A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.
|Happy Valentine’s Day!Today is St. Valentine’s Day, the feast day of two Christian martyrs named Valentine: one a priest and physician, the other the Bishop of Terni. Both are purported to have been beheaded on this day. The custom of sending handmade ‘valentines’ to one’s beloved became popular during the 17th century and was first commercialized in the United States in the 1840s.
|1349||2,000 Jews are burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.|
|1400||The deposed Richard II is murdered in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.|
|1549||Maximilian II, brother of the Emperor Charles V, is recognized as the future king of Bohemia.|
|1779||American Loyalists are defeated by Patriots at Kettle Creek, Ga.|
|1797||The Spanish fleet is destroyed by the British under Admiral Jervis (with Nelson in support) at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, off Portugal.|
|1848||James Polk becomes the first U.S. President to be photographed in office by Matthew Brady.|
|1859||Oregon is admitted as the thirty-third state.|
|1870||Esther Morris becomes the world’s first female justice of the peace.|
|1876||Rival inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both apply for patents for the telephone.|
|1900||General Roberts invades South Africa’s Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.|
|1904||The “Missouri Kid” is captured in Kansas.|
|1912||Arizona becomes the 48th state in the Union.|
|1915||Kaiser Wilhelm II invites the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin in order to confer on the war.|
|1918||Warsaw demonstrators protest the transfer of Polish territory to the Ukraine.|
|1920||The League of Women Voters is formed in Chicago in celebration of the imminent ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.|
|1924||Thomas Watson founds International Business Machines Corp.|
|1929||Chicago gang war between Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran culminates with several Moran confederates being gunned down in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.|
|1939||Germany launches the battleship Bismark.|
|1940||Britain announces that all merchant ships will be armed.|
|1942||Japanese paratroopers attack Sumatra. Aidan MacCarthy‘s RAF unit flew to Palembang, in eastern Sumatra, where 30 Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed A-28 Hudson bombers were waiting.|
|1945||800 Allied aircraft firebomb the German city of Dresden. Smaller followup bombing raids last until April with a total death toll of between 35,000 to 130,000 civillians.|
|1945||The siege of Budapest ends as the Soviets take the city. Only 785 German and Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.|
|1949||The United States charges the Soviet Union with interning up to 14 million in labor camps.|
|1955||A Jewish couple loses their fight to adopt Catholic twins as the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on state law.|
|1957||The Georgia state senate outlaws interracial athletics.|
|1965||Malcolm X’s home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.|
|1971||Moscow publicizes a new five-year plan geared to expanding consumer production.|
|1973||The United States and Hanoi set up a group to channel reconstruction aid directly to Hanoi.|
|1979||Armed guerrillas attack the U.S. embassy in Tehran.|
|1985||Vietnamese troops surround the main Khmer Rouge base at Phnom Malai.|
|1989||Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.|
|Born on February 14|
|1760||Richard Allen, first black ordained by a Methodist-Episcopal church.|
|1817||Frederick Douglass, slave, and later, activist and author.|
|1819||Christopher Latham Sholes, inventor of the first practical typewriter.|
|1845||Quinton Hogg, English philanthropist.|
|1859||George Washington Gale Ferris, inventor of the Ferris Wheel.|
|1894||Jack Benny, comedian, radio and television performer…and violinist.|
|1894||Mary Lucinda Cardwell Dawson, founded the National Negro Opera Company (NNOC) and was appointed to President John F. Kennedy’s National Committee on Music.|
Felix was the son of Hermias, a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. He was born on his father’s estate at Nola near Naples, Italy. On the death of his father, Felix distributed his inheritance to … continue reading
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|Coptic architecture is the architecture of the Copts, who form the majority of Christians in Egypt.
Coptic churches range from great cathedrals like Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to the smallest churches in rural villages. Many ancient monasteries like Monastery of Saint Anthony survive. Ancient churches like the Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo carry important historical value to the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Copts in general.
Origin and influenceSome authorities trace the origins of Coptic architecture to Ancient Egyptian architecture, seeing a similarity between the plan of ancient Egyptian temples, progressing from an outer courtyard to a hidden inner sanctuary to that of Coptic churches, with an outer narthex or porch, and (in later buildings) a sanctuary hidden behind an iconostasis. Others see the earliest Coptic churches as progressing, like those of the Byzantine and Roman churches, from the Graeco-Roman basilica. The ruins of the Cathedral at Hermopolis Magna (c.430–40) are the major survival of the single brief period when the Coptic Church represented the official religion of the state in Egypt.
Thus, from its early beginnings Coptic architecture fused indigenous Egyptian building traditions and materials with Graeco-Roman and Christian Byzantine styles. The fertile styles of neighbouring Christian Syria had a greatly increased influence after the 6th century, including the use of stone tympani.
After the Muslim conquest of Egypt, the influence of Coptic art and architecture on Egyptian Islamic architecture and the incorporation of some Coptic features in Islamic building in Egypt can be seen. This can be explained by the fact that the early Muslim rulers of Egypt, much like the Ptolemaic and Byzantine rulers before them, recruited native Egyptians to undertake the building labor. In later centuries, Coptic art and architecture also incorporated motifs inspired by Islamic styles. In particular, very early examples of the pointed arch appear in Coptic churches from the 4th century onwards, and this became a notable feature of Islamic architecture, and may have spread from there to European Gothic architecture, though this whole area remains controversial among architectural historians, with many now seeing the origins among the Assyrians, from whom it spread to Persia, where it joined the Islamic style.
The Coptic Church broke from the other Eastern Orthodox Churches in 451 AD. After that date, the Copts, then a great majority of the Egyptian population, were shunned and often persecuted by their Byzantine rulers until the conquest of Egypt by Islam, after which the slowly declining Coptic population was in a rather precarious position. Coptic architecture therefore lacked the lavish patronage of rulers and the Court, which was directly responsible for most of the important buildings of Byzantine and medieval Catholic architecture. Most buildings are small, conservative in design, and remain closer to vernacular styles. They also have a tendency to massive construction, which is partly a surviving Egyptian taste from the Pharaonic period, partly reflects the need to semi-fortify buildings, partly is an inevitable result of mudbrick construction of large structures, and is also partly to keep them cool in the Egyptian climate.
Well before the break of 451, Egyptian Christianity had pioneered monasticism, with many communities being established in deliberately remote positions, especially in Southern Egypt. The relatively large number of buildings surviving from the early periods of monasticism, from about the 5th century onwards, are one of the most important groups of early Christian buildings to remain, and offer a useful corrective to the Court art of Ravenna or Constantinople. Many very early wall-paintings also survive. Even the ruins of monasteries in many places have survived in a good enough condition to impress the visitor and inform the art historian. Early Coptic architecture is therefore of great importance in the study of Early Christian architecture in general.
Despite the break with the other churches, aspects of the development of the arrangement of Coptic churches have paralleled those in Orthodoxy, such as the emergence of a solid iconostasis to separate the sanctuary, and the West, such as the movement over the centuries of the place of baptism from the narthex or outer porch into the rear of the nave. However the existence of three altars in the sanctuary, sometimes in separate apses, is typically and distinctively Coptic. The altars themselves are always free-standing.
Especially between the Muslim conquest and the 19th century, the external facade of Coptic urban churches is usually plain and discreet, as is the roof-line. Equally the monasteries were often enclosed with high blank walls to defend them from desert raiders during the Middle Ages. However, internally the churches can be ornately decorated, although monumental sculpture of holy figures is avoided as in Orthodoxy.
Many Coptic monasteries and churches scattered throughout Egypt are built of mudbrick on the basilica plan inherited from Graeco-Roman architectural styles. They usually have heavy walls and columns, architraves and barrel-vaulted roofs, and end in a tripartite apse, but many variant plans exist. Domes are small compared to Byzantine churches, and from the 10th-century naves are often roofed with domed cupolas. The dome raised on a circular supporting wall, which is so characteristic of later Byzantine architecture, is rarely used. Massive timber is often used across the nave, sometimes to support a flat roof, and sometimes to give structural strength to the walls. Inside the churches are richly decorated with frescoed murals and reliefs.
The screen known as the iconostasis separating the sanctuary from the main body of the church is one of the main features of any Coptic church. The Coptic iconostasis is usually less completely composed of icons than the Eastern Orthodox one, although there will always be several. It is very often an open-work screen, usually made of ebony and sometimes inlaid with ivory like that in Saint Mary Church (Harat Zewila). These may be in geometrical patterns comparable to the secular screens which are a feature of traditional Egyptian houses.
The iconostasis of Saint Mary Church in Harat Zewila in Old Cairo, rebuilt after 1321, shows the mixture of stylistic elements in Coptic architecture. The basic plan is that of the basilica, and recycled ancient columns are used. The older woodwork is Islamic in style, as are the Muqarnas in the pendentives, and a Gothic revival rood cross surmounts the iconostasis. This uses Islamic abstract motifs, which is also common. Some screens are pierced rather than solid.
There are many examples of Coptic iconostasis that predate the earliest surviving Eastern and Western counterparts.
Between the 7th and 12th centuries, many churches were built or modified with a distinctive Coptic feature, the khurus, a space running across the whole width of the church separating the naos or nave from the sanctuary, rather as the choir does in Gothic architecture.
Early Coptic buildings contain elaborate and vigorous decorative carving on the capitals of columns, or friezes, some of which include interlace, confronted animals, and other motifs. These are also related to Coptic illuminated manuscripts and fabrics, and are often regarded as significant influences both on early Islamic art, like the Mshatta facade and on the Insular art of the British Isles (which appears to have been in contact with Coptic monasteries. From Insular art these motifs developed into European Romanesque art.
The architecture of many Coptic buildings remains poorly documented, as they become more at risk for abandonment, vandalism, and destruction. Time sensitive architectural and cultural research projects are awaiting initiation.
Examples of significant Coptic architecture include:
#Pope Francis has just arrived at the Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque in Istanbul in a Renault Symbol. #Turkey pic.twitter.com/kCie8xmpaX
— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) November 29, 2014
France: Police Arrest 2 Over Jihadi Propaganda.
Hundreds of French extremists have joined fighters for the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, including young teenagers and families, some from Muslim families and some who are converts. The French government is particularly concerned that extremists will return and stage attacks at home, and is trying to stop them from traveling in the first place.
During the chaotic period that followed the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, a militia of Islamic fundamentalist students known as the Taliban became increasingly powerful. In 1996, the Taliban captured the capital city of Kabul and declared itself the legitimate government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, establishing a strict Islamic regime that became a haven for extremists. Whose assassination two days before the 9/11 attacks of 2001 dealt a blow to the anti-Taliban resistance? More… Discuss
(noun) An immoderate, fanatical, or extremely zealous adherent to a cause, especially a religious one.
Jane, who had dabbled in vegetarianism during high school, became an environmental zealot while in college. Discuss.
The Mamluks were members of a warrior caste that ruled Egypt from about 1250 to 1517. Islamic rulers created the caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys, grooming them as cavalry soldiers, and converting them to Islam during training. The Mamluks initially served the Ayyubid sultans but grew powerful enough to challenge them and claim the sultanate. Though the Ottomans crushed the Mamluks and took Cairo in 1517, the word “mamluk” lives on in various cultures today. What meanings does it have? More… Discuss
The Incoherence of the Philosophers is a landmark 11th-century text by al-Ghazali of the rational-based Asharite school of Muslim theology. In it, he criticizes the Avicennian school of Islamic philosophy, accusing its followers of being irreligious. Among al-Ghazali’s 20 charges against them is their inability to prove the existence of God and inability to prove the impossibility of the existence of two gods. Who refuted al-Ghazali’s views with The Incoherence of the Incoherence? More…Discuss
In 661 CE, the first Islamic dynasty rose to prominence and sought to extend its power. The Muslims, seeking control of Aquitaine, were met by Charles Martel‘s Frankish forces, who were able to halt them at the Battle of Tours. It was not a decisive victory, but the Arabs retreated after their leader was killed, and some historians deem it a watershed moment in preserving Christianity in Europe. The battle greatly enhanced Martel’s prestige at the time. What nickname was bestowed on him? More… Discuss