Events are the ephemera of history; they pass across its stage like fireflies, hardly glimpsed before they settle back into darkness and as often as not into oblivion. Every event, however brief, has to be sure a contribution to make, lights up some dark corner or even some wide vista of history. Nor it it only political history which benefits most, for every historical landscape--political, economic, social, even geographical--is illumined by the intermittent flare of the event.
- Fernand Braudel
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