Saturday, February 04, 2006

History of Qatar

History of Qatar. This is a brief history of the middle eastern nation of Quatar. It is often mispronounced. Its actually pronounced as cutter just as if you were cutting something.

Wikipedia notes, "The State of Qatar, an emirate in the Middle East, occupies the small Qatar Peninsula which is part of the larger Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise the Persian Gulf surrounds the country."

From the site:

Qatar has been inhabited for millennia. In the 19th century, the Bahraini Al Khalifa family dominated until 1868 when, at the request of Qatari nobles, the British negotiated the termination of the Bahraini claim, except for the payment of tribute. The tribute ended with the occupation of Qatar by the Ottoman Turks in 1872.

When the Turks left, at the beginning of World War I, the British recognized Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani as Ruler. The Al Thani family had lived in Qatar for 200 years. The 1916 treaty between the United Kingdom and Sheikh Abdullah was similar to those entered into by the British with other Gulf principalities. Under it, the Ruler agreed not to dispose of any of his territory except to the U.K. and not to enter into relationships with any other foreign government without British consent. In return, the British promised to protect Qatar from all aggression by sea and to lend their good offices in case of a land attack. A 1934 treaty granted more extensive British protection

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Inquisition in 17th Century Peru

The Inquisition in 17th Century Peru - The Spanish Inquisition claimed many victims in Europe. However, what most people do not know is that the Inquisition was also carried out in Spanish territories around the world.

The text of this report of the Inquisition in South America (Peru) is provided by the Modern History Sourcebook. It is from the book by Henry C. Lea (1829-1909) The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies from 1908.

The Inquisition in Peru would appear to have concentrated on the discovery of Jews who coverted to Catholicism who were suspected of going back to the Jewish faith. No mention of witch hysteria is noted in this text. Although not noted on this page, natives who refused to become Christians also suffered at the hands of the Inquisition in Peru.

From the site:

The most serious business of the tribunal, in the line of its proper functions, was with the apostasy of the Jewish New Christians. From the very foundation of the colonies . . . restrictions were laid on the emigration of Conversos and a law of 1543, preserved in the Recopilacion, orders that search be made for all descendants of Jews who were to be rigorously expelled. In spite, however, of the jealous care observed to preserve the colonies from all danger of Jewish infection, the commercial attractions were so powerful that the New Christians eluded all precautions. At first, however, they occupied but a small portion of the energies of the tribunal. . . . The first appearance of Jews is in the auto of October 29, 1581, when Manuel Upez, a Portuguese, was reconciled with confiscation and perpetual prison, and Diego de la Rosa, described as a native of Quito, was required to abjure de levi and was exiled - showing that the evidence against him was very dubious. . . .

The conquest of Portugal, in 1580, had led to a large emigration to Castile, where Portuguese soon became synonymous with Judaizer, and this was beginning to make itself manifest in the colonies. The auto of December 17, 1595, gave impressive evidence of this. Five Portuguese - Juan Méndez, Antonio Núñez, Juan López, Francisco Báez and Manuel Rodriguez - were reconciled. Another, Herman Jorje, had died during trial and his memory was not prosecuted.

There were also four martyrs. Jorje Núñez, denied until he was tied upon the rack; he then confessed and refused to be converted, but after his sentence of relaxation was read he weakened and was strangled before burning. Francisco Rodríguez endured torture without confessing; when threatened with repetition he endeavored unsuccessfully to commit suicide; he was voted to relaxation with torture in caput alienum, and under it he accused several persons but revoked at ratification. He was pertinacious to the last and was burnt alive. Juan Fernández was relaxed, although insane; the Suprema expressed doubts whether he had intelligence enough to render him responsible. Pedro de Contreras had been tortured for confession and again in caput alienum; he denied Judaism throughout and was relaxed as a negativo; at the auto he manifested great devotion to a crucifix and presumably was strangled; in all probability he was really a Christian. . . .

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games

The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games. The Winter Olympics will begin on February 10th in Torino, Italy. The official site in English is at Torino 2006.

Although the ancient Greeks did not compete in ice hockey, skiing, luge, or any of the other Winter Olympic sports, they did invent the Olympics. As such, this site about the "real" story of the ancient games is an entertaining read.

The site explores the motives of the ancient athletes and concludes that the original games were just as political and commercial as the modern Olympics. Further, the modern games have improved as far as sexism is concerned. Married women no longer have to fear death for watching men compete and they can alo participate in the games as well.

I find this hard to believe but cheating was common in the ancient Olympics and even encouraged! The site notes, "There were statues set up in the altis to commemorate athletes who had been caught cheating or bribing at the Olympic Games." Unless these statues were to shame fallen athletes, I do not think that was a good idea...

From the site:

During this Olympic season, you may hear from announcers, critics, commentators and even athletes that the Olympic games are too commercial, too political, too "professional." Or that the judging is too nationalistic.

It's easy to assume that the ancient Olympic Games were different, that ancient Greek athletes were pure in mind and body, that they trained and competed for no other reason than the love of physical exercise, fair competition and to honor their gods.

But is this really true? Well, no.

In fact, politics, nationalism, commercialism and athletics were intimately related in the ancient Olympic Games. We may not realize it, but in today's games we recreate–with surprising accuracy–the climate and circumstances surrounding the ancient Olympic Games.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Extra!: History of the State of the Union

Extra!: History of the State of the Union. I am a day late on posting this but I am sure some readers will still find it of interest.

This CNN article has some highlights on the history of the State of the Union Address. This is the annual ceremonial occasion when the American President gives a speech to Congress on how the country is doing.

Here are some highlights from the article:

- The address was not called the "State of the Union" until President Franklin D. Roosevelt used that phrase in 1935. Until then, the speech was referred to as the "Annual Message."

- From 1801 to 1912, the Presidents did not deliver a speech. Instead, they sent a report to Congress where it was read out loud by a clerk.

- In 1923, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to broadcast his speech on the radio.

- In 1947, Harry S Truman became the first president to deliver the address on television.

- An opposing party's first official "response" to the State of the Union speech was given in 1966.

Of recent note, Lewis Gould of the History News Network writes that we should Abolish the State of the Union Address. (As the State of the Union is required by the Constitution, this might require a constitutional amendment though...)

Other good links on the State of the Union:

State of the Union Addresses of the American Presidents
Wikipedia: State of the Union Address
C-SPAN State of the Union Videos and Transcripts
GPO: State of the Union

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dr Sam Newton's Wuffings' Website

Dr Sam Newton's Wuffings' Website - This site is about the early medieval kingdom of East Anglia and its Wuffing dynasty as well as aspects of the literature, legend, history, and archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England.

The site creator is Dr. Sam Newton who is an independent scholar. His biography page notes, "Since 1986 I have been working as a free lance tutor in Wuffing and Early Medieval Studies (Old English Literature, Language, History, & Archaeology), running courses in and around East Anglia. I have also conducted guided site-tours to Sutton Hoo, Rendlesham, and sites throughout eastern England (for a list click here). More recently I have been contributing to Radio and Television programmes."

A large part of the site is promoting Dr. Newton's lectures and his books. However, there are a few content pages of note including A Wuffing Studies' Reading List, The Old English Calendar, Wuffing and Related Places of Interest [sites where the Wuffings walked; and more], and Sutton Hoo: Burial-Ground of the Wuffings.

I must admit that I had not read about the Wuffings or the Kingdom of East Anglia before. I think I will be doing some more reading on this in the near future.

Monday, January 30, 2006

History Weblogs

History Weblogs. Like this site? Want some other history blogs to check out? Here is a small list from the Yahoo Directory. I have removed the link to this blog as you already know about the World History Blog.

Here is the list:

Diary of Samuel Pepys - presentation of the diaries of Samuel Pepys, the renowned 17th century diarist, in a daily weblog format.

Cronaca - past imperfect, present subjunctive, future conditional.

Mirabilis.ca - regularly updated links and commentary about history and archaeology, religion, environment, and other topics.

Cliopatria - group-written blog covering a range of historical topics. From the History News Network.

American Presidents Blog - featuring sites that relate to the American presidency or specific presidents.

Anglo-Dutch Wars - discussion of the 17th-century sea wars, including ships, battles, and persons.

POTUS - Rick Shenkman's blog about Presidents of the United States and the American political scene.

Dreadnought Cruisers Dreadnought Cruisers - discusses history, ship design, naval wargaming, and other topics related to the Dreadnought era, prior to the ascendancy of naval aviation.ww

Blog Them Out of the Stone Age - formerly War Historian. Mark Grimsley writes about military history and frames military affairs and analysis within a broad context.

rogueclassicism - musings, news stories, and more related to Ancient Greece and Rome.