On This Day
1097 – First Crusade: Crusaders led by Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, begin the Siege of Antioch.
The siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade in 1097 and 1098, on the crusaders’ way to Jerusalem through Syria. Two sieges took place in succession. The first siege, by the crusaders against the city held by the Seljuk Empire, lasted from 20 October 1097 to 3 June 1098. The second siege, of the crusader-held city by a Seljuk relieving army, lasted three weeks in June 1098, leading to the Battle of Antioch in which the crusaders defeated the relieving army led by Kerbogha. The crusaders then established the Principality of Antioch, ruled by Bohemond of Taranto.
Antioch (modern Antakya) lay in a strategic location on the crusaders’ route to Palestine through the Syrian Coastal mountain range. Supplies, reinforcements and retreat could all be controlled by the city. Anticipating that it would be attacked, the Seljuk governor of the city, Yağısıyan, began stockpiling food and sending requests for help. The Byzantine walls surrounding the city presented a formidable obstacle to its capture, but the leaders of the crusade felt compelled to besiege Antioch anyway.
The crusaders arrived outside the city on 21 October and began the siege. The garrison sortied unsuccessfully on 29 December. After stripping the surrounding area of food, the crusaders were forced to look farther afield for supplies, opening themselves to ambush. On 31 December, a force of 20,000 crusaders encountered a relief army led by Duqaq, ruler of Damascus, heading to Antioch and defeated them. As the siege went on, supplies dwindled and in early 1098 one in seven of the crusaders was dying from starvation, and people began deserting.
A second relief force, this time under the command of Duqaq’s brother Ridwan, emir of Aleppo, advanced towards Antioch, arriving on 9 February. Like the army of Duqaq before, it was defeated. Antioch was captured on 3 June, although the citadel remained in the hands of the Muslim defenders. Kerbogha, atabeg of Mosul, began the second siege, against the crusaders who had occupied Antioch, which lasted from 7 to 28 June 1098. The second siege ended when the crusaders exited the city to engage Kerbogha’s army in battle and succeeded in defeating them. On seeing the Muslim army routed, the defenders remaining in the citadel surrendered.
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794 – Emperor Kanmu relocates the Japanese capital to Heian-kyō (now Kyoto).
Heian-kyō (平安京, lit. “peaceful/tranquil capital”) was one of several former names for the city now known as Kyoto. It was the official capital of Japan for over one thousand years, from 794 to 1868 with an interruption in 1180.
Emperor Kanmu established it as the capital in 794, moving the Imperial Court there from nearby Nagaoka-kyō at the recommendation of his advisor Wake no Kiyomaro and marking the beginning of the Heian period of Japanese history. According to modern scholarship, the city is thought to have been modelled after the urban planning for the Tang dynasty Chinese capital of Chang’an (modern-day Xi’an). It remained the chief political center until 1185, when the samurai Minamoto clan defeated the Taira clan in the Genpei War, moving administration of national affairs to Kamakura and establishing the Kamakura shogunate.
Though political power would be wielded by the samurai class over the course of three different shogunates, Heian remained the site of the Imperial Court and seat of Imperial power, and thus remained the official capital. In fact, even after the seat of Imperial power was moved to Tokyo in 1868, since there is no law which makes Tokyo the capital, there is a view that Kyoto legally or officially remains the capital even today.
In 1994, Kyoto City held various events commemorating its 1200th anniversary.
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42 BC – Liberators’ civil war: Mark Antony and Octavian decisively defeat an army under Brutus in the second part of the Battle of Philippi, with Brutus committing suicide and ending the civil war.
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian (of the Second Triumvirate) and the leaders of Julius Caesar’s assassination, Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia. The Second Triumvirate declared the civil war ostensibly to avenge Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, but the underlying cause was a long-brewing conflict between the so-called Optimates and the so-called Populares.
The battle, involving up to 200,000 men in one of the largest of the Roman civil wars, consisted of two engagements in the plain west of the ancient city of Philippi. The first occurred in the first week of October; Brutus faced Octavian, and Antony’s forces fought those of Cassius. The Roman armies fought poorly, with low discipline, nonexistent tactical coordination and amateurish lack of command experience evident in abundance with neither side able to exploit opportunities as they developed. At first, Brutus pushed back Octavian and entered his legions’ camp. However, to the south, Cassius was defeated by Antony and committed suicide after hearing a false report that Brutus had also failed. Brutus rallied Cassius’s remaining troops, and both sides ordered their army to retreat to their camps with their spoils. The battle was essentially a draw but for Cassius’s suicide. A second encounter, on 23 October, finished off Brutus’s forces after a hard-fought battle. He committed suicide in turn, leaving the triumvirate in control of the Roman Republic.
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AD 69 – In the Second Battle of Bedriacum, troops loyal to Vespasian defeat those of Emperor Vitellius.
Second Battle of Bedriacum
Meanwhile, the legions stationed in the Middle East provinces of Judaea and Syria had acclaimed Vespasian as emperor. Vespasian had been given a special command in Judaea by Nero in 67 with the task of putting down the First Jewish–Roman War. He gained the support of the governor of Syria, Gaius Licinius Mucianus and a strong force drawn from the Judaean and Syrian legions marched on Rome under the command of Mucianus.
Before the eastern legions could reach Rome, the Danubian legions of the provinces of Raetia and Moesia also acclaimed Vespasian as emperor in August. Three of these legions, III Gallica, VIII Augusta, and VII Claudia had been on their way to support Otho when they heard of his defeat at the first battle of Bedriacum. They had been made to swear allegiance to Vitellius, but when they heard of Vespasian’s bid for power they switched their support to him.[clarification needed] They persuaded the other two legions, VII Galbiana and XIII Gemina to join them, which the XIII Gemina did all the more readily as they were one of the legions which had been defeated at First Bedriacum, and had been made to build amphitheatres for Valens and Caecina as punishment. Led by the commanding officer of the VII Galbiana, Marcus Antonius Primus, they marched on Rome, and having a shorter distance to march reached Italy before Mucianus’ troops.
When Vitellius heard of Antonius’ approach, he dispatched Caecina with a powerful army composed of XXI Rapax, V Alaudae, I Italica, and XXII Primigenia together with detachments from seven other legions and a force of auxiliaries. The first of Antonius’ legions had arrived at Verona, but though urged to attack them before the remainder of the army arrived, Caecina declined to do so. Caecina had been plotting with Sextus Lucilius Bassus, commander of the Classis Ravennas, the Roman fleet at Ravenna, to switch their support to Vespasian. His troops refused to follow his lead however, and put him in chains. Valens, who had been delayed by illness, had by now set out from Rome.
Caecina’s army, now without their general, advanced on Cremona. Antonius was now based at Bedriacum, and advanced towards Cremona with a force of cavalry. They encountered the vanguard of the Vitellian army between Bedriacum and Cremona on 24 October and a battle followed, with Antonius sending back to Bedriacum for the legions. Antonius’ troops had the better of the fighting, and the Vitellian troops retreated to their camp outside Cremona.
Antonius’ forces advanced along the Via Postumia towards Cremona. They were opposed by a powerful Vitellian army, who had been reinforced by other legions including Legion IV Macedonica, but were still without a commander as Valens had not yet arrived. By now night had fallen and the battle continued through the hours of darkness. The VII Galbiana, Antonius’ own legion, suffered heavy casualties and lost its eagle for a while, though one of its centurions later sacrificed his own life to win it back. Eventually Antonius’ forces began to gain the upper hand, and the turning point came when dawn broke. Antonius’ III Gallica had served in Syria for many years and while there had adopted a local custom. As the sun rose, they saluted it with cheers; this was misinterpreted by the Vitellian forces, who thought that they were greeting reinforcements from the east and lost heart. The Vitellian forces were driven back into their camp, which was taken by Antonius’ forces. Antonius then attacked Cremona itself, which surrendered. Cremona was sacked and then burned by the victorious troops. Antonius was embarrassed by the episode and forbade the keeping of Cremonans as slaves, resulting in many being murdered by their captors to evade punishment.
Antonius continued to Rome, where Vitellius was taken prisoner and shortly afterwards killed. The way was thus cleared for Vespasian to ascend the throne near the end of this bloody year of crisis.
Born On This Day
1449 – George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, Irish-English son of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (d. 1478)
George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence (21 October 1449 – 18 February 1478), was the 6th son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the brother of English kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle between rival factions of the Plantagenets now known as the Wars of the Roses.
Though a member of the House of York, he switched sides to support the Lancastrians, before reverting to the Yorkists. He was later convicted of treason against his brother, Edward IV, and was executed. He appears as a character in William Shakespeare’s plays Henry VI, Part 3 and Richard III, in which his death is attributed to the machinations of Richard.
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955 – Qian Weijun, king of Wuyue (d. 991)
Qian Weijun (錢惟濬) (October 22, 955 – 991), courtesy name Yuchuan (禹川), formally Prince Anxi of Bin (邠安僖王, “peaceful and careful”), was the heir apparent to Qian Chu (King Zhongyi), the fifth and last king of Wuyue of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. After Wuyue’s absorption into its suzerain Song, he continued to serve Song until his death at age 35/36.
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1006 – Wen Yanbo, Chinese grand chancellor (d. 1097)
Wen Yanbo (23 October 1006 – 16 June 1097), courtesy name Kuanfu, was a scholar-official of the Song dynasty who served four emperors over more than five decades. He was a grand councilor during Emperor Renzong’s reign.
During Emperor Renzong’s reign
After passing the imperial examination in 1027, Wen Yanbo first became the magistrate of Yicheng County. Later he was appointed controller-general (通判) of Jiang Prefecture. Eventually he arrived in the capital Kaifeng to serve under Emperor Renzong, first as an investigating censor (監察御史) and later as a palace censor (殿中侍御史).
In 1038, Tangut people in Song’s northwestern region declared their independence, naming their state Xia (known in history as Western Xia) and invaded Song. Wen Yanbo suggested to Emperor Renzong that marshals in the front line should be given independent authorities to discipline subordinate generals for desertion and cowardice. The rule had been that marshals needed permission from the imperial court first, in order to carry out such orders. Wen argued that this rule may only be implemented during peaceful times, because during times of war, enforcement of military law and concentration of military power is of utmost importance to military commanders. Emperor Renzong took his advice and praised him.
In 1040, Western Xia army attacked Yan Prefecture. General Liu Ping (劉平) went to reinforce the city, but was ambushed and trapped in a hill. Liu sent urgent messages asking another general Huang Dehe (黃德和) to reinforce him, but Huang was afraid and deserted in the opposite direction. As a result Liu was captured, and Huang told the emperor that Liu defected, even bribing Liu’s servant to corroborate his claims. Emperor Renzong sent Wen Yanbo to Hezhong to judge the case. After careful examinations, Wen discovered the truth, but Huang, who had many “connections” in the capital, attempted to discredit Wen’s findings. As a result, Emperor Renzong sent another official, Pang Ji, to re-investigate the case. Wen told Pang that he should go back as the case was already closed. Eventually Pang accepted Wen’s findings and executed both Huang and Liu’s servant.
1378 – David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay heir to the throne of Scotland (d. 1402)
David Stewart (24 October 1378 – 26 March 1402) was heir apparent to the throne of Scotland from 1390 and the first Duke of Rothesay from 1398. He was named after his great-great-uncle, David II of Scotland, and also held the titles of Earl of Atholl (1398–1402) and Earl of Carrick (1390–1402). He shares with his uncle and arch-rival, Robert Stewart, first Duke of Albany, the distinction of being first dukes to be created in the Scottish peerage. David never became king. His marriage to Mary Douglas, daughter of Archibald the Grim, the third Earl of Douglas, was without issue.
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NASA: Astronomy Picture of the Day
By Ernie Smith, Tedium: UHF 2.0 In a world of overwhelming media conglomerates, do regular folks have a shot at building TV for themselves anymore? In one rural Georgia mountain town, the answer is yes.
Rare Historical Photos: The day when a B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City, 1945
Rare Historical Photos: Stunning vintage photos of the Marine Angel vessel transiting the Chicago River, 1953
Open Culture: The Making of Modern Ukraine: A Free Online Course from Yale Professor Timothy Snyder; All of the Different Kinds of Acoustic Guitars, and the Different Woods They’re Made Of: The Ultimate Acoustic Guitar Guide and more->
Wickersham’s Conscience: Big Psittacidae
By MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. DCXXI): Queen Maud the sportswoman; Is that the Statue of Liberty Hiding in Plain Sight in Milan?; The tomb of Rudolph Nureyev, the famous Russian ballet dancer, near Paris; The legend of Naica, the Witch Capital of the World; A website dedicated buildings & vehicles inspired by bubbles; A French bakery describes the difference between a Macaroon, a Macaron and President Macron; A Documentary about that time France Built a Replica of Paris in WWI and more ->
Law&Crime Network: Oxford High School Shooter Pleads Guilty to All Charges Without a Deal with Prosecution
On Monday, Ethan Crumbley pled guilty to 24 felony charges in connection to the Oxford High School shooting in Michigan on November 30, 2021.
By Creative Mom CZ: Zombie Pumpkin Cake – Eat It Before It Eats You!
Just the Recipe: Paste the URL to any recipe, click submit, and it’ll return literally JUST the recipe- no ads, no life story of the writer, no nothing EXCEPT the recipe.
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