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Unik 10 Hitchcock Movies

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Alfred Hitchcock was an iconic and highly influential British-born film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. Hitchcock was among the most consistently successful and publicly recognizable world directors during his lifetime, and remains one of the best known and most popular of all time. This is a list of his ten greatest films. From good to great:
10. The Birds 1963
The Birds
Spoilt socialite and notorious practical joker Melanie Daniels is shopping in a San Francisco pet store when she meets Mitch Brenner. Mitch is looking to buy a pair of love birds for his young sister’s birthday; he recognises Melanie but pretends to mistake her for an assistant. She decides to get her own back by buying the birds and driving up to the quiet coastal town of Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends his weekends with his sister and mother. Shortly after she arrives, Melanie is attacked by a gull, but this is just the start of a series of attacks by an increasing number of birds.
9. Dial M for Murder 1954
Dial M For Murder
Ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice decides to murder his wife for her money and because she had an affair the year before. He blackmails an old college associate to strangle her, but when things go wrong he sees a way to turn events to his advantage.
8. Shadow of a Doubt 1943
Charlie Oackley is the “Merry Widow Murderer”, an evil strangler who seduces and kills rich widows. In order to be safe from the police he is going to his sister Emma who lives with her husband, Joseph Newton and her daughter Charlie. A detective is on the killer’s track and arrives at the Newton’s too, but before he can discover the truth, one of the suspected murderers dies in an accident and the police considers the case solved. Charles seems to be safe, but Charlie suspects him.
7. Notorious 1946
Notorious (1946)
Alicia Huberman is a frivolous girl who loves drinks and men; her father was a German spy in USA and he has committed suicide in prison. Government agent Devlin asks the girl to spy on a group of her father’s Nazi friends in Rio de Janeiro; this could be her chance to clean her guilty name. The girl falls in love with the agent, but he seems not to be attracted by the life she is living. Alicia accepts the duty and she goes to Brazil with Devlin. The agent suggests Alicia should marry the spy and gain free access into his house, so she does. During a party, Alicia and Devlin find some uranium dust hidden in Sebastian’s canteen, but now he has discovered Alicia is a spy and he starts poisoning her day after day.
6. Strangers on a Train 1951
Tennis star Guy Haines meets a stranger on the Washington-to-New York train who offers to exchange murders. The stranger, Bruno Anthony, will kill Guy’s estranged wife if Guy will kill Bruno’s hated father. Guy doesn’t take Bruno seriously until his wife, Miriam, is found murdered in an amusement park. Guy becomes the chief suspect, which threatens his tennis career, his romantic involvement with a U.S. senator’s daughter, Anne Morton, his hopes for a political career, and even his life. When it becomes evident to Bruno that Guy isn’t going to kill his father, he tells Guy he intends to establish Guy’s guilt conclusively by planting his monogrammed cigarette lighter on the island where Miriam was murdered. With Anne’s help, Guy attempts to stop Bruno after rushing through an important tennis match and racing to the amusement park.
5. Rebecca 1940
A shy ladies’ companion, staying in Monte Carlo with her stuffy employer, meets the wealthy Maxim de Winter. She and Max fall in love, marry and return to Manderlay, his large country estate in Cornwall. Max is still troubled by the death of his first wife, Rebecca, in a boating accident the year before. The second Mrs. de Winter clashes with the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, and discovers that Rebecca still has a strange hold on everyone at Manderlay.
4. Vertigo 1958
John “Scottie” Ferguson is a retired San Francisco police detective who suffers from acrophobia and Madeleine is the lady who leads him to high places. A wealthy shipbuilder who is an acquaintance from college days approaches Scottie and asks him to follow his beautiful wife, Madeleine. He fears she is going insane, maybe even contemplating suicide, because she believes she is possessed by a dead ancestor. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.
3. North by Northwest 1959
Hitchcock North By Northwest
Middle-aged Madison Avenue advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies. He gets involved in a series of misadventures and is pursued across the States by both the spies and the government whilst being helped by a beautiful blonde.
2. Psycho 1960
Marion Crane is a Phoenix, Arizona working girl fed up with having to sneak away during lunch breaks to meet her lover, Sam Loomis, who cannot get married because most of his money goes towards alimony. One Friday, Marion’s employer asks her to take $40,000 in cash to a local bank for deposit. Desperate to make a change in her life, she impulsively leaves town with the money, determined to start a new life with Sam in California. As night falls and a torrential rain obscures the road ahead of her, Marion turns off the main highway. Exhausted from the long drive and the stress of her criminal act, she decides to spend the night at the desolate Bates Motel. The motel is run by Norman Bates, a peculiar young man dominated by his invalid mother. After Norman fixes her a light dinner, Marion goes back to her room for a shower….
1. Rear Window 1954
025 Rear Window
Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbours. He begins to suspect that the man opposite may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his society model girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his nurse Stella to investigate.
Source: http://listverse.com/2007/09/28/top-10-hitchcock-movies/

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Unik 10 Heroic Last Stands from Military History

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To me, the “heroic last stand” is one of the most awesome of all the awesome footnotes of history. Sure, not all of them work out this way, but I can almost see the noble bunch of heroes looking at one another and saying, “This is it, gentlemen, we are royally screwed, surrounded, and the cavalry apparently ain’t coming so lets make this bunch pay dearly for our blood.” They are the brawniest bunch you can imagineand the ones the people back home are counting on to keep them safe.
Now, in my admittedly biased and prejudiced mind, not all Last Stands are created equal. So, for the purpose of this list, I’ve got five criteria in mind. Not every last stand here meets all five, but they must meet at least three.
1. If you are the aggressor, you can’t have a Last Stand because you are getting your just desserts. Simply put, you started it and if you hadn’t started it, you wouldn’t be getting wiped out to the last man, now would you? (Think Custer)
2. The odds are laughably against your team. We’re talking AT LEAST 3:1 against and the worse the odds, the burlier the last stand glory.
3. Everybody, or at least just about everybody, dies. It’s not a Last Stand if enough of you are left to make another last stand at some point.
4. Everyone EXPECTS to die. No surrender even if asked to. As one burly sergeant in a furball of a fight put it, “Surrender? Not bloody likely!” (Exception: You surrender on YOUR terms and it’s honored.)
5. The sacrifice has to mean something in the larger scheme of things. Otherwise, you should have bloody well retreated or something to try staying alive since what you did was get everyone killed for nothing.
So, with no further ado, and in no particular order, here are my suggestions for the burliest of the burly Last Stands.
The Last Stand at Thermopylae
circa 480 BC
This was the stuff legends are made of and since Frank Miller’s film 300 came out, a whole new generation of people have been acquainted with the heroic sacrifice of Leonidas and his handpicked guard of 300 warriors, all of whom had mature sons who could carry on the family name. What a lot of people don’t seem to remember is that as awesome as Leo and his wild bunch were, they didn’t stand completely alone. Other city-states, notably Arcadia and Thespia, sent troops as well, so the force opposing the massive Persian army was closer to 6,000 than just 300. Still, that this group stopped those thousands cold in their tracks at the Hot Gates for three days and in the end were only dislodged by treachery is nothing short of amazing. The action scored a perfect 5 out of 5 on the criteria. The best legend, probably apocryphal – but maybe not, was one Spartan hoplite’s reply to a Persian envoy’s boast that, “Our arrows will blot out the Sun.” The hoplite replied, “So much the better, for then we shall fight in the shade!”
The Last Stand of the Swiss Guard
May 6, 1527
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Rome was sacked by the troops of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Charles V in 1527. When the troops, mostly rabble and mercenaries, of the empire breached the city, they immediately ignored the orders of Charles and pretty much everyone else in command and made straight for Vatican Hill intent on pillaging the richest treasures in Christendom. They also had murder on their mind and Pope Clement VII was high on the list of targets. The famous Swiss Guards, who used to do more than just stand around looking pretty for tourists, formed a fighting square on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica to face upwards of 20,000 bloodthirsty troops who were storming the city. Only 189 Guardsmen remained after the fighting to take the city, but these troops chose to make their stand in hopes of buying Clement time to escape the city through one of the warrens of tunnels under Rome. Clement made good his escape as the Guard managed to hold the porch of the church and prevent the doors from falling, but only 42 Swiss Guards survived and none of them were uninjured. Again, this one scores a 5 out of 5 and proves that when the Swiss decide not to be neutral, they aren’t a bunch to take lightly.
Battle of the Alamo
February 23 to March 6, 1836
This one siege and especially its climactic pre-dawn final battle is the reason natives of Texas poke their chests out a little farther than most other Americans. It is a singular event in Texan history and it’s what lead directly to Texas becoming first a nation and later a state in the United States of America. Not only that, but “Remember the Alamo!” has rung down the years as a major battlecry for people who’ve never crossed the Texan border, but who feel a giddy sense of bravado in the face of utter annihilation.
At the old Spanish mission, 182 poorly armed Texas rebels faced upwards of 2000 crack Mexican troops under the command of the finest Mexican general, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Mexicans had cavalry and a battery of cannon. The Texans had grit, determination, and cannons with very little ammunition. For 12 days, the Texans stood down Santa Anna, enduring bombardments daily. Finally, Santa Anna had enough and ordered a full assault on the mission in a surprise pre-dawn attack. Every defender of the mission was killed but Santa Anna did spare the women and children as well as sparing and freeing two African American slaves found in the fort. This last stand garners a 4.5 out of 5 because technically, the Mexicans were the “good guys” since the Texans were rebels against the lawful authority in Mexico City.
Battle of Camaron
April 30, 1863
This small engagement in Mexico while much of the world was focused on the American Civil War to the north, put the French Foreign Legion on the map and began a legend that persists today in the unofficial motto, “The Legion dies, it does not surrender.” Everything fell out because a group of 65 Foreign Legion troops, led by Capt. Jean Danjou were carrying supplies to Veracruz in support of the French campaign in Mexico under Napoleon III. Caught out in the open, the French troops managed to make a fighting retreatto the small hacienda of Cameron. There, surrounded and backs to the wall, the handful of Legionnaires fought like they were possessed. They repulsed attack after attack, cavalry charge after cavalry charge, until their ammunition began to run low.
Even after Capt. Danjou was felled by a bullet to the chest, his men fought on. Finally, only six of the men remained and they were out of bullets and powder. At this point, they have killed enough Mexicans to surrender honorably. After all, only six are left ALIVE, much less standing. But no, led by the highest remaining NCO, a corporal, the six men fixed bayonets and, with the cry of “Vive l’France”, charged the Mexican forces. Three were struck by rifle fire and killed outright. The remaining three were surrounded, wrestledto the ground and asked to surrender. Most men would have said fine and thanked their luck they were alive.
Not this bunch. One of the men looked up and said they would surrender only if they were allowed to keep their regimental Colors, keep their weapons, carry their dead with them, AND be given a safe conduct escort to their own lines. Accordingto the accounts of eyewitnesses, the Mexican commander shook his head, laughed and ordered his men to comply with the Legionnaires’ demands. “After all,” he is supposed to have said, “What is one to do with devils like these?” To this day, April 30 is called Cameron Day in France and is celebrated by the Legion much as the Marine Corps Birthday is celebrated every November in America.
Battle of Shiroyama
September 24, 1877
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This battle would again only garner a 4 out of 5 on the criteria because Saigo’s samurai were technically rebels. BUT, they were rebels because the Emperor was destroying their way of life. Bushidoand the sword had ruled samurai behavior for over a thousand years and now the nobility of the samurai and his training were being swept aside in favor of conscript troops with rapid firing weapons.
So, the samurai under their commander Saigo were retreating to their base of operations when they were caught and surrounded on the hill of Shiroyama. The 300 of them had their traditional bows and, of course, their matchless katanas. The 30,000 Imperial troops had rifled muskets and gatling guns.
The Imperial commander asked Saigo to surrender peacefully and be spared, but, being a samurai, Saigo couldn’t really do that. Instead, he spent the night of September 23 getting buzzed on sake and ready to die. At 3:00 AM, the Imperial troops began an artillery bombardment followed by a full frontal attack. Saigo was twice wounded before committing ritual suicide to avoid the dishonor of capture. The thirty men who survived the artillery barrage charged the Imperial lines and began laying about them with their katanas. They acquitted themselves well, but in the end, every one of them was killed and the way of the samurai was dead . . . at least until the start of World War II.
Battle of Rorke’s Drift
January 22, 1879
Okay, this is another slightly technical violation of my criteria. After all, if the Brits hadn’t been trying to take the Zulu’s land, Rorke’s Drift never would have happened. BUT, in my defense, these particular 139 soldiers weren’t invading anything. They were left behind while the “big boys” went off to get massacred at the Battle of Islawandha.
No, this was a group of cooks, supply clerks, Royal Engineers, and other guys who could fight if they had to, but hadn’t really been called upon very much. They were the prime example of the “in the rear with the gear” soldiers. Unfortunately, all their buddies were wiped out at the aforementioned Battle of Islawandha. To make matters worse, a whole crap load of Zulus didn’t get to take part in the battle because everyone was dead before they got there. So, those bored Zulus decided to take out their frustrations on the supply depot at Rorke’s Drift.
The Zulus had numbers, surprise, the high ground, and knowledge of the terrain. The defenders had bags of grain, Martini-Henry rifles, and bayonets “with some guts behind them”. The Zulus attacked in massive waves all through the afternoon of January 22 and through the night and early morning of January 23. They were gathering for another assault when their scouts spotted the British relief column complete with cannon and decided to retire.
The defenders gained a new respect for the Zulus and in the process garnered 11 Victoria Crosses, the most ever awarded for a single engagement. True, they weren’t wiped out, but when they looked up and saw every surrounding hill bristling with Zulu warriors, no one thought he was getting out alive.
Battle of Pasir Panjang
13 February 1942
1,400 Malay, British, Indian and Australian soldiers faced off against 13,000 Japanese troops in an attempt to save Singapore or at least give the civilians time to evacuate. Soldiers from the Royal Malay Regiment, The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, the British 2nd Loyals Regiment, the 44th Indian Brigade and the 22nd Australian Brigade made a futile attempt to stop the advancing Japanese towards the centre of Singapore. The majority of the defenders fell in the battle. Those that did not became prisoners who would later be pressed into service on the Thai-Burma Railroad where they would be forced to built a famous bridge over a famous river.
In the final hours of battle, a Malay soldier, 2nd Lieutenant Adnan Bin Saidi, led a 42-man platoon against thousands of invaders, leaving himself as a sole survivor. The Japanese suffered a disproportionately high number of casualties because of these men’s bravery so as punishment for being burly and courageous they tortured Adnan before executing him.
Siege of Bastogne
19 December 1944-December 26, 1944
Early in the Battle of the Bulge about 12,000 under-equipped and exhausted US Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division seized the town of Bastogne to defend this strategic crossroads from the German Advance. They were promptly and completely surrounded by roughly 15 Divisions of Germans. The 101st could only be sustained by airdrops from C-47s and things looked suitably grim. Seeing the hopelessness of the American position, German commander, General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz asked the 101st’s acting commander, Captain Anthony McAuliffe to surrender, McAuliffe’s famously terse reply was “Nuts!”.
Under their impetuous commander, the unit held off multiple German Panzer attacks, until eventually relieved by George S. Patton’s US Third Army on December 26. One of the units of the 101st to take part in the battle was the legendary Easy Company immortalized in the TV series “Band of Brothers.”
The Saxon Housecarls at Hastings
October 14, 1066
On January 6, 1066, Harold Godwinson became King Harold II following the death of his brother-in-law, Edward the Confessor. By late summer, he was faced with two imminent attempts to invade England. The first came in the northeast from his traitorous brother, Tostig, and King Harald Hardraada of Norway. While celebrating his defeat of Hardraada at a victory feast, Harold received word that Duke William the Bastard had landed at Pevensey in the south with 7,000 men. Harold gathered his forces, marched south to London, and by the evening of October 13, deployed his forces along Battle, or Senlac, Ridge near Hastings.
The battle developed into a deadly engagement between the Saxon infantry and the Norman cavalry and archers. Initially, Norman arrows were harmlessly deflected by Saxon shields, and Saxon axes and spears shattered the first Norman charge. Overcome by confidence, the Saxon infantry unwisely followed the retreating cavalry in reckless pursuit and were cut down by the Norman reserve. Harold reformed his forces and the Saxons braced for additional charges. The battle evolved into relentless pounding on the Saxon line by the Norman cavalry. The Saxons more than held their own and inflicted heavy casualties. Just before evening, William feigned a general withdrawal and many Saxons again broke ranks to pursue. The knights wheeled round and destroyed the Saxon infantry in the open field.
Harold and his housecarl bodyguard remained intact and just as formidable on the ridge. William ordered a final charge. This time he first had his archers aim not at the Saxon shields but release their volleys into the air so the arrows would fall on the Saxons from above. The tactic worked, but the Harold and his housecarls fought on until an arrow struck the king in the eye. As Harold struggled to pull it free, four Norman knights (one of whom may have been William) attacked. One speared Harold in the chest, and a second nearly decapitated him with a sword. As he fell, the other two Normans delivered additional blows. With Harold’s fall, the Saxon forces panicked and retreated into the nearby woods except for the housecarls who fought to the death around the body of their dead king.
The Battle Off Samar
October 25, 1944
Yamato Battle Off Samar
The Battle Off Samar (also known as “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors) has been cited by historians as one of the greatest military mismatches in naval history. It took place in the Philippine Sea off Samar Island, in the Philippines. It all started when Admiral William Halsey, Jr. was lured into taking his powerful U.S. Third Fleet after a Japanese decoy fleet. He thought this fleet was the main Japanese battle group and if he could catch them, he could destroy what was left of the Japanese navy.
To defend his rear, he left behind only “Taffy 3,” a light screen of destroyers, destroyer escorts, and three escort “baby” carriers. A powerful Japanese surface force of battleships and cruisers thought to have been defeated and in retreat earlier had instead turned around unobserved and came upon the tiny force of tiny ships. With nothing else he could do, Admiral Spruance in command of Taffy 3 gave the order, “Small Boys (meaning destroyers and escorts) attack.”
With that order Taffy 3’s destroyers and destroyer escort desperately charged forward and attacked with 5 inch guns which could not penetrate even the thinnest armor of the Japanese armada and torpedoes, while carrier aircraft dropped bombs and depth charges, then out of bombs, strafed the bridges of the Japanese heavy ships. While the Americans suffered more losses in ships and men than were lost at the Battle of Midway, they caused so much damage and confusion to convince the Japanese commander, Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita thought he had stumbled upon the lead element of Halsey’s main fleet. Fearing for his forces, he ordered his ships to regroup and ultimately withdraw rather than advancing to sink troop and supply ships at Leyte Gulf. Taffy 3’s bold defense in the face of overwhelmingly superior firepower saved the invasion of the Phillippines.
Source: http://listverse.com/2009/08/28/10-heroic-last-stands-from-military-history/

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Unik 10 Medieval Urban Legends

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Who doesn’t love a good legend? They are obviously extremely popular owing to the millions of spam emails that fly around the internet every day filled with the latest urban legend waiting for snopes to debunk it. This list looks at some more historical legends which, believe it or not, some people still believe to this day. It seems that no amount of snopesing can debunk them; perhaps listverse will fare better.
10. Incubus and Sucubus
An incubus is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin, and some sources indicate that it may be identified by its unnaturally cold penis. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death. A number of secular explanations have been offered for the origin of the incubus legends. They involve the medieval preoccupation with sin, especially sexual sins of women. Victims may have been experiencing waking dreams or sleep paralysis.
9. The Lost Tribes
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The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to the ancient Tribes of Israel that disappeared from the Biblical account after the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, enslaved and exiled by ancient Assyria. Many groups of Jews have doctrines concerning the continued hidden existence or future public return of these tribes. This is a subject that is partially based upon authenticated and documentedhistorical fact, partially upon written religious tradition and partially upon speculation. There is a vast amount of literature on the Lost Tribes and no specific source can be relied upon for a complete answer. Some scientists have researched the topic, and at various times some have made claims of empirical evidence of the Ten Lost Tribes. However, religious and scriptural sources remain the main sources of the belief that the Ten Lost Tribes have some continuing, though hidden, identity somewhere. It should be noted that the Book of Mormon suggests that the Native Americans are from two of the lost tribes.
8. Fountain of Youth
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The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Florida (ironically) is often said to be its location, and stories of the fountain are some of the most persistent associated with the state. Eternal youth is a gift frequently sought in myth and legend, and stories of things such as the philosopher’s stone, universal panaceas, and the elixir of life are common throughout Eurasia and elsewhere. Unfortunately, earlier native versions ofthe legend (from before the Old World became old) are not known outside of what snippets Spanish chroniclers managed to preserve of what is sureto have been a rich tradition.
7. The Wandering Jew
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The Wandering Jew is a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the thirteenth century and became a fixture of Christian mythology, and, later, of Romanticism.The legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The exact nature of the wanderer’s indiscretion varies in different versions of the tale, as do aspects of his character; sometimes he is said to be a shoemaker or other tradesman, sometimes he is the doorman at Pontius Pilate’s estate. The origins ofthe legend are debatable; perhaps one element is the story in Genesis of Cain, who is issued with a similar punishment — to wander over the earth, never reaping a harvest again, but scavenging.
6. Pope Joan
Pope Joan (also called La Papessa) is the name of a legendary female pope who supposedly reigned for less than three years in the 850s, between the papacies of Leo IV and Benedict III (though there were only two months between the two reigns). She is known primarily from a legend that circulated in the Middle Ages. Pope Joan is regarded by most modern historians and religious scholars as fictitious, possibly originating as an anti-papal satire. The story of Pope Joan is known mainly from the 13th century chronicler Martin of Opava – writing 500 years after the alleged Popess. Most scholars dismiss Pope Joan as a medieval legend. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes acknowledges that this legend was widely believed for centuries, even among Catholic circles, but declares that there is “no contemporary evidence for a female pope at any of the dates suggested for her reign,” and goes on to say that “the known facts of the respective periods make it impossible to fit [a female pope] in”. For those who are wondering what would happen if this were true (or were to ever be true): nothing; a female is not able to be a priest and a Pope cannot be crowned unless he is a priest first.
5. Robin Hood
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Robin Hood is an archetypal figure in English folklore, whose story originates from medieval times, but who remains significant in popular culture where he is known for “stealing from the rich and givingto the poor” and fighting against injustice and tyranny. His band includes a “three score” group of fellow outlawed yeomen – called his “Merry Men.” The origin ofthe legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, or from tales of outlaws, such as Hereward the Wake, Eustace the Monk, Fulk FitzWarin, and William Wallace. There are anumber of theories that attempt to identify a historical Robin Hood, but for various reasons (such as the popularity of the name in the Middle Ages), it is unlikely to ever come up with any evidence that suggests he is not just a legend.
4. The Holy Grail
According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers. The connection of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail legend dates from Robert de Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathie (late 12th century) in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Great Britain. The development of the Grail legend has been traced in detail by cultural historians: It is a legend which first came together in the form of written romances, deriving perhaps from some pre-Christian folklore hints, in the later 12th and early 13th centuries. The early Grail romances centered on Percival and were woven into the more general Arthurian fabric. Some of the Grail legend is interwoven with legends of the Holy Chalice.
3. King Arthur
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King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur’s story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and hishistorical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) and Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals), sees Arthur as a genuinehistorical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons sometime in the late 5th to early 6th century, but the lack of convincing early evidence is the reason many recent historians exclude Arthur from their accounts of post-Roman Britain.
2. The Children’s Crusade
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The Children’s Crusade is the name given to a variety of fictional and factual events which happened in 1212 that combine some or all of these elements: visions by a French or German boy; an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity; bands of children marching to Italy; and children being sold into slavery. A study published in 1977 cast doubt on the existence of these events and many historians now believe that they were not (or not primarily) children but multiple bands of “wandering poor” in Germany and France, some of whom tried to reach the Holy Land and others who never intended to do so. Early versions of events, of which there are many variations told over the centuries, are largely apocryphal. Recent research suggests the participants were not children, at least not the very young. The confusion started because later chroniclers, who were not witnessto the events of 1212 and who were writing 30 years or more later, began to translate the original accounts and misunderstood the Latin word pueri, meaning “boys”, to mean literally “children”. The original accounts did use the term pueri but it had a slang meaning, similar to how the term “country bumpkins” is used as a derogatory term in the rural United States.
1. Prester John
The legends of Prester John, popular in Europe from the 12th through the 17th centuries, told of a Christian patriarch and king said to rule over a Christian nation lost amidst the Muslims and pagans in the Orient. Written accounts of this kingdom are variegated collections of medieval popular fantasy. Reportedly a descendant of one of the Three Magi, Prester John was said to be a generous ruler and a virtuous man, presiding over a realm full of riches and strange creatures, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided. His kingdom contained such marvels as the Gates of Alexander and the Fountain of Youth, and even bordered the Earthly Paradise. Among his treasures was a mirror through which every province could be seen, the fabled original from which derived the “speculum literature” of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, in which the prince’s realms were surveyed and his duties laid out. Despite the non-existence of Prester John, the medieval belief in the legend affected several hundred years of European and world history, directly and indirectly, by encouraging Europe’s explorers, missionaries, scholars and treasure hunters.
Source: http://listverse.com/2009/04/22/top-10-medieval-urban-legends/

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Unik 10 Badass Female Warriors

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This is a list of the greatest female warriors through history. In order to be selected for this list, the woman has had to be someone who fought in battle herself, not just commanding from a distance, and she had to be real – for this reason people like Hua Mulan are not included as there is a lot of doubt about their historical existence.
10. Gudit
960 AD
Gudit (also known as Judit) was a non-Christian queen who ruled Dʿmt around 960 AD. She laid waste to Axum (the then-Sacred capital of Ethiopia – image above) and its countryside. She destroyed monuments and churches and attempted to wipe out all of the members of the ruling dynasty (descendants of the Queen of Sheba). Her activities are recorded in oral tradition and in various historical records. It is believed that she killed the emperor and took over his throne where she reigned for 40 years. Tales of her violence and history are still told by peasants in the North Ethiopian communities. It is traditionally believed that she sacked and destroyed Debre Damo, the treasury and prison for male relatives of the King of Ethiopia.
9. Triệu Thị Trinh
225 AD
Triệu Thị Trinh was a Vietnamese warrior from the 3rd century who successfully resisted the occupying forces of the Wu Kingdom during their time in Vietnam. She was born in the Trieu Son district of Thanh Hoa province (now in Northern Vietnam). At the time of her birth, the area was controlled by the Eastern Wu Kingdom, one of China’s three Kingdoms. She was orphaned at a young age and was raised by her brother and his wife as a slave until the age of 20. She escaped from her brother’s home and fled to the jungle where she built up an army of at least 1,000 men and women soldiers. Triệu Trinh managed to liberate an area of Vietnam which she then claimed as her own. Bythe age of 23 she had defeated at least 30 Wu advances. It was said that she rode in to battle on the back of an elephant whilst wearing golden armor and carrying two swords.
8. Boudicca
1st Century AD
Boudicca was a Queen of the people of Norfolk who lead an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. Her husband had left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman Emperor when he died, but the Romans did not acknowledge the joint rule – they simply took full control. It was reported that Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped. She was eventually chosen as the leader of her people and their neighbors to lead an assault on the Romans. Her army had great success in their battles – and in fact completely demolished the city of Camulodunum (Colchester). Tacitus said that the Britons had no desire to take prisoners – they simply slaughtered everyone in their path. Dio said that the noble Roman women were beheaded and had their breasts cut off and sewn to their mouths. Ironically, the great anti-imperialist rebel is now identified with the head of the British Empire, and her statue stands guard over the city she razed to the ground.
7. Trưng Sisters
1st Century AD
The Trưng Sisters were Vietnamese military leaders who managed to repel Chinese invasions for over three years. They are regarded as national heroines of Vietnam. They were born during the thousand-year Chinese occupation. After fighting off a small Chinese unit from their village, they assembled an army mostly consisting of women. Within months they had taken back many regionsfrom the Chinese and had liberated Nam Việt. They became Queens of the country and resisted all further attacks from the Chinese for two years. Eventually the Chinese formed a large army to crush the sisters and their army. Legend has it that the Chinese army went in to battle totally naked in order to shame the women soldiers in to defeat. Despite a heroic effort on the part of the sisters, the Chinese overcame their army. To protect their honor and to avoid ridicule at the hands of the Chinese, the two queens committed suicide by drowning themselves in the Hát river.
6. Artemisia I of Caria
5th Century BC
Artemisia I of Caria became the ruler of Ionia as a client of the Persians. She is best remembered for her participation in the Battle of Salamis (image above). She alone counseled the King of Persia (Xerxes) not to meet the Greeks at sea and do battle. Nevertheless he did not heed her advice and she participated in the battle in September 480 BC as the commander of five ships. At one point in the battle the Greeks were close to capturing her trireme when she devised a cunning plan to escape. She had her own ship bear down on another Persian ship causing the Greeks to think that she was fighting on their side. When she sank the ship the Greeks left her alone. Xerxes watching from a nearby hill also assumed that she had defeated an enemy ship and praised her for her bravery. Xerxes was so full of praise for her that he said: “My men have turned into women and my women into men!”. Artemisia tried to convince Xerxes to retreat to Asia Minoragainst the advice of his other generals. Ultimately the Persians suffered a great defeat.
5. Fu Hao
1200 BC
Fu Hao was a consort of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty. She also (unusually for that time) served as a high priestess and military general. Her tomb (image above) was discovered in Yinxu (the ruins of the Shang Capital, Yin) full intact with her treasures. She is known to modern scholars mainly from inscriptions on Shang dynasty oracle bone artifacts. In the inscriptions she is shown to have lead many military campaigns. The Tu fought again the Shang for many generations until Fu Hao finally defeated them in a single battle. Further campaignsagainst the neighbouring Yi, Qiang, and Ba were to follow – with the latter being particularly well known as the earliest recorded large scale ambush in Chinese history. With over 13,000 troops, she was the most powerful military leader of her time.
4. Ahhotep I
16th Century BC
Ahhotep I was such an important figure in the early New Kingdom that she is considered to have been a pivotal figure in the founding of the eighteenth dynasty. She had a long and influential life and ruled as regent after the death of her father. She enabled her two sons (Kamose and Ahmose I) to unite Egypt after the Hyskos occupation. She was instrumental in driving the Hyskos invaders out of Egypt. She lived untilthe age of ninety and was buried beside Kamose at Thebes.
She is the one who has accomplished the rites and taken care of Egypt… She has looked after her soldiers, she has guarded her, she has brought back her fugitives and collected together her deserters, she has pacified Upper Egypt and expelled her rebels.
Weapons and jewelry found in the tomb of Ahhotep I include an axe depicting Ahmose I striking down a Hyskos soldier, and flies in honor forthe queen in her role against the Hyskos. She was considered a warrior Queen and was presented with the Order of Valor. She was honored with a stela, commissioned by Ahmose I in the temple of Amun-Re that praises her military accomplishments.
3. St Joan of Arc
15th Century AD
Saint Joan of Arc appeared before the Crown Prince of France after receiving visions she claimed were from God telling her to fight to take France backfrom the English late in the Hundred Years’ War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege at Orléans. She gained great recognition after she was able to lift the siege in only nine days. After several more swift victories, she led Charles VII to his coronation at Rheims. She is the only person ever recorded to have commanded the entire army of a nation atthe age of seventeen. Despite sustaining wounds to the neck and head, she continued to lead the country to victory repeatedly. She was tried for heresy in a false court and burnt at the stake. Her trial was declared invalid by the Pope and she was canonized as a saint many years later.
2. Zenobia
3rd Century AD
Septima Zenobia governed Syria from about 250 to 275 AD. She led her armies on horseback wearing full armor and during Claudius’ reign defeated the Roman legions so decisively that they retreated from much of Asia Minor. Arabia, Armenia and Persia allied themselves with her and she declared herself Queen of Egypt by right of ancestry. Claudius’ successor Aurelian sent his most experienced legions to conquer Zenobia but it took almost 4 years of battles and sieges before her capital city of Palmyra fell and Zenobia along with nine other martial queens of allied provinces were paraded through the streets of Rome in chains. Aurelian exiled Zenobia to Tibur. Her daughters married into influential Roman families and her line continued to be important in Roman politics for almost three centuries. Mavia, was Queen of the Bedouin Saracens from 370 to 380 AD. She led her troops in defeating a Roman army then made a favorable peace and married her daughter to the Roman commander in chief of the eastern Emperor Valens.
1. Tamar of Georgia
13th Century AD
Tamar (sometimes known as Tamara) was the daughter of the Georgian King Giorgi III. Her father declared her co-ruler and heir apparent to prevent dispute after his death. After the death of her father, Tamar gained a reputation as an outstanding ruler and was dubbed “King of Kings and Queen of Queens” by her people. Her reign saw the bringing to heel of almost every neighboring Muslim state. Tamar played an active military role as the commander of her army. During her reign the kingdom reached the apex of its political, economic and cultural might. In 1201-1203, Georgians took and annexed the Armenian capitals of Ani and Dvin. In 1204, Tamar’s army occupied the city of Kars. In 1204, Tamar helped to found the Empire of Trebizond on the southern shore of the Black Sea (whose capital is now the Turkish city of Trabzon). Queen Tamar died in 1213.
Source: http://listverse.com/2008/03/17/top-10-badass-female-warriors/
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Unik 10 Famous Slaves

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Slavery is a very ancient institution which is even sanctioned in the Bible: “Let your bondmen, and your bondwomen, be of the nations that are round about you” [Leviticus 25:44]. While most of the Western world has abolished this practice, there are still some nations that turn a blind eye to a very active slave trade. This is a list of the most famous slaves in history. It is very difficult to write such a subjective list in light of the enormous number of slaves that are known in history, nevertheless I have endeavored to do so.
10. Margaret Garner
Margaret Garner was a slave in pre-Civil War America notorious for killing her two year oldbutcher knife, rather than see the child returned to slavery. Margaret was not tried for murder, but was forced to return to a slave state along with her youngest child, and a daughter aged about nine months. The Liberator reported on March 11, 1856 that the steamboat Lewis, on which the Garners were traveling, began to sink and thatMargaret and her baby daughter were thrown overboard when another boat coming to their rescue hit the Lewis. Sadly, the baby was drowned. It was reported thatMargaret was happy that her baby had died and that she would try to drown herself. daughter with a
9. Abram Petrovich Gannibal
Major-General Abram Petrovich Gannibal, also Hannibal or Ganibal, (1696 – 20 April 1781) was an African slave who was brought to Russia by Peter the Great and became major-general, military engineer and governor of Reval. He is perhaps best known today as the great-grandfather of Aleksandr Pushkin, who wrote an unfinished novel about him, The Moor of Peter the Great.
8. Ammar ibn Yasir
Prophet Bedouins Large
Ammar bin Yasir is one of the most famous companions of Muhammad, and was among the slaves freed by Abu Bakr. He is venerated by Shi’a Muslims as one of the Four Companions, early Muslims who were followers of Ali ibn Abi Talib. Ammar was born in the Year of the Elephant (570). Therefore he is as old as Muhammad. Ammar was a friend of Muhammad even before Islam. He was one of the intermediaries in his marriage to Khadijat Al-Kubra. He was a slave of Banu Adi. He was killed by a group loyal to Mu’Awiyah in the battle of Siffin (657). His killer was ibn Hawwa esaksaki and Abu Al’Adiyah.
7. Nat Turner
Nat Turner was a black preacher who led an 1831 uprising in Southampton County, Virginia in which at least 55 whites were killed by a group of about 50slaves . Turner was a deeply religious man who claimed to have visions and directives from God. On the night of 21 August 1831 he led four otherslaves (Henry, Hark, Nelson and Sam) on a murderous spree near the town of Jerusalem, killing men, women and children in their beds. By the next day his mob had grown to at least 40 or 50, but the local militia confronted and captured most of them. Turner escaped, but was eventually captured in October and tried. He was hanged and skinned 11 November 1831. Before he was executed, he described his actions to Thomas R. Gray, and “The Confessions of Nat Turner” was later widely published in newspapers. Turner’s failed rebellion led to hundreds of blacks being murdered by white vigilante mobs, and spurred a new set of strict codes that limited the activities ofslaves.
6. James Somersett
Image From Abolitionist Pamphlet
James Somerset or Somersett was a young African slave who was purchased by Charles Stuart in Virginia in 1749. Stuart was involved in English government service and traveled as part of his duties accompanied by Somerset, who at the time did not have a first name. In 1769, Stuart along with Somersett traveled to England. While in England, Somersett met and became involved with people associated with the anti-slavery movement in England including the well known activist Granville Sharp. During this period, Somersett was christened with the name James in a church ceremony. Somersett was recaptured after escaping, and his trial ultimately spelt the end ofslavery in England (though not English participation in slavery in its other nations).
5. Enrique of Malacca
Enrique of Malacca was a native of the Malay Archipelago. Also known as Henry the Black, he was Ferdinand Magellan’s personal servant and interpreter. He had been reportedly captured by Sumatran slavers from his home islands. In 1511 he was purchased by Ferdinand Magellan in a Malaccan slave market and baptized as Henrique (spanish Enrique), (his original name is not recorded). Thereafter he worked as a personal slave and interpreter, accompanying Magellan back to Europe, and onwards on Magellan’s famous search for a westward passage to the Pacific Ocean. He is simply called Enrique on the ship’s muster roll, and Henrich in Pigafetta’s account of the expedition. If a loose definition of circumnavigation (ie, not returning to the exact same spot), then Enrique has an undisputed claim to being the first circumnavigator. He made the first known cultural circumnavigation, travelling around the world until he reached people who spoke his language. He (and Magellan) may also have crossed every meridian — that is he crossed every line of longitude, or circumnavigated the poles.
4. Frederick Douglass
Born in bondage on the eastern shore of Maryland, Douglass worked for several different slaveholders in both eastern Maryland and Baltimore between 1818 and 1838. During his youth, Douglass became proficiently literate by readingthe Bible and classic orations and listening to the sermons of antislavery black preachers and Quakers. These experiences later contributed to his unyielding abolitionism and fierce egalitarianism. In 1838, while a ship caulker’s apprentice, Douglass acquired free seaman papers and escaped to New York City. He then moved to Massachusetts and became involved in antislavery activism, under the tutelage of William Lloyd Garrison. Eventually rejecting the apolitical nature of Garrisonian abolitionism, Douglass moved to Rochester, New York, and founded his own abolition journal, The North Star.
3. Saint Patrick
St Patrick-Banising Snakes-Large-1
St. Patrick is revered by Christians for establishing the church in Ireland during the fifth century AD. The precise dates and details of his life are unclear, but some points are generally agreed: as a teen he was captured and sold intoslavery in Ireland, and six years later he escaped to Gaul (now France) where he later became a monk. Around 432 he returned to Ireland as a missionary and succeeded in converting many of the island’s tribes to Christianity. Late in life he wrote a brief text, Confessio, detailing his life and ministry. His feast day, March 17, is celebrated as a day of Irish pride in many parts of the world.
2. Aesop
Aesop, famous for his Fables, is supposed to have lived from about 620 to 560 BC. The place of his birth is uncertain — Thrace, Phrygia, Aethiopia, Samos, Athens and Sardis all claiming the honor. We possess little trustworthy information concerning his life, except that he was the slave of Iadmon of Samos and met with a violent death at the hands of the inhabitants of Delphi. Aesop must have received his freedom from Iadmon, or he could not have conducted the public defense of a certain Samian demagogue (Aristotle, Rhetoric, II 20). According to the story, he subsequently lived at the court of Croesus, where he met Solon, and dined in the company of the Seven Sages of Greece with Periander at Corinth. It is probable that Aesop did not commit his fables to writing; Aristophanes represents Philocleon as having learned the “absurdities” of Aesop from conversation at banquets, and Socrates whiles away his time in prison by turning some of Aesop’s fables “which he knew” into verse.
1. Spartacus
Spartacus, a Thracian, served in the Roman army. He became a bandit and was sold as a slave when caught. He escaped a gladiatorial school, where he had plotted a revolt with other gladiators, and set up camp on Mount Vesuvius, where he was joined by other runawayslaves and some peasants. With a force of 90,000, he overran most of southern Italy, defeating two consuls. He led his army north to the Cisalpine Gaul, where he hoped to release them to find freedom, but they refused to leave, preferring to continue the struggle. Returning south, he attempted to invade Sicily but could not arrange the passage. The legions of Marcus Licinius Crassus caught the slave army in Lucania and defeated it; Spartacus fell in pitched battle. Pompey’s army intercepted and killed many of those escaping north, and Crassus crucified 6,000 prisoners along the Appian Way.
Source: http://listverse.com/2007/09/17/top-10-famous-slaves/

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