Sunday, December 31, 2017

What happened in the First Fitna?

Rashidun Caliphate
In 656, the young religion of Islam faced a crisis, its Caliph murdered and pass issues regarding succession of the Prophet Mohammed reemerged fueling the civil war called the First Fitna

Saturday, December 23, 2017

DocuNotes: Barbarians - The Goths

Originally aired on 2004, History Channel’s miniseries Barbarians tells the story of the people who made their names in the Medieval Age, from Rome to Asia. And in their first episode, narrator Clancy Brown tells the story of a people who brought the demise of the imperial city of Rome – the Goths.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

What is a Caliphate?

Abdulmecid II, the Last Sultan and Ottoman Caliph
In 2014, a term returned from the past and used to inspire fear and hatred. The Islamic State of Syria and Levant declared itself a Caliphate making many ask the question – What is a caliphate?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Founders: Who was Muawiya I?

Umayyad Caliphate during Muawiya
In the 7th century, a new religion emerged in the inhospitable deserts of Arabia – Islam. Alongside with Islam, a new empire also emerged. Born from internal struggle, the Umayyad Caliphate became stronger and more organized than before. Credit to this reemergence mostly went to its founder – Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Brief History of Visigoth Spain

Regions of the Iberian Peninsula during the Visigoth Kingdom
Before the time of Isabella and Ferdinand and before Islamic Spain, Visigoths ruled the Iberian Peninsula.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Conquest of Tariq ibn Ziyad

The Umayyad Caliphate
In the southern tip of Spain stands a giant monolith that became known as the European side of the Pillars of Hercules where the Mediterranean Sea met the Atlantic. This monolith, the Rock of Gibraltar, bears a legacy of Muslim Spain. In fact, it bears the name of the man who started the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula – Tariq ibn Ziyad.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Brief History of Genoa

The Most Serene Republic of Venice dominated commerce in the Mediterranean for centuries leading to its ascendancy as a great power. But as Venice stood mighty in the Aegean Sea, another posed as its rival in the other side of the Italian Peninsula. In the Lingurian Sea, Genoa rivaled Venice and shared its tradition as a commercial maritime power and a republican city-state.

Casa Di San Giorgio: Genoa's Premier Financial Institution

Palace of Saint George, Genoa
“…the San Giorgio should have possession of the whole city, the republic will become more distinguished than that of Venice."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Commercial Contracts of Genoa

A View of Genoa and Its Fleet by Christoforo de Grassi, 1597 copy
The Medieval Age had been known as the Dark Ages – a misconception that is being defunct today. In fact, it was during the Medieval Age that the commercial revolution takes place. And in Genoa, the commercial revolution led to the development of investments and contracts.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Guglielmo Boccanegra: Captain of the People

Genoa, 1490
Guglielmo Boccanegra made a name for himself in Genoese politics of the 13th century. After being an experienced official from a non-aristocratic family, Boccanegra ruled over prosperous yet a divided Genoa. He came to power as Captain of the Popolo or the People elected by the people. His government presided over financial reforms and achieved considerable diplomatic developments. Although his rule was short, he made an impact to the political life of Genoa for centuries.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Who were the Guelfs and Ghibellines?

Guelf and Ghibelline Factions fighting in Bologna
Dante and Petrarch had many commonalities – they were great literary figures, they contributed to the development of Italian literature, and they both experienced the political divide between Guelfs and Ghibellines. The rivalry between Ghibellines and Guelfs led to the expulsion of Dante and Petrarch’s family as they sided with the Guelfs. But this rivalry between Ghibellines and Guelfs not only created an impact on the lives of this 2 figures, but also created a mark in the political history of Italy.

What were the Guilds?

The Syndics of the Draper's Guild by Rembrandt
“Bird of the same feather, flock together.”

A common saying but same can be said in the Medieval Age when men of the same crafts come together to form an organization called a guild. A guild was a community of craftsmen (e.g. masons, butchers, tanners, blacksmiths, etc.) from the same field or merchants that provided mutual assistance and protection, governed by laws and a strict hierarchy, and maintained standard quality of goods and services as well as market stability.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Sultanate of Delhi: The Tughluq Dynasty

The Tughluq Dynasty rose in the ashes of the House of Khalji. Under their supervision, the Delhi Sultanate reached its apex, but also saw its decline in order and power.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cecil Rhodes as a Businessman

The Rhodes Colossus by Edward Linley Sambourne
Cecil Rhodes left a controversial legacy because of his contribution to British imperialism and apartheid. But behind his racist and imperialist beliefs, he proved himself to be a shrewd talented businessman.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Death of a Great Power - The Partition of Poland

Cartoon on the First Partition of Poland
In 1795, the Polish people, who once controlled immense power in Eastern Europe, saw their country disappeared from the face of the world, devoured by its aggressive expansionist neighbors.

The Sultanate of Delhi: The Khalji Dynasty

Before the Mughal Empire boasted its sub-continental Empire, the Sultanate of Delhi existed and ruled most of India becoming a powerhouse in a divided India. The Mamluk Dynasty established and secured the Sultanate’s existence, but the House of Khalji worked to keep it and to expand its dominion over the rest of India.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Sultanate of Delhi: The Mamluk Dynasty

Delhi Sultanate under the MamluksBefore the Mughal Empire came to be, the Sultanate of Delhi stood as the most powerful state in all of Northern India. A Sultanate founded by Afghan warlords, it dominated its neighbors, defended itself against Mongols, and ruled by Sultan with each having a different personality. Explore this Sultanate that endured for centuries until the conquest of Babur came.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Founders: Who was King Henry VII of the Tudor Dynasty?

Henry VII
He established a controversial House that created so much impact in English and even world history. He ushered an era of stability after almost a century of conflict. Explore how Henry VII ruled England and secured the reign of his dynasty – the Tudors.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Who was Lord Dalhousie?

Lord DalhousieOne of the great expansionist of the British influence and control of India, James Andrew Broun Ramsay, Earl of Dalhouse, served as Governor-General of India from 1847 to 1856 whose reforms dragged the whole British India to chaos.

Who was Gustav I Vasa? (Part 2)

Gustav I
Gustav Vasa fought Denmark to gain Sweden's independence from the Kalmar Union. Explore the early beginnings of the founder of the Vasa Dynasty.

Who was Gustav I Vasa? (Part 1)

Gustav Eriksson addressing men from Dalarna in Mora by Johan Gustaf Sandberg
Gustav Vasa fought Denmark to gain Sweden's independence from the Kalmar Union. Explore the early beginnings of the founder of the Vasa Dynasty.

Monday, May 1, 2017

What was the British East India Company? - Part 2

Port of Calcutta, 1848
It was one of the most powerful and influential company in the world. An agent of commerce and imperialism of the British Empire, explore the history of the British East India Company.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

What was the British East India Company? - Part 1

East India House by Thomas Malton, 1800
It was one of the most powerful and influential company in the world. An agent of commerce and imperialism of the British Empire, explore the history of the British East India Company.

Friday, April 28, 2017

In 2,000 Words: The Indian Mutiny of 1857

The Sepoy Revolt at Meerut - by London News 1857

The Indian Mutiny or Rebellion errupted from British westernization policies that threated India's way of life. In 2,000 words explore the Mutiny that almost ended British rule in the subcontinent.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Women in Power: Sirimavo Bandaranaike

Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Indira Gandhi became the first Prime Minister of India and the most notable leader in South Asia. But in the small island nation of Sri Lanka, a wife of a prominent politician beat Prime Minister Gandhi in becoming the world’s first woman Prime Minister – Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Women in Power: Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi with President Richard Nixon
Since India declared their independence, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty ruled the biggest democracy in the world. Jawaharlal Nehru served as the first Prime Minister of the independent India. Following in Nehru’s footsteps, her daughter Indira, succeeded in becoming Prime Minister and became one of the most powerful woman in the modern world.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Who was Harald Bluetooth Gormsson?

King Harald Bluetooth in Civilization V
Harald Bluetooth ruled as King of a united Denmark from around 958 until 987 and his mysterious demise, overseeing great projects and changes among the Danes, most importantly the rise of Christianity.

Who were the Berserkers?

1872 Woodcut Image of Berserkers
Dictionaries defined berserk as out of control with anger or excitement; wild or frenzied. The word earned such a meaning from the most feared warrior among the Vikings – the Berserkers. These wild and aggressive warriors fought their way in history clad with animal skins and armed with axes, swords, shields, and uncontrollable rage.

Who was Johann Struensee?

Johann StruenseeEnlightened absolutism, an idea where the ideas of the Enlightenment championed and implemented by monarchies ruling through divine right, spread across Europe in the 18th century. From Russia to Spain, monarchies called for rule of law, reason, and liberalism. Denmark on the other hand experienced absolute absolutism under a strange circumstances. Reforms aligned to the Enlightenment movement befell Denmark under the hands of a foreign German doctor named Johann Struensee. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rollo and the Foundation of Normandy

The Baptism of Rollo in a French Manuscript
Normans and Normandy changed world history. They testified to the openness of the Vikings to assimilate yet maintained their ferocity in battle that brought them success in many areas. And it all began with one Viking leader named Rollo. Explore how Rollo founded Normandy?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Great Heathen Army (Part 2): Conquest and Resistance

Map of England showing the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and Danish districts - from Cassell's History of England, Vol. IEven with the death of the King of Northumbria failed to satisfy the lust for conquest of Ivar and his brothers. After the death of the Northumbrian King, they advance to conquer the other Saxon Kingdoms of England.

The Great Heathen Army (Part 1): Fall of Northumbria

Ragnar Lodbrok Thrown in the Snake Pit
It was an army of Vikings with the objective to avenge and conquer England. Because of their known ruthlessness and savagery the English chroniclers labelled them as the Great Heathen Army. But others labelled it as the Great Danish Army for most of its warriors came from Denmark. Explore what was the Great Heathen Army? Why was it formed and invaded England? How did it prevailed? And how did it created an impact on history?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Lindisfarne Attack: Dawn of the Viking Age

Grave Marker 'The Viking Raider Stone' (Sourse: English Heritage)
As the monks of Lindisfarne lived out their pious lifestyle in a June day in 793, a group of Scandinavians desperate for riches and plunder rushed into their shores and dashed into their monastery and into history. Explore what happened in Lindisfarne at the dawn of the Viking Age?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Who were the Vikings? (Part 3)

Harald HÃ¥rfagre i slaget ved Hafrsfjord by Ole Peter Hansen Balling
The Vikings earned their success through their ships and their skills in their chosen weapon. Then how did this successful pirates, raiders, and explorers quietly faded in history?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Who were the Vikings? (Part 2)

Norsemen Landing in Iceland by Oscar Wergeland
The Vikings proved themselves as ruthless and raiders and pirates. But beyond their pillaging, they also showed their skills as explorers. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Great Leaders: Who was King Gwanggaeto the Great?

If the West looks upon Alexander the Great as the greatest conqueror that they have seen, In Korea, they turned to Gwanggaeto the Great as their equivalent. Who is this Gwanggaeto the Great? And why the Koreans revered him as one of their greatest leaders in history?