Wednesday, May 2, 2007

1340 to 1351

Il Filocolo. Boccaccio. Italian. 1340? Romance. Travails of lovers Florio and Biancofiore. (French version was Flores and Blanchefleur.) Episodes and digressions, the most famous of which is the Thirteen Questions of Love.

Il Filostrato ("A Man Overwhelmed by Love," Troilus). Boccaccio. Italian. 1340? Romance. Troiolo, Criseida and Pandarus. When Criseida leaves Troiolo, he is stunned by grief. Source for Chaucer.

1343. Dialogues by William of Occam lays the foundations of the modern theory of independence of church and state.

1346. The Battle of Crecy, August 26, establishes England as a great military power, reorients English social values by its joint participation of yeomanry and aristocracy, and begins the end of an era of feudal cavalry that has dominated warfare since the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire. France's Philip VI meets with disaster from the quick-shooting English archers and spearmen who make short work of the heavily armored knights who cannot remount once their horses go down.

1347. The Black Death reaches Cyprus, whence it will spread to Florence.

1348. The Black Death that will devastate Europe reaches Florence in April and spreads to France and England. French surgeon Guy de Chauliac writes: "So contagious was the disease especially that with blood spitting that no one could approach or even see a patient without taking the disease. The father did not visit the son nor the son the father. Charity was dead and hope abandoned."

1348. Jews are blamed for spreading the Black Death. The Jews are persecuted first at Chillon on Lake Geneva and then at Basel and Freiburg where all known Jews are herded into wooden buildings and burned alive. At Strasbourg more than 2,000 Jewish scapegoats are hanged on a scaffold erected at the Jewish burying ground.

1328. The Black Death will extinguish nearly two-thirds of the population in some parts of Europe.

1349. English landlords offer high wages to field hands, reapers and mowers spared by the Black Death.

1349. The Black Death kills from one-third to one-half the population of England.

1349. The Black Death reaches Scotland and Wales.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Anonymous. Chinese. 1350? Novel. Historical novel. Endless episodes and stratagems. Personalities of generals and kings.

1351. An English Statute of Laborers fixes wages at their 1346 levels.

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