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Michael Psellus: Chronographia
SOME three years ago I reviewed an excellent little volume written by Professor Norman Baynes, The Hellenistic Civilization and East Rome. In it he mentions Michael Psellus's famous anecdote about the Byzantine Sclerena and Constantine IX. Being curious to know more of Psellus I bought the Bude edition and read the Chronographia in full. That is how this translation was born, for it seemed to me a pity that English scholars who knew no Greek should be deprived of the opportunity of reading this admirable work in their own language. Students of medieval history in particular should benefit. Certainly no other contemporary author gives so vivid an account of eleventh-century Byzantium. I hope that this pioneer effort may inspire others to read and enjoy him.
I would like here to acknowledge my debt to M. Emile Renauld, who first translated the history into a modern language. Although this interpretation differs in many points from the French version, his influence will be apparent. I am grateful too for the kindly interest and constant encouragement of Mr. R. H. Barrow, C.B.E., and of Mr. W. F. Jackson Knight, whose scholarship extends far beyond the Virgilian field in which he especially shines. When I first undertook the work, the late Dr. W. H. D. Rouse gave me sound advice, and as I neared the end, Professor Arthur E. Gordon, of the University of California, offered some valuable criticism. To both of them I am deeply indebted. Needless to say, none of these gentlemen can be held responsible for the imperfections which must creep into so long a work.
Above all I am grateful to Professor J. M. Hussey, who not only consented to write the Introduction to this book, but found time to revise my notes, added the short bibliography, and made some useful suggestions which improved the text.
E. R. A. S.
9 October 1952.
GIBBON'S legend of a decadent East Roman Empire dies hard in ordinary English circles. But research of the last half century should by now have made it abundantly clear that Byzantine civilization can hold its own in the medieval world. That is not to deny that it had its ups and downs and changed a good deal in character in the course of more than a thousand years. The eleventh century, in which Michael Psellus lived, was a crucial time, not because of the fact of its acute political difficulties -- after all, the Empire had faced danger time and again -- but because it was now brought up against certain new and ominous developments both within and without which it failed to control, and hence its total downfall in the fifteenth century may be traced back to this period. Now and then Psellus shows partial understanding of such dangers, as for instance when he comments on the vital importance of Constantinople's military defenses, but he could not foretell the gathering impetus of the western crusading movement which so violently disrupted Byzantine life in the Aegean world, nor did he realize that the Seljuk Turks were preparing the way for the almost complete loss of the Empire's great storehouse, Asia Minor, or that the rumblings in the Balkans were to herald the growth and emancipation of the young Slav nations. After all, he was living and writing in the heyday of the eleventh century when the disastrous turn in imperial fortunes was scarcely perceptible, and when Constantinople could still to some extent bask in the accumulated glories of the great days of the tenth century with its classical revival and its expansion of the frontiers. And indeed whatever weaknesses might have alarmed a discerning eye in the years to follow, satisfaction could always be found in the steady maintenance and development of cultural activities, certain aspects of which were passionately near to Psellus's heart.
Whatever his father's claims to aristocratic forebears, Michael Psellus grew up in the milieu of a middle-class family. His writings,  and particularly his funeral oration for his mother, reveal a fair amount about his childhood and his own personal appearance and castes. In physique he resembled his father who had merry eyes and well defined eyebrows and was handsome as a 'well-grown cypress'. But his father's even-tempered disposition and quiet way of life, moving from day to day as silently and smoothly 'as flowing oil', were not inherited by the son. In outlook and temperament he was more like his mother who was clearly the mainspring of the family. Psellus says that she was attractive and 'like the rose needed no further adornment' she was also energetic, of quick intelligence, and above all a devout Christian. She certainly bequeathed her dynamic qualities to her son, though his subtlety of approach was in contrast to her more simple adherence to the Christian faith, and his achievements in intellectual fields, however much they owed to her early efforts and encouragement, were in substance his alone.
Born in Constantinople in 1018 he grew into an exceedingly alert, intelligent child and he was brought up on Homer as Greek children were and are. His mother managed to prolong his education until he was in his teens and then the need to provide a dowry for his sister made it difficult to support him any longer. He became a clerk to a provincial judge, but on the unexpected death of his sister he returned to Constantinople and continued his studies. He was taught by John Mauropous, afterwards Archbishop of Euchaita, but then a private tutor in Constantinople. John, both from Psellus and from other sources, is revealed as a single-minded scholar and a man of great integrity. He evidently coached a number of clever young men, all of whom later made their mark and remained firm friends with each other and with their tutor. John Xiphilinus became Head of the Faculty of Law in the University of Constantinople, then monk and Abbot of a monastery in Asia Minor, and finally Patriarch of Constantinople. Constantine Ducas, another well-known member of the group, eventually succeeded to the throne as Constantine X. Constantine Psellus - he later changed the name of Constantine for that of Michael by which he is usually known - managed to make his way in court circles and the story of his rise to power can be read in his Chronographia and filled out from other contemporary sources.*
* For a recent short summary of Psellus's career see P. Joannou, Psellos et le monastère Ta Narsoà , Byzantinische Zeitschrift vol. 44 (1951), pp. 283-90.
The two predominating passions of Psellus's life were to get on in  the world and to promote scholarship and learning. This first characteristic is probably what emerges most plainly from his Chronographia. With repeated apologies he is always describing the importance of his own position, the extent to which imperial personages depend on him, and he likes to add digressions designed to reveal his own private feelings and to underline the significance of his efforts towards achieving more effective higher education. It may be doubted how reliable an adviser he made on matters of state, but the fact that he served a long series of eleventh-century rulers until 1077 is a tribute to his Personality as well as to his adaptability. Psellus has to admit to at least one unfortunate episode in his political career which he glosses over in the Chronographia as best he can. Threatened with a reversal at court towards the end of Constantine IX's reign, he thought it judicious to absent himself for a time. The natural thing for a Byzantine in such circumstances was monastic retirement which might or might not prove permanent. Psellus soon realized his total lack of vocation and returned to the secular world as soon as it was safe to do so. Far otherwise with his friend and companion Xiphilinus, who had indeed found his way of life. Their experiences are described in more detail elsewhere in Psellus's writings. Psellus had evidently thought of the monastery simply in terms of a comfortable background for a series of Socratic dialogues in the cloisters between himself and his fellow scholar, and is half teased, half reproached by Xiphilinus for his mistake.
Psellus's two most attractive traits are his loyalty to his friends and his devotion to scholarship. All his life Psellus stuck to his early friends, men of character and achievement very different from his own. John, his old teacher, was almost dragged to imperial notice and then for a time held a lectureship in the University at Psellus's nomination. Xiphilinus and Psellus remained in close touch, though after the monastic episode their paths forked and their differences of outlook became more apparent, but it evidently cut Psellus to the quick to be accused by Xiphilinus of unwise concentration on Platonic studies, and he was swift to prove his orthodoxy and reinstate himself in his old friend's good opinion. Constantine Ducas when he became Emperor in 1059 had not lost touch with the friend of forty years ago and he eventually showed his confidence in Psellus by making him his son's tutor -- unfortunately for the Empire as it turned out, for the young man trained up on the lines of a  philosopher-king as visualized by Psellus proved useless at defending frontiers against invading Turks or Normans and had to abdicate.
Psellus's most fruitful efforts were in promoting higher education and in the influence of his own written works. His was the driving force behind the reorganization of the State University of Constantinople in 1045 and in this connection his influence in imperial circles was used to good effect. There were evidently available both a number of educated men to act as lecturers and a student body wishing to use opportunities of this kind, so that Psellus's extravagant remarks in the Chronographia on his uphill task and Anna Comnena's caustic comments in the Alexiad on the low ebb to which learning had sunk in the eleventh century cannot be taken entirely at their face value. Not that the effect of Psellus's dynamic personality can be denied, nor should his work in stimulating interest in Platonic studies be underestimated. It was not for nothing that Xiphilinus implied that he was making a god of his Plato'. Psellus's philosophical leanings can be discerned here and there in the Chronographia, but it is only from the complete corpus of his works that his activities and academic interests can be fully reconstructed. Philosophy, with special emphasis on Platonism, was conceived as the crown and summit of the scholar's life. Yet Psellus when challenged was the first to admit that such activity was visualized only within, and therefore to some extent limited by, the accepted Christian framework. It would moreover be inaccurate to imagine that Psellus was interested in philosophical to the exclusion of all other pursuits. He was concerned with Christian theology, with the Christian interpretation of the universe, he shared, for instance, the almost universal belief in miracles however much he protested against magical practices, and was evidently well versed in contemporary views on the demon world. He often clothed his thoughts in what seems to us to be a flood of rhetoric, particularly in his speeches and letters. But he had an eye for detail, he was a shrewd judge of human nature, and he could produce fine, balanced, accurate prose portraits of his contemporaries. The Chronographia speaks for itself and can more than hold its own with similar contemporary literature of the Latin world.
In his introduction to the Chronographia Psellus explains that he had often been pressed to write a history of his own times and that he finally agreed to produce a brief sketch at the special request of a  great friend. This friend, 'most beloved of all men' as Psellus calls him remains unnamed but may have been Constantine Lichudes, a companion of his student days who had risen to high office under Constantine IX and had become Patriarch of Constantinople in 1059. Lichudes as Patriarch had been persuaded to support those who accused Psellus of failing to observe his monastic vows and had detained him in the monastery of Narsou near the western walls of the city. Psellus may have wished to conciliate him by writing the history which he asked for. The Chronographia however goes beyond 1063, the year of Lichudes' death.*
* Cf. Chronographia, VIIa, 5 (p. 254), and VIIc, II (p. 285).
The work falls into two distinct sections of which the first takes up the story where the tenth-century historian Leo the Deacon stopped at Basil II's accession to power in 976 and goes as far as the abdication of Isaac Comnenus in 1059. This is the more important and the more impartial section. The second part, probably written late in Michael VII's reign -- for Psellus says in it that he has seen Michael's little son who was born in 1075 -- is less critical in tone and full of lavish appreciation of the Ducas family and regime. This may be regrettable, but it is understandable, for Psellus was writing of contemporary politics in which he himself was concerned. He cannot for instance be absolved from a grave error of judgment in supporting the unfortunate overthrow of the Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes in 1071, but he would have been almost superhuman if he had presented posterity with a critical account of his own actions and those of the imperial Ducas family with whom he had such intimate associations.
Despite this unevenness of treatment between the two sections, the Chronographia remains history of a high order. Psellus had clear views on the function of a historian. His aim should be the presentation of truth, either from the evidence of reliable records and witnesses or from his own first-hand experiences. And so Psellus tries to give an impartial account, at any rate in the first section of his work, and subsequent events in the Empire's history often confirmed his shrewd criticisms and prognostications. But no sense of the historian's high vocation and essential impartiality could damp the racy individualism of Psellus's approach nor the delicate artistry of his style and language. His enlivening devices, his literary resources, his rich and varied vocabulary, are all revealed in the elegant brilliance and swift movement of his picture of Byzantine life. His descriptions of per  sonalities have become famous, and in two cases at any rate his accuracy and fullness of detail have been confirmed by the recent uncovering of the imperial portraits in mosaic work decorating St. Sophia, the cathedral of Constantinople. Here in the south gallery, when the layers of Turkish plaster were removed, the elderly Empress Zoe was revealed, with her unwrinkled skin and plump cheeks, her pencilled eyebrows and made-up features, just as Psellus had known her. Standing on the other side of the enthroned Christ was her third husband, Constantine IX Monomachus, also corresponding closely to Psellus's description of the kindly, affectionate, and on occasion frivolous, ruler who had been his chief patron.
Much else can be found in the Chronographia besides lifelike portraits of individuals (including one of the author himself). There is a good deal of both direct and indirect information on the Byzantine conception of the imperial office, and there are some hints on the relation between Emperor and Patriarch (though Psellus is on this occasion very discreet in writing about the Patriarch Michael Cerularius who challenged the accepted interdependence of church and state). The Christian background and the workings of a divine Providence are assumed great emphasis is placed on a good education and a right appreciation of the intellectual heritage of the Hellenic world. Much is omitted. This is particularly true of political and administrative history, especially foreign policy, but such information can often be found in other, and less lively, histories of the period and must in any case be supplemented from sources of a different nature. The picture can be filled out from such records as documents, usually either imperial or monastic, from literary writings both secular and ecclesiastical, and above all from the monuments of the period, whether mosaics in St. Sophia or the more remote but no less impressive work surviving in such monastic churches as that of St. Luke in Phocis.
But whatever its defects and inadequacies there can be no substitute for the Chronographia itself. A twelfth-century satirist who imagined the descent of Psellus to the realm of the underworld, described the warmth with which he was welcomed by other scholars already there. And with good reason. Michael Psellus must have been a first-rate companion (whether in this world or the next) and he was certainly an entertaining writer.
Michael Psellus: Chronographia, trans E.R.A Sewter, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953)
This copyright on this text was not renewed. Extensive inquiries were made in the records of copyright renewals, and then a correspondence with Yale University Press (on file) confirmed the situation.
Note that there is a later and revised edition of the translation, published by Penguin, and that should be referred to for scholarly purposes.
This etext slightly alters the organization and much of the typography of the printed edition.
Page numbers of the printed edition are indicated in the texts by numbers in brackets, e.g. .
Some short notes are placed in the text in brackets [*like this].
Longer notes are marked in the text with two asterisks **, and placed at the end of each chapter
Text scanned by Hanna Orr.
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Reviews & endorsements
'This work leads to rich revelations about what Psellos was getting at in his writing, but beyond him, it provides us with subtle and convincing explorations of Byzantine culture, particularly the pervasive importance of ancient and biblical models of ideal behavior for the formation of character and the expression of self. Together with Derek Krueger's Liturgical Subjects: Christian Ritual, Biblical Narrative, and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium (2014), Papaioannou's exploration of Psellos's self-presentation lays the groundwork for understanding Byzantine conceptions of self and identity.' Leonora Neville, Speculum
Reviews & endorsements
'This work leads to rich revelations about what Psellos was getting at in his writing, but beyond him, it provides us with subtle and convincing explorations of Byzantine culture, particularly the pervasive importance of ancient and biblical models of ideal behavior for the formation of character and the expression of self. Together with Derek Krueger's Liturgical Subjects: Christian Ritual, Biblical Narrative, and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium (2014), Papaioannou's exploration of Psellos's self-presentation lays the groundwork for understanding Byzantine conceptions of self and identity.' Leonora Neville, Speculum
About: Michael Strahan
Born on November 21, 1971, Michael Anthony Strahan can be defined as a man with several kinds of skills and talents. He certainly ticks the mark of being tall, dark, and incredibly handsome.
The 49-year-old is sure a multi-talented person with being a former professional football player along with currently dabbling and testing his abilities as an actor as well as a journalist and earned himself his name as a television personality in the United States.
So this pretty much sums up the man in question with his almost too perfect combo of basically everything.
Michael played football for the NFL’s one of the most prominent teams, the New York Giants as their defensive player, and has a successful, professional career for 15 years.
In January, the Black Lives Matter movement was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP Petter Eide. His written nomination noted that, &ldquoawarding the peace prize to Black Lives Matter, as the strongest global force against racial injustice, will send a powerful message that peace is founded on equality, solidarity and human rights, and that all countries must respect those basic principles.&rdquo
On 20 April, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts relating to his killing of George Floyd &ndash second- and third-degree murder, and manslaughter. The jury reached the verdict unanimously after 10-and-a-half hours of deliberations.
Crowds who were gathered at the spot where Floyd was killed, outside the courtroom and across the US erupted into cheers as the verdict was read out.
Floyd&rsquos family spoke of their relief and highlighted the work still to be done. &ldquoI am going to put up a fight every day,&rdquo said George&rsquos brother, Philonise Floyd. &ldquoBecause I am not just fighting for George anymore.&rdquo
Darnella Frazier, the passer-by who recorded the widely shared video of Floyd&rsquos murder when she was 17 years old, said in a Facebook post: &ldquoGeorge Floyd we did it!! Justice has been served.&rdquo
US President Joe Biden addressed the nation following the verdict, saying it's &ldquoa moment of significant change&rdquo, but added: &ldquoIt's not enough. We can&rsquot stop here. We&rsquore going to deliver real change and reform.&rdquo
Find out what you can do to demand justice for Black lives here
1001-C.E.-1100 C.E. [ edit | edit source ]
1001 [ edit | edit source ]
The evil Org initially attack the Earth (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger).
The demons Sammael and Lilith perform a dark ritual, enabling demons to invade the world (The Mortal Instruments).
1002 [ edit | edit source ]
Time-traveling V.I.L.E. agent Baron Grinnit steals Leif Erikson's ship, leaving Erikson and his crew marooned in Vinland. ACME agents arrive on the scene and help the Vikings to recapture their ship. ACME apprehends Baron Grinnit and takes him back to the present day. (Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time)
1003 [ edit | edit source ]
Pai Mei slaughters all sixty monks in a Shaolin monastery after he believes one of their number insulted him (Kill Bill).
1004 [ edit | edit source ]
In the Pegasus Galaxy, the Genii Confederation is founded (Stargate Atlantis).
1005 [ edit | edit source ]
Macbeth is born in Scotland. His parents are Findlaech, High Steward of Moray and Princess Doada of Scotland. His maternal grandfather is Malcolm II of Scotland. Making the boy a potential heir to the throne (Gargoyles).
Fall of the Kingdom of Guardia (Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross).
Birth of Thyra in Northern France to Wilmetta and an unknown father. She would grow up to become a witch (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.).
1010 [ edit | edit source ]
A boy named Serge drowns/is rescued by a strange girl in El Nido. A timeline that already loops back on itself in several places is split into two dimensions (Chrono Cross).
Hiccup Haddock, son of Stoick, ushers in a new era of peace between Berk and the dragons by befriending a Night Fury and defeating the Green(or is it Red?) Death. (How to Train Your Dragon)(Going by a teaser on Nickelodeon showing an Olympic like event being written as occuring in 1010).
1011 [ edit | edit source ]
A dual-sword-wielding thief becomes a main character and challenges Iihiko Shishime, but is killed (Medaka Box).
1014 [ edit | edit source ]
Heart of Mantorok sealed away in Ellia, a dancing girl at the court of King Suryavarman I (Eternal Darkness).
The Kree go to war with the Nova Empires (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
1015 [ edit | edit source ]
V.I.L.E. agent Medeva arrives in this year and steals the first chapter of The Tale of Genji, giving Writer's Block to Murasaki Shikibu. ACME corrects the damage done to history and captures Medeva (Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time).
1018 [ edit | edit source ]
Yoda granted the title of Jedi Master (Star Wars).
1020 [ edit | edit source ]
Serge stumbles into an alternate timeline, beginning an adventure to save all of history (Chrono Cross).
Findlaech, High Steward of Moray is assassinated by the mysterious Hunter (secretly his nephew Gillecomgain), at the behest of Prince Duncan in order to secure his own claim to the throne. Gillecomgain was also supposed to assassinate Findlaech's heir, Macbeth, but Macbeth is rescued by Demona and the Weird Sisters. Duncan rewards Gillecomgain by appointing him High Steward of Moray. (Gargoyles)
1023 [ edit | edit source ]
December 31: At midnight, the Old Year Sir 1023 ends his reign, and retires to an island in the Archipelago of Last Years. (Rudolph's Shiny New Year)
Most classic fairy tales, including Snow White, Cinderella, Mother Goose, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, take place in this year (Rudolph's Shiny New Year).
1027 [ edit | edit source ]
June: Thyra of Collinet, Northern France, gives birth to a girl. The father is unknown. Thyra's aunt Emma gladly takes in both Thyra and her daughter, who is named Beatrice. (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.).
1032 [ edit | edit source ]
Gillecomgain marries Gruoch. When he refuses to kill Macbeth at the behest of Duncan, Duncan reveals him to actually be the Hunter, and Gillecomgain is killed by Macbeth and Demona. Duncan claims the identity of the Hunter for himself (Gargoyles).
Macbeth marries Gruoch. They have a son, Luach, later that year (Gargoyles).
Birth of Malcolm Canmore to Prince Duncan and an unnamed mother. He would grow up to become a King of Scotland. (Gargoyles)
1034 [ edit | edit source ]
Duncan I succeeds to the throne of Scotland but fears his cousin Macbeth has an equally strong claim to it. He continues to conspire against his cousin (Gargoyles).
1040 [ edit | edit source ]
Before August 14: Macbeth and Demona are bound together as immortals in exchange for Demona's assistance fighting King Duncan. Demona is left rejuvenated, Macbeth now seems physically older than his actual age (Gargoyles).
Macbeth and Demona's forces defeat Duncan's forces in battle. Macbeth and his friend Banquo, while travelling without Demona, Macbeth is confronted by the weird sisters who make a prophecy that he shall be King and that Banquo will father a line of Kings yet not be one. Macbeth relays this prophecy to his wife and the plot to kill Duncan. The elderly King Duncan of Scotland is killed in his sleep by Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor. Upon the discovery of the body, Princes Malcolm and Donalbain flee Scotland in fear of their lives. This allows Macbeth to implicate them in the murder and claim the throne for himself (Macbeth). Macbeth becomes king of Scotland. Demona earns her new name by "fighting like a demon" in the last battle. She goes on to lead her own Clan of gargoyles to prosperity. Canmore, son of Duncan, is banished to England. (Gargoyles)
1040 to 1057 [ edit | edit source ]
Macbeth rules Scotland with an iron fist(Macbeth).
1041 [ edit | edit source ]
The Byzantine historian, philosopher, and demonologist Michael Psellos compiles the Corpus Hermeticum he also produces an independent Greek version of al-’Azīf/the Necronomicon from a Syriac translation. (Hermetic Magic, Cthulhu Mythos)
1042 [ edit | edit source ]
After conquering many realms, Shao Kahn challenges Earth Realm to Mortal Kombat. The Sorcerer Shang Tsung claims the first victory for Outworld(Mortaly Kombat).
1045 [ edit | edit source ]
Tristan Lyons of D.O.D.O., having recognised from accounts of her life that Thyra is probably a witch, arrives in Collinet to recruit her. He is correct and succeeds in doing so, helping stave off a village raid in the process. This heroic act ends up making him into a romanticised folk hero and canonised saint, without him realising (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.).
1046 [ edit | edit source ]
April: Thyra is admonished by the local church for her reluctance to dispose of her witchcraft tools. The local priest pardons her (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.).
1050 [ edit | edit source ]
August: Thyra is scolded by the mayor of Collinet and a local lord for foraging for herbs on their land. She causes 'great sorrow' on them in return (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.).
Many copies of the Necronomicon burned at the order of Patriarch Michael. All Arabic manuscripts have been lost by this time (Cthulhu Mythos).
1054 [ edit | edit source ]
Eruption of the Crab Nebula. (Real Life)
1057 [ edit | edit source ]
Demona, fearing treachery, betrays Macbeth to Duncan's son Canmore and the English. Canmore destroys all of Demona's gargoyles, except her. Macbeth and Demona learn that neither can die until one slays the other (Gargoyles). Macbeth fights a duel to the death with Macduff, Thane of Fife. He loses and Malcolm Canmore succeeds him as King (Macbeth). Macbeth discovers that he has survived decapitation and finds himself alive. Macbeth wanders the earth, seeking vengeance on Demona.
1058 [ edit | edit source ]
March 21: The gargoyles Angela, Gabriel, Ophelia and Boudicca are born in Avalon. Due to the nature of time in Avalon, the new Avalon Clan would age slowly and be still physically young in the late 20th Century (Gargoyles).
Luach attempted to make himself King of Scotland but is slain in battle by Malcolm Canmore. Malcom becomes the third person to use the Hunter's identity. Gruoch, widow of Macbeth and mother of Luach, commits suicide shortly after. A line of Canmore's descendants would use "Canmore" as their last name and raise further generations of Hunters up to the 20th century (Gargoyles).
1061 [ edit | edit source ]
Death of Thyra of Collinet. The residents of her valley are concerned by this, as they believe she kept a famine at bay on their behalf (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.).
1062 [ edit | edit source ]
Mathias Cronqvist is born(Castlevania).
1066 [ edit | edit source ]
Before October 14: The First Doctor and his companions Steven Taylor and Vicki Pallister defeat the Meddling Monk's plan to avert the Norman conquest and let the Saxons win the Battle of Hastings(Doctor Who).
October 14: William, Duke of Normandy (later known as William the Conqueror) defeats the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson in the Battle of Hastings, marking the beginning of the Norman conquest of England. (Real Life) The time travelers Phineas Bogg and Jeffrey Jones are present for the battle (Voyagers!) At this same time, Phra the Phoenician awakes in a hermit's hut on the eve of the battle of Hastings. He recalls nothing since falling asleep in 410. Unable to bear the trauma of his loss of Blodwen, Phra's personality undergoes further strain. The hermit sends Phra on a mission and he arrives at the battlefield just as King Harold is defeated by William of Normandy, where he rescues Editha, a young Saxon noblewoman of Harold's retinue(Phra the Phoenician).
William the Conqueror unifies England(Real Life).
1068 [ edit | edit source ]
During this time Phra marries Editha and lives in relative peace for twelve years as a Saxon lord. They had two children(Phra the Phoenician).
1072 [ edit | edit source ]
Leon Belmont is born (Castlevania).
1073 [ edit | edit source ]
Zombie outbreak in Jerusalem, put down by local militia using tactics described in surviving Roman texts. Dr. Ibrahim Obeidallah conducts a case study, beginning the science of zombology (The Zombie Survival Guide).
1078 [ edit | edit source ]
Angela of the Wyvern clan hatches (Gargoyles).
1080 [ edit | edit source ]
May: Cadfael is born in Trefriw, Conwy, Wales (Brother Cadfael).
1084 [ edit | edit source ]
After years of hiding from the Normans, Phra and his family are forced to flee their estate to nearby St. Olaf's Monastery. Although his wounds are not major, the trauma of Phra's escape sends him into another prolonged hibernation(Phra the Phoenician).
1086 [ edit | edit source ]
Edward and Edmund Canmore, two princes of Scotland, arrive in Alexandria with an army of two thousand men. Though their expedition began after a night of heavy drinking some months ago, they declare war on the Fatimid Caliphate and conquer the city, beginning the rise of the Scottish Empire (A Scotsman in Egypt).
V.I.L.E. agent General Mayhem steals the Domesday Book, creating an ahistorical Saxon rebellion against William the Conqueror. ACME agents restore history and capture General Mayhem (Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time).
1093 [ edit | edit source ]
Mathias Cronqvist's wife dies. Stricken with grief and rage, Cronqvist uses the soul of the vampire Walter Berhard to become a vampire himself, taking the name Dracula, son of the devil. He curses the Belmont family to forever hunt the night, in other words, to battle the forces of darkness for all time(Castlevania).
After 1093 [ edit | edit source ]
Dracula develops a new method of immortality by being reborn in younger bodies. In addition, he devises the soul-clone system, wherein he places fragments of himself into new vampires that he created. He also begins taking up residence in Castlevania (aka, Castle Dracula) in Wallachia(Castlevania).
1094 [ edit | edit source ]
Leon Belmont swears his clan to devote their lives to combatting him Vampire Killer whip created via alchemy and the soul of Leon's lover (Castlevania: Lament of Innocence).
1096 [ edit | edit source ]
Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade, uncovers ancient documents in Jerusalem relating to the true story of Jesus's life. He founds the Priory of Sion, which is devoted to monitoring and protecting the Holy Grail bloodline (The Da Vinci Code, DC Comics). It merges with the established organizations.
1099 [ edit | edit source ]
An army of Crusaders reach Jerusalem. (Real Life). This marked the end of the First Crusader and the start of the Crusader Presence in the Holy Land for over two centuries. Vito joins the Crusaders upon their arrival in the Holy Land, joining their side out of admiration of their outfits - these outfits are ostensibly those of the Knights Templar, which he may have joined at this time(League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Ibrahim Obeidallah is beheaded for the crime of devil worship, and much of his work is lost or destroyed. (The Zombie Survival Guide) This crusade was manipulated by Belzebuth so the first attempt at the Second Coming of Christ can be thwarted. (Belzebuth)
11th century [ edit | edit source ]
Yuyuko Saigyouji, frightened of her power to incite death in others, commits suicide. Her body is used to seal the Saigyou Ayakashi, a cursed cherry tree, while her spirit reigns over the shrine Hakugyokurou in the netherworld (Touhou).
Hoping to face Marcus Octavius, Colin joins the MacLeod clan, where he romances Deborah MacLeod. Colin falls in battle and is buried as a hero, but then revives and scares off most of his old comrades, who think he is a demon. Deborah and Gregor help him to escape, and he decides to keep the name MacLeod. (Highlander: The Search for Vengeance).
On P4S-237, it is prophesied that strangers will one day come through the Stargate to slay the Goa'uld and free the native people from enslavement. This prophecy seems to come to pass in 2003 when SG-1 liberates the planet from Lord Mot (Stargate SG-1).
An unidentified alien race terraforms Madrona (Stargate SG-1).
1100 [ edit | edit source ]
The Minbari develop interstellar travel and discover the hyperspace gates network left behind by an unknown species (Babylon 5).
Michael Jackson: A Quarter-Century Of Sexual Abuse Allegations
Michael Jackson, leaving the Santa Barbara County courthouse during his 2005 criminal trial.
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Updated on March 15 at 1 p.m. ET
The two-part documentary Leaving Neverland, which began airing on HBO on Sunday night, tells the story of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accuse Michael Jackson of having sexually abused them for years, beginning when they were respectively about seven and 10 years old.
Michael Jackson's estate continues to deny all allegations, as the entertainer did in his lifetime. His estate has sued HBO for distributing the Dan Reed-directed documentary, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January in its filings, the estate called Leaving Neverland a "posthumous character assassination."
It's no secret that, before and even after his death in 2009, Jackson was the subject of multiple sexual abuse accusations and police investigations as well as civil and criminal lawsuits. This timeline lays out key dates, known allegations and the main accusations the artist and his estate have faced, going back more than a quarter century.
December 1986: James Safechuck meets Michael Jackson on a Pepsi ad set
A 10-year-old California boy, James (Jimmy) Safechuck, is hired to appear in a Pepsi commercial alongside Michael Jackson. In Leaving Neverland, Safechuck says that Jackson befriended him and his family after the ad began airing, that the singer was immediately generous to him and allegedly began lavishing him with gifts — including, Safechuck says, his jacket from the "Thriller" video. Safechuck and his family also say that Jackson began flying them for visits and on vacations.
On one such trip to Hawaii, Safechuck alleges, Michael Jackson first asked the boy to sleep with him in his bed.
August 1993: Los Angeles police begin investigating Jackson
The Los Angeles Times reports that the LAPD has begun investigating Jackson based on allegations that he possibly molested four children, including a 13-year-old boy. (The boy is mentioned by name and in photos in Leaving Neverland.)
The police find no incriminating evidence at Jackson's Neverland ranch, nor at his Los Angeles condominium.
In a lengthy report published the following January, Vanity Fair — calling the boy "Jamie" — publishes the 13-year-old and his family's allegations. The boy's lawyer tells the magazine, "Michael was in love with the boy."
The family says that Jackson argued with Jamie's mother about sleeping in the same bed with him, saying, according to Vanity Fair, "Why don't you trust me? If we're a family, you've got to think of me as a brother. Why make me feel so bad? This is a bond. It's not about sex. This is something special." From that point onwards, the family claims, Jamie slept with Jackson nearly every night for the next several months.
September 1993: One family files suit against Jackson
In the filing, a family — whose child is ostensibly the 13-year-old boy referred to as "Jamie" by Vanity Fair — alleges that Jackson had "repeatedly committed sexual battery" on their son.
Jackson's team maintains that the suit is part of an attempt to extort the star for $20 million. More than a decade later, however, Court TV reveals in a 2004 report that Jackson settled the suit for even more than that. As part of the settlement, the singer denied any "wrongful acts."
In September 1994, prosecutors announce that they are not filing criminal charges against Jackson involving three boys — because the "primary alleged victim" declined to testify.
In the course of the investigation and ensuing civil case, Jackson and his team put various young boys on the witness stand and in front of cameras.
One is 10-year-old Wade Robson, an Australian boy who first met the megastar five years earlier, when he won a Michael Jackson dance contest in Brisbane. Within a few years, Robson had moved with his mother to Los Angeles with Jackson's encouragement.
In 1993, Robson's mother talked to CNN about her child's "slumber parties" with the singer.
"They play so hard, they fall asleep, they're exhausted," she tells the interviewer. "There's nothing more to it than that."
In Leaving Neverland, Robson says: "I was excited by the idea of being able to defend him. And being able to save him."
December 1993: La Toya Jackson says that abuse allegations are true
On Dec. 8, at a press conference held while on tour in Tel Aviv, Jackson's estranged sister La Toya alleges that the abuse accusations against Michael are true.
"This is very difficult for me," she says. "Michael is my brother. . But I cannot, and I will not, be a silent collaborator of his crimes against small, innocent children." She claims that their mother, Katherine Jackson, has shown her checks that Michael allegedly made out to the families of some very young boys, at least one allegedly as young as nine years old. She says that the amounts paid out were substantial, though she doesn't specify any sums.
LaToya Jackson also repeats her claim that she and her siblings were abused, including sexually abused, by their parents. It's an assertion she first made at least two years earlier in her 1991 autobiography La Toya: Growing Up in the Jackson Family.
Other members of the family, including Katherine Jackson, rally to Michael's defense. The Washington Post quotes Katherine as saying, "La Toya is lying and I'll tell her to her face she's lying," adding that her daughter was "trying to make money off of [Michael's] downfall."
In a follow-up interview with the Today show's Katie Couric, La Toya Jackson claims that their mother had shown her such checks as early as "around '84." However, she tells Couric she can't prove that the alleged checks were meant as hush money, nor has she ever seen him in bed with a boy herself.
In 2011, in a second autobiography called Starting Over, La Toya Jackson retracted her allegations against both her brother Michael and her father Joe, saying that she was forced to make them by her husband at the time, whom she accused of being abusive.
"My family and Michael knew that wasn't really me talking," the Daily Beast quotes her as saying in an interview. "I never believed for a minute my brother was guilty of anything like that."
February 2003: Living with Michael Jackson documentary airs in the U.K. and U.S.
The documentary, reported by journalist Martin Bashir, includes footage of Jackson holding hands with and cradling a young teenager, then identified as a cancer survivor, and says that they share a bed. Both Jackson and the boy deny that anything untoward is going on. "My greatest inspiration comes from kids," Jackson says to Bashir indignantly, while holding onto the child. "It's all inspired from that level of innocence, that consciousness of purity."
After the documentary airs, Jackson issues a statement denying any wrongdoing, and says that he is "devastated" by Bashir's portrayal of him. Nevertheless, Living with Michael Jackson sparks a criminal investigation.
November 20, 2003: Police book Jackson on child molestation charges
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provided this mug shot after he was booked on multiple counts of child molestation in November 2003. Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office/Getty Images hide caption
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provided this mug shot after he was booked on multiple counts of child molestation in November 2003.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office/Getty Images
Two days after raiding Neverland, Jackson's famous ranch in Santa Barbara County, Calif., the sheriff's office arrests Jackson on charges of child molestation, but does not immediately disclose details of the charges or identify the victim.
Jackson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, calls the charges "a big lie." After posting $3 million in bail the same day and surrendering his passport, Jackson is allowed to go free as he awaits trial.
Jackson is eventually indicted on 10 criminal counts, including child molestation, abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
February 28, 2005: Jackson's criminal case goes to trial
After being charged in late 2003 and then given additional charges the following April, Jackson is put on trial. The victim is identified as Gavin Arvizo, the young man who appeared in the Bashir documentary he is among those who testify at the trial.
Among those testifying in Jackson's defense are actor Macaulay Culkin and Wade Robson. (By 2005, Robson is a noted choreographer and songwriter, who has created dance routines for the likes of Britney Spears and 'NSYNC, and who has already had his own show on MTV.)
They are described as "special friends" of Jackson who have slept with the singer in his bed. The men deny that Jackson has touched them or otherwise acted inappropriately. According to The Washington Post, Robson's mother, Joy, says of the singer: "Unless you know him, it's hard to understand him. . He's not the boy next door."
Gavin Arvizo is now aged 14, and says on the stand that Jackson masturbated him Gavin's brother corroborates his claim, and says that Jackson gave them alcohol and showed them pornography. Gavin's mother, Janet Arvizo, also appears as a witness the BBC describes her testimony as "combative and rambling." A former member of Jackson's household staff, Blanca Francia, testifies that she saw the singer taking a shower with Robson. Francia's son also alleges that Jackson has molested him.
Years later, Robson claims he lied at the 2005 trial. According to a 2014 Daily Beast article, prosecutors wanted to name Safechuck — who had provided a witness statement defending Jackson in the 1993 suit — as one of the singer's alleged victims. However, Safechuck declined to participate in the 2005 trial, and the prosecution excluded him as a potential victim. Safechuck claims later that he had lied in the statement he gave to prosecutors in the 1993 investigation.
June 13, 2005: Jackson is acquitted of all criminal charges
After a trial that had a circus-like atmosphere and whose proceedings seemed to sometimes be upstaged by Jackson's antics (including showing up late in pajamas on one occasion), the singer is acquitted of all charges. At least some of the jurors seem to place the onus on the alleged victim's mother, Janet Arvizo. according to NPR. Allowing a child to sleep with any non-family member, one of the female jurors asks, according to NPR, "What mother in her right mind would allow that to happen?"
Within months, prosecutors charge Janet Arvizo with fraud and perjury related to statements made at the Jackson trial she accepts a plea agreement the following year.
June 25, 2009: Michael Jackson dies, age 50
The singer is found unresponsive at his home in Holmby Hills, Calif. At the time of his death, his family releases a statement saying that it is believed that he died of cardiac arrest.
On Nov. 11, 2011, a doctor, Conrad Murray, is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death for having administered a deadly dose of the anesthetic propofol.
During the trial, the New York Times reports that Murray, who had been hired as Jackson's personal physician, "had stayed with Jackson at least six nights a week and was regularly asked — and sometimes begged — by the insomniac singer to give him drugs powerful enough to put him to sleep."
2013-2014: Wade Robson and James Safechuck file suits against the Jackson estate and his companies
The Daily Beast reports in 2013 that after very publicly and repeatedly defending Jackson, Robson now says that Jackson sexually molested him for seven years.
Two years later, in May 2015, a judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Mitchell L. Beckloff, dismisses Robson's suit against the estate, saying that he waited too long to file his claim. In December 2017, the same judge dismisses the rest of Robson's suit, filed against Jackson's two companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, because the two corporations could not be found liable for Jackson's alleged behavior. Notably, neither of these judgments address the credibility of Robson's accusations.
James Safechuck files a similar suit against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures in 2014, alleging that Jackson abused him on "hundreds" of occasions between 1988 and 1992. Beckloff, who is also the presiding judge in this suit, rejects Safechuck's suit in June 2017 on the same grounds he gave Robson.
'Neverland' Director On Investigating 'What Happened Once The Bedroom Door Closed'
March 3, 2019: Leaving Neverland begins airing on HBO
After debuting at Sundance in late January, the two-part, four-hour documentary begins airing. Jackson's estate has already filed suit against the network, claiming that damages could exceed $100 million. Its petition begins: "Michael Jackson is innocent. Period."
The estate also argues that HBO has violated a non-disparagement agreement that it made with the singer in order to air a concert special, Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour, back in 1992. (That program was a megahit when it aired, scoring HBO its highest-rated special ever at that time.) In a bid for positive counter-programming, Jackson's estate releases the 1992 film on YouTube at the same time as Leaving Neverland's broadcast premiere.
"In producing this fictional work," the suit continues, "HBO ignored its contractual obligations to Michael and his companies by disparaging both him and the Dangerous World Tour that HBO had previously profited from immensely." The estate also calls Robson and Safechuck "two admitted perjurers," and accuses them of "practicing their stories and rehearsing their lines . for years now."
In an interview on All Things Considered, filmmaker Dan Reed says that two different threads drew him to telling the two men's stories.
"It's the complexity that drew me into wanting to really tell the story," Reed says, "which is that in an abusive pedophile relationship there is both love, affection, mentoring, friendship, caring — and there is sexual abuse. Those two things coexist."
March 14, 2019: Louis Vuitton backs off its Michael Jackson-inspired designs
Less than two weeks after Leaving Neverland airs on HBO, the luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton seeks distance from the late pop icon, whose signature looks had helped inspire much of its fall 2019 menswear collection.
The company had showcased the collection at a show on Jan. 17, or just over a week before the documentary was screened publicly for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival. In a statement shared exclusively with WWD, the company's top executives said they were unaware of the documentary — and its "deeply troubling and disturbing" allegations — at the time of their own show.
"I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions," Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of menswear at the company, said in the statement. "I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights."
The company also told WWD that it would not produce anything that "directly features Michael Jackson elements," and that its final collection will "purely reflect the true values of the brand and of our artistic director."
Additional reporting by NPR's Elizabeth Blair and Colin Dwyer.
Correction March 8, 2019
This article originally misidentified James Safechuck as one of those who testified in Michael Jackson's defense during his 2005 trial — he did not. We have also clarified that Safechuck claims to have lied in a statement given in the 1993 investigation, while Wade Robson claims to have lied during his testimony in the 2005 trial.
A Timeline of (Nearly) Every LGBTQ Couple in TV History
I remember how exciting it was whenever a gay TV character A) existed, and B.) got into a relationship. My earliest memory was probably Doug and Clayton on The Golden Girls. Blanche's gay brother Clayton was back in town and getting married to a hot, mustachioed cop named Doug. Blanche, who had previously dealt with Clayton's coming out a few seasons prior, still had trouble wrapping her head around the whole gay thing. Naturally, she came around by the end of the episode, and Doug and Clayton presumably lived happily ever after. And I wondered what they did after they left Miami, what their life was like, if they were happy, if Blanche and the girls ever visited. It was as much and as real a relationship for me as if I had experienced it myself. I waited in front of my TV for other same-sex couples to validate the feelings I had but could not vocalize, to show me that it was possible to find love and be happy as a gay man. But they were few and far between.
Now, there are more LGBTQ couples on TV than I can keep track of—there are over 100 in this slideshow alone, and that's not even including British shows (I got tired). I was surprised, and more than a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of queer couplings, some I had never heard of from shows I had never watched. It was also incredibly heartening to see how far visibility has come and how varied, honest, and diverse depictions of LGBTQ couples have become.
Couples went from being platonic friends who rarely touched, let alone kissed one another, to fully realized people with passions and hurts that, rather importantly, had sex. Just like straight couples on TV have been doing since Lucy and Ricky pushed their beds together.
So what defines a couple? Well, if I knew that, I wouldn't be single. But in terms of this slideshow, a relationship means not an affair and more than just a hook-up (for so speaketh Beyoncé: ashes to ashes, dust to sidechicks). A one-off appearance is fine, just as long as it's established that the couple in question has been together before or will continue to be together after their appearance.
I'm sure I've missed some couples here and there, because there's just too much LGBTQ love on TV—who knew that could ever be a (bad) thing?—so let me know if I've omitted anyone in the comments below.
Click through the gallery for a definitive timeline of LGBTQ couples in TV history!