The Encyclopedia: One Book’s Quest to Hold the Sum of All Knowledge
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
13h ago
What if one book could contain the sum of mankind’s knowledge? Scholars and chroniclers have tried to write this book since antiquity, penning several so-called universal histories (perhaps the best was Rashid al-Din’s “Compendium of the Chronicles” that was commissioned by a Mongol Empire daughter state in 14th century). This goal was reached in 1768 with the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published in Scotland by Enlightenment thinkers who believed that human thinking could be categorized. It became a fixture of American households in the 19th century and occupied the books ..read more
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How Much Can One Individual Alter History? More and Less Than You Think
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
5d ago
How far can a single leader alter the course of history? Thomas Carlyle, who promoted the Great Man Theory, says that talented leaders are the primary – if not the sole – cause of change. This view has been challenged by social scientists who understand that leaders are not only constrained by their societies, but merely products of them. Whatever this interplay between a personality and his society, it raises the question of whether dictators are as unconstrained as they seem, and if so, how do they attain that power? Today’s guest is Ian Kershaw, author of Personality and Power. We look at ..read more
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The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
1w ago
The most disruptive and transformative event in the Middle Ages wasn’t the Crusades, the Battle of Agincourt, or even the Black Death. It was the Mongol Conquests. Even after his death, Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire grew to become the largest in history—four times the size of Alexander the Great’s and stretching from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. But the extent to which these conquering invasions and subsequent Mongol rule transformed the diverse landscape of the medieval Near East have been understated in our understanding of the modern world. Today’s guest is Nicholas Morton, author of ..read more
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Weather Itself Was WW2's Fiercest Enemy: The Sinking of the USS Macaw
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
1w ago
On January 16, 1944, the submarine rescue vessel USS Macaw ran aground at Midway Atoll while attempting to tow the stranded submarine USS Flier. The Flier was pulled free six days later but another three weeks of salvage efforts plagued by rough seas and equipment failures failed to dislodge the Macaw. On February 12, enormous waves nudged the ship backward into deeper water. As night fell and the Macaw slowly sank, the twenty-two sailors on board—ship's captain Paul W. Burton, his executive officer, and twenty enlisted men—sought refuge in the pilothouse but by the following afternoon, the co ..read more
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A Short History of War
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
2w ago
Some anthropologists once believed that humanity lived in a peaceful state that lacked large-scale warfare before the arrival of large civilizations and all its wealth inequality and manufacture of weapons. But archeological findings have shown over and over that warfare dates back as far as homo sapiens themselves (such as the Bronze Age Battle of Tollense River, about which we known nearly nothing, save that 5,000 soldiers fought each other with primitive weapons). Throughout history, warfare has transformed social, political, cultural, and religious aspects of our lives. We tell tales of wa ..read more
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Stories From 300 British Men Executed For Cowardice During WW1
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
2w ago
Over 300 men were executed by the British Army for desertion and cowardice during the first World War. In this episode preview from Vlogging Through History, host Chris Mowery explores the process for executions and the stories of the men involved. To continue listening to Vlogging Through History, check out: Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3X3USwk Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3WX5A7E Parthenon: https://www.parthenonpodcast.com/vlogging-through-history Discover more episodes of Vlogging Through History: The History of the Medal of Honor: https://apple.co/3iqhU17 / https://spoti.fi/3vLt9V7 The T ..read more
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Daniel Webster -- Perhaps History’s Greatest Orator -- Turned Virginians and New Yorkers Into Americans
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
3w ago
When the United States was founded in 1776, its citizens didn’t think of themselves as “Americans.” They were New Yorkers or Virginians or Pennsylvanians. It was decades later that the seeds of American nationalism—identifying with one’s own nation and supporting its broader interests—began to take root. But what kind of nationalism should Americans embrace? The state-focused and racist nationalism of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson? Or the belief that the U.S. Constitution made all Americans one nation, indivisible, which Daniel Webster and others espoused? Today’s guest is Joel Richard ..read more
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How Ottoman Sultan Suleyman Conquered Most of Europe and the Mediterranean While Avoiding Assassination
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
3w ago
Within a decade and a half, Ottoman Sultan Suleyman, who reigned form 1520 to 1566, held dominion over twenty-five million souls, from Baghdad to the walls of Vienna, and with the help of his brilliant pirate commander Barbarossa placed more Christians than ever before or since under Muslim rule. He launched voyages into the Indian Ocean, threatened to conquer all of Europe, and took firm control over the Mediterranean Sea. And yet the real drama takes place in close-up: in small rooms and whispered conversations, behind the curtain of power. His confidantes include the Greek slave who become ..read more
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Yoga Came to America via an Indian Monk at the 1893 Worlds Fair
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
1M ago
If you are one of the 40 million people in the United States who practice yoga, or if you have ever meditated, you have a forgotten Indian monk named Swami Vivekananda to thank. Few thinkers have had so enduring an impact on both Eastern and Western life as him, the Indian monk who inspired the likes of Freud, Gandhi, and Tagore. Blending science, religion, and politics, Vivekananda introduced Westerners to yoga and the universalist school of Hinduism called Vedanta. His teachings fostered a more tolerant form of mainstream spirituality in Europe and North America and forever changed the Weste ..read more
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A Modern-Day Knight Discusses What Knightly Service Means in 2023 (Essentially, Less Crusading and More Volunteering)
History on the Net
by Scott Rank, PhD
1M ago
In 1348, King Edward III founded a charity for impoverished men-at-arms, who came to be known as the Alms Knights (or Poor Knights). These knights were destitute because their families ransomed them in foreign wars, and their sovereign didn’t see fit to leave them as beggars. He also wanted them to commit to praying for the souls of him and his descendants, setting up a chapel for this very purpose (all part of the Chantry Craze in the 14th century) In 1833, their name was changed by William IV to the Military Knights of Windsor. The order has continued to this day, unbroken for nearly seven h ..read more
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