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The History Channel - Encyclopedia
Category: History and Culture > History
Date & country: 02/12/2007, UK
Words: 25871


ADB
Abbreviation for Asian Development Bank. ...

Adcock, (Kareen) Fleur
(1934) New Zealand poet, based in England. She has developed a distinctive, unsentimental poetic voice with which she coolly explores contemporary life, love, and personal relationships. Her collections...

Addams, Charles Samuel
(1912-1988) US cartoonist, creator of the ghoulish Addams family featured in the New Yorker magazine. A successful 1960s television comedy series and two feature-length films were based on these cartoons. ...

Addams, Jane
(1860-1935) US social reformer, feminist, and pacifist. In 1889 she founded and led the social settlement of Hull House in the slums of Chicago, Illinois, one of the earliest community welfare centres. She was...

added value
The sales revenue from selling a firm's products less the cost of the materials or purchases used in those products. An increasingly used indicator of relative efficiency within and between firms,...

Addison, Joseph
(1672-1719) English poet and dramatist, and one of the most celebrated of English essayists. In 1704 he commemorated Marlborough's victory at Blenheim in a poem commissioned by the government, `The...

Addled Parliament
The English Parliament that met for two months in 1614 but failed to pass a single bill before being dissolved by James I. The king had grave financial difficulties and disputed frequently with...

Ade, George
(1866-1944) US humorist and playwright. His Fables in Slang (1900) was so successful that he wrote six volumes under various titles. He also wrote novels and plays, including The Country Chairman (1903), The...

Adelaide
(1792-1849) Queen consort of William IV of Great Britain and Ireland. Daughter of...

Adelard of Bath
(lived 12th century) English philosopher and student of mathematics and science. He translated Euclid's Stoicheia/Elements from Arabic into Latin and wrote De Eodem et Diverso/On Identity and Difference (1113-33),...

Adeler, Max
(1847-1915) US writer and journalist. Among his works, mostly humorous, are Out of the Hurly-Burly (1874), Elbow-Room (1876), Random Shots (1879), the novel The Quakeress (1905), and a collection of short...

Adelman, Irma
(1930) Rumanian-born economist. She is best known for developing a system of `factor analysis`, integrating social, political, and economic factors to explain economic growth in developing countries....

ademption
In English law, the revocation or taking away of a grant or legacy. Thus if a testator leaves a specific article or property in his or her will, and before his or her death death the nature of the...

Aden
Main port and commercial centre of Yemen, on a rocky peninsula at the southwest corner of Arabia, commanding the entrance to the Red Sea; population (1995) 562,000. The city's economy is based on...

Adena
Member of a prehistoric American Indian people who lived along the Ohio River Valley, from about 1000 BC to AD 200. One of the Moundbuilder cultures, the Adena are known for their elaborate earth...

Adenauer, Konrad
(1876-1967) German Christian Democrat politician, chancellor of West Germany 1949-63. With the French president Charles de Gaulle he achieved the post-war reconciliation of France and Germany and strongly...

adhan
Muslim call to worship. It is broadcast by a muezzin (caller) from the minaret of a mosque at the five times of daily prayer, nowadays usually through a loudspeaker system. The adhan was given in a...

Adi Granth
The first volume of the Sikh scriptures. It was compiled by the Guru Arjan, and later became known as the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism. ...

adiaphora
Actions considered by the Stoics to lie in the border region between good and evil; in religion, actions and rituals that are considered indifferent or immaterial. The adiaphoristic controversy in...

Adie, Kate
(1945) English television reporter. She has covered the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) national news since 1979, reporting from trouble-spots around the world, and was chief news correspondent...

adjournment
In law, the postponement of the hearing of a case for later consideration. If a hearing is adjourned sine die (`without day`) it is postponed for an indefinite period. If a party requests an...

adjudication, order of
In English law, the order of a court adjudging a debtor a bankrupt and appointing a trust to administer the estate. In Scots law adjudication means a process to attach (lawfully take) the heritable...

adjutant
In military usage, an army officer who assists the officer commanding a battalion or regiment. The adjutant has charge of the correspondence and official records, keeps...

Adler, (Pearl) Polly
(1900-1962) Russian-born madam. Adler opened a house of prostitution in New York City in 1920. Her clients included politicians, gangsters, and vice squad police. Subpoenaed by the Seabury Commission in 1930,...

Adler, Dankmar
(1844-1900) German-born architect. Adler was the engineering and structural expert in his partnership with Louis Sullivan in the late 19th-century. Together they completed 120 buildings, including the...

Adler, Elmer
(1884-1962) US printer. A collector of books and fine prints, he founded Pynson Printers in 1922, and the Colophon: A Book Collector's Quarterly. in 1930. He moved his collection to Princeton University in...

Adler, Mortimer J(erome)
(1902-2001) US philosopher and writer. Adler popularized the great ideas of Western civilization in such works as Great Books of the Western World, 54 vols. (1954,...

Adler, Nathan Marcus
(1803-1890) German-born chief rabbi of the Jews of the British Empire. He was chief rabbi in Oldenburg 1829 and Hannover 1830, and was appointed to the chief rabbinate in London 1845, where he did much to...

Adler, Samuel
(1809-1891) German-born rabbi. In 1857 he came to New York to become rabbi of Temple Emanu-El. He wrote numerous monographs and played a leading role in Reform Judaism; his revision of the prayer book...

Adlergerät
In World War II, German infrared sensor used to detect aircraft at night by the heat emitted from their engines. After detection, searchlights were directed on to the target to guide anti-aircraft...

Admin Box, Battle of the
In World War II, the first major victory over the Japanese for British and Indian troops at Sinzewa, Burma (now Myanmar), in February 1944. The `Admin[istration] Box` was the administrative and...

administration
One of the functions of government by which it implements legislation and policy and operates the governmental system in accordance with a country's constitution and those conventions underlying it....

administrative law
Law concerning the powers and control of government agencies or those agencies granted statutory powers of administration. These powers include those necessary to operate the agency or to implement...

admiral
Highest-ranking naval officer. History, UK In the UK Royal Navy and the US Navy, in descending order, the ranks of...

Admiralty Court
English court that tries and gives judgement in maritime cases. The court is now incorporated within the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court and deals with such matters as salvage and damages...

Admiralty, Board of the
In the UK, the controlling department of state for the Royal Navy from the reign of Henry VIII until 1964, when most of its functions - apart from that of management - passed to the Ministry of...

adobe
In architecture, a building method employing sun-dried earth bricks; also the individual bricks. The use of earth bricks and the construction of walls by enclosing earth within...

Adolf Hitler Line
In World War II, second Axis line of defence in Italy behind the main Gustav Line about 80 km/50 mi south of Rome, stretching from Cassino to the western Italian coast. It formed the principal...

Adolphus, John Leycester
(1795-1862) English writer and lawyer. His Letters to Richard Heber, Esq., published anonymously 1821, demonstrated that Walter Scott was the author of the Waverley novels; his Letters...

Adomnan, St
See Adamnan, St. ...

Adonis
In Greek mythology, a beautiful youth loved by the goddess Aphrodite. He was killed while boar-hunting but was allowed to return from the underworld for a period every year to rejoin her. The...

adoption
Permanent legal transfer of parental rights and duties from one person to another, usually to provide care for children who would otherwise lack family upbringing. Legal aspects In the UK, adoption...

Adoration of the Lamb
A polyptych altarpiece painted for the cathedral of St Bavo, in Ghent, by the Flemish artists Hubert and Jan van Eyck in 1432. With 20 separate panels, and outer wings that close over the central...

Adrastus
In Greek mythology, king of Argos and leader of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, undertaken to place his son-in-law Polynices on the throne of Thebes. ...

Adrian de Castello
(c. 1460-c. 1521) Italian scholar, politician, and cleric. In 1488 he was sent by Pope Innocent VIII to England, where he held senior positions in the church. In 1492, the year Innocent died, he returned to Rome and...

Adrian IV
(c. 1100-1159) Pope 1154-59, the only English pope. He secured the execution of Arnold of Brescia and crowned Frederick I...

Adriano Fiorentino
(c. 1450-1499) Florentine sculptor, military engineer, and medallist. He worked at courts in Italy and also in Germany, where he produced one of his best-known works, a bronze bust of Elector Frederick (III) the...

Adrianople
Older name of the Turkish town Edirne, after the Emperor Hadrian, who rebuilt it in about 125. ...

Adrianople, Battle of
Gothic victory over the Roman empire in the East 9 August 378. The battle marked the beginning of the empire's downfall. A Gothic settlement was founded within the frontier of the Roman empire and...

Adriatic question
Problem of the control of the Adriatic, which involved the four coastal states: Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece. The question of control of the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic, apart from the...

Adullam
Biblical city with nearby caves in which David and those who had some grievance took refuge (1 Samuel 22). An Adullamite is a person who is disaffected or who secedes from a political party. The...

adultery
Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her legal partner. It is one factor that may prove `irretrievable breakdown` of marriage in actions for...

Advent
In the Christian calendar, which follows the life of Jesus, the period of preparation before his birth on Christmas Day. It begins four Sundays before Christmas on Advent Sunday; the date varies...

Adventist
Person who believes that Jesus will return to make a second appearance on Earth. Expectation of the Second Coming of Christ is found in New Testament writings generally. Adventist views are held in...

advisory committee
In the UK, nonelected body whose members are answerable only to the minister who appointed them. Their deliberations are secret and members have no obligation to reveal their financial interests....

advocate
One summoned to a person's aid, especially in a court of law; professional pleader in a court of justice. More common terms are attorney, lawyer, barrister, or counsel, but advocate is retained in...

Advocate Judge
Manager of the prosecution in British courts martial. ...

Advocates, Faculty of
Professional organization for Scottish advocates, the equivalent of English barristers. It was incorporated in 1532 under James V. ...

Advocates' Library
Legal and general library founded in 1680 in Edinburgh by the Faculty of Advocates. From the early 18th century it was a copyright library entitled to claim a copy of every book published in Britain...

Advocatus Diaboli
Popular name of one appointed in the Roman Catholic Church to set forth possible objections to any person whom it is proposed to canonize. The official title is Promotor Fidei. As the objections...

advowson
In the Christian church, the right of selecting a person to a church living or benefice; a form of patronage. The right of advowson is historically the survival of an originally much more extensive...

Adwa, Battle of
Defeat of the Italians by the Ethiopians at Adwa in 1896 under Emperor Menelik II. It marked the end of Italian ambitions in this part of Africa until Mussolini's reconquest in 1935. ...

Ady, Endre
(1877-1919) Hungarian poet. Born at Érmindszent, he spent part of his youth in Paris and the influence of modern French literature can be seen in many of his earlier poems. His mature work is characterized by...

adytum
The innermost and sacred chamber in a temple. In ancient Greece this was where oracles were delivered and mysteries performed, and only the priests were allowed to enter it. ...

Aeacus
In Greek mythology, son of Zeus and Aegina and father of Peleus. After his death he was appointed one of the judges of the underworld. ...

aedile
Magistrate in ancient Rome whose duties included the care of temples, public buildings and markets, and the supervision of public games. The office was created in 494 BC with the appointment of two...

Aegean art
The art of the civilizations that flourished around the Aegean (an area that included mainland Greece, the Cyclades Islands, and Crete) in the Bronze Age, about 2800-1100 BC. Despite cultural...

Aegean civilization
The cultures of Bronze Age Greece, including the Minoan civilization of Crete and the Mycenaean civilization of the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. ...

Aegeus
In Greek mythology, king of Athens and father of Theseus who was sent to kill the Cretan Minotaur. On his return, Theseus forgot to substitute white sails for black in a prearranged signal to...

Aegir
In Scandinavian mythology, the god of the sea. ...

aegis
In Greek mythology, originally the shield of Zeus, symbolic of the storm cloud associated with him. In later representations of the goddess Athena, the aegis is commonly shown as a protective animal...

Aegospotami, Battle of
Naval battle fought in 405 BC off Aegospotami (now Gelibolu on the northern shore of the Dardanelles) between the Spartans and the A ...

Aelana
Ancient name for Aqaba, Jordan's only port, on the Gulf of Aqaba. ...

Aelfric
(c. 955-1020) English writer and abbot. Between 990 and 998 he wrote in vernacular Old English prose two sets of sermons known as Catholic Homilies, and a further set known as Lives of the Saints, all of them...

Aeneas
In classical mythology, a Trojan prince who became the ancestral hero of the Romans. According to Aeneid
Latin narrative poem or epic by
Virgil in 12 books, composed in the traditional Homeric metre of hexameters. Written during the last ten years of the poet's life (29-19 BC), it celebrates Roman...

Aeolian
People of ancient Greece, who established 12 cities along the coast of northwestern Asia Minor. Near the end of the 2nd millennium BC, the Aeolians, deriving from Thessaly and Boeotia, planted their...

Aeolus
In Greek mythology, the ruler or keeper of the winds. He kept them imprisoned in a cave on the island of Aeolia, which came to be identified with Lipari, one of the Aeolian islands that lie north of...

aeon
Age or immense period of time. The Gnostics used the term to indicate manifestations from God, or spirits which form a separate existence and have influence over phases in the world's progression. ...

Aequi
Italian people, originating around the River Velino, central Italy. They were turned back from their advance on Rome 431 BC and were conquered 304 BC, at the end of the second Samnite War. ...

aerial bombardment
Another name for Blitzkrieg. ...

aerial photography
Taking photographs from a high level (using an aircraft or satellite). Aerial photography enables surface features to be detected, and is used by geologists, surveyors, engineers, and...

aerial reconnaissance
Technique used primarily for the recording and interpretation of archaeological sites from the air, though at times it can also be useful in discovering new sites. In warfare, aerial reconna ...

Aertzen (or Aartsen), Pieter
(c. 1509-1575) Dutch painter. He excelled in interiors and homely scenes, though also producing historical and religious works. His Maidservant (Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels) is an original and early...

Aeschines
(389-314 BC) Athenian orator and principal rival of Demosthenes, with whom he was ambassador to Macedonia 348. His conflict with Demosthenes came to a head 330 and caused Aeschines to go into exile. He...

Aeschylus
(c. 525-c. 456 BC) Athenian dramatist. He developed Greek tragedy by introducing the second actor, thus enabling true dialogue and dramatic action to occur independently of the chorus. Ranked with Euripides and...

Aesculapius
In Roman mythology, the god of medicine, equivalent to the Greek Asclepius. ...

Aesir
The principal gods of Norse mythology - Odin, Thor, Balder, Tyr, Heimdall, and Loki. Their dwelling place was Asgard. They fought against a rival group of gods, the Vanir; as a result Njord,...

Aesop
By tradition, a writer of Greek fables. According to the historian Herodotus, he lived in the mid-6th century BC and was a slave. The fables that are ascribed to him were collected at a later date...

Aesthetic Movement
English artistic movement of the late 19th century, dedicated to the doctrine of `art for art's sake`- that is, art as a self-sufficient entity concerned solely with beauty and not with any...

aesthetics
Branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty, especially in art. It emerged as a distinct branch of enquiry in the mid-18th century. Aesthetics attempts...

Aetolia
District of ancient Greece on the northwest of the gulf of Corinth. The Aetolian League was a confederation of the cities of Aetolia formed in 370 BC and which, following the death of Alexander the...

AEW
Abbreviation for Airborne Early Warning, a military surveillance system; see AWACS and early warning. ...

affidavit
Legal document, used in court applications and proceedings, in which a person swears that certain facts are true. In England, an affidavit is usually sw ...

affiliation order
In English law, formerly a court order for maintenance against the alleged father of an illegitimate child. Under the Family Law Reform Act 1987, either parent can apply for a court order for...

affinity
In law, relationship by marriage not blood (for example, between a husband and his wife's blood relatives, between a wife and her husband's blood relatives, or between step-parent and stepchild),...

affirmation
Solemn declaration made instead of taking the oath by a person who has no religious belief or objects to taking an oath on religious grounds. The privilege of affirming was first granted to the...

affirmative action
Policy of positive discrimination to increase opportunities for certain social groups in employment, business, government, and other areas. The policy is designed to counter the effects of...

affirmative action, USA
Policy of positive discrimination pursued in the USA for the advancement of disadvantaged US citizens. First promoted by US president Lyndon Johnson's Executive Order 11246 (1965), it was furthered...

affluent society
Society in which most people have money left over after satisfying their basic needs such as food and shelter. They are then able to decide how to spend their excess (`disposable`) income, and...