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Tuesday, 01 March 2016 06:20

This Day in History (11-12-1394)

This Day in History (11-12-1394)

Today is Tuesday; 11th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 21st of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 1, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

2102 solar years ago, on this day in 86 BC, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, as part of the expansionist policies of the Roman Republic, entered Athens at the head of an army to remove the philosopher- king, Aristion, who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus and Armenia Minor. Mithridates, which in Old Persian means “Gift of Mithra” was a prince of mixed Iranian and Greek ancestry, who ruled what is now northern Turkey. He claimed descent from Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Regent Antipater, the Greek General of Alexander of Macedon. As protector of Greece and Hellenistic civilization, he regarded the Romans as barbarians, and fought three wars against them until his defeat and death during his 57-year reign. 

1117 lunar years ago, on this day in 320 AH, the acclaimed Muslim physician, philosopher, and geographer, Ahmad ibn Ja'far ibn al-Jazzar al-Qayrawani, was born in Qayrawan in what is now Tunisia during the rule of Fatemid Ismaeil Shi'ite dynasty of North Africa, and was known in Europe by the Latinized name Algizar. He authored several books on grammar, history, jurisprudence, medicine, prosody, etc. His book on medicine titled “Zaad al-Musafer”, was translated as “The Viaticum” in Latin, and later translated into Greek and Hebrew. It was copied, recopied, and printed in France and Italy till the sixteenth century, and was used in Europe as a medical education text, along with “al-Qanoun fi't-Tibb” (The Canon of Medicine) of the famous Iranian Islamic genius, Abu Ali ibn Sina. Ibn al-Jazzar also wrote a book on sleep disorders and another one on forgetfulness and how to strengthen memory, titled “Kitab an-Nisyaan wa-Ṭuruq Taqwiyat az-Zakira”. He also wrote books on pediatrics, sexual disorders, leprosy, therapeutics and animals.

827 lunar years ago, on this day in 610 AH, the Mu'tazzalite little figure and lexicographer, Burhan od-Din Nasser bin Abdus-Seyyed Matrazi, passed away at the age of 74 in his homeland Khwarazem in Central Asia which was part of Iran. He is known as successor to the famous Iranian exegete of the Holy Qur'an, hadith scholar, and lexicographer, Jarallah Zamakhshari, who passed away in the year that Matrazi was born. His famous book on lexicography is titled “al-Maghreb fi Lughat al-Fiqh”. He wrote numerous other books including a commentary on the Arabic literary masterpiece Maqamaat Hariri”.

756 solar years ago, on this day in 1260 AD, Hulagu Khan’s Mongol’s army, led by his Christian general Kitbuqa, seized Damascus, sixteen days after the sack of Aleppo and two years after the infamous destruction of Baghdad. The Buddhist Mongols and their Armenian and Crusader Allies, desecrated numerous mosques in Damascus and held a Christian Mass in the Grand Omayyad Mosque. The three Christian generals, Kitbuqa the Mongol, the Armenian Hetoum, and Bohemond the European Crusader ruler of occupied Palestine, celebrated their triumph in Damascus slaughtering Muslims and ending the rule of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty of Syria.

454 solar years ago, on this day in 1562 AD, the Bloodbath of Vassy occurred in France when General de Guise allowed members of the Catholic sect of Christianity to massacre 1200 Huguenots (members of the Protestant sect of Christianity), many of them during a church service, marking the start of the French Wars of Religion that lasted till the Edict of Nantes in 1598 (and well beyond), resulting in the killing of over four million people from both the sects. Europe has a bloody record of inter-Christian sectarian conflicts that raged for several centuries, since unlike Islam, Christian denominations have fundamental differences over the nature of God, Prophet Jesus, and the Virgin Mary.

450 solar years ago, on this day in 1565 AD, the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in the colony of Brazil by the Portuguese, on the western shores of Guanabara Bay and was named Sao Sebastiao. Since the Guanabara Bay inlet was the site of the first landing by the Portuguese in 1502 it was named Rio de Janeiro (January River) – a name that stuck to the new city whose proper name Sao Sebastiao was gradually dropped. Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several, mostly French, pirates. In 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro. The kingdom of Portugal's capital was transferred to Rio de Janeiro, which thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived suddenly, many inhabitants were simply evicted from their homes. The Portuguese kidnapped from Africa and forced into slavery in Brazil hundreds of thousands of black people, to the extent that in 1840, the number of these slaves in Rio de Janeiro alone had reached 220,000. When Prince Pedro proclaimed the independence of Brazil in 1822, he decided to keep Rio de Janeiro as the capital of his new empire. Rio continued as the capital of Brazil after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic. It remained the capital of Brazil until the founding of Brasilia as the new capital.

303 solar years ago, on this day in 1713 AD, the siege and destruction of Fort Neoheroka was begun by the British, Dutch, and Germans in North Carolina against the local Amerindians, resulting in the slaughter of almost a thousand Amerindians of the Tuscarora nation and the imprisonment of hundreds of women and children who were sold into slavery in the Caribbean so they could not return to their homeland. The year before, the white men had killed over three hundred Tuscarora people and sold into slavery over a hundred women and children. The 4-year Tuscarora War (1711-to-1715) which resulted in the slaughter of thousands of Amerindians was the bloodiest conflict at the end of which the interior of North Carolina was effectively opened up for European colonization. When the first Europeans arrived in North Carolina in the 1650s, the Tuscarora had lived in peace with them, at a time when nearly every other colony in America was actively involved in some form of conflict with Native Americans. However, the white settlers increasingly encroached on Tuscarora land, raided villages to take slaves, and introduced epidemic diseases. After their defeat, most of the Tuscarora migrated north towards what later became New York where they were joined their Iroquoian cousins, before their ultimate annihilation by the white. The US has a bleak and blood record of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

205 solar years ago, on this day in 1811 AD, leaders of the former Mamluk or slave dynasty were massacred during a banquet at the Cairo citadel by Egypt’s new ruler, the Albanian general, Mohammad Ali Pasha, who had been sent as viceroy to Cairo by the Ottoman Sultan, following the end of Napoleon of France’s brief occupation.  Mohammad Ali modernized Egypt and the dynasty he established lasted till 1952 when King Farouq was overthrown by the military coup of Mohammad Najib and Jamal Abdun-Nasser.

201 solar years ago, on this day in 1815 AD, the 100-day restoration of the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte over France started following his escape from his place of exile, the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea after ten months. Finally, Napoleon was defeated by the combined armies of Britain and Prussia at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, and was deported to the remote Saint Helena Island in the Atlantic Ocean, where he died six years later.

145 solar years ago, on this day in 1871 AD, following the defeat of France by Germany, the French national parliament dethroned Napoleon III and abolished the monarchic system, 67 years after Napoleon Bonaparte had declared himself as emperor by annulling the republican constitution of the French Revolution of 1789.

124 solar years ago, on this day in 1892 AD, the Japanese literary figure and author, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, was born in Tokyo. He is considered as one of the founders of modern literature in Japan. He has left behind a large number of books. He died in 1927.

120 solar years ago, on this day in 1896 AD, Henri Becquerel accidentally discovered radioactivity when he developed a photographic plate he left in a desk drawer with crystals of a uranium compound upon it. He found a fogged image of the uranium crystals resting on it, although the plate was wrapped in heavy black paper. He had left the objects together on 26th February, after postponing his intended experiment on phosphorescent emissions stimulated by the sun. Having being left in darkness, eventually he realized the crystals where not phosphorescing from sunlight. Instead he had found spontaneous and penetrating rays, independent of any input of energy. A glimpse of a new mystery of the atom had been revealed, investigated for years after by other scientists. He shared the 1903 Nobel Prize with Pierre and Marie Curie for their work on radioactivity.

118 solar years ago, on this day in 1898 AD, Puerto Rico Island in the Caribbean Sea was seized by American forces during the 4-year war against Spain. The US annexed this Island to its territory and turned it into a huge arsenal with thirteen military bases.

93 solar years ago, on this day in 1923 AD, Iranian musician, Morteza Hannaneh, was born. For a while, he was conductor of Tehran’s Symphonic Orchestra, and then joined Iran Radio. An expert in classical Iranian music, he died at the age of 67 in 1990. He authored several books, including the translation and commentary of the book “Maqased al-Ilhaan”.

62 solar years ago, on this day in 1954 AD, the Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean by the US, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused, and total vaporization of one of the atolls that disappeared in the over 100-mile wide mushroom cloud. The huge explosion was equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs of the kind the US dropped on Hiroshima. Radioactivity made the bomb site islands an unsafe wasteland for many decades to follow. The US is the world’s most dangerously armed nuclear power with a criminal record of dropping two atomic bombs on Japan in the closing days of World War 2, as a live field test, and is the chief culprit in release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

37 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, Iraqi Kurdish politician, Mullah Mustafa Barzani, while undergoing lung cancer treatment at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. died at the age of 76. His body was flown to Iran from the US and buried in Oshnavieh in Kurdistan Province, where his family was living in exile because of persecution by Iraq’s repressive Ba’th minority regime. In October 1993, Barzani's remains were taken across the border from Iran to Iraqi Kurdistan, to be reburied in his hometown of Barzan. In 1946, he had been chosen as leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). His son, Massoud Barzani, is the current leader of the KDP and was re-elected as the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.


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