The Caspian expeditions of the Rus were military raids undertaken by
the Rus between 864 and 1041 on the Caspian Sea shores. Initially, the
Rus appeared in Serkland in the 9th century traveling as merchants
along the Volga trade route, selling furs, honey, and slaves. The
first small-scale raids took place in the late 9th and early 10th
century. The Rus undertook the first large-scale expedition in 913;
having arrived on 500 ships, they pillaged Gorgan, the territory of
present day Azerbaijan, and the adjacent areas, taking slaves and
goods. On their return, the northern raiders were attacked and
defeated by Khazar Muslims in the Volga Delta, and those who escaped
were killed by the local tribes on the middle Volga. During their next
expedition in 943, the Rus captured Barda, the capital of Arran, in
the modern-day Azerbaijan. The Rus stayed there for several months,
killing many inhabitants of the city and amassing substantial plunder.
It was only an outbreak of dysentery among the Rus that forced them to
depart with their spoils. Sviatoslav, prince of Kiev, commanded the
next attack, which destroyed the Khazar state in 965. Sviatoslav's
campaign established the Rus's hold on the north-south trade routes,
helping to alter the demographics of the region. Raids continued
through the time period with the last Scandinavian attempt to
reestablish the route to the Caspian Sea taking place in 1041 by
Ingvar the Far-Travelled.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
A 1,600-man force of the Holy Roman Empire led by Christian of Buch
and Rainald of Dassel defeated a 40,000-man Roman army.
Constantinople fell to the besieging Ottoman army led by Sultan Mehmed
II, ending the Byzantine Empire.
English Restoration: The monarchy in England was restored under King
Charles II on Oak Apple Day.
The ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Saint Lawrence
River after colliding with the Storstad, killing 1,012 on board.
Observations made by Arthur Eddington during a solar eclipse confirmed
part of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary and his sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay
became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Olusegun Obasanjo took office as President of Nigeria, the first
elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of
Wikiquote of the day:
The pessimist is commonly spoken of as the man in revolt. He is not.
Firstly, because it requires some cheerfulness to continue in revolt,
and secondly, because pessimism appeals to the weaker side of
everybody, and the pessimist, therefore, drives as roaring a trade as
the publican. The person who is really in revolt is the optimist, who
generally lives and dies in a desperate and suicidal effort to
persuade all the other people how good they are. It has been proved a
hundred times over that if you really wish to enrage people and make
them angry, even unto death, the right way to do it is to tell them
that they are all the sons of God. -- G. K. Chesterton