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Featured Article: Aleksey Pisemsky

Portrait of Pisemsky
Aleksey Feofilaktovich Pisemsky (March 23 [O.S. March 11] 1821 – February 2 [O.S. January 21] 1881) was a Russian novelist and dramatist who was regarded as an equal of Ivan Turgenev and Fyodor Dostoyevsky in the late 1850s. More significantly, of all the Russian novelists of the golden age of the Russian novel, he was the most successful playwright. His plays include A Bitter Fate (also translated as "A Hard Lot"), which depicts the dark side of the Russian peasantry.

Popular Article: Benin Empire

Flag of the Kingdom of Benin captured by British forces during the Benin campaign 1897
The Benin Empire or Edo Empire (1440-1897), also known as the Kingdom of Benin, was a large pre-colonial African state of modern Nigeria. The first Oba or king, was Eweka I who died in 1246. The Benin Empire was one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal part of West Africa until it was annexed by the British Empire in 1897. The Oba opposed the colonialists and so they burned his capital. However, after the death of the exiled 35th Oba, who had stubbornly resisted them, they allowed the 36th to return to Nigeria. Along with other traditional leaders in the post-colonial nation state of Nigeria, the Oba of Benin is today recognized as a member of the House of Chiefs.

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It has been said that when Hernan Cortes reached Mexico the Aztecs thought he was their god Quetzalcoatl (source: Hernán Cortés)