The man in the iron face mask, French l’homme au masque de fer (born c. 1658?—died November 19, 1703, Paris, France), political prisoner, famous in French history and legend, who died in the Bastille in 1703, during the reign of Louis XIV. There is no historical evidence that the mask was made of anything but black velvet (velours), and only afterward did legend convert its material into iron. He [...]
Leonardo da Vinci was a leading artist and intellectual of the Italian Renaissance who's known for his enduring works "The Last Supper" and "Mona Lisa." Born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci was the epitome of a “Renaissance man.” Possessor of a curious mind and keen intellect, da Vinci studied the laws of science and nature, which greatly informed his work as a painter, sculptor, [...]
The Siege of Nürnberg was a battle campaign that took place in 1632 about the Imperial City of Nuremberg during the Thirty Years' War. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, rather than engage the larger forces of Albrecht von Wallenstein, retreated into the city. Wallenstein immediately laid siege, an action that soon proved difficult for both sides. Despite Gustavus's efforts to challenge Wallenstein on the open field, Wallenstein did not give battle. [...]
A watershed event in modern European history, the French Revolution began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system. Like the American Revolution before it, the French Revolution was influenced by Enlightenment ideals, particularly the concepts of popular sovereignty and [...]
Niccolò Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469, in Florence, Italy, of nobility, though by no means wealthy. His parents, Bernardo and Bartolomeo, had three other children, two daughters, and a son. Bernardo was a lawyer and small landowner with a small salary.