Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was a strange chap who was given to doing strange things. Born in 1194, he became Holy Roman Emperor (a very odd institution that was neither holy nor Roman, and hardly an empire either) in 1220. He was already the King of Sicily (since 1198) and King of Germany (since 1212). He would also gain the title of King of Jerusalem in 1225, as part of a deal to get him to go on a crusade to the Holy Land – he eventually set sail on the Sixth Crusade in 1228 but soon turned back on claiming to be unwell.
Durham Cathedral is surely the greatest example of Romanesque architecture, certainly in England and probably the world. Begun in 1093 and completed in its essentials only 40 years later (later additions included the towers and cloisters) it is a remarkable survival of the years when Norman kings ruled England some 900 years ago.
On 13th February 1945 Great Britain committed one of the worst war crimes ever perpetrated, namely the senseless and unnecessary bombing of Dresden that killed more than 130,000 people and destroyed one of the most beautiful and historic cities of Europe.
Very little is known about Edward Grim, either before or after the event that is the reason why he is known about at all, but the document he left behind offered a perspective on that event that is well worth remembering.
Salvador Dali (1904-89) was the leading Surrealist painter and sculptor of the 20th century, as well known for his flamboyant personality and turned-up-at-the-ends moustache as his works of art.
Tiberius, the second Emperor of Rome, did not have the strength of character of the first (Augustus) and he set the pattern for tyrannical rule that was to become typical of many of his successors.