectively crippled the baron's rebellion and led to King Louis having to accept William Adelin as Duke of Normandy. William was officially invested with the duchy in 1120, even though King Louis continued to support William Clito's claim to the honour. The contemporary Norman historian Orderic Vitalis noted that the quality of their armour and the chivalrous preference for capturing (and presumably ransoming) the enemy meant that of the 900 knights engaged in ‘the battle of the two kings’ only three were killed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

History Trivia

August 19, 480 BC Spartan soldiers made an heroic last stand against the Persians at the pass at Thermopylae. 43 BC Octavian, later known as Augustus, compelled the Roman Senate to elect him Consul. 14 Roman emperor Augustus died at Nola at age 76after a 41-year reign. 312 Roman emperor Constantine the Great supposedly saw a vision of a cross and the words, "In this sign conquer," which caused him to eventually embrace Christianity. 1274 Edward I was crowned King of England. 1561 An 18-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

History Trivia

August 18, 293 BC The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded, starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica (festival sacred to Jupiter). 328 Saint Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, died at age 82. 1201 The city of Riga(Baltics) was founded, and became a thriving center of Viking trade. 1227 Genghis Khan, the great Mongol conqueror, died at age 60. 1572 The future Huguenot King Henry IV of Navarre was married to Marguerite de Valois, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

History Trivia

August 17, 986 A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron. The Byzantine emperor Basil II narrowly escaped. The Battle of the Gates of Trajan only postponed the fall of Bulgaria, which occurred in 1018. 1510 Edmund Dudley was executed for treason under Henry VIII. While waiting for his execution he wrote The Tree of Commonwealth, a treatise in support of absolute monarchy; Dudley hoped to gain the favor of Henry VIII, but there is no evidence that Henry ever saw the document.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

History Trivia

August 16 1513 The Battle of Guinegate (near Saint-Omer in the Pas de Calais, France)or Battle of the Spurs: As part of the Holy League under the on-going Italian Wars, English and Imperial troops under Henry VIII and Maximilian I surprised and routed a body of French cavalry under Jacques de La Palice. The English army was provided by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and combined several different types of martial forces, and included cavalry, artillery, infantry and longbows using hardened steel arrows designed to penetrate armour more effectively. The French forces were mostly companies of gendarmes and pikemen, with some other mixed forces as well. The battle became known as the "Battle of the Spurs" because of the haste of the French horsemen to leave the battlefield.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass (Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain), at which Roland (commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne's army) was killed. The battle was romanticized by oral tradition into a major conflict between Christians and Muslims, when in fact both sides in the battle were Christian. The legend is recounted in 11th century The Song of Roland, which is the oldest surviving major work of French literature, and in Orlando Furioso, which is one of the most celebrated works of Italian literature. 982 Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna, in Calabria. 1057 King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada. 1248 The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid. 1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople. 1309 The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights established their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes. 1483 Pope Sixtus IV consecrated the Sistine Chapel.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

History Trivia

August 14, 1040 Duncan, King of Scots was murdered by Macbeth, who became king. 1598 Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford: Irish forces under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13,523 John I was elected Roman Catholic pope. 1415 Hundred Years War: King Henry V of England army landed on mouth of the Seine River, and organized the siege of the town of Harfleur (now part of Le Havre). 1516 The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain was signed. Francis I of France recognized Charles's claim to Naples, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor recognized Francis' claim to Milan.

Friday, August 12, 2011

History Trivia

August 12, 30 BC –Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite. 1099 First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon: Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeated Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah. This is considered the last engagement of the First Crusade. 1164 Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din Zangi defeated the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

History Trivia

August 11, 480 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Artemisium – the Persians won a naval victory over the Greeks in an engagement fought near Artemisium, a promontory on the north coast of Euboea (island of central Greece in the Aegean Sea). 355 Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II. 1492 Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI. One of the most notorious men to sit on the papal throne, Alexander VI was worldly, ambitious and ruthless. However he was a patron of the arts (Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio) and also encouraged the development education as evidenced by the 1495 issuing of a Papal Bull at the request of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, and King James IV of Scotland, founding King’s College, Aberdeen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

History Trivia

August 10,955 Battle of Lechfeld: Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor defeated the Magyars (Hungarians), ending 50 years of Magyar invasion of the West. 991 Battle of Maldon: the English, led by Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings near Maldon in Essex. 1316 The Second Battle of Athenry during the Bruce campaign in Ireland. The Second Battle of Athenry marked the definitive end of the power of the Ua Conchobair (O'Connor's) as Kings of Connacht. The decades following marked the high point of Norman rule in Connacht, and the rise of the towns of Athenry and Galway as centers of economic and political power and wealth. Unlike the First Battle of Athenry in 1249, no account is given of the battle itself in any surviving account, and even the site of the battle itself is uncertain.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

History Trivia

August 9,48 BC – Caesar's civil war: Battle of Pharsalus (Greece) – Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey fled to Egypt where he was later murdered. As a result Caesar had absolute control of Rome. 378 Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was defeated by the Visigoths in present-day Turkey. Valens was killed along with over half of his army. 681 Bulgaria was founded as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube after defeating the Byzantine armies of Emperor Constantine IV south of the Danube delta. 1173 Construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa (Leaning Tower of Pisa) begun; it would take two centuries to complete. 1483 Opening of the Sistine Chapel in Rome with the celebration of a Mass.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Briton and the Dane does not disappoint

Monday, August 8, 2011
Review: The Briton And The Dane

Book: The Briton and the Dane by Mary Ann Bernal
Published by Mary Ann Bernal in association with The Literary Underground; 2011
312 pages; excluding glossary, character lists and maps.
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adult Fiction

Synopsis via Goodreads: After the last of Rome's legions left Britannia to the mercy of the invading barbarian hordes and before the age of chivalry, when knighthood was in flower and troubadours sang of courtly love, there lived a King whose love for his people and the land left a legacy coveted by his descendants who sought to wear his crown. Travel back in time to the late Ninth Century, to the tumultuous days in the reign of Alfred the Great who successfully defeated the Danish Viking King Guthrum and kept his precious Wessex free from Viking rule. Journey to the Burh of Wareham where Lord Richard oversees the training of Alfred's army; where his children, Stephen, David and Gwyneth, swear fealty to their King and support Alfred's vision to build a nation to rival the glory that once was Rome in a land ravaged by war and conquest.

When Mary Ann emailed me about this book I was interested obviously because it was historical fiction, but also because she made mention of her love for novels like Ivanhoe. I love sweeping epics with tons of characters and story arcs, and that is what Briton and the Dane offers.
There are so many characters and story lines to draw readers in right from the beginning. I wish I could go into a lot of detail and gush about my favorite characters, but the list in lengthy and it would give away so many things. I can say that I loved the characters of David and Gwyn immediately. Their stories I loved; couldn’t get enough scenes with them. While each character has their own unique story, they’re interspersed and somehow connected with all the others, which I really liked.

I don’t want to say that the book overall seems condensed, but you do get a lot of information in what seems like a short amount of time. I wasn’t left wanting, other than the obvious cliffhangers. The chapters are rather short, which I liked. The pacing is great. It’s slow enough that none of the story seems rushed and fast enough that nothing seems drawn out or overdone.

I think that this novel will have wide appeal, not just to those who like historical fiction. I didn’t know much about Viking history when I started this novel, but it had definitely prompted me to get into it a bit more.

I am looking forward to reading the next installment.
Posted by Jenn at 12:00 AM

Booksessed: Review: The Briton And The Dane

Booksessed: Review: The Briton And The Dane: " Book: The Briton and the Dane by Mary Ann Bernal Published by Mary Ann Bernal in association with The Literary Underground; 2011 312 pa..."

History Trivia

August 8, 117 Roman emperor Trajan died at Selinus (southern coast of Sicily) at age 63. 1220 Sweden was defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula. The short-lived Swedish attempt to gain a foothold in Estonia was motivated by the quickly advancing Danish and German crusaders who had been able to conquer most of the area in the early 13th century. 1503 King James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Scotland. 1588 Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines – The naval engagement concluded, ending the Spanish Armada's attempt to invade England.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

History Trivia

August 7, 322 BC Battle of Crannon: Macedonian forces of Antipater and Craterus and rebellious Greek forces led by the Athenians, was the decisive battle of the Lamian War. The Greeks sued for peace which marked the end of city-state freedom from Macedonian hegemony in Greece. 317 Roman Emperor Flavius Julius Constantius was born. 626 The Avar and Slav armies left the siege of Constantinople, which kept the Byzantine Empire intact. 936 Coronation of King Otto I of Germany. 1420 Construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore began in Florence. 1427 The Visconti of Milan's fleet was destroyed by the Venetians on the Po River. 1485 Henry VII's army landed in Milford Harbor, South-Wales, a Lancastrian stronghold, and amassed an army to seize the crown from Richard III who was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

History Trivia

August 6,258 Pope Sixtus II was beheaded during the persecution by Emperor Valerian.939 Battle at Simancas - Spain defeated the Moors. Arab witnesses reported a spectacular eclipse of the sun that took place on the first day of the battle, a bad omen. 1181 Supernova was observed by Chinese and Japanese astronomers. 1284 The Republic of Pisa was defeated in the Battle of Meloria by the Republic of Genoa, thus losing its naval dominance in the Mediterranean. 1806 Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated, ending the Holy Roman Empire.

Friday, August 5, 2011

History Trivia

August 5, 642 – Battle of Maserfield – Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Northumbria. 910 The last major Danish army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward the Elder and Earl Aethelred of Mercia. 1100 Henry I was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. 1305 William Wallace, who led the Scottish resistance against England, was captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed. 1388 The Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish was fought between the Scots and the English in Northern England; the Scots were victorious.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

History Trivia

August 4, 70 The destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. 367 Gratian, son of Roman Emperor Valentinian I, was named co-Augustus by his father. 1265 Second Barons' War: Battle of Evesham: the army of Prince Edward (the future king Edward I of England) defeated the forces of rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, killing de Montfort and many of his allies. 1532 the Duchy of Brittany was annexed to the Kingdom of France.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

History Trivia

August 3, 30 BC Mark Antony committed suicide in Alexandria, Egypt, to which he had been pursued by Octavian after the Battle of Actium. 8 Roman Empire general Tiberius defeated Dalmatians on the river Bathinus (southern Croatia). 435 Deposed Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, considered the originator of Nestorianism, was exiled by Roman Emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt. Nestorianism is the error that Jesus is two distinct persons. 881 Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu: Louis III of France defeated the Vikings, an event celebrated in the German poem Ludwigslied. 1291the Crusaders abandoned Tortosa (province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain) to the Moslems.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

History Trivia

August 2,338 BC A Macedonian army led by Philip II defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea, securing Macedonian hegemony in Greece and the Aegean. 216 BC Second Punic War: Battle of Cannae – The Carthaginian army lead by Hannibal and his elephants defeated a numerically superior Roman army under command of consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro. 47 BC Julius Caesar said "I came, I saw, I conquered" after defeating Pharnaces, King of Pontus (northeast Turkey).1100 William II (Rufus) was killed by an arrow shot by Walter Tyrell while hunting in the New Forest.

Monday, August 1, 2011

History Trivia

August 1,30 BC – Octavian (later known as Augustus) entered Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Republic. 10 BC, Claudius I, Emperor of Rome AD 41-54 was born. He built Rome's harbor at Ostia and conquered parts of England and Thrace (now the Balkins). 69 Batavian rebellion: The Batavians in Germania Inferior (Netherlands) revolted under the leadership of Gaius Julius Civilis. 126 Publius Helvius Pertinax, Emperor of Rome for less than one year in 193 was born. 527 Justinian I became the sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire. 902 Taormina, the last Byzantine stronghold in Sicily, was captured by the Aghlabid army. 1137 Louis VI, the Fat, King of France died of dysentery. 1203 Isaac II Angelus, restored Eastern Roman Emperor, declared his son Alexius IV Angelus co-emperor after pressure from the forces of the Fourth Crusade.