Searching for: "Charles River Editors"

  • Charles River Editors

    Shortly after Emperor Hadrian came to power in the early 2nd century CE, he decided to seal off Scotland from Roman Britain with an ambitious wall stretching from sea to sea. To accomplish this, the wall had to be built from the mouth of the River Tyne - where Newcastle stands today - 80 Roman miles (76 miles or 122 kilometers) west to Bowness-on-Solway. The sheer scale of Hadrian's Wall still impresses people today, but as the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Hadrian's Wall was abandoned and Roman control of the area broke down. Little is known of this period of British history, but soon the Anglo-Saxons - who had been harassing the Saxon Shore as pirates -...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    After being forced out of Rhodes by the Ottomans in the early 16th century, the Knights Hospitaller spent seven years residing in Sicily without an official home or garrison, but around 1530, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V decided to gift the order the islands of Malta and Gozo, as well as the port city of Tripoli in North Africa, as a fiefdom. The emperor’s motivations varied, but most historians believe he granted the knights the territory partially out of religious devotion and mainly to protect those regions from the looming Ottoman threat. Both Malta and Gozo were between Sicily and the North African coast and were prime locations for the Ottoman Empire to try to make their next move...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Even in the wake of Napoleon’s departure from the scene, the continental powers had to work to repress secularism and liberalism in Europe. They quashed liberal movements in Italy, Poland, and Spain but could not prevent a revolution in France in 1830, which replaced authoritarian Charles X with the more liberal Louis-Philippe d’Orleans, nor could the European powers prevent the independence of Belgium as a constitutional monarchy. Underneath the surface, revolutionary movements formed among the bourgeois classes, while urban and agricultural workers remained concerned about the cost of food, living conditions, and the burdens imposed by the remnants of feudalism. When the French...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Shortly after Emperor Hadrian came to power in the early 2nd century CE, he decided to seal off Scotland from Roman Britain with an ambitious wall stretching from sea to sea. To accomplish this, the wall had to be built from the mouth of the River Tyne – where Newcastle stands today – 80 Roman miles (76 miles or 122 kilometers) west to Bowness-on-Solway. The sheer scale of Hadrian’s Wall still impresses people today, but as the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Hadrian’s Wall was abandoned and Roman control of the area broke down. The reason Hadrian’s Wall existed in the first place was because the Romans quickly discovered that while the British Isles...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    It has been famously pointed out that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, but it was also not an empire in the sense people expect when hearing the term. In theory, the emperor was the highest prince in Christendom, and his dominion extended the length and breadth of Western Europe. The empire had been created by the papacy in 801 when Pope Leo III famously crowned the supposedly unwitting Charlemagne in Saint Peter’s Basilica, intending to recreate the Western Roman Empire. In truth, the imperial power did not extend beyond central Europe, which by the beginning of the 16th century included Germany, northern Italy and the Netherlands. Even in these lands, however, the...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    There are few cases in American history as well known as Sacco and Vanzetti, and perhaps none of them were as controversial or socially charged as the trials against the two Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. The two avowed anarchists were ultimately tried and executed for murder and armed robbery, but the case said as much about the society trying them as it did about their guilt or innocence. Nearly 90 years later, there is still a heated debate over whether the two men, who arduously asserted their innocence, were actually guilty, but what is clear is that many Americans at the time believed they were being unjustly accused based on anti-Italian prejudice and disdain for...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    There is no record of Marco Polo ever visiting the Andaman Islands, so his brief description of the islanders must have been drawn from a secondary source. They were, he wrote, "a most brutish and savage race, having heads, eyes, and teeth like those of dogs. They are very cruel, and kill and eat every foreigner whom they can lay their hands upon." Most subsequent travelers and travelogues have tended to agree, although in an age of inclusion and diversity, the modern understanding and appreciation of the indigenous Andamanese is somewhat more sympathetic. Nonetheless, that one common theme has persisted, in particular in the many colonial-era chronicles, which were all written at...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    "During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." - Nelson Mandela, 1964 On June 1, 1948, Daniel Malan arrived in Pretoria by train to take office, and there he was met by a huge crowd of cheering whites. He told the audience, "In the past, we felt like strangers in our own country, but today, South Africa belongs to us...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Given the abundance of funerary artifacts that have been found within the sands of Egypt, it sometimes seems as though the Ancient Egyptians were more concerned with the matters of the afterlife than they were with matters of the life they experienced from day to day. This is underscored most prominently by the pyramids, which have captured the world's imagination for centuries. The pyramids of Egypt are such recognizable symbols of antiquity that for millennia, people have made assumptions about what they are and why they exist, without full consideration of the various meanings these ancient symbolic structures have had over the centuries. Generations have viewed them as symbols of a lost...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Portuguese maritime explorers had been gradually probing southwards along the west coast of Africa since the early part of the 15th century, seeding spores of the Portuguese language, religion, and trade interests at numerous points along the way. These journeys were both enterprises in their own right, insofar as trade off the African coast was an end unto itself, as well as an effort to establish Portuguese primacy in the spice trade with India through the discovery of a viable sea route to the east. There was also something of a quasi-religious objective to the undertaking: locating the mythical Kingdom of Prester John, a fabled Christian empire thought to exist somewhere in Africa....read more

  • Charles River Editors

    'Somme. The whole history of the world cannot contain a more ghastly word.' - Friedrich Steinbrecher, a German officer. World War I, also known in its time as the "Great War" or the "War to End all Wars", was an unprecedented holocaust in terms of its sheer scale. Fought by men who hailed from all corners of the globe, it saw millions of soldiers do battle in brutal assaults of attrition which dragged on for months with little to no respite. Tens of millions of artillery shells and untold hundreds of millions of rifle and machine gun bullets were fired in a conflict that demonstrated man's capacity to kill each other on a heretofore unprecedented scale, and as always, such a war...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    "Forward, sons of the Greeks, Liberate the fatherland, Liberate your children, your women, The altars of the gods of your fathers, And the graves of your ancestors: Now is the fight for everything." - The Greek battle hymn sung before the Battle of Salamis according to Aeschylus Dominated to this day by the sprawling white marble complex of the Acropolis, Athens is a city which is immensely and rightly proud of its past. For a period of roughly three centuries, the polis of Athens stood, if not in a position of unchallenged supremacy among the cities of Hellas, then at the very least among its three most important polities. Its fledgling empire, though small by the...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    "Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel." - - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov When people hear the word "witchcraft," certain images come to mind. American history buffs will immediately think of Salem, where hysteria in the 17th century led to notorious trials that continue to be the source of several historical studies, with scholars analyzing things from every direction. Was it a religious fervor? Was it a land grab? Was there fungus in the grain? Over 400 years later, there are still fundamental questions...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Like many historical figures, Harun al-Rashid's biography has become part reality and part myth. A real individual and the fourth caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate, Harun al-Rashid is best known to many individuals because of his role in famous literature like One Thousand and One Nights, not necessarily because of his policy decisions. This is unusual because Harun al-Rashid was perhaps the most influential of the Abbasid caliphs due to his role in bringing economic prosperity, destroying one of the most powerful Islamic families of the 9th century CE, and ending the Abbasid Dynasty for good. The reputation of Harun al-Rashid is a controversial one over 1,000 years later. Although...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    "This is what I give. I give an expression of care every day to each child, to help him realize that he is unique. I end the program by saying, 'You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There's no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.' And I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health." - Fred Rogers An anomalous YouTube video crudely entitled "Mr. Rogers is a [sic] Evil Man" stands at over 1.8 million views, with 1,000 likes and a whopping 30,000 dislikes. Similarly, saying an ill word about the universally adored Mister...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    "As in the Arsenal of the Venetians Boils in winter the tenacious pitch To smear their unsound vessels over again For sail they cannot; and instead thereof One makes his vessel new, and one recaulks The ribs of that which many a voyage has made One hammers at the prow, one at the stern This one makes oars and that one cordage twists Another mends the mainsail and the mizzen..." - Dante's Inferno The mystical floating city of Venice has inspired awe for generations, and it continues to be one of the most visited European cities for good reason. Tourists are drawn to the stunning blend of classical, Gothic, and Renaissance-inspired architecture across the picturesque towns...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    At the start of the 1840s, the Oregon Country had no political boundaries or effective government. The only administrative organization in the territory was the Hudson's Bay Company, which applied only to British subjects, and aside from natives, the region was populated by a handful of independent traders, hunters, and prospectors, as well as those employed in the various company depots. The first to begin showing up in large numbers were missionaries. The native populations were by then diminished by disease and dispirited, which meant they were more receptive to missionary aid and the Christian message. Christianity, of course, was not entirely unknown among the indigenous populations,...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Africa may have given rise to the first human beings, and Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later. From the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Ancient Egyptians produced several wonders of the world, revolutionized architecture and construction, created some of the world's first systems of mathematics and medicine, and established language and art that spread across the known world. With world-famous leaders like King Tut and Cleopatra, it's no wonder that today's world has so many Egyptologists.  Although the Egyptians may not have passed their...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    Africa may have given rise to the first human beings, and Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later. From the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Ancient Egyptians produced several wonders of the world, revolutionized architecture and construction, created some of the world’s first systems of mathematics and medicine, and established language and art that spread across the known world. With world-famous leaders like King Tut and Cleopatra, it’s no wonder that today’s world has so many Egyptologists.  Although the Egyptians may not have passed...read more

  • Charles River Editors

    'The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence.' When people think about the Second World War, they seldom think in terms of silence and small acts. This was a war in which the industry of entire nations was rearranged to feed fighting, and it was fought on a scale in which battles could include hundreds of thousands of combatants. Whole cities and populations were destroyed, with millions of casualties occurring at places like Leningrad. But World War II was also a conflict in which modern covert operations first hit their stride. From the jungles of Burma to the streets of Paris, spies, saboteurs, and commandos carried out missions built on secrecy and cunning. Precise,...read more