In this painting of a kuttab, or primary school, boys sit on a mat or carpet huddled close together with their writing boards. Boys, and sometimes girls, learned to recite the Qur'an at an early age, as well as the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic in schools called kuttabs. It might be held in a mosque, a building especially for the purpose, or an open courtyard, as in West Africa.... Read More »
The image by 13th–century illustrator al-Wasiti is from the Maqamat (Assemblies), a collection of stories of a picaresque hero. The author, al-Hariri (1054-1122 CE), is an important figure in Arabic literary history. The illustrations belong to the Baghdad School of miniature illustration, and depict scenes of ordinary life. The scene illustrates aspects of a village life. Al-Wasiti used a... Read More »
In 1816, after more than two centuries of Spanish rule, the nation of Argentina declared its independence. One of the leaders of the independence movement was José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras, more commonly known as General San Martín. He fought in battles in Argentina, Peru, and Chile. The Argentine public has historically regarded him as a father of the independence movement. The... Read More »
This image ridicules monks for contributing nothing to society, either economically or demographically, by depicting a group of them being taken from the monastery and drafted into the army, where they hope "to become good citizens" as was expected under religious restructuring during the French Revolution. To bring the clergy under the control of the new government, on 12 July 1790, the... Read More »
Mr. de Lafayette, Commander of the Paris National Guard, Receives the City’s 'Sword for the Defense of Liberty'
During the French Revolution the most visible connection between America and France was Lafayette, who had volunteered for service in the American Revolution and had been mentored by Washington and Jefferson. This special status vaulted him to prominence in 1789 as he became a delegate in the Estates–General, head of the National Guard, and a general in the military. In a way, his background... Read More »