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Posts tagged History (406)
Nos 361 to 370
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2 two-part story
Lives of the Saints
The Kingdom of Greece (1832-1973)
The Miracle of Piso Livadi
Three fishermen let their tongues run away with them, and were left counting the cost.

ONE August evening in 1931, three fishermen put into a tiny harbour in Piso Livadi, on the Greek island of Paros.

Wine flowed freely, and the next day’s feast of the Virgin Mary, a day when the whole island honoured the Mother of God, drew their coarsest wit.

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No. 361
Muzio Clementi
Classical History
The Last Gladiator
The people of Rome suddenly turned their back on centuries of ‘sport’ - all because of one harmless old man.

THE Victory Games began harmlessly enough, but soon the gladiators leapt into the arena. Death was all around, while happy crowds punched the air and shouted themselves hoarse.

Suddenly, a frail old man in a tattered robe ran onto the sandy floor, pushing the giant gladiators apart, pleading with them to stop their madness.

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No. 362
Franz Joseph Haydn
Classical History
A Bird in the Hand is Worth...
The Roman Emperor Honorius, so the story goes, had more on his mind than the impending sack of one of Europe’s iconic cities.
From ‘History of the Wars’ by Procopius of Caesarea
(c.500—c.560)

THEY opened the gates, and let Alaric and his army come and go as they pleased; and after plundering the whole city and killing most of the people of Rome, the invaders moved on.

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No. 363
George Frideric Handel
Classical History
Hannibal’s Passage of the Alps
Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps with nearly 50,000 men and 38 elephants is the stuff of legend.

WHEN Hannibal, aged twenty-six, inherited command of the Carthaginian army in Spain, he at once began harassing the town of Saguntum, which was friendly to Rome. Carthage ordered Hannibal to hold off, but his hatred of Rome burned so hot that he disobeyed the order.

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No. 364
Lives of the Saints
Ottoman Empire (1453-1922)
The Sacred Snakes of Kefalonia
Once a year, regular as clockwork, the little snakes slither into the convent for a Feast of the Virgin Mary.

ONE day in 1705, the nuns of a convent on Kefalonia heard that pirates were toiling up the hill, intent on rape and plunder. So they hurried to their chapel, where they kept a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary.

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No. 365
Muzio Clementi
Classical History
Horatius at the Bridge
Horatius Cocles was the last man standing between Rome’s republic and the return of totalitarian government in 509 BC.
Based on a story by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

TARQUIN found a friend in the Etruscan king called Lars Porsena, who brought an army to besiege Rome and restore him to the throne. He advanced towards the gate called Janiculum upon the Tiber, and drove the Romans out of the fort on the other side the river.

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No. 366
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid and the Angel of Light
St Wilfrid finds comfort during his tussle with the King of Northumbria
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

AFTER the King of Northumbria, Ecgfrith, expelled Wilfrid from his place as Bishop of York in 678, Wilfrid went to Rome, and brought back with him a letter of support from the Pope. However, the letter only made the King more angry. He had his sheriff, Osfrith, lock Wilfrid in a deep dungeon where little daylight came, ordering for good measure that no lamps be lit there by night.

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No. 367
Charles H. Ross
King George III (1760-1820)
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose!
(That’s cat-tails, obviously.) And who ever said cats were unpredictable?
By Charles H. Ross
(1835-1897)

ONE broiling hot summer’s day Charles James Fox and the Prince of Wales were lounging up St. James’s street, and Fox laid the Prince a wager that he would see more Cats than his Royal Highness would during their promenade, although the Prince might choose which side of the street he thought fit.

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No. 368
William Herschel
Modern History
Somersett’s Case
James Somersett’s new Christian family used every available means to keep him from slavery.

WHEN Charles Stewart, a customs officer, was in Boston (at that time a town in Massachusetts Bay, a British Crown Colony in America) he purchased an African slave named James Somersett, and brought him back to England. There the young man escaped.

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No. 369
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Modern History
In the Nick of Time
Thomas Lewis was rescued from slavery with only minutes to spare.

AN African boy named Thomas Lewis was snatched at night by two boatmen working for Robert Stapylton, a wealthy plantation-owner from Chelsea. Thomas was gagged with a stick, tied up, and put aboard a ship bound for Jamaica.

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No. 370
Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.
A man born blind is healed by Jesus, but finds himself a social outcast as a result.
John Day of Bristol did not want Christopher Columbus to labour under a misapprehension.
Today, the slave trade is a £150bn global business. Back in the late 18th century, it was making a lot of influential people very rich too, but some in England were determined to stop it.
By Sir Humphry Davy
(1778-1829)
Sir Humphry Davy pleads with Britain’s scientists not to be bought by Napoleon’s gold.

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Polyword ‘Hare’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘move in a zig-zag fashion’ (4), and ‘a 1711 opera by Handel’ (7)?
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.