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History Bytez

Byte Sized bits of History

Saturnalia – New Header Image

To celebrate the start of the Ancient Roman Saturnalia festival we have changed our header image to a ‘slice’ taken from Antoine Callet’s oil painting Saturnales. Callet was a French painter who lived 1741 – 1823. He became the official portraitist for Louis XVI, as well as creating allegorical works such as this one.

 

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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1944 – The Battle of the Bulge

On This Day – 16 December 1944

The Germans launched their last major offensive of World War II, known to most as the Battle of the Bulge the Germans originally called it Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (operation watch on the Rhine). This battle which lasted until the 25th of January 1944 became the bloodiest battle of World War II for the Americans, The Department of the Army recording US losses at more than 108,000.

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Amarna Reports Digitised and Available

Originally published by the Egypt Exploration Society the 6 volumes that make up the  Amarna Reports were published between 1984 and 1995.

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Viking Raider Saint’s Lost Shrine Rediscovered

Archaeologists believe that they have found the original shrine of the Viking king turned Saint, Olaf Haraldsson. This unlikely Saint spent his early years as a Viking raider before being baptized into the Roman Catholic church in 1013.

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Greek manuscripts from the British Library online

The British Library has digitised and made over 900 Greek manuscripts available online. They are available for viewing as high resolution colour images.

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New Ancient Greek City Discovered

Research and excavations by researchers from Gothenburg University are uncovering a previously unknown Greek city. The site has been discovered 5 hours north of Athens near the village of Vlochós.

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1941 – Roosevelt Declares War on Japan

On This Day – 8 December 1941

One day after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese military the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the US to declare war on Japan.

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43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero is assassinated

On This Day – 7 December 43BC

Cicero was one of the greatest orators of Rome, and lived through some of the most turbulent events at the end of the Republic. He was born on the 3rd of January in 103 BC in Arpinum, to a well-off equestrian family.

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1859 – Billy the Kid, American criminal, born (alternative date)

On This Day – 23 November 1859

Henry McCarty (17 Sept 1859 – 14 July 1881), better known under the pseudonyms of Billy the Kid and William H. Bonney, was a 19th-century gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw in the American Old West. Continue reading “1859 – Billy the Kid, American criminal, born (alternative date)”

1963 – Doctor Who first appeared on Television

On This Day – 23 November 1963

The first episode of what would become the Doctor Who franchise aired in Britain. The first series consisted of four episodes aired over a period of four weeks and introduced William Hartnell as the first Doctor.

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1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship

On This Day – 23 November 1644

Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England is a 1644 prose polemical* tract by the English poet, scholar, and polemical author John Milton opposing licensing and censorship. Continue reading “1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship”

1890 – Charles de Gaulle, French general and politician is born

On This Day – 22 November 1890

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 Nov 1890 – 9 Nov 1970) was a French general, resistant, writer and statesman. Continue reading “1890 – Charles de Gaulle, French general and politician is born”

1968 – The Beatles release ‘The Beatles’ (known as The White Album)

On This Day – 22 November 1968

The Beatles, also known as the White Album, is the ninth studio album by English rock group the Beatles, released on this day in 1968. A double album, its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text other than the band’s name embossed, and was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band’s earlier Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Continue reading “1968 – The Beatles release ‘The Beatles’ (known as The White Album)”

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