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William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror should strictly be known as William I. William is credited with kick-starting England into the phase known as Medieval England; William was the victor at the Battle of Hastings; he introduced modern castle building techniques into Medieval England and by his death in 1087, he had financially tied down many people with the Domesday Book.  …
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Castle: Seasons 1-5 Complete Season 1,2,3,4,5

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Castles

The Normans were master castle builders. After 1066, England witnessed a massive castle building programme on the orders of William the Conqueror. First, motte and bailey castles were built. Once William had firmly established his rule in England, he built huge stone keep castles. By the time of Edward I, concentric castles were being built. Castles were a very good way for the Normans t…
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More than castles in the sand

More than castles in the sand
Are you tired of building castles in the sand that quickly collapse invariably into mush? Would you like to learn a little about how to make something more than just the “upside-down bucket,” kind of castle? Well, here's your chance to get a jump on …
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Stop building castles along the Fraser
It's time to stop building castles along the Fraser River for a while. We need to sort out what's important. I don't think bringing in another 1,000 people in these towers, or a couple of thousand more residents (and their cars and the appearance it …
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Game of Homes
Homeaway.com.au, one of the world's largest holiday home sites, has revealed three real life castles, available as dream holiday homes, that have more than a little bit in common with some of the most well known Houses of the Reach. Here are its …
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Reigning Windsors: Ten Things You May Not Know About the Royal Family

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Born of war, King George V created the House of Windsor in 1917, changing the family name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to distance the British Royal Family from its German roots. Four monarchs have ruled under this name and many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren count themselves as members. The current head, Queen Elizabeth II, is the longest living monarch in British history at 88 years and counting. So what other interesting facts exist about Britain’s leading family? What mysteries lurk in the depths of Windsor Castle?

Windsors Never Say Die

Individual monarchs may die, but the British Sovereign never does. The way succession works, when one monarch passes away, the next person in line succeeds immediately. As such, the Royal Standard never flies at half-mast following the monarch’s death.

Happy Anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary (60 years). She and Prince Phillip were married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. On the marriage, King George VI styled Phillip “Duke of Edinburgh”.

Royal Ink

King George V may have seemed like a stiff and domineering person as played by Michael Gambon in “The King’s Speech”, but he has his wild side too. Namely, he had large red-and-blue dragon tattoo on his right arm.

You’ve Got Mail

The Queen was the first head of state to send an email, all the way back in 1976. She did it as part of a network technology demonstration at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment. She used ARPANET to send the message, which was a precursor to the modern internet.

A Grand Education

Prince Charles was actually the first the royal to graduate from university, earning a 2:2 (second-class honours, lower division) at Cambridge. Of course, you’re born into the “family firm” as King George VI called the monarchy, a diploma isn’t exactly required. The Prince’s curriculum was supposedly specially designed for him. He’s not the smartest royal, however, as his son, Prince William, earned a 2.1 (second-class honours, upper division) from the University of St. Andrews.

Always the Prince of Wales, Never the Monarch

Prince Charles is the longest heir-apparent at 61 years and counting. Monarchs, when crowned, are permitted to choose their reigning name, much as King George VI did (his birth name was Albert). It is thought that Charles might opt for a different reigning name, possibly becoming King George VII, considering that Charles I and Charles II didn’t have the greatest reputations.

No Official Documents

Queen Elizabeth II does not have her own passport or her own driver’s license. Of course, who’s going to tell her she shouldn’t drive at her age?

Representing Team GB (In Sport)

Prince Charles’ sister, Princess Anne was a championship equestrian, even participating in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Her daughter, Zara Phillips, was also a member of the British Olympic team, winning the Silver Medal in Eventing. Princess Anne presented her daughter with the medal.

Serious Dog Lover

It’s no secret that the Queen loves her pet corgis. She has owned more than 30 since her succession and even created the dorgi (a corgi-dachshund cross-breed). One time, a footman put whiskey in the corgis’ water bowls and, as a result, had his salary cut and received a demotion.

We are Very Amused

What is one thing guaranteed to make Queen Elizabeth II laugh? According to Prince William, it is Ali G impressions. “Is it cos I is royal?”

The post Reigning Windsors: Ten Things You May Not Know About the Royal Family appeared first on Anglotopia.net.


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Middle Ages

The Middle Ages was a period of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The period followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire  in 476, and preceded the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period in a three-period division of history: Classic, Medieval, and Modern. The term “Middle Ages” (medium aevum) was coined in the 15th century and reflects the view that this period was a deviation from the path of classical learning, a path supposedly reconnected by Renaissance scholarship.

The Early Middle Ages saw the continuation of trends set in Late Antiquity, depopulation, deurbanization, and increased barbarian invasion. North Africa and the Middle East, once part of the Eastern Roman Empire, were conquered by Islam. Later in the period, the establishment of the feudal system allowed a return to systemic agriculture. There was sustained urbanization in northern and western Europe. During the High Middle Ages (c. 1000–1300), Christian-oriented art and architecture flourished and Crusades were mounted to recapture the Holy Land. The influence of the emerging nation-state was tempered by the ideal of an international Christendom. The codes of chivalry and courtly love set rules for proper behavior, while the Scholastic philosophers attempted to reconcile faith and reason. Outstanding achievement in this period includes the Code of Justinian, the mathematics of Fibonacci and Oresme, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, the painting of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, and the architecture of many great cathedrals such as Notre Dame de Paris.

The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analyzing European history: classical civilization (or Antiquity), the Middle Ages, and the modern period. It is “Middle” in the sense of being between the two other periods in time, ancient times and modern times. Humanist historians argued that Renaissance scholarship restored direct links to the classical period, thus bypassing the Medieval period. The term first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas (middle time). The term medium aevum (Middle Ages) is first recorded in 1604.

Medieval historians did not, of course, think of themselves as being in the middle of history. Instead, they wrote history from a universal and theological perspective. They divided history into periods such as the “Six Ages” or the “Four Empires”, with the present period being the last before the end of the world. They considered the Roman period, especially the time of the Apostles, a historical peak, followed by a long slide toward the Apocalypse.

In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua (ancient) and to the Christian period as nova (new). While retaining the theme of decline from the apogee of ancient Rome, Petrarch’s division was not based on theology, but on a perception of cultural and political decline, especially the idea that Medieval Latin was inferior to Classical Latin. From Petrarch’s Italian perspective, this new period (which included his own time) was an age of national eclipse. Leonardo Bruni  was the first historian to use tripartite periodization in his History of the Florentine People (1442). Bruni’s first two periods were based on those of Petrarch, but he added a third period because he believed that Italy was no longer in a state of decline. Flavio Biondo used a similar framework in Decades of History from the Deterioration of the Roman Empire (1439–1453). Tripartite periodization became standard after the German historian Christoph Cellarius published Universal History Divided into an Ancient, Medieval, and New Period (1683).

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