Today is Wednesday; 12th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 13th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1442 lunar hijri; and September 2, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
2510 solar years ago, on this day in 490 BC, Pheidippides, supposed to be a Greek runner and inspiration for the modern marathon sporting event, is said to have run from Marathon to Athens in under 36 hours to deliver news of a brief military setback of the Persian fleet sent by Iran’s Achaemenid emperor, Darius I to capture Athens. It is claimed that he was sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon. He supposedly ran the 40 km distance from the battlefield to Athens to announce news of the outcome of the Battle of Marathon, and then collapsed and died. There is debate about the historical accuracy of this legend.
2064 solar years ago, on this day in 44 BC, Cicero, considered to be ancient Rome’s greatest orator and prose stylist, launched the first of his ‘Philippics’ (oratorical attacks) on Mark Antony. He made 14 of them over the following months, modeling his condemnations on the speeches of the Greek philosopher Demosthenes denunciations of Macedonia’s Phillip II (hence Philippics).Cicero’s attacks on Antony were neither forgiven nor forgotten, with the result that he was proscribed and killed in 43 BC. His head and hands were publicly displayed in the Roman Forum to discourage anyone who would oppose the new Triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus.
2051 solar years ago, on this day in 31 BC, the Battle of Actium as the Final War of the Roman Republic was fought off the western coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium by forces of Octavian (the future Augustus Caesar) to defeat troops under Mark Antony and his mistress the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Octavian’s victory enabled him to consolidate his power over Rome and its dominions.
1381 lunar years ago, on this day in 61 AH, the aged Abdullah ibn Afif al-Azdi al-Ghamidi, who had served the cause of Islam with distinction, was martyred by Obaidullah ibn Ziyad, the tyrannical governor of Iraq, for praising the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS) and the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, as the chosen ones of God. On the 12th of Muharram, when the severed heads of the martyrs of Karbala were brought before him, Ibn Ziyad went to the Mosque of Kufa and addressing the prayer gathering from the pulpit verbally abused the Ahl al-Bayt. On hearing this, Abdullah ibn Afif, who was blind, having lost one eye during the Battle of Jamal and the second eye during the Battle of Siffin, while fighting for the cause of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), retorted:
"The liar, son of the liar, is you and your father, and the one who appointed you as the governor [i.e. Yazid] and his father [Mu’awiyyah]. O son of Marjanah (the morally lose woman)! You kill the offspring of the Prophet from whom Allah removed all abomination, and then claim that you are a Muslim. Where are the sons of the Muhajirun and the Ansar to seek revenge against this tyrant, the one who and whose father were both cursed by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).”
Ibn Ziyad’s anger intensified and he ordered his guards to seize Abdullah ibn Afif, who gave the battle cry of the Azdi Clan that brought clansmen to his rescue. He was sent home that day but in the night the Omayyads burst into his house, and after overpowering the blind man who staged a valiant defence, they took him to Ibn Ziyad, who ordered his execution, at which Ibn Afif boldly said:
"Then Praise to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds! I have been for years praying my Lord to grant me the honour of martyrdom even before your mother gave birth to you, and I prayed Him to let it be at the hands of one whom He curses and hates the most!”
1066 lunar years ago, on this day in 376 AH, Iranian astronomer and mathematician, Abu’l-Hassan Abdur-Rahman ibn Amr as-Sufi ar-Razi was born in Rayy, currently the southern suburb of Tehran. He was one of the greatest astronomers and astrologers and was patronized by Azud od-Dowla Daylami. Among his works is "Kitab al-Kawakeb as-Sabeta” on astronomy. A related work by him is: "Kitab Suwar al-Kawakeb ath-Thamaniya al-Arba’in”.
827 solar years ago, on this day in 1192 AD, the Treaty of Jaffa was signed between the Kurdish ruler of Egypt and Syria, Salah od-Din Ayyubi and Richard I of England, leading to the end of the Third Crusade launched on Palestine and Syria by European Christian invaders.
421 lunar years ago, on this day in 1021 AH, prominent Iranian religious scholar, Mullah Abdullah Shushtari, passed away. He was a product of the famous seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq and on returning to Iran, he groomed a great many scholars. He lived a life of piety and asceticism and adopted a simple lifestyle. He has written a large number of books and at the same time was active in social affairs, sparing no efforts to solve people’s problems.
353 solar years ago, on this day in 1666 AD, the Great Fire of London burned for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
218 solar years ago, on this day in 1801 AD, a joint Ottoman-British force succeeded in defeating and forcing to withdraw from Egypt, the French occupation army left behind by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
154 solar years ago, on this day in 1865 AD, William Rowan Hamilton, Irish mathematician in the fields of optics, geometrics, and classical mechanics, died at the age of 60.
104 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, the leader of the anti-colonial movement in southern Iran, Raees Ali Delvari, attained martyrdom at the hands of the British invaders, at Tangestan near Bushehr, after seven years of resistance. The uprising was the result of a fatwa for jihad issued by the ulema for defence of the country. Delvari and his courageous comrades foiled the attacks of well-equipped British troops for occupation of the Port of Bushehr, before their martyrdom.
82 solar years ago, on this day in 1937 AD, Pierre de Coubertin, French educator and historian, and founder of the International Olympic Committee, died in Geneva at the age of 74. In 1896, he launched the Olympic Games in Athens on the pattern of the ancient Greek games.
74 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, following Japan’s defeat in World War 2, Vietnam led by Ho Chi Minh, declared independence from France.
74 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, upon the unconditional surrender of Japan, World War II ended, and the Americans occupied this country imposing humiliating terms on the Japanese people. Although Japan was freed of US hegemony, American troops have refused to vacate Okinawa Island.
50 solar years ago, on this day in 1969 AD, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese freedom fighter and 1st President of Vietnam, died at the age of 79 from heart failure in Hanoi in the midst of the US-imposed war.
27 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, the "Father of Modern Physics in Iran”, Professor Seyyed Mahmoud Hessabi, passed away in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 89. Professor Hessabi was fluent in five living languages: Persian, Arabic, French, English, and German. He was also familiar with Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Pahlavi, and Avestan, as well as Turkish and Italian, which he used for etymological studies. In 1947, he published his classic paper on "Continuous Particles”. In 1957, he proposed his model of "Infinitely Extended Particles”.
23 solar years ago, on this day in 1996 AD, in the Philippines, an accord was signed between President Ramos and Moro Muslim Leader, Noor Misuari, to end a quarter century of warfare during which some 120,000 people were killed. The Muslims who make up the majority in the southern parts have been marginalized by the successive regimes in Manila, and continue to be deprived of their birthrights. Islam was brought to these islands in the 1300s by traders, who succeeded in converting the local rulers and establishing the Sultanate of Sulu, long before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century and the forced conversion of the people to the Catholic sect of Christianity.