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Posthumous painting of Genghis Khan
Posthumous painting of Genghis Khan

The Baljuna Covenant was an oath sworn in mid-1203 by Temüjin—the future Genghis Khan (depicted)—and the Baljunatu, a small group of companions. Temüjin, khan of the Mongols, had steadily risen in power through the late 12th century in the service of Toghrul, the khan of the Kereit tribe. However, Temüjin was betrayed by Toghrul in early 1203 and subsequently suffered a decisive defeat. He retreated to Baljuna, an unidentified body of water in south-eastern Mongolia, and amidst deprivations swore an oath of mutual fidelity with his companions. Not only did the Covenant promote Temüjin's ideals of social equality, but the oath-takers were themselves ethnically and culturally diverse—among their number were Tengrists like Temüjin, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. Three years later in 1206, Temüjin entitled himself Genghis Khan at a kurultai and honoured the Baljunatu with the highest distinctions of his new Mongol Empire. (Full article...)

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Sundial destroyed by the Merry Gang
Sundial destroyed by the Merry Gang

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Waheeda Rehman in 2019
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October 2: International Day of Non-Violence; Gandhi Jayanti in India

Thurgood Marshall
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Portrait of Gibson in Paris
Portrait of Gibson in Paris

Several works by the American-Canadian writer William Gibson garnered critical attention and popular acclaim, receiving Hugo and Nebula Award nominations in the categories of best short story and best novelette and being featured prominently in the annual Locus Awards reader's poll. The themes, settings and characters developed in these stories culminated in his first novel, Neuromancer (1984), which proved to be the author's breakout work, achieving critical and commercial success and virtually initiating the cyberpunk literary genre. It became the first novel to win the "triple crown" of science fiction awards – the Nebula and the Hugo Awards for best novel along with the Philip K. Dick Award for paperback original. Its sequels in the Sprawl trilogyCount Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) – also attracted Hugo and Nebula nominations for best novel, though major award wins eluded the writer thereafter. (Full list...)

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State Historical Museum

The State Historical Museum is a museum of Russian history located between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. The museum's exhibitions range from relics of prehistoric tribes that lived in the territory of present-day Russia, to priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection is in the millions. This photograph of the museum's exterior at night was taken in 2016.

Photograph credit: Diego Delso

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