(1757-1827) An English painter and poet. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, he is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. Although he lived in London almost his entire life, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich oeuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God or human existence itself.
Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England he was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine.
His epic poem 'Milton' features John Milton, who returns from Heaven and unites with Blake to explore the relationship between living writers and their predecessors, and to undergo a mystical journey to correct his own spiritual errors.
Excerpt from his poem 'The Tyger'
When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
For the casual reader, the poem is about the question that most of us asked when we first heard about God as the benevolent creator of nature. "Why is there bloodshed and pain and horror?" "The Tyger", which actually finishes without an answer, is about your own experience of not getting a completely satisfactory answer to this essential question of faith.
Excerpt from 'Jerusalem' -short poem in the preface to Milton
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasan pastures seen!
A French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.
His magnum opus 'Candide' begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism by his mentor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world.
A French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel In Search of Lost Time (earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past) published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.
Although parts of the novel could be read as an exploration of snobbism, deceit, jealousy and suffering and although it contains a multitude of realistic details, the focus is not on the development of a tight plot or of a coherent evolution but on a multiplicity of perspectives and on the formation of experience. This focus on the relationship between experience, memory and writing and the radical de-emphasizing of the outward plot, have become staples of the modern novel but were almost unheard of in 1913. Many consider In Search of Lost Time the definitive modern novel.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
"If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time."
A German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of the 16th-century movement in Christianity known later as the Protestant Reformation. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.
He taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God.
His translation of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, which had a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.
In two of his later works, Luther expressed antagonistic views toward Jews, writing that Jewish synagogues and homes should be destroyed, their money confiscated, and liberty curtailed. These statements and their influence on antisemitism have contributed to his controversial status.
(1900-1979) A British statesman and naval officer, an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and second cousin once removed to Elizabeth II. During World War II, he was Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command (1943-46). He was the last Viceroy of India (1947) and the first Governor-General of the independent Dominion of India (1947-48), from which the modern Republic of India was to emerge in 1950. From 1954 until 1959 he was First Sea Lord, a position that had been held by his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, some forty years earlier. Thereafter he served as Chief of the Defence Staff until 1965, making him the longest serving professional head of the British Armed Forces to date. During this period Mountbatten also served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee for a year.
Assigned to oversee India's transition to independence, his record is seen as very mixed; one common view is that he hastened the independence process unduly and recklessly, foreseeing vast disruption and loss of life and not wanting this to occur on the British watch, but thereby actually helping it to occur, especially in Punjab and Bengal.
In 1979 Mountbatten, along with three other people, including a grandson Nicholas, was murdered by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb in his fishing boat.
a German writer and statesman. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. In 1788 his first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published. His poems were set to music throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by a number of composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Charles Gounod, Richard Wagner, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Mahler.
Perhaps his most famous work is his drama/play adaptation of Faust. Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend. He is a scholar who is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, so he makes a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.
A King of Sweden from 1771 until his death in 1792. He was the eldest son of King Adolph Frederick and Queen Louise Ulrika, who was a sister of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.
He was a vocal opponent of what he saw as abuses by the nobility of a permissiveness established by parliamentarian reforms that had been worked out since the death of Charles XII. He seized power from the government in a coup d'état in 1772, ending the Age of Liberty and venturing into a campaign to restore royal autocracy. This was completed by the Union and Security Act in 1789, sweeping away most of the last pretences of Riksdag rule. As a bulwark of enlightened despotism, he spent considerable public funds on cultural ventures: this contributed among his critics to controversy about his reign. Attempts to seize Norway with Russian assistance, and then to recapture the Baltic provinces by a war against Russia, were unsuccessful, although much of Sweden's former military might was restored. An admirer of Voltaire, Gustav legalized Catholic and Jewish presence in the realm and enacted wide-ranging reforms aimed at economic liberalism, social reform and the abolition, in many cases, of torture and capital punishment.
Following the French Revolution, he pursued an alliance of monarchs aimed at crushing the insurrection and reinstating his French counterpart, Louis XVI, offering Swedish assistance to the royal cause in France under his leadership. Gustav's immense powers were placed in the hands of a regency under his brother, Duke Carl until his son Gustav IV Adolf assumed the throne in 1796. The Gustavian autocracy hence survived until 1809, when it perished in another coup.
A patron of the arts and benefactor of arts and literature, Gustav founded several academies, among them the Swedish Academy, created a national costume and had the Royal Swedish Opera built.
A Frankish statesman and military leader who, as Duke and Prince of the Franks was de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death in 741.
Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul. In foreign wars, he subjugated Bavaria, Alemannia, and Frisia, vanquished the pagan Saxons, and halted the Islamic advance into Western Europe at the Battle of Tours.
He is considered to be the founding figure of the European Middle Ages. Skilled as an administrator and warrior, he is often credited with a seminal role in the development of feudalism and knighthood. He was a great patron of Saint Boniface and made the first attempt at reconciliation between the Papacy and the Franks.
Although he never assumed the title of king, he divided Francia, like a king, between his sons Carloman and Pippin. The latter became the first of the Carolingians. His grandson, Charlemagne, extended the Frankish realms to include much of the West, and became the first Emperor since the fall of Rome. Therefore, on the basis of his achievements, he is seen as laying the groundwork for the Carolingian Empire. Guerard describes him as being the "champion of the Cross against the Crescent."
The King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632 he is credited as the founder of Sweden as a Great Power. He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe.
He is often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms. His most notable military victory was the Battle of Breitenfeld. With a superb military machine with good weapons, excellent training, and effective field artillery, backed by an efficient government which could provide necessary funds, he was poised to make himself a major European leader, but he was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632. He was ably assisted in his efforts by Count Axel Oxenstierna, the Lord High Chancellor of Sweden, who also acted as regent after his death.
In an era characterized by almost endless warfare, he led his armies as king from 1611 until his death in battle in 1632 while leading a charge—as Sweden rose from the status of a mere regional power and run-of-the-mill kingdom to one of the great powers of Europe and a model of early modern era government. Within only a few years of his accession, Sweden had become the largest nation in Europe after Russia and Spain. Some have called him the "father of modern warfare", or the first great modern general. Under his tutelage, Sweden and the Protestant cause developed a number of excellent commanders, such as Lennart Torstensson, who would go on to defeat Sweden's enemies and expand the boundaries and the power of the empire long after Gustavus Adolphus' death in battle.
He was known by the epithets "The Golden King" and "The Lion of the North" by neighboring sovereigns. He is commemorated today with city squares in major Swedish cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsingborg.
an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He wrote tales and poems of British soldiers in India and stories for children. He was born in Bombay and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. His works of fiction include The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), the Just So Stories (1902), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888); and his poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), and "The White Man's Burden" (1899), He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story.
He was one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined.
George Orwell called him a "prophet of British imperialism". He was an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced.
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be TIRED by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"
― Rudyard Kipling, If: A Father's Advice to His Son
An Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. He is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he perfected and was famous for. Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939).
Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not extend far beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal."
"His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before."
― James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.
Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the ____ Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres. She named the first chemical element that she discovered - polonium, which she first isolated in 1898 - after her native country.
She died in 1934 due to aplastic anemia brought on by exposure to radiation - mainly, it seems, during her World War I service in mobile X-ray units created by her.
An Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism. He has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy" the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the Father of Modern Science".
His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the ____ moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. He also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.
His championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, a time when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was false and contrary to scripture, placing works advocating the Copernican system on the index of banned books and forbidding him from advocating heliocentrism. Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII, thus alienating not only the Pope but also the Jesuits, both of whom had supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Holy Office, then found "vehemently suspect of heresy", was forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he wrote one of his finest works, Two New Sciences, in which he summarized the work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.
A German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his laws of planetary motion, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.
Additionally, he did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting telescope, and mentioned the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.
He lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, but there was a strong division between astronomy (a branch of mathematics within the liberal arts) and physics (a branch of natural philosophy). He also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, motivated by the religious conviction and belief that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light of reason. He described his new astronomy as "celestial physics", as "an excursion into Aristotle's Metaphysics", and as "a supplement to Aristotle's On the Heavens", transforming the ancient tradition of physical cosmology by treating astronomy as part of a universal mathematical physics.
A Russian politician and the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.
Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, he emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet. On 12 June 1991 he was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR), at that time one of the 15 constituent republics of the Soviet Union. Upon the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev and the final dissolution of the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991, he remained in office as the President of the Russian Federation, the USSR's successor state. He was reelected in the 1996 election.
He vowed to transform Russia's socialist command economy into a free market economy and implemented economic shock therapy, price liberalization and privatization programs. Due to the method of privatization, a good deal of the national wealth fell into the hands of a small group of oligarchs. Much of the era was marked by widespread corruption, inflation, economic collapse and enormous political and social problems that affected Russia and the other former states of the USSR.
Ongoing confrontations with the Supreme Soviet climaxed in the October 1993 Russian constitutional crisis in which he illegally ordered the dissolution of the parliament, which then attempted to remove him from office. The military eventually sided with him and besieged and shelled the Russian White House, resulting in the deaths of 187 people. He then scrapped the existing constitution, temporarily banned political opposition and deepened his economic experimentation. He introduced a new constitution with stronger presidential power and it was approved by referendum on 12 December 1993 with 58.5% of voters in favour.
On 31 December 1999, he made a surprise announcement of his resignation, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He left office widely unpopular with the Russian population. By some estimates, his approval ratings when leaving office were as low as 2%.
A Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin. He served as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Premier) from 1930 to 1941, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956. He served as First Deputy Premier from 1942 to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev. He retired in 1961 after several years of obscurity.
He was the principal Soviet signatory of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939, whose most important provisions were added in the form of a secret protocol that stipulated an invasion of Poland and partition of its territory between Germany and the Soviet Union. This effectively sealed the beginning of World War II and made the Soviet Union an unofficial ally of Nazi Germany in the period from 1939 until the German invasion in 1941. Following the end of World War II, Molotov was involved in negotiations with the Western Allies, where he became noted for his diplomatic skills. He kept his place as a leading Soviet diplomat and politician until 1949. In March 1949, after losing Stalin's favour, he lost the foreign affairs ministry leadership. However, after Stalin's death in 1953, he defended the policies and legacy of Stalin until his death in 1986, and harshly criticised Stalin's successors, especially Nikita Khrushchev.
The name "________ cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War. The name is an insulting reference to him for being responsible for the setting of "spheres of interest" in Eastern Europe under the Non-Aggression Pact in August 1939. The pact with the Nazis bearing his name, which secretly stated the Soviet intention to invade Finland in November 1939, was widely mocked by the Finns, as well as much of the propaganda he produced to accompany it, including his declaration on Soviet state radio that bombing missions over Finland were actually airborne humanitarian food deliveries for their starving neighbours. The Finns, far from starving and engaged in a bitter war for national survival with the Soviet forces, sarcastically dubbed the Soviet cluster bombs "______ bread baskets" in reference to his propaganda broadcasts. When the hand-held bottle firebomb was developed to attack Soviet tanks, the Finns called it the "______ cocktail", as "a drink to go with the food".
The last Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland. Like other Russian Emperors he is commonly known by the monarchical title Tsar (though Russia formally ended the Tsardom in 1721).
He ruled from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw Imperial Russia go from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. Enemies nicknamed him _____ the Bloody because of the Khodynka Tragedy, the anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, his violent suppression of the 1905 Revolution, his execution of political opponents, and his pursuit of military campaigns on an unprecedented scale.
Under his rule, Russia was humiliatingly defeated in the Russo-Japanese War, which saw the almost total annihilation of the Russian Baltic Fleet at the Battle of Tsushima. As head of state, he approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, which marked the beginning of Russia's involvement in the First World War, a war in which 3.3 million Russians were killed. The Imperial Army's severe losses and the High Command's incompetent handling of the war, along with other policies are often cited as the leading causes of the fall of the Romanov dynasty.
He abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917 during which he and his family were imprisoned. In the spring of 1918, he was handed over to the local Ural soviet by commissar. His wife, Alexandra Feodorovna; his son, Alexei Nikolaevich; his four daughters, Olga Nikolaevna, Tatiana Nikolaevna, Maria Nikolaevna and Anastasia Nikolaevna, his personal staff and he were executed in the same room by the Bolsheviks on the night of 16/17 July 1918. This led to the canonization of him and his wife by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Anastasia was a younger sister of Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, and Grand Duchess Maria, and was an elder sister of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. She was executed with her family in an extrajudicial killing by members of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police, on July 17, 1918.
Persistent rumors of her possible escape circulated after her death, fueled by the fact that the location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule. The mass grave near Yekaterinburg which held the remains of the Tsar, his wife, and three of their daughters was revealed in 1991, and the bodies of Alexei Nikolaevich and the remaining daughter—either ____ or her older sister Maria—were discovered in 2007.
Her possible survival has been conclusively disproved. Forensic analysis and DNA testing confirmed that the remains are those of the imperial family, showing that all four grand duchesses were killed in 1918. Several women have falsely claimed to have been ____; the best known impostor is Anna Anderson. Anderson's body was cremated upon her death in 1984, but DNA testing in 1994 on available pieces of Anderson's tissue and hair showed no relation to the DNA of the imperial family.
During her life she and her siblings had a controversial relationship with Grigori Rasputin. She and her siblings were taught to view Rasputin as "Our Friend" and to share confidences with him. She wrote to him, "My dear, precious, only friend, how much I should like to see you again. You appeared to me today in a dream. I am always asking Mama when you will come ... I think of you always, my dear, because you are so good to me." This and other letters circulated throughout society fueling rumors of a sexual relationship.
The leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, he was appointed general secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin's criticisms and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. By the late 1920s, he was the unchallenged leader of the Soviet Union.
Under his rule, the concept of "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralised command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power. In a period that lasted from 1936 to 1939, he instituted the Great Purge, in which hundreds of thousands of political opponents were executed. Major figures in the Communist Party, such as the old Bolsheviks, Leon Trotsky, and most of the Red Army generals, were killed after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the government. He imprisoned 14 million over 20 years in the 'Gulag' prisons/forced labor camps.
In August 1939, he entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany that divided their influence and territory within Eastern Europe, resulting in their invasion of Poland in September of that year, but Germany later violated the agreement and launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Despite heavy human and territorial losses, Soviet forces managed to halt the Nazi incursion after the decisive Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. After defeating the Axis powers on the Eastern Front, the Red Army captured Berlin in May 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe for the Allies. The Yalta and Potsdam conferences established communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union in the Eastern Bloc countries as buffer states. He also fostered close relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea.
He led the Soviet Union through its post-war reconstruction phase, which saw a significant rise in tension with the Western world that would later be known as the Cold War.
A Russian politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. He was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. His party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.
He supported Joseph Stalin's purges, and approved thousands of arrests. In 1939, Stalin sent him to govern Ukraine, and he continued the purges there. After the war, he was recalled to Moscow as one of Stalin's close advisers.
In the power struggle triggered by Stalin's death in 1953, he, after several years, emerged victorious. On February 25, 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech," denouncing Stalin's purges and ushering in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union. His domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in the area of agriculture. Hoping eventually to rely on missiles for national defense, he ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchev's rule saw the tensest years of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Soviet Union sought to install medium range nuclear missiles in Cuba, about 90 miles from the U.S. coast. Two days later, he agreed to withdraw the missiles in exchange for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba and a promise that the U.S. would withdraw missiles from Turkey, near the Soviet heartland. As the last term was not publicly announced at the request of the U.S., and was not known until just before Khrushchev's death in 1971, the resolution was seen as a great defeat for the Soviets, and contributed to Khrushchev's fall less than two years later.
He has been the President of Russia since May 2012. He previously served as President from 2000 to 2008, and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.
For 16 years Putin served as an officer in the KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before he retired to enter politics in his native Saint Petersburg in 1991. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration where he rose quickly, becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999 when Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly. He won the subsequent 2000 presidential election and was re-elected in 2004. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits, he was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term in 2008. Dmitry Medvedev won the 2008 presidential election and appointed Putin as Prime Minister, beginning a period of so-called "tandemocracy". In September 2011, following a change in the law extending the presidential term from four years to six, he announced that he would seek a third, non-consecutive term as President in the 2012 presidential election, an announcement which led to large-scale protests in many Russian cities.
During his first premiership and presidency (1999-2008), real incomes increased by a factor of 2.5, real wages more than tripled; unemployment and poverty more than halved, and the Russians' self-assessed life satisfaction rose significantly.
In 2014 Russia was excluded from the G8 group as a result of its annexation of Crimea.
The tenth and current Prime Minister of Russia. He previously served as the third President of Russia, from 2008 to 2012. When he took office at the age of 42, he was the youngest of the three Russian Presidents who have served.
In November 1999, he was hired in the Russian presidential administration, where he worked as deputy chief of staff. In the 2000 Presidential elections, he was Putin's campaign manager. On 10 December 2007, he was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by four political parties. His candidacy was backed by the popular outgoing President Vladimir Putin, giving a significant boost to his popularity. Although he did not run for a second term as President, he was appointed Prime Minister by Putin, who won the 2012 presidential election.
Widely regarded as more liberal than his predecessor, his top agenda as President was a wide-ranging modernisation programme, aiming at modernising Russia's economy and society, and lessening the country's reliance on oil and gas. During his tenure, Russia emerged victorious in the Russo-Georgian War and recovered from the Great Recession. Recognising corruption as one of Russia's most severe problems, he has launched an anti-corruption campaign and initiated a substantial law enforcement reform. In foreign policy, his main achievements include the signing of the New START treaty, a "reset" of Russia-United States relations, which were severely strained following Russia's war with Georgia, as well as increasing Russia's cooperation with the BRICS-countries, and gaining Russia's admission into the WTO in 2011.
A Russian writer, philosopher and political thinker who primarily wrote novels and short stories. He was a master of realistic fiction and is widely considered one of the world's greatest novelists. He is best known for two long novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).
His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Bevel.
War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events surrounding the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families.
Anna Karenina is commonly thought to explore the themes of hypocrisy, jealousy, faith, fidelity, family, marriage, society, progress, carnal desire and passion, and the agrarian connection to land in contrast to the lifestyles of the city. She also says one of the novel's key messages is that "no one may build their happiness on another's pain."
The Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death in 1584. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one thousand million acres. He managed countless changes in the progression from a medieval state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first ruler to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russians.
His mental illness increased in severity with his age, and the second period of his reign saw the deterioration of his mental state and consequently, his rule. In one such outburst, he killed his groomed and chosen heir. His legacy is complex: he was an able diplomat, a patron of arts and trade, founder of Russia's first Print Yard, a leader highly popular among the common people of Russia, but he is also remembered for his paranoia and arguably harsh treatment of the nobility.
The most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762 until her death in 1796. Her reign was called Russia's golden age. She came to power following a coup d'état and the assassination of her husband, Peter III, at the end of the Seven Years' War. Russia was revitalized under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognized as one of the great powers of Europe.
In the east, Russia started to colonize Alaska, establishing Russian America. An admirer of Peter the Great, she continued to modernize Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and economy continued to depend on serfdom, and the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs. This was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev's Rebellion of cossacks and peasants.
A notable example of enlightened despot, a correspondent of Voltaire and an amateur opera librettist, she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, when the Smolny Institute, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, was established.
The Emperor of Russia from 1855 until his assassination in 1881.
He was the most successful Russian reformer since Peter the Great. His most important achievement was the emancipation of serfs in 1861, for which he became known as ______ the Liberator The tsar was responsible for numerous other reforms including reorganizing the judicial system, setting up elected local judges, abolishing capital punishment, promoting local self-government through the zemstvo system, imposing universal military service, ending some of the privileges of the nobility, and promoting the universities. Despite these reforms, during his reign, his brutal secret police, known as the Third Section, sent thousands of dissidents into exile in Siberia.
In foreign policy, he sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, fearing the remote colony would fall into British hands if there was another war. He sought peace, moved away from bellicose France when Napoleon III fell in 1871, and in 1872 joined with Germany and Austria in the League of the Three Emperors that stabilized the European situation. Among his greatest domestic challenges was an uprising in Poland in 1863, to which he responded by stripping that land of its separate Constitution and incorporating it directly into Russia.
A Russian physician, dramaturge and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. He practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."
He renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action he offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text."
His originality consists in an early use of the stream-of-consciousness technique, later adopted by James Joyce and other modernists, combined with a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure. He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them.
A philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece (Athens) and an influential figure in philosophy, central in Western philosophy. He was Socrates' student, Aristotle's teacher, and founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.
He is noted for his use of dialectic which is the process of eliciting the truth by means of questions aimed at opening out what is already implicitly known, or at exposing the contradictions and muddles of an opponent's position.
He wrote many 'dialogues,' one of which was 'The Republic,' which written around 380 BC, concerns the definition of justice, the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. It includes the theory of forms, allegory of the cave, analogy of the divided line, myth of Er, ring of gyges, and idea of the philosopher king.
(384-322 BC) a Greek philosopher and scientist, his writings cover many subjects - including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government - and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. Shortly after his mentor Plato died, he left Athens and, at the request of Philip of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great between 356 and 323 BCE. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, he "was the first genuine scientist in history"
Teaching Alexander the Great gave him many opportunities and an abundance of supplies. He established a library in the Lyceum which aided in the production of many of his hundreds of books. The fact that he was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views of Platonism, but, following Plato's death, he immersed himself in empirical studies and shifted from Platonism to empiricism. He believed all peoples' concepts and all of their knowledge was ultimately based on perception.
His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. Though he wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues - Cicero described his literary style as "a river of gold" - it is thought that only around a third of his original output has survived.
A comic playwright of ancient Athens (446-386 BC). Eleven of his thirty plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and they are used to define the genre. Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, he has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries; Plato singled out his play The Clouds as slander that contributed to the trial and subsequent condemning to death of Socrates although other satirical playwrights had also caricatured the philosopher. His second play, The Babylonians (now lost), was denounced by the demagogue Cleon as a slander against the Athenian polis. It is possible that the case was argued in court but details of the trial are not recorded and he caricatured Cleon mercilessly in his subsequent plays, especially The Knights, the first of many plays that he directed himself.
Works: The Birds, Lysistrata, Wealth
A Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist (106-43 BC). He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.
His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. Petrarch's rediscovery of his letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture.
Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, he believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and he suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, he championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death he became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently killed in 43 BC.
(1823-1878) An American politician most notable for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York City and State. At the height of his influence, he was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railroad, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel.
He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852 and the New York County Board of Supervisors in 1858, the year he became the head of the Tammany Hall political machine. He was also elected to the New York State Senate in 1867, but his greatest influence came from being an appointed member of a number of boards and commissions, his control over political patronage in New York City through Tammany, and his ability to ensure the loyalty of voters through jobs he could create and dispense on city-related projects.
His ring at its height was an 'engineering marvel', strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.
He convicted for stealing an amount estimated by an aldermen's committee in 1877 at between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, although later estimates ranged as high as $200 million. Unable to make bail, he escaped from jail once, but was returned to custody. He died in the Ludlow Street Jail.
An American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer.
One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century (50s & 60s), he was nicknamed the "King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assuredness. He was a member of the "Rat Pack," with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. He was the host of the television variety program The ___ ____ Show and The ___ ____ Celebrity Roast.
His relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare", and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".
A king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon (356-323 BC). Succeeded his father, Philip II, to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, until by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders.
During his youth, he was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. When he succeeded his father to the throne in 336 BC, after Philip was assassinated, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. He died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.
His legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name.
The first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed. He is often described as the father of tragedy. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict amongst them, whereas previously characters had interacted only with the chorus.
Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived into modern times, and there is a longstanding debate about his authorship of one of these plays, Prometheus Bound. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotes and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus. He was probably the first dramatist to present plays as a trilogy; his Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, & The Eumenides) is the only ancient example of the form to have survived.
At least one of his works was influenced by the Persian invasion of Greece, which took place during his lifetime. This play, The Persians, is the only extant classical Greek tragedy concerned with recent history and it is a useful source of information about that period. So important was the war to him and the Greeks that, upon his death, around 456 BC, his epitaph commemorated his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon rather than his success as a playwright.
(497-406 BC) One of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. According to the Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia, he wrote 123 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost 50 years, he was the most-fêted playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in around 30 competitions, won perhaps 24, and was never judged lower than second place.
He influenced the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. He also developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights.
(480-406 BC) One of the three great tragedians of classical Athens. According to the Suda he wrote 92 plays. Of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived more or less complete.
He is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. He also became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown.
He was also unique among the writers of ancient Athens for the sympathy he demonstrated towards all victims of society, including women. His conservative male audiences were frequently shocked by the 'heresies' he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea:
Sooner would I stand
Three times to face their battles, shield in hand,
Than bear one child!
His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being frequently lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was eventually put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, he chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia.
An Ancient Greek (Syracuse) mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer (287-212 BC). Generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time, he anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying concepts of infinitesimals and the method of exhaustion to derive and rigorously prove a range of geometrical theorems, including the area of a circle, the surface area and volume of a sphere, and the area under a parabola. Other mathematical achievements include deriving an accurate approximation of pi, defining and investigating the spiral bearing his name, and creating a system using exponentiation for expressing very large numbers. He was also one of the first to apply mathematics to physical phenomena, founding hydrostatics and statics, including an explanation of the principle of the lever. He is credited with designing innovative machines, such as his screw pump, compound pulleys, and defensive war machines to protect his native Syracuse from invasion.
He died during the Siege of Syracuse when he was killed by a Roman soldier despite orders that he should not be harmed.
A prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens (384-322 BC).
He devoted his most productive years to opposing Macedon's expansion. He idealized his city and strove throughout his life to restore Athens's supremacy and motivate his compatriots against Philip II of Macedon. He sought to preserve his city's freedom and to establish an alliance against Macedon, in an unsuccessful attempt to impede Philip's plans to expand his influence southward by conquering all the other Greek states. After Philip's death, Demosthenes played a leading part in his city's uprising against the new King of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed and the revolt was met with a harsh Macedonian reaction. To prevent a similar revolt against his own rule, Alexander's successor in this region, Antipater, sent his men to track him down. Demosthenes took his own life, in order to avoid being arrested.
In modern history, orators such as Henry Clay would mimic his technique. His ideas and principles survived, influencing prominent politicians and movements of our times. Hence, he constituted a source of inspiration for the authors of the Federalist Papers and for the major orators of the French Revolution. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was among those who idealized and wrote a book about him. For his part, Friedrich Nietzsche often composed his sentences according to the paradigms of Demosthenes, whose style he admired.
"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."
"Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master."
An American economist at the Brookings Institution who served two terms as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States from 2006 to 2014 (appointed by Bush 43). During his tenure as chairman, he oversaw the Federal Reserve's response to the late-2000s financial crisis.
After an unexpected market collapse in 2008 he stabilized markets and restored a large measure of investor and public confidence. In his effort to stabilize the economy, he took the central bank into unprecedented territory.
At the beginning of his term he followed the advice of Paul Krugman to promote a housing bubble to offset the dot-com crash.
As Fed transcripts show, he was the board's intellectual leader in its decision to cut the fed-funds rate to 1% in June 2003 and keep it there for a year. This was despite a rapidly accelerating economy (3.8% growth in 2004) and soaring commodity and real-estate prices. The Fed's multiyear policy of negative real interest rates produced a credit mania that led to the housing bubble and bust.
From the safe distance of hindsight, it's easy to forget how rapid and widespread the financial panic was. The Fed had to offset the collapse in the velocity of money with an increase in its supply, and it did so with force and dispatch. One can disagree with the Fed's special guarantee programs, but we weren't sitting in the financial polar vortex at the time.
Which brings us to the Fed's performance since the panic ended and "recovery" began in mid-2009. These include his unprecedented bond-buying, the huge expansion in the Fed's balance sheet, and the near-zero interest rate policy now into its 62nd month.
All of this flowed from his belief, as a student of the Great depression, that the Fed's foremost goal was avoiding any premature tightening after a financial meltdown. His defenders say he has done so without the inflation that some of his critics predicted.
A man from Mecca who unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. Believed by Muslims and Bahá'ís to be a messenger and prophet of God, he is almost universally considered by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God to mankind. While non-Muslims regard him as the founder of Islam, Muslims consider him to have restored the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.
Born in about 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. After his childhood he primarily worked as a merchant. At age 40, he reported that he was visited by Gabriel and received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event he started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him is the only way acceptable to God, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as other Islamic prophets.
He gained few followers early on, and met hostility from some Meccan tribes. To escape persecution, he and his followers in Mecca migrated to Medina in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, he united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. After eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, he gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The attack went largely uncontested and he took over the city with little bloodshed. He destroyed the pagan idols in the city and sent his followers out to destroy all remaining pagan temples in Eastern Arabia. In 632, he fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity.
The revelations which he reported receiving until his death form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, his teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira literature, are also upheld by Muslims and used as sources of Islamic law.
One of Muhammad's wives. The majority of traditional hadith sources state that she was married to Muhammad at the age of six or seven, but she stayed in her parents' home until the age of nine, or ten when the marriage was consummated with Muhammad, then 53, in Medina.
She had an important role in early Islamic history, both during Muhammad's life and after his death. In Sunni tradition, she is thought to be scholarly and inquisitive. She contributed to the spread of Muhammad's message and served the Muslim community for 44 years after his death. She is also known for narrating 2210 hadiths, not just on matters related to the Prophet's private life, but also on topics such as inheritance, pilgrimage, and eschatology.
Her father, Abu Bakr, became the first caliph to succeed Muhammad. During the time of the third caliph Uthman, she had a leading part in the opposition that grew against him, though she did not agree either with those responsible for his assassination nor with the party of Ali. During the reign of Ali, she wanted to avenge Uthman's death, which she attempted to do in the Battle of the Camel. She participated in the battle by giving speeches and leading troops on the back of her camel. She ended up losing the battle, and afterwards, she lived quietly in Medina for more than twenty years, took no part in politics, and became reconciled to Ali.
A companion of Muhammad, he succeeded Abu Bakr to become the 2nd Rashid of the Rashidun Caliphate in 634. He was an expert Islamic jurist and is best known for his pious and just nature He is sometimes referred to as ____ I by historians of Islam, since a later ___yyad caliph, _____ II, also bore that name.
In 610 Muhammad started preaching the message of Islam. He resolved to defend the traditional, polytheistic religion of Arabia. He was adamant and cruel in opposing Muhammad and very prominent in persecuting the Muslims. He later decided to assassinate Muhammad and was en route to complete that task in 616 when he converted to Islam.
He fought in Muhammad's war and was a disciple, and became a chief adviser to Abu Bakr who appointed him as Caliph upon his death. Under him, the Rashidun Caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate, ruling the whole Sasanian Empire and more than two thirds of the Byzantine Empire. His attacks against the Sassanid Persian Empire resulted in the conquest of Persia in fewer than two years. According to Jewish tradition, he set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed them into Jerusalem and to worship.
In 644, at zenith of his power, he was assassinated by Persians in response to the Muslim conquest of Persia
The cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. A son of Abu Talib, he was also the first male who accepted Islam (at the age of 12). Sunnis consider him the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided caliphs) ruling from 656 to 661. Shias regard him as the first Imam after Muḥammad, and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of whom are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Ummah (Muslim community) into the Sunni and Shi`i branches.
He was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle. He migrated to Medina shortly after Muhammad did. Once there Muhammad told him that Allah had ordered Muhammad to give his daughter, Fatimah, to him in marriage.
He was appointed Caliph by the Companions of Muhammad (the Sahaba) in Medina after the assassination of Uthman. He encountered defiance and civil war during his reign. In 661, he was attacked one morning while praying in the Great Masjid of Al-Kufah, and died two days later.
The First Fitna, 656-661, followed the assassination of Uthman, was ended by Muawiyah's assumption of the caliphate. This civil war (often called the Fitna) is regretted as the end of the early unity of the Islamic ummah (nation)
He holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad.
The son of Ali and Fatimah, younger brother of Hasan, & the third Shia Imam.
He refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph because he considered the rule of the Umayyads unjust. As a consequence, he left Medina, his home town, and traveled to Mecca. There, the people of Kufa sent letters to him, asking his help and pledging their allegiance to him. So he traveled toward Kufa. At Karbala his caravan was intercepted by Yazid's army. He was killed and beheaded in the Battle of Karbala in 680 along with most of his family and companions. The annual memorial for him, his family, his children and his As'haab (companions) is called Ashura (tenth day of Muharram) and is a day of mourning for Shia Muslims.
In the long term, the cruel killings at Karbala became an example of the brutality of the Umayyads and fueled the later Shiite movements. Anger at his death was turned into a rallying cry that helped undermine and ultimately overthrow the Umayyad Caliphate.
A former United States Army psychiatrist and Medical Corps officer (Major) who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on November 5, 2009. At his court-martial in 2013, he admitted to the shootings, and was unanimously recommended for the death sentence.
He worked as an intern and resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, colleagues and superiors were deeply concerned about his behavior and comments. Two days before the shooting, which occurred less than a month before he was due to deploy to Afghanistan, he gave away many of his belongings to a neighbor.
Prior to the shooting, he had expressed critical views described by colleagues as "anti-American". An investigation conducted by the FBI concluded that his emails with the late Imam Anwar al-Awlaki were related to his authorized professional research and that he was not a threat. The DoD classified the events as "workplace violence". The decision by the Army not to charge him with terrorism was controversial.
His parents emigrated from the West Bank. He joined the United States Army immediately after high school in 1988 and served eight years as an enlisted soldier while attending college. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. He gained admission through a selective process for medical school at USUHS. After earning his medical degree in 2003, he completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He studied for a Master's in Public Health at USUHS with a two-year fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry at the Center for Traumatic Stress at USUHS, which he completed in 2009.
During his time in service he listened to many egregious tales from overseas and asked his supervisors and Army legal advisers how to handle reports of soldier's deeds in Afghanistan and Iraq that disturbed him just days before the shooting. He also was the victim of discrimination and even $1,000 in damage to his vehicle on account of his faith and ethnicity.
A British Conservative politician, writer and aristocrat who twice served as Prime Minister. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party. He is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or "Tory democracy". He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is as of 2014 the only British Prime Minister of Jewish birth.
His father left Judaism after a dispute at his synagogue; young Benjamin became an Anglican at age 12.
He led the party to a majority in the 1874 election. He maintained a close friendship with Queen Victoria, who in 1876 created him Earl of Beaconsfield. His second term was dominated by the Eastern Question—the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire and the desire of other countries, such as Russia, to gain at its expense. In 1878, faced with Russian victories against the Ottomans, he worked at the Congress of Berlin to maintain peace in the Balkans and made terms favourable to Britain which weakened Russia. This diplomatic victory over Russia established him as one of Europe's leading statesmen.
As successful invasions of India generally came through Afghanistan, the British had observed and sometimes intervened there since the 1830s, hoping to keep the Russians out. In 1878 the Russians sent a mission to Kabul; it was not rejected by the Afghans, as the British had hoped. The British then proposed to send their own mission, insisting that the Russians be sent away. The Viceroy, Lord Lytton, concealed his plans to issue this ultimatum from the Prime Minister but went ahead anyway. When the Afghans made no answer, the British advanced against them in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, and under Lord Roberts easily defeated them. The British installed a new ruler, and left a mission and garrison in Kabul
"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."
An American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
A Baptist minister, he became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. He also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. J. Edgar Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's COINTELPRO for the rest of his life.
On October 14, 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he and the SCLC helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches and the following year, he took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, he expanded his focus to include poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam".
In 1968, he was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing him, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting.
He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. _________ Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. (3rd Monday of January each year - around his birthday)
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
1332-1406. An Arab Muslim historiographer and historian, regarded to be among the founding fathers of modern sociology, historiography, and economics.
He is best known for his book The Muqaddimah (known as Prolegomena in Greek). The book influenced 17th-century Ottoman historians to analyze the growth and decline of the Ottoman Empire. 19th-century European scholars also acknowledged the significance of the book and considered him as one of the greatest philosophers to come out of the Muslim world.
Definition of government in the Muqaddimah: "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself"
The concept of "'asabiyyah" (Arabic: 'tribalism', 'clanism', 'communitarism' or in a modern context 'nationalism') is one of the most well-known aspects of the Muqaddimah. It describes the bond of cohesion among humans in a group forming community. The bond, Asabiyyah, exists at any level of civilization, from nomadic society to states and empires. It is most strong in the nomadic phase, and decreases as civilization advances. As this Asabiyyah declines, another more compelling Asabiyyah may take its place; thus, civilizations rise and fall, and history describes these cycles of Asabiyyah as they play out.