On This Day
447 – A powerful earthquake destroys large portions of the Walls of Constantinople, including 57 towers.
The Walls of Constantinople (Greek: Τείχη της Κωνσταντινούπολεως) are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople (today Istanbul in Turkey) since its founding as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. With numerous additions and modifications during their history, they were the last great fortification system of antiquity, and one of the most complex and elaborate systems ever built.
Initially built by Constantine the Great, the walls surrounded the new city on all sides, protecting it against attack from both sea and land. As the city grew, the famous double line of the Theodosian Walls was built in the 5th century. Although the other sections of the walls were less elaborate, they were, when well-manned, almost impregnable for any medieval besieger. They saved the city, and the Byzantine Empire with it, during sieges by the Avar-Sassanian coalition, Arabs, Rus’, and Bulgars, among others. The advent of gunpowder siege cannons rendered the fortifications vulnerable, but cannon technology was not sufficiently advanced to capture the city on its own, and the walls could be repaired between reloading. Ultimately, the city fell from the sheer weight of numbers of the Ottoman forces on 29 May 1453 after a two-month siege.
The walls were largely maintained intact during most of the Ottoman period until sections began to be dismantled in the 19th century, as the city outgrew its medieval boundaries. Despite lack of maintenance, many parts of the walls survived and are still standing today. A large-scale restoration program has been underway since the 1980s.
335 – Athanasius is banished to Trier, on the charge that he prevented a grain fleet from sailing to Constantinople.
Athanasius I of Alexandria[note 1] (c. 296–298 – 2 May 373), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor, or, among Coptic Christians, Athanasius the Apostolic, was a Coptic church father and the 20th pope of Alexandria (as Athanasius I). His intermittent episcopacy spanned 45 years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373), of which over 17 encompassed five exiles, when he was replaced on the order of four different Roman emperors. Athanasius was a Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian Christian leader of the fourth century.
Conflict with Arius and Arianism, as well as with successive Roman emperors, shaped Athanasius’ career. In 325, at age 27, Athanasius began his leading role against the Arians as a deacon and assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria during the First Council of Nicaea. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great had convened the council in May–August 325 to address the Arian position that the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is of a distinct substance from the Father. Three years after that council, Athanasius succeeded his mentor as pope of Alexandria. In addition to the conflict with the Arians (including powerful and influential Arian churchmen led by Eusebius of Nicomedia), he struggled against the Emperors Constantine, Constantius II, Julian the Apostate and Valens. He was known as Athanasius Contra Mundum (Latin for ‘Athanasius Against the World’).
Nonetheless, within a few years of his death, Gregory of Nazianzus called him the “Pillar of the Church”. His writings were well regarded by subsequent Church fathers in the West and the East, who noted their devotion to the Word-become-man, pastoral concern and interest in monasticism. Athanasius is considered one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in the Catholic Church. In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius was the first person to list the 27 books of the New Testament canon that are in use today. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism.
960 – Battle of Andrassos: Byzantines under Leo Phokas the Younger score a crushing victory over the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla.The Battle of Andrassos or Adrassos was fought on 8 November 960 between the Byzantines, led by Leo Phokas the Younger, and the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo under the emir Sayf al-Dawla. It was fought in an unidentified mountain pass in the Taurus Mountains.
Sayf al-Dawla had established an emirate based in Aleppo in 945, and quickly emerged as the main Muslim antagonist of the Byzantine Empire on its eastern frontier. Both sides launched raids and counter-raids with alternating success: the Hamdanids invading the Byzantine provinces of Asia Minor, and the Byzantines raiding Hamdanid possessions in Upper Mesopotamia and northern Syria.
In mid-960, taking advantage of the absence of much of the Byzantine army on campaign against the Emirate of Crete, the Hamdanid prince launched another invasion of Asia Minor, and raided deeply and widely into the region of Cappadocia. On his return, however, his army was ambushed by Leo Phokas at the pass of Andrassos. Sayf al-Dawla himself barely escaped, but his army was annihilated.
Following a series of Byzantine successes in the previous years, the battle of Andrassos is considered by many scholars to have finally broken the power of the Hamdanid emirate. Having lost much of his strength, and increasingly beset by illness, Sayf al-Dawla would never again be able to raid as deeply into Byzantine territories. Led by Leo’s brother Nikephoros Phokas, the Byzantines now launched a sustained offensive that by 969 had conquered Cilicia and northern Syria around Antioch, and resulted in the vassalization of Aleppo itself.
1313 – Louis the Bavarian defeats his cousin Frederick I of Austria at the Battle of Gammelsdorf.
The Battle of Gammelsdorf (German: Schlacht von Gammelsdorf) took place in November 1313. The cause of the skirmish was the guardianship of the underage duke of Lower Bavaria. This was sought by both Duke Louis the Bavarian and Duke Frederick I of Austria. It circled around the question of who would execute tutelage over the minor children of the late Lower Bavarian Dukes, thus also commanding the tremendous economic power of that region. Their Upper Bavarian cousin, Duke Louis, the later Emperor Louis IV, the Bavarian, as agreements within the several branches of the Bavarian line of the House of Wittelsbach determined and as the burghers of the Lower Bavarian cities wanted to see it done, or Duke Frederick I of Austria, the Fair, also Louis’ cousin, both having been raised and educated together in Vienna.
After Louis had militarily occupied the then two most important towns of Bavaria, Landshut and Straubing, the ducal widows decided to call their children’s Austrian cousin for assistance – though in the decade before, Lower Bavaria had bitterly fought Austria over lands, economic resources, and sovereignty.
The Upper Bavarians and troops deputized by the Lower Bavarian towns were led by Duke Louis. While the probably numerically superior nobility or aristocracy and knighthood of Lower Bavaria and the Austrians were led by Duke Frederic.
Finally – though more of a skirmish than a battle – the decisive engagement for control over those fertile, economically attractive lands was fought at Gammelsdorf on 9 November 1313 between Bavaria and Austria.
The weather worked to Louis’ advantage. A thick fog covered the battlefield, so that Louis’s actual strength was hidden from Frederick. Louis’ city militias fought on foot, though others were mounted.
At the end of the day, Louis’ smaller force was victorious. Nonetheless, he did not pursue and destroy Frederick’s defeated fighters, and no names of the fallen nobles were recorded.
Frederick was forced to renounce his tutelage over the Lower Bavarian dukes, and maybe even more important for the man from Munich, he had put a halt on Habsburg desires for annexation of parts of Bavaria for a long time.
A monument stands in memory of the battle near the battlefield.
474 – Emperor Leo II dies after a reign of ten months. He is succeeded by his father Zeno, who becomes sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
Leo II (Greek: Λέων, Leōn; c. 467 – November 474) was briefly Roman emperor in 474. He was the son of Zeno, the Isaurian general and future emperor, and Ariadne, a daughter of the emperor Leo I (r. 457–474), who ruled the Eastern Roman empire. Leo II was made co-emperor with his grandfather Leo I on 17 November 473, and became sole emperor on 18 January 474 after Leo I died of dysentery. His father Zeno was made co-emperor by the Byzantine Senate on 29 January, and they co-ruled for a short time before Leo II died in November 474. The precise date of Leo’s death is unknown.
308 – At Carnuntum, Emperor emeritus Diocletian confers with Galerius, Augustus of the East, and Maximianus, the recently returned former Augustus of the West, in an attempt to end the civil wars of the Tetrarchy.
The Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy were a series of conflicts between the co-emperors of the Roman Empire, starting in 306 AD with the usurpation of Maxentius and the defeat of Severus and ending with the defeat of Licinius at the hands of Constantine I in 324 AD.
Born On This Day
1391 – Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, English politician (d. 1425)
Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, 7th Earl of Ulster (6 November 1391 – 18 January 1425), was an English nobleman and a potential claimant to the throne of England. A great-great-grandson of King Edward III of England, he was heir presumptive to King Richard II of England (both his paternal first cousin twice removed and maternal half grand-uncle) when he was deposed in favour of Henry IV. Edmund Mortimer’s claim to the throne was the basis of rebellions and plots against Henry IV and his son Henry V, and was later taken up by the House of York in the Wars of the Roses, though Mortimer himself was an important and loyal vassal of Henry V and Henry VI. Edmund was the last Earl of March of the Mortimer family.
630 – Constans II, Byzantine emperor (d. 668)
Constans II[a] (Greek: Κώνστας, translit. Kōnstas; 7 November 630 – 15 July 668), nicknamed “the Bearded” (Latin: Pogonatus; Greek: ὁ Πωγωνᾶτος, translit. ho Pōgōnãtos),[b] was the Eastern Roman emperor from 641 to 668. Constans was the last attested emperor to serve as consul, in 642,[c] although the office continued to exist until the reign of Leo VI the Wise (r. 886–912). His religious policy saw him steering a middle line in disputes between the Orthodoxy and Monothelitism by refusing to persecute either and prohibited discussion of the natures of Jesus Christ under the Type of Constans in 648. His reign concided with Muslim invasions under Mu’awiya I in the late 640s to 650s. Constans was the first Roman emperor to visit Rome since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the last emperor to visit Rome while it was still held by the Empire.
1407 – Alain de Coëtivy, French cardinal (d. 1474)
Alain (II) de Coëtivy (8 November 1407 – 4 May 1474) was a prelate from a Breton noble family. He was bishop of Avignon, Uzès, Nîmes and of Dol, titular cardinal of Santa Prassede, then cardinal-bishop of Palestrina and cardinal-bishop of Sabina. Many sources mention him as the Cardinal of Avignon.
Alain de Coëtivy was born at Plounéventer, Léon. His mother was Catherine du Chastel, and her brother was Tanneguy du Chastel, soldier and favorite of Charles VII.
1389 – Isabella of Valois, queen consort of England (d. 1409)
Isabella of France (9 November 1389 – 13 September 1409) was Queen of England as the wife of Richard II, King of England between 1396 and 1399, and Duchess (consort) of Orléans as the wife of Charles, Duke of Orléans from 1406 until her death in 1409. She had been born a princess of France as the daughter of Charles VI, King of France.
745 – Musa al-Kadhim the seventh Shia Imam (d. 799)
Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kazim (Arabic: مُوسَىٰ ٱبْن جَعْفَر ٱلْكَاظِم, romanized: Mūsā ibn Jaʿfar al-Kāẓim), also known as Abū al-Ḥasan, Abū ʿAbd Allāh or Abū Ibrāhīm, was the seventh Imam in Twelver Shia Islam, after his father Ja’far al-Sadiq. He was born in 745 CE in Medina, and his imamate coincided with the reigns of the Abbasid caliphs al-Mansur, al-Hadi, al-Mahdi and Harun al-Rashid. Musa was a seventh generation descendant of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima. He was repeatedly imprisoned and harassed by the caliphs and finally died in 799 at the al-Sindi ibn Shahiq prison of Baghdad, possibly poisoned at the order of Harun. Ali al-Rida, the eighth Twelver Imam, and Fatemah al-Ma’suma were among his children. Al-Kazim was renowned for his piety and is revered by the Sunni as a traditionist and by the Sufi as an ascetic.
1050 – Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1106)
Henry IV (German: Heinrich IV; 11 November 1050 – 7 August 1106) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 to 1105, King of Germany from 1054 to 1105, King of Italy and Burgundy from 1056 to 1105, and Duke of Bavaria from 1052 to 1054. He was the son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor—the second monarch of the Salian dynasty—and Agnes of Poitou. After his father’s death on 5 October 1056, Henry was placed under his mother’s guardianship. She made grants to German aristocrats to secure their support. Unlike her late husband, she could not control the election of the popes, thus the idea of the “liberty of the Church” strengthened during her rule. Taking advantage of her weakness, Archbishop Anno II of Cologne kidnapped Henry in April 1062. He administered Germany until Henry came of age in 1065.
Henry endeavoured to recover the royal estates that had been lost during his minority. He employed low-ranking officials to carry out his new policies, causing discontent in Saxony and Thuringia. Henry crushed a riot in Saxony in 1069 and overcame the rebellion of the Saxon aristocrat Otto of Nordheim in 1071. The appointment of commoners to high office offended German aristocrats, and many of them withdrew from Henry’s court. He insisted on his royal prerogative to appoint bishops and abbots, although the reformist clerics condemned this practice as simony (a forbidden sale of church offices). Pope Alexander II blamed Henry’s advisors for his acts and excommunicated them in early 1073. Henry’s conflicts with the Holy See and the German dukes weakened his position and the Saxons rose up in open rebellion in the summer of 1074. Taking advantage of a quarrel between the Saxon aristocrats and peasantry, he forced the rebels into submission in October 1075.
Henry adopted an active policy in Italy, alarming Pope Alexander II’s successor, Gregory VII, who threatened him with excommunication for simony. Henry persuaded most of the German bishops to declare the Pope’s election invalid on 24 January 1076. In response, the Pope excommunicated Henry and released his subjects from their allegiance. German aristocrats who were hostile to Henry called for the Pope to hold an assembly in Germany to hear Henry’s case. To prevent the Pope from sitting in judgement on him, Henry went to Italy as far as Canossa to meet with the Pope. His penitential “Walk to Canossa” was a success and Gregory VII had no choice but to absolve him in January 1077. Henry’s German opponents ignored his absolution and elected an antiking, Rudolf of Rheinfelden, on 14 March 1077. The Pope was initially neutral in the two kings’ conflict, enabling Henry to consolidate his position. Henry continued to appoint high-ranking clerics, for which the Pope again excommunicated him on 7 March 1080. Most German and northern Italian bishops remained loyal to Henry and they elected the antipope Clement III. Rudolf of Rheinfelden was killed in battle and his successor, Hermann of Salm, could only exert royal authority in Saxony. From 1081, Henry launched a series of military campaigns to Italy, and Clement III crowned him emperor in Rome on 1 April 1084.
Hermann of Salm died and Henry pacified Saxony with the local aristocrats’ assistance in 1088. He launched an invasion against the pope’s principal Italian ally, Matilda of Tuscany, in 1089. She convinced Henry’s elder son, Conrad II, to take up arms against his father in 1093. Her alliance with Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, prevented Henry’s return to Germany until 1096 when he was reconciled with Welf. After Clement III’s death, Henry did not support new antipopes, but did not make peace with Pope Paschal II. Henry proclaimed the first Reichsfriede (imperial peace) which covered the whole territory of Germany in 1103. His younger son, Henry V, forced him to abdicate on 31 December 1105. He tried to regain his throne with the assistance of Lotharingian aristocrats, but became ill and died without receiving absolution from his excommunication. Henry’s preeminent role in the Investiture Controversy, his “Walk to Canossa” and his conflicts with his sons and wives established his controversial reputation, with some regarding him as the stereotype of a tyrant, and others describing him as an exemplary monarch who protected the poor.
Antenna Web: Which channels can you get?
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I have dedicated myself to the wanton indulgence of my senses.
In 1981 she co-founded Citymeals-on-Wheels, along with the teacher and food writer James Beard, to help fund weekend and holiday meals for homebound elderly people in New York City. She remained an active chair of the company’s board, hosting an annual Power Lunch for Women. Greene received numerous awards for her work with Citymeals and in 1992 was honored as Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She was the winner of the International Association of Cooking Professionals’ magazine writing award (2000) and a Silver Spoon from Food Arts magazine.
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Team Never Quit: First Thought After The Jump With Kevin Hines
“Life is a gift, that is why they call it the present. Cherish it always.”
That’s the mantra of this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast, Kevin Hines.
Kevin attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Miraculously, a sea lion kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. He is one of only thirty-six (less than 1%) to survive that fall. He shares his compelling story of hope, healing, and his will to live with Marcus. His story was featured in the 2006 film The Bridge by film director and producer, Eric Steel. Kevin has inspired millions worldwide in the art of wellness and the ability to survive pain with true resilience. “Be here tomorrow…”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988
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