Tuesday, May 29, 2007

1520 to 1526

1520. Ferdinand Magellan negotiates a stormy 38-day passage through the straits at the southernmost tip of South America. He sails into the South Sea and renames it the Pacific Ocean.

1520. German gunsmith August Kotter invents the rifle.

The Four P's. John Heywood. British. 1520. Interlude. Debate: Who can tell the biggest lie? The palmser asserts that he never saw a woman out of temper and wins the prize.

1521. The colossal Central American city of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) falls to Hernando Cortez.

1521. Ferdinand Magellan discovers the Philippine Islands, but is killed in a skirmish with native warriors.

1521. "Here I stand," says Martin Luther before the Diet of Worms, April 18. He is ordered to recant; he refuses; the German princes back him in starting an evangelical movement that will bring turmoil to much of Europe.

1521. Frederick the Wise of Saxony protects Martin Luther as he translates the Bible in defiance of the Edict of Worms which prohibits all new doctrines.

1522. Martin Luther initiates public worship with the liturgy in German.

1522. Huldreich Zwingli condemns celibacy and Lenten fasting.

1523. Two followers of Martin Luther--Augustinian monks--are burnt alive at Brussels, July 1.

1523. Huldreich Zwingli at Zurich publishes his 67 Articles, January 19, attacking transubstantiation and the authority of the Pope.

1523. Mennonite religious views have their origin at Zurich where a small community leaves the state church to pursue a form of Christianity that emphasizes the sanctity of human life and of man's word, acknowledges no authority outside the Bible and the enlightened conscience, limits baptism to true believers, while recognizing a duty to obey civil laws.

1524. A Peasants' Rebellion breaks out in the southern German states as Anabaptist Thomas Muntzer, 34, claims to be an apocalyptic messenger of God who brings "not peace, but the sword." Advocating social as well as religious reform, he overthrows the town government of Muhlhausen and sets up a communistic theocracy. His peasant followers demand an end to serfdom, feudal dues and tithes. They battle Catholics, "heretical" books are burned in the marketplace at Mainz and an orgy of pillaging and slaughter ensues.

1525. The German Peasant Rebellion is quelled, May 14, as 5,000 are shot down and Muntzer's army is dispersed. Muntzer is beheaded, May 27. Some 150,000 peasants have been killed in the uprising.

1526. The Tyndale Bible is published in secret at Worms, an English translation of the New Testament by English linguist William Tyndale.

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