Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor
Justin I was Eastern Roman Emperor from 518 to 527. He rose through the ranks of the army and ultimately became Emperor, in spite of the fact he was illiterate, Justin was a peasant and a swineherd by occupation from the region of Dardania, which is part of the Prefecture of Illyricum. He was born in a hamlet Bederiana near Scupi and he was of Thraco-Roman or Illyro-Roman stock, spoke rudimentary Greek, and bore, like his companions and members of his family, a Thracian name, Istok. His sister Vigilantia married Sabbatius and had two children, Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus and Vigilantia, married to Dulcissimus and had Praejecta, married to the senator Areobindus and Justin II. As a teenager, he and two companions fled from an invasion, taking refuge in Constantinople possessing nothing more than the ragged clothes on their backs. Thanks to his commanding the only troops in the city and making gifts of money. A career soldier with little knowledge of statecraft, Justin wisely surrounded himself with trusted advisors, the most prominent of these, of course, was his nephew Flavius Petrus Sabbatius, whom he adopted as his son and invested with the name Iustinianus.
Justins reign is noteworthy for the resolution of the Acacian Schism between the eastern and western branches of the Christian church, Justin endorsed Romes view on the question of the dual nature of Christ and the more general principle of Roman supremacy. This temporary eastern deferral to the church did not endure. The information from the Secret History of Procopius was published posthumously, contrary to the Secret History, Justinian was not named as successor until less than a year before Justins death and he spent 3,700 pounds of gold during a celebration in 520. This edict paved the way for Justinian to marry Theodora, a former mime actress and she became an equal to Justinian, participating in the governance with significant influence. The latter years of the reign of Justin were marked by strife among the Empire, the Ostrogoths, in 526, Antioch was destroyed by an earthquake, Justins health began to decline and he formally named Justinian as co-emperor and, on 1 April 527 as his successor.
On 1 August of that year, Justin died and was succeeded by Justinian, the town of Anazarbus was renamed Justinopolis in 525, in honour of Justin I. List of Byzantine emperors Ostrogorsky, Imperial unity and Christian divisions, The Church 450-680 A. D. Crestwood, NY, St. Vladimirs Seminary Press, continuité des élites à Byzance durant les siècles obscurs. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology,1870, v.2, p.677 Encyclopædia Britannica Justin I
Late Roman army
The Imperial Roman army of the Principate underwent a significant transformation as a result of the chaotic 3rd century. Unlike the army of the Principate, the army of the 4th century was heavily dependent on conscription, scholarly estimates of the size of the 4th-century army diverge widely, ranging from ca.400,000 to over one million effectives. This is due to evidence, unlike the much better-documented 2nd-century army. The main change in structure from the 2nd-century army was the establishment of large armies, typically containing 20. These were normally based near the capitals, thus far from the Empires borders. These armies primary function was to deter usurpers, and they campaigned under the personal command of their emperors. The legions were split up into smaller units comparable in size to the regiments of the Principate. Infantry adopted the more protective equipment of the Principate cavalry, the role of cavalry in the late army does not appear to have been greatly enhanced as compared with the army of the Principate.
The evidence is that cavalry was much the same proportion of overall army numbers as in the 2nd century, the cavalry of the Late Roman army was endowed with greater numbers of specialised units, such as extra-heavy shock cavalry and mounted archers. During the 4th century, the cavalry acquired a reputation for incompetence and cowardice for their role in three major battles, in contrast, the infantry retained its traditional reputation for excellence. The 3rd and 4th centuries saw the upgrading of many existing border forts to make more defensible. The interpretation of this trend has fuelled a debate whether the army adopted a defence-in-depth strategy or continued the same posture of forward defence as in the early Principate. Whatever the defence strategy, it was less successful in preventing barbarian incursions than in the 1st. This may have due to heavier barbarian pressure, and/or to the practice of keeping large armies of the best troops in the interior. Much of our evidence for 4th century army unit deployments is contained in a single document, 395–420, a manual of all late Roman public offices and civil.
The main deficiency with the Notitia is that it lacks any personnel figures so as to estimates of army size impossible. Also, it was compiled at the end of the 4th century. However, the Notitia remains the source on the late Armys structure due to the dearth of other evidence
History of China
Written records of the history of China can be found from as early as 1500 BC under the Shang dynasty. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty, with thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the worlds oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization. Much of Chinese culture and philosophy developed during the Zhou dynasty. This is one of multiple periods of failed statehood in Chinese history, between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China, in some eras control stretched as far as Xinjiang and Tibet, as at present. In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang united the warring kingdoms and created for himself the title of emperor of the Qin dynasty. Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to control vast territories directly, in the 21 centuries from 206 BC until AD1912, routine administrative tasks were handled by a special elite, the Scholar-officials.
Young men were selected through difficult examinations and were well-versed in calligraphy and philosophy. What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago, recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province is the earliest recorded use of fire by Homo erectus, the excavations at Yuanmou and Lantian show early habitation. Perhaps the most famous specimen of Homo erectus found in China is the so-called Peking Man discovered in 1923–27, fossilised teeth of Homo sapiens dating to 125, 000–80,000 BC have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County in Hunan. The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC, Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. The earliest evidence of cultivated rice, found by the Yangtze River, is carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago, farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture.
At Damaidi in Ningxia,3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC have been discovered, featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, stars and these pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BC, Dadiwan from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, Damaidi around 6000 BC, some scholars have suggested that Jiahu symbols were the earliest Chinese writing system. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, which was centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site, The Bronze Age is represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a ancient city. The site was first discovered in 1929 and re-discovered in 1986, Chinese archaeologists have identified the Sanxingdui culture to be part of the ancient kingdom of Shu, linking the artifacts found at the site to its early legendary kings
Maximian was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305. He was Caesar from 285 to 286, Augustus from 286 to 305 and he shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, whose political brain complemented Maximians military brawn. Maximian established his residence at Trier but spent most of his time on campaign, in the late summer of 285, he suppressed rebels in Gaul known as the Bagaudae. From 285 to 288, he fought against Germanic tribes along the Rhine frontier, together with Diocletian, he launched a scorched earth campaign deep into Alamannic territory in 288, temporarily relieving the Rhine provinces from the threat of Germanic invasion. The man he appointed to police the Channel shores, rebelled in 286, causing the secession of Britain, Maximian failed to oust Carausius, and his invasion fleet was destroyed by storms in 289 or 290. Maximians subordinate, campaigned against Carausius successor, the rebel leader was ousted in 296, and Maximian moved south to combat piracy near Hispania and Berber incursions in Mauretania.
When these campaigns concluded in 298, he departed for Italy, at Diocletians behest, Maximian abdicated on May 1,305, gave the Augustan office to Constantius, and retired to southern Italy. In late 306, Maximian took the title of Augustus again, in April 307, he attempted to depose his son, but failed and fled to the court of Constantius successor, Constantine, in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, Galerius, in early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantines title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine in Marseille, Maximian committed suicide in the summer of 310 on Constantines orders. During Constantines war with Maxentius, Maximians image was purged from all public places, after Constantine ousted and killed Maxentius, Maximians image was rehabilitated, and he was deified. Maximian was born near Sirmium in the province of Pannonia, around 250 into a family of shopkeepers, beyond that, the ancient sources contain vague allusions to Illyricum as his homeland, to his Pannonian virtues, and to his harsh upbringing along the war-torn Danube frontier.
Maximian joined the army, serving with Diocletian under the emperors Aurelian and he probably participated in the Mesopotamian campaign of Carus in 283 and attended Diocletians election as emperor on November 20,284 at Nicomedia. With his great energy, firm aggressive character and disinclination to rebel, the fourth-century historian Aurelius Victor described Maximian as a colleague trustworthy in friendship, if somewhat boorish, and of great military talents. Despite his other qualities, Maximian was uneducated and preferred action to thought, the panegyric of 289, after comparing his actions to Scipio Africanus victories over Hannibal during the Second Punic War, suggested that Maximian had never heard of them. His ambitions were military, he left politics to Diocletian. Maximian had two children with his Syrian wife, Eutropia and Fausta, there is no direct evidence in the ancient sources for their birthdates. Modern estimates of Maxentius birth year have varied from c.277 to 287, barnes concludes that Theodora was born no than c.275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus daughters
Diocletian, born Diocles, was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in the Roman province of Dalmatia, after the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor. The title was claimed by Carus other surviving son, Carinus. Diocletians reign stabilized the empire and marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and he appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286. Diocletian delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, under this tetrarchy, or rule of four, each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. Diocletian secured the borders and purged it of all threats to his power. He defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, and usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298, aided by Diocletian, campaigned successfully against Sassanid Persia, the empires traditional enemy. In 299 he sacked their capital, Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favorable peace.
He established new centres in Nicomedia, Antioch. Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies. Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, and construction increased the states expenditures. From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, not all of Diocletians plans were successful, the Edict on Maximum Prices, his attempt to curb inflation via price controls, was counterproductive and quickly ignored. Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the office on 1 May 305. He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast and his palace eventually became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia. Diocletian was born near Salona in Dalmatia, some time around 244 and his parents gave him the Greek name Diocles, or possibly Diocles Valerius. The modern historian Timothy Barnes takes his official birthday,22 December, other historians are not so certain.
Diocles parents were of low status, and writers critical of him claimed that his father was a scribe or a freedman of the senator Anullinus, the first forty years of his life are mostly obscure. The Byzantine chronicler Joannes Zonaras states that he was Dux Moesiae, the often-unreliable Historia Augusta states that he served in Gaul, but this account is not corroborated by other sources and is ignored by modern historians of the period
Flavius Julius Valerius Majorianus, usually known simply as Majorian, was the Western Roman Emperor from 457 to 461. A prominent general of the Late Roman army, Majorian deposed Emperor Avitus in 457, Majorian was the last emperor to make a concerted effort to restore the Western Roman Empire. Possessing little more than Italy and some territory in northern Gaul, Majorian was the last of the Western Roman Emperors who was able to try to recover the Western Empire with its own forces. His successors until the fall of the Empire, in 476/480, were actually instruments in the hands of their generals, or emperors chosen. After defeating a Vandal attack on Italy, Majorian launched a campaign against the Visigothic Kingdom in southern Gaul, defeating king Theodoric II at the Battle of Arelate, Majorian forced the Goths to abandon their possessions in Septimania and Hispania and return to federate status immediately. Majorian attacked the Burgundian Kingdom, defeating them at the Siege of Lugdunum, expelling them from the Rhone valley, in 460, Majorian left Gaul to consolidate his hold on Hispania.
His generals launched a campaign against the Suebic Kingdom in northwest Hispania, defeating them at the battles of Lucus Augusti and Scallabis and his fleet for his campaign to restore Africa to the empire from the Vandals was destroyed due to treachery. Majorian sought to reform the administration in order to make it more efficient. The powerful general Ricimer deposed and killed Majorian, who had become unpopular with the aristocracy because of his reforms. The life of Majorian and his reign are known than those of the other Western Emperors of the same period. The most important sources are the chronicles that cover the half of the 5th century — those of Hydatius and Marcellinus Comes, as well as the fragments of Priscus. The Gallo-Roman aristocrat and poet Sidonius Apollinaris was an acquaintance of the Emperor, Majorian was probably born after 420, as in 458 he is defined a iuvenis, a young man. He belonged to the aristocracy of the Roman Empire. His grandfather of the same name reached the rank of magister militum under Emperor Theodosius I and, the daughter of the magister militum married an officer, probably called Donninus, who administered the finances of Aetius, the powerful magister militum of the West.
The couple gave the name Maiorianus to their child in honour of his influential grandfather and it was under the same Aetius that Majorian started his military career. Majorian distinguished himself in the defence of the city of Turonensis and in a battle against the Franks of king Clodio, near Vicus Helena. was posted at the cross-roads while Majorian warred as a mounted man close to the bridge itself. Around 450, the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III considered the possibility of marrying his daughter Placidia to Majorian, Valentinian had two daughters and no sons, and therefore no heir to the throne. Having Majorian as son-in-law would have strengthened Valentinian in the face of powerful generals
Justinian I, traditionally known as Justinian the Great and Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was a Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empires greatness, because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been called the last Roman in modern historiography. This ambition was expressed by the recovery of the territories of the defunct western Roman Empire. His general, swiftly conquered the Vandal kingdom in North Africa, the prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania. These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empires annual revenue by over a million solidi, during his reign Justinian subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before. A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis. His reign marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia, a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague in the early 540s marked the end of an age of splendour.
Justinian was born in Tauresium around 482, a native speaker of Latin, he came from a peasant family believed to have been of Illyro-Roman or Thraco-Roman origins. The cognomen Iustinianus, which he later, is indicative of adoption by his uncle Justin. During his reign, he founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace and his mother was Vigilantia, the sister of Justin. Justin, who was in the guard before he became emperor, adopted Justinian, brought him to Constantinople. As a result, Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence, Justinian served for some time with the Excubitors but the details of his early career are unknown. Chronicler John Malalas, who lived during the reign of Justinian, tells of his appearance that he was short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced, another contemporary chronicler, compares Justinians appearance to that of tyrannical Emperor Domitian, although this is probably slander. When Emperor Anastasius died in 518, Justin was proclaimed the new emperor, during Justins reign, Justinian was the emperors close confidant.
As Justin became senile near the end of his reign, Justinian became the de facto ruler, Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and commander of the army of the east. Upon Justins death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign, as a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as the emperor who never sleeps on account of his work habits, nevertheless, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach. Around 525, he married his mistress, Theodora, in Constantinople and she was by profession a courtesan and some twenty years his junior
Emperor of China
The emperor was referred to as the Son of Heaven, a title that predates the Qin unification and recognized as the ruler of all under heaven. In practice not every Emperor held supreme power in China, although this was usually the case, Emperors from the same family are classified in historical periods known as dynasties. During the Yuan and Qing dynasties China was ruled by ethnic Mongols, the orthodox historical view sees these as non-native dynasties that became sinicized, though some recent scholars argue that the interaction between politics and ethnicity was far more complex. Nevertheless, in both cases these rulers claimed the Mandate of Heaven to assume the role of traditional Confucian emperors in order to rule over China proper and he called himself Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor. In the 3rd century BC, the two titles had not previously been used together, on that account, some modern scholars translate the title as thearch. On occasion, the father of the emperor was still alive. Such an emperor was titled the Tai Shang Huang, the Grand Imperial Sire, the practice was initiated by the First Emperor, who gave the title as a posthumous name to his own father.
Liu Bang, who established the Han dynasty, was the first to become emperor while his father yet lived and it was said he granted the title during his fathers life because he would not be bowed to by his own father, a commoner. Owing to political fragmentation, over the centuries, it has not been uncommon to have numerous claimants to the title of Emperor of All China, the Chinese political concept of the Mandate of Heaven essentially legitimized those claimants who emerged victorious. Thus, Kublai Khan was simultaneously Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of China, on one count, from the Qin dynasty to the Qing dynasty, there were 557 emperors including the rulers of minor states. The Emperors words were considered sacred edicts and his written proclamations directives from above, in theory, the Emperors orders were to be obeyed immediately. He was elevated above all commoners and members of the Imperial family, addresses to the Emperor were always to be formal and self-deprecatory, even by the closest of family members.
In practice, the power of the emperor varied between different emperors and different dynasties and these emperors ruled as absolute monarchs throughout their reign, maintaining a centralized grip on the country. During the Song dynasty, the power was significantly overshadowed by the power of the chancellor. The emperors position, unless deposed in a rebellion, was always hereditary, as a result, many emperors ascended the throne while still children. During these minorities, the Empress Dowager would possess significant power, where Empresses Dowager were too weak to assume power, court officials often seized control. Court eunuchs had a significant role in the structure, as emperors often relied on a few of them as confidants. In a few places, eunuchs wielded vast power, one of the most powerful eunuchs in Chinese history was Wei Zhongxian during the Ming dynasty, other nobles seized power as regents
April Fools' Day
April Fools Day is celebrated every year on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools, people playing April Fool jokes expose their prank by shouting April Fool. Some newspapers and other published media report fake stories, although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country. Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales contains the first recorded association between April 1 and foolishness, the custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon ones neighbor is recognized widely throughout the world. Some precursors of April Fools Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, in Chaucers Canterbury Tales, the Nuns Priests Tale is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts. Thus the passage originally meant 32 days after March, i. e.2 May, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean 32 March, i. e.
April 1. In Chaucers tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox, in 1508, French poet Eloy dAmerval referred to a poisson d’avril, a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1, in 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as Fooles holy day, the first British reference. On April 1,1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to see the Lions washed, in the Middle Ages, New Years Day was celebrated on March 25 in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Years was a week-long holiday ending on April 1, some writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Years Day was common in France by the century. In the Netherlands, the origin of April Fools Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory at Brielle in 1572, op 1 april verloor Alva zijn bril.
is a Dutch proverb, which can be translated to, On the first of April, Alva lost his glasses. In this case, the serve as a metaphor for Brielle. This theory, provides no explanation for the celebration of April Fools Day. Although no Biblical scholar or historian are known to have mentioned a relationship, in a 1908 edition of the Harpers Weekly cartoonist newspaper, Bertha R. McDonald wrote, authorities gravely back with it to the time of Noah, in the UK, an April Fool joke is revealed by shouting April fool. At the recipient, who becomes the April fool, a study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK, and in countries whose traditions derived from the UK, the joking ceased at midday