Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
For thousands of years China has been ruled by a vast amout of dynasties. While some ruled for centuries and others for decades, all have had an impact upon the histopry and culture of this ancient society. Below are listed the major dynasties, there were others and all have detailed histories that exceed the limited nature of this posting.
Great Wall, repression of knowledge/philosophy, creates imperial plan of rule; although
the shortest dynasty, so firm is Qin’s legacy of imperial control that China is forever named for
the 1st Emperor: Qin Shi Huang-di.
mechanical clock (1088), compass (1100), medical encyclopedia (1111), Windmill
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Mandate of Heaven is the divine (God ('s) given) right to rule the Middle Kingdom given to the Emperor, it is given based on four principles:
- The right to rule is granted by Heaven (realm of the Jade Emperor).
- There is only one Heaven therefore there can be only one ruler.
- The right to rule is based on the high virtue (Confucian principles of quality of his leadership) of the ruler.
- The right to rule can be passed down to family members of the dynasty but is not limited to one dynasty. (poor quality rulers/dynasties can lose the Mandate of Heaven and be replaced. The mere fact that a leader has been overthrown is itself proof that he has lost the Mandate of Heaven.)
Monday, November 12, 2012
From 218-209 BCE, Hannibal's brilliant tactics out maneuvered the Romans and brought the Republic nearly to its knees. His passage through the Alps and massive defeats of the famed Roman Legions at the battles of Trebia, Lake Trasimene and Cannea (where the Roman Army of over 85,000 was virtually annihilated) are still studied by historians and military experts today. Yet with all his victories the Romans continued to thwart Hannibal's goal of total victory. New armies were raised, improved tactic were installed (including the "Fabian Strategy" where attrition not pitched battles wore the forces of the enemy down), better generals were chosen and the war was taken to the shores of Africa by the Romans.
In his last great battle, at Zama in 202 BCE, Hannibal was finally defeated by a Roman General, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus. Forced to abandon the Carthage he loved, Hannibal fled to the perceived safety of the Eastern Kingdoms, but the long arm of Rome followed him and circa 183 BCE, one of the greatest military leaders in history died by his own hands rather than be taken prisoner by his hated enemies the Romans. He had failed to save Carthage (which would be totally destroyed by Rome in 146 BCE), but through his greatness he earned immortality for himself and the memory of his once great nation.
The greatest secret weapon of Eastern Roman Empire was Greek Fire, a ship born terror weapon that ignited on contact and burned on water. Fired from a brass tube, the flaming liquid was as devastating to morale as it was to the wooden ships of the era. It is thought to have been invented by a Jewish Syrian Engineer named Callinicus (Kallinikos) in the mid 7th century. To keep it from enemy hands, the secret formula was known to a very small number of people (around three) . This is also the reason the formula is unknown today for by the mid 13th century, some tragic event killed all those with the knowledge before it could be passed on.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Helvetii- Confederation Helvetica (Switzerland)
Lombards- Lombardy (Italy)