Jeanne Darc

Was she the craziest woman in history? Either way, she became one of those symbols people twist and turn in an effort to bring meaning to whatever absorbs and excites them. Her actual history is a mass of contradictions, none of it reliable. She was—and still is—whoever and whatever anyone wanted her to be.

Magyars

The Magyars who overran the Carpathian Basin and settled in Budapest around the first millennium were fast, brutal, clever, smallish raiders on light horses with minimal armor whose use of the latest technology–spurs–allowed them to plunder and outmaneuver enemies as far away as the Iberian peninsula.

18 x Bretagne

It’s no wonder that Brittany was the last of the great French historical provinces to be subdued by the French crown–to the extent that it ever was. Celtic roots, both cultural and linguistic, still run deep here.

The Raj

The loss of India was in effect the end of the British Empire. And all it took to terminate three centuries of worldwide expansion by one of the greatest military and industrial powers in history was one very smart, determined, and, above all, patient old man in a homespun dhoti.