The greatest, one of the first, one of the few multi-ringed craters on Earth. I'm talking about crater Vredefort.

This crater was shaped about 2 000 000 000 years ago. It is a quite long period, isn't it? For punctilious guys this occurred 2023 billion years ago. Flora and fauna did not particularly prosperous, the only complex species living were simple cell organisms. It occurred on the territory of South Africa, but 2 billion years ago this place didn't located in Africa and it was unlikely the South of it. However this falling occurred in not the worst place. A meteorite with radius of 5 kilometers fell exactly in steady ground, which was not touched neither plate tectonics nor destruction. Most of the other such a craters folded up beyond recognition and could only be observed on other objects of the Solar system. For example, on Jupiter's satellite Callisto, where you could see a pretty multi-ring crater.

The Vredefort crater consists of a few hoop, the largest of which reaches 300 kilometers across, is only larger crater located in Wilkes Land in Antarctic, but we even cannot say accurately if it really exists. The crater is also considered the oldest one among the known craters on Earth. Though crater Saharwi in Karelia is older than Vredefort's one, that's not so wonderful. In 1876, the offspring of Dutch newcomers founded within their crater Vredefort city, after  that geologic object was named. Besides Vredefort some other towns lay in the crater, the largest settlement in South Africa founded just on the border of the crater.

So, a short account about Ethiopia... I expect that everyone desire to know as much as possible about this unfamiliar African state. This place is claimed to be cradle of modern human, thus men lived Ethiopian territory earlier than 2 millions years ago. They even migrated from this location all over then World. The Ancient Egyptians also guested this place and named it Golden land. The first known Ethiopian kingdom is famous for being the first African state that accepted Christianity. Ethiopian Orthodox Church appeared about 400 AD, about 600 years earlier than Eastern Europe accepted it. In the end of 11th century Aksumit queen of Ethiopian Jews, who were expelled when the Ethiopians ordered to desert the state, occupied the kingdom and owned it for fifty years. Then the turning point in Ethiopian history occurred. One general managed to expel enemies one more time and leave his ancestors as Ethiopian ruling family, but in any case he married the heiress of former emperor. He called himself Mara Takla Haymanot. This dynasty was very important in Ethiopian history, which ruled until 1974. Interestingly that the year of the turning point was is hazy, two dates are suggested: 937 or 1137. The king make Lalibela his capital, and everyone can go there to see ancient few rock-cut churches and a cross from a part of pure iron.

Next important stage in the empire occurred in 1769, when difficulties in the kingdom began. Many local officials competed with each other, and the weight of the master became much weaker. The problems continued until the beginning of the reign of the legendary Emperor Tewodro II, who was able to gather the kingdom. But in a little while, during the storming of Magdala castle by the English army, the ruler commit suicide. Further, the state of Italy joined the division of Africa among European powers, beginning a interesting engagement with the state. The European country concluded a peace with Abyssinia, but nevertheless, each of them understand the document in their own way due the translation of the word "may" in the document as "must". European state decided to attack Abyssinia, but the battle ended with the former's decisive defeat, giving the earliest known success of an African people in a war against Europe. After the Mussolini's arrival in rule, he started to desire renascence of the influence of Italy and started a new war against Ethiopian empire. This time the Italian were more successful, especially because of banned usage of chemical warfare, which they applied in some battles. The emperor was compelled to go to British empire, while the king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III accepted the title of Emperor of Abyssinia. In the World War, troops of Britain chased usurper out and restore Haile Selassie's power, who would occupied the post for 30 years. Anyway Rastafarians honor this Emperor as god and consider him as Jesus Christ.

Year 1974 brought the Empire to the end. The communism entered Africa and Leninist junta, supported of Russia, vanquished the last Emperor, and throw him in jail, where he died thereafter.
This post is going to be a short account of the second country in New World that got independence. Do you know which is it? So keep reading...

Because of European colonization the island of Haiti was separated by political borders into 2 different territories. The eastern part was property of Spain, now it is Dominican Republic, while another part belonged to the French. After colonization of these territories by new government, they carried on the island about half of million black slaves from Africa. Poor slaves usually worked on plantations of sugarcane and didn't like this occupation. After Revolution in France started it almost immediately echoed back in the far island.

Soon the first slave riot broke out, which evolved future Emperor of the independent Haiti. This guy had taken his owner's name, which was normal that time in the Caribbean. Meanwhile Spain made an attempt to gain the second part of Haiti, but was repulsed by both slaves and French government. After the Spanish had been expelled the rebels desired to have a rest, but French ruler Napoleon send 22 000 of his troops across the ocean. After series of maneuvers the French were forced to surrender, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines got the real power in Haiti and took the title of Emperor some month later. In the heat of the bloody struggle of revolution the former slaves decided to punish their former owners and started a massacre. They killed almost all white people on the island leaving only a few graduated ones whom they needed in to manage the new state.

It seemed like former slaves gained the freedom, but it turned out that just like in most of similar cases this idea was just a dream. Instead of building the flourishing state of blacks the New World got typical African state.
An exciting point in the spread of Muslim world in the early period is the quickness of this distribution. In the early days of new religion the Arabian peoples were scattered ones who bowed a variety of objects. And in the beginning of 7th century these tribes, which lived generally in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, got suddenly arranged, moved to a new step of development and set up a new country - the Caliphate. For a short time they conquered large territories on several mainlands. It looks that all ran smoothly, but if you look closely, you will see a different picture.

The roots of the Caliphate started since the death of the Prophet, who founded a new religion - Islam. the early stage of this state is Rashidun Caliphate. Muslims think this period of the Rashidun Caliphate lasts over the early 5 rulers, and it is not transparent for us why they are more "Rashidun righteous" than future Caliphs. Immediately after Muhammad's death the following Caliph Abu Bakr met the difficulties. The new religion had not sit confidently in the minds of the Arabic people so almost all started to look towards new active prophets. Almost each tribe had a prophet, whom tribes were ready to listen to. Maybe if Muhammad had not appeared there, his role would be targeted by a few local competitors. The first Caliph had to conquer them. After several years of struggle, Abu Bakr died and gave the post of the ruler to his protégé - Umar. He is known for a variety of politic and administrative reforms, thus Umar set up the treasury, and some sort of parliament. During Umar's reign the Koran was eventually written and the Islamic calendar, started the Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina, was established. Umar had to contend with local renegades, but was able to expanded dramatically the lands of the Caliphate. It seems that due to his aggressive activity, the ruler was killed by a slave at the time of prayer.

Next caliph, Uthman, did not die by a natural death. In his 12-years-long rule opposition movement against Uthman increased, despite the success in the wars against neighbors. After several protests the opponents of the ruler rushed to Uthman's home and slaughtered him while he was reading the Koran. Usman's supporters decided to avenge for the assassinated Caliph and killed about 4,000 opponents. The new ruler, Ali, started military engagement with the protesters, which called the battle of the Camel. In a little while Ali was murdered by comrades disappointed with the split of the Islamic community. After that Muawiya, the last ruler of Rashidun Caliphate, bequeathed the post to his son, thus ending the Rashidun Caliphate and founding the next stage.
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July 2017

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