Thursday, May 10, 2007

1400 to 1422

1400. Inca terraces in this century will turn steep slopes in the Andes of the Western Hemisphere into arable land. Soil and topsoil will be carried up from the valleys below.

The Second Shepherd's Play. Anonymous. British. 1400. Play. Setting is Jesus' nativity; sheep thief tries to claim that stolen sheep in the cradle is his wife's newborn baby.

1401 Tamerlane sacks Baghdad, slaughtering thousands.

1403. The doge of Venice imposes the world's first quarantine as a safeguard against the Black Death.

1405. Tamerlane dies suddenly at age 68 while planning a campaign against China. The Tatar emperor has conquered Persia, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan and much of India, but his empire quickly begins to dissolve.

1407. The Black Death kills thousands in London.

1410. A translation into Latin of the Geography by the 2nd-century Ptolemy revives the notion that the world is round.

1413. England's Henry IV dies at age 45 and is succeeded by his son, 25, who will reign as Henry V, raising England to the rank of a major European power.

1414. Cologne expels its Jews.

1415. The Battle of Agincourt, October 25, ends in defeat for the French at the hands of English archers.

1417. The Great Schism that has divided the Church since 1378 ends November 11.

1419. England's Henry V conquers all of Normandy except Mt. St. Michel by July.

1421. The Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator, 27, assembles Europe's leading pilots, mapmakers, astronomers, scholars, and instrument makers. They will pioneer a new science of navigation.

1421. The North Sea engulfs more than 70 Dutch villages. Upwards of 100,000 die.

1422. England's Henry V dies at age 35 on August 31. His 9-month-old son becomes Henry VI.

Paston Letters. British. 1422/1509. Letters. Letters to and from three generations of the Paston family in Norfolk, England.

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