>>>>>>>>>>The Fourteenth Century AD, part 2. (The Black Death)

At the start of the 1300’s a severe drought occurred in the areas surrounding the Black Sea. The Golden Horde of the Mongols had rapidly overcome conditions under the new leadership, and soon there would be a Byzantine-Mongol alliance.

In 1337 the Hundred Years War begins, when Edward III of England lays claim to the French throne.

The Black Death, 1346-1353, was one of the more devastating pandemics of human history. The Black Death resulted in the death of between 75 to 200 million. It is believed the plague was spread by fleas living on the backs of black rats, and that traveling through merchant ships these fleas made it around the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.

It is estimated that this killed off 30 to 60% of Europe’s population.

The phrase “Black Death” came from a poem, “On the Judgment The Sun at a Feast of Saturn,” who’s author attributed the plague to a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, of some sort.

Half of Paris’s population died, in Italy the people of Florence were nearly wiped out, and at least 60% of the population of Hamburg and Bremen perished, and a similar figure in London may have died from disease as well.

Renewed religious fervor and fanaticism bloomed in the wake of the Black Death. Lepers, and other individuals with skin diseases such as acne or psoriasis, were singled out and exterminated throughout Europe. Because the 14th Century healers were at a loss for the cause, the Europeans turned to Astrological forces, earthquakes, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible reasons for the plague’s emergence. Many people believed the epidemic was a punishment by God for their sins. This belief lead to the idea that the cure to the disease was to win God’s forgiveness.

Earlier on in the Century, In 1342, the Noblemen were granted the right to administer justice to the peasants living in their estates.

Radu I

Radu I was one of the most active rulers of Wallachian, building a large number of churches, during his reign two Catholic cathedrals from Severin and Arges are built, and a Catholic monastery in Targoviste.

In 1449 a Mongol invasion of China culminates in the capture of an emperor at the Battle of Tumu fortress. Mehmed II would march into Constantinople in 1453. The fall of Constantinople marks the end of the Byzantine empire, and the death of the last emperor Constantine XI and the beginning of the Classical Age of the Ottoman Empire.

When printing was invented in the 1450’s, editions of the Golden Legend manuscripts appeared quickly, although they were likely originally compiled in 1260, and not only in Latin, but in every major European language. The book is considered the closest thing to an encyclopedia of medieval saint lore that survives today.

In 1457 Saint James was sent to Danish King Christian I, to discuss the Turkish campaign also the Bohemian issue. He was offered the bishopric of Milan, in Italy in 1460, but he declined it. He instituted several ‘montes pietatis’, non-profit credit organizations that lent money on very low rates on pawned objects, literally translating to “mountains of piety.” He preached in all the greater cities.

The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary—The Teutonic Knights

…in Jerusalem, or the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic military order started in 1192 and after Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, in 1211, the Order moved to Transylvania to help defend the South-Eastern border of Hungary. The knights were removed in 1224, by force of ams, by the King of Hungary. The Teutonic Knights had a strong economic base which enabled them to hire mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies, and they also became a naval power in the Baltic Sea. In 1410 a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). However, the capital of the Teutonic Knights was successfully defended in the following siege of Marienburg and the Order was saved from collapse. The Order did keep its considerable holdings in Catholic areas until 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution. The Motto of the Order was: “Help, defend, heal.”

In 1211, Andrew II of Hungary???

In 1453 Mehmed II marches on Constantinople.

The Battle of Castillion

The battle of Castillion is the last engagement of The Hundred Years War, and the first battle in European cannons were a major factor in deciding the battle. And after defeating the Teutonic Knights in The Thirteen Years War, ending in 1466, Poland annexes Royal Prussia. From 1455-1485 the English Civil War called The War of the Roses is fought between the houses of York and the House of Lancaster. In 1456 the Catholic Church posthumously acquits Joan of Arc of heresy, redeeming her status as the heroine of France. In 1462 Mehmed the Conqueror is driven back by Wallachian prince Vlad III Dracula at The Night Attack.

During the siege of Giurgu, two iron rings of a bombard (a primitive canon) suddenly broke, killing two soldiers, because Vlad who was in command of the fire did not allow the bombard to cool down between blows. The Ottoman garrison of the fortress capitulated on the condition that they were allowed to freely leave for the Ottoman Empire. However, after they left the fortress, a few thousand Wallachian soldiers attacked and massacres them at Vlad’s orders. He regarded the commander of the Ottoman garrison responsible for his captivity in 1442. Before long, the Ottoman garrison at Ruse also capitulated, and Vlad gave asylum to more than 11,000 Bulgarians who had rebelled against the Ottomans, assisting them to cross the Danube into Wallachia. The Burgundian crusaders and the Wallachians approached Nicoplois, where a Hungarian army under the command of John Hunyadi joined them in September.

An early frost forced the crusaders to abandon the campaign in October, because the feared the Danube River would freeze over. The relationship between Wallachia and Hungary soon deteriorated. In 1445 it was made known that Wallachian merchants were arrested in Transylvania, and Vlad complained that his sons, “little children, to be butchered” so that they could become the subjects of the King of Hungary—his words, “little children to be butchered for Christian peace”

However, it is said that the Sultan actually did not harm the boys. In 1447 Vlad made peace with the Ottomans. He agreed to release the Bulgarian refugees to the Ottomans,

In 1438 the Teutonic Knights sign the treaty creating an anti-Polish alliance, young nineteen year old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake, a treaty is signed consolidating peace between Portugal and Castille, and Henry VI of England is crowned King of France.

In 1443 Alfonso V of Aragon, having conquered the throne of Naples, establishes a court in the castle intended to compete with the Florentine court, of the Medici family in particular. The city of Florence had little seen so extravagant behavior as they had with Lorenzo the Magnificent, of the Medici Banking family, and so the fortress of Alfonso V of Aragon was completely rebuilt, as it stands still in the 21st Century, maintaining its function as the seat of royal power. The five round towers were suitable to support the blows of the guns of the time.

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