The Cimbri and the Teutones c.120 BC-101 BC

In 1891, farm workers digging in a peat bog at Gundestrup in the far north of Jutland, Denmark, discovered a large silver cauldron. The cauldron was decorated with spectacular scenes of Celtic More »

The Obelisks of Ancient Egypt

One of the oldest and most iconic structures of ancient Egypt is the obelisk. A rising tower of stone, it was designed to astound mortals with its height and impress the immortals More »

The baby who provoked a revolution

The birth of a male heir to James II of England made possible a permanent Catholic dynasty. Several Protestants echoed Mary and Anne’s doubts that the baby had been smuggled into the More »

Red Indians and how to tame them

The Elizabethans’ colonial voyages brought them into contact with a people very different level of civilisation from their own—the ‘Indians’ of the New World, as is illustrated by the account written in More »

Mormons in search of Promised Land, 1846-69

The Mormons have been described as the most systematic, organised, disciplined and successful pioneers in American history. For over 20 years they were one of the main forces driving the settlement of More »

 

The Modoc War, 1872-73

The Modoc War, 1872-73

From the late 1860s there was an uneasy peace until the outbreak in 1872 of the Modoc War, one of the smallest, and certainly one of the oddest, campaigns the US Army ever had to fight. As usual, problems arose from political pressure exerted by land-hungry settlers: in this instance, they wanted the fertile lands of the Modoc tribe of northern California. As a result, the Modocs were ordered from their ancestral lands to a reservation in southern Oregon, which they were to share with the more numerous Klamath tribe.

In the Medieval peasant house

In the Medieval peasant house

There are as many different sorts of peasant houses as there are peasant families, and there are huge variations across the regions. But perhaps you are wondering about staying in the house of a moderately prosperous Midlands yeoman, with thirty acres to his name. His house likely to be a wooden structure of three bays (about forty-five feet by fifteen or so) built on a stone foundation plinth.

Few leading figures in the English Civil War 1642-51

Few leading figures in the English Civil War 1642-51

In the middle of 17th century England experienced a great convulsion of political and military violence, which quickly spread to engulf Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This was a true civil war, in which men and women at all levelsof society, somethimes even withinthe same family, took different sides on issues of principle, and fought for them to the death. Here are some of the key figures on both sides, apart from King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.

Sir Martin Frobisher: The first gold rush

Sir Martin Frobisher: The first gold rush

Once those pioneering sailors had brought news of strange new lands, all sorts of others saw opportunities of exploiting them in various ways. Martin Frobisher, a Yorkshireman, wanted to find a better route to China than round the southern tip of Africa or South America. He knew that the huge American continent lay in the way of going west, but he wondered whether might be a short cut, a north-west passage over the shoulder of North America into the China Sea.

Hastings: The Battle that Changed the Western Europe

Hastings: The Battle that Changed the Western Europe

The year 1066 is the most celebrated in English history. To every English schoolchild it evokes a Saxon hero, Harold, and a French villain, William, who met and fought at the battle of Hastings. The outcome was decided by an arrow in Harold’s eye. But history is seldom as commonly related. Harold, son of Godwin, was no Saxon and had no claim to the throne beyond Edward’s deathbed blessing. William was no Frenchman but descended from the Norse warrior Rollo, granted Normandy by the French king Charles the Simple in 911. He too had no claim beyond Edward’s apparent, but earlier, blessing. Both Harold and William were of the direct Viking descent.