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King John Affixes His Seal to the Magna Carta, an Inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights

King John Affixes His Seal to the Magna Carta, an Inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights

"The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history . . . It was written in Magna Carta." --Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1941 Inaugural address On June 15, 1215, in a field at Runnymede, King John affixed his seal to Magna Carta. Confronted by 40 rebellious barons, he consented ...
The House of Wisdom was Destroyed by Hulagu's Army During the Siege of Baghdad

The House of Wisdom was Destroyed by Hulagu’s Army During the Siege of Baghdad

On February 13, 1258, the Mongols entered the city of the caliphs, starting a full week of pillage and destruction. Along with all other libraries in Baghdad, the House of Wisdom was destroyed by Hulagu's army during the Siege of Baghdad. The books from Baghdad's libraries were thrown into the Tigris River in such quantities that ...
The Chilling True Story Behind the Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Chilling True Story Behind the Pied Piper of Hamelin

If you watch enough horror movies, sooner or later you’ll hear a character utter a variation on the phrase, “Every legend has a basis in fact.” Whether or not that statement is true, it is a fact that many of our most outlandish fables and fictions are rooted, at least ...
The Edict of Expulsion: The Expulsion of the Jews by King Edward I was Not Due to their Money Lending Alone but Also Due to Blood Ritual Sacrifices

The Edict of Expulsion: The Expulsion of the Jews by King Edward I was Not Due to their Money Lending Alone but Also Due to Blood Ritual Sacrifices

The Edict of Expulsion was an act of Edward I which expelled all Jews from the kingdom of England. To understand why why Edward acted in this way, you have to go back in history. Biblical exhortations against the lending of money led to an attitude among the inhabitants of ...
Europe's Black Death Kills 50 to 75 Million People

Europe’s Black Death Kills 50 to 75 Million People

Every child learns at school that the Black Death was spread by rats which carried infected fleas. But the textbooks may need to be changed, as a new study suggests rodents have been unfairly blamed for the plague which killed millions of people across medieval Europe. The Black Death, it ...
John Ball, a leader in the Peasants' Revolt, is hung, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England

John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, is hung, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England

John Ball was born in St Albans in about 1340. Twenty years later he was working as a priest in York. He eventually became the priest St James' Church in Colchester. (1) Ball believed it was wrong that some people in England were very rich while others were very poor ...
John Wycliffe, the First to Translate the Entire Bible into English, Dies

John Wycliffe, the First to Translate the Entire Bible into English, Dies

Wycliffe had been born in the hinterlands, on a sheep farm 200 miles from London. He left for Oxford University in 1346, but because of periodic eruptions of the Black Death, he was not able to earn his doctorate until 1372. Nonetheless, by then he was already considered Oxford's leading ...
Battle of Grunwald during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War

Battle of Grunwald during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War

The Battle of Grunwald was one of the most significant battles in medieval European history and was one of the first major successes for the new military tactics and organization of longbow military strategy. Considered one of the largest battles in medieval Europe history, the war was fought between the ...
Religious Reformer, Jan Hus, Burned at the Stake as a Heretic

Religious Reformer, Jan Hus, Burned at the Stake as a Heretic

Jan Hus, a Bohemian religious reformer, was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake for his belief that Christ alone was the head of the church and that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language and in their own homes. Manuscripts of Wycliffe's ...
Joan of Arc Burnt at the Stake in Rouen's Market Square in France

Joan of Arc Burnt at the Stake in Rouen’s Market Square in France

A young peasant girl who could neither read nor write, she followed the voices and visions from God and completely reversed the course of the 100 Year War (with England occupying most cities) and kept France from becoming a colony of England. Greatly celebrated by her own people she was ...

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