[Daily article] April 21: Neferirkare Kakai

Neferirkare Kakai was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the third king of the
Fifth Dynasty. The eldest son of the previous pharaoh, Sahure, he
reigned for eight to eleven years, sometime in the early-to-mid 25th
century BCE. His contemporaries viewed him as a kind and benevolent
ruler, willing to intervene on behalf of his courtiers. During his rule
the number of administration and priesthood officials increased, and
they used their expanded wealth to build sophisticated mastabas (tombs)
where they recorded their biographies for the first time. He was the
last pharaoh to significantly modify the royal naming conventions,
separating the throne name from the birth name, in front of which he
added the “Son of Ra” epithet. In the royal necropolis of Abusir he
started a pyramid for himself conceived as a step pyramid, a form not
seen since the Third Dynasty about 120 years earlier. A modified plan
represented the monument as a true pyramid, the largest in Abusir, but
this pyramid was never completed.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

43 BC:

During the Battle of Mutina, forces led by Mark Antony killed
Decimus Brutus, one of Julius Caesar’s assassins.

1509:

Henry VIII became King of England, following the death of his
father Henry VII, eventually becoming a significant figure in the
history of the English monarchy.

1926:

Al-Baqi cemetery, former site of the mausoleum of four of the
Twelve Imams of Shia Islam, was demolished by Wahhabis.

1970:

In response to a dispute over wheat production quotas, the
Principality of Hutt River proclaimed its secession from Western
Australia.

2010:

Ukraine and Russia signed the Kharkiv Pact to extend the
Russian lease on naval facilities in Crimea.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

gens:
1. (Ancient Rome, historical) A legally defined unit of Roman society,
being a collection of people related through a common ancestor by birth,
marriage or adoption, possibly over many generations, and sharing the
same nomen gentilicium.
2. (anthropology) A tribal subgroup whose members are characterized by
having the same descent, usually along the male line.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  A “war against terrorism” is an impracticable conception if it
means fighting terrorism with terrorism. The feelings on both sides are
not that they are taking part in some evil and criminal act but risking
their lives heroically for what they consider to be a just cause.  
–John Mortimer

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