Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
The Pickelhaube Pickelhelm, is a spiked helmet worn in the 19th and 20th centuries by German military and police. Although associated with the Prussian Army, which adopted it in 1842–43, the helmet was imitated by other armies during this period, it is still worn today as part of ceremonial wear in the militaries of certain countries. The Pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by King Frederick William IV of Prussia as a copy of similar helmets that were adopted at the same time by the Russian military, it is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on the earlier Napoleonic cuirassier. The early Russian type was used by cavalry, which had used the spike as a holder for a horsehair plume in full dress, a practice followed with some Prussian models. Frederick William IV introduced the Pickelhaube for use by the majority of Prussian infantry on 23 October 1842 by a royal cabinet order; the use of the Pickelhaube spread to other German principalities. Oldenburg adopted it by 1849, Baden by 1870, in 1887, the Kingdom of Bavaria was the last German state to adopt the Pickelhaube.
Amongst other European armies, that of Sweden adopted the Prussian version of the spiked helmet in 1845 and the Russian Army in 1846. From the second half of the 19th century onwards, the armies of a number of nations besides Russia adopted the Pickelhaube or something similar; the popularity of this headdress in Latin America arose from a period during the early 20th century when military missions from Imperial Germany were employed to train and organize national armies. Peru was the first to use the helmet for the Peruvian Army when some helmets were shipped to the country in the 1870s, but during the War of the Pacific the 6th Infantry Regiment "Chacabuco" of the Chilean Army became the first Chilean military unit to use them when its personnel used the helmets—which were seized from the Peruvians—in their red French-inspired uniforms; these sported the Imperial German eagles but in the 1900s the eagles were replaced by the national emblems of the countries that used them. The Russian version had a horsehair plume fitted to the end of the spike, but this was discarded in some units.
The Russian spike was topped with a grenade motif. At the beginning of the Crimean War, such helmets were common among infantry and grenadiers, but soon fell out of place in favour of the fatigue cap. After 1862 the spiked helmet ceased to be worn by the Russian Army, although it was retained until 1914 by the Cuirassier regiments of the Imperial Guard and the Gendarmerie; the Russians prolonged the history of the pointed military headgear with their own cloth Budenovka in the early 20th century. In 1847, the Household Cavalry, along British dragoons and dragoon guards, adopted a helmet, a hybrid between the Pickelhaube and the traditional dragoon helmet which it replaced; this "Albert Pattern" helmet was named after Albert, Prince Consort who took a keen interest in military uniforms, featured a falling horsehair plume which could be removed when on campaign. It was adopted by other heavy cavalry regiments across the British Empire and remains in ceremonial use; the Pickelhaube influenced the design of the British army Home Service helmet, as well as the custodian helmet still worn by police in England and Wales.
The linkage between Pickelhaube and Home Service helmet was however not a direct one, since the British headdress was higher, had only a small spike and was made of stiffened cloth over a cork framework, instead of leather. Both the United States Army and Marine Corps wore helmets of the British pattern for full dress between 1881 and 1902; the basic Pickelhaube was made of hardened leather, given a glossy-black finish, reinforced with metal trim that included a metal spike at the crown. Early versions had a high crown, but the height was reduced and the helmet became more fitted in form, in a continuing process of weight-reduction and cost-saving. In 1867 a further attempt at weight reduction by removing the metal binding of the front peak, the metal reinforcing band on the rear of the crown, did not prove successful; some versions of the Pickelhaube worn by German artillery units employed a ball-shaped finial rather than the pointed spike. Prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914 detachable black or white plumes were worn with the Pickelhaube in full dress by German generals, staff officers, dragoon regiments, infantry of the Prussian Guard and a number of line infantry regiments as a special distinction.
This was achieved by unscrewing the spike and replacing it with a tall metal plume-holder known as a trichter. For musicians of these units, for Bavarian Artillery and an entire cavalry regiment of the Saxon Guard, this plume was red. Aside from the spike finial the most recognizable feature of the Pickelhaube was the ornamental front plate, which denoted the regiment's province or state; the most common plate design consisted of the emblem used by Prussia. Different plate designs were used by Bavaria, Württemberg and the other German states; the Russians used the traditional double-headed ea
Rogatywka is the Polish generic name for an asymmetrical, four-pointed cap used by various Polish military formations throughout the ages. It is a distant relative of its 18th-century predecessor, although similar caps have been used by light cavalry since the 14th century, it consists of a four-pointed top and a short peak made of black or brown leather. Although rogatywka in English seems to mean the same as czapka, the word'czapka' in Polish designates not only rogatywka, but all caps, it comes in two variants: the hardened and soft version. The hardened model, based on the rogatywka Mk. 1935, olive green with black peak, is used in full gala uniforms, while the rim colour marks unit type. It was not worn during most of the People's Republic of Poland era but was reintroduced for ceremonial wear by the Honour Guard Company in 1983; the soft version was used before World War II and during the People's Republic of Poland period for garrison dress. Polish soldiers, unlike in most militaries, decorate caps not with the emblem of their corps, but with their service's version of the Polish military eagle.
The military eagle insignia is based on an early 19th-century design, comprising a modified White Eagle perched atop an'amazon shield'. Army branches are indicated by the following colored cap bands: navy blue – generals, mechanized troops, legal corps, logistics corps, National Honour Guard orange – units dedicated to honour historical armoured troops, scouts dark green – rocket forces, anti-aircraft units black – engineering units, chemical corps, cartographic service, technical cadets cornflower – adjutant general corps and communication corps cherry – medical service, medical cadets scarlet – military police violet – chaplains yellow – headquarters of 1st Warsaw Mechanized Division, 1st Warsaw Armoured Division Rogatywka is used by Polish firefighters and Polish State Railways staff. Green rogatywka with brown leather peak and scout Fleur-de-lis symbol, is traditionally worn by Polish boy scouts, grey is sometimes used by girl guides
A hat is a head covering, worn for various reasons, including protection against weather conditions, ceremonial reasons such as university graduation, religious reasons, safety, or as a fashion accessory. In the past, hats were an indicator of social status. In the military, hats may denote branch of service, rank or regiment. Police wear distinctive hats such as peaked caps or brimmed hats, such as those worn by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; some hats have a protective function. As examples, the hard hat protects construction workers' heads from injury by falling objects and a British police Custodian helmet protects the officer's head, a sun hat shades the face and shoulders from the sun, a cowboy hat protects against sun and rain and a Ushanka fur hat with fold-down earflaps keeps the head and ears warm; some hats are worn for ceremonial purposes, such as the mortarboard, worn during university graduation ceremonies. Some hats are worn by members such as the Toque worn by chefs; some hats have religious functions, such as the mitres worn by the turban worn by Sikhs.
While there are not many official records of hats before 3000 BC, they were commonplace before that. The 27-30,000 year old Venus of Willendorf figurine may depict a woman wearing a woven hat. One of the earliest known confirmed hats was worn by a bronze age man whose body was found frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy, where he'd been since around 3250 BC, he was found wearing a bearskin cap with a chin strap, made of several hides stitched together resembling a Russian fur hat without the flaps. One of the first pictorial depictions of a hat appears in a tomb painting from Thebes, which shows a man wearing a conical straw hat, dated to around 3200 BC. Hats were worn in ancient Egypt. Many upper-class Egyptians shaved their heads covered it in a headdress intended to help them keep cool. Ancient Mesopotamians wore conical hats or ones shaped somewhat like an inverted vase. Other early hats include a simple skull-like cap. Women wore veils, hoods and wimples. Like Ötzi, the Tollund Man was preserved to the present day with a hat on having died around 400 BC in a Danish bog, which mummified him.
He wore a pointed cap made of wool, fastened under the chin by a hide thong. St. Clement, the patron saint of felt hatmakers, is said to have discovered felt when he filled his sandals with flax fibers to protect his feet, around 800 AD. In the Middle Ages, hats used to single out certain groups; the 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran required that all Jews identify themselves by wearing the Judenhat, marking them as targets for anti-Semitism. The hats were yellow and were either pointed or square. In the Middle Ages, hats for women ranged from simple scarves to elaborate hennin, denoted social status. Structured hats for women similar to those of male courtiers began to be worn in the late 16th century; the term'milliner' comes from the Italian city of Milan, where the best quality hats were made in the 18th century. Millinery was traditionally a woman's occupation, with the milliner not only creating hats and bonnets but choosing lace and accessories to complete an outfit. In the first half of the 19th century, women wore bonnets that became larger, decorated with ribbons, flowers and gauze trims.
By the end of the century, many other styles were introduced, among them hats with wide brims and flat crowns, the flower pot and the toque. By the middle of the 1920s, when women began to cut their hair short, they chose hats that hugged the head like a helmet; the tradition of wearing hats to horse racing events began at the Royal Ascot in Britain, which maintains a strict dress code. All guests in the Royal Enclosure must wear hats; this tradition was adopted at other horse racing events, such as the Kentucky Derby in the United States. Extravagant hats were popular in the 1980s, in the early 21st century, flamboyant hats made a comeback, with a new wave of competitive young milliners designing creations that include turban caps, trompe-l'oeil-effect felt hats and tall headpieces made of human hair; some new hat collections have been described as "wearable sculpture." Many pop stars, among them Lady Gaga, have commissioned hats as publicity stunts. One of the most famous London hatters is James Co. of St James's Street.
The shop claims to be the oldest operating hat shop in the world. Another was Davis of 6 Fish Street Hill. In the late 20th century, museums credited London-based David Shilling with reinventing hats worldwide. Notable Belgian hat designers are Elvis Pompilio and Fabienne Delvigne, whose hats are worn by European royals. Philip Treacy OBE is an award-winning Irish milliner whose hats have been commissioned by top designers and worn at royal weddings. In North America, the well-known cowboy-hat manufacturer Stetson made the headgear for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Texas Rangers. John Cavanagh was one of the notable American hatters. Italian hat maker Borsalino has covered the heads of Hollywood stars and the world's rich and famous; the Philippi Collection is a collection of religious headgear assembled by a German entrepreneur, Dieter Philippi, located in Kirkel. The collection features over 500 hats, is the world's largest collection of cl
Charles X of France
Charles X was King of France from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. For most of his life he was known as the Count of Artois. An uncle of the uncrowned Louis XVII and younger brother to reigning kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile. After the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, Charles became the leader of the ultra-royalists, a radical monarchist faction within the French court that affirmed rule by divine right and opposed the concessions towards liberals and guarantees of civil liberties granted by the Charter of 1814. Charles gained influence within the French court after the assassination of his son Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry, in 1820 and succeeded his brother in 1824, his reign of six years proved to be unpopular from the moment of his coronation in 1825, in which he tried to revive the practice of the royal touch. The governments appointed under his reign reimbursed former landowners for the abolition of feudalism at the expense of bondholders, increased the power of the Catholic Church, reimposed capital punishment for sacrilege, leading to conflict with the liberal-majority Chamber of Deputies.
Charles initiated the French conquest of Algeria as a way to distract his citizens from domestic problems. He appointed a conservative government under the premiership of Prince Jules de Polignac, defeated in the 1830 French legislative election, he responded with the July Ordinances disbanding the Chamber of Deputies, limiting franchise, reimposing press censorship. Within a week France faced urban riots which lead to the July Revolution of 1830, which resulted in his abdication and the election of Louis Philippe I as King of the French. Exiled once again, Charles died in 1836 in Gorizia part of the Austrian Empire, he was the last of the French rulers from the senior branch of the House of Bourbon. Charles Philippe of France was born in 1757, the youngest son of the Dauphin Louis and his wife, the Dauphine Marie Josèphe, at the Palace of Versailles. Charles was created Count of Artois at birth by his grandfather, the reigning King Louis XV; as the youngest male in the family, Charles seemed unlikely to become king.
His eldest brother, Duke of Burgundy, died unexpectedly in 1761, which moved Charles up one place in the line of succession. He was raised in early childhood by the Governess of the Children of France. At the death of his father in 1765, Charles's oldest surviving brother, Louis Auguste, became the new Dauphin, their mother Marie Josèphe, who never recovered from the loss of her husband, died in March 1767 from tuberculosis. This left Charles an orphan at the age of nine, along with his siblings Louis Auguste, Louis Stanislas, Count of Provence, Élisabeth. Louis XV fell ill on 27 April 1774 and died on 10 May of smallpox at the age of 64, his grandson Louis-Auguste succeeded him as King Louis XVI of France. In November 1773, Charles married Marie Thérèse of Savoy. In 1775, Marie Thérèse gave birth to a boy, Louis Antoine, created Duke of Angoulême by Louis XVI. Louis-Antoine was the first of the next generation of Bourbons, as the king and the Count of Provence had not fathered any children yet, causing the Parisian libellistes to lampoon Louis XVI's alleged impotence.
Three years in 1778, Charles' second son, Charles Ferdinand, was born and given the title of Duke of Berry. In the same year Queen Marie Antoinette gave birth to her first child, Marie Thérèse, quelling all rumours that she could not bear children. Charles was thought of as the most attractive member of his family, bearing a strong resemblance to his grandfather Louis XV, his wife was considered quite ugly by most contemporaries, he looked for company in numerous extramarital affairs. According to the Count of Hézecques, "few beauties were cruel to him." Among his lovers where notably Anne Victoire Dervieux. He embarked upon a lifelong love affair with the beautiful Louise de Polastron, the sister-in-law of Marie Antoinette's closest companion, the Duchess of Polignac. Charles struck up a firm friendship with Marie Antoinette herself, whom he had first met upon her arrival in France in April 1770 when he was twelve; the closeness of the relationship was such that he was falsely accused by Parisian rumour mongers of having seduced her.
As part of Marie Antoinette's social set, Charles appeared opposite her in the private theatre of her favourite royal retreat, the Petit Trianon. They were both said to be talented amateur actors. Marie Antoinette played milkmaids and country ladies, whereas Charles played lovers and farmers. A famous story concerning the two involves the construction of the Château de Bagatelle. In 1775, Charles purchased a small hunting lodge in the Bois de Boulogne, he soon had the existing house torn down with plans to rebuild. Marie Antoinette wagered her brother-in-law that the new château could not be completed within three months. Charles engaged the neoclassical architect François-Joseph Bélanger to design the building, he won his bet, with Bélanger completing the house in sixty-three days. It is estimated that the project, which came to include manicured gardens, cost over two million livres. Throughout the 1770s, Charles spent lavishly, he accumulated enormous debts. In the 1780s, King Louis XVI paid off the debts of both his brothers, the Counts of Provence and Artois.
In 1781, Charles acted as a proxy for Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II at the christening of his godson, the Dauphin Louis Joseph. Charles's p
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn to protect the head. More a helmet complements the skull in protecting the human brain. Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes worn. Soldiers wear helmets made from lightweight plastic materials; the word helmet is diminutive from a medieval word for protective combat headgear. The medieval great helm covers the whole head and is accompanied with camail protecting throat and neck as well. A helmet was a helm which covered the head only and protected it from injury in accidents. In civilian life, helmets are used for recreational sports. Since the 1990s, most helmets are made from resin or plastic, which may be reinforced with fibers such as aramids; some British gamekeepers during the 18th and 19th centuries wore helmets made of straw bound together with cut bramble. Europeans in the tropics wore the pith helmet, developed in the mid-19th century and made of pith or cork. Military applications in the 19th-20th centuries saw a number of leather helmets among aviators and tank crews in the early 20th century.
In the early days of the automobile, some motorists adopted this style of headgear, early football helmets were made of leather. In World War II, Soviet, German and French flight crews wore leather helmets, the German pilots disguising theirs under a beret before disposing of both and switching to cloth caps; the era of the First and Second World Wars saw a resurgence of metal military helmets, most notably the Brodie helmet and the Stahlhelm. Modern helmets have a much wider range of applications, including helmets adapted to the specific needs of many athletic pursuits and work environments, these helmets often incorporate plastics and other synthetic materials for their light weight and shock absorption capabilities; some types of synthetic fibers used to make helmets in the 21st century include Aramid and Twaron. Helmets of many different types have developed over time. Most early helmets had military uses, though some may have had more ceremonial than combat applcations. Two important helmet types to develop in antiquity were the Roman galea.
During the Middle Ages, many different military helmets and some ceremonial helmets were developed all being metal. Some of the more important medieval developments included the great helm, the bascinet, the frog-mouth helm and the armet; the great seal of Owain Glyndŵr depicts the prince of Wales & his stallion wearing full armour, they both wear protective headgear with Owain's gold dragon mounted on top, this would have been impractical in battle so therefore these would have been ceremonial. In the 19th century, more materials were incorporated, namely leather and pith; the pith helmet and the leather pickelhaube were important 19th century developments. The greatest expansion in the variety of forms and composition of helmets, took place in the 20th century, with the development of specialized helmets for a multitude of athletic and professional applications, as well as the advent of modern plastics. During World War I, the French army developed the Adrian helmet, the British developed the Brodie helmet, the Germans produced the Stahlhelm.
Flight helmets were developed throughout the 20th century. A multitude of athletic helmets, including football helmets, batting helmets, cricket helmets, bicycle helmets, motorcycle helmets and racing helmets, were developed in the 20th century. Helmets since the mid-20th century have incorporated lightweight plastics and other synthetic materials, their use has become specialized; some important recent developments include the French SPECTRA helmet, Spanish MARTE helmet or the American PASGT and Advanced Combat Helmet, or ACH. As the coat of arms was designed to distinguish noble combatants on the battlefield or in a tournament while covered in armour, it is not surprising that heraldic elements incorporated the shield and the helmet, these being the most visible parts of a knight's military equipment; the practice of indicating peerage through the display of barred or grilled helmets first appeared around 1587-1615, the heraldic convention of displaying helmets of rank in the United Kingdom, which came into vogue around Stuart times, is as follows: Sovereign: a gold barred-face helm placed affronté Peer's helmet: silver barred-face helm placed in profile Knight's or baronet's helmet: steel helm placed affronté with visor open Esquire's helmet: steel helm placed in profile with visor closedEarlier rolls of arms reveal, that early heraldic helmets were depicted in a manner faithful to the styles in actual military or tournament use at the time.
Helmets portal Balaclava Cap Combat helmet Face shield Firefighter's helmet Helmet boxing The Stackhat "Helmets... A Medieval Note In Modern Warfare", August 1942, Popular Science evolution of military helmets
Saint George was a soldier of Cappadocian Greek origins, member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian, sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalo-martyrs in Christianity, was venerated as a military saint since the Crusaders. In hagiography, as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and one of the most prominent military saints, he is immortalised in the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, his memorial, Saint George's Day, is traditionally celebrated on 23 April. England and several other nation states, universities and organisations all claim Saint George as their patron. Little is known about St George’s life, but it is thought he was a Roman officer of Greek descent from Cappadocia, martyred in one of the pre-Constantinian persecutions. Beyond this, early sources give conflicting information. There are two main versions of the legend, a Greek and a Latin version, which can both be traced to the 5th or 6th century.
The saint's veneration dates to the 5th century with some certainty, still to the 4th. The addition of the dragon legend dates to the 11th century; the earliest text preserving fragments of George's narrative is in a Greek hagiography identified by Hippolyte Delehaye of the scholarly Bollandists to be a palimpsest of the 5th century. An earlier work by Eusebius, Church history, written in the 4th century, contributed to the legend but did not name George or provide significant detail; the work of the Bollandists Daniel Papebroch, Jean Bolland, Godfrey Henschen in the 17th century was one of the first pieces of scholarly research to establish the saint's historicity via their publications in Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca. Pope Gelasius I stated that George was among those saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God." A critical edition of a Syriac Acta of Saint George, accompanied by an annotated English translation, was published by E. W. Brooks in 1925.
The compiler of this Acta Sancti Georgii, according to Hippolyte Delehaye, "confused the martyr with his namesake, the celebrated George of Cappadocia, the Arian intruder into the see of Alexandria and enemy of St. Athanasius". In the Greek tradition, George was born in Cappadocia, his father died for the faith when George was fourteen, his mother returned with George to her homeland of Syria Palaestina. A few years George's mother died. George joins the Roman army. George is persecuted by one Dadianus. In versions of the Greek legend, this name is rationalized to Diocletian, George's martyrdom is placed in the Diocletian persecution of AD 303; the setting in Nicomedia is secondary, inconsistent with the earliest cultus of the saint being located in Diospolis. George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome to become a Christian as well, so she joined George in martyrdom, his body was returned to Lydda for burial.
The Latin Acta Sancti Georgii follows the general course of the Greek legend, but Diocletian here becomes Dacian, Emperor of the Persians. George dies in Melitene in Cappadocia, his martyrdom is extended, to more than twenty separate tortures over the course of seven years. Over the course of his martyrdom, 40,900 pagans are converted to Christianity, including the empress Alexandra; when George dies, the wicked Dacian is carried away in a whirlwind of fire. In Latin versions, the persecutor is the Roman emperor Decius, or a Roman judge named Dacian serving under Diocletian. There is little information on the early life of Saint George. Herbert Thurston in The Catholic Encyclopedia states that based upon an ancient cultus, narratives of the early pilgrims, the early dedications of churches to Saint George, going back to the fourth century, "there seems, therefore, no ground for doubting the historical existence of St. George", although no faith can be placed in either the details of his history or his alleged exploits.
According to Donald Attwater, "No historical particulars of his life have survived... The widespread veneration for St George as a soldier saint from early times had its centre in Palestine at Diospolis, now Lydda. St George was martyred there, at the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth century, and that Saint George in all likelihood was martyred before the year 290. Although the Diocletianic Persecution of 303, associated with military saints because the persecution was aimed at Christians among the professional soldiers of the Roman army, is of undisputed historicity, the identity of Saint George as a historical individual had not been ascertained as of Edmund Spenser's day, Edward Gibbon argued that George, or at least the legend from which the above is distilled, is based on George of Cappadocia, a notorious Arian bishop