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Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC) is often considered the "father of history"

Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC) is often
considered the "father of history"


History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.

History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.

Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.

Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history," or, by some, the "father of lies." Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.

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The Vijayanagara Empire (also called Karnata Empire, and the Kingdom of Bisnegar by the Portuguese) was based in the Deccan Plateau region in South India. It was established in 1336 by the brothers Harihara I and Bukka Raya I of Sangama Dynasty, members of a pastoralist cowherd community that claimed Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. At its peak it had subjugated almost all of South India's ruling families and the Sultans of the Deccan region thus becoming a notable power. It lasted until 1646, although its power declined after a major military defeat in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 by the combined armies of the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India. The writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernão Nunes, and Niccolò Da Conti, and the literature in local languages provide crucial information about its history. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire's power and wealth.

The empire's legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known of which is the group at Hampi. Different temple building traditions in South and Central India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style. This synthesis inspired architectural innovation in Hindu temples' construction. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation. The empire's patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in the history of Southern India that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor. Read more...
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A statue of Buddha at Borobudur, here depicted in an 1895 hand tinted lantern slide for a magic lantern show. Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Indonesia, and a shrine to Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. This image predates the site's restoration through 1982.

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Malcolm X in March 1964
Malcolm X in March 1964

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Arabic: ٱلْحَاجّ مَالِك ٱلشَّبَازّ‎, romanizedal-Ḥājj Mālik ash-Shabāzz; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and better known as Malcolm X, was an African American Muslim minister, and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his time spent as a vocal spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in Michigan, Malcolm X spent his teenage years living in a series of foster homes after his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. He engaged in several illicit activities there, eventually being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, adopted the name Malcolm X, and quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders after being paroled in 1952. Malcolm X then served as the public face of the organization for a dozen years, where he advocated for black supremacy, black empowerment, and the separation of black and white Americans, and publicly criticized the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration. Malcolm X also expressed pride in some of the Nation's social welfare achievements, namely its free drug rehabilitation program. Throughout his life beginning in the 1950s, Malcolm X endured surveillance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the Nation's supposed links to communism.

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On this day

September 19: First day of Rosh Hashanah (Judaism, 2020, AM 5781); International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Witold Pilecki
Witold Pilecki
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As long as I breathe I hope. As long as I breathe I shall fight for the future, that radiant future, in which man, strong and beautiful, will become master of the drifting stream of his history and will direct it towards the boundless horizons of beauty, joy and happiness!

— Leon Trotsky, 20th century Russian revolutionary

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