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The Byzantine Empire around the time of David
The Byzantine Empire around the time of David

David (born 630) was one of three co-emperors of the Byzantine Empire for a few months in late 641. David was the son of Emperor Heraclius and his wife and niece Empress Martina. His name was an attempt to link the family with the Biblical David. After the death of Heraclius in February 641 a power struggle ensued. In a compromise, 10-year-old David was raised to co-emperor, alongside his brother Heraclonas and their nephew Constans II. At the time the Byzantine state faced the ongoing Muslim conquest of Egypt and continuing religious strife over monothelitism and other Christological doctrines. All three emperors were children and the Empress Dowager Martina acted as regent. Martina was deeply unpopular due to her incestuous relationship with Heraclius and her unconventional habits. Her regime was deposed, probably by January 642. She and her sons were exiled to Rhodes and, in an early example of Byzantine political mutilation, Martina's tongue was cut out and her sons' noses were cut off. (Full article...)

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Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg in 2019
Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg in 2019

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Homes in Cugenang, West Java, on 24 November
Homes in Cugenang, West Java

On this day

November 25: Evacuation Day in New York City (1783)

Johan Ferrier in 1975
Johan Ferrier in 1975
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Map of the system with trail logos
Map of the system with trail logos

The National Trails System is a series of trails in the United States designated "to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation". There are four types of trails: the national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and connecting or side trails. In response to a call by President Lyndon B. Johnson to have a cooperative program to build public trails for "the forgotten outdoorsmen of today" in urban and backcountry areas, the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation recommended a network of trails to provide recreational opportunities and evaluated several possible trails, both scenic and historic. The National Trails System Act created a program for long-distance natural trails on October 2, 1968, establishing the first two of eleven national scenic trails: the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The first four of nineteen national historic trails were established by Congress in 1978, marking the routes of early travels across the country. Over 1,300 national recreation trails have since been administratively designated. (map pictured). (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Julie d'Aubigny

Julie d'Aubigny (1670/1673 – 1707), better known as Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin, was a 17th-century French opera singer. Little is known for certain about her life; her tumultuous career and flamboyant lifestyle were the subject of gossip, rumor, and colourful stories in her own time, and inspired numerous fictional and semi-fictional portrayals afterwards. Théophile Gautier loosely based the title character, Madeleine de Maupin, of his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835) on her.

Illustration credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden

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