Friday, June 22, 2007

1608 to 1610

1608. Capt. John Smith is elected president of the Jamestown Council September 10 and tries to cope with the disease and famine that have ravaged the colony since late summer.

Tyre and Sidon. Jean de Schelander. French. 1608. Play. Setting is Phoenicia. Lovers from either side of the war. Tragic ending is later rewritten. In a preface to the revised play, a cleric defends the mixture of comic and tragic elements.

The Tragedy of Coriolanus. Shakespeare. British. 1608. Play. Angered by the fickleness of the masses, Coriolanus joins the Volscians to besiege Rome. After pleas from his mother and wife, he raises the siege. When he tries to explain his actions to the Volscians, he is murdered.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Shakespeare. British. 1608. Play. Marital misadventures. Loses wife and child then reunited with his wife and child.

1609. Mare Liberum by Hugo Grotius urges freedom of the seas to all nations.

1609. A long period of hostility begins between America's Five Nations, Iroquois and the French. Samuel de Champlain has precipitated the hostility by killing some Mohawks at the behest if the Hurons.

1609. Expulsion of Spain's Moriscos (Moors) begins. Some 275,000 Moriscos (Muslims converted to Christianity who continue to practice their old religion in secret) will leave the country in the next 5 years, disrupting the economic life of Valencia (which will lose one-fourth of her population) and creating problems in Castile, Aragon and Andalusia as well.

1609. Henry Hudson makes a third voyage to America, this time in the employ of Dutch interests. He explores a 200-mile tidal estuary that will be called the North (Hudson) River, ascending as far as what will one day be called Albany. Hudson's ship the Half Moon carries a crew of 18 or 20.

1609. German astronomer Johannes Kepler, 38, establishes two of the cardinal principles of astronomy: planets travel round the sun in elliptical paths rather than in perfect circles, and they do not travel at uniform rates of speed.

1609. The Virginia Colony declines in population to 67 by January as food stocks run low.

Epicene, or The Silent Woman. Ben Jonson. British. 1609. Play. Morose tries to disinherit his nephew, Sir Dauphine. He marries the "silent" Epicene who turns into a raging shrew. He begs Sir Dauphine to take her off his hands. The nephew reveals that the "wife" is a boy he has trained.

Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding. Beaumont and Fletcher. British. 1609. Play. Arethusa in love with Philaster is saved from marriage to a lecher.

The Sonnets of Shakespeare. British. 1609 published. Poetry. Composed between 1593 and 1601. Three quatrains and a couplet. Numbers 1-126 addressed to a beloved male friend. Numbers 127-152 to the malign but fascinating "Dark Lady." Numbers 153-154 probably early poetic exercises. Themes: decay by time and the immortalization of beauty and love in poetry.

1610. Expulsion of Spain's Moriscos (Moors), who have contributed much to the country's culture and economy is stepped up. Spain will never recover from the loss.

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