Saturday, December 31, 2011

History Trivia

December 31, 192 The Roman emperor Commodus, whose brutal reign ended 90 years of peaceful prosperity, was assassinated. 406 Vandals, Alans and Suebians crossed the Rhine, which began an invasion of Gaul. 535 Byzantine General Belisarius completed the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year. 870 Skirmish at Englefield: Ethelred of Wessex beat the Danish invasion army. 1229 James I of Aragon the Conqueror entered Medina Mayurqa (Palma, Spain) thus consummating the Christian reconquest of the island of Majorca.1502 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupied Urbino (walled city in the Marche region of Italy).

Friday, December 30, 2011

History Trivia

December 30, 41 Titus was born. He was Roman emperor from 79-81 and during his reign the Coliseum was completed. 1370 Pope Gregory XI elected pope. Gregory attempted to foster peace between England and France during the Hundred Years' War, defeated Florence in its war against the Papal States, and returned the papacy to Rome from Avignon. 1460 The Lancastrians routed the Yorkists at the Battle of Wakefield, and executed Richard, Duke of York.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

History Trivia

December 29, 1170 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered while at vespers in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights of King Henry II. Acting on the frustrated outburst of King Henry II, four knights entered the Cathedral and struck down the Archbishop. The knights fled. Henry would later do public penance for his ill-considered words that ultimately ended the quarrel between one-time friends.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

History Trivia

December 28, 418 Boniface I became Roman Catholic pope. 1065 Westminster Abbey in London, built under the auspices of Edward the Confessor, was consecrated. The Benedictine monastery had been re-endowed and enlarged under the oversight of Edward the Confessor, but the King had been too ill to attend the consecration ceremonies. He was buried in the abbey after his death on January 4, 1066.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

History Trivia

December 27, 537 The Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom of God), one of the world's greatest architectural masterpieces, was dedicated in Constantinople. This was the third Cathedral,the previous two having been destroyed by fire.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Six Letter Press - Author Interview

Read the interview in its entirety at:

Happy Boxing Day

Boxing Day - is a traditional celebration, dating back to the Medieval Ages, when gifts were given to employees, the poor, or to people in a lower social class.

History Trivia

December 26, 795 Leo III was elected Roman Catholic pope. Pope Saint Leo recognized Charlemagne as the patricius of the Romans, crowning the great leader Holy Roman Emperor who protected Pope Leo from his enemies. He was an effective administrator of the papal territories, and contributed to the beautification of Rome.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

History Trivia

December 25, the date recognized by the Roman Catholic Church for the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas was also known as Yule (Anglo-Saxon) or Noel (French). 337 Earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th. 352 First definite date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th. 498 French king Clovis baptized himself. 597 England adopted the Julian calendar. 795 Pope Adrian I died. The relationship of Adrian to Charlemagne was considered an ideal expression of Church and State in a united Christian society. 800 Charlemagne, King of the Franks, was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in Rome. 875 Charles the Bald was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. 1066 William the Conqueror was crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London. 1100 Baldwin of Boulogne was crowned the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity. 1156 Peter the Venerable died. As Abbot of Cluny, Peter of Montboissier made great reforms to the monastery that restored its influence in European religious politics. 1223 St. Francis of Assisi assembled the first Nativity scene. 1559 Pius IV was elected pope. Born Giovanni Angelo de'Medici, Pius concluded the Council of Trent and pursued reforms of the Papal Curia.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

History Trivia

December 24, 3 BC Servius Sulpicius Galba was born. He was emperor of Rome from 68-69AD. 563 The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes. 640 Pope John IV was elected. In his brief pontificate, John sent help to the victims of invaders in Dalmatia, opposed monothelitism and the Irish choice for the date of Easter, and defended the orthodoxy of Pope Honorius I. 1167 King John I of England was born. The youngest son of King Henry II, John lacked the trust of his barons and was maneuvered into signing the Magna Carta. 1294 Pope Boniface VIII was elected Pope, replacing St. Celestine V, who had resigned. 1476 400 Burgundy soldiers froze to death during siege of Nancy (Burgundian Wars, the battle finally being fought outside the walls on 5 January 1477 between Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and René II, Duke of Lorraine. René's forces won the battle, and Charles' mutilated body was found three days later.) 1515 Thomas Wolsey was appointed English Lord Chancellor.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Briton and the Dane Special Edition

Special Five Day Promotion - enjoy your free copy Kindle copy - download now

History Trivia

December 23, 619 AD Boniface V became Roman Catholic pope. 1116 St. Ivo of Chartres died. He was one of the most notable bishops of France at the time of the Investiture struggles and the most important canonist before Gratian. Gratian was a legal scholar and the founder of the science of canon law, which is the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local) and the popes, as well as the bishops (for diocesan matters) in the Roman Catholic Church.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

History Trivia

December 22, 69 Roman Emperor Vitellius was killed in a street battle in Rome by soldiers of Vespasian, who succeeded Vitellius as emperor. 1135 Norman nobles recognize Stefanus van Blois (Stephen, grandson of William the Conqueror) as English king. His reign was plagued with civil war with his cousin the Empress Matilda whose son Henry II succeeded him upon his death. 1216 the Dominican order was formally sanctioned. Founded by St. Dominic, the Dominican order of mendicant friars emphasized scholarship as well as preaching. The organization received official sanction from Pope Honorius III.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

History Trivia

December 21, 69 the end of the Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian became the fourth Emperor of Rome within a year. 882 Hincmar of Reims died. As archbishop of Reims, Hincmar was one of the most influential political and ecclesiastical figures of Carolingian Europe. 1118 Thomas A. Becket was born. 1140 Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg. 1163 A hurricane hit villages in Holland/Friesland, causing massive flooding.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

History Trivia

December 20, 1192 Richard the Lionheart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade. 1334 Benedict XII was elected pope. The third pope to reside at Avignon, Benedict attempted to reform the church and its religious orders. His pontificate saw the beginning of the Hundred Years' War. 1522 Suleiman the Magnificent accepted the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who were allowed to evacuate. They eventually settled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta.

Monday, December 19, 2011

History Trivia

December 19, 211 Publius Septimius Geta, co-emperor of Rome, was murdered. 324 Licinius abdicated his position as Roman Emperor. 1154 Henry II of England was crowned at Westminster Abbey. 1187 Clement III became Pope. The fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in the Third Crusade occurred during his pontificate. 1490 Anne, Duchess of Brittany, was married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy. 1551 The Dutch west coast was hit by a hurricane.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

History Trivia

December 18, 218 BC Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebbia – Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeated those of the Roman Republic. 1118 Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captured Saragossa, Spain, causing a major blow to Muslim Spain. 1352 Innocent VI became Pope. He introduced many needed reforms in the administration of church affairs and also sought to restore order in Rome and permitted Charles IV to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor provided he would quit the city on the day of the ceremony.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

History Trivia

December 17, 546 Gothic War: The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquered Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison. 920 Romanos I was crowned co-emperor of the underage Emperor Constantine VII. 1187 Pope Gregory VIII died. In his brief pontificate, Gregory initiated the Third Crusade and began reforms in the Curia. 1531 Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal. 1538 Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII of England.

Friday, December 16, 2011

History Trivia

December 16, 882 Marinus I was elected Roman Catholic pope, replacing the murdered John VIII. 955 Ottaviano (age 18), the only son of Duke Alberic II of Spoleto, who ruled Rome, became Pope John XII when his father ordered his election. John's pontificate lasted nine years. 1431 Henry VI of England was crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. Though young Henry had been proclaimed king at age ten months, it was not until he was ten years old that he was officially crowned at Notre Dame Cathedral. 1485 Catherine of Aragon, Spanish princess and first wife of Henry VIII was born. 1653 Parliamentarian general Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

History Trivia

December 15, 37 AD, Nero was born. He was the Roman emperor who is alleged to have fiddled while Rome burned. 533 Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron. 687 Sergius I (Saint Sergius) was elected Roman Catholic pope. He received Caedwalla, King of the West Saxons, and baptized him (689) but because the King died in Rome, he was buried in St. Peter's. Sergius ordered St. Wilfrid to be restored to his see (Bishopric at York), greatly favored St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, and is credited with endeavoring to secure the Venerable Bede as his adviser. He also consecrated the Englishman St. Willibrord bishop, and sent him to preach Christianity to the Frisians.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

History Trivia

December 14, 867 AD Adrian II was elected Roman Catholic pope. Adrian had difficulties with international politics. The eighth ecumenical council and the fourth Council of Constantinople took place during his reign. He died on this date in 872. 872 AD John VIII was elected Roman Catholic pope on the very day Pope Adrian II died. His pontificate was marked with political intrigue, and he is believed to have been murdered by conspirators involved in a plot of local politics. 1503Nostradamus was born. Author of a collection of predictions in quatrains published in the book Centuries, Nostradamus gained fame in his lifetime when some of his prophecies appeared to come true. 1542 Princess Mary Stuart became Queen Mary I of Scotland.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

History Trivia

December 13 863 Boudouin with the Iron Arm, earl of Flanders, wed Charles II the Bald of France's daughter Judith. He was daring warrior who fell in love with the youthful widow of two English kings, married her and fled with his bride to Lorraine. Charles, though at first angry, was at last conciliated, and made his son-in-law margrave of Flanders, which he held as a hereditary fief. The Norsemen were continually devastating the coastlands at this time, and Baldwin was entrusted with this outlying borderland in order to defend it. He was the first of a line of strong rulers of Flanders, who early in the 10th century exchanged the title of margrave for that of count. 1294 Saint Celestine V resigned the papacy after only five months; Celestine, who founded the Celestine order, was the first pope to abdicate. He had accepted the position only because the papacy had been vacant for years and needed a leader. In his eighties when elected, the work proved too problematic, and he resigned. 1545 Council of Trent began. The council would pass legislation dealing with the doctrinal challenges of the Protestant Reformation.

Monday, December 12, 2011

History Trivia

December 12 884 Charles the Fat inherited the West Frankish lands and briefly reunited the empire of his ancestor Charlemagne. 1098 First Crusade: Massacre of Ma'arrat al-Numan – Crusaders breached the town's walls and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resorted to cannibalism. 1112 Tancred of Antioch died. 1189 Richard I left England, where he spent less than six months of his reign, to join the Third Crusade. 1408, The Order of the Dragon a monarchical chivalric order was created by Sigismund of Luxembourg, then King of Hungary.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

History Trivia

December 11, The Ancient Roman religious festival Agonalia was held. The festival was also celebrated on January 9th, March 17th and May 21st. On each day a ram was sacrificed, probably as an offering to deities Janus and Angonius. 359 Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, took office. 969 Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II was assassinated by his wife Theofano and her lover, the later Emperor John I Tzimiskes. 1192 Richard I (the Lionheart) was captured by Leopold, Duke of Austria, as he returned from the Third Crusade. 1282 Llywellyn the Last, the last native Prince of Wales, was killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south Wales by King Edward I of England soldiers. 1475 Pope Leo X (Giovanni de' Medici) was born. Leo contributed strongly to the power of the papacy, made Rome a center of culture, and excommunicated Martin Luther.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

History Trivia

December 10, 1520 Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate. 1541 Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and fifth wife of Henry VIII. Culpeper was beheaded and Dereham was hanged, drawn, and quartered, and their heads were placed on top of London Bridge. Catherine remained imprisoned in Syon Abbey until Parliament passed a bill of attainder on 7 February 1542. The bill made it treason, and punishable by death, for a queen consort to fail to disclose her sexual history to the king within twenty days of their marriage, or to incite someone to commit adultery with her. This solved the matter of Catherine's supposed precontract and made her unequivocally guilty. She was subsequently taken to the Tower on 10 February and was executed on February 13th.

Friday, December 9, 2011

History Trivia

December 9, 536 Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully left the city, returning the old capital to its Empire. 1165 King Malcolm IV of Scotland died; his short reign was marked by rebellion and tension with his cousin Henry II of England. 1425 The Catholic University of Leuven, the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium was founded by John IV, Duke of Brabant and approved by a Papal bull by Pope Martin V.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

History Triivia

December 8,65 BC Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) was born. He was one of the most familiar and admired of the Roman poets. 877 Louis II, the Stammerer, was crowned King of France. 1542 Mary, Queen of Scots was born. 1609 Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan Italy) opened its reading room, the second public library of Europe. 1660 The first Shakespearian actress to appear on an English stage (believed to be a Ms. Norris) made her debut as Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

History Trivia

December 7, 43 BC Roman orator and advocate Cicero was executed on the orders of Mark Antony. 983 German King Otto III took the throne after his father's death in Italy. He was the fourth ruler of the Saxon (Ottonian) dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 997. 1254 Pope Innocent IV died. The pontificate of Innocent was marked by a long struggle with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, characteristic of the conflict between empire and papacy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

History Trivia

December 6, 1196 the Northern Dutch coast was flooded; known as the Saint-Nicolaas Flood, resulted in widespread damage and death. 1421 Henry VI was born. Henry VI was a child when he came to the throne on the death of his father Henry V. His weakness as a ruler and his occasional displays of mental instability exacerbated the Wars of the Roses (dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York).

Monday, December 5, 2011

History Trivia

December 5, 63 BC Marcus Tullius Cicero, the consul of Rome, read the last of his Catiline Orations, exposing to the Roman Senate the plot of Lucius Sergius Catilina and his allies to overthrow the Roman government. 1349 Five hundred Jews of Nuremberg were massacred during Black Death riots. 1360 The French Franc was created. 1456 Earthquake struck Naples and about 35,000 died. 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputized Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and lead to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history. 1536 The Pilgrimage of Grace against Henry VIII's Reformation was persuaded to disband by the duke of Norfolk.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

History Trivia

December 4, 771 Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne sole ruler of the Frankish empire. 1093 Anselm of Canterbury was consecrated as Archbishop. 1110 First Crusade: The Crusaders sacked the Syria harbor city Saida (Sidon). 1154 Nicholas Breakspear was elected Pope Hadrian IV, the only Englishman to become pope. 1259 Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels. 1563 The final session of the Council of Trent was held (it opened on December 13, 1545).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

History Trivia

December 3, 741 St. Zachary began his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Gregory III. 1347 Pope Clemens VI declared the Roman tribunal Coke di Rienzo as heretics. 1368 Charles VI of France was born. Known as "Mad" and as "Well-Beloved," Charles had a long reign during which he remained primarily a figurehead because of his occasional fits of madness. 1468 Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano succeeded their father, Piero de Medici, as rulers of Florence, Italy. 1557 First Covenant of Scottish Protestants formed. 1586 Sir Thomas Herriot introduced potatoes to England, from Colombia. 1621 Galileo invented the telescope.

Friday, December 2, 2011

History Trivia

December 2,537 Pope Saint Silverius died. When Silverius refused to restore Anthimus as Patriarch of Constantinople, Empress Theodora ordered him deposed. He was banished and died on the island of Palmaria, allegedly murdered or starved to death. 1409 The University of Leipzig was founded by Frederick I, Elector of Saxony and his brother William II, Margrave of Meissen, and originally comprised four faculties. Since its inception the university has enjoyed over 600 years of uninterrupted teaching and research. 1697 St Paul's Cathedral opened in London.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

History Trivia

December 1, The Festival of Juno occurred on this day. 193 Pertinax became emperor. 800 Charlemagne was called to the Vatican to judge the accusations against Pope Leo III whose enemies stated he was unfit to hold the sacred office. 1135 Henry I of England died and the crown was passed to his nephew Stephen of Blois instead of his daughter Matilda which resulted in civil war (the Anarchy). The dispute was settled when Stephen named Matilda's son Henry Plantagenet as his heir. 1170 Becket returned to Canterbury. After establishing an uneasy reconciliation with Henry II, the Archbishop returned to his See, ending a six-year-long self-imposed exile. 1420 Henry V of England entered Paris.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

History Trivia

November 30, Saint Andrew, one of the Twelve Disciples of Christ was martyred on an X-shaped cross during the reign of Vespasian. The day is celebrated as St. Andrew's feast day. 1016 Cnut, king of Denmark, claimed the throne of all England after Edmund 'Ironside', king of England, died. 1406 Gregory XII became Pope. Gregory was the last of the Roman line of popes during the Western Schism. 1630 16,000 inhabitants of Venice died this month of plague. 1648 English army captured King Charles I. 1700 at the Battle of Narva, a Swedish army of 8,500 men under Charles XII defeated a much larger Russian army at Narva. 1718 Swedish king Charles XII died during a siege of the fortress Fredriksten in Norway.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

History trivia

November 29, 526 - Antioch in modern day Syria was struck by an Earthquake, about 250,000 died. 799 Pope Leo III, aided by Charles the Great, returned to Rome. 800 Charlemagne arrived at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. 939 Edmund was crowned as king of England as his half-brother Aethelstan died. 1268 Clement IV died. Upon the death of Clement, no new pope was elected for almost three years. 1314 Philip IV of France died.

Monday, November 28, 2011

History Trivia

November 28, 741 St Gregory III ended his reign as Catholic Pope. 1095 On the last day of the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appointed Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade to the Holy Land. 1291 Edward I's wife, Eleanor of Castile, died. 1503 Julius II was officially crowned pope. Julius was the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, who built the Sistine Chapel.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

History Trivia

November 27, 8 BC, Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) the great Roman lyric poet, died at Venusia, in Apulia at age 56. 176 Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted his son Commodus the rank of Imperator and made him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions. 511 Clovis, King of the Franks (Merovingian Dynasty)died. 1095 Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade to reclaim sacred Christian sites from Islamic hands at the Council of Clermont. 1295 the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament". 1582 William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. 1703 The first Eddystone Lighthouse (south west of Rame Head, UK) was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

History Trivia

November 26, 43 BC The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian, later Caesar Augustus), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony was formed. 579 Pelagius II became Pope. When assistance from Emperor Tiberius II of Byzantium was not forthcoming, Pelagius convinced the Christian Franks to defend Rome from encroaching Lombards. He attempted to end a schism in the Church over the Three Chapters Controversy and began a controversy of his own when St. John IV the Faster, Bishop of Constantinople, assumed the title of "ecumenical patriarch" (a position that made him the equal of Pelagius, if not his superior). Pelagius was also responsible for building projects in Rome and turned his home into a hospital that was of great assistance when the city was struck by a disastrous flood. He himself died of the plague. 783 the Asturian queen Adosinda was put up in a monastery to prevent her kin from retaking the throne from Mauregatus. 885 Danish Vikings attacked Paris and were paid by the Frankish emperor Charles the Fat not to destroy the city as they had in 845 and 856. 1476 Vlad III Dracula defeated Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and became the ruler of Wallachia for the third time. 1703 Hurricane-force winds killed as many as 8,000 people as the Great Storm swept southern England. Bristol incurred heavy damage and the Royal Navy lost 15 warships.

Friday, November 25, 2011

History Trivia

November 25, 1034 Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots died. Donnchad, the son of his daughter Bethóc and Crínán of Dunkeld, inherited the throne. 1120 The White Ship sank in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England. 1177 Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard. 1185 Urban III became Pope. Urban inherited a tense diplomatic relationship with the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, from his predecessor Lucius III. 1276 The Habsburg dynasty was founded as Rudolf of Habsburg seized Vienna and made it his capital. 1277 Nicholas III was elected Pope. Nicholas began an administrative reform of the Papal States, inducing Rudolf I to acknowledge that the Italian province of the Romagna belonged to the church. 1343 a tsunami, caused by an earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastated Naples (Italy) and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi. 1491 The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, began.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

History Trivia

November 24, 380 Theodosius I made his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople. 1429 Joan of Arc unsuccessfully besieged La Charité. 1434 Thames River froze from London Bridge to Gravesend; the frost lasted from November 24th to February 10th. 1542 at the Battle of Solway Moss: The English army defeated the Scots. The English force of approximately 3,000 was far outnumbered by an army of at least 10,000 Scots, but in-fighting among the invaders helped the English commander, Wharton, rout his foes in this surprising victory.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

History Trivia

November 23, 534 BC Thespis of Icaria became the first actor to portray a character onstage. 800 Charlemagne arrived at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. 912 Otto I (The Great) was born. He was King of Germany from 936-983 and was the first king to become Holy Roman Emperor in 961. 955 King Eadred died. King of Wessex and acknowledged as overlord of Mercia, and the Danelaw Eadred brought Northumbria permanently under English rule. 1165 Pope Alexander III returned from exile to Rome. 1248 Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile. 1499 Pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck was hanged for reportedly attempting to escape from the Tower of London. He had invaded England in 1497, claiming to be the lost son of King Edward IV of England.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

History Trivia

November 22,498 Symmachus Consecrated. Christian convert Symmachus was chosen by the Roman Church to succeed Pope Anastasius II at the same time a Byzantine faction selected Laurentius. Both individuals were consecrated on the same date, and the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great was asked to choose the new pope. He chose Symmachus. 845 the first King of all Brittany, Nominoe, defeated the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon. 1307 Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. 1221 Frederik II Hohenstaufen crowned Roman-German Emperor. 1428 Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and also known as known as Warwick the Kingmaker, was born.

Monday, November 21, 2011

History Trivia

November 21, 164 BC Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restored the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah. 235 St. Anterus became Roman Catholic pope. He was Pope from November 21, 235 to January 3, 236, and succeeded Pope Pontian, who had been deported from Rome along with the antipope Hippolytus to Sardinia. Anterus was the son of Romulus, born in Petilia, and is thought to have been of Greek origin, but the name could indicate that he was a freed slave. He died on January 3, 236 of undetermined causes. 1272, following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward became King of England.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

History Trivia

November 20, 284 Diocletian was chosen as Roman Emperor. 870 Edmund the Martyr died. Saint Edmund was king of East Anglia. His gruesome death at the hands of the Danes led to legends and a shrine at what is now Bury St. Edmund's, West Suffolk. 1194 Palermo was conquered by Emperor Henry VI. 1272 Barons swore fealty to Edward I. Upon the death of his father, King Henry III, Edward received the fealty of the English barons and succeeded to the throne. 1407 a truce between John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orleans was agreed under the auspices of John, Duke of Berry. Orleans was assassinated three days later by Burgundy.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19

November 19, 1095 The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, began. 1367 League of Cologne (medieval military alliance against Denmark signed by cities of the Hanseatic League on their meeting called Hansetag in Cologne) approved war against Denmark and Norway.

Friday, November 18, 2011

History Trivia

November 18, 326 Old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was consecrated. 942 Saint Odo of Cluny died. The second abbot of the great monastery at Cluny, Odo achieved exemption from all but papal authority for his monastic community and reformed monasteries in Gaul and Italy. 1105 Maginulf elected the Antipope Sylvester the IV. 1210 Pope Innocent III excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV. 1302 Pope Boniface VIII issued the Papal bull Unam sanctam (One Faith). 1307 William Tell shot an apple off of his son's head. 1421 A seawall at the Zuiderzee dike in the Netherlands broke, flooding 72 villages and killing about 10,000 people. 1477 William Caxton produced Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres, the first book printed on a printing press in England. 1494 French King Charles VIII occupied Florence, Italy. 1626 St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome was officially dedicated on the same day the Old Basilica was consecrated 1300 years earlier.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

History Trivia

November 17, 284 Diocletian was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers. 375 Enraged by the insolence of barbarian envoys, Valentinian, the Emperor of the West, died of apoplexy in Pannonia in Central Europe. 473 The future Leo II was named associate emperor of the Byzantine Empire by Leo I. 680 Saint Hild of Whitby died. Hild or Hilda founded Streaneshalch Abbey (now Whitby) and was one of the most renowned abbesses of Anglo-Saxon England. 1292 Edward I of England made John Balliol king of Scotland, marking the start of increased English control. 1511 Spain and England ally against France. 1558 Elizabethan era began. Queen Mary I of England died and was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England who was not officially crowned until January.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

History Trivia

November 16, 42 BC Tiberius was born. He was Roman Emperor from 14-37 AD, during the adult life of Christ. 13 Tiberius' triumphant procession through Rome after his siege of Germany occurred this day. 534 A second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus (collection of the Roman imperial constitutions mainly referring to those of the age of Hadrian) was published. 1272 King Henry III of England died. Only nine years old when his father, King John, died, Henry was the first English monarch to be crowned while still a child. Upon reaching adulthood, his indifference to tradition and lack of effective ruling ability resulted in the barons forcing him to agree to a series of reforms known as the Provisions of Oxford.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

History Trivia

November 15, 655 Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria. Although the battle was said to be the most important between the early northern and southern divisions of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain, few details are available. Significantly, the battle marked the effective demise of Anglo-Saxon paganism. 1397 Pope Nicholas V was born. Known as the Humanist Pope, he had a significant role in the founding of the Vatican Library. 1515 England's Thomas Wolsey was invested as a Cardinal.

Monday, November 14, 2011

History Trivia

November 14,565 Emperor Justinian died. Ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) from 527 to 565, Justinian was dynamic and ambitious, and shared many policy-making decisions with his wife, Theodora. They reclaimed much of the western empire, reformed Roman law, and rebuilt Constantinople. 1501 Arthur Tudor of England married Katherine of Aragon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

History Trivia

November 13, 354 Saint Augustine was born. He was one of the earliest Christian theologians, and author of The City of God, and, Confessions, two of the best-known religious writings of all time. 867 Pope Nicholas I died. 1002 Ethelred the Unready (Ethelred II) ordered the St Brice's Day Massacre - the murder of all Danes in England. 1093, Malcolm III MacDuncan, King of Scots, was killed while laying siege to Alnwick in an invasion of England. He was succeeded by his brother Donald Bane. 1160 Louis VII of France married Adele of Champagne. 1312 King Edward III of England was born. 1553 English Lady Jane Grey and Bishop Cranmer were accused of high treason. 1642 First English Civil War: Battle of Turnham Green – the Royalist forces withdrew in the face of the Parliamentarian army and failed to take London.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

History Trivia

November 12, 607 Boniface III died. Before he became Pope, Boniface went as a legate to Constantinople and obtained from the emperor Phocas an edict that recognized the See of Rome as the head of all the churches. 1035 Canute the Great died. King Canute I of England was also King Canute II of Denmark and King Canute of Norway, and was known as "the Great" because of the empire he built in Britain and Scandinavia. 1276 Suspicious of the intentions of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Prince of Wales, English King Edward I resolves to invade Wales 1439 Plymouth, England, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament. 1555 The English Parliament re-established Catholicism.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 308 At Carnuntum, Emperor emeritus Diocletian conferred with Galerius, Augustus of the East, and Maximianus, the recently returned former Augustus of the West, in an attempt to restore order to the Roman Empire. 887 Asser began Instructing King Alfred. The Welsh monk who taught and counseled the King, became his friend and biographer, and began teaching him Latin on St. Martin's Day. Alfred went on to translate the work of Boethius into English. 1050 AD Henry IV was born. He was King of Germany 1056-1106, who tried to depose Pope Gregory VII, and had to stand barefoot in the snow for three days before Gregory would pardon him, although Henry got his revenge later. 1215 The Fourth Lateran Council met and defined the doctrine of transubstantiation, the process by which bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ. 1417 Martin V Elected Pope. Elected unanimously during the Council of Constance, Martin was faced with the enormous task of restoring the Western church, the Papal States, and the papacy itself. 1499 Pretender to the British throne Perkin Warbeck was executed. 1572 Tycho's Nova. Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe observed the Nova Cassiopeiae and, although other observers claimed to have spotted it earlier, his precise measurements revealed it was a distant phenomenon and that changes could occur among stars.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

History Trivia

November 10, 461 St Leo I ended his reign as Catholic Pope. 627 Saint Justus died. The fourth archbishop of Canterbury, Justus had a role in converting Northumbria to Christianity. 911 Conrad I was elected German King. 1444 The Battle of Varna: The Turkish victory over a Hungarian force ended the efforts of European powers to save Constantinople from Turkish conquest. 1483 Martin Luther was born. 1520 Danish King Christian II executed dozens of people in the Stockholm Bloodbath after a successful invasion of Sweden. 1619 René Descartes had the dreams that inspired his Meditations on First Philosophy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

History Trivia

November 9, 694 Egica, a King of the Visigoths of Hispania, accused the Jews of aiding Muslims, and sentenced all Jews to slavery. 1282 Pope Martin IV excommunicated King Peter III of Aragon. 1492 Peace of Etaples (northern France) between Henry VII and Charles VIII.The treaty served to end an English invasion of France launched in order to stop France's support for the pretender Perkin Warbeck. By this treaty, France agreed to expel Warbeck and pay England an indemnity of £159,000. The treaty was ratified in December. 1494 The de' Medici family were expelled from Florence. 1541 Queen Catharine Howard was confined in London Tower.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

History Trivia

November 8, 392 Roman Emperor Theodosius passed legislation prohibiting all pagan worship in the empire. 618 St Deusdedit I ended his reign as Catholic Pope. 911 Duke Koenraad I was chosen German king. 1097 Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, went into exile after a breach with William II over papal supremacy. 1308 John Duns Scotus died. He was an influential Franciscan philosopher and theologian who pioneered the theory of the Immaculate Conception. 1520 Stockholm Bloodbath began: A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces resulted in the execution of around 100 people.

Monday, November 7, 2011

History Trivia

November 7, 680, The Sixth Ecumenical Council commenced in Constantinople. 1492 The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, struck the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France. 1619 Elizabeth Stuart of Scotland and England was crowned Queen of Bohemia. 1665 The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, was first published.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

History Trivia

November 6, 355 Roman Emperor Constantius II promoted his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with the government of the Prefecture of the Gauls. 1153 Treaty of Wallingford was signed. This agreement effectively ended the civil war known as the Anarchy, caused by a dispute between Empress Matilda and her cousin King Stephen of England over the English crown. The Treaty of Wallingford forced Stephen to recognize Matilda's son Henry of Anjou, who became Henry II, as his heir, while Stephen kept the throne until he died. 1429 Henry VI was crowned King of England.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

History Trivia

November 5, 1219 The port of Damietta (Egypt) fell to the Crusaders after a siege.1530 St Felix Flood ravaged the Dutch coast, destroying the city of Reimerswaal in the Netherlands. 1605 Guy Fawkes Day, the Catholic convert conspired to blow up Parliament and the British royal family. The gunpowder plot was discovered and Fawkes was arrested before the event was to take place. Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, is an annual celebration, primarily in Great Britain, traditionally and usually held on the evening of 5 November. Festivities are centered on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires. It is also celebrated in former British Colonies such as Australia and New Zealand.

Friday, November 4, 2011

History Trivia

November 4,1333 The River Arno flooding caused massive damage in Florence as recorded by the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani. 1429 Joan of Arc liberated Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier. 1501 Catherine of Aragon (later Henry VIII's first wife) met Arthur Tudor, Henry VIII's older brother – they would later marry. 1520 Christian II Crowned King of Sweden. Already king of Denmark and Norway, Christian conquered Sweden as well. But the subsequent massacre of his opponents led to a Swedish war of liberation, which was achieved a mere three years later. 1576 Eighty Years' War: In Flanders, Spain captured Antwerp (after three days the city was nearly destroyed). 1677 the future Mary II of England married William, Prince of Orange. They would later jointly reign as William and Mary.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

History Trivia

November 3, 1394 Jews were expelled from France by Charles VI.1468 Liège was sacked by Charles I of Burgundy's troops. 1493 Christopher Columbus first sighted the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea. 1507 Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint the Mona Lisa.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Souls Day

The origins of All Souls' Day (Day of the Dead) in European folklore and folk belief are related to customs of ancestor veneration practiced worldwide, such as the Chinese Ghost Festival or the Latin American Day of the Dead. The Roman custom was that of the Lemuria.

The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsdeeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.

History Trivia

November 2, 1164 Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, left Britain because of a quarrel with King Henry II. He fled to Flanders and stayed away from England for 6 years. 1093 Malcolm III MacDuncan, King of Scots, was killed while laying siege to Alnwick in an invasion of England. He was succeeded by his brother Donald Bane. 1355 English invasion army under King Edward landed at Calais. 1541 Henry VIII was informed that Katherine Howard was involved in two affairs before their marriage.1570 A tidal wave in the North Sea destroyed the sea walls from Holland to Jutland. More than 1,000 people were killed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

The origins of the holiday commemorating all the saints of the church are obscure, but by the mid-eighth century, November 1st was the day to honor all known and unknown saints in the Catholic Church. In 837, its general observance was ordered by Pope Gregory IV. The date may have been selected for its coincidence with pagan observations of the harvest, including the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and the ancient Finnish celebration of Kekri.

History Trivia

November 1, Festival of Juno occurred on this day. 193 Pertinax became emperor of Rome whose reign lasted three months. He was known as the first emperor of the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. He tried to restore discipline in the Praetorian Guards who rebelled and killed him. 866 the Vikings seized control of Eboracum (York), the first major city to fall in their conquest of England. 1512 Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel was first exhibited. 1570 Netherlands was hit by a flood disaster and thousands were killed. 1604 William Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello" was first presented. 1611 Shakespeare's romantic comedy "Tempest" was first presented.

Monday, October 31, 2011

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 honored 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.

All Hallows Eve

October 31, 834 1st All Hallows Eve (Halloween) observed to honor the saints. 475 Romulus Augustulus was proclaimed Western Roman Emperor. His deposition by Odoacer in 476 traditionally marks the end of the Western Roman Empire, the fall of ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe. 1517 Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther published his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

History Trivia

October 30, 852 Swithun, counselor to Kings Egbert and Aethelwulf, became Bishop of Winchester. 1270 The Eighth Crusade and siege of Tunis ended by an agreement between Charles I of Sicily (brother to King Louis IX of France, who had died months earlier) and the sultan of Tunis. 1470 Henry VI of England returned to the English throne after the Earl of Warwick defeated the Yorkists in battle. 1485 King Henry VII of England was crowned.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

History Trivia

October 29, 437 Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor, married Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of his cousin Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople unifying the two branches of the House of Theodosius. 969 Byzantine troops occupied Antioch Syria. 1268 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors, was executed along with his companion Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily, a political rival and ally to the hostile Roman Catholic church. 1390 First trial for witchcraft in Paris. 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 popularizing tobacco in England. He fell out of favor with Queen Elizabeth I when his secret marriage to 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.

Friday, October 28, 2011

History Trivia

October 28, 306 Maxentius was proclaimed Roman Emperor. 312 Constantine I became the sole ruler of the Roman empire in the west with victory at the Milvian Bridge. 1017 Emperor Henry III was born. Holy Roman Emperor and German King, Henry was the last emperor to effectively dominate the papacy. 1216 Henry III of England was crowned. Henry was the first English monarch to be crowned while still a minor.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

History Trivia

October 27, 97 To placate the Praetorians of Germany, Roman emperor Nerva adopted Trajan, the Spanish-born governor of lower Germany, as his successor. 312 Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. 625 Honorius I was elected Pope. Honorius sponsored the restoration of Roman buildings, worked to Christianize the Anglo-Saxons, and reorganized the Visigoths. He was deeply involved in the controversies over monophysitism and monothelitism. 710 Saracen invasion of Sardinia. 939 Athelstan died. Athelstan was the first West Saxon king to have effective rule over the whole of England. He was succeeded by Edmund I as King of England. 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. 1662 Charles II sold the strategic port of Dunkirk to Louis XIV of France because he needed money.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

History Trivia

October 26, 899 King Alfred the Great died in Wessex. The actual year is not certain, but the year 901 as stated in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is suspect. How he died is unknown. He was originally buried temporarily in the Old Minster in Winchester, then moved to the New Minster. When the New Minster moved to Hyde, a little north of the city, in 1110, the monks transferred to Hyde Abbey along with Alfred's body and those of his wife and children. Soon after the dissolution of the abbey in 1539, during the reign of Henry VIII, the church was demolished, leaving the graves intact. The royal graves and many others were probably rediscovered by chance in 1788 when a prison was being constructed by convicts on the site. Coffins were stripped of lead, bones were scattered and lost, and no identifiable remains of Alfred have subsequently been found. Further excavations in 1866 and 1897 were inconclusive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

History Trivia

October 25, 1147 The Portuguese, under Afonso I, and Crusaders from England and Flanders conquered Lisbon after a four-month siege. 1154 King Stephen of Blois (grandson of William the Conqueror) died. After the death of King Henry I, Stephen took the throne, preventing Henry's daughter Matilda from ruling, and setting off a civil war. 1400 Geoffrey Chaucer died at the age of 57. He was the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey. 1415, in Northern France, England led by Henry V 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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

History Trivia

October 24, 51 Roman Emperor Domitian was born. 69 Second Battle of Bedriacum, forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian, defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius. 439 Carthage, the leading Roman city in North Africa, fell to Genseric and the Vandals. 1147 After a siege of 4 months crusader knights led by Afonso Henriques, reconquered Lisbon. 1260 The spectacular Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France; the cathedral is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 1360 The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. 1375 King Valdemar IV died. He united Denmark after a brief period of domination by foreign rulers. 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.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

History Trivia

October 23, 42 BC Roman Republican civil wars: Second Battle of Philippi – Mark Antony and Octavian decisively defeated Brutus' army. Brutus committed suicide. 425 Valentinian III was elevated as Roman Emperor, at the age of 6. 502 The Synodus Palmaris, called by Theodoric the Great (king of the Ostrogoths, ruler of Italy, regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire), discharged Pope Symmachus of all charges, thus ending the schism of Antipope Laurentius. 1456 St. John of Capistrano died. A great Franciscan preacher, St. John led an army that liberated Belgrade from a Turkish invasion. 1641 Rebellion in Ireland: Catholics, under Phelim O'Neil, rose against the Protestants and massacred men, women and children to the number of 40,000 (also reported at 100,000). 1642 Royalist forces defeated the Parliamentarians at Edgehill, the first major battle of the English Civil War.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

History Trivia

October 22, 362 A mysterious fire destroyed the temple of Apollo at Daphne outside Antioch. 741 King Charles Martel, the grandfather of the great emperor Charlemagne, died at age 53. 1303 Benedict XI was elected Pope. The brief pontificate of Benedict was dominated by difficulties with King Philip IV the Fair of France.

Friday, October 21, 2011

History Trivia

October 21, 1096 The People's Crusade (part of the First Crusade also known as the Peasants' Crusade or the Paupers' Crusade), led by Peter the Hermit, was slaughtered by Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Civetot. 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. 1529 The Pope named Henry VIII of England Defender of the Faith after he defended the seven sacraments against Luther.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

History Trivia

October 20, 480 BC The Greeks defeated the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. It marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece which had begun in 480 BC. 1097 First Crusaders arrived in Antioch. The first siege, by the crusaders against the Muslim city, lasted from October 21, 1097, to June 2, 1098. 1524 Thomas Linacre, physician and classical scholar, who founded the Royal College of Physicians in London died. 1548 The city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) was founded by Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

History Trivia

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. 439 Gaiseric, King of the Vandals, seized the Roman city of Carthage, and made it his capital. 1216 King John of England died at Newark-on-Trent and was succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry. 1453 The French recapture of Bordeaux brought the Hundred Years' War to a close, with the English retaining only Calais on French soil. 1469 Ferdinand of Aragon married Isabella of Castile creating the alliance that unified Spain. 1512 – Martin Luther became a doctor of theology (Doctor in Biblia). 1649 New Ross town, Co. Wexford, Ireland, surrendered to Oliver Cromwell.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

History Trivia

October 18, 768 Charlemagne and his brother Carloman were crowned co-rulers of the Franks, after the death of their father, Pepin the Short. 1009 The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a Christian church in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church's foundations down to bedrock. 1016 Canute of Denmark became the heir of Edmund Ironside, King of England, with victory at Ashingdon, and Edmund agreed to divide England between himself and Canute. At the end of November, however, Edmund died, and Canute became king of all England. 1081 The Normans defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Dyrrhachium. 1210 Pope Innocent III excommunicated German leader Otto IV. 1529 Henry VIII ordered Cardinal Wolsey to hand over the great seal. 1541 Princess Margaret Tudor died. 1685 Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, effectively banning Protestantism in France.

Monday, October 17, 2011

History Trivia

October 17, 539 BC King Cyrus The Great of Persia marched into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration. 532 Pope Boniface II died. 733 Battle at Poitiers: Charles Martel (grandfather of Charlemagne) defeated Abd al-Rachmans Omajjaden, and halted a northward Islamic expansion into western Europe. 1091 A tornado struck the heart of London which destroyed the rebuilt Norman London Bridge. 1346 Battle of Neville's Cross: King David II of Scotland was captured by Edward III of England near Durham, and imprisoned in the Tower of London for eleven years. 1404 Innocent VII became Pope. During his pontificate, Innocent summoned a council in an attempt to heal the Western Schism but it never assembled.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

History Trivia

On October 16, 456 Magister militum (Master of the Soldiers) Flavius Ricimer defeated Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and became master of the Western Roman Empire. Ricimer was the first German who became a virtual king of Italy. 1551 Edward Seymour Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector of England during the minority reign of Edward VI was re-arrested. He was executed in January 1552 after scheming to overthrow John Dudley's (Earl of Warwick) regime. 1555 The Protestant martyrs Bishop Hugh Latimer and Bishop Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake for heresy in England. 1793 Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded during the French Revolution.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

History Trivia

October 15, 70 BC, Virgil was born. He is considered to be one of the greatest poets of the Roman Empire. 533 Byzantine general Belisarius made his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals. 1389 Pope Urban VI died. The election of Urban sparked the Western Schism, which lasted nearly 40 years. 1501English crown prince Arthur married Catherine of Aragon. 1520 King Henry VIII of England ordered bowling lanes at Whitehall. 1537 Prince Edward Tudor was baptized. 1582 Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15.

Friday, October 14, 2011

History Trivia

October 14, 222 Pope Callixtus I was killed by a mob in Rome's Trastevere (west bank of the Tiber River) after a 5-year reign in which he had stabilized the Saturday fast three times per year, with no food, oil, or wine to be consumed on those days. Callixtus was succeeded by Cardinal Urban I. 530 Boniface became sole pope. The brief schism that had resulted from both Boniface II and Dioscorus being consecrated as pope ended with Dioscorus' death. 996 Hugh Capet, the French king and founder of the Capetian line, died in Paris at age 56. 1066 Norman Conquest: Battle of Hastings – In England on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings, the Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and killed King Harold II of England. 1322 Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence. 1586 Mary, Queen of Scots, went on trial for conspiracy against Elizabeth I of England.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

History TRivia

October 13, 54 Emperor Claudius died from poison given him by his physician Xenophon and his empress Agrippina, and Nero became emperor of Rome. 409 Vandals (East Germanic tribe) and Alans (group of Sarmatian tribes) crossed the Pyrenees and appear in Hispania (Iberian Peninsula, modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Gibraltar). 1307, on Friday the 13th, Hundreds of Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, and were later tortured into a confession of heresy. 1399 Henry IV of England was crowned.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

History Trivia

October 12, 539 BC The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia (founder of the Achaemenid Empire) seized Babylon. 1216 King John of England lost the crown jewels in The Wash, possibly near Fosdyke or near Sutton Bridge. 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. 1537 King Edward VI was born; he was the only son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour (third wife); he became King at the age of 9 and died in his early teens.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

History Trivia

October 11, 732, Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer), the great Frankish leader, defeated an army of 90,000 Saracens in the famous Battle of Tours, ending the Moorish Islamic advance into Europe. In 1303 Pope Boniface VIII died. He instituted the first Jubilee (special year of remission of sins and universal pardon). 1521 Pope Leo X granted Henry VIII the title Defender of the Faith for a tract defending Catholicism. 1542 Thomas Wyatt died. The English lyrical poet is credited with introducing the sonnet into English. 1551 John Dudley, Earl of Warwick was made the Duke of Northumberland. 1537 Lady Jane Grey, Britain's nine day queen, was born, the exact date is not known.

Interesting 20th Century fact: 1982 Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose was raised to the surface after 437 years at the bottom of the Solent.

Monday, October 10, 2011

History Trivia

October 10, 732 Battle of Tours: Near Poitiers, France, the leader of the Franks, Charles Martel and his men, defeated a large army of Moors, stopping the Muslims from spreading into Western Europe. The governor of Cordoba, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, was killed during the battle. 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 was the mother of Richard II. 1471 Battle of Brunkeberg in Stockholm: Sten Sture the Elder, the Regent of Sweden, with the help of farmers and miners, repelled an attack by Christian I, King of Denmark. 1575 Battle of Dormans (battle during the 5th war of religion in France): Roman Catholic forces under Duke Henry of Guise defeated the Protestants, capturing Philippe de Mornay among others. 1580 After a three-day siege, the English Army beheaded over 600 Irish and Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, Ireland. 1631 During the Thirty Years War a Saxon army successfully entered Prague (capital and largest city of the Czech Republic). The war was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe, and was was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

History Trivia

October 9, 28 BC The Temple of Apollo was dedicated on the Palatine Hill in Rome. 768 Carloman I and Charlemagne were crowned Kings of The Franks. 1000 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. 1047 Pope Clement II died. 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. 1192 Richard the Lionheart left Jerusalem in disguise. 1470 Henry VI of England restored to the throne. 1514 Marriage of Louis XII of France and Mary Tudor. 1529 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was indicted for using his power illegally. His failure to secure the annulment of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is widely perceived to have directly caused his downfall and arrest. 1536 The Pilgrimage of Grace, popular rising in York, Yorkshire, in protest against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as well as other specific political, social and economic grievances, began.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

History Trivia

October 8, 314 Roman Emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, losing his European territories. Co-author of the Edict of Milan that granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire, for the majority of his reign he was the rival of Constantine I until he was finally defeated at the Battle of Adrianople, and was executed on Constantine's orders. 451 the fourth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church ruled that Jesus Christ is "in two natures" in opposition to the doctrine of Monophysitism. 1200 Isabella of Angoulême, second wife of King John, was crowned Queen consort of England. Isabella had five children by the king including his heir Henry who succeeded John as Henry III of England. In 1220 Isabella married Hugh X of Lusignan, Count of La Marche, by whom she had another nine children.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7, 336 Pope Saint Mark (Marcus) died of natural causes, ending his reign as Catholic Pope which lasted under a year. 1571 The Holy League of the Papal States, Spain and Venice routed the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto. This was the defining battle of the crusades between the Christian nations on the Mediterranean and the Muslim Turks where the outnumbered Christians were victorious.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

History Trivia

October 6, 105 BC Battle of Arausio: The Cimbri (tribe from Northern Europe) inflicted the heaviest defeat on the Roman army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus. 877 Charles the Bald died. 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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Author Interview

Check out my recent interview at:

History Trivia

October 5, 1143 King Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile (Emperor of all Spain) recognised Portugal as a Kingdom. 1518 Princess Mary Tudor and the Dauphin François were officially betrothed. 1553 Queen Mary's first Parliament met and declared Katherine of Aragon's marriage to Henry VIII legitimate, and also declared the Queen's birth legitimate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

History Trivia

October 4, 1518 A treaty was signed between France and England that included a betrothal between Princess Mary and the young dauphin François. 1535 the first English translation of the entire bible was printed, with translations by Tyndale and Coverdale.1539 Henry VIII agreed to marry Anne of Cleves 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.

Monday, October 3, 2011

History Trivia

October 3, 52 BC Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrendered to the Romans under Julius Caesar, ending the siege and Battle of Alesia. 42 BC First Battle of Philippi: Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fought a decisive battle with Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius. 1187 Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, captured Jerusalem after a siege, ending 88 years of Christian rule. 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. 1283 Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, was executed for what from that time onwards would be described as high treason against the King. King Edward I ensured that Dafydd's death was to be slow and agonizing, and also historic; he became the first prominent person in recorded history to have been hanged, drawn and quartered, preceded by a number of minor knights earlier in the thirteenth century.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

History Trivia

October 2, 1187 the Moslems, led by the warrior Saladin, captured Jerusalem which brought about the Third Crusade. 1263 The Battle of Largs was fought between Norwegians and Scots. It was the most important military engagement of the Scottish-Norwegian War. The Norwegian forces were led by King Håkon Håkonsson and the Scottish forces by King Alexander III. The result was inconclusive, but in the long term favored the Scots. 1264 Pope Urban IV died. His brief pontificate was largely occupied with his attempts to restore papal power in Italy. 1452 King Richard III of England was born. 1492 King Henry VII of England invaded France. This act of war was a bluff by Henry, as he had no intention of fighting over the winter. However, as France became more concerned with the Italian Wars, the French were happy to agree to the Treaty of Etaples.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

History Trivia

October 1, 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. 959 Edgar, King of the Mercians and Northumbrians, became King of the West Saxons and was then considered to be King of all England. 965 John XIII became Pope. 1189 Gerard de Ridefort, grandmaster of the Knights Templar since 1184, was killed in the Siege of Acre. 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. 1404 Boniface IX died. The second pope in Rome during the Western Schism, Boniface was unable to end the breach and increased hostility with his attempts to raise money in order to combat the antipopes. 1553 Coronation of Queen Mary I of England.

Friday, September 30, 2011

History Trivia

September 30, 420 Saint Jerome, one of the great scholars of the early Christian church, died at age 80. 579 Pope Benedict I died . 1227 Pope Nicholas IV, the first Franciscan pontiff, was born. 1544 Henry VIII withdrew his armies out of France. 1555 Oxford Bishop Nicholas Ridley was sentenced to death as a heretic.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

History Trivia

September 29, 480 BC Battle of Salamis: The Greek fleet under Themistocles defeated the Persian fleet under Xerxes I. 106 BC Pompey the Great, statesman and general of the Roman Empire was born. He was the chief rival of Julius Caesar and in 61 BC Pompey celebrated his victory in the third Mithridatic War (between Rome and the Kingdom of Pontus, a Persian state off the Black Sea) on his 45th birthday. 440 Saint Leo I, the Great, was elected Roman Catholic pope. 1227 Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades. 1399 King Richard II of England abdicated; he was succeeded by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV). Richard was initially imprisoned and later died from uncertain causes. 1364 Battle of Auray: English forces defeated the French in Brittany; ending the Breton War of Succession between the Houses of Blois and Montfort. 1547 Miguel de Cervantes, Creator of Don Quixote, was born. 1564, in the reign of Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley became earl of Leicester.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

History Trivia

September 28,48 BC Pompey the Great was murdered on the orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt. 351 Battle of Mursa Major: the Roman Emperor Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius in one of the bloodiest battles in Roman military history. 365 Roman usurper Procopius proclaimed himself Roman emperor. 855 The Emperor Lothar died in Gaul (present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine), and his kingdom was divided between his three sons. 1066William the Conqueror and his Norman army arrived in England, landing at Pevensey, beginning the Norman Conquest. 1106 The Battle of Tinchebrai: Henry I of England defeated his brother, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy. Henry's knights won a decisive victory, capturing Robert and imprisoning him in England and then Wales until Robert's death in Cardiff Castle. England and Normandy remained under a single ruler until 1204. 1322 Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor defeated Frederick I of Austria in the Battle of Mühldorf.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

History Trivia

September 27, 489 Odoacer (first Germanic king of Italy) attacked Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths at the Battle of Verona, and was defeated again. 1009 Caliph al Hakim ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, a Christian holy site. 1066 William the Conqueror, with a Norman army of 5,000 men, set sail from France for England, to claim the English throne. 1540 Pope Paul III approved the first outline of the organization of the Jesuit Society, drafted by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the order's founder. 1590 Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being chosen Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

Monday, September 26, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 26, 46 BC Julius Caesar dedicated a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the battle of Pharsalus. 715 Ragenfrid defeated Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne, the first definite battle of the civil war which followed the death of Pepin of Heristal, Duke of the Franks. 1143 Celestine II became Pope. He was a friend of Peter Abelard(French scholastic philosopher, theologian and preeminent logician), Celestine was a scholar whose pontificate only lasted six months. 1687 The Parthenon in Athens, unscathed since 432BC, was severely damaged by a gunpowder explosion, caused by the bombing from Venetian forces led by Morosini (Doge of Venice) who besieged the Ottoman Turks stationed in Athens.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 25, 275 The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor after the assassination of Aurelian. During his short reign he campaigned against the Goths and the Heruli, for which he received the title Gothicus Maximus. 396 Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis, often referred to as the Crusade of Nicopolis and was the last large-scale crusade of the Middle Ages. 1066 Harold II (Harold Godwinson) of England defeated an invasion by Harald Hardrada of Norway, at Stamford Bridge near York, and marked the end of the Viking invasions of England. It also delayed Harold's arrival at Hastings, becoming a significant factor in the outcome of the Norman Conquest.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 24, 15 Aulus Vitellius was born. Vitellius was acclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Vitellius was the first to add the honorific cognomen Germanicus to his name instead of Caesar upon his accession; the latter name had fallen into disrepute in many quarters because of the actions of Nero. 768 Pepin the Short, King of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, died at age 54. 1180 Manuel I Komnenos, last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration died, and the Byzantine Empire slipped into terminal decline. 1645 Battle of Rowton Heath, Parliamentarian victory over a Royalist army commanded by King Charles I; casualties estimated at 600dead and 900 injured.

Friday, September 23, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 23, 480 BC The Greeks defeated the Persians in the greatest of ancient naval battles, at Salamis, avenging the destruction of Athens. Over 1,000 Persian ships were sunk by fewer than 400 Greek vessels. 63 BC Augustus (Octavian) was born. He was the Roman emperor at the time of Christ, and the founder in 27 BC of the Roman Empire as it was known after the end of the Roman Republic of Julius Caesar's time.
1122 Concordat of Worms brought to an end the first phase of the power struggle between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Emperors. 1459 Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle of the English Wars of the Roses, was fought at Blore Heath in Staffordshire. The Yorkists, though inferior in numbers, were completely victorious.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 22, 530 Both Boniface II and Dioscorus (antipope) were consecrated. The short-lived schism ended with Dioscorus' death on October 14, 530. 1515 Anne of Cleves was born. The fourth wife of Henry VIII, Anne was able to obtain a divorce and maintained a friendly relationship with the Tudor family. 1586 Battle of Zutphen was a confrontation of the Eighty Years' War fought between forces of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, aided by the English, against the Spanish, who sought to regain the northern Netherlands. Elizabeth I sent troops under the earl of Leicester to aid the rebels, however the Spanish were victorious.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 21, 490 BC The Greeks under Miltiades decisively defeated the army of Darius I of Persia at the Battle of Marathon. 19 BC Virgil, the great Roman poet, died in Rome at age 50. 454 AD Falvius Actius, Roman general and statesman was born.
1192 Richard I the Lion hearted was captured near Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria who accused Richard of arranging the murder of his cousin Conrad of Montferrat. 1327 Edward II of England was murdered by order of his wife Isabella, daughter of King Philip IV of France. 1435 An agreement between Charles VII of France and Philip the Good ended the partnership between the English and Burgundy in the Hundred Years' War. 1745 A Jacobite army under 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' defeated government forces at the Battle of Prestonpans.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 20, 356 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia and one of the greatest generals in history was born. 451 The Battle of Châlons took place in North Eastern France. Flavius Aetius's victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world. 1187 Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem. This act of aggression provoked the Third Crusade. 1378 Cardinal Robert of Geneva, called by some the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism. 1633 Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun and was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 19, 335 Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.912 Emperor Leo VI was born. Known as the Wise or the Philosopher, Emperor Leo VI of Byzantium issued imperial laws in Greek that became the legal code of the Empire. 1356 Hundred Years' War: Battle of Poitiers: an English army under the command of Edward, the Black Prince defeated a French army and captured the French king, John II.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 18, 96 Marcus Nerva was proclaimed Roman Emperor after Domitian was assassinated. 324 Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman Empire. 1180 Philip Augustus became king of France. Philip was one of the most successful medieval French monarchs in expanding the royal demesne and the influence of the monarchy. He broke up the great Angevin Empire(an area stretching from the Pyrenees to Ireland ruled by the Angevin Plantagenet dynasty during the 12th and early 13th centuries) and defeated a coalition of his rivals (German, Flemish and English) at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 17, 530 Boniface II was selected Pope. He was by birth an Ostrogoth, the first Germanic pope, and he owed his appointment to the influence of the Gothic king Athalaric. Boniface was chosen by his predecessor, Pope Felix IV, who had been a strong adherent of the Arian king, and was never elected. Boniface had for some time an antipope, Dioscurus, who had been elected by most of the priests of Rome. Boniface and Dioscorus were both consecrated in Rome on 22 September 530, but Dioscurus died twenty-two days later. 1745 Jacobite leader Bonnie Prince Charlie entered Edinburgh, proclaiming his father James VIII of Scotland.

Friday, September 16, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 16 335 BC Alexander the Great destroyed every building in Thebes, Egypt, except the temples and the house of the poet Pindar. 1386 St. Ambrose of Camaldoli was born.
Ambrose helped bring about a brief reunion of the Eastern and Western churches. 1387King Henry V of England was born. 1400 Owain Glyndwr proclaimed himself prince of Wales, launching the last Welsh rebellion against the English. 1494 Francisco Maurolico was born. He was a Benedictine monk, historian, and mathematician, Maurolico wrote a history of Sicily and significant works on Greek mathematics.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

History Trivia

September 15, 509 BC The temple of Jupiter on Rome's Capitoline Hill was dedicated on the ides of September. 53 Trajan, Emperor of Rome 98-117, was born. 668 Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy. Constans was the last emperor to become consul in 642, becoming the last Roman consul in history. 1159 Alexander III was crowned Roman Catholic pope. He is noted for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris. 1514 Thomas Wolsey was appointed archbishop of York, the second most important seat in England. His failure to obtain an annulment of Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon led to his downfall. He built Hampton Court Palace, which Henry VIII coveted and acquired, and was one of Henry's favorite residences.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 14, 81 Domitian became Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of his brother Titus. 891 Pope Steven V died. The pontificate of Stephen witnessed the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire. 1523 Pope Adrian VI died. Adrian VI was the only Dutch pope, and the last non-Italian pope to be elected until Pope John Paul II in the twentieth century.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 13, 585 BC Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, king of Rome, celebrated a trimuph for his victories over the Sabines, and the surrender of Collatia. 81 Roman emperor Titus, who was on the throne when Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, died in Rome at age 40. 122 Construction of Hadrian's Wall began. 533 General Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire defeated Gelimer and the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimium, near Carthage, North Africa. 604 Sabinianus was elected Roman Catholic pope. 1501 Michelangelo began work on his statue of David.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Author Interview

Author Spotlight Mary Ann Bernal - Author Interview
Christine M. Butler MoonlitDreams

I would like to thank Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane series, for stopping by and taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for her readers.

Christine: How do you find the time to juggle work, family, writing, and/or everything else you do?

Mary Ann: Since I am an extremely organized person, it is not very difficult to stick to a schedule. My first priority is to my family, everything else falls into place. I try to write at least a few hundred words a day, but have burned the midnight oil when necessary to finish a thought process or chapter.


Christine: Everyone has their own story, how did you stumble into a writing career?

Mary Ann: I fell in love with medieval England after reading Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” in my sophomore year of high school, but my interests soon turned towards the Dark Ages when the formidable Vikings harassed the civilized world once Hollywood released such blockbusters as “The Vikings,” “The Longships,” and “Erik the Viking.” Add to the mix “Alfred the Great,” “Prince Valiant,” and “King Arthur,” and an incurable romantic anglophile was born.
As time went on Hollywood changed its venue of period movies, but I found solace with the many British programs being aired on our local PBS station. With the advent of BBC America and History International, I was able to find great documentaries such as “The Dark Ages,” “Life in Anglo-Saxon Times,” “Dark Age England,” and “Viking Exploration,” to name but a few.

During this time, Erik the Viking was hovering in the cobwebs of my creative mind, waiting to escape oblivion, waiting to tell his story, waiting and waiting and waiting, but it was not until 2008 that I was able to find the time to devote to fulfilling my lifelong dream of writing my Erik the Viking story, and “The Briton and the Dane” trilogy was born.


Christine: What would you say inspires you the most when you are developing a new story line?

Mary Ann: I enjoy period books, movies and television miniseries, especially those titles relevant to my specific interests. The recent “Spartacus” series has me toying with the idea of exploring the lives of the ancient Britons during the Roman occupation, and the legacy left by the glorious Roman Empire on this conquered nation.


Christine: Tell us about your book series...

Mary Ann: The Briton and the Dane series bring to life the tumultuous ninth century, when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue, and complicated relationships during a time of war and conquest in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Christine: How long did it take to write?

Mary Ann: The manuscript, including multiple edits, was completed within a nine to ten-month timeframe.

Christine: What was your inspiration for the book?

Mary Ann: I have been inspired by the writings of Sir Walter Scott, Frans G. Bengtsson, and Thomas B. Costain, to name but a few, and period movies released by Hollywood and European filmmakers.


Christine: Do you have plans to release more books in the near future? If so, tell us about what you have in the works.

Mary Ann: “The Briton and the Dane: Legacy” is scheduled for a 2012 release. Since “Legacy” is the final installment of the trilogy, my plan is to write another trilogy, and “The Briton and the Dane: The Beginning” is in the early stages of development.


Christine: If you could live within the pages of your book (fantasy becomes reality) would you? and why or why not?

Mary Ann: Time travel works for me, but I would prefer to spend the day visiting, and sleep in my own bed at night. I am too much of a 21st Century person, used to life’s little amenities; however, more importantly to quote from the Declaration of Independence: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” was nonexistent in the Dark Ages, and I fear I would have issues if my freedom was threatened.


Christine: When did you start writing and what inspired the attempt?

Mary Ann: My love of writing and dabbling in poetry prompted me to enroll in writing workshops once I graduated from college. I am probably dating myself, but the Erik the Viking commercials had a profound effect on my creative mind, reminding me that I needed to tell my story. So this “bucket list” item remained on the list for a few decades, but I never gave up on the dream.


Christine: Did you have to do any research while writing your book(s)? If so, how much time was put into research and what were your topics of research?

Mary Ann: Research is very time consuming, but well worth the time, because if one is writing historical fiction, the author must have accurate facts or lose one’s credibility. I did extensive research on Alfred the Great, the Benedictine Order, the Viking Expansion, the Papacy, and Dark Ages to name but a few. Initially I spent about six months researching my genre, but I continue to expand my database.


Christine: Is your long-term goal to become a working author and give up the day job or are your books more of a hobby that you like to share with people?

Mary Ann: It is very difficult for new authors to break into the business, especially in today’s economy and the digital age of book publishing. My goal is to get my story “out there” so that others might enjoy not only the story but the history that inspired the series. History can be fun but unfortunately the “interesting stories” are set aside, and any student will tell you that dates and facts are “boring.” My novels weave in historical facts, shedding light on how people reacted to the changes in their world, breathing life into an otherwise string of words in a history book.

Also, unless you are Stephen King or Michael Crichton, revenue from book sales will not pay the mortgage. Speaking engagements is where the money is, and until the new author builds a following, I would not recommend quitting one’s day job.


Christine: What is your favorite genre of books and why?

Mary Ann: Historical fiction is my favorite genre. What better way to learn history then through living, breathing characters? Author research gives the reader interesting tidbits that never make the school’s history books. For instance, the Vikings are portrayed as dirty barbarians, but in reality, they did bathe and combed their hair, and used twigs to remove particles of food from between their teeth.


I would like to thank my fellow Literary Underground author, Mary Ann Bernal, once again for stopping by and filling us in on her writing career, her books, and dispelling some myths about those very intriguing Vikings!

History Trivia

Sept 12,490 BC The conventionally accepted date for the Battle of Marathon where the Athenians and their Plataean allies, defeated the first Persian invasion force of Greece. 1185 Byzantine emperor Andronicus I was tortured and executed by the Greek nobility, led by Isaac Angelus, during a war between the Byzantines and Norman invaders of the empire. 1213 Albigensian Crusade (directed against Christian heretics in southern France) Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret. 1362 Pope Innocent VI died. With a background in civil law, Innocent took an interest in reform and in the possibility of ending the Avignon Papacy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 11, 814 Louis I, the Pious, succeeded his father, the great French king Charlemagne, as King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans. 1226 The Roman Catholic practice of public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass spread from monasteries to parishes. 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence where the Scots jointly-led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated the English.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sept 10, 490 BC The Battle of Marathon took place between the forces of the Persian Empire and those of Athens.422 Saint Celestine I was elected Roman Catholic pope.
506 The bishops of Visigothic Gaul met in the Council of Agde. The canons shed light on the moral conditions of the clergy and laity in southern France at the beginning of the transition from the Graeco-Roman social order to that of the new conquerors. 1167 Empress Matilda died. Daughter of King Henry I, widow of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and mother of King Henry II, Matilda (also known as Maud) engaged in a civil war with Stephen of Blois over the crown of England. 1419 John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy was assassinated by adherents of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France. 1509 An earthquake known as "The Lesser Judgment Day" hit Istanbul. 1547 The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the last full scale military confrontation between England and Scotland, resulted in a decisive victory for the forces of Edward VI.

Friday, September 9, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 9, 9 AD Arminius' alliance of six Germanic tribes ambushed and annihilated three Roman legions of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. 999 or 1000 Battle of Svolder was a naval battle fought in the western Baltic Sea between King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway and an alliance of his enemies; the background for this battle was the unification of Norway into a single state, long-standing Danish efforts to gain control of the country, and the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia. With the allied victory, Norway was partitioned and the spread of Christianity was set back. 1087 William the Conqueror died in Rouen at age 59 after an accident while riding his horse. 1513 James IV of Scotland was defeated and died in the Battle of Flodden Field, ending Scotland's involvement in the War of the League of Cambrai. 1543 Mary Stuart, at nine months old, was crowned Queen of Scots in the central Scottish town of Stirling.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Briton and the Dane: Birthright Review

Where to start? I loved the first book Briton and the Dane but there was so much unresolved that I was eager to read the next book, yet having waited several weeks between finishing book one and starting book two I was a bit apprehensive that I would be lost. I dug out the notes that I took during the reading of book one, but I needn’t have worried; it all came back to me. I was excited as soon as read the prologue. I can’t really go into specifics because I feel that would be spoiling parts of both books if you hadn’t read them, but I’ll do my best.

I think that Birthright is my favorite (so far) of the series. I liked book one a lot, but I loved this one. There are so many plot twists and so many things to figure out. I do have to mention though that I thought I had something figured out and admittedly it was kind of far-fetched and I almost caved and had the author tell me whether my theory was correct when she offered, I’m glad that I declined because the wait was worth it. (My theory was correct by the way). I also had a near break down during a heartbreaking moment for one of my favorite characters. I don’t want to tell you which one, you’ll just have to read it.

I love the way that the story is told as well. There are so many characters doing so many separate things but you know they’re all going to meet in the end. (Think of how the movie Love Actually is told). It’s a lot to keep track of, but it’s a wonderfully easy and fairly quick read. After a few chapters, you get a flow of the characters and which side they are connected to and as more characters are introduced, they fit in seamlessly. I love the mix of historical background, family/love bonds and adventure. It makes the book such a great read.

I also love the format of the book. Don’t be deceived, it looks daunting due to its length, but it’s not. It’s larger font than books usually have, with paragraphs with what looks like double spaced lines and the chapters are short. While that doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but I love when books are formatted in such a way especially when they fall under the category of epic adventures. It makes me as a reader feel like I’m reading faster than I am without getting overwhelmed.

There were a lot of cliffhangers in this book and I cannot wait for the next one! I’ve perhaps gotten a little too attached to these characters.

Jenn Ladd

Interview with Jenn Ladd Booksessed

Thursday, September 8, 2011 Author Interview: Mary Ann Bernal
Jenn Ladd - Booksessed

For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work, Mary Ann Bernal is the author of the Briton and the Dane trilogy. It's a historical fiction epic about vikings during the ninth Century. I have been loving every moment of this series, Mary Ann really knows how to write plot twists and cliffhangers. Mary Ann emailed me a few months ago asking if I would read her books. Being the complete historical fiction nerd that I am, I readily said yes and I am so glad I did. I mean how much hf is there about vikings once you've read Ivanhoe? I am beyond in love with the series. The third book, Legacy is coming out in 2012 (which seems so far away!!)

When I was reading book two Birthright, and emailed Mary Ann about how much I was loving her book and we were discussing plot twists, and she even offered to tell me a spoiler. I held out and was so glad I did, which inevitably led to more emailing. During all these emails, I thought why don't I just ask Mary Ann to do an interview for my blog and she agreed, which is so awesome of her.

You can read the review below. I'm posting my review of The Briton and the Dane: Birthright on the blog tomorrow and you can read my review of The Briton and the Dane here.

Special thanks to Mary Ann Bernal!!

With all the plots and characters in your novel, and the new characters added in each book, how do you keep track?

My characters are my “children” so it is not difficult to remember any of them. I keep track of their locations on my map of Wessex, which is continually updated as the story progresses, since everyone moves about quite a bit.

What were some of the things that you found most fascinating during your research?

Did you know that the Vikings had ear spoons which were used to clean out ear wax, and that they did practice personal grooming and did bathe on Saturday night? Women preferred men who did not smell.

The Vikings enjoyed sporting events such as wrestling, foot races, swimming and skiing to name but a few. They also played board games such as tabula (backgammon) to keep themselves occupied during the long winter months.

The ravaging seafarers that attacked the civilized world did not represent the majority of the Scandinavian people, who were peaceful farmers and traders.

When the Anglo-Saxons ousted the Britons, they shied away from Roman towns, preferring to live in small villages.

The Anglo-Saxons did not believe in bathing, and monks only bathed five times a year.

The Anglo-Saxons put sheepskins around their beds to get rid of fleas.

Do you plan to write about other aspects of English history?

I do love the Roman-Britain era and am considering a trilogy set during this fascinating time.

What can we expect from the third book of the trilogy?

Questions will be answered and the fate of the characters will be revealed.

Did you find that you got very attached to certain characters?

This question is difficult to answer because I do love all my characters; how could I put Erik and Gwyneth above David and Helga or Elizabeth and Stephen? I will confess that I do have a soft spot for Arista and Liesel. Ah but who is Liesel you ask? You will meet her in “Legacy.”

I’m always fascinated by how authors feel about their “evil” characters, what was writing them like and how do you feel about them?

I delved into the mind of the villain to understand why he or she chose the wrong path. While their past history could not condone their actions, their past did play a major role in shaping their personalities. Of course the dilemma lies with their redemption, are they pure evil or can they be redeemed? I do not find it easier to “kill off” an evil character because I understand his/her torment; but all things considered, the evil character’s fate is sealed once he/she refuses to conform to societal behavior and expectations.

What was the best part about the writing process for you?

I love to breathe life into characters of a long-forgotten age while revealing their innermost thoughts and emotions, while reminding the modern reader that mankind has not changed over the centuries. The human element has remained the same throughout the centuries

History Trivia

Sept 8, 1011 St. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, was captured by marauding Danes, held prisoner for months, and eventually murdered. He refused to allow himself to be ransomed because the money would have had to be raised by taxing the people. After his death he was venerated as a martyr, and the parish church of Greenwich is dedicated to him. 1157 Richard the Lion-Hearted, King of England, was born. 1504 Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 7,70 The Romans sacked Jerusalem, which ended the Jewish revolt and left only the "Wailing Wall" intact. 1191 Third Crusade: Battle of Arsuf – Richard I of England defeated Saladin at Arsuf, which ended the sultan's aura of invincibility.1533 Queen Elizabeth I was born. The birth of a daughter was a setback to King Henry VIII in his quest for an heir, and a serious blow to his wife Anne Boleyn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 6, 394 Battle of the Frigidus: The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I defeated and killed the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast. 973 Pope John XIII died. John maintained a peaceful pontificate, and stayed closely allied with the Holy Roman Empire. 1525 Peace was declared between England and France. 1651 Charles II spent the day hiding in an oak tree following defeat by Oliver Cromwell at Worcester.

Monday, September 5, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 5, 394 Theodosius reunited the entire Roman empire for the last time with victory at the Battle of Frigidus. 1198 Philips van Zwaben Hohenstaufen crowned king of Roman Catholic Germany. 1316 John XXII the second Roman Catholic pope to reside in Avignon, France rather than Rome, was crowned. 1548 Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, died. 1557 Bishop Stephen Gardiner was imprisoned; he remained in the Tower of London for most of the reign of Edward VI. 1550 William Cecil (Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I) appointed himself English minister of foreign affairs. 1590 Alexander Farnese's army forced Henry IV of France to raise the lengthy siege of Paris that it had been placed under by Huguenots and Royalists loyal to Henry IV. 1666 Great Fire of London ended: 10,000 buildings including St. Paul's Cathedral were destroyed, but only 16 people were known to have died.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 4, 476 Romulus Augustus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed when the barbarian Odoacer proclaimed himself King of Italy, and ended the Western Roman Empire. 925 Athelstan was crowned King of England. First elected king of Wessex and Mercia, Athelstan was crowned king of the entire country at Kingston. 1241Alexander III of Scotland was born. The reign of Alexander was considered a golden age by Scots involved in struggles with England after his death. 1666 (September 2-5) Great Fire of London destroyed the medieval city of London inside the old Roman city wall. The fire also threatened but spared the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall; unfortunately St. Paul's cathedral was destroyed.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 3, 36 BC In the Battle of Naulochus, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, admiral of Octavian, defeated Sextus Pompeius, son of Pompey, which ended Pompeian resistance to the Second Triumvirate. 590 Consecration of Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great).1189 Richard I of England (the Lionhearted) was crowned King at Westminster. 1346
Edward III of England began the siege of Calais, along the coast of France. 1650 Third English Civil War: in the Battle of Dunbar, English Parliamentarian forces lead by Oliver Cromwell defeated an army loyal to King Charles II of England and lead by David Leslie, Lord Newark. 1651 Third English Civil War: Battle of Worcester – Charles II of England was defeated in the last main battle of the war.

Friday, September 2, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 2, 44 BC Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion. 44 BC Cicero launched the first of his Philippics (oratorical attacks) on Mark Antony. He will make 14 of them over the following months. 31 BC Final War of the Roman Republic: Battle of Actium – off the western coast of Greece, forces of Octavian under General Agrippa defeated the combined fleets of Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium, establishing Octavian as the ruler of the entire Roman world. 911 Viking-monarch Oleg of Kiev-Russia signed a treaty with Byzantines. 1192 Sultan Saladin and King Richard the lion hearted signed a cease fire. 1537 Danish King Christian III published an Ordinance on the Danish Church which ordered Denmark to convert to Lutheranism and as Norway was then ruled by Denmark, the Norwegians converted as well. 1666 The Great Fire of London began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and will destroy much of the city.