History is the discovery, collection, organization, analysis and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of research which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and its usefulness. This includes discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. The stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history. Events of the past prior to written record are considered prehistory.
Amongst scholars, the fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus is considered to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, forms the foundations for the modern study of history. Their influence, along with other historical traditions in other parts of their world, have spawned many different interpretations of the nature of history which has evolved over the centuries and are continuing to change. The modern study of history has many different fields including those that focus on certain regions and those which focus on certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
The Treaty of Devol
: συνθήκη της Δεαβόλεως
) was an agreement made in 1108 between Bohemond I
and Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos
, in the wake of the First Crusade
. It is named after the Byzantine fortress of Devol
(in modern Albania
). Although the treaty was not immediately enforced, it was intended to make the Principality of Antioch
state of the Byzantine Empire
At the beginning of the First Crusade, Crusader armies assembled at Constantinople and promised to return to the Byzantine Empire any land they might conquer. However, Bohemond, the son of Alexios' former enemy Robert Guiscard, claimed the Principality of Antioch for himself. Alexios did not recognize the legitimacy of the Principality, and Bohemond went to Europe looking for reinforcements. He launched into open warfare against Alexios, but he was soon forced to surrender and negotiate with Alexios at the imperial camp at Diabolis (Devol), where the Treaty was signed.
Under the terms of the Treaty, Bohemond agreed to become a vassal of the Emperor and to defend the Empire whenever needed. He also accepted the appointment of a Greek Patriarch. In return, he was given the titles of sebastos and doux (duke) of Antioch, and he was guaranteed the right to pass on to his heirs the County of Edessa. Following this, Bohemond retreated to Apulia and died there. His nephew, Tancred, who was regent in Antioch, refused to accept the terms of the Treaty. Antioch came temporarily under Byzantine sway in 1137, but it was not until 1158 that it truly became a Byzantine vassal.
or John Vladimir
: Јован Владимир; died 22 May 1016) was ruler of Duklja
, the most powerful Serbian
principality of the time, from around 1000 to 1016. He ruled during the protracted war between the Byzantine Empire
and the First Bulgarian Empire
. His close relationship with Byzantium did not save Duklja from the expansionist Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria
, who conquered the principality in around 1010 and took Jovan Vladimir prisoner. A medieval chronicle asserts that Samuel's daughter, Theodora Kosara
, fell in love with Vladimir and begged her father for his hand. The tsar allowed the marriage and returned Duklja to Vladimir, who ruled as his vassal
Vladimir was acknowledged as a pious, just, and peaceful ruler. He took no part in his father-in-law's war efforts. The warfare culminated with Samuel's defeat by the Byzantines in 1014; the tsar died soon afterward. In 1016 Vladimir fell victim to a plot by Ivan Vladislav, the last ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire. He was beheaded in front of a church in Prespa, the empire's capital, and was buried there. He was soon recognized as a martyr and saint; his feast day is celebrated on 22 May. His widow, Kosara, reburied him in the Prečista Krajinska Church, near his court in southeastern Duklja. In 1381 his remains were preserved in the Church of Saint Jovan Vladimir near Elbasan, and since 1995 they have been kept in the Orthodox cathedral of Tirana, Albania. The saint's remains are considered relics, and attract many believers, especially on his feast day, when the relics are taken to the church near Elbasan for a celebration.
The Trinity nuclear test was the first nuclear detonation in the world. Conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945, the successful test would set the stage for the coming Atomic Age. This image, captured by Berlyn Brixner, shows the fireball that developed 0.016 seconds after ignition; the explosive had a yield of 20 kilotons of dynamite.
December 13: Tenth of Tevet (Judaism, 2013); Saint Lucy's Day in Italy and Scandinavia; Republic Day in Malta (1974)
- 1545 – The Council of Trent, an ecumenical council convoked by Pope Paul III in response to the growth of Protestantism, opened in Trent, Bishopric of Trent (now in modern Italy).
- 1960 – With Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie (pictured) out of the country, four conspirators staged a coup attempt and installed Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen as the new Emperor.
- 1989 – The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army engaged in a fierce firefight with the King's Own Scottish Borderers at a vehicle checkpoint complex in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
- 2011 – After killing a woman at his home, a man threw grenades and fired an automatic rifle at crowds in the Place Saint-Lambert, Liège, Belgium, killing 5 people and injuring 125 others, before committing suicide.
More anniversaries: December 12 – December 13 – December 14
What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?
"The traveler who has contemplated the ruins of ancient Rome may conceive some imperfect idea of the sentiments which they must have inspired when they reared their heads in the splendor of unsullied beauty."
— Edward Gibbon
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