[Artists, who are essentially all pagans anyway, turned to Greco-Roman mythology - for example, the touching love story of Orpheus and Eurydice - for inspiration when those boring old Bible stories got... Well, old and boring. The resulting paradigm shift was known as the Renaissance, which would eventually produce works as diverse as an opera by Jacopo Peri and this painting, Orfeo y Euridice, by Peter Paul Rubens. And yes, I know most of the example I gave were of the Baroque period - cut me some slack! I ain't too hot on this longhair stuff yet...]
105 BCE - At the Battle of Arausio the Cimbri (under Boiorix) and Teutobod's Teutones inflicted a heavy defeat on a Roman army commanded by Gnaeus Mallius Maximus.
69 BCE - At the Battle of Tigranocerta the forces of the Roman Republic under Lucius Licinius Lucullus defeated the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great.
1600 - Jacopo Peri's Euridice had its debut at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence as part of the marriage celebrations of France's King Henri IV and Maria de Medici; although Euridice is considered to be the second opera ever written, it is the oldest one that survives to this day, its predecessor Dafne (by the same author) having been lost.
1762 - The Battle of Manila concluded, giving British commanders Brigadier-General William Draper and Rear-Admiral Samuel Cornish a decisive victory over Spain's Archbishop Manuel Rojo and Simón de Anda y Salazar, which resulted in the British occupation of Manila for the remainder of the Seven Years' War.
1789 - France's King Louis XVI returned to the capital from the Palace of Versailles after being confronted by the women of Paris the previous day.
1849 - The 13 Martyrs of Arad were executed following the Hungarian Revolution on orders of Austrian general Julius Freiherr von Haynau.
1854 - The Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight at a worsted factory owned by Wilson & Son, leading to 53 deaths and leaving hundreds injured.
1898 - The Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity was founded at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music.
1909 - The inaugural run of Vancouver's ambulance service resulted in a fatal collision with an American tourist and businessman from Ohio named C.F. Keiss in front of Fader's grocery store at the corner of Granville and Pender streets; Keiss thus became its first passenger, taking its first journey, which was to the morgue. [READ MORE]
1927 - The film considered to be the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, opened to enthusiastic reviews and popular acclaim.
1945 - Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series, leading to the so-called Curse of the Billy Goat.
1966 - LSD was declared illegal in the United States, the CIA having completed its own unethical studies of the drug on unwitting human subjects.
1973 - Egypt launched a coordinated attack against Israel to reclaim land lost in the Six Day War; whether you know it as the Ramadan War or the Yom Kippur War, it began at 2:05 pm on this day.
1976 - The Gang of Four were arrested on orders of Premier Hua Guofeng, bringing China's Cultural Revolution to an end.
1977 - The first prototype of the MiG-29, designated 9-01, made its maiden flight.
1979 - Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit the White House, which he did as the guest of US President Jimmy Carter.
1985 - PC Keith Blakelock was murdered as riots erupted in the Broadwater Farm suburb of London.
1995 - 51 Pegasi was discovered to be the first major star apart from the Sun to have a planet (and extrasolar planet) orbiting it.
2002 - Opus Dei founder Josemaría Escrivá was canonized.
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