British History: Some higilights

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  1. British Timeline from 3000BC to 1200 AD
  2. A Timeline of Modern English History 1485-2100
  3. British Kings
  4. London In 600 AD
  5. The medieval marvel of London
  6. The Sterling Castle of Scotland

Henry VIII (r. 1509-47)
Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603)


Migration of Germanic tribes

Back to the Middle Ages

Groups move in, settle, and establish kingdoms

Angles and Saxons From Continental Europe To England
Magyars From Central Asia To Hungary
Vikings From Scandinavia To Russia

50 – 150 AD
The arrival in Poland of the Gothic people in the first and second centuries AD from their homeland in southern Sweden has a great impact on the Baltic population there, resulting in them moving towards eastern Lithuania. Perhaps as a result of this population shift, the Frisians are soon to be found occupying the territory to the west of the Zuyder Zee, making them the most westerly of the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe.

166-169 AD
The first invasion of Germanic peoples across the Danube takes place under the leadership of the Marcomanni, penetrating into Italy and forcing the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, to spend the rest of his life campaigning in the Danube region to contain the problem, which he does with a further defeat of them in AD 180.

Migration Period

During the 5th century, as the Western Roman Empire lost military strength and political cohesion, numerous nomadic Germanic peoples, under pressure from population growth and invading Asian groups, began migrating en masse in various directions, taking them to Great Britain and far south through present-day Continental Europe to the Mediterranean and Northern Africa.

Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Lombards made their way into Italy; Vandals, Burgundians, Franks, and Visigoths conquered much of Gaul; Vandals and Visigoths also pushed into Spain, with the Vandals additionally making it into North Africa; and the Alamanni established a strong presence in the middle Rhine and Alps. In Denmark, the Jutes merged with the Danes; and in Sweden, the Geats and Gutes merged with the Swedes. In England, the Angles merged with the Saxons and other groups (notably the Jutes), and absorbed some natives, to form the Anglo-Saxons (later known as the English). Essentially, Roman civilization was overrun by these variants of Germanic peoples during the 5th century.

Odoacer was a Germanic soldier in the Roman army who deposed emperor Augustulus and became the first King of Italy, marking the end of the Western Roman Empire, the fall of ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe.



Greek History Table Of Index

Alexander By Plutarch @ MIT Classics

Map of Alexander Kingdom divided in 300 BC (Clickable)

The night before the consummation of their marriage, she (Alexander’s mother) dreamed that a thunderbolt fell upon her body, which kindled a great fire, whose divided flames dispersed themselves all about, and then were extinguished. And Philip, some time after he was married, dreamt that he sealed up his wife’s body with a seal, whose impression, as be fancied, was the figure of a lion. Some of the diviners interpreted this as a warning to Philip to look narrowly to his wife; but Aristander of Telmessus, considering how unusual it was to seal up anything that was empty, assured him the meaning of his dream was that the queen was with child of a boy, who would one day prove as stout and courageous as a lion.

While he was yet very young, he entertained the ambassadors from the King of Persia, in the absence of his father, and entering much into conversation with them, gained so much upon them by his affability, and the questions he asked them, which were far from being childish or trifling (for he inquired of them the length of the ways, the nature of the road into inner Asia, the character of their king, how he carried himself to his enemies, and what forces he was able to bring into the field), that they were struck with admiration of him.

For being more bent upon action and glory than either upon pleasure or riches, he esteemed all that he should receive from his father as a diminution and prevention of his own future achievements; and would have chosen rather to succeed to a kingdom involved in troubles and wars, which would have afforded him frequent exercise of his courage, and a large field of honour, than to one already flourishing and settled, where his inheritance would be an inactive life, and the mere enjoyment of wealth and luxury.

The care of his education, as it might be presumed, was committed to a great many attendants, preceptors, and teachers, over whom Leonidas presided. Leonidas later obtained  the title of Alexander’s foster-father and governor.

The Taming of Bucephalus

 The Taming of Bucephalus
Engraving (1898-1899) by André Castaigne (1861-1929)

Philonicus the Thessalian brought the horse Bucephalus to Philip, offering to sell him for thirteen talents; but when they went into the field to try him, they found him so very vicious and unmanageable, that he reared up when they endeavoured to mount him, and would not so much as endure the voice of any of Philip’s attendants. Upon which, as they were leading him away as wholly useless and untractable, Alexander, who stood by, said, “What an excellent horse they are losing for want of boldness to manage him!”

Philip at first took no notice of what he said; but when he heard Alexander repeat the same thing several times, and saw he was much vexed to see the horse sent away, he said to him:
— “You reproachng those who are older than yourself, as if you knew more, and were better able to manage Bucephalus than they?”
— “I could manage this horse better than others do.”
— “And if you do not what will you forfeit for your rashness? “I will pay the whole price of the horse.” answered Alexander.

Alexander immediately ran to the horse, and taking hold of the bridle, turned him directly towards the sun, having observed that he was disturbed at and afraid of the motion of his own shadow. Then with one nimble leap securely mounted him.

His father kissed him as he came down from his horse, and said, “O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee.”

[Add: Philip appointed Aristotle as his teacher]

It would appear that Alexander received from Aristotle not only his doctrines of Morals and of Politics, but also something of those more abstruse and profound theories which these philosophers professed to reserve for oral communication to the initiated, and did not allow many to become acquainted with.

For when he was in Asia, and heard Aristotle had published some treatises of that kind, he wrote to him, using very plain language to him in behalf of philosophy, the following letter. The content of the letter is:

“Greeting. You have not done well to publish your books of oral doctrine; for what is there now that we excel others in, if those things which we have been particularly instructed in be laid open to all? For my part, I assure you, I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion. Farewell.”

Onesicritus informs us that he constantly laid Homer’s Iliads with his dagger under his pillow, declaring that he esteemed it a perfect portable treasure of all military virtue and knowledge. When he was in the upper Asia,  he ordered Harpalus to send him some books; Harpalus furnished him with Philistus’s History, a great many of the plays of Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus, and some dithyrambic odes, composed by Telestes and Philoxenus.
— Plutarch

Alexander 356 – 323 BC

Map showing how the kingdom of Alexander got divided into four parts after his death: (a) Ptolemaic Egypt, (b) Seleucid Empire (c)  Antigonid Empire and (d) The Attalid Macedonia. Also see here.

The Diadochi or successors of Alexander

The Diadochi

The Diadochi were the rival generals, families, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BC. The Wars of the Diadochi mark the beginning of the Hellenistic period from the Mediterranean to the Indus River Valley who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BC.

As it turned out after several wars, there were no great territorial changes, although there were dynastic changes. After 280, the period of state-forming came to an end with three great states: Antigonid Macedonia, Ptolemaic Egypt, and the Seleucid kingdom in Asia.

Ptolemaic Egypt

Image result for Ptolemaic Egypt

Ptolemy I Soter was a Macedonian Greek general under Alexander the Great, one of the three Diadochi who succeeded to his empire. Ptolemy became ruler of Egypt (323–283/2 BC) and founded a dynasty which ruled it for the next three centuries, turning Egypt into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a center of Greek culture.

Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–246 BCE (Ptolemaicbecame the King of Egypt

Seleucid Empire

Seleucid Empire: From the Aegean Sea to Afghanistan and Pakistan

Antigonid dynasty

Attalid Empire

The Second Punic War

Go back to the Roman Republic


Figure 1

First Punic War

Figure 2

In 219 BC, Hannibal laid siege to Saguntum, a coastal city in northeast Hispania that enjoyed a long-standing treaty of friendship with Rome.

In 226 BC, however, Hasdrubal the Fair signed a treaty with Rome that acknowledged Carthage’s control of Hispania south of the Ebro River. Saguntum’s status, therefore, was ambiguous: was it an ally of Rome or a ward of Carthage?

When the besieged Saguntines appealed to Rome, Rome pressured the Carthaginians to recognize their alliance with Saguntum. Even as the Romans attempted to negotiate a settlement to the crisis, Hannibal captured the city after an eight-month siege. When Carthage refused Roman demands for Hannibal’s extradition, both sides prepared for war.

Image result for scipio's route during punic war

Figure 2

Hannibal  arrived at the Alps in late 218 BC with 38,000 infantry troops, 8,000 cavalrymen, and 37 war elephants.


Peaks in USA

To Master Page Of Geography

Mount Washington New Hampshire – 6,288 feet
Katahdin (Baxter Peak) Maine – 5,267 feet
Mount Mansfield – 4,393 feet Vermont
Mount Marcy – 5,344 feet New York Elevation Map
High Point – 1,803 feet New Jersey Elevation Map
Mount Davis – 3,213 feet
Spruce Knob – 4,863 feet
Mount Rogers – 5,729 feet Virginia Elevation Map
Black Mountain – 4,145 feet, Kentucky Elevation Map
Sassafras Mountain – 3,560 feet South Carolina
Brasstown Bald – 4,784 feet, Georgia
Harney Peak – 7,242 feet, South Dakota
Wheeler Peak – 13,161 feet, New Mexico
Guadalupe Peak – 8,749 feet, Texas
Mount Elbert – 14,433 feet, Colorado
Humphreys Peak – 12,633 feet, Arizona
Kings Peak – 13,528 feet, Utah
Granite Peak – 12,799 feet, Montana
Borah Peak – 12,662 feet, Idaho
Mount Whitney – 14,494 feet, California
Boundary Peak – 13,143 feet, Nevada
Mount Hood – 11,239 feet, Oregon
Mount Rainier (Columbia Crest) – 14,411 feet, Washington
Mount McKinley – 20,237 feet, Alaska

Caesar By Plutarch

Back to Parallel Lives by Plutarch

Caesar by Plutarch

When he was made surveyor of the Appian Way, he disbursed, besides the public money, a great sum out of his private purse; and when he was aedile, he provided such a number of gladiators, that he entertained the people with three hundred and twenty single combats, and by his great liberality and magnificence in theatrical shows, in processions, and public feastings, he threw into the shade all the attempts that had been made before him, and gained so much upon the people, that every one was eager to find out new offices and new honours for him in return for his munificence.

There being two factions in the city (Rome), one that of Sylla, which  was very powerful, the other that of Marius (that Caesar belonged to), which was then broken and in a low condition, he undertook to revive Marius’ and to make it his own.

And to this end, whilst he was in the height of his repute with the people for the magnificent shows he gave as aedile, he ordered images of Marius and figures of Victory, with trophies in their hands, to be carried privately in the night and placed in the capitol.

Many, when they saw Marius’s likeness, cried for joy, and Caesar was highly extolled as the one man, in the place of all others, who was a relation worthy of Marius.

Upon this the senate met, and Catulus Lutatius, one of the most eminent Romans of that time, stood up and inveighed against Caesar, closing his speech with the remarkable saying that Caesar was now not working mines, but planting batteries to overthrow the state. But when Caesar had made an apology for himself, and satisfied the senate, his admirers were very much animated, and advised him not to depart from his own thoughts for any one, since with the people’s good favour he would ere long get the better of them all, and be the first man in the commonwealth.

[Senate High Priestelection]

Caesar, in the meantime, being out of his praetorship, had got the province of Spain, but was in great embarrassment with his creditors, who, as he was going off, came upon him, and were very pressing and importunate.

In his journey, as he was crossing the Alps, and passing by a small village of the barbarians with but few inhabitants, and those wretchedly poor, his companions asked the question among themselves by way of mockery, if there were any canvassing for offices there; any contention which should be uppermost, or feuds of great men one against another. To which Caesar made answer seriously, “For my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the second man in Rome.”

It is said that another time, when free from business in Spain, after reading some part of the history of Alexander, he sat a great while very thoughtful, and at last burst out into tears. His friends were surprised, and asked him the reason of it. “Do you think,” said he, “I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable.” As soon as he came into Spain he was very active, and in a few days had got together ten new cohorts of foot in addition to the twenty which were there before. With these he marched against the Calaici and Lusitani andconquered them, and advancing as far as the ocean, subdued the tribes which never before had been subject to the Romans.

Caesar returned to Rome from Spain at the very time of choosing consuls.  This was the reconciling of Crassus and Pompey, the two men who then were most powerful in Rome. There had been a quarrel between them, which he now succeeded in making up, and by this means strengthened himself by the united power of both, and so under the cover of kindness and good-nature, caused a revolution in the government. For it was not the quarrel between Pompey and Caesar, as most men imagine, which was the origin of the civil wars, but their union, their conspiring together at first to subvert the aristocracy, and so quarrelling afterwards between themselves. Cato, who often foretold what the consequence of this alliance would be, had then the character of a sullen, interfering man, but in the end the reputation of a wise but unsuccessfulcounsellor.

Thus Caesar, being doubly supported by the interests of Crassus and Pompey, was promoted to the consulship, and triumphantly proclaimed with Calpurnius Bibulus.

Thus far have we followed Caesar’s actions before the wars of Gaul. After this, he seems to begin his course afresh, and to enter upon a new life and scene of action. And the period of those wars which he now fought, and those many expeditions in which he subdued Gaul, showed him to be a soldier and general not in the least inferior to any of the greatest and most admired commanders who had ever appeared at the head of armies.

This love of honour and passion for distinction were inspired into them and cherished in them by Caesar himself, who, by his unsparing distribution of money and honours, showed them that he did not heap up wealth from the wars for his own luxury, or the gratifying his private pleasures, but that all he received was but a public fund laid by the reward and encouragement of valour, and that he looked upon all he gave to deserving soldiers as so much increase to his own riches.

“When at last, and where, will this Caesar let us be quiet? He carries us from place to place, and uses us as if we were not to be worn out, and had no sense of labour. Even our iron itself is spent by blows, and we ought to have some pity on our bucklers, and breastplates, which have been used so long. Our wounds, if nothing else, should make him see that we are mortal men whom he commands, subject to the same pains and sufferings as other human beings. The very gods themselves cannot force the winterseason, or hinder the storms in their time; yet he pushes forward, as if he were not pursuing, but flying towards an enemy.”

Kolkata in 1690 and Now

Job Charnock favoured Sutanuti as a settlement because of the security of the location. It was protected by the Ganges river on the west and by impassable marshes on the east. On the north, there was Circular canal and the south was protected by Adi ganga, now called the Tolly Nallah.

Kolkata Map 1690.jpg

Kolkata in 2017
Long time ago, those three villages disappeared and merged into one city called Calcutta which very recently was renamed Kolkata.
Sutanuti, the center of activities back then, used to be where Bagbazar is today.
Kalikata used to be where Dalhousie is today.
Gobindapur, furthest from the city center, used to be where the Fort Williams is today.
Also the villages back then were  on a small strip on the east side of the Ganges. The rest, as shown in the  map above, was a huge swampland.
Now it is clear that the entire Ballygung area was the swamp land.
Rash Behari Avenue, which ends almost at the foot of today’s Kalighat, can easily be drawn also.



Back To The Arts in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Lacroix

Ancient Greek sculpture

The monumental statuary of the 8th and 9th century has almost disappeared and we should be nearly destitute of any accurate record as to the state of the Art for a period of several centuries were it not for numerous diptychs which, to some extent, supply this want.

Look at these:

  1. Ivory consular diptych of Areobindus, Byzantium, 506 AD, Louvre.
  2. Barberini Ivory, Constantinople, 6th century, Louvre.
  3. Diptych with the Coronation of the Virgin and the Last Judgment

Saint Mihiel Abbey,Lorraine, France :  a walnut sculpture of the swooning of Mary by Ligier Richier dated 1531 (or 1537).

Nicolas of Pisa was born at the end of the 12th century, in a town then peopled with Greek masters and pupils of those masters, and full of Greek monuments of every age; a town which might be called altogether Greek. “

There can, however, be no doubt that the first development of Christian sculpture in Italy must unquestionably be referred to Nicolas Of Pisa.

We must consider the celebrated Giotto, who was at once architect, sculptor and painter as real regenerators of Art. ( See Giotto’s Campanile)

Also, thanks to the studios of Agnolo and AgostinoSiena, a small town which calls to mind the ancient Sicyon, so weak in a political point of view and yet so learned and polished, was for some time the rival of Pisa, up to the period when Florence absorbed the splendor of the two cities. Florence as the home of the Arts, became the center of radiation, whence artists took their flight over the whole of Italy, and from Italy spread among all the nations of Europe.

Towards the end of the 13th century, the churches of Florence, on which the fraternities combine their efforts, and some of the civil buildings of this rich and flourishing city, were filled with statues. The foundation of the municipal palace in 1282, and that of the cathedral in 1298 and that of the cathedral  in 1298, made these two wonderful edifices real museums of sculpture, in which, among the works of the eastern artists, those of Giovanni of Arezzo and Giotto are distinguished.


  1. Cathedral Santa Maria Del Fiore – High Altar
  2. Campanile

Maître Pierre Perrat

  1. Filippo Brunelleschi
  2. Donatello
  3. Lorenzo Ghiberti

The baptistry competitionBronze doors of the baptistery of st. john in Florence Italy

  1. East doors, or Gates of Paradise, by Lorenzo Ghiberti

Preview image of 'St John the Baptist Preaching in the Desert', 16th century, (1870). Artist: Unknown

St John the Baptist Preaching in the Desert’, 16th century, (1870). Artist: Albert Durer

Read Masters in 15th century


  1. The Arts in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Paul Lacroix, Book

The Solar Eclipse

Go Back to Master Index of Seasons

Eclipses occur when a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another object. In the case of a solar eclipse, the new moon’s shadow falls on the Earth. During a lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. A solar eclipse can occur only the night of a new moon.

The Solar Eclipse

When the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth, a solar eclipse takes place. (NASA)

Total Solar Eclipse


Total and Annular solar eclipse. Remember, a solar eclipse can occur only the night of a new moon.

Total solar eclipse 1999 in France.

Total solar eclipse 1999 in France. (Luc Viatour,

When Earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, a lunar eclipse takes place. (NASA)

The Lunar Eclipse

lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow).  A lunar eclipse can occur only the night of a full moon.

Within the central umbra shadow, the moon is totally shielded from direct illumination by the Sun. In contrast, within the penumbra shadow, only a portion of Sunlight is blocked.

Photograph of full moon during the total lunar eclipse of 28 September 2015.