1902 Encyclopedia > Today in History > Ireland's St Patrick dies, Arab historian Ibn Khaldun dies, Tibetans rise up against Chinese

Today in History - March 17
• St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, dies
• Arab historian, Ibn Khaldun, dies
• Tibetans rise up against occupying Chinese

-- Compiled by James Finlayson-Bald

MS page of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddima (image)

Photo of a page of a manuscript of the Muqaddima, the most famous work by the great Arab historian and historigrapher, Ibn Khaldun (1302-1406). In the upper left-hand corner is an autograph of the author.

Ibn Khaldun is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern sociology, historiography and economics.

On this date:

...BC — Popularly regarded in the Middle Ages as the day Noah entered the Ark

45 BC— Caesar defeats Pompey's supporters at Munda.

180 AD— Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, military commander and writer, died.

461 (?)— St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, died. Born probably in South Wales, he was carried off by pirates to 6 years slavery in Antrim before escaping to Britain or Gaul to train as a missionary. He is said to have landed again in Ireland in 432 or 456 and credited with founding the diocese of Armagh.

1336— Edward, son of Edward III of England, became the first to bear the title of Duke.

1406— Ibn Khaldun, Arab historian, died. In the Muqaddmah (or Muqaddima), he tried with great insight and originality, to explain the pattern of history Taking a scientific view of the rise and decay of human societies he argued such phenomena obey certain laws which can be discovered empirically. According to his analysis the basis of society is group-feeling and many of his conclusions have relevance to modernproblems.

1649— The English Parliament abolished the office of king.

1926— Germany was prevented from gaining membership of the League of Nations. by Spain and Brazil.

1942— General MacArthur, fleeing from the Philippines, reached Australia.

1959— Tibetans rose against the occupying Chinese. The Dalai Lama escaped to India.

1968— Violent anti-Vietnam demonstrations outside the American Embassy in London, over 300 people arrested.

1978— The Amoco Cadiz oil-tanker ran aground on the coast of Brittany (a total of 220,000 tons of crude oil were subsequently disgorged).

Today's birthdays:
— Kate Greenaway, book illustrator (1846-1901)
— Rudolph Nureyev, dancer (1938- ).

Thought for today:
The boy who thinks his father a fool, will, after a while, complain of the roughness of the fare in the penetentiary.
-- American proverb

The above article was written by James Finlayson-Bald.
Edited and illustrations added by David Paul Wagner.

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