Isabeau was honored in 1389 with a lavish coronation ceremony and entry into Paris. In 1392, Charles suffered the first attack of what was to become a lifelong and progressive mental illness, resulting in periodic withdrawal from government. The episodes occurred with increasing frequency, leaving a court both divided by political factions and steeped in social extravagances. A 1393 masque for one of Isabeau's ladies-in-waiting—an event later known as Bal des Ardents—ended in disaster with the King almost burning to death. Although the King demanded Isabeau's removal from his presence during his illness, he consistently allowed her to act on his behalf. In this way she became regent to the Dauphin of France (heir apparent), and sat on the regency council, allowing far more power than was usual for a medieval queen. (Full article...)
Neferirkare Kakai (known in Greek as Nefercherês, Νεφερχέρης) was an ancient Egyptianpharaoh, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty. Neferirkare, the eldest son of Sahure with his consort Meretnebty, was known as Ranefer A before he came to the throne. He acceded the day after his father's death and reigned for eight to eleven years, sometime in the early to mid-25th century BCE. He was himself very likely succeeded by his eldest son, born of his queen Khentkaus II, the prince Ranefer B who would take the throne as king Neferefre. Neferirkare fathered another pharaoh, Nyuserre Ini, who took the throne after Neferefre's short reign and the brief rule of the poorly known Shepseskare.
Neferirkare was acknowledged by his contemporaries as a kind and benevolent ruler, intervening in favour of his courtiers after a mishap. His rule witnessed a growth in the number of administration and priesthood officials, who used their expanded wealth to build architecturally more sophisticated mastabas, where they recorded their biographies for the first time. Neferirkare was the last pharaoh to significantly modify the standard royal titulary, separating the nomen or birth name, from the prenomen or throne name. From his reign onwards, the former was written in a cartouche preceded by the "Son of Ra" epithet. His rule witnessed continuing trade relations with Nubia to the south and possibly with Byblos on the Levantine coast to the north. (Full article...)
Marcian (/ˈmɑːrʃən/; Latin: Marcianus; Greek: ΜαρκιανόςMarkianos; c. 392 – 27 January 457) was Roman emperor of the East from 450 to 457. Very little of his life before becoming emperor is known, other than that he was a domesticus (personal assistant) who served under the commanders Ardabur and his son Aspar for fifteen years. After the death of Emperor Theodosius II on 28 July 450, Marcian was made a candidate for the throne by Aspar, who held much influence because of his military power. After a month of negotiations Pulcheria, Theodosius' sister, agreed to marry Marcian. Zeno, a military leader whose influence was similar to Aspar's, may have been involved in these negotiations, as he was given the high-ranking court title of patrician upon Marcian's accession. Marcian was elected and inaugurated on 25 August 450.
Marcian reversed many of the actions of TheodosiusII in the Eastern Roman Empire's relationship with the Huns under Attila and in religious matters. Marcian almost immediately revoked all treaties with Attila, ending all subsidy payments to him. In 452, while Attila was raiding Roman Italy, then a part of the Western Roman Empire, Marcian launched expeditions across the Danube into the Great Hungarian Plain, defeating the Huns in their own heartland. This action, accompanied by the famine and plague that broke out in northern Italy, allowed the Western Roman Empire to bribe Attila into retreating from the Italian peninsula. (Full article...)
Muhammad II (Arabic: محمد الثاني) (also known by the epithet al-Faqih, "the canon-lawyer", c. 1235 – 8 April 1302; reigned from 1273 until his death) was the second Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula, succeeding his father, Muhammad I. Already experienced in matters of state when he ascended the throne, he continued his father's policy of maintaining independence in the face of Granada's larger neighbours, the Christian kingdom of Castile and the Muslim Marinid state of Morocco, as well as an internal rebellion by his family's former allies, the Banu Ashqilula.
After he took the throne, he negotiated a treaty with Alfonso X of Castile, in which Castile agreed to end support for the Banu Ashqilula in exchange for payments. When Castile took the money but maintained its support for the Banu Ashqilula, Muhammad turned towards Abu Yusuf of the Marinids. The Marinids sent a successful expedition against Castile, but relations soured when the Marinids treated the Banu Ashqilula as Muhammad's equals. In 1279, through diplomatic manoeuvring, Muhammad regained Málaga, formerly the centre of Banu Ashqilula power. In 1280, his diplomacy backfired when Granada faced simultaneous attacks from Castile, the Marinids and the Banu Ashqilula. Attacked by his more powerful neighbours, Muhammad exploited the rift between Alfonso and his son Sancho, as well as receiving help from Volunteers of the Faith, soldiers recruited from North Africa. The threat subsided when Alfonso died in 1284 and Abu Yusuf in 1286; their successors (Sancho and Abu Yaqub, respectively) were preoccupied with domestic matters. In 1288 the Banu Ashqilula emigrated to North Africa at Abu Yaqub's invitation, removing Muhammad's biggest domestic concern. In 1292, Granada helped Castile take Tarifa from the Marinids on the understanding that the town would be traded to Granada, but Sancho reneged on the promise. Muhammad II then switched to the Marinid side, but a Granadan–Marinid attempt to retake Tarifa in 1294 failed. In 1295, Sancho died and was succeeded by Ferdinand IV, a minor. Granada took advantage by conducting a successful campaign against Castile, taking Quesada and Alcaudete. Muhammad also planned a joint offensive with Aragon against Castile, but he died in 1302 before the operation took place. (Full article...)
Al-Hafiz first rose to power as regent after the death of his cousin, al-Amir bi-Ahkam Allah, in October 1130. Al-Amir had only left an infant son, al-Tayyib, as a possible successor, so al-Hafiz became regent as the oldest surviving member of the dynasty. Al-Tayyib was apparently sidelined and possibly killed by the new regime, which was in turn overthrown within a few days by the army under Kutayfat. The latter imprisoned al-Hafiz, and moved to depose the Fatimids and replace Isma'ilism with a personal regime, possibly based on Twelver Shi'ism, with himself as the Hidden Imam's all-powerful vicegerent. Kutayfat's regime was toppled when he was murdered by Fatimid loyalists in December 1131, and al-Hafiz was freed and restored as regent. (Full article...)
During the reign of his cousin Uthman (r. 644–656), Marwan took part in a military campaign against the Byzantines of the Exarchate of Africa (in central North Africa), where he acquired significant war spoils. He also served as Uthman's governor in Fars (southwestern Iran) before becoming the caliph's katib (secretary or scribe). He was wounded fighting the rebel siege of Uthman's house, in which the caliph was slain. In the ensuing civil war between Ali (r. 656–661) and the largely Qurayshite partisans of A'isha, Marwan sided with the latter at the Battle of the Camel. Marwan later served as governor of Medina under his distant kinsman Caliph Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680), founder of the Umayyad Caliphate. During the reign of Mu'awiya's son and successor Yazid I (r. 680–683), Marwan organized the defense of the Umayyad realm in the Hejaz (western Arabia) against the local opposition. After Yazid died in November 683, the Mecca-based rebel Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr declared himself caliph and expelled Marwan, who took refuge in Syria, the center of Umayyad rule. With the death of the last Sufyanid caliph Mu'awiya II in 684, Marwan, encouraged by the ex-governor of Iraq Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, volunteered his candidacy for the caliphate during a summit of pro-Umayyad tribes in Jabiya. The tribal nobility, led by Ibn Bahdal of the Banu Kalb, elected Marwan and together they defeated the pro-Zubayrid Qays tribes at the Battle of Marj Rahit in August of that year. (Full article...)
Dom Pedro II around age 61, c. 1887
DomPedroII (2 December 1825 – 5 December 1891), nicknamed "the Magnanimous" (Portuguese: O Magnânimo), was the second and last monarch of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. He was born in Rio de Janeiro, the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza. His father's abrupt abdication and departure to Europe in 1831 left the five-year-old as emperor and led to a grim and lonely childhood and adolescence, obliged to spend his time studying in preparation for rule. His experiences with court intrigues and political disputes during this period greatly affected his later character; he grew into a man with a strong sense of duty and devotion toward his country and his people, yet increasingly resentful of his role as monarch.
Pedro II inherited an empire on the verge of disintegration, but he turned Brazil into an emerging power in the international arena. The nation grew to be distinguished from its Hispanic neighbors on account of its political stability, zealously guarded freedom of speech, respect for civil rights, vibrant economic growth, and form of government—a functional representative parliamentary monarchy. Brazil was also victorious in the Platine War, the Uruguayan War, and the Paraguayan War, as well as prevailing in several other international disputes and domestic tensions. Pedro II steadfastly pushed through the abolition of slavery despite opposition from powerful political and economic interests. A savant in his own right, the Emperor established a reputation as a vigorous sponsor of learning, culture, and the sciences, and he won the respect and admiration of people such as Charles Darwin, Victor Hugo, and Friedrich Nietzsche, and was a friend to Richard Wagner, Louis Pasteur, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, among others. (Full article...)
Anne was estranged from her brother-in-law and cousin, William III & II, and her sister, Mary II, but supported links between them and her son. He grew close to his uncle William, who created him a Knight of the Garter, and his aunt Mary, who frequently sent him presents. At his nursery in Campden House, Kensington, he befriended his Welsh body-servant, Jenkin Lewis, whose memoir of the Duke is an important source for historians, and operated his own miniature army, called the "Horse Guards", which eventually comprised 90 boys. (Full article...)
Fakhr al-Din succeeded his father as the emir of the Chouf mountains in 1591. He was appointed over the sanjaks (districts) of Sidon-Beirut in 1593 and Safed in 1602. Despite joining the rebellion of Ali Janbulad in 1606, Fakhr al-Din remained in his post and the Ottomans recognized his takeover of the Keserwan mountains from his rival Yusuf Sayfa. Seven years later, an imperial campaign was launched against him for allying with Tuscany and garrisoning the strategic fortresses of Shaqif Arnun and Subayba. He escaped and became an exile in Tuscany and Sicily. Upon his return in 1618, he resumed control of his former domains and within three years took over northern Mount Lebanon, which was predominantly Maronite. After Fakhr al-Din routed the governor of Damascus at the Battle of Anjar in 1623, he extended his control to the Beqaa Valley, the stronghold of his rivals, the Harfush dynasty. Fakhr al-Din proceeded to capture fortresses across central Syria, gained practical control of Tripoli and its eyalet, and acquired tax farms as far north as Latakia. Although he frequently attained government favor by timely forwarding of tax revenue, bribing officials, and using opportunities of mutual interest to eliminate local rivals, his outsized power and autonomy were considered a rebellion by the imperial government. A near-contemporary historian remarked that "the only thing left for him to do was to claim the Sultanate". He surrendered to the Ottomans during a siege of his Chouf hideout in 1633 and was executed in Constantinople two years later. In 1697 Fakhr al-Din's grandnephew was awarded a tax farm spanning southern Mount Lebanon. It was gradually expanded by the Ma'ns' marital relatives, the Shihabs, in 1711, and was a precursor to the Lebanese Republic. (Full article...)
Part of a door jamb showing the cartouche of Djedkare Isesi, Neues Museum, Berlin
Djedkare likely enjoyed a reign of more than 40 years, which heralded a new period in the history of the Old Kingdom. Breaking with a tradition followed by his predecessors since the time of Userkaf, Djedkare did not build a temple to the sun god Ra, possibly reflecting the rise of Osiris in the Egyptian pantheon. More significantly, Djedkare effected comprehensive reforms of the Egyptian state administration, the first undertaken since the inception of the system of ranking titles. He also reorganised the funerary cults of his forebears buried in the necropolis of Abusir and reformed the corresponding priesthood. (Full article...)
Edward's reign was marked by economic problems and social unrest that in 1549 erupted into riot and rebellion. An expensive war with Scotland, at first successful, ended with military withdrawal from Scotland and Boulogne-sur-Mer in exchange for peace. The transformation of the Church of England into a recognisably Protestant body also occurred under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters. His father, Henry VIII, had severed the link between the Church and Rome, but had never permitted the renunciation of Catholic doctrine or ceremony. It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass, and the imposition of compulsory services in English. (Full article...)
Pedro Álvares Cabral (European Portuguese: [ˈpeðɾu ˈaɫvɐr(ɨ)ʃ kɐˈβɾaɫ] or Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈpedɾu ˈawvɐɾis kaˈbɾaw]; born Pedro Álvares de Gouveia; c. 1467 or 1468 – c. 1520) was a Portuguese nobleman, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the European discoverer of Brazil. In 1500, Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life remain unclear, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received a good education. He was appointed to head an expedition to India in 1500, following Vasco da Gama's newly-opened route around Africa. The undertaking had the aim of returning with valuable spices and of establishing trade relations in India—bypassing the monopoly on the spice trade then in the hands of Arab, Turkish and Italian merchants. Although the previous expedition of Vasco da Gama to India, on its sea route, had recorded signs of land west of the southern Atlantic Ocean (in 1497), Cabral led the first known expedition to have touched four continents: Europe, Africa, America, and Asia.
His fleet of 13 ships sailed far into the western Atlantic Ocean, perhaps intentionally, and made landfall (April 1500) on what he initially assumed to be a large island. As the new land was within the Portuguese sphere according to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, Cabral claimed it for the Portuguese Crown. He explored the coast, realizing that the large land mass was probably a continent, and dispatched a ship to notify King Manuel I of the new territory. The continent was South America, and the land he had claimed for Portugal later came to be known as Brazil. The fleet reprovisioned and then turned eastward to resume the journey to India. (Full article...)
Anastasius I Dicorus (Greek: ἈναστάσιοςAnastásios; c. 431 – 9 July 518) was Eastern Roman emperor from 491 to 518. A career civil servant, he came to the throne at the age of 61 after being chosen by the wife of his predecessor, Zeno. His reign was characterised by reforms and improvements in the government, finances, economy, and bureaucracy of the Empire. He is noted for leaving the empire with a stable government, reinvigorated monetary economy and a sizeable budget surplus, which allowed the Empire to pursue more ambitious policies under his successors, most notably Justinian I. Since many of Anastasius' reforms proved long-lasting, his influence over the Empire endured for many centuries.
Anastasius was a Miaphysite and his personal religious tendencies caused tensions throughout his reign in the Empire which was becoming increasingly divided along religious lines. He is venerated as a saint by the Syriac Orthodox Church on 29 July. (Full article...)
The etymology of the title derives from the ancient Sumerian city of Kish (Sumerian: kiš, Akkadian: kiššatu), the original meaning being King of Kish. Although the equation of šar kiššatim as literally meaning "King of the Universe" was made during the Akkadian period, the title of "King of Kish" is older and was already seen as particularly prestigious, as the city of Kish was seen as having primacy over all other Mesopotamian cities. In Sumerian legend, Kish was the location where the kingship was lowered to from heaven after the legendary Flood. (Full article...)
Historians disagree on the year of Ajtony's defeat; it may have occurred in 1002, 1008 or between 1027 and 1030. His ethnicity is also a subject of historical debate; he may have been Hungarian, Kabar, Pecheneg or Romanian. In Romanian historiography Ajtony is viewed as the last member of a Romanian ruling family founded by Glad, lord of Banat around 900 according to the Gesta Hungarorum. (Full article...)
Ragnall's name as it appears on folio 35v of British Library Cotton MS Julius A VII (the Chronicle of Mann): "Raignaldum".
In the mid twelfth century, Somairle rose in power and won the Kingdom of the Isles from his brother-in-law. After Somairle perished in battle against the Scots in 1164, much of his kingdom was probably partitioned between his surviving sons. Ragnall's allotment appears to have been in the southern Hebrides and Kintyre. In time, Ragnall appears to have risen in power and became the leading member of Somairle's descendants, the meic Somairle (or Clann Somairle). Ragnall is known to have styled himself "King of the Isles, Lord of Argyll and Kintyre" and "Lord of the Isles". His claim to the title of king, like other members of the meic Somairle, is derived through Ragnhildr, a member of the Crovan dynasty. (Full article...)
Mounting tensions resulted in a popular uprising against Alexios' regime on 2 May 1181, (modern scholars have proposed other dates as well), which ended in a mutual reconciliation. His power shaken, the prōtosebastos reacted by punishing Borradiotes for his role in the affair. Overwhelming opposition, both among the people and the aristocracy, forced him to recall Borradiotes soon after. These events left Alexios in poor shape to oppose the advance of the adventurer Andronikos I Komnenos, who moved against Constantinople from the east. The generals dispatched against Andronikos were defeated or defected, and the usurper entered the city in April 1182. The prōtosebastos Alexios was deposed, publicly humiliated, and mutilated. His fate thereafter is not known. (Full article...)
Ancient Sumerian depiction of the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzid
Dumuzid (Sumerian: 𒌉𒍣𒉺𒇻, romanized: Dumuzid sipad) or Dumuzi, later known by the alternative form Tammuz, is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with shepherds, who was also the first and primary consort of the goddess Inanna (later known as Ishtar). In Sumerian mythology, Dumuzid's sister was Geshtinanna, the goddess of agriculture, fertility, and dream interpretation. In the Sumerian King List, Dumuzid is listed as an antediluvian king of the city of Bad-tibira and also an early king of the city of Uruk.
In Inanna's Descent into the Underworld, Dumuzid fails to mourn Inanna's death and, when she returns from the Underworld, she allows the galla demons to drag him down to the Underworld as her replacement. Inanna later regrets this decision and decrees that Dumuzid will spend half the year in the Underworld, but the other half of the year with her, while his sister Geshtinanna stays in the Underworld in his place, thus resulting in the cycle of the seasons. In the Sumerian poem Inanna Prefers the Farmer, Dumuzid competes against the farmer Enkimdu for Inanna's hand in marriage. (Full article...)
Geoffrey of Briel, in older literature Geoffrey of Bruyères, was a French knight and the third lord of the Barony of Karytaina in the Principality of Achaea, in Frankish Greece. He led a colourful and turbulent life, narrated in detail in the Chronicle of the Morea. Accounted the finest knight in the Principality, he fought in the wars against the Byzantine Greeks, was captured in the Battle of Pelagonia in 1259, and was sent back to Achaea bearing the Byzantine terms in 1261. Geoffrey was twice deprived of his barony, once for rebelling against his uncle, the Prince of Achaea William II of Villehardouin, and then for abandoning the Principality without leave in order to spend time with a mistress, the wife of one of his feudatories, in Italy. He was pardoned both times, but henceforth held his title as a gift of the Prince. He died childless in 1275, and the Barony of Karytaina was split up. (Full article...)
Abu Sa'id Hasan ibn Bahram al-Jannabi (Arabic: أبو سعيد حسن بن بهرام الجنابي, romanized: Abū Saʿīd Ḥasan ibn Bahrām al-Jannābī; 845/855–913/914) was the founder of the Qarmatian state in Bahrayn (an area comprising the eastern parts of modern Saudi Arabia as well as the Gulf emirates). By 899, his followers controlled large parts of the region, and in 900, he scored a major victory over an Abbasid army sent to subdue him. He captured the local capital, Hajar, in 903, and extended his rule south and east into Oman. He was assassinated in 913, and succeeded by his eldest son Sa'id.
His religious teachings and political activities are somewhat unclear, as they are reported by later and usually hostile sources, but he seems to have shared the millennialistIsma'ili belief about the imminent return of the mahdī, hostility to conventional Islamic rites and rituals, and to have based the Qarmatian society on the principles of communal ownership and egalitarianism, with a system of production and distribution overseen by appointed agents. The Qarmatian "republic" he founded would last until the late 11th century. (Full article...)
Pedro II was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, his father Pedro I's abrupt abdication and flight to Europe in 1831 left him as Emperor at the age of five. Inheriting an Empire on the verge of disintegration, Pedro II turned Brazil into an emerging power in the international arena. On November 15, 1889, he was overthrown in a coup d'état by a clique of military leaders who declared Brazil a republic. However, he had become weary of emperorship and despaired over the monarchy's future prospects, despite its overwhelming popular support, and did not support any attempt to restore the monarchy.
All in the world I have is yours; Next to God, you are the one I love best, and if I did not know that your love for me is the same, I could not be so happy as I am: May God give us both the grace to live always in this affection without any guile.
Image 20The constituent states of the German Empire (a federal monarchy). Various states were formally suzerain to the Emperor, whose government retained authority over some policy areas throughout the federation, and was concurrently King of Prussia, the Empire's largest state. (from Non-sovereign monarchy)