Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bendery (1713)

The so-called “Skirmish at Bendery” (known in Swedish as the Kalabaliken i Bender, from the Turkish word kalabalık or “crowd”) shows that, even in 1713, the Ottomans were still capable of the occasional muscle flexing in Europe. It’s actually a chapter in the 1700-1721 Great Northern War, which otherwise didn’t involve the Ottomans at all, … Continue reading Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bendery (1713)

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Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Russia’s victory in the Battle of Sarikamish was so overwhelming that it put the Russians on the offensive in World War I’s Caucasian Theater for good–or, uh, until Russia quit the war following its 1917 revolution. And so its military impact is a little mixed, despite the lopsided outcome. Had the Ottomans been able to … Continue reading Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Today in Iranian history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah (1925)

Decades before they helped engineer the coup that restored Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi to power, the British were responsible for engineering another Iranian coup that (eventually) enthroned his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi (d. 1944), and thus founded the Pahlavi “Dynasty.” I put “dynasty” in quotes because it was just the two of them over the … Continue reading Today in Iranian history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah (1925)

Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

The Russian Empire, one of the precursors of modern Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, the precursor of modern Turkey, fought a whopping 12 wars against one another between the second half of the 16th century and World War I (which, of course, brought about the end of both empires). The Russians were ascendant for most … Continue reading Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

Inaccurate Conception: Orthodoxy, Autocephaly, and the Nation-State

It's time for another guest post! Today we've got a piece by freelance writer and Harvard Divinity School student Hannah Gais on the recent schism between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople over the latter's decision to give Ukrainian church leaders permission to form an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Hannah argues … Continue reading Inaccurate Conception: Orthodoxy, Autocephaly, and the Nation-State