Wang Mang, courtesy name Jujun, was a Han Dynasty official who seized the throne from the Liu family and founded the Xin Dynasty, ruling 9–23 AD. The Han dynasty was restored after his overthrow, and his rule marks the separation between the Western Han Dynasty and Eastern Han Dynasty, some historians have traditionally viewed Wang as a usurper, while others have portrayed him as a visionary and selfless social reformer. Though a learned Confucian scholar who sought to implement the harmonious society he saw in the classics, in October 23 AD, the capital Changan was attacked and the imperial palace ransacked. Wang Mang died in the battle, the Han dynasty was reestablished in 25 AD when Liu Xiu took the throne. Wang Mang was the son of Wang Man, the brother of Empress Wang Zhengjun. Wang Man died early, while Wang Mang was young, before Emperor Cheng took the throne, unlike most of his brothers, Wang Man did not have the opportunity to become a marquess. Empress Wang took pity on his family, and after she herself was widowed, had Qu moved to the palace to live with her.
While Wang Mang was obviously well-connected to the family, he did not have nearly the luxuries that his cousins enjoyed. Indeed, unlike his relatives who lived expensively and competed with other on how they could spend more, Wang Mang was praised for his humility, thriftiness. He wore not the clothes of young nobles but those of a young Confucian scholar and he was praised on how filial he was to his mother and how caring he was to his deceased brother Wang Yong s wife and son Wang Guang. Wang Mang befriended many people and served his uncles carefully. When Wang Mangs powerful uncle Wang Feng grew ill, Wang Mang cared for him near his sick bed day and night, Wang Feng was greatly touched, and before his death, he asked Empress Dowager Wang and Emperor Cheng to take good care of Wang Mang. Wang Mang was therefore given the post of imperial attendant and promoted to be one of the subcommanders of the imperial guards. In 16 BC, another of Wang Mangs uncles, Wang Shang the Marquess of Chengdu, submitted a petition to divide part of his march, several well-regarded officials concurred in this request, and Emperor Cheng was impressed with Wang Mangs reputation.
He therefore created Wang Mang the Marquess of Xindu and promoted him to the Chamberlain for Attendants and it was described by historians that the greater the posts that Wang was promoted to, the more humble he grew. He did not accumulate wealth, but used the money to support scholars and to give gifts to colleagues, another thing that Wang Mang made himself known for was that he had only a single wife, Lady Wang, and no concubines. However, as events would show, Wang was not completely faithful to his wife. Chunyu had relations with both Emperor Chengs wife Empress Zhao Feiyan and his deposed former wife Empress Xu
Abu Muhammad Abdallah al-Adil was an Almohad Caliph of Morocco, a former governor in al-Andalus who challenged and secured the murder of his predecessor, Abd al-Wahid I. His 1224 coup ushered in a period of instability that lasted well beyond his own death in 1227 and he is often regarded as one of the most disastrous of Almohad caliphs. His coup divided the Almohads and set in motion the loss of al-Andalus, Abu Muhammad Abdallah was a son of Almohad conqueror Yaqub al-Mansur and a brother of the famous caliph Muhammad al-Nasir. Along with his brothers, Abdallah served as an Almohad governor in al-Andalus. The Almohad dynasty had never had a disputed succession, despite disagreements, they had always loyally lined up behind the elected caliph, so rebellion was no casual matter. Ibn Yujjan persuaded Abdallah to contest the election, assuring him of his connections in the Marrakesh palace. But Ibn Yajjan had already pulled on his Moroccan connections, the fallen caliph Abd al-Walid I was murdered by strangulation in September 1224.
Abdallah al-Adils murderous breach of dynastic precedence and constitutional propriety shocked the rest of the Almohads, but Abdallah and his brothers were dominant in al-Andalus, and had little trouble imposing themselves on the province, replacing those who refused to recognize the usurpation. In Spain, everyone fell in line, with the exception of three of Abdallahs cousins, Abu Zayd, Abd Allah and Abu Dabbus. They were promptly deprived of their posts, the Jaen governor, Abd Allah, took a small group of followers and set up camp in the hills of Baeza, calling for open rebellion against al-Adil. In Morocco, Abdallah al-Adils coup had barely succeeded, eager to depart, al-Adil undertook only a half-hearted effort to dislodge al-Bayyasi from the hills of Baeza in the winter of 1124-25. The campaign proved a humiliation - al-Bayyasis little band of followers managed to fend off the larger armies that al-Adil sent after them. Al-Adil quickly acquired a reputation for incompetence and poor military skills, determined to seize Marrakesh before it was too late, al-Adil decided to ignore al-Bayyasi and stepped up the transportation of troops.
Al-Bayyasi, in the meantime, struck up an alliance with the hitherto quiet Ferdinand III of Castile, bemused at the turn of events, and delighted at the evacuation of Almohad troops, Ferdinand sensed an opportunity and decided to lend al-Bayyasi a large Castilian army. In 1225, al-Bayyasis band, accompanied by the Castilian army, with al-Andalus practically denuded of Almohad troops, they ravaged the lands of Jaen, the vega de Granada and by the end of the summer, al-Bayyasi had captured the city of Córdoba. Seeing the vacuity, Alfonso IX of Leon and Sancho II of Portugal took the opportunity to launch their own raids, caceres held up the Leonese, but the Portuguese raiders, facing no opposition, advanced rapidly and reached the outskirts of Seville in late 1225. As a result, the Portuguese raiders ravaged the outlying areas with impunity, at length, the civilian population of Seville, disgusted at the inactivity of the Almohad rulers, decided to take matters into their own hands. A popular levy was raised in the city and marched out on their own to meet the Portuguese in the field, the Portuguese men-at-arms mowed down the poorly armed townsfolk
The name Lulin came from the Lulin Mountains, where the rebels had their stronghold for a while. In 17 AD, the Jing Province was suffering a famine that was exacerbated by the corruption. The victims of the famine were reduced to consuming wild plants, two men named Wang Kuang and Wang Feng, both from Xinshi became arbiters in some of these disputes, and they became the leaders of the enfamined people. They were joined by others, including Ma Wu, Wang Chang. Within a few months,7,000 to 8,000 men gathered together under their commands and they had their base at Lulin Mountain, and their modus operandi was to attack and pillage villages far from the cities for food. This carried on for years, during which they grew to tens of thousands in size. Wang sent messengers issuing pardons in hopes of causing these rebels to disband, some, in order to flatter Wang Mang, told him that these were simply evil resistors who needed to be killed, or that this was a temporary phenomenon. Wang listened to those who flattered him and generally relieved those who told the truth from their posts, Wang made no further attempts to pacify the rebels, but instead decided to suppress them by force.
In reality, the rebels were forced into rebellion to survive, and they were hoping that eventually, as a result, they never dared to attack cities. When the governor tried to retreat, his route was temporarily cut off by Ma Wu. Instead, the Lulin rebels roved near the area, capturing many women, by this point, they had 50,000 men. In 22, the Lulin rebels suddenly suffered a plague of an unspecified nature. This led to the breakup of the group into 3 force, Wang Chang and Cheng Dan moved to the west, toward Nan Commandery, this branch was known as the Xiajiang Force. Wang Feng, Wang Kuang, Ma Wu, and two other leaders Zhu Wei and Zhang Ang moved to the north, toward Nanyang Commandery, this branch was known as the Xinshi Force. Around this time, there was another group of rebels led by Chen Mu. These rebels at this time still generally lacked political ambition and they were, soon spurred on by someone who was. He had a brother, Liu Xiu who, by contrast, was a careful and deliberate man, around this time, there were prophecies being spread about that the Lius would return to power, and many men gathered about Liu Yan, requesting that he lead them.
He joined his forces with the Lulins Xinshi and Pinglin Forces and his sister Liu Yuan and brother Liu Zhong both died in the battle
Battle of Lake Poyang
The naval battle of Lake Poyang took place 30 August –4 October 1363 and was one of the final battles fought in the fall of Chinas Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. There were at time a number of rebel groups who sought to topple the reigning dynasty. The relieving navy of the Ming, under Zhu Yuanzhang, met the Nanchang-besieging Han navy, commanded by Chen Youliang, in Jiangxi Province on Lake Poyang, the ensuing Ming victory here ensured Zhus ascending the throne as Hongwu Emperor when the Yuan Dynasty finally fell five years later. The battle of Lake Poyang began as a siege by the Han against the Ming-held town of Nanchang. The descriptions from the time seem to indicate the use of lóuchuán, which were essentially floating fortresses, very tall and strong, but relatively slow, and requiring deep water to sail. Nanchang defended itself well against the siege, the tall walls neutralizing the chief strength of the tower ships. A Ming messenger managed to break through the Han fleets blockade, the majority of the Ming forces, in particular its ships, were occupied at the time in fighting Zhang Shichengs Wu Kingdom elsewhere, but Zhu nevertheless arrived with what force he could muster.
These ships were, on average, smaller than the Han ships, which meant a disadvantage in size and strength, but great advantages in speed, the summer sun had already caused the lakes water level to drop considerably, to the Mings advantage. They sailed for nine days from Zhus capital Nanjing to Nanchang, capturing the town of Hukuo along the way on 25 August. By the time the Ming fleet arrived, Chen Youliang, the Han commander, realised that Nanchang was not going to surrender soon, and so he redirected his focus on defeating the arriving Ming fleet. Knowing that his own fleet was suited more for siege than for combat, he hoped to finish the battle quickly. During the battle firearms were used, the Ming fleet divided itself into eleven squadrons, with the heavier ships at the centre, a number of their warriors disembarked to bolster the Nanchang garrison. Following the Ming arrival, both fleets dropped anchor for the night, the fighting commenced the following morning, on 30 August. Though they managed to set more than twenty Han ships alight, Zhu Yuanzhang rushed to extinguish the flames as the Han fleet concentrated all their attacks on his ship, the situation quickly grew worse for Zhu as the ship hit a sandbar and got stuck.
The Han circled around and continued to attack with arrows and fire, the Ming fleet quickly came to the rescue of their commander, the waves created by their very movement shaking the flagship free. That night the Ming ships were sent downstream a short way for repairs, Zhus plan had failed, but the battle was not over yet. The main action of that day involved the creation and launching of ships by the Ming. Small rafts and fishing boats were loaded up with bales of straw and gunpowder, set aflame, dummies with armour and weapons were placed on the fireships as well, to aid in confusing and tricking the enemy
War of the League of Cambrai
The War of the League of Cambrai, sometimes known as the War of the Holy League and by several other names, was a major conflict in the Italian Wars. Although the League was initially successful, friction between Julius and Louis caused it to collapse by 1510, Julius allied himself with Venice against France. In the aftermath of the First Italian War, Pope Alexander VI had, with French assistance, in 1507, Julius returned to the question of the cities in Venetian hands, once again rebuffed by the Senate, he encouraged Emperor Maximilian I to attack the Republic. Julius, humiliated by the failure of the Imperial invasion, turned to Louis XII of France with an offer of alliance. On 10 December 1508, representatives of the Papacy, France, on 15 April 1509, Louis left Milan at the head of a French army and moved rapidly into Venetian territory. Consequently, when Louis crossed the Adda River in early May and Alviano advanced to him, believing it best to avoid a pitched battle. Alviano, disregarding the new orders, continued the engagement, his army was surrounded and destroyed.
DEste, having joined the League and been appointed Gonfalonier on 19 April, the newly arrived Imperial governors, quickly proved to be unpopular. In mid-July, the citizens of Padua, aided by detachments of Venetian cavalry under the command of the proveditor Andrea Gritti, the landsknechts garrisoning the city were too few in number to mount effective resistance, and Padua was restored to Venetian control on 17 July 1509. The success of the revolt finally pushed Maximilian into action, in early August, a massive Imperial army, accompanied by bodies of French and Spanish troops, set out from Trento into the Veneto. In mid-November, Pitigliano returned to the offensive, Venetian troops easily defeated the remaining Imperial forces, capturing Vicenza, Feltre, although a subsequent attack on Verona failed, Pitigliano destroyed a Papal army under Francesco II of Gonzaga in the process. Francesco Guicciardini credited the victory to Alfonso himself. A new French advance soon forced Pitigliano to withdraw to Padua once again, faced with a shortage of both funds and men, the Senate decided to send an embassy to Julius in order to negotiate a settlement.
The Senate argued over the terms for two months, but finally accepted them on February 24,1510 and this apparent reconciliation between Venice and the Pope did not stop the French from again invading the Veneto in March. Gritti garrisoned Padua for an attack by a combined Franco-Imperial army, but Louis, more concerned by the death of his advisor. His own forces being inadequate for the venture, the Pope hired an army of Swiss mercenaries, ordering them to attack the French in Milan, the Republic, facing a renewed French onslaught, readily accepted the offer. By July 1510, the new Veneto-Papal alliance was on the offensive, Julius now excommunicated Alfonso dEste, thus justifying an attack on the Duchy itself, in anticipation of his coming victory, the Pope traveled to Bologna, so as to be nearby when Ferrara was taken. The French army, had been left unopposed by the Swiss and was free to march south into the heart of Italy
Battle of Marsaglia
Here, on 4 October, the duke of Savoy attacked him with his whole army, front to front. But the greatly superior regimental efficiency of the French, and Catinats minute attention to details in arraying them, the Piedmontese and their allies lost c.10,000 killed and prisoners, as against Catinats 1,800. Marsaglia is, if not the first, at any rate, one of the first, hussars figured here for the first time in western Europe. A regiment of them had been raised in 1692 from deserters from the Austrian service, George, Charles A. eds. The Vinkhuijzen collection of uniforms, France, 1750-1757. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013
Changan is an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xian. Changan means Perpetual Peace in Classical Chinese, during the short-lived Xin dynasty, the city was renamed Constant Peace, yet after its fall in AD23, the old name was restored. By the time of the Ming dynasty, the name was changed to Xian, meaning Western Peace. Changan had been settled since Neolithic times, during which the Yangshao Culture was established in Banpo in the citys suburb, from its capital at Xianyang, the Qin dynasty ruled a larger area than either of the preceding dynasties. The imperial city of Changan during the Han dynasty was located northwest of todays Xian. During the Tang dynasty, the area to be known as Changan included the area inside the Ming Xian fortification, plus small areas to its east and west. The Tang Changan hence, was 8 times the size of the Ming Xian, during its heyday, Changan was one of the largest and most populous cities in the world. Around AD750, Changan was called a million peoples city in Chinese records, while modern estimates put it at around 800, 000–1,000,000 within city walls.
According to the census in 742 recorded in the New Book of Tang,362,921 families with 1,960,188 persons were counted in Jingzhao Fu, the strategic and economic importance of ancient Changan was mainly due to its central position. The roads leading to Gansu, Henan, the site of the Han capital was located 3 km northwest of modern Xian. As the capital of the Western Han, it was the political, economic and it was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, and a cosmopolitan metropolis. By 2 AD, the population was 246,200 in 80,000 households and this population consisted mostly of the scholar gentry class whose education was being sponsored by their wealthy aristocratic families. In addition to civil servants was a larger underclass to serve them. Initially, Emperor Liu Bang decided to build his capital at the center of the sun and this location was the site of the holy city Chengzhou, home of the last Zhou emperors. The magical significance of location was believed to ensure a long-lasting dynasty like the Zhou.
However, in practice the strategic value of a capital located in the Wei Valley became the deciding factor for locating the new capital. To this end, it is recorded c 200 BC he forcibly relocated thousands of clans in the aristocracy to this region. First, it kept all potential rivals close to the new Emperor and his adviser Liu Jing described this plan as weakening the root while strengthening the branch
Battle of Wittstock
The Battle of Wittstock took place during the Thirty Years War. It was fought on 24 September or 4 October 1636, Leslie and Banér commanded two distinct armies, Banér commanded the Swedish main army, and Leslie commanded the Army of the Weser. The Swedes were allied to the French, but the latter played no part in the battle, the Imperial main army was screening the Swedish army behind the Elbe while a smaller army under General Klitzing was overrunning Brandenburg. Field Marshal Johan Banér commanding the main Swedish army was joined by Field Marshal Alexander Leslie commanding the Army of the Weser which comprised German, together they crossed the Elbe with a surprise march and met their opponents in the forested hilly landscape slightly south of Wittstock. The Imperial army was larger in strength than the Swedish army, the Swedish artillery was considerably stronger, leading the Imperial commanders to maintain a largely defensive position on the hill tops. The Imperial forces decided to wait for the Swedes on a range of sandy hills, a part of the Imperial front was further defended with six ditches and a wall of linked wagons.
Their commanders waited for some time for the Swedish troops to appear on the fields to their front. Instead, the Swedish army was turning the Imperial left flank, the Imperial troops were forced to redeploy their lines to set up a new front. The battle was begun by small forces detached in detail to secure the hills, the Swedes, under Banér and Leslie had problems moving up reinforcements through marshy ground, but battle was eventually joined along a wide front. Banéér and Leslie had detached one-fourth of the army under General James King and they found the traverse difficult and slow, leading Banérs troops to take heavy casualties and begin to retreat. Alexander Leslie moved five of his regiments to his relief taking heavy casualties in the process with the Scottish and English regiments being particularly badly mauled, nonetheless they were able to relieve Banér in time for Kings cavalry to finally outflank the Imperial troops causing a rout. With General Vitzthum in the reserve refusing to engage the Imperialists, now attacked on two fronts and with the reserve brigades engaged, the Imperial forces, having lost all their artillery, retreated under the cover of dusk in full rout.
In the accounts of the preserved in National Archives of Sweden. A third report, by James King conforms with Leslies, all three have been transcribed and published in English. Nevertheless, Wittstock was a victory for the Swedish forces. — originally published in the Independent under the byline of Allen Hall in Berlin on Page 29