Welcome to For History Lovers

As Machiavelli once said "Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results." It is these passions that we search for while delving into our history, a way of connecting to the great men and women who came before us. We reach back and learn from their mistakes and victories and gain a sense of belonging to the great cycle of life. For History Lovers is a place to explore our past and debate on the significance of major and minor historical events.

What do you think is the greatest architectural accomplishment of the ancient world?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who Were The Hashshashin?

Thursday, July 22, 2010
To the Crusaders they were the Assassins, a fearsome sect of skilled Muslims that were  capable of killing a man in broad daylight and escaping  unharmed, and to the powerful Abbasid Caliphate they were mad men who allowed Hashish to throw them into murderous rages. The Hashshashin were established in 1090 with the building of a fortress at Alamut by Hassan-i Sabbah who was known to his followers as the Old Man. At the beginning their primary objective  was to destroy the Abbasid Caliphate by quietly executing it's most powerful members, however, when the Crusaders arrived they tried to maintain a balance of power between their enemies. Like assassins today they became hit men, killing people for hire especially if it would be beneficial to their order.  The Hashshashin were a highly trained group of sleeper commandos due mostly because of their lack of numbers  and political support. They were incredibly intelligent with each member studying, trade, science, philosophy and several different languages. Because of this they were able to infiltrate their enemies ranks and kill or intimidate their target. Their most effective form of intimidation would be to leave a dagger on their targets pillow as they slept as a sign that they weren't even safe among their own men. The Hashshashin finally met their match in 1256 when after attacking several of their strongholds, the Mongol Empire besieged Alamut.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

This Week in History July 5-11

Monday, July 5, 2010
  • JULY 5, 1921- The several Chicago White Sox players that were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series were put on trial. The Sox were underpaid by owner Charles Comiskey and two gamblers, Josep Sullivan and Arnold Rothstein offered players a small sum of money to throw the games. But when the gamblers refused to play the players, they could do nothing but complain and eventually the media got hold of the story. The players who became known as "The Black Sox" were all eventually acquitted, however, when judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis became commissioner he barred them from baseball.
  • JULY 6, 1942- Thirteen year old Anne Frank and her family seek refuge in a sealed off area of a warehouse in Amsterdam. The family had moved to Amsterdam from their home in Germany in 1933 to escape the Nazis. It was during her time in Holland that she began writing down her observations and thoughts of the world around her. After the war, her diary was found where she had been hiding, translated into English and published. It would become an instant best seller and would eventually be published in over 30 languages.
  • JULY 7, 1942- Heinrich Himmler, the architect of the Holocaust, decides to begin conducting medical experiments on the Jews that were held in Auschwitz. Most of the experiments were conducted on women but they tried to determine if you could use x-rays to castrate men. Hitler completely endorsed Himmler's plan on the one condition that it be kept top secret.
  • JULY 8, 1918- American writer Ernest Hemingway is wounded while carrying a companion to safety during World War I. His actions as a Red Cross ambulance driver during the war would earn him the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery. He would go on to become one of America's most treasured writers and would draw on his experiences of the war for his work.
  • JULY 9, 1948- At the age of 42, Leroy "Satchel" Paige made his debut for the Cleveland Indians of the newly integrated American League. At the time he was the most expensive pitcher in the United States. That year Paige would help lead his team to win the World Series. In 1965, Paige would become the oldest major league pitcher in the history of the game at the age of 59 years, 2 months and 18 days.
  • JULY 10, 1925- The Scopes Monkey Trial begins when high school teacher John Thomas Scopes is accused of violating Tennessee state law by teaching evolution in his classroom. On July 21, the jury came back with a guilty verdict. In 1927, the verdict was overturned, but the constitutional issues remained unresolved until 1968.
  • JULY 11, 1804- Vice President Aaron Burr shoots his main political rival, Alexander Hamilton during a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Burr shot Hamilton in the stomach and the bullet lodged beside his spine. He was taken back to New York but died from his injuries the next day. Burr was charged for murder but because he was the Vice President at the time he was immune from prosecution.

Temple Magic in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece was a mixing pot of different cultures, and thus also different religions. Each temple in a city was on its own and the more worshipers you could attract the richer the temple and the priests would become. Therefore to attract more devotees the priests would use a variety of machines to inspire awe and earn donations. Because machines like these were only available at the temples, people would believe that that particular temple was supported by the god that it represented. Many of these machines used complex principles that are not uncommon in the modern world, such as automation, magnetics, hydraulics and pneumatics. Some of the known devices include talking statues, thunder machines, automatic doors, floating chariots, an amphora that turned water into wine, and statues that performed a great array of apparent miracles. So who built all these machines? Some of the greatest scholars of their time, however, the two most prominent temple magicians were Heron of Alexandria and Phylo of Byzantium.

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