Three wise men, kings from the East, follow the Star of Bethlehem to the manger where Mary lay with the baby Jesus, and present the newborn king with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The story is an indelible part of Christian culture that is renewed with every singing of “We Three Kings,” with every Nativity display on every lawn at Christmastime, with every celebration of Twelfth Night, which commemorates the day that the Magi arrived.
Edward “Long Cross” Coinage, 1272-1327 Edward’s reign almost ended before in began. In 1264, an upstart group of barons captured him and his father, Henry III. For over a year, the king and the prince languished in prison while Simon de Montfort, the head of the rebellion, ruled the country. Then Prince Edward escaped. He gathered up an army of loyalists and marched on the usurpers, defeating and kiling Montfort at the Battle of Evesham, and restoring the Crown to his father. Continue reading
With the exception of Judas of Iscariot, no figure in the Christian Gospels is as antithetical to the teachings of Jesus as King Herod. “Herod” is not just one person; the Bible uses the name interchangeably to indicate any of the kings who ruled the Holy Land from 40 BC to 92 AD. The Herods were all Roman client kings—Herod I was installed in Judaea by his friend Mark Antony—and their supporters, known in the Bible as the Herodians, were loyal to Rome above all. The first mention of them in the Gospels is Mark 3:6: “Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.”
If December 7, 1941, is a day that lives in infamy, then June 6, 1944 is the glorious opposite: D-Day, the date of the invasion of Normandy, the turning point in the Second World War. It is impossible to overstate the scope of the decisive battle that marked the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe. The landing involved some 5,000 ships, 11,000 planes, and 150,000 men, and comprised the largest and most complex air-, sea-, and land operation ever attempted, before or since.