The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered an age in Chinese history. To this day, Chinas majority ethnic group refers to itself as the Han people and it was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han, and briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods, the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han, the emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came largely from the gentry class. The Han Empire was divided into areas controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies. These kingdoms gradually lost all vestiges of their independence, particularly following the Rebellion of the Seven States, from the reign of Emperor Wu onward, the Chinese court officially sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of scholars such as Dong Zhongshu.
This policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 AD, the Han dynasty was an age of economic prosperity and saw a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty. The coinage issued by the government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty. The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations, the Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior partner, but continued their raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu of Han launched several campaigns against them. The ultimate Han victory in these wars eventually forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries, the territories north of Hans borders were quickly overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Imperial authority was seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion. When Cao Pi, King of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, following Liu Bangs victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief.
Chinas first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty, the Qin unified the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their empire became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Within four years, the authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion. Although Xiang Yu proved to be a commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia. Liu Bang assumed the title emperor at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu, Changan was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han
Kingdom of England
In the early 11th century the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, united by Æthelstan, became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway. The completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown, from the accession of James I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland. Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament and this concept became legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its state the United Kingdom. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn, originally names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning land of the English, by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period.
The Latin name was Anglia or Anglorum terra, the Old French, by the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for all monarchs from Æthelstan until the time of King John was Rex Anglorum, Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first king to call himself King of England. In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with use of Rex Anglie. The Empress Matilda styled herself Domina Anglorum, from the time of King John onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Rex or Regina Anglie. In 1604 James VI and I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy, East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex, Sussex. The Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, and native Anglo-Saxon life in general, the English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, the decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful. It absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825, the kings of Wessex became increasingly dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore, in 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he apparently regarded as a turning point in his reign. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred, asser added that Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly
Battle of Alhandic
The Battle of Alhandic, known as Zamoras trench Battle, was a battle that occurred on August 5,939 in the city of Zamora, Spain. The battle occurred when the troops of Abd-ar-Rahman III assaulted the walls of Zamora, the defending troops were those loyal to Ramiro II of León, King of the Kingdom of Leon. The fighting was so bloody that the tide of the battle did not turn until the surrounding the city walls was entirely filled with corpses. The troops of Aberraman III won the day and were able to seize the city of Zamora and this battle should not be confused with the Day of Zamora which took place a few decades before in the year 901. Once Abd-ar-Rahman III came to power, he was quick to assert his power and he wanted to consolidate his power base and reestablish the internal order of the Emirate of Córdoba. He decided to go to the border and attack the cities that acted as a buffer against the Asturian / Leonese lands to the north. It was on this line that he came upon Zamora. The city was important because it was squarely in the path of march typically used by the Leonese troops.
Abderraman attacked the city on August 5,939 and his strategy was to fill the pit, or moat around the city with bodies and debris so that his men could more easily climb the parapets and thus engage the defending soldiers directly. This bloodthirsty strategy lends its name to the battle which is known as the Batalla del Foso de Zamora. The final result was a victory for the troops of Abderramán III who conquered the city of Zamora. The actual occupation of the city however lasted less than one year, Day of Zamora - Celebrates the battle which took place outside the city walls in 901. Zamora, Spain Ramiro II of León Battle of Simancas
Emperor Guangwu of Han
Emperor Guangwu, courtesy name Wenshu, was an emperor of the Chinese Han dynasty, restorer of the dynasty in AD25 and thus founder of the Later Han or Eastern Han. He ruled over parts of China at first, and through suppression and conquest of regional warlords, Liu Xiu was one of the many descendants of the Han imperial family. He established his capital in Luoyang,335 kilometers east of the former capital Changan and he implemented some reforms aimed at correcting some of the structural imbalances responsible for the downfall of the Former/Western Han. His reforms gave a new 200-year lease on life to the Han Dynasty, Emperor Guangwus campaigns featured many able generals, but curiously, he lacked major strategists. That may very well be because he appeared to be a brilliant strategist, he often instructed his generals as to strategy from afar. This was often emulated by emperors who fancied themselves great strategists, unique among emperors in Chinese history was Emperor Guangwus combination of decisiveness and mercy.
He often sought out peaceful means rather than bellicose means of putting areas under his control, Liu Xiu was the sixth generation descendant of Emperor Jing of the Former Han. He was the son of Liu Qin, magistrate of Nandun county, Liu Qin was the son of Liu Hui, vice governor in charge of military affairs for Julu commandery. Liu Hui was the son of Liu Wai, governor of Yulin commandery, Liu Wai was the son of Liu Mai, known posthumously as Marquess Jie of Chongling. Liu Mai was the son of Liu Fa, known posthumously as Prince Ding of Changsha, the prince of Changsha was a brother of Emperor Wu, a famous emperor of the Former Han, and he was the son of Emperor Jing. Liu Qin was married to the daughter of one Fan Chong, Liu Qin died early, and the brothers were raised by their uncle Liu Liang. Liu Yan was ambitious, and ever since Wang Mang usurped the Han throne in 8 and established the Xin dynasty, Liu Xiu, in contrast, was a careful man who was content to be a farmer. However, his brother-in-law Deng Chen, the husband of his sister Liu Yuan, in 22, with virtually the entire empire rebelling against Wang Mangs incompetent rule, Liu Yan prepared his rebellion.
He planned, along with his brothers, and Li Tong and his cousin Li Yi, to kidnap the governor for Nanyang Commandery, the news of the plan leaked out, and Li Tong and Li Yi barely escaped with their lives. Liu Yan changed his plan and persuaded two branches of the Lülin – the Xinshi Force and Pinglin Force to join forces with him, Liu Yan made a frontal assault against Wancheng, the capital of Nanyang Commandery—and suffered a major loss. Liu Yan and Liu Xiu, along with their sister Liu Boji, Liu Yans allies, seeing his defeat, considered leaving him, but Liu Yan was able to persuade them, along with another branch of the Lülin, the Xiajiang Force, to join him. In 23, they had a victory against Xin forces, killing Zhen Fu. Liu Yan initially opposed this move and instead suggested that Liu Xuan carry the title Prince of Han first, the other rebel leaders refused, and in early 23, Liu Xuan was proclaimed emperor
Oswald of Northumbria
Oswald was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and is venerated as a saint, of whom there was a particular cult in the Middle Ages. After eight years of rule, in which he was the most powerful ruler in Britain and it would, however, be anachronistic to refer to a Northumbrian people or identity at this early stage, when the Bernicians and the Deirans were still clearly distinct peoples. Oswalds mother, was a member of the Deiran royal line whom Æthelfrith apparently married as part of his acquisition of Deira or consolidation of power there. Oswald was apparently born in or around the year 604, since Bede says that he was killed at the age of 38 in 642, Æthelfriths acquisition of Deira is believed to have occurred around 604. Æthelfrith, who was for years a successful war-leader, especially against the native British, was killed in battle around 616 by Raedwald of East Anglia at the River Idle. This defeat meant that a member of the Deiran royal line, became king of Northumbria, Oswald.
Oswald thus spent the remainder of his youth in the Scottish kingdom of Dál Riata in northern Britain and he may have fought in Ireland during this period of exile. It has been considered that Oswald is one of the three Saxon princes mentioned in the Irish poem Togail Bruidne Dá Derga, being named as Osalt in that work. Oswalds brother Eanfrith became king of Bernicia, but he was killed by Cadwallon in 634 after attempting to negotiate peace, Oswald, at the head of a small army, met Cadwallon in battle at Heavenfield, near Hexham. Before the battle, Oswald had a cross erected, he knelt down. He prayed and asked his army to join in, adomnán in his Life of Saint Columba offers a longer account, which Abbot Ségéne had heard from Oswald himself. Oswald, he says, had a vision of Columba the night before the battle, in which he was told Be strong, behold, I will be with thee. Oswald described his vision to his council and all agreed that they would be baptised, in the battle that followed, the British were routed despite their superior numbers, Cadwallon himself was killed.
Following the victory at Heavenfield, Oswald reunited Northumbria and re-established the Bernician supremacy which had been interrupted by Edwin, Bede says that Oswald held imperium for the eight years of his rule, and was the most powerful king in Britain. In the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle he is referred to as a Bretwalda, adomnán describes Oswald as ordained by God as Emperor of all Britain. Oswald seems to have widely recognized as overlord, although the extent of his authority is uncertain. It may have been to appease Oswald that Penda had Eadfrith, to the north, it may have been Oswald who conquered the Gododdin. Oswald seems to have been on terms with the West Saxons, he stood as sponsor to the baptism of their king, Cynegils
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. The name is a Latinisation of the Old English Mierce or Myrce, the kingdom was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries, in the region now known as the English Midlands. The kingdoms capital was the town of Tamworth, which was the seat of the Mercian Kings from at least around AD584, when King Creoda built a fortress at the town. The reign of King Offa, who is best remembered for his Dyke that designated the boundary between Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms, is known as the Golden Age of Mercia. Mercia was originally a pagan kingdom, but King Peada converted to Christianity around 656, the Diocese of Mercia was founded in 656, with the first bishop, based at Repton. After only 13 years at Repton, in 669 the fifth bishop, Saint Chad, moved the bishopric to Lichfield, in 691, the Diocese of Mercia became the Diocese of Lichfield. For a brief period between 787 and 799 the diocese was an archbishopric, although it was dissolved in 803.
The current bishop, Michael Ipgrave, is the 99th since the diocese was established, at the end of the 9th century, following the invasions of the Vikings and their Great Heathen Army, much of the former Mercian territory was absorbed into the Danelaw. At its height, the Danelaw included London, all of East Anglia, the final Mercian king, Ceolwulf II, died in 879, the kingdom appears to have thereby lost its political independence. Initially, it was ruled by a lord or ealdorman under the overlordship of Alfred the Great, Mercia is still used as a geographic designation, and the name is used by wide range of organisations, including military units, public and voluntary bodies. Mercias exact evolution at the start of the Anglo-Saxon era remains more obscure than that of Northumbria, Mercia developed an effective political structure and adopted Christianity than the other kingdoms. Archaeological surveys show that Angles settled the north of the River Thames by the 6th century. The name Mercia is Old English for boundary folk, and the interpretation is that the kingdom originated along the frontier between the native Welsh and the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
Hunter Blair argued an alternative interpretation, that emerged along the frontier between Northumbria and the inhabitants of the Trent river valley. The earliest person named in any records as a king of Mercia is Creoda, coming to power around 584, he built a fortress at Tamworth which became the seat of Mercias kings. His son Pybba succeeded him in 593, Cearl, a kinsman of Creoda, followed Pybba in 606, in 615, Cearl gave his daughter Cwenburga in marriage to Edwin, king of Deira, whom he had sheltered while he was an exiled prince. The next Mercian king, ruled from about 626 or 633 until 655, some of what is known about Penda comes from the hostile account of Bede, who disliked him – both as an enemy to Bedes own Northumbria and as a pagan. However, Bede admits that Penda freely allowed Christian missionaries from Lindisfarne into Mercia, and did not restrain them from preaching
Betar fortress was an ancient, terraced farming village in the Judean highlands. The Betar fortress was the last standing Jewish fortress in the Bar Kochba revolt of the 2nd century CE, the site of historic Betar, next to the modern Palestinian village of Battir, southwest of Jerusalem, is known as Khirbet al-Yahud in Arabic. Today, the Israeli settlement and city Beitar Illit is located nearby, the city was the stronghold of Bar Kokhba, the leader of the Jewish Revolt under Hadrian. Hadrian sent against the city several of his Roman legions to capture the city, according to historical records, the city was besieged for three and a half years before it finally fell, and its defenders were put to death. The horrendous scene after the capture could be best described as a massacre. A stone inscription bearing Latin characters and discovered near the city shows that the Fifth Macedonian Legion, the destruction of Betar in 135 put an end to the last great Jewish revolt against Rome, and effectively quashed any Jewish hopes for self-governance in that period.
Accounts of the event in Talmudic and Midrashic writings thus reflect and amplify its importance in the Jewish psyche, the best known is from the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 57a-b, Through the shaft of a litter Bethar was destroyed. It was the custom when a boy was born to plant a tree and when a girl was born to plant a pine tree, and when they married, the tree was cut down. One day the daughter of the Emperor was passing when the shaft of her litter broke, so they lopped some branches off a cedar tree, the Jews thereupon fell upon them and beat them. They reported to the Emperor that the Jews were rebelling, and he hath cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel. Do you think this was near, What is signified by the verse, Mine eye affecteth my soul, because of all the daughters of my city. Such hyperbolic speech was used only to emphasize the horrendous scene after the capture of the city, and the ensuing massacre of its inhabitants. If you should come to take account, you would find that they amounted to three-hundred measures.
”Rabban Gamliel said, “Five-hundred schools were in Betar. Hadrian had prohibited their burial, and so all the bodies remained above ground, many years Hadrians successor, allowed the dead to be afforded a decent burial. Mevo Betar David Ussishkin, Archaeological Soundings at Betar, Bar-Kochbas Last Stronghold, in, journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 20 66ff. Other Midrashic sources can be seen here
Bar Kokhba revolt
The Bar Kokhba revolt was a rebellion of the Jews of the Roman province of Judea, led by Simon bar Kokhba, against the Roman Empire. Fought circa 132–136 CE, it was the last of three major Jewish–Roman wars, so it is known as The Third Jewish–Roman War or The Third Jewish Revolt. Some historians refer to it as the Second Revolt of Judea, not counting the Kitos War, the revolt erupted as a result of ongoing religious and political tensions in Judea following on the failure of the First Revolt in 66−70 CE. The Church Fathers and rabbinic literature emphasize governor of Judaea Rufus role in provoking the revolt, in 132, a revolt led by Bar Kokhba quickly spread from Modiin across the country, cutting off the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. Roman Governor Rufus unsuccessfully engaged the early phase of the uprising, Rufus is last recorded in 132, the first year of the rebellion, whether he died or was replaced is uncertain, but Gargilius Antiques is recorded as the Roman Prefect of Judea during the conflict.
Initial rebel victories over the Romans established an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for over two years, as Bar Kokhba took the title of Nasi. Simon bar Kokhba, the commander of the revolt, was regarded by many Jews as the Messiah, who would restore their national independence. This setback, caused Roman Emperor Hadrian to assemble a large scale Roman force from across the Empire, the Roman army was made of six full legions with auxiliaries and elements from up to six additional legions, which finally managed to crush the revolt. The Bar Kokhba revolt resulted in the depopulation of Judean communities. According to Cassius Dio,580,000 Jews perished in the war and many died of hunger. In addition, many Judean war captives were sold into slavery, the Jewish communities of Judea were devastated to an extent which some scholars describe as a genocide. Roman casualties were considered heavy - XXII Deiotariana was disbanded after serious losses, in addition, some historians argue that Legio IX Hispanas disbandment in the mid-2nd century could have been a result of this war.
In an attempt to erase any memory of Judea or Ancient Israel, Emperor Hadrian wiped the name off the map, the Bar Kokhba revolt greatly influenced the course of Jewish history and the philosophy of the Jewish religion. Despite easing the persecution of Jews following Hadrians death in 138 CE, Jewish messianism was abstracted and spiritualized, and rabbinical political thought became deeply cautious and conservative. The Talmud, for instance, refers to Bar Kokhba as Ben-Kusiba and it was among the key events to differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. Although Jewish Christians regarded Jesus as the Messiah and did not support Bar Kokhba, after the First Jewish–Roman War in 70 CE, the Roman authorities took measures to suppress the rebellious province of Judea. Instead of a procurator, they installed a praetor as a governor and stationed an entire legion, tensions continued to build up in the wake of the Kitos War, the second large-scale Jewish insurrection in the Eastern Mediterranean, the final stages of which saw fighting in Judea.
Historians have suggested reasons for the sparking of the Bar Kokhba revolt, long-term
Penda of Mercia
Penda was a 7th-century King of Mercia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is today the English Midlands. He repeatedly defeated the East Angles and drove Cenwalh the king of Wessex into exile for three years and he continued to wage war against the Bernicians of Northumbria. The etymology of the name Penda is unknown, Penda of Mercia is the only monarch with this name, but a number of Mercian commoners with the same name are on record. Suggestions for etymologies of the name are divided between a Celtic and a Germanic origin. The names of members of a Northumbrian brotherhood are recorded in the ninth century Liber vitae Dunelmensis, the name Penda occurs in this list and is categorised as a British name. John T. Koch noted that, Penda and a number of royal names from early Anglian Mercia have more obvious Brythonic than German explanations. These royal names include those of Pendas father Pybba, and of his son Peada and it has been suggested that the firm alliance between Penda and various British princes might be the result of a racial cause.
Continental Germanic comparanda for the name include a feminine Penta and a toponym Penti-lingen, Penda was a son of Pybba of Mercia and said to be an Icling, with a lineage purportedly extending back to Wōden. The Historia Brittonum says that Pybba had 12 sons, including Penda, besides Eowa, the pedigrees give Penda a brother named Coenwalh from whom two kings were said to descend, although this may instead represent his brother-in-law Cenwalh of Wessex. The time at which Penda became king is uncertain, as are the circumstances, another Mercian king, Cearl, is mentioned by Bede as ruling at the same time as the Northumbrian king Æthelfrith, in the early part of the 7th century. It is possible that Cearl and Penda were dynastic rivals, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Penda became king in 626, ruled for 30 years, and was 50 years old at the time of his accession. Furthermore, that Penda was truly 50 years old at the beginning of his reign is generally doubted by historians, the idea that Penda, at about 80 years of age, would have left behind children who were still young has been widely considered implausible.
The possibility has been suggested that the Chronicle actually meant to say that Penda was 50 years old at the time of his death, the noted 20th-century historian Frank Stenton was of the opinion that the language used by Bede leaves no doubt that. Penda, though descended from the family of the Mercians. Given the apparent problems with the dates given by the Chronicle, on the other hand, he might have been one of multiple rulers among the Mercians at the time, ruling only a part of their territory. The Chronicle says that after the battle and the West Saxons came to an agreement and it has been speculated that this agreement marked a victory for Penda, ceding to him Cirencester and the areas along the lower River Severn. These lands to the southwest of Mercia had apparently taken by the West Saxons from the Britons in 577. In the late 620s or early 630s, Cadwallon ap Cadfan, the British king of Gwynedd, became involved in a war with Edwin of Northumbria, the most powerful king in Britain at the time
Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in the early 10th century. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic and Cynric, the two main sources for the history of Wessex are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List, which sometimes conflict. Wessex became a Christian kingdom after Cenwalh was baptised and was expanded under his rule, cædwalla conquered Sussex and the Isle of Wight. His successor, issued one of the oldest surviving English law codes, the throne subsequently passed to a series of kings with unknown genealogies. During the 8th century, as the hegemony of Mercia grew and it was during this period that the system of shires was established. Under Egbert, Sussex, Kent and Mercia and he obtained the overlordship of the Northumbrian king. However, Mercian independence was restored in 830, during the reign of his successor, Æthelwulf, a Danish army arrived in the Thames estuary, but was decisively defeated.
When Æthelwulfs son, Æthelbald, usurped the throne, the kingdom was divided to avoid war, Æthelwulf was succeeded in turn by his four sons, the youngest being Alfred the Great. Wessex was invaded by the Danes in 871, and Alfred was compelled to pay them to leave and they returned in 876, but were forced to withdraw. In 878 they forced Alfred to flee to the Somerset Levels, during his reign Alfred issued a new law code, gathered scholars to his court and was able to devote funds to building ships, organising an army and establishing a system of burhs. Alfreds son, captured the eastern Midlands and East Anglia from the Danes and became ruler of Mercia in 918 upon the death of his sister, Edwards son, Æthelstan, conquered Northumbria in 927, and England became a unified kingdom for the first time. Cnut the Great, who conquered England in 1016, created the wealthy and powerful earldom of Wessex, modern archaeologists use the term Wessex culture for a Middle Bronze Age culture in this area. Although agriculture and hunting were pursued during this period, there is little archaeological evidence of human settlements.
During the Roman occupation numerous country villas with attached farms were established across Wessex, the Romans, or rather the Romano-British, built another major road that integrated Wessex, running eastwards from Exeter through Dorchester to Winchester and Silchester and on to London. The early 4th century CE was a time in Roman Britain. However, following a previous incursion in 360 that was stopped by Roman forces and they devastated many parts of Britain and laid siege to London. The Romans responded promptly, and Count Theodosius had recovered the land up to the Wall by 368, the Romans temporarily ceased to rule Britain on the death of Magnus Maximus in 388. Stilicho attempted to restore Roman authority in the late 390s, two subsequent Roman rulers of Britain, appointed by the remaining troops, were murdered