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Portal:History

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The History Portal

Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), often considered the "father of history"

History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning 'inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation') is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof. Events occurring before written records are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.

History also includes the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.

Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.

Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of 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.

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Map showing Varangian or Rus' settlement (in red) and location of Slavic tribes (in grey), during the mid-ninth century. Khazar influence indicated with blue outline.
The Rus' Khaganate is a name suggested for a polity that flourished during a poorly-documented period in the history of Eastern Europe (roughly the late 8th and early to mid-9th centuries AD). A predecessor to the Rurik Dynasty and the Kievan Rus', the Rus' Khaganate was a state (or a cluster of city-states) set up by a people called Rus', who might have been Norsemen (Vikings, Varangians), in what is today northern Russia. The region's population at that time was composed of Baltic, Slavic, Finnic, Turkic and Norse peoples. The region was also a place of operations for Varangians, eastern Scandinavian adventurers, merchants and pirates.

According to contemporaneous sources, the population centers of the region, which may have included the proto-towns of Holmgard (Novgorod), Aldeigja (Ladoga), Lyubsha, Alaborg, Sarskoye Gorodishche, and Timerevo, were under the rule of a monarch or monarchs using the Old Turkic title Khagan. The Rus' Khaganate period marked the genesis of a distinct Rus' ethnos, and its successor states would include Kievan Rus' and later states from which modern Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine evolved.

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Painting, ca. 1485. An artist's interpretation, since the only portrait for which she is known to have sat has not survived.
Joan of Arc, in French Jeanne d'Arc (French pronunciation: ​[ʒan daʁk]) or Jehanne (c. 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (French: La Pucelle d'Orléans), is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, a peasant family, at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan claimed to have received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief army. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.

On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age.

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The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840 by Benjamin Robert Haydon.jpg

Painting depicting the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention of the Anti-Slavery Society, in Exeter Hall. This was the meeting of the second Anti-Slavery Society, a British organization that was committed to worldwide abolition (the first, focused on English abolition, had dissolved after the Slavery Abolition Act 1833). Many of the leading reformers of the day are depicted here, and the organization persists today.

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June 26: Day of the National Flag in Romania

City centre, Bangui
City centre, Bangui

Robert the Lotharingian (d. 1095) · Abner Doubleday (b. 1819) · Violette Szabo (b. 1921)

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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?

— Winston Churchill, British statesman

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War

"War is not a pathology that, with proper hygiene and treatment, can be wholly prevented. War is a natural condition of the State, which was organized in order to be an effective instrument of violence on behalf of society. Wars are like deaths, which, while they can be postponed, will come when they will come and cannot be finally avoided."
Philip Bobbitt

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