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European History Articles

Where to begin in a discussion of European history? So much has taken place on the continent, where we can trace back the culture and influence of the Western World.

Whether your interest is piqued by ancient, medieval, or modern European history, we’ve got you covered. Fascinated by the Roman empire? Discover the worst emperors to have ruled over it, the Great Fire of Rome that nearly destroyed the city, and how the Sack of Rome at the hands of mercenaries ushered in a new era. Can’t get enough of the medieval period? It’s not all dragons and elves here; rather, we’re doing a deep dive into famous rebellions (such as the Peasants’ Revolt and the Germans Peasants’ War), the bloody Crusades, and the real historical origins of the mythical wizard Merlin.

Finally, we reach modern European history. Prepare to be surprised by the tidbits you’ll learn about the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution, and other major events from the early modern period. Perhaps you’re curious about legendary historical figures. From Winston Churchill quotes to Marie Antoinette’s downfall, there’s no shortage of knowledge about influential European people in our archives.

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This European City Has Been Destroyed by Invaders 44 Times

All told, the city has seen 115 different wars and been razed to the ground 44 times.

7 Transporting Ken Follett Books for Historical Fiction Lovers

From medieval England to Cold War Russia, Follett’s novels take you on a journey into the past. 

Escape from Holzminden: The Greatest POW Camp Break of WWI

Neal Bascomb tells the Allied pilots’ little-known story in his new book, The Escape Artists.

This World War I Legionnaire Wrote "I Have a Rendezvous with Death"

Seeger's prophetic verse was published posthumously, after he fell at the Battle of the Somme. 

Léo Major: The "One-Eyed Ghost" Who Single-Handedly Liberated a Dutch Town

Major went above and beyond the call of duty in World War II and the Korean War.

Dying on Armistice Day: Private Joseph Sommers's Final Words

Private Sommers may have been the final American killed on Armistice Day.

Anne Frank and Her Life in the Secret Annex

A book published by the Anne Frank House profiles the Secret Annex—the Frank family's two-year hideout—and the famous diarist's life inside.

8 Surprising Facts About Grigori Rasputin, Russia's "Mad Monk"

The mysterious historical figure remains an enigma, even in death.

More Than a Scientist: The Lesser-Known Life of Sir Isaac Newton

Taking the post of Warden of His Majesty’s Mint in 17th-century London, Newton came face-to-face with seedy criminals. 

Nancy Wake: The Fearless Resistance Fighter Who Led Over 7,000 Soldiers Against the Nazis

“Somebody once asked me ‘Have you ever been afraid?’ Hah! I’ve never been afraid in my life.”

Meet the Nightfighters, a Division of Allied Soldiers Who Attacked Nazis with Empty Rifles and Grenades

They launched their attacks under cover of darkness, equipped only with empty rifles, bayonets, and grenades.

These Bloody Days: The Tower of London in Tudor England

A Journey Through Tudor England explores the building's infamous executions and the "graffiti" left by doomed prisoners.

Constance: The Untold Story of Oscar Wilde’s Wife

Though a popular children’s author and activist, Mrs. Wilde’s life eventually became one marked by scandal. 

The Bloody Past of Bethnal Green

Stroll the foggy streets Bethnal Green, a historic London neighborhood haunted by the wartime Bethnal Green Tube tragedy of 1943.

Miracle at Dunkirk: 8 Things You Probably Don't Know About the Infamous Evacuation

Christopher Nolan’s film brought Dunkirk back to life; but there’s more to the story than survival.

The French General Who Broke Free from an Inescapable Nazi Prison

The Germans believed their castle prison was inescapable—they were wrong.