Monday, May 21, 2007

1493 to 1499

1493. A papal bull issued by Alexander VI, May 4, establishes a line of demarcation between Spanish discoveries and Portuguese. The Spanish are to have dominion over any lands they discover west of the line, the Portuguese over lands east of the line.

1495. Lithuania expels her Jews as does Krakow, but within 5 years Poland will be regarded as the safest place for Jews in all of Europe.

1496. England's Henry VII refuses to recognize Spanish and Portuguese claims under the papal bull of 1493.

1497. Florentine seaman Amerigo Vespucci, 46, advances the claim that he discovered the American mainland in 1491.

1497. The Florentine prior-dictator Savonarola celebrates the annual carnival with a "burning of the vanities" in the Piazza della Signoria. Masks related to carnival festivities, indecent books and pictures, and other items are burned, attracting crowds too large for the cathedral. The prior (Savonarola) attacks the alleged crimes of Pope Alexander VI and indignantly spurns the offer of a cardinal's hat, but the pope is determined to silence the daring friar and issues a bull excommunicating him.

1497. John Cabot reaches Labrador June 24 after a 35-day voyage. He explores what later will be called Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

1498. Savonarola is burned at the stake for heresy, May 23, in Florence's Piazza della Signoria.

1499. Granada's Moors stage a massive revolt as the Spanish Inquisitor-General introduces forced conversion to Christianity on a wholesale basis.

1499. London has another epidemic of the Black Death. It will kill thousands in the next 2 years.

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