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 »

 

Tudors at play

Tudors at play

Tudor England worked hard and played hard: “Sometimes their necks are broken, sometimes their backs, sometimes their legs, sometimes their arms” – not a description of some brutal medieval torture, but 16th century football. This sport was hugely popular, especially on occasions such as Shrove Tuesday and Ascension Day when entire villages played each other in ferocious all day encounters, the object being to capture a ball and bring it back to their own village.

János Hunyadi, 15th century Hungarian leader

János Hunyadi, 15th century Hungarian leader

János Hunyadi (c.1387 – 1456) was a 15th century Hungarian leader who was instrumental in repelling the Ottoman Turks. The son of a knight, he rose to the rank of general in the Hungarian army and served as governor of the Hungarian kingdom for six years. Hunyadi was born in Transylvania, in what is now Romania, around 1407. His father, Woyk, was a knight who had received Hunyadi castle (also in present-day Romania) from the king. This raised the family’s standing, and young János entered the knighthood.

The importance of the battle of Marathon

The importance of the battle of Marathon

“For if you agree with me that we should fight, you make your country free and your city the best in all of Greece. But if you choose not to fight, we will lose it all” (Herodotus 6.109)

So spoke the Athenian general Miltiades to his fellow general Callimachus, setting in motion one of the greatest military gambles in history. The date was 490 BC. The place was Marathon. The mission: to resist the invasion of the Persian army, the largest fighting force ancient Greece had ever seen.

Book review: Moll: The Life and Times of Moll Flanders by Sian Rees

Book review: Moll: The Life and Times of Moll Flanders by Sian Rees
Author: Sian Rees
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Reviewed by: Hallie Rubenhold
Price (RRP): £18.99

Hallie Rubenhold applauds an ambitious depiction of the historical backdrop to Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders

It goes without saying that writing ‘a life and times’ of a personality who never actually lived is going to present a few difficulties for a historian.

Hitler’s bloody swastika

Hitler’s bloody swastika

The Blutfahne or Blood Flag was one of the most sacred relics of nazi Germany. Originally the banner of the fifth Sturm of the Munich SA, it was soaked with the blood of the fallen when the Munich Putsch (“Beer Hall Putsch”) was crushed in November 1923. The blood was primarily from party member Andreas Bauriedl who was shot by Munich police and then fall on top of the flag.