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  • Amerigo Vespucci was a pioneering navigator and popular chronicler, as well as the man who gave the American continent its name. He explored a long stretch of the South American coastline, and was the first person to realize that this part of the world was not an unknown region of Asia, but a completely separate continent. In particular, he discovered...
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  • In 1492, three ships captained by the Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World. Although the Viking explorer Leif Eriksson had first discovered the Americas almost 500 years earlier, Columbus and his men were the first to establish sustained contact with the continent's indigenous populations. While his expedition brought immense wealth to the Spanish Crown and made it...
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  • Francisco Goya lived and worked in Spain during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and produced some of the country’s most important artistic masterpieces. As part of his work as court painter for the Spanish Crown, he produced a number of fine portraits, while his personal works tend to focus on darker themes and social criticism. In just 50 minutes,...
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  • The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest campaign of the Second World War, and mobilized extraordinary numbers of men and material on both the Allied and Axis sides. The battle was of major strategic significance: control of the seas would have allowed the Germans to bring Britain to its knees by preventing it from receiving supplies from the USA and its...
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  • In 79 AD, the Italian city of Pompeii was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This remains one of the largest volcanic eruptions in European history, and claimed between 10 000 and 20 000 victims. However, this tragedy has also provided archaeologists and researchers with an incredibly valuable historical source: the ash which covered Pompeii preserved organic matter that...
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