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Saturnalia – Ancient Roman Festival

On This Day – 17 December

The Ancient Romans celebrated the beginning of the Saturnalia with a festival in honour of Saturnus, the god of seed and sowing.

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Excavations in Greece reveal possible human sacrifice to Zeus.

Excavations on Mount Lykaion, a remote location overlooking the Peloponnese, and believed to be the birthplace of Zeus have revealed the skeleton of a teenager. Continue reading “Excavations in Greece reveal possible human sacrifice to Zeus.”

1645 – English Civil War the Battle of Naseby

14 June

The Battle of Naseby, was a decisive engagement of the English Civil War, fought on this day in 1645 between the main Royalist army of King Charles I led by Prince Rupert (12,000 strong) and the Parliamentarian New Model Army (15,000 strong), commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.

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1218 – The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt

24 May

The Fifth Crusade (1213–1221) was an attempt by Western Europeans to reacquire Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land by first conquering the powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt.

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1618 – The Second Defenestration of Prague

23 May

Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. There were two incidents in the history of Bohemia in which multiple people were defenestrated. The first occurred in 1419 and the second in 1618, although the term “Defenestration of Prague” more commonly refers to the later incident.

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1856 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War

30 March

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought between October 1853 – February 1856 in which Russia lost to an alliance of France, the United Kingdom, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. Continue reading “1856 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War”

1997 – Heaven’s Gate mass suicides

26 March

Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religious Millenarian group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On this day in 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following Comet Hale–Bopp. Continue reading “1997 – Heaven’s Gate mass suicides”

1590 – Battle of Ivry

14 March

The Battle of Ivry was fought on this day in 1590, during the French Wars of Religion. The battle was a decisive victory for Henry IV of France, leading Huguenot (French Protestant) and English forces against the Catholic League led by the Duc de Mayenne and Spanish forces under the Count of Egmont. Henry’s forces were victorious and he went on to lay siege to Paris. The battle occurred on the plain of Épieds, Eure near Ivry (later renamed Ivry-la-Bataille), Normandy. Ivry-la-Bataille is located on the Eure River and about thirty miles west of Paris, at the boundary between the Île-de-France and the Beauce regions. Continue reading “1590 – Battle of Ivry”

1689 – The Williamite War in Ireland begins

12 March

The Williamite War in Ireland (1688–1691), was a conflict between Jacobites (supporters of the Scottish Catholic King James II of England/VII of Scotland) and Williamites (supporters of the Dutch Protestant Prince William of Orange) over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland. It is also called the Jacobite War in Ireland or the Williamite–Jacobite War in Ireland. Continue reading “1689 – The Williamite War in Ireland begins”

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