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The History Channel - Encyclopedia
Category: History and Culture > History
Date & country: 02/12/2007, UK
Words: 28072


Artemis
In Greek mythology, the goddess of chastity, all young creatures, the Moon, and the hunt (Roman Diana). She was the daughter of Zeus and the Titaness Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was...

Artevelde, Jacob van
(c. 1295-1345) Flemish patriot. During the revolt against Count Louis 1337, he led the insurgents. He allied with Edward III of England against the king of France during the Hundred Years' War, and assisted at the...

Artevelde, Philip van
(c. 1340-1382) Flemish patriot. Son of Jacob van Artevelde, he led the people of Ghent in a revolt 1381 against Count Louis II de Male (died 1384). Artevelde defeated...

artha
In Hinduism, prosperity arising from economic development according to religious principles, one of the four aims of material life prescribed in Hindu scripture. These aims are dharma (religion),...

Arthur
(lived 6th century) Semi-legendary Romano-British warleader who led British resistance against the Saxons, Picts, and Scots in the first half of the 6th century. He was probably a warlord rather than a king. He...

Arthur, Chester Alan
(1830-1886) 21st president of the USA 1881-85, a Republican. In 1880 he was chosen as James Garfield's vice-president, and was his successor when Garfield was assassinated the following year. His...

Arthur, Duke of Brittany
(1187-1203) Grandson of Henry II of England and nephew of King John. As a rival for the throne, Arthur was taken prisoner by John and died in Rouen, France, possibly murdered at John's instigation. ...

Arthur, Owen (Seymour)
(1949) Barbadian centre-left politician, prime minister from 1994. In 1993 he succeeded Henry Forde as leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and led the party to a landslide victory in September...

Arthur, Prince of Wales
(1486-1502) Eldest son of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York. He was made Prince of Wales 1489, and married Catherine of Aragón 1501, when they were both 15, but died the next year, allegedly without...

Arthur, Timothy Shay
(1809-1885) US writer. He was the author of moral and domestic tales, notably Ten Nights in a Bar Room (1854), and founded Arthur's Home Magazine in (1853). ...

arti
In Hinduism, a primary ritual for worship of the sacred image in a temple. A ghee (clarified butter) lamp, incense, flowers, and water are offered before...

articles of association
In the UK, the rules governing the relationship between a registered company, its members (the shareholders), and its directors. The articles of association are deposited with the Registrar of...

Articles, Lords of
See Lords of the Articles. ...

Artigas, José Gervasio
(1764-1850) Uruguayan independence campaigner. Artigas became governor of Montevideo 1815 but soon fell out with the Buenos Aires regime because it lacked commitment to his province's liberation. Although he...

artillery
Collective term for military firearms too heavy to be carried. Artillery can be mounted on tracks, wheels, ships, or aeroplanes and includes cannons and rocket launchers. ...

Artois
Former province of northern France, bounded by Flanders and Picardie and almost corresponding with the modern département of Pas-de-Calais. Its capital was Arras. Its Latin name Artesium lent...

Artois, Battle of
In World War I, French offensive north of Arras during May-July 1915. It was intended to hold German forces in France and prevent their movement to the Eastern Front. Although the French advance...

Arts and Crafts Movement
English social and aesthetic movement of the late 19th century that stressed the importance of manual skills and the dignity of labour. It expressed a rejection of Victorian industrialization and...

Arts Councils
UK organizations that support music, drama, dance, visual arts, and literature with government and National Lottery funds. They came into being in April 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain,...

arts festival
Programme of events and performances either promoting a single or a combination of art forms. Arts festivals vary in size, content, and duration, but all share the general objectives of staging and...

Artzybasheff, Boris
(1899-1965) Russian-born illustrator. Artzybasheff emigrated to the USA and worked as an engraver, illustrator, and set designer. Known for his illustrations of books for adults and children, such as his...

Arundel Marbles
Major portion of an important Greek chronicle discovered on the island of Paros. The author's intention was to list the main events of Athens from the period of Cecrops (a mythical king, attributed...

Arundel, Thomas Howard
(1586-1646) English politician and patron of the arts. Succeeded to earldom 1595. The Arundel Marbles, part of his collection of Italian sculptures, were given to Oxford University in 1667 by...

Arup, Ove
(1895-1988) Danish civil engineer. He founded the British-based architectural practice, Arup Associates, a firm noted for the considered and elegant manner in which modern materials, especially concrete, are...

Arval Brethren
Body of priests in ancient Rome who offered annual sacrifices to the lares or divinities of the fields to ensure a good harvest. They formed a college of 12 priests, and their chief...

Arverni
Gallic people who inhabited the ancient French province of Auvergne. In 52 BC their capital, Gregovia, was successfully defended against Caesar by Vercingetorix. After their defeat at Alesia, in the...

Arya Samaj
Hindu religious sect founded by Dayanand Saraswati (1825-1888) in about 1875. He renounced idol worship and urged a return to the purer principles of the Vedas (Hindu scriptures). For its time the...

Aryan
The hypothetical parent language of an ancient people believed to have lived between Central Asia and Eastern Europe and to have reached Persia and India in one direction and Europe in another, some...

Arzú, Irigoyen Alvaro
(1947) Guatemalan politician, president 1996-1999. He served briefly as minister of foreign affairs in 1991, before resigning to become secretary general of the National Advancement Party (PAN). As the...

asa
Abbreviation for Association of South East Asia (1961-67), replaced by ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ...

Asachi, Gheorghe
(1788-1869) Romanian teacher and writer. He was a leading figure in the Romanian cultural renaissance of the early 19th century. In 1813 Asachi introduced Romanian as the language of...

Asam
(lived 18th century) Family of German baroque artists and decorators. They included Hans Georg (d. 1696), whose work consisted of frescoes and oil-paintings, and his two sons Cosmas Damian (c. 1686-1742), a painter,...

Asanuma, Inejiro
(1898-1960) Japanese politician, leader of the Japan Socialist Party. In 1946 he was elected to the lower house of the Diet (parliament) in the first post-war election and repeatedly thereafter. He was...

Asaph, St
(lived 7th century AD) Welsh ecclesiastic who was active c.570. He is thought to have been the first bishop of Llanelwy, which was thereafter known by his name. His feast is on 1 May. ...

ASAT
Acronym for antisatellite weapon. ...

Asbjörnsen, Peter Christen
(1812-1885) Norwegian writer and folklorist. In collaboration with J&osla;rgen Moe, he wrote the collection Norske Folkeeventyr/Norwegian Folk Tales 1841-44. On his own he published Norske Huldreeventyr og...

Asbury, Francis
(1745-1816) English-born US Protestant religious leader. Asbury travelled to America as a Wesleyan missionary in 1771, touring the colonies and the Mississippi territory. He was appointed superintendent of...

Ascania
German dynasty founded in the 12th century by Albert `the Bear`, 1st Margrave of Brandenburg. His castle, near Aschersleben, was called Ascania. ...

Ascanius
In Roman mythology, the son of Aeneas and ancestor of the Julii. He accompanied his father to Italy from Troy, and later founded the city of Alba Longa. ...

Ascension Day
In the Christian calendar, the feast day commemorating Jesus' ascension into heaven. It is the 40th day after Easter. Ten days later is Pentecost, which marks the coming of the Holy...

asceticism
The renunciation of physical pleasure; for example, in eating, drinking, sexuality, and human company. Discomfort or pain may be sought, often for religious reasons. The most acute asceticism is the...

Asch, Sholem
(1880-1957) Polish-born US novelist and dramatist. He wrote in Yiddish from 1904 onwards, beginning with the story `Dos Shtetl/The Little Town`, a classic tragicomedy of life in a small Jewish settlement....

Ascham, Roger
(c. 1515-1568) English scholar and royal tutor. His writings include Toxophilus (1545), a treatise on archery written in dialogue form, and an educational treatise The Scholemaster, published by his widow in 1570....

Asclepiades
(lived 3rd century BC) Greek epigrammist and lyric poet of Samos, after whom the Asclepiad metre was named. His lyrics are rhythmic and musical and he injected new life into the epigram as a poetic form; 45 of his...

Asclepius
In Greek mythology, the god of medicine (Roman Aesculapius); son of Apollo; father of Panacea and Hygieia, goddess of health. His emblem was the caduceus, a winged staff encoiled by two snakes; the...

Ascott
Half-timbered house in Wing, Buckinghamshire, England. The house and its estate of over 100 ha/247 acres were given to the National Trust in 1950 by Mr and Mrs Anthony de Rothschild, together with...

ASEAN
Acronym for Association of South East Asian Nations. ...

Asgard
One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology; dwelling place of Odin and his Aesir (principal warrior gods). Asgard lay above the Earth or Midgard (middle world), and was reached by Bifrost, the...

Ash Wednesday
First day of Lent, the period of fasting in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter....

Ashanti Wars
Four British expeditions 1873-1901 to the interior of modern Ghana to wrest control of trade in West Africa from the indigenous Ashanti people and end the slave trade which...

Ashbee, Charles Robert
(1863-1942) English designer, architect, and writer. He was one of the major figures of the Arts and Crafts Movement. He founded a Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London in 1888, but...

Ashbery, John Lawrence
(1927) US poet and art critic. His collections of poetry - including Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), which won a Pulitzer Prize - are distinguished by their exuberant artifice and strong...

Ashbridge, Elizabeth
(1713-1755) English-born American Quaker. She is remembered for her autobiography Some Account of the Fore-Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge, first published in England 1774. The book is a frank...

Ashby, Margery Irene
(1882-1981) English feminist. She attended the first International Women's Suffrage Congress in Berlin (1904) and subsequently worked with various women's organizations, becoming president of the International...

Ashcan School
Group of US realist painters active about 1908-14. So-called because of their chosen subject matter, the School's central figures were Robert Henri, George Luks, William Glackens, Everett Shinn,...

Ashcroft, John
(1942) US Republican politician and attorney general 2001-04. A deeply religious conservative, who opposes abortion, gun control, voluntary school desegregation, and gay rights, and supports the death...

Ashcroft, Peggy
(1907-1991) English actor. Her Shakespearean roles included Desdemona in Othello (1930) (with Paul Robeson) and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (1935) (with Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud), and she appeared in...

Ashdown House
17th-century house in Oxfordshire, England, 12 km/7 mi east of Swindon. It was given to the National Trust in 1956 by Cornelia, Countess of Craven, whose ancestor, the 1st Lord Craven, built the...

Ashdown, Paddy (Jeremy John Durham)
(1941) British politician, leader of the Liberal Democrat party 1988-99. His party significantly increased its seat holding in the 1997 general election, winning more seats than it had had since the...

Ashford Castle
Victorian baronial castle at Cong, County Mayo, Republic of Ireland. It was built mostly in 1870 by Sir Arthur Guinness on the rump of a house bought by his father in 1855. The designers were James...

Ashi
(352-427) Jewish Talmudic scholar, born in Babylon. Ashi was president of the Academy of Sura, and collected all the Jewish laws, doctrine, and tradition into...

Ashikaga
In Japanese history, the family who held the office of shogun 1338-1573, a period of civil wars. No drama evolved under the patronage of Ashikaga shoguns. Relations with China improved...

Ashingdon, Battle of
Victory on 18 October 1016 of King Canute's Danish army over King Edmund II (`Ironside`) at the village of Ashingdon, Essex. Following the battle, only Wessex remained in English hands and when...

Ashiwi
Alternative name for a member of the American Indian Zuni people. ...

Ashkelon
Ancient city in Israel, one of the five chief cities of the Philistines, and centre of worship of the Philistine fish-god, Dagon. It was the birthplace of Herod the Great, who did...

Ashkenazi
Any Jew of German or Eastern European descent, as opposed to a Sephardi, of Spanish, Portuguese, or North African descent. Ashkenazim developed European customs and the Yiddish language during the...

Ashley, Jack
(1922) British Labour politician. Profoundly deaf since 1967, Ashley campaigned inside and outside Parliament for the deaf and other disability groups. He sat as member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent...

Ashmole, Elias
(1617-1692) English antiquary. His collection forms the basis of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England. He wrote books on alchemy, astrology, and on antiquarian subjects, and amassed a fine library and a...

Ashmolean Museum
Museum of art and antiquities in Oxford, England, founded in 1683 to house the collections given to Oxford University by the historian and antiquary Elias Ashmole. Its collections include European,...

Ashmun, Jehuda
(1794-1828) US colonial agent. A Congregational minister, Ashmun travelled to Liberia in 1822 with returning African-American slaves. He remained in Liberia, becoming the American Colonization Society;s agent...

ashram
Indian community whose members lead a simple life of discipline and self-denial and devote themselves to social service. Noted ashrams are those founded by Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha (near Nagpur,...

ashrama
In Hinduism, the four stages of life that a Hindu may follow or pass through. They are the student (brahmachari), the householder (grihastha), the hermit (vanaprastha), and the...

Ashrawi, Hanan
(1946) Palestinian political leader. She was chief spokesperson of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) delegation at the Madrid peace conference in 1991, but refused to join Yassir Arafat's...

Ashton, Winifred
Real name of English novelist and dramatist Clemence Dane. ...

Ashur
National god of Assyria, and city god of the early capital Ashur. He was a god of war and was depicted shooting an arrow from the bow, enclosed in a circle. The king was considered his high priest. ...

Asiago Plateau, Battles of
In World War I, series of battles between Austrian and Italian forces from November 1917-November 1918 in the mountainous country north of the Venetian plain between the Adige and Piave rivers....

Asian
The native peoples and inhabitants of the continent of Asia, which is the contiguous land mass east of the Ural Mountains, the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia. The region is culturally...

Asian Development Bank
Bank founded in 1966 to stimulate growth in Asia and the Far East by administering direct loans and technical assistance. Members include 30 countries within the region and 14 countries of Western...

Asian Times, The
Weekly newspaper for the Asian community in Britain, covering UK and international news, business, cultural, and other general subject areas. It was established in 1983 and in 1998 had a circulation...

aside
Words in a play spoken to the audience alone, conventionally unheard by the other characters on stage. For example: Cordelia (aside):`What shall Cordelia speak?` Many other characters in...

Asiento, Treaty of
Agreement between the UK and Spain in 1713, whereby British traders were permitted to introduce 144,000 black slaves into the Spanish-American colonies in the course of the following 30 years. In...

Asimov, Isaac
(1920-1992) Russian-born US author and editor of science fiction and nonfiction. He published more than 400 books, including his science fiction novels I, Robot (1950) and the Foundation trilogy (1951-53),...

Aske, Robert
(c. 1500-1537) English lawyer who led the Pilgrimage of Grace 1536, an uprising against the enclosure of common land. He was double-crossed by Henry VIII, who promised various concessions but...

Askew, Anne
(1521-1546) English Protestant martyr. An early convert to the Reformation's doctrines, she was arrested in 1545 on a charge of heresy. After examination and torture on the rack, she was...

Askew, Anthony
(1722-1774) English scholar. He helped to develop public interest in rare manuscripts, scarce editions, and fine copies, and collected an extensive library. His manuscript volume of transcribed...

Askew, Reubin (O'Donovan)
(1928) US governor. AS Florida's governor 1971-79), Askew initiated tax reform, improved the penal system, and established an environmental protection agency. He was a US representative for international...

Askey, Arthur
(1900-1982) English comedian. He made his professional debut in 1924 and became a principal comedian in the summer seasons at seaside resorts, achieving wider recognition on radio with Band Wagon from 1938....

Asoka (or Ashoka)
(lived c. 272-228 BC) Mauryan emperor of India c. 268-232 BC, the greatest of the Mauryan rulers. He inherited an empire covering most of north and south-central India which, at its height, had a population of at...

Aspasia
(lived c. 440 BC) Greek courtesan, the mistress of the Athenian politician Pericles. As a non-Athenian from Miletus, she could not be recognized as his...

Aspel, Michael
(1933) English presenter and chat show host who has presented This Is Your Life since its revival in 1994. He has also presented Family Favourites, Crackerjack, Aspel and Company, and Ask Aspel, all for...

Aspen Lodge
US presidential residence at the country retreat of Camp David. ...

Aspern, Battle of
Austrian victory over Napoleon Bonaparte 21-22 May 1809, his first defeat. The battle took place outside the village of Aspern, northwest of Vienna. Following the French occupation of Vienna,...

Aspertini, Amico
(c. 1475-1552) Bolognese painter and sculptor. Notable works include a series of reredoses and a cycle of frescoes 1508-09 in the Church of San Frediano, in Lucca. As a sculptor he collaborated on...

Aspinall, John Audley Frederick
(1851-1937) English mechanical engineer. While general manager and chief mechanical engineer of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 1899-1919, he designed many types of locomotive and completed one of the...

Aspland, Robert
(1782-1845) English churchman. Aspland joined the Unitarians (see Unitarianism) after being expelled from the Baptist Church, and spent most of his career preaching to the poor in the...

Asplund, (Erik) Gunnar
(1885-1940) Swedish architect. His early work, for example at the Stockholm South Cemetery (1914), was in the neoclassical tradition. Later buildings, such as the Stockholm City Library (1924-7) and the...

Asquith, Herbert Henry
(1852-1928) British Liberal politician, prime minister 1908-16. As chancellor of the Exchequer, he introduced old-age pensions in 1908. He limited the powers of the House of Lords and attempted to give...

Assad, Hafez al
(1930-2000) Syrian Ba'athist politician, president 1971-2000. He became prime minister after a bloodless military coup in 1970. The following year he became the first president to be elected by popular vote....

assassination
Murder, usually of a political, royal, or public person. The term derives from the order of the Assassins, a Muslim sect that, in the 11th and 12th centuries, murdered officials to further its...

Assassins, order of the
Militant offshoot of the Islamic Isma'ili sect 1089-1256, founded by Hassan Sabah (c. 1045-1124). Active in Syria and Persia, they assassinated high officials in every Muslim town to further...