What was used for writing in 15th century Europe?

What was used for writing in 15th century Europe?

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What sort of pens/quills would be used?

Would paper, cover and bindings be readily available?

The first issue, it almost goes without saying, is that in the 1400s it was still a fairly rare thing to know how to read and write, and in fact reading and writing were essentially two separate skills. There were many, many scribes during the medieval era whose job it was to copy down ancient texts and who often had no idea what, exactly, it was that they were copying down.

Regarding paper, this was a Chinese invention which was passed over to the West in the 1200s. By the 1400s it would have been fairly well known, and there were probably paper mills in or around most of the larger towns, but it was by no means as ubiquitous as it is today. For documents which were supposed to last a long time you still would have wanted to use parchment and/or vellum, which are made with animal skin instead of wood pulp and as such are much more expensive and rare.

As for putting ink to paper, yes, you're right on that they would have used quills.

Quill pens were the instrument of choice during the medieval era due to their compatibility with parchment and vellum. Prior to this the reed pen had been used, but a finer letter was achieved on animal skin using a cured quill. Other than written text, they were often used to create figures, decorations, and images on manuscripts, although many illuminators and painters preferred fine brushes for their work. The variety of different strokes in formal hands was accomplished by good penmanship as the tip was square cut and rigid, exactly as it is today with modern steel pens.


In 15th century Europe the standard pen was the quill pen. There is a very famous book "Il Libro dell' Arte" by Cennino d'Andrea Cennini. It describes writing and painting technology in the 15th century completely. You can buy it on Amazon.

Quill pens were cut from the feather of a bird like a goose using a knife. The tip of the pen is dipped in ink. It works the same way as a modern fountain pen.

Common paper was made from a pulp of hemp and linen and was similar to modern construction paper. Paper was also made from cotton, but that tended to be more fragile and less used. On the other end of the spectrum was parchment, the skin of a sheep, which was used for deeds and other permanent or archival documents. Very fine "vellum" was a skin from a baby sheep (a lamb). It was used for books for the elite or as a writing material for very rich people.

Kurrent—500 years of German handwriting

Just like blackletter, Kurrent is characterized by its abrupt changes of directions. In addition, the letters are almost always connected. Gaps are avoided and also writing over the same stroke again—whether it be on the paper itself or in the air. In cases, where this would happen in the Roman style of cursive writing, Kurrent just uses strokes beside each other.

Standard Kurrent letters as they would appear around 1900

The development of the Kurrent style over more than 500 years

A writing master’s Kurrent (Johann Gottfried Koeppel, 1781)

Kurrent was also a style of the writing masters of the time and they embellished the type with decorative swashes for caps, ascenders and descenders. This gave the style it’s typical proportions with a rather small x-height. With these features fully developed over time, Kurrent became its own branch within the Latin script. The small x-height in connection with the zig-zag patterns and similar letter shapes made the type style more decorative than legible.

Blackletter and Kurrent in a type specimen from the type foundry of Karl Tauchnitz, 1825

When learning to write German, people would have to learn the Roman block letters and cursive, as well as blackletter and Kurrent, which were the most-used styles for written and printed German. Therefore their colloquial name became “Deutsche Schrift” (German Script). This semantic differentiation between “Latin script” and “German Script” was later misused to support the growing nationalistic ideology at the end of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century. The so-called German script was glorified as unique and superior creation of the German people and used as nationalistic symbol.

German postcards in Kurrent

From the magazine Die zeitgemäße Schrift, which was published between 1928 and 1943

Books in Kurrent from the publisher Alexander Duncker Verlag, Weimar

Literacy in the American colonies

Notably, literacy rates were higher in the American colonies than in Europe. Certain religious sects, such as the Puritans, placed high value on reading for spiritual edification, and colonial governments required citizens to pass a literacy test in order to vote. America's founding fathers felt that if all men could read, and the press was free, meaning newspapers and other periodicals were allowed to print what they saw fit, then America would remain safe from tyranny. The ability to sign one's name and the importance of literacy grew as marks of status, and more and more of the early American population learned to use a signature, setting themselves apart from their less educated peers.

The Industrial Revolution brought more changes to the advancement of literacy. Paper production greatly reduced the cost of books, and literacy became a primary goal in U.S. public education. Also during this time, recreational reading became a popular activity in the United States and Europe, with literacy rates reaching 70 percent in some parts of the United States in the 1920s.

How Did Shakespeare Influence the Renaissance?

Shakespeare influenced the Renaissance by standardizing the English language and expanding its vocabulary, deepening the humanity of the characters in his plays through emotional complexity and using elaborate references to Greek and Roman mythology in his writing. His attention to the intricacies of language, characterization and plot became an example to follow for future playwrights and other writers.

The renaissance began in Italy in the 14th century, spread across Europe and arrived in England by the late 15th century. It reached its zenith during the Elizabethan era in the 16th century. Shakespeare helped bring the Renaissance freedom, humanity and rebirth of appreciation of classical antiquity to the English theater. Until Shakespeare's time, although the English language was widely used, it did not have the complexity to express profundity adequately. Shakespeare created new words and expressions that enabled English to become a much more precise artistic instrument. His use of genres such as history, tragedy and comedy helped to hone the focus of theatrical production. Until Shakespeare's plays, soliloquies had been used mainly as a means of conveying information, but Shakespeare internalized the monologues and caused them to bring out the emotional depth of his characters.

Ironically, the Renaissance freedom brought to the English theater by Shakespeare and other writers also brought about its temporary demise. When the Puritans took over the government after the First English Civil War, all forms of theater were banned as immoral until the restoration of the monarchy in the late 17th century.


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Printing, traditionally, a technique for applying under pressure a certain quantity of colouring agent onto a specified surface to form a body of text or an illustration. Certain modern processes for reproducing texts and illustrations, however, are no longer dependent on the mechanical concept of pressure or even on the material concept of colouring agent. Because these processes represent an important development that may ultimately replace the other processes, printing should probably now be defined as any of several techniques for reproducing texts and illustrations, in black and in colour, on a durable surface and in a desired number of identical copies. There is no reason why this broad definition should not be retained, for the whole history of printing is a progression away from those things that originally characterized it: lead, ink, and the press.

It is also true that, after five centuries during which printing has maintained a quasi-monopoly of the transmission or storage of information, this role is being seriously challenged by new audiovisual and information media. Printing, by the very magnitude of its contribution to the multiplication of knowledge, has helped engender radio, television, film, microfilm, tape recording, and other rival techniques. Nevertheless, its own field remains immense. Printing is used not merely for books and newspapers but also for textiles, plates, wallpaper, packaging, and billboards. It has even been used to manufacture miniature electronic circuits.

The invention of printing at the dawn of the age of the great discoveries was in part a response and in part a stimulus to the movement that, by transforming the economic, social, and ideological relations of civilization, would usher in the modern world. The economic world was marked by the high level of production and exchange attained by the Italian republics, as well as by the commercial upsurge of the Hanseatic League and the Flemish cities social relations were marked by the decline of the landed aristocracy and the rise of the urban mercantile bourgeoisie and the world of ideas reflected the aspirations of this bourgeoisie for a political role that would allow it to fulfill its economic ambitions. Ideas were affected by the religious crisis that would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

The first major role of the printed book was to spread literacy and then general knowledge among the new economic powers of society. In the beginning it was scorned by the princes. It is significant that the contents of the first books were often devoted to literary and scientific works as well as to religious texts, though printing was used to ensure the broad dissemination of religious material, first Catholic and, shortly, Protestant.

There is a material explanation for the fact that printing developed in Europe in the 15th century rather than in the Far East, even though the principle on which it is based had been known in the Orient long before. European writing was based on an alphabet composed of a limited number of abstract symbols. This simplifies the problems involved in developing techniques for the use of movable type manufactured in series. Chinese handwriting, with its vast number of ideograms requiring some 80,000 symbols, lends itself only poorly to the requirements of a typography. Partly for this reason, the unquestionably advanced Oriental civilization, of which the richness of their writing was evidence, underwent a slowing down of its evolution in comparison with the formerly more backward Western civilizations.

Printing participated in and gave impetus to the growth and accumulation of knowledge. In each succeeding era there were more people who were able to assimilate the knowledge handed to them and to augment it with their own contribution. From Diderot’s encyclopaedia to the present profusion of publications printed throughout the world, there has been a constant acceleration of change, a process highlighted by the Industrial Revolution at the beginning of the 19th century and the scientific and technical revolution of the 20th.

At the same time, printing has facilitated the spread of ideas that have helped to shape alterations in social relations made possible by industrial development and economic transformations. By means of books, pamphlets, and the press, information of all kinds has reached all levels of society in most countries.

In view of the contemporary competition over some of its traditional functions, it has been suggested by some observers that printing is destined to disappear. On the other hand, this point of view has been condemned as unrealistic by those who argue that information in printed form offers particular advantages different from those of other audio or visual media. Radio scripts and television pictures report facts immediately but only fleetingly, while printed texts and documents, though they require a longer time to be produced, are permanently available and so permit reflection. Though films, microfilms, punch cards, punch tapes, tape recordings, holograms, and other devices preserve a large volume of information in small space, the information on them is available to human senses only through apparatus such as enlargers, readers, and amplifiers. Print, on the other hand, is directly accessible, a fact that may explain why the most common accessory to electronic calculators is a mechanism to print out the results of their operations in plain language. Far from being fated to disappear, printing seems more likely to experience an evolution marked by its increasingly close association with these various other means by which information is placed at the disposal of humankind.

Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg borrowed money from Johannes Fust to fund his project and in 1452, Fust joined Gutenberg as a partner to create books. They set about printing calendars, pamphlets and other ephemera.

In 1452, Gutenberg produced the one book to come out of his shop: a Bible. It’s estimated he printed 180 copies of the 1,300-paged Gutenberg Bible, as many as 60 of them on vellum. Each page of the Bible contained 42 lines of text in Gothic type, with double columns and featuring some letters in color.

For the Bible, Gutenberg used 300 separate molded letter blocks and 50,000 sheets of paper. Many fragments of the books survive. There are 21 complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible, and four complete copies of the vellum version.

An introduction to the Northern Renaissance in the fifteenth century

The word Renaissance is generally defined as the rebirth of classical antiquity in Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Seems simple enough, but the word “Renaissance” is actually fraught with complexity.

Scholars argue about exactly when the Renaissance happened, where it took place, how long it lasted, or if it even happened at all. Scholars also disagree about whether the Renaissance is a “rebirth” of classical antiquity (ancient Greece and Rome) or simply a continuation of classical traditions but with different emphases.

Traditional accounts of the Renaissance favor a narrative that places the birth of the Renaissance in Florence, Italy. In this narrative, Italian art and ideas migrate North from Italy (largely because of the travels of the great German artist Albrecht Dϋrer who studied, admired, and was inspired by Italy, and he carried his Italian experiences back to Germany).

The Renaissance in Northern Europe

However, so much changed in northern Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that the era deserves to be evaluated on its own terms. So we use the term “Northern Renaissance” to refer to the Renaissance that occurred in Europe north of the Alps.

Some of the most important changes in northern Europe include the:

  • – invention of the printing press, c. 1450
  • – advent of mechanically reproducible media such as woodcuts and engravings
  • – formation of a merchant class of art patrons that purchased works in oil on panel
  • – Protestant Reformation and the translation of the Bible from the original languages into the vernacular or common languages such as German and French
  • – international trade in urban centers

The fifteenth century: van Eyck

Jan (and Hubert?) Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece or The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 1432, tempera and oil on panel, 11′ 5″ x 7′ 3″ (open) (Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent, Belgium)

Jan (and Hubert?) Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece or The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 1432, tempera and oil on panel, 11′ 5″ x 7′ 3″ (closed) (Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent, Belgium)

In the fifteenth century, northern artists such as Jan van Eyck introduced powerful and influential changes, such as the perfection of oil paint and almost impossible representation of minute detail, practices that clearly distinguish Northern art from Italian art as well as art from the preceding centuries. Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece, 1432 (Church of Saint Bavo, Ghent) exemplifies the grand scale and minute detail of Northern painting.

This public, religious picture has an opened and closed position. On the interior (above) we see such holy figures as the Virgin, Christ, saints and angels. It also showcases the largesse of the donors (left), depicted kneeling on the lowest corners of the exterior, who employed the van Eyck brothers to immortalize them in this very public work of art.

Jan Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, tempera and oil on wood, 1434, 82.2 x 60 cm (National Gallery, London)

Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Double Portrait (1434) shows a well-to-do couple in a tasteful, bourgeois interior. The text in the back of the image identifies the date and Jan van Eyck as the artist. Art historians disagree about what is actually happening in the image, whether this is a betrothal or a marriage, or perhaps something else entirely. One of the most important aspects of this painting is the symbolic meanings of the objects, for instance that the dog may symbolize fidelity (“Fido”) or that the fruit on the windowsill may signify either wealth or temptation. This painting is a touchstone for the study of iconography, a method of interpreting works of art by deciphering symbolic meaning.

Though Jan van Eyck did not invent oil paint, he used the medium to greater effect than any other artist to date. Oil would become a predominant medium for painting for centuries, favored in art academies into the nineteenth century and beyond. The Arnolfinis counted as middle class because their wealth came from trade rather than inherited titles and land. The power of the merchant-class patrons of northern Europe cultivated a taste for art made for domestic display. Decorating one’s home is still a powerful motivation for art patrons. Museum visitors repeatedly comment, “well, I wouldn’t want it in my living room.”

Medieval Writing and Scripts - part 2

This is part 2 of the article on Medieval writing and scripts. You can return to part 1 here. In this part we take a look at a couple more important scripts and we take an overview look at the history of writing and scripts throughout the medieval period.

Gothic Script - Was used in western Europe from the 12th through 17th centuries and still saw some use in Germany into the 20th Century. It was invented in the time of Charlemange but didn't see significant use until the 12th century. There are many variations of the gothic script and many different types of scripts were labeled as gothic. This label was applied by Italian humorists in the 15th century and it implied that the scripts were archaic and barbaric - not very refined. And over the following centuries various countries gave up on the gothic script.

The Expense and Economy of writing

Let's take another look at the expense of making manuscripts. The number one cost was for the material to be written on and this could be parchment, vellum, animal skins or even papyrus. During the Middle ages there were long periods of economic trouble and warring between many countries and even within countries. This caused a lot of difficulty to procure writing materials. It is through this necessity that compact scripts were developed and the Irish were at the forefront of this. The British also adopted this from the Irish. These scripts were varations that were called miniscule. the picture below is of English miniscule.

The Caroline Miniscule also known as Carolingian

As the ancient majuscule script fell out of use there were many different areas and countries that were developing their own scripts (mostly based on the uncial and half uncial) and of all these script the one that was most successful was the Caroline Miniscule. It had a long life from around the 8th through 12th centuries and was widely adopted. It eventually developed into Gothic. Then in the 15th century it was revived by the Italian humorists in a form known as humanistic miniscule.

Humanistic Miniscule and Gothic were the two kinds of script that were in use when the printing press and moveable type were invented and both survived into the 20th century. The picture below is of Humanistic Miniscule.

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15th Century, 1401 to 1500

1402 Timur wins a great battle at Angora (Ankara). He is concerned about having helped Christians by defeating a Muslim army. He sends envoys to the Christian knights ruling Smyrna and demands that the knights convert to Islam or pay tribute. They refuse both, and Timur attacks and orders the city's entire population, including women and children, annihilated. The heads of the defeated, it would be said, are displayed in a pyramid.

1405 A Ming dynasty emperor, Yongle (or Zhu Di), orders one of his eunuchs, Zheng He, a Muslim who has traveled to Mecca and knows the world a little better than others in China, to sail a fleet of ships on the high seas in pursuit of his cousin, the former emperor.

1406 China's emperor, Zhu Di, sends troops that begin an eighteen-year attempt to conquer Annam (Vietnam).

1406 The geography of Ptolemy, an ancient Greek, is introduced in Europe. This holds that the earth is the center of the universe and that all heavenly bodies revolve around it in perfect circles.

1407 London has a new institution &ndash a place for the insane called Bethlehem hospital.

1408 In Britain, John Wyclif's England language bible has been published.

1409 Prelates meet at Pisa to name a pope to replace the two claiming to be pope. The two existing popes refuse to step aside.

1410 A Germanic force, the Teutonic Knights, are trying to gain control of Poland. The knights are allied with the kings of Bohemia and Hungary. Their army has volunteer "crusaders" and numbers around 27,000. An army of 39,000 fighting for the Polish king, Wladyslaw Jagiello, includes Lithuanians, Ruthenians and Tatars in addition to Poles, and they defeat the Germans. The Teutonic Knights decline in power and Eastern Europe does not become a German colony.

1413 In England, followers of John Wyclif, dead since 1384, hold that the Bible is the only rule of faith. They appeal to the Catholic clergy to return to the simple life of the early Church. They oppose war, the doctrine of transubstantiation, confession, and images in worship. They march on London, and Henry V, fearing social disorder, suppresses the movement.

1415 John Hus, a Czech and former dean of philosophy at the University of Prague, travels to the Council of Constance to propose his reforms for the Church. Upon his arrival he is tried for heresy and burned at the stake.

1415 Prince Henry of Portugal, with a fleet of 200 ships and 20,000 men, captures the port of Ceuta from the Moors.

1416 Dutch fishermen are using drift nets.

1419 Lately the Portuguese have been building latine-rigged ships, which can tack into the wind. They are are exploring waters off the coast of northern Africa, and they lay claim to the island of Madiera.

1420 The Portuguese are fighting inhabitants of the Canary Islands, south of Madiera.

1421 In Austria, Jews are imprisoned and expelled.

1421 In Florence, the first patent is granted &ndash for a barge with hoists, used for hauling marble.

1422 In Japan, a Zen teacher, Ketsugan, is performing exorcisms.

1425 Zen temples in Japan are contributing to cultural diffusion by importing Chinese literature, aritistic styles and religious ideas.

1428 Pope Martin V orders John Wyclif's bones exhumed and burned.

1428 King Alfonso V, king of Naples and Sicily, orders Jews in Sicily to convert to Catholicism.

1429 The Hundred Years' War is still on, and, in May, Joan of Arc defeats the English at Orleans. In August she enters Paris in triumph.

1431 Some Englishmen see Joan of Arc as truly a witch and as an agent of the devil &ndash a common response to adversity in this age. Joan is captured. The English turn her over to ecclesiastic authorities &ndash the Inquisition &ndash and at the French town of Rouen, then under English rule, Joan is burned at the stake.

1431 The Mexica (Aztecs) have won a three-year war with the Tepaneca, who have been dominant in central Mexico and to whom the Mexica have been paying tribute. The Mexica have conquered the Tepaneca city, Azcapotzalco. The Mexica establish an alliance with the Acolhua, of the city Texcoco, and the Tepaneca, of Tlacopan. This alliance is to be the foundation of a Mexica empire.

1431 Admiral Zheng He of China leads a fleet of 52 ships, with nearly 30,000 men, to the east coast of Africa.

1433 The Songhai have rebelled against the Mali Empire and are disrupting Mali's trade on the Niger River. Mali is in decline. The Songhai are able to sack and occupy Timbuktu.

1434 In this pre-industrial age the biggest business is banking, and in the Tuscan city of Florence a banking family, the Medici, begins to dominate the city politically.

1434 Portuguese start sailing past Cape Bojador, beyond which had been considered a "Sea of Darkness" from which no European had returned.

1435 Amid rebellion and turmoil, Sweden's parliament meets for the first time, to be dominated by noble families and the body that maintains Swedish national identity.

1436 From the Caucasus region, al-Ashraf Qaytbay, at the age of twenty, is brought to Egypt as a slave, purchased by a merchant for recruitment as a Mamluk warrior. He is an able horseman, and his gifts are to catch the eye of Egypt's leading militarists.

1438 The Chanca tribe attacks the Inca city-state of Cusco from the north. In defense, the Inca begin to reorganize their governmental system, to expand their alliances and with force to build the Tahuantinsuyu Empire.

1439 Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church leaders agree to reunify these two branches of Christianity. The Russians do not agree and the Russian Orthodox Church is to remain independent of the Vatican in Rome.

1441 In one of their caravels, the Portuguese transport around 200 slaves from Africa to Portugal.

1448 In China, hyperinflation reduces the value of paper money 97 percent.

1448 On a small island known as Arguin (Arguim), rougly 700 kilometers south of Cape Bojador, the Portuguese build a castle and establish the first European trading post in Africa.

1448 The Russian Orthodox Church becomes independent of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

1450 In Kyoto, the Ryoanji Zen temple is built. It has a garden of fifteen rocks on raked white sand &ndash an austerity to aid meditation.

1450 The wealthiest state on Africa's east coast, Zimbabwe, is abandoned after having suffered from overgrazing, eroded farmlands and a loss of timber. Kingdoms neighboring Zimbabwe are conquered by Mwene Mutapa.

1452 In Europe, metal plates are being used in screw-type presses.

1452 There is famine in the Mexica (Aztec) city of Tenochtitlan.

1453 Constantinople has been declining economically, in population and military strength. Using European artillery and experts, the Ottoman Turks break through Constantinople's walls. Disciplined Muslim forces capture the city. This ends Constantinople as the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the heart of the remains of the Roman Empire.

1453 The French capture Bordeaux, the last place the English hold except for the port city of Calais, on the English channel. The Hundred Years' War ends without a formal treaty signed and no renouncing of rights to the French throne by an English king. Nationalism had increased, and common people in England are upset at what they see as England having lost the war. With the end of the Hundred Years' War, trade revives and economic depression ends.

1453 Forty-one Jews are burned at the stake in Breslau, Poland.

1455 In the German town of Mainz, Johann Gutenberg, using metal type in a screw-type printing press, prints the "Gutenberg" Bible. His printing press is a step up from screw presses used in agriculture. He was the first European to use type-setting, beginning around 1439. Printing was to increasing the circulation of literature, stimulate a rise in literacy, knowledge and science.

1455 With humanistic leanings and an enthusiasm for literature and art, Pope Nicholas V has in the last five years given rebirth to the Vatican Library &ndash putting it on course to becoming one of the largest libraries in the world. He dies at age 58.

1456 Judges and commissioners in the archbishop's palace in the city of Rouen declare that Joan of Arc was innocent of the charges that led to her execution &ndash after nineteen years of appeal and almost one year of hearings. The Archbishop declares the case ended.

1456 The Ottoman Turks overrun Athens, begin a stay that will last 400 years, and they turn the Parthenon into a mosque.

1459 The Ottoman Turks have taken control of all Serbia.

1461 Two families, both descended from King Edward III (who reigned from 1327 to 1377 and was of the Plantagenet dynasty) have been at war for years. One family is the House of York the other the House of Lancaster. This is the War of the Roses. Edward, from the House of York, defeats the Lancastrians at Mortimor's Cross. He is proclaimed king and ascends the throne as Edward IV.

1461 King Loius XI of France creates a postal service.

1463 The Ottoman Turks expand into Bosnia. They execute Bosnia's king, Stefan Tomasevic &ndash the last of the Kotromanic dynasty. Assassination, as a means of resistance to foreign rule, is viewed by the Serbs of Bosnia as a heroic act.

1464 The Songhai and Mali Empire fight over Timbuktu, with great loss of life. The Songhai win and the Mali Empire is more obviously in decline.

1466 An Albanian, George Kastrioti, also known as Skanderbeg, has led another successful resistance against an Ottoman invasion, and he is a hero across Christendom.

1467 In Japan a dispute over succession of the Ashikaga shogunate begins the Onin War, which exacerbates the strife between regional warlords (daimyo).

1468 Skanderbeg has been ill and dies in bed, and the Ottomans absorb Albania.

1468 In Egypt, al-Ashraf Qaytbay becomes the Mamluk sultan. He buys 46,000 more slaves from the his area of origin &ndash the Caucusus. These slaves are normally from ages ten to 20, shipped through the Turkish straits. It is a trade in the hands of the Genoese.

1469 Ferdinand of Aragon marries Isabella of Castile.

1471 After having secured much of what today is central and northern Peru, the Inca have expanded their empire into Ecuador. With a new king, Tupac Inca, they begin to expand southward into Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.

1472 Benin is a walled city several kilometers wide in a forested region inland from where the Niger River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Its king, Ewuare trades captives taken in battle, delivering them as slaves to the Portuguese.

1472 On one of his journeys the Mamluk sultan, Qaytbay, is rushed by peasants. He waves back his bodyguards, greets them and allows them to clutch at his garments.

1477 France's Louis XI gains control of Burgundy.

1477 In Japan the Onin War ends. The shogunate is weakened and power shifts to feudal warlords (daimyo).

1478 A conspiracy, that includes the Archbishop of Pisa and has the support of Pope Sixtus IV, leads to an attack on the Medici while they are in church. The Archbishop and several others are hanged. Pope Sixtus puts Florence under the interdict and excommunicates the Medici leader of Florence, Lorenzo de Medici. The pope forms a military alliance with the King of Naples, and Lorenzo's diplomacy prevents an attack.

1479 After four years of war, Spain accepts monopoly trade for Portugal along Africa's Atlantic coast and Portugal acknowledges Spain's rights in the Canary Islands.

1479 The Ottoman Turks and Venice have been at war since 1463. Venice is defeated militarily and gives up that part of its empire, along the Adriatic Sea, that the Ottoman Turks occupy.

1480 Leonardo da Vinci of Florence, age 28, of invents the parachute.

1480 Moscow's Ivan III feels strong enough to refuse to pay tribute to the Mongols

1481 Louis XI of France gains the territories of Anjou, Bar Mine and Provence.

1480 Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain employ the Spanish Inquisition to investigate whether converted Jews are secretly clinging to Judaism.

1481 Two Latvian monarchs are executed for murdering the Polish king, Kazimierz IV.

1482 Portuguese have founded new trading settlements on Africa's "Gold Coast." They are trading ironware, firearms, textiles and food for gold, ivory, food and slaves.

1482 The Ottoman Turks occupy Herzegovina and join it administratively with Bosnia. Its nobles and a large percentage of its peasants are to accept Islam.

1482 Cairo is one of the largest and wealthiest of cities and is much admired by western travelers.

1483 Edward IV of England has died. His son succeeds him as Edward V, and he is murdered. The Duke of Gloucester, the youngest brother of Edward IV, usurps the throne and is crowned Richard III.

1483 Pope Innocent VIII issues a statement deploring the spread of witchcraft and heresy in Germany. He orders that cats belonging to convicted witches be burned as well as the witches.

1485 Henry Tudor, a relative of the Lancaster family, defeats Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. The Tudor family takes power and is crowned Henry VII.

1485 Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York, uniting the Lancaster and York families. The War of Roses is over.

1491 King Charles VIII of France invades Brittany and forces 14-year-old Ann of Brittany to marry him, adding Brittany to French territory.

1492 Spain's monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, do their part in a war against Islam &ndash they annex Granada. Also they give Jews three months to convert to Christianity if they are to avoid banishment from the country. And the voyage that the monarchy is paying for, led by Christopher Columbus, sets sail for China by going westward.

1493 Christopher Columbus returns from the Caribbean, and later in the year he sails back to the Caribbean.

1494 Kings were doing what kings had been doing for ages: pursuing wealth, territorial expansion and control over people. This year Christopher Columbus &ndash an agent for Ferdinand and Isabella &ndash begins using people of the Caribbean as slaves.

1494 Piero de Medici has ruled since the death of his father, Lorenzo, in 1492. He makes peace with the French, who have invaded Tuscany (in which Florence is located). A political rising drives him into exile. Florence is in anarchy. A Dominican priest, Savonarola, is anti-Renaissance. He is opposed to popular music, art and other worldliness.

1496 Jews are expelled from Syria.

1496 Sultan Qaytbay dies at the age of 53 followed by grand amirs competing to succeed him.

1497 Boys working under Savonarola collect from homes things associated with moral laxity: mirrors, cosmetics, pictures, books, fine dresses, the works of immoral poets. Savonarola has these burned. Renaissance art work is lost. Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Savonarola.

1497 In Scotland, children are required by law to go to school

1498 Toothbrushes appear in China.

1498 Vasco da Gama reaches India.

1498 Savonarola is hanged. An enraged crowd burns Savonarola at the same spot where he ordered his bonfire.

1498 Columbus sails from Spain with six ships on his third voyage to the Americas.

1498 Jews are expelled from Nuremberg and Bavaria.

1498 The Ottoman Turks invade Dalmatia and devastate land around Zara. Venice goes to war again against the Ottoman Turks.

1500 Portugal settles the islands of Sao Tome and Principe off the Atlantic coast of Africa.

Watch the video: Πώς να βρεις πληροφορίες για μια επιστημονική εργασία. Βιβλιογραφία


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