Tuesday, May 1, 2007

1300 to 1340

Guy of Warwick. Anonymous. British. 1300. Romance. Non-Arthurian hero. Adventures. Married. Adventures again. Hermit. Beggar. Reveals identity on deathbed.

1306. France arrests her Jews, strips them of their possessions and expels them.

1306. England whips and expels some 100,000 Jews who remained after expulsion order of 1290.

1306. A Londoner is tried and executed for burning coal in the city.

1309. The "Babylonian Exile" of the Papacy begins at Avignon.

1314. The Battle of Bannockburn, June 24, assures the independence of Scotland.

1314. St. Paul's Cathedral is completed at London.

1315. First public systematic dissection of a human body supervised by Italian surgeon Mondino de Luzzi.

1315. Disastrous famine strikes large parts of western Europe.

1317. France adopts the Salic Law to exclude women from succeeding to the throne.

1320. Paper will soon be made at Cologne, Nuremberg, Ratisbon and Augsburg. Perfected by the Chinese in AD 105, replaces the vellum that has given monasteries a monopoly on manuscripts and on written communication.

The Divine Comedy. Dante. Italian. 1321. Poetry. Actually a realistic picture and analysis of every aspect of earthly human life. Allegory of individual soul's progress toward God. Progress of political, social mankind toward peace on earth. Beatrice represents divine revelation. Compassionate evaluation of human nature; mystic vision of Absolute toward which it strives. The day is Good Friday in 1300. Virgil takes Dante through Hell. He ascends the mountain of Purgatory. Beatrice takes him through Paradise to God. Virgil is the incarnation of the highest knowledge attainable by the human mind unaided by God's revelation. Dante goes through Hell to free him of temptation of sin. The purpose of his trip through Purgatory is to purify Dante's soul of even the capacity for error. The closer to God, the greater the bliss. Purified, Dante is able to gaze on the Trinity.

1324. Defensor Pacis is a juridical treatise against the temporal power of the pope.

1325. Mexico City has its beginnings in the city of Tenochititlan founded by Aztecs in Lake Texcoco.

1333. The Black Death begins in China as starvation weakens much of the population.

1337. A "Hundred Years' War" between England and France begins as Philip VI contests English claims to Normandy.

1340. Travelers on the road from China will return with rat-borne ticks or fleas that will bring the Black Death to Europe. The plague is called bubonic because of its characteristic bubo or enlarged lymph glands.

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