Saturday, March 12, 2005

Alternate History Travel Guides

Alternate History Travel Guides. Over 25 travel guides, one pocket guide, and one Interdimensional Brewpub Tour, four worlds and counting. If you like alternate history scenarios, this is a fun site.

From the site:

The Alternate History Travel Guides where the brainchild of Jonathan Edelstein, who started this venture of writing travel guides for overwhens on July 20th, 1996, with his first three entries. From these meager beginings, the Alternate History Travel Guides, (AHTG), have grown, featuring the talents of 15 different writers from around the world. 25+ Travel Guides grace the pages of the AHTG, one pocket guide, and one Interdimensional Brewpub Tour, four worlds and counting.

Running all of this is the mysterious Kedamono, who took it upon himself collate, edit, and create these pages so that these works wouldn't be lost. He also is soliciting for more entries into the AHTG, so that he will have even less free time than what he already has.

Friday, March 11, 2005

History of Georgia

History of Georgia. This is an overview to the history of the Soviet successor state of Georgia. And no, this is not the history of the American state of Georgia. The south has not risen again...

From the site:

Georgia's recorded history dates back more than 2,500 years. Georgian -- a South Caucasian (or “Kartvelian”) language unrelated to any other outside the immediate region -- is one of the oldest living languages in the world, and it has its own distinctive alphabet. Tbilisi, located in the picturesque Mtkvari River valley, is more than 1,500 years old. In the early 4th century Georgia adopted Christianity, only the second nation in the world to do so officially, and Orthodox Christianity -- in combination with a unique language and alphabet -- proved to be key factors in preserving Georgia’s separate identity for so many centuries. Georgia has historically found itself on the margins of great empires, and Georgians have lived together in a unified state for only a small fraction of their existence as a people. Much of Georgia's territory was fought over by Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Mongol, and Turkish armies from at least the 1st century B.C. through the 18th century. The zenith of Georgia’s power as an independent kingdom came in the 11th and 12th centuries, during the reigns of King David the Builder and Queen Tamara, who still rank among the most celebrated of all Georgian rulers. In 1783 the king of Kartli (in eastern Georgia) signed the Treaty of Georgievsk with the Russians, by which Russia agreed to take the kingdom as its protectorate.

In 1801, the Russian empire began the piecemeal process of unifying and annexing Georgian territory, and for most of the next two centuries (1801-1991) Georgia found itself ruled from St. Petersburg and Moscow. Exposed to modern European ideas of nationalism under Russian tutelage, Georgians like the writer Ilya Chavchavadze began calling for greater Georgian independence. In the wake of the collapse of tsarist rule and war with the Turks, the first Republic of Georgia was established on May 26, 1918, and the country enjoyed a brief period of independence under the Menshevik president, Noe Zhordania. However, in March 1921, the Russian Red Army re-occupied the country, and Georgia became a republic of the Soviet Union. Several of the Soviet Union’s most notorious leaders in the 1920s and 1930s were Georgian, such as Joseph Stalin, Sergo Orjonikidze, and Lavrenti Beria. In the postwar period, Georgia was perceived as one of the wealthiest and most privileged of Soviet republics, and many Russians treated the country’s Black Sea coast as a kind of Soviet Riviera. On April 9, 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia declared independence from the U.S.S.R.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe. Description of the lost civilization of Great Zimbabwe, east of the Kalahari Desert, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers.

From the site:

Not much is known about the people and the culture of Great Zimbabwe. This is due to the fact that they had no written language and the oral traditions have not survived. What we do know is what they left behind in form of the Great Zimbabwe ruins. The Shona speaking people moved into the valley around 500 AD and began building major parts of the stone walls in the 1100s. Zimbabwe is the Shona word meaning house of rock.

The city of Great Zimbabwe is located in the present day country of Zimbabwe. Geographically it is located to the east of the Kalahari desert between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. The huge plains that surround the city can support agricultural and herding that the people of Great Zimbabwe needed to sustain themselves. It is interesting to note that although Great Zimbabwe is in the area of several rivers it is not actually on the shores of a river. The city appears to be in the middle of nowhere. It is believed, however, that the city was located on a gold-rich mine. Great Zimbabwe was used and built as a religious center and a place from which they worshipped Mwari, the creator of all life as well as the sustainer of all things.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Vinland the Good

Vinland the Good. Shows the scope of the Norse voyages to the New World. It offers information on Viking ships and navigation as well as Leif Eriksson.

From the site:

About 1000 years ago a bold Norse explorer reached North America. He was not the first Norseman to do so, but we remember his achievement today because his was the first recorded effort to explore part of the New World. His incredible journey took him to three distinct places. The southernmost of these, he named Vinland the Good because of its mild climate and abundant natural resources.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Born on this Day in History

Born on this Day in History. A searchable database of 80,000 famous people by day of birth, name, and fame. Also offers daily quotations, famous creative women section, and quote lookup.

From the site:

This website is one of the the largest (and certainly the most creative) Born On This Day resource on the Internet. Search 80,000 birthdates. Look up 1,000 famous people and their inspirational quotations. Browse 800 Famous Creative Women born on this day in history.

Monday, March 07, 2005

History of Democratic Republic of Congo

History of Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a short but helpful history to the African nation formerly known as Zaire.

From the site:

The area known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo was populated as early as 10,000 years ago and settled in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. by Bantus from present-day Nigeria. Discovered in 1482 by Portuguese navigator Diego Cao and later explored by English journalist Henry Morton Stanley, the area was officially colonized in 1885 as a personal possession of Belgian King Leopold II as the Congo Free State. In 1907, administration shifted to the Belgian Government, which renamed the country the Belgian Congo. Following a series of riots and unrest, the Belgian Congo was granted its independence on June 30, 1960. Parliamentary elections in 1960 produced Patrice Lumumba as prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu as president of the renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Within the first year of independence, several events destabilized the country: the army mutinied; the governor of Katanga province attempted secession; a UN peacekeeping force was called in to restore order; Prime Minister Lumumba died under mysterious circumstances; and Col. Joseph Désiré Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) took over the government and ceded it again to President Kasavubu.

Unrest and rebellion plagued the government until 1965, when Lieutenant General Mobutu, by then commander in chief of the national army, again seized control of the country and declared himself president for 5 years. Mobutu quickly centralized power into his own hands and was elected unopposed as president in 1970. Embarking on a campaign of cultural awareness, Mobutu renamed the country the Republic of Zaire and required citizens to adopt African names. Relative peace and stability prevailed until 1977 and 1978 when Katangan rebels, staged in Angola, launched a series of invasions into the Katanga region. The rebels were driven out with the aid of Belgian paratroopers.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Islam Chronology

Islam Chronology. A chronology of Islam, from 570 to 2001. Includes some source material, and articles on various historical periods.

From the site:

Muhammad was born into the trading society of Mecca in 570. He was a part of one of the dominant tribes, the Qu'raish (Adler, p.184). Mecca was a great trade city and was a stopping place for merchants and businessmen of all races, religions, and countries. In general, it was open to the world. Although Mecca continually struggled for supreme power and went through many leaders, Mecca's strength was the ability of the people to form a common mind for the "common good" (Watt, p.50).

Not much is known about this man during the first forty years of his life other than the fact that he married a rich widow and later they had a daughter, Fatima, who became the wife of the great warrior, Ali (Ibid., p.186). However, around 610, Muhammad claimed that after meditating in the desert God had revealed many messages to him concerning life. These revelations came from the angel Gabriel, who Muhammad claimed God had used to call him to publish his religion (Guillaume, p.96). Muhammad's revelations were written shortly after his death and they are now called the Qur'an.