Justin´s madness forces his abdication. December 7, 574.

  As insanity invaded the mind of Justin, he became aware that he had to name a colleague for succession of his throne. Passing over his own relatives, he raised, on the advice of his wife Sophia, the general Tiberius to be Caesar in December 7 574, adopting him as his son, and withdrew into retirement. According to John of Ephesus, as Justin II slipped into the madness of his final days he was pulled through the palace on a wheeled throne, biting attendants as he passed. He reportedly ordered organ music to be played constantly throughout the palace in an attempt to soothe his frenzied mind. The tardy knowledge of his own impotence determined him to lay down the weight of the diadem; he showed some symptoms of a discerning and even magnanimous spirit when he addressed his assembly, Y...

Napoleon crowns himself French Emperor. December 1, 1804.

  On December 1, 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as French Emperor at Notre Damme Cathedral. He was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, and again briefly in 1815 (during the Hundred Days). Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. One of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon’s political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.  

This Week In History – Commodus Imperator. 27 November 177 AD.

On November 27, 177, Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted his son Commodus the rank of “Imperator” and makes him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions. This marked the start of Commodus´ rule, first as co-emperor with his father, and solely after his father´s death in 180. His accession was the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. He was also the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather (who had adopted his father) as the two preceding emperors. During his solo reign, the Empire enjoyed a period of peace and reduced military conflict compared to his father´s reign but intrigues and conspiracies abounded, leading Commodus to an increasingly dictatorial style of leadership that culminated in a God-like personality cult...

Emperor Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. November 20, 284 AD.

After his rise through the ranks of military until he became the Roman Cavalry Commander to Emperor Carus, when Carus and his son Numerian died on campaign in Persia, Diocletian became emperor on November 20, 284. Of course, Carus surviving son, Carinus also claimed the title, but was defeated in the battle of Margus.  Diocletian´s rule put an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. Diocletian named his fellow officer Maximian co-emperor,  Augustus, in 286. Afterwards, in 293, he named caesars Galerius and Constantius, or heirs of the augustus title. This new regime was called the Tetrarchy, or “government of four”, and it meant the geographical division of the empire into four parts. Diocletian lead military campaigns against Sarmatians, Carpi, Alemanii, and the usurpers in Egypt, securin...

The finding of Tutankhamun´s tomb. 26 November 1922.

After hard years for Howard Carter, with little findings, Lord Carnarvon employed him to supervise Carnarvon´s Egyptian excavations in the Valley of the Kings. He had been introduced by Gaston Maspero, in order to ensure that Carter was able to impose modern archaeological methods and systems of recording. This research was interrupted during the First World War, but they enthusiastically resumed work following the end of the conflict. On early November 1922, Carter’s excavation group found steps that Carter hoped led to Tutankhamun’s tomb (subsequently designated KV62), and he wired his employer, Lord Carnarvon, to come to Egypt. On 26 November 1922, Carter made a “tiny breach in the top left hand corner” of the doorway, with Carnarvon, his daughter Lady Evelyn Her...

The Battle of al-Qadisiyyah. November 19, 636.

The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah , fought in 636, was a decisive battle between the Arab Muslim army and the Sassanid Persian army during the first period of Muslim expansion. It resulted in the Islamic conquest of Persia and was key to the conquest of Iraq, which was a Persian territory at that time. The battle also saw the alleged alliance of Emperor Yazdegerd III with Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, who married his granddaughter Manyanh to Yazdegerd as a symbol of alliance.  

Justin II, new Byzantine emperor. November 15, 565.

In his deathbed, and with Callinicus (the praepositus sacri cubiculi) as the only witness to his last words, Justinian I designated “Justin, Vigilantia´s son” as his heir. Modern historians suspect Callinicus may have made up this last words to secure the succession for his political ally, as there was another nephew, and candidate  for the throne: Justin, son of Germanus. Callinicus, together with other members of the Byzantine Senate also interested in this succession, informed Justin and Vigilantia and offered the throne, wich Justin accepted. Only after the Patriarch of Constantinople crowned the new Augustus early the next morning, was the death of Justinian and the succession of Justin officially announced in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. In the first few days of his reign Justin...

Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma. November 8, 1519.

Upon entering the city of Tenochtitlan, on November 8, 1519, the meeting between Moctezuma and Hernán Cortés took place, with Doña Marina (La Malinche) as translator. Moctezuma II thought Spaniards had been sent by the god that would come from the East (Quetzalcóatl) and so, he was a magnificent host. He even presented Cortés, among other things, with the Headpiece of God Quetzalcóatl, also known as the Moctezuma Crest, wich was sent among other gifts, to the Imperial Spanish Court of Charles V. Moctezuma lodged the Spanish soldiers in the temple of his ancestor Axayácatl (Moctezuma´s father), and they spent the following days visiting palaces and temples as well as the city of Tlatelolco. Upon the request of Cortés of building a catholic chapel, Moctezuma allowed them to do so, inside the...

Lincoln for President. November 6,1860.

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell. He was the first president from the Republican Party. His victory was entirely due to the strength of his support in the North and West; no ballots were cast for him in 10 of the 15 Southern slave states, and he won only two of 996 counties in all the Southern states. As Lincoln’s election became evident, secessionists made clear their intent to leave the Union before he took office the next March. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina took the lead by adopting an ordinance of secession; by February 1, 1861, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed. Six of these states then adopted a constitution and declared themselves to be a soverei...

The Battle of the Milvian Brigde. October 28, 312 AD.

The Battle of the Milvian Bridge took place between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius on October 28, 312. It takes its name from the Milvian Bridge, an important route over the Tiber river. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the battle; his body was later taken from the river and decapitated, and his head was paraded through the streets of Rome on the day following the battle. According to chroniclers, the battle marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity. Eusebius of Caesarea recounts that Constantine and his soldiers had a vision sent by the Christian God.

King Henry VIII, head of the Anglican Church. November 3, 1534.

The First Act of Supremacy was enacted on November 3 1534 in the English Parliament during Henry VIII reign. In this act, the king was proclaimed “the only supreme head on Earth of the Church of England” and that the English crown shall enjoy “all honours, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity.” The Act made the English Reformation official, though it had been building up since 1527, and it asserted the final independence of the Ecclesia Anglicana. The result of this act was a deep crisis of the relationships between England and Rome. Henry VIII´s desire of obtaining the annulment of his marriage with Catharine of Aragon, which had been repeatedly denied by Pope Clement VII (who was under ...

The Peace of Westphalia. October 24, 1648.

  The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster, ending the European wars of religion. These treaties ended the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, between the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies and the Protestant (Sweden, Denmark, Dutch, Holy Roman Principalities) and Catholic (France) Anti-Habsburg allies; and the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch Republic.  

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