lunes, 31 de agosto de 2015

August 31: After a sudden and unspecified illness, the Byzantine Empress Theodora Porfirogeneta died in 1056 childless and so ended the Macedonian Dynasty, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, based in Constantinople, now Istanbul.

Theodora, detail of a Byzantine mosaic in the Basilica of Saint Vitale, Ravenna.

The Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, came after the fall of Rome in 476 by Germanic barbarians.

The last of the Roman emperors in the west, Romulus was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer in 476 and became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome. “Barbarians” stayed in Rome until 1453 when the Ottoman Turks invaded Constantinople, and initiated their advance towards central Europe.

Justinian and Theodora, San Vitale, Ravenna 

The capital of the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople, previously Byzantium, and the language they spoke was Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek.

Byzantine mosaic: empress Theodora and a train of court ladies.

The Empire was composed of the current countries: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Libya, San Marino, Tunisia, Malta and parts of Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria and Ukraine.

Map of the Mediterranean World in 530.

domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

August 30: The people of East Timor (Official name:Timor Leste) voted for independence in 1999 through a referendum for independence from Indonesia.

Location of East Timor

The Timor island was conquered and colonized by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and was known as Portuguese Timor until the "Carnation Revolution" in April 1974 when a military coup ended more than 40 years of government "Fascists" in Portugal. Even with the fall of the right-wing government, also the period of Portuguese colonization began.

In late 1975, East Timor declared its independence from Portugal, but the Indonesian dictator Suharto took the opportunity and invaded East Timor, while declaring it as its 27th province.

A demonstration for independence from Indonesia held in Australia during September 1999. Indonesia's occupation of East Timor ...

In 1999, after an event sponsored by the United Nations to self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory, and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century. In fact, on May 20, 2002, East Timor was admitted as a member of the United Nations, in addition to becoming a member of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

... East Timor & Indonesia straddle Oceania & Asia | by

Timor Leste, thus, left behind an era of terror imposed by the dictator Suharto who was determined to annihilate any nationalist movement.

Major language groups in East Timor 

The official name is the Democratic Republic of East Timor. The demonym is Timorese and their form of government is parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government.

An East Timorese in traditional dress

sábado, 29 de agosto de 2015

August 29: The kingdom of Portugal and the United Kingdom of Great Britain recognized the independence of Brazil, on August 29, 1525 by a treaty.

Landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral in Brazil, 1500.

Brazil's independence was the result of political conflicts between Brazilians and Portuguese between 1821 and 1825. In fact, the proclamation of Brazilian independence was on September 7, 1822; but, the international recognition began on August 29, 1825.

"Independence or Death!" Declaration of Brazil's independence by Prince Pedro on 7 September 1822. His Guard of Honor greets him in support while some discard blue and white armbands that represented loyalty to Portugal.

Portugal claimed the territory known as Brazil on April 22, 1500, when navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral arrived in a South American coast, today Brazil. Portuguese colonization began in earnest in 1534 and for the next 300 years to form the present borders of Brazil.

Acclamation of King Dom João VI of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves in Rio de Janeiro , 6 February 1818.

Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1808 for being an ally of the British, thus forcing the nobility of the Braganza family into exile in their Brazilian colony.

Prince Pedro (right) orders Portuguese officer Jorge Avilez (left) to return to Portugal after his failed rebellion on February 8, 1822. José Bonifácio (in civilian clothes) can be seen next to the prince.

The court of Portugal was established in Rio de Janeiro which became the official seat of the Portuguese empire. This settlement resulted in discord between the metropolis and the settlers.

Prince Pedro is surrounded by a cheering crowd in São Paulo after giving the news of the Brazilian independence on 7 September 1822. 

The Regent João VI who represented his incapacitated mother, Queen Maria I, rose Brazil to United Kingdom with Portugal, in December 1815. With the death of his mother, João VI was crowned on February 6, 1818. João VI transferred the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves from Rio to Bahia, in Brazil.

Coronation of Emperor Pedro I on December 1, 1822.

João VI returned to Portugal and left Pedro, his son, in Brazil, to rule the kingdom with the help of some ministers. He was then ordered to return to Europe, but Prince Pedro was supported by his wife Maria Leopoldina of Austria, just as well as Brazilian Liberals. Pedro replied that he would not leave Brazil and sacked the Portuguese generals.

José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, Brazilian politician and "Patriarch of Independence"

Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, better known later as the "Patriarch of Independence" of Brazil supported Prince Pedro from the outset and advised him to break the dependence on the metropolis in Lisbon.

Flag of the First Empire of Brazil, with 19 stars representing the provincies by the time.

Finally, Britain and Portugal recognized the independence of Brazil on August 29, 1825.

viernes, 28 de agosto de 2015

August 28: Today is the anniversary of the occupation of Belgrade, capital of Serbia, during the Ottoman Turkish invasion in 1521.

Ottoman soldiers in the territory of present-day Hungary.

After weakening the Byzantine Empire and capturing Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman Turks continued their expansion through Europe.

Suleiman I's conquests were followed by continuous territorial expansion until the Empire's peak in 1590.

Greece was occupied in 1460 and the Turks continued invading the Balkan Peninsula: Thrace, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina ... until they came to Belgrade on August 28, 1521 and occupied. Belgrade surrendered and with it much of the kingdom of Hungary.

Suleiman in a portrait attributed to Titian c.1530

Turks continued to seek the European conquest and approached Vienna. There they crashed into the Holy Roman Empire.

King John Sigismund of Hungary with Suleiman in 1556.

Suleiman "The Magnificent" had ascended the throne in 1520, and demanded that the King of Hungary undergoes and pay taxes. Louis II of Hungary and most of the Hungarian nobility perished in battle.

The Ottoman Empire was the last of a series of Turkish Muslim empires. It spread from Asia minor beginning about 1300, eventually encompassing most of the Middle East, most of North Africa, and parts of Europe, including modern Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Rumania and Yugoslavia. In the Middle East, the Ottomans ruled Syria, Palestine, Egypt, parts of Arabia and Iraq. Only Persia (Iran) and the Eastern part of the Arabian peninsula remained free of Ottoman rule.  The empire reached around the Black sea and into the Caucasus in Central Asia, including Aremenia. The Ottoman armies reached as far as the gates of Vienna, where they were repulsed for a second time in 1683, the height of their expansion on land. The map above shows the extent of the Ottoman Empire in 1683.

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire territories claimed rights of his wife and failed to halt the Turkish advance due to war high costs, and surrendered definitively.

The Turks were looking to embrace Europe and almost succeeded!

jueves, 27 de agosto de 2015

August 27: Today is the anniversary of the revolt of the port of Toulon, France, against their own country, in 1793. Combined fleets of Spain and Britain invaded southern France through the port of Toulon, as part of the First International Coalition against the French Revolution. There were seven coalitions in total, two against the Revolution itself and five against Napoleon.

As a young artillery officer, Napoleon Bonaparte gained prominence with heroic exploits at Toulon and Paris,
during the French Revolution.

The southern French were "realistic". That is to say, they did not accept the Revolution because they got along well with the absolutist monarchy of what we now call the "Ancient Regime", whose monarchs believed that their kingdoms were a hereditary grace of God, and therefore absolutists. Since the beginning of the Revolution, there were frequent conflicts in Toulon between the workers at the arsenal and the naval officers.

Siege of Toulon (1793) Bonaparte published a pro-republican pamphlet, Le souper de Beaucaire• Bonaparte was appointed artillery commander of the republican forces 

At that time, Napoleon Bonaparte was a young specialist captain of artillery who was sent to Toulon army. However, his superiors were losing ground against Spanish and British marine forces. The young captain asked to be given attention to his proposal which was to collect all the scattered artillery in Southern France and allow him to develop a new strategy with different tactics.

Siege of Toulon Map

French Generals mocked the young Napoleon, but as they were being defeated, they had no choice and let the young and inexperienced captain Bonaparte made his strategic madness, because there was nothing more to lose.

Siege of Toulon Map

In short, Napoleon expelled the invaders with his artillery and subdued them shamefully. He was shot in the thigh, but continued bombarding the Spanish and British ships until their defeated retirement. The Siege of Toulon was over thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon at the Siege of Toulon 1793

The young Napoleon grew up with that success. The young captain saved France from being invaded. So, he became a national hero to the extent that no one in the top armed forces could stand him for his fame. Not even top politicians within the French Revolution who got drunk with envy.

Napoleon at the Siege of Toulon 1793

Nevertheless, the success of the glorious young captain filled with courage the rest of the revolutionary army. Captain Napoleon jumped to Major General when he was 24 years old. That event generated much envy at high political and military leaders. Napoleon became famous and admired by the young French revolutionary nation.

miércoles, 26 de agosto de 2015

August 26: Today is the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen by the Constituent National Assembly of the French Revolution in 1789.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 is a fundamental document of the French Revolution and in the history of human rights.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen), was approved by the Constituent National Assembly of France on August 26, 1789. That Declaration was directly influenced by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who worked out with General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, who, in turn, introduced it to the French.

In the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen mentioned natural rights, it states that sovereignty resides in the nation, and the principle of "three-way division" of powers (legislative, executive and judicial) is established.

Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette.

Furthermore, projecting the following values:

1. Equality (all men are created equal).

2. The defense of freedom of opinion and the press.

3. The judicial equality and equal tax.

4. The law is equal for everyone.

Portrait of Honoré-Gabriel Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau. In August 1789 he played an important role in drafting The Declaration of the Rights of Man.

Louis XVI, king of France, refused to sanction the Declaration, considering a revolutionary text and not accepted other approved August 4, related to new measures imposed to church decrees.

Only a new popular uprising could force the king to take these documents, and this actually occurred, spurred by food shortages and rising prices.

The National Assembly was a transitional body between the Estates-General and the National Constituent Assembly.

On October 5, 1789, a crowd of about seven thousand women from different social classes: workers, shopkeepers, prostitutes and housewives went to the Palace of Versailles, armed with sticks, spears, large bars, and even pistols and muskets, in order to protest before the king to administer the nation from Paris, and they had to. Revolutionary French women shouted: To Versailles, Versailles!

An illustration of the Women's March on Versailles, 5 October 1789.

The King of France was forced to move to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, and had to accept the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the same day.

Ten days later joined the National Assembly. The king also had to accept the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and decrees affecting the Catholic Church.

Shortly after the storming of the Bastille, on 4 August feudalism was abolished and on 26 August, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Postscript: It added that two years later, in 1791, the French pamphlet Olympe de Gouges it occurred writing the “Déclaration des Droits de la Femme et de la Citoyenne” as a women's protest.

Such a Document represents an important historical document for the movement of Women's Liberation.

Olympe de Gouges was a French playwright, revolutionary, and abolitionist. She started becoming politically involved as a writer against slavery and is most well-known for writing the Declaration of the rights of women and the female citizen in response to the French Revolution’s Declaration of the right of man and the citizen, in which she challenged male dominance in the revolutionary movement and the focus of the French revolutionary struggle on men and not women.

Olympe de Gouges is the pseudonym of Marie Gouze, writer, playwright, pamphleteer and French politics, author of the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen.

martes, 25 de agosto de 2015

August 25: The spaceship "Voyager 1" enters interstellar space in 2012. It is the first object built by man that gets through the Solar System with information about the earthling humanity, for if found by other intelligent beings.

Edward C. Stone, former director of NASA JPL, standing in front of a Voyager spacecraft model.

The two spacecraft Pioneer 10 and 11, that preceded the “Voyager 1”, were carrying metal plates that identify the time and place of origin, for the benefit of other space travelers can get to find them in the distant future.

Voyager 1. 

With this example before them, NASA placed more ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is recorded on a phonograph record disc 12-inch gold-plated copper, containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. It is known as the "Golden Record".

Voyager Golden Record.

A committee chaired by the late Dr. Carl Sagan at the University of Cornell and his team gathered 115 images with a variety of natural sounds such as wind, crashing waves, thunder, birds, whales, and other animals.

They additioned musical selections from different cultures and eras; greetings spoken to people on Earth in fifty-five languages; and printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. Each record is enclosed in a protective sheath of aluminum, together with a cartridge and a needle. Instructions, in symbolic language, indicate how the record is played and explaining the origin of the vessel. The 115 images are encoded in analog form.

Voyager 1 entering heliosheath region.

The rest of the disc is audio, designed to be played at 16-2 / 3 rpm. It contains spoken greetings beginning with Akkadian, which was spoken in Sumeria six thousand years ago, and ending with Wu, a modern Chinese dialect.

Sapce exploration. Message Records, Voyager 1.

After the section on the sounds of Earth, there is a 90-minute selection of eclectic music, including both Eastern and Western classic sounds and a variety of ethnic music.

This is a diagram of the heliosphere, the edge of which is called the heliopause. Most astronomers would say that our solar system is defined by a region in space called the heliosphere, which is a kind of magnetic “bubble” that surrounds the sun. It is produced by cosmic rays that stream from the sun and out into interstellar space. When cosmic rays from interstellar space (often called the “interstellar wind”) collide with the bubble, they are diverted. As a result, few interstellar cosmic rays enter our solar system. The edge of this “bubble” is called the heliopause.

The Great Adventure Continues.

The "Voyager 2" must enter into interstellar space in 2016 and with weak radio signals transmitted through 2015, and then continue their way into infinity if it is not captured by any intelligence or destroyed by accidental intergalactic forces.

Where To Next?