A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Busy Week for Historical Anniversaries

I'll be doing a lot of historical posts this week. Today is the 100th anniverary of the Battle of Beersheba, one of the great cavalry charges of the 20th Century and a coming-of -age moment for Australian pride, and I'll be posting on that later today. From November 1-7 the British rolled up the Ottoman line from Beersheba to Gaza and advanced into Palestine; and by December 11 General Allenby entered Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, on November 2, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sent a short note to Lord Rothschild. We call it the Balfour Declaration.

The last week of October and the first week of November in years ending in -17 include other events that didn't directly impact the Middle East. Half a Millennium ago today, on October 31, 1517, an obscure German monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg, and Europe was shaken to the root.

And a century ago on November 7, Lenin launched the Bolshevik October Revolution, so named as Russia was still on the Julian calendar, which considered it October 25.  That did eventually affect the Middle East by driving Russia out of the war and ending Russian advances in the Caucasus.

I won't be dealing with Luther or Lenin, but I'll continue to post on the centenary of the Great War in the Middle East and much besides.

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