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Thread: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

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    Default (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    Iberia is probably the most diverse area in Europe, enriched by southern French/Pyrenees culture as well as the traditional Spanish motif and also throw in the Portugese! and that is already a cornicopia! and that is ignoring the existence of the vast Islamic and Hebraic populations!

    initial event establishing current state of affairs


    Lands in Complacent angst!

    Iberia is vastly diverse in populations but also in its political make up. Iberia is home to at least five different powers who all are sovereign and supreme in Authority over the peoples and lands they control. It is truly questionable when the apparent complacent co-existence of these Political bodies will entangle themselves in warfare for the Aim of Establishing a supreme authority and even more curious to answer will be, who will
    This will be.





    Attachment 83942
    Attachment 85847
    Corona de Leon Castilla

    This now mighty kingdom was only several decades ago nothing more than the two fueding domains of Leon and of Castilla, but through a marriage between a prince of Leon and the Princess of Castilla an alliance was formed between these two powers. Shortly after the newly wed couple bore a royalchild and when the young heir to both thrones came of age he inherited the two crowns which he then unified into this great state.
    (to be completed)

    Attachment 83939
    Attachment 85848
    Corona de Aragon

    Barcelona the Aragonese capital,enjoys both the influence and culture of the French as well as being a significant party in the affairs of Spain. Corona de Aragon has supreme domination over the lucrative trade across the Pyrenees between most of Spain with the rest of Europe, and if fate should see fit King Sancho can and may make claim to the crown of Aragon thus establishing a Pyrenees dynasty.Barcelona is very intriguing and varied city with ethnic groups which reprasent Islamic, Jewish as well Orthodox Christian, all living in harmony and adding to the cities diversity.
    (to be completed)

    Attachment 83941
    Attachment 85849
    Casa de Navarre`

    The Navarrese are a Spanish realm but they are graced with being a best friend,confidant and ally with the Vatican. The Navarrese order of knights are among the most reknowned in Europe and frequently are commissioned in various military pursuits in Spain. The pope has recently commissioned some architectural projects as a gift to city of Pamploma so as to entice the Navarre` to be a more active player in assuring the "christendom" of Spain.
    (to be completed)

    Attachment 83940
    Attachment 85850
    El Rieno de Portugal Algarve`
    (to be begun)

    Attachment 83943
    Attachment 85851

    Malikate of Murcia

    the Malikate of Murcia is a very young dynasty, established recently when a young prince of Tangiers was campaigning in Spain and fell in love with a portugese princess. While out on Campaign his father, The Caliph of Tangiers died, succession of the throne was supposed to be his but the court advisors who actually held the power in Tangiers elected his cousin to the supreme position of authority. With this treachery the young prince decided to marry the Portugese princess and then take his armies and siege and win Murcia under such acomplishment he then founded this "rogue" kingdom in Murcia.
    Last edited by Druvatar De Bodemloze; May 10, 2010 at 10:51 AM.

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    PedroL's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: (ChC)Spain and its factions

    Just one thing it's not spain but Ibéria.
    Ibéria contains - (Castille and Leon; Aragon; Navarre and Portugal)
    Spain (Castille and Leon; Aragon; Navarre)
    Portugal (Portugal)
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    Default Re: (ChC)Spain and its factions

    noted and will change, thank you as always PedroL

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    BIG MAP PORTUGAL

    Hello
    Can I put this map for you people look at.
    The Age of Discovery 1340-1600.
    Its a Huge Map. One of the Best map i ever see. And one of the most complet.
    Thanks.
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    The Portuguese Role in Exploring and Mapping the New World

    Portugal, the western-most European country, was one of the primary players in the European Age of Discovery and Exploration. Under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portugal took the principal role during most of the fifteenth century in searching for a route to Asia by sailing south around Africa. In the process, the Portuguese accumulated a wealth of knowledge about navigation and the geography of the Atlantic Ocean. In the last decade of the fifteenth century, Christopher Columbus set out on a westerly course across the Atlantic Ocean searching for an alternative route to the Indies but inadvertently "discovered" a new continent. Although neither Portuguese-born nor sponsored, Columbus was Portuguese trained. He went to Lisbon in 1476 and remained there for several years, seeking the support of the Portuguese king and gathering nautical and geographic intelligence from the returning sailors. He married a Portuguese woman; obtained navigation charts and related information from his father-in-law, Bartholomew Perestrelo, who was the governor of the island of Porto Santo in Madeira; and was employed by João II as a navigator.
    After Columbus voyages to the New World, the Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, and English began the active exploration and exploitation of the newly discovered land in the Americas. Portuguese sailors continued to make important discoveries in this new arena as well.



    Portugal during the Age of Discoveries


    The small kingdom of Portugal, strategically located on the southwestern portion of the Iberian Peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean, is delineated on this beautifully engraved, hand-colored map. Based on the first known map of Portugal, published about 1561 by Fernando Álvares Seco, this version appeared in the numerous editions of the first modern atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, originally published in 1570 by the noted Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius. This cartographic representation portrays the geographical features of the kingdom at the height of its prosperity and prestige during the Age of Discoveries. The map is adorned with drawings of two ships, suggesting the Portuguese caravel, a small but fast vessel which contributed greatly to Portugal's early dominance in maritime exploration.
    "Portugaliae," from Abraham Ortelius. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Antwerp: [1579?]



    The Azore Islands

    As the Portuguese ventured out into the Atlantic Ocean, they encountered the Azores, a group of islands more than 900 miles west of their homeland. Around 1427 Portuguese sailors had reached the islands. By the middle of the century, Portuguese immigrants had established a flourishing peasant agriculture. Initially, these farmers produced sugar and wine, but eventually they turned to wheat and other foodstuffs, providing vital supplies for ships returning from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the islands had become overpopulated, the Azores (rather than mainland Portugal) provided more than 70 percent of the Portuguese immigrants to the United States. There are nine volcanic islands extending over 350 miles in the middle of the Atlantic that comprise the Azores group. The individual islands are depicted and named on this mid-sixteenth-century map, which appeared in the later editions of Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. This engraving was based on a map, originally prepared by Luís Teixeira, a noted Portuguese cartographer, whose family included several generations of mapmakers.




    "Açores Insulae," from Abraham Ortelius. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Antwerp: [1594?]



    Portuguese Exploration along the Northeast Coast of North America

    During the first quarter of the sixteenth century, Portuguese sailors were active in exploring and exploiting the cod fisheries found in the North Atlantic and along the northeast coast of North America. Possibly the first of these was the Azorean sailor João Fernandes, who was known by his rank, lavrador (i.e., small landowner or peasant). In 1499 and again during the next few years, he joined with several Bristol merchants in sailing to Greenland and possibly Labrador (which bears his name). In 1500 and 1501, Gaspar Corte-Real and his brother Miguel, members of the Portuguese royal household, sailed to Greenland, Labrador, and possibly Newfoundland, which was subsequently labeled "Terra del Rey de Portuguall" on several early maps. During the next twenty years, there is scattered evidence to suggest that Portuguese fishermen were also visiting the Grand Banks and the coastal waters of Newfoundland to exploit the cod (bacalhau) fisheries. Around 1520, a Portuguese nobleman, João Álvares Fagundes, explored the southern coast of Newfoundland and may have reached the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and the Nova Scotia coast. Four years later, Estêvão Gomes, sailing for Spain, reached Nova Scotia and sailed south along the North American coast, possibly as far as the Chesapeake Bay. Gomes, who was a native of Porto in northern Portugal, had served as a pilot for Fernão de Magalhães in 1519. Although few detailed accounts or maps have survived from these voyages, the accomplishments were incorporated into several early sixteenth-century maps including a 1529 world map prepared for the Spanish crown by Diogo Ribeiro. Portuguese by birth, Ribeiro was responsible for revising and updating the official world map (padron real) as news of discoveries was received. Because only two copies of the Ribeiro map are extant, a tracing of the western hemisphere portion made by the nineteenth-century German historical geographer Johann Georg Kohl from the original copy in Weimar, Germany, is displayed here. Documenting the Portuguese discoveries in the North Atlantic are several prominently displayed place names -- "Tierra del Labrador," "Tierra de los Bacallaos" (actually listed as "Tierra Nueva de los Bacallaos" -- the Newfoundland of the cod fisheries -- on a 1532 map), and "Tierra de Estevan Gomez."

    Johann Georg Kohl. Map of America, by Diego Ribero, 1529.

    The First Circumnavigation of the Globe

    One of the most noted of Portuguese-born explorers was Fernão de Magalhães (anglicized as "Magellan"), who instigated and organized the first circumnavigation of the globe from 1519 to 1522. Sailing for the King of Spain, he set out with the objective of finding a route to the Orient by sailing westward around the southern tip of South America. Part of his legacy, especially in adding new place names to previously unmapped areas of the world, is reflected in this early eighteenth-century map of Magellanica or Tierra del Fuego. Magalhães named the strait that he discovered at the southern tip of South America, "Channel of All Saints." Other names have been applied to the strait, but this feature has come to be known by the name of the man who first discovered it -- "Strait of Magellan."
    After navigating through the tempestuous waters of the strait, Magalhães encountered a very calm sea, which he appropriately named "Pacific." Interestingly, when Vasco Nuñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama seven years earlier, he named the same ocean "Mar del Sur" (South Sea). Although both names appear on this eighteenth-century map, it was Magalhães' designation that eventually gained acceptance.
    Although the course that Magalhães plotted did not become the primary route for Europeans sailing to the Orient during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it did become the primary route for nineteenth-century New England whaling ships as they searched for whales along the western coast of North America. It was this industry that provided the link between the Portuguese-American settlements on the northeast and west coasts of the United States during the nineteenth century.

    Tabula Magellanica qua Tierra del Fuego. Amsterdam: Schenk and Valk, [1709?]


    Portuguese View of the World at the Beginning of the 17th Century

    This atlas, the title of which translates as "General charts of the whole navigation . . . with all the principal ports of the conquest of Portugal," is unique among the Library's treasures as an example of Portuguese cartography during the Age of Discoveries. This manuscript volume, which originated in Lisbon in 1630, was compiled by João Teixeira, who served as cosmographer to the king of Portugal. Teixeira, who was active from 1602 to 1652, is considered the most prolific Portuguese cartographer of the seventeenth century. He was a member of a Lisbon family that was active in cartography for possibly six generations; his father Luís Teixeira compiled the late-sixteenth-century map of the Azores displayed in this exhibit [item 2]. This atlas has been referred to as the "Secret maps of the Americas and the Indies from the Portuguese archives," reflecting the rivalry between the Portuguese and Spanish throughout this period. The first map, which is displayed here, is the most controversial. It is a planisphere or world map summarizing the extent of geographical knowledge at the beginning of the seventeenth century. What makes this map significant is the location of the line defining Spanish and Portuguese spheres of influence. This line of demarcation was drawn much further west than originally determined. Consequently, it shows the mouth of the Río de la Plata and northeast North America to be within Portuguese jurisdiction.
    When this atlas was compiled in 1630, Portuguese power and influence were beginning to wane. From 1580 to 1640, Portugal and Spain were ruled jointly by the Spanish crown. Portugal, whose investments and manpower were stretched thinly throughout its far flung empire, was starting to lose possessions to the Dutch. Despite these imminent losses, this atlas provided a comprehensive portrait of the Portuguese empire at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
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    Some History of Portugal

    The Portuguese were the first Europeans after the Dark Ages to engage in transcultural and transoceanic warfare, equipped with a blend of nautical knowledge, superior technology, incredible courage, very few men, and great swordsmanship that proved very efficient against the curved blades of the Turks and Moors.
    It is known that the Portuguese, during their Discoveries Period, from the XIV to the XVI Centuries have built more than 800 fortresses from Africa to India, Malaysia and Macau.
    With very few men from a country whose population was at the time a little more then one million souls, the Portuguese seafarers and warriors were again the first Europeans to blend with locals through intercourse or marriage, thus originating the miscegenation of genes wherever they went.



    Understanding the Discoveries

    Spices and other goods such as silk, were brought through the Silk Road and landed in Europe through Venice, which distributed the goods throughout Europe with great profit coming from the Monopoly they had through an arrangement with the Arabs who traveled the Silk Road.
    The Portuguese - called the Lusitanian's at the time the Phoenicians lived in the area known now as Lisbon and another spot up North, have learned since then the craft of shipbuilding and many became fishermen, developing their experience with the sea, the winds and tides - inherited from their Lusitanian ancestors their experience with the sea.

    The Middle Ages were coming to an end, and with it the final consolidation of Portugal's geographic boundaries. This left D. João I, the first King of Portugal's second dynasty and Grand-Master of the Order of Avis, a the task to look into his country and marry Princess Phillipa of Lancaster. From this marriage were born the future king D. Duarte who would write "he Art of Riding" which would once more prove the great riders that the Portuguese still are, while Prince D. Fernando who would later be held captive in Morocco, taken prisoner after an expedition was launched against the Moors. But the man who would change the destiny of the country would be Henry, later known as the Navigator.
    Prince Henry was a visionary who surrounded himself with mathematicians such as the great Pedro Nunes, astronomers, cartographers, pilots. Henry listened and studied all accounts about distant lands. Ultimately, what was at stake was to challenge the Greek legend of the Taprobana which was mentioned as the end of the world.
    Ships were built, and it did not take long until the archipelagoes of Madeira and the Azores were discovered and populated. Little by little the Portuguese pilots ventured farther to the Western coast of Africa, correcting earlier maps, every voyage a step further towards the Taprobana.
    Accounts spread that untold horrors, beasts and giants lived at Taprobana, terror to many a sailor who would be terrified with just the mention of the place.
    However the Portuguese were not deterred by these tales, and Taprobana was crossed and the ancient legend was proved wrong.
    Expeditions were sent to conquer and convert to the Catholic faith many cities along Africans western coast, while ambassadors were sent to the fabled land of the African Christian King known as Prestes Joao, that we know as Ethiopia.
    The School of Sagres, set up by Henry the Navigator, developed ancient navigational instruments such as the astrolabe and perfected the design of vessels such as the latin sail caravel, the round caravel, and later the larger nau.
    The stage was set up for the demise of Venice when Admiral Vasco da Gama discovered the Malabar Coast of India on May 18, 1498. Vasco da Gama, a Knight Commander of the Military Order of Christ, arrived 3 days later to Calicut. From that moment on the spices would arrive by sea to the new center of distribution: Lisbon.
    Pedro Alvares Cabral, would reach Brazil two years later, in 1500, proving how so few did so much in so little time.


    Portuguese Man at War

    This is the name given to a very dangerous species of jelly fish. The real reason behind it resides in how well equipped this creature is, and is a comparison to the way the Portuguese ships fought in India.

    Vice-Roy of India, D. Afonso de Albuquerque, a military genius of the highest degree commanded a fleet of six ships manned by four hundred men, and entered Ormuz Bay, being surrounded by 250 warships and a 20.000 men army on land ready to dispatch the small Portuguese flotilla.

    When the King of Ormuz sent aboard an emissary to question Albuquerque, the great Commander told the messenger one phrase: Surrender yourselves !!!
    This must have provoked an inner laugh from the messenger who left.
    When the battle begun, Albuquerque made his fleet circle like a carrousel and destroyed most of the ships. He then proceeded to conquer Ormuz with 400 men.
    How could this be achieved one must ask. The technical explanation may make some sense, but will not explain the courage of taking such a risk.
    In fact we all know that during the U.S.Civil War, canons had to be loaded from their mouths. This was in the XIX Century. However Albuquerque's canons were equipped with breeches that did not require the canons to be brought backwards to be loaded. It meant that while the enemy's canons fired a shot, the Portuguese canons could fire six with a range of 1.800 meters against 700 meters of the enemy's canons. The next issue is that the Portuguese artillery men had discovered the propulsive effect of water. If you throw a stone at a low angle near the surface of the water, the stone will be propelled by the water's surface and gain more speed.
    The second row of canons were placed very near the floating line and the stronger fire power was further enhanced by the water effect, causing the steel balls to not only hit the ship but hit the one behind the first one. Being fired at close to the floating line, the ships would start sinking very fast.
    Then one must be aware that the Portuguese knew they were always outnumbered, a certainty that led them to employ all their courage and determination in the fights and battles they engaged.
    In many cases, just mentioning the Portuguese would distress an entire army or fleet, knowing the fierceness and bravery of the Portuguese warriors.

    Running forward

    One of the techniques that the Portuguese warriors employed against their enemies who held the Moorish bow was just more than unusual.
    They knew that the Moorish bow would be very effective within the range from 50 meters to 400 meters.
    So when 40 Portuguese soldiers disembarked to face a first row of 300 archers also armed with tulwars, their first act was to run like madmen towards the archers, with their rapiers and left handlers in hand. The archers would be stunned by this totally insane act, as due to the heath, very few would wear armors. This stunning delay would again act in favour of the Portuguese who would close de 50 meters range with a few more seconds of advantage.

    The Portuguese knew about the 50 meters bow effectiveness and that their only hope was to run frontward to cut that distance, after which their highly seasoned maneuver of the rapier and the left handler would destroy the tulwar in no time, one after the other. One blade would stop the tulwar strike and the other would dispatch the enemy, and this was one methodically in no time.
    Running front wards for cover was a tactic that brought the Portuguese warriors great fame and respect for their bravery.


    The bullet that was a tooth

    It is sometimes in chronicles written by foreigners that for some centuries have studied Portuguese History, that some interesting details are found.
    A Dutch priest, Philippus Baldaeus, who accompanied the Dutch fleets that fought the Portuguese in the Indic Ocean, tells a most interesting story:
    During the first Siege of Diu, a Portuguese soldier who was manning one of the bastions of the fortress that was being attacked by theTurks, found himself as the only survivor, having used all bullets but still having some gun powder for one more shot, and finding nothing else to charge his firearm with, decided to extract one of his own tooth and armed the weapon with it, firing against the enemy that was considering he was out of ammunitions.

    It is just a little detail in a great battle that is readily forgotten. The Dutchman however, relates this fact with great respect for a brave warrior, which does honor to the Portuguese soldier.

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    ARAGON

    SAINT GEORGE AND THE LEGEND OF THE BATTLE OF ALCORAZ

    In Aragón, devotion for Saint George, who is represented as the ideal Christian knight, became particularly important in the 12th century thanks to the Military Orders, stories about the Crusades and especially the Aragonese royal family.

    He was associated with the battle of Alcoraz, during which he was said to have helped the army of King Pedro I. This battle is surrounded by legends that tell how the Moorish troops situated in Huesca asked for help from king Almozaben of Saragossa. He came to their aid with many troops. All the nobles from the mountain area went to the Christian camp with their followers but the Muslim army was much larger. At that moment, an unknown knight appeared with a red cross on his chest and shield. He was accompanied by another knight who was also wearing the same crosses.




    Saint George in the Battle of Alcoraz, by Jerónimo Martínez
    Church of la Merced, Teruel (Spain)

    When the battle began, everyone was overwhelmed by his bravery and the Christians won. They searched in vain for the anonymous knight in order to thank him but he disappeared in the same way he had appeared. They found his companion who told them that when he was in Antioch, during the crusades, his horse was killed and as he was lying on the floor he shouted "Go and get them, Saint George!” Legend has it that a young knight immediately appeared by his side, picked him up onto his horse and took him from the Holy Land to Aragón, to the plains of Alcoraz to help the Christian cause in Huesca.

    The knight was Saint George and a hermitage was built in his honour on the site of the battle. The Cross of Saint George surrounded by four Moor heads, on a silver background became a symbol of Aragón and Saint George has officially been the patron saint of Aragón since the middle ages.




    Pedro I of Aragón incorporates the heads of the four defeated Moorish kings into Saint George’s coat of arms and the whole as a new quarter of the Aragonese greater arms.
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    Default Re: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    thank you PedroL I have the makings of some good events for Portugal anf Venice here~
    really funny though because when I wrote my Description for Venice, I talked about the Silk road and what I said was just out of my head (just common knowledge) and it was acurate too what you have given, guess I am more educated than I thought~

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    Narh it was luck
    Oh no the picture of my dog disappeared!

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    PedroL's Avatar Citizen
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    Quote Originally Posted by druvatar View Post
    thank you PedroL I have the makings of some good events for Portugal anf Venice here~
    really funny though because when I wrote my Description for Venice, I talked about the Silk road and what I said was just out of my head (just common knowledge) and it was acurate too what you have given, guess I am more educated than I thought~
    You are well educated
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    Spain

    Castile, which had traditionally turned away from intervention in European affairs, developed a merchant marine in the Atlantic that successfully challenged the Hanseatic League (a peaceful league of merchants of various free German cities) for dominance in the coastal trade with France, England, and the Netherlands. The economic climate necessary for sustained economic development was notably lacking, however, in Castile. The reasons for this situation appear to have been rooted both in the structure of the economy and in the attitude of the Castilians. Restrictive corporations closely regulated all aspects of the economy--production, trade, and even transport. The most powerful of these corporations, the mesta, controlled the production of wool, Castile's chief export. Perhaps a greater obstacle for economic development was that commercial activity enjoyed little social esteem. Noblemen saw business as beneath their station and derived their incomes and prestige from landownership. Successful bourgeois entrepreneurs, who aspired to the petty nobility, invested in land rather than in other sectors of the economy because of the social status attached to owning land. This attitude deprived the economy of needed investments and engendered stagnation rather than growth.
    Feudalism, which bound nobles to the king-counts both economically and socially, as tenants to landlords, had been introduced into Aragon and Catalonia from France. It produced a more clearly stratified social structure than that found in Castile, and consequently it generated greater tension among classes. Castilian society was less competitive, more cohesive, and more egalitarian. Castile attempted to compensate through political means, however, for the binding feudal arrangements between crown and nobility that it lacked. The guiding theory behind the Castilian monarchy was that political centralism could be won at the expense of local fueros, but the kings of Castile never succeeded in creating a unitary state. Aragon- Catalonia accepted and developed--not without conflict--the federal principle, and it made no concerted attempt to establish a political union of the Spanish and Italian principalities outside of their personal union under the Aragonese crown. The principal regions of Spain were divided not only by conflicting local loyalties, but also by their political, economic, and social orientations. Catalonia particularly stood apart from the rest of the country.
    Both Castile and Aragon suffered from political instability in the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries. The House of Trastamara acquired the Castilian throne in 1369 and created a new aristocracy to which it granted significant authority. Court favorites, or validos (sing., valido), often dominated their Castilian kings, and, because the kings were weak, nobles competed for control of the government. Important government offices, formerly held by members of the professional class of civil servants who had urban, and frequently Jewish, backgrounds, came into the possession of aristocratic families who eventually held them by hereditary right. The social disruption and the decay of institutions common to much of Europe in the late Middle Ages also affected Aragon, where another branch of the Trastamaras succeeded to the throne in 1416. For long periods, the overextended Aragonese kings resided in Naples, leaving their Spanish realms with weak, vulnerable governments. Economic dislocation, caused by recurring plagues and by the commercial decline of Catalonia, was the occasion for repeated revolts by regional nobility, town corporations, peasants, and, in Barcelona, by the urban proletariat.


    The Golden Age Of Spain

    Ferdinand and Isabella

    The marriage in 1469 of royal cousins, Ferdinand of Aragon (1452-1516) and Isabella of Castile (1451-1504), eventually brought stability to both kingdoms. Isabella's niece, Juana, had bloodily disputed her succession to the throne in a conflict in which the rival claimants were given assistance by outside powers--Isabella by Aragon and Juana by her suitor, the king of Portugal. The Treaty of Alcaçovas ended the war in September 1479, and as Ferdinand had succeeded his father in Aragon earlier in the same year, it was possible to link Castile with Aragon. Both Isabella and Ferdinand understood the importance of unity; together they effected institutional reform in Castile and left Spain one of the best administered countries in Europe.
    Even with the personal union of the Castilian and the Aragonese crowns, Castile, Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia remained constitutionally distinct political entities, and they retained separate councils of state and parliaments. Ferdinand, who had received his political education in federalist Aragon, brought a new emphasis on constitutionalism and a respect for local fueros to Castile, where he was king consort (1479- 1504) and continued as regent after Isabella's death in 1504. Greatly admired by Italian political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Ferdinand was one of the most skillful diplomats in an age of great diplomats, and he assigned to Castile its predominant role in the dual monarchy.
    Ferdinand and Isabella resumed the Reconquest, dormant for more than 200 years, and in 1492 they captured Granada, earning for themselves the title of Catholic Kings. Once Islamic Spain had ceased to exist, attention turned to the internal threat posed by hundreds of thousands of Muslims living in the recently incorporated Granada. "Spanish society drove itself," historian J.H. Elliot writes, "on a ruthless, ultimately self-defeating quest for an unattainable purity."
    Everywhere in sixteenth-century Europe, it was assumed that religious unity was necessary for political unity, but only in Spain was there such a sense of urgency in enforcing religious conformity. Spain's population was more heterogeneous than that of any other European nation, and it contained significant nonChristian communities. Several of these communities, including in particular some in Granada, harbored a significant element of doubtful loyalty. Moriscos (Granadan Muslims) were given the choice of voluntary exile or conversion to Christianity. Many Jews converted to Christianity, and some of these Conversos filled important government and ecclesiastical posts in Castile and in Aragon for more than 100 years. Many married or purchased their way into the nobility. Muslims in reconquered territory, called Mudejars, also lived quietly for generations as peasant farmers and skilled craftsmen.
    After 1525 all residents of Spain were officially Christian, but forced conversion and nominal orthodoxy were not sufficient for complete integration into Spanish society. Purity of blood (pureza de sangre) regulations were imposed on candidates for positions in the government and the church, to prevent Moriscos from becoming a force again in Spain and to eliminate participation by Conversos whose families might have been Christian for generations. Many of Spain's oldest and finest families scrambled to reconstruct family trees.
    The Inquisition, a state-controlled Castilian tribunal, authorized by papal bull in 1478, that soon extended throughout Spain, had the task of enforcing uniformity of religious practice. It was originally intended to investigate the sincerity of Conversos, especially those in the clergy, who had been accused of being crypto-Jews. Tomas de Torquemada, a descendant of Conversos, was the most effective and notorious of the Inquisition's prosecutors.
    For years religious laws were laxly enforced, particularly in Aragon, and converted Jews and Moriscos continued to observe their previous religions in private. In 1568, however, a serious rebellion broke out among the Moriscos of Andalusia, who sealed their fate by appealing to the Ottoman Empire for aid. The incident led to mass expulsions throughout Spain and to the eventual exodus of hundreds of thousands of Conversos and Moriscos, even those who had apparently become devout Christians.
    In the exploration and exploitation of the New World, Spain found an outlet for the crusading energies that the war against the Muslims had stimulated. In the fifteenth century, Portuguese mariners were opening a route around Africa to the East. At the same time as the Castilians, they had planted colonies in the Azores and in the Canary Islands (also Canaries; Spanish, Canarias), the latter of which had been assigned to Spain by papal decree. The conquest of Granada allowed the Catholic Kings to divert their attention to exploration, although Christopher Columbus's first voyage in 1492 was financed by foreign bankers. In 1493 Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia, a Catalan) formally approved the division of the unexplored world between Spain and Portugal. The Treaty of Tordesillas, which Spain and Portugal signed one year later, moved the line of division westward and allowed Portugal to claim Brazil.
    New discoveries and conquests came in quick succession. Vasco Nunez de Balboa reached the Pacific in 1513, and the survivors of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition completed the circumnavigation of the globe in 1522. In 1519 the conquistador Hernando Cortes subdued the Aztecs in Mexico with a handful of followers, and between 1531 and 1533 Francisco Pizzaro overthrew the empire of the Incas and established Spanish dominion over Peru.
    In 1493, when Columbus brought 1,500 colonists with him on his second voyage, a royal administrator had already been appointed for the Indies. The Council of the Indies (Consejo de Indias), established in 1524 acted as an advisory board to the crown on colonial affairs, and the House of Trade (Casa de Contratacion) regulated trade with the colonies. The newly established colonies were not Spanish but Castilian. They were administered as appendages of Castile, and the Aragonese were prohibited from trading or settling there.


    The Inquisition in Spain

    In the late fifteenth century the Catholic monarchs of Spain requested a special institution to seek out heretics and relapsed converts. These resources examine the Spanish Inquisition and the Inquisitors who helped make it so notorious.

    Tomás de Torquemada


    At his birth (1420, Torquemada, Castile, Spain) Tomás already had something to hide: his grandmother was a converso; a converted Jew; a New Christian. Spain had more converted Jews than any other country; some had converted by choice, many more by force, but they were all regarded with suspicion and mistrust by the Old Christians. Some, called Marranos, were only nominally converted, and continued their Jewish customs in secret.
    The result was the Spanish cult of sangre limpia, "pure blood", that is, pure white Christian blood. Actually, since Spain had the largest Jewish population in medieval Europe and conversion and intermarriage were common, hardly anyone had sangre limpia, but many claimed to, and it was a constant preoccupation of the nobility. Torquemada's life work was an attempts to achieve sangre limpia for Spain.
    By 1479, when Spain was unified under Ferdinand and Isabella, Torquemada was a Dominican priest and Isabella's confessor. Four years later he had established himself as the head of the Spanish Inquisition.
    The purpose of the Inquisition was to root out heresy, and for Torquemada this meant destroying the Marranos. The Inquisition published a set of guidelines so that Catholics could inform on their Marrano neighbors:

    If you see that your neighbors are wearing clean and fancy clothes on Saturdays, they are Jews. If they clean their houses on Fridays and light candles earlier than usual on that night, they are Jews. If they eat unleavened bread and begin their meal with celery and lettuce during Holy Week, they are Jews. If they say prayers facing a wall, bowing back and forth, they are Jews. The mildest penalty imposed on Marranos began with the forfeiture of their property, which proved to be a convenient fund-raising technique for the war against the Moors. This was followed by the public humiliation of being paraded through the streets wearing the sambenito, a sulfur-yellow shirt emblazoned with crosses that came only to the waist, leaving the lower body uncovered. They were then flogged at the church door. This was the punishment suffered by Juan Sánchez de Cepeda, the grandfather of Teresa de Avila.
    The scale of punishments continued up to burning at the stake, which was performed as a public spectacle called an auto-da-fé ("act of faith"). If the condemned recanted and kissed the cross, they were mercifully garroted before the fire was set. If they recanted only, they were burned with a quick-burning seasoned wood. If not, they were burned with slow-burning green wood.
    In 1490 Torquemada staged a famous show-trial, the LaGuardia trial. This involved eight Jews and conversos, who were accused of having crucified a Christian child. No victim was ever identified and no body was ever found; nevertheless all eight were convicted, on the strength of their confessions which were obtained through torture. They were burned at the stake.
    Rumours about Jews committing ritual murder of Christian children have circulated around Europe for centuries and are known collectively as "the blood libel." While there is no evidence to support the blood libel, its opposite, the ritual murder of Jews by Christians, is well known. The Spanish Inquisition alone committed the ritual murder of about thirty thousand Jews.
    Torquemada used the LaGuardia trial to argue that the Jews were a danger to Spain. His intention was to convince Ferdinand and Isabella to order their expulsion. Hearing of this, two influential Jews raised thirty thousand ducats and offered it to Ferdinand and Isabella, saying they could give them even more if they would allow the Jews to remain. Ferdinand and Isabella, always hard up for cash, wavered at this; but Torquemada said, "Judas sold his Master for thirty ducats. You would sell Him for thirty thousand ... Take Him and sell Him, but do not let it be said that I have had any share in this transaction."
    On March 31st, 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella issued their Edict of Expulsion. "[We] have decided to command all of the aforesaid Jews, men and women, to leave our kingdoms and never to return to them." The Jews were given until July 1st to leave the kingdom; any found within its borders after that date would be killed. Some fled to Portugal or North Africa, where they faced more persecution; some took ship with a foolhardy explorer named Christopher Columbus; some remained in Spain as "Secret Jews", and their descendants are still Secret Jews today.
    Having accomplished the expulsion of the Jews, Torquemada retired to the monastery of St. Thomas in Avila, which he had designed himself. In his last years he was convinced that he would be poisoned, and kept a unicorn's horn by his plate as an antidote. He was not poisoned, however, but died a natural death in 1498.



    Renaissance Century.

    The 14th century was an extraordinary prolific epoch during which the influence of Italian Humanism was widely felt. Some of the leading literary figures of the times were Juan Ruiz, the archpriest of Hita, who wrote the 'Libro del Buen Amor'; Juan Manuel, nephew of Alfonso X and the creator of the 'Conde Lucanor', and the royal chancellor of Castile, Pedro Lopez de Ayala, author of the 'Cronicas' and the verses 'Rimado de Palacio'.
    Beginning in the 15th century, literature became more lyrical and courtly in preparation of the ideological transition from medieval to Renaissance ideas at the onset of the Modern Age. The Marquis of Santillana, one of the age's principal figures (1398-1458), introduced the sonnet in Spain, wrote alegorical and lyrical poetry, collected proverbs and is remembered for his 'serranillas' (pastoral songs). Other great authors -Juan de Mena (Laberinto de la Fortuna); the archpriest of Talavera (Corbacho) and the brilliant Jorge Manrique -whose 'Coplas' were written on the death of his father- shaped an extremely valuable poetic panorama.
    The period during which Spanish Gothic and the Renaissance imported from Italy converged, coincided with the development of the Universities (Alcala de Henares and Salamanca) which combined elements of both architectural styles and produced the Plateresque style. The Castilian language was consolidated with the publication of first applied grammar of a vernacula language, the 'Arte de la Lengua Castellana'.
    Prose writers no longer concentrating on collections of short stories and oriental-style fables but rather on novels, among which the very successful chivalric romances would become especially prominent. The first, and probably the best, of this genre was 'Amadis de Gaula'.
    In theatre there was also notable development, Juan de Encina's plays (1469-1529) reflected secular life. But the great revolution in all spheres would be ushered in with the publication od 'La Celestina o Tragicomedia de Calixto y Melibea', Spain's second most important liteary work after 'Don Quixote'.


    ALPHONSUS A SANCTA MARIA, or ALPHONSO DE CARTAGENA (1396-1456), Spanish historian, was born at Carthagena, and succeeded his father, Paulus, as bishop of Burgos. In 1431 he was deputed by John II., king of Castile, to attend the council of Basel, in which he made himself conspicuous by his learning. He was the author of several works, the principal of which is entitled Rerum Hispanorum Romanorum imperatorum, summorum pontificum, nec non regum Francorum anacephaleosis. This is a history of Spain from the earliest times down to 1456, and was printed at Granada in 1545, and also in the Rerum Hispanicarum Scriptores aliquot, by R. Bel (Frankfort, 1579). Alphonsus died on the 12th of July 1456.

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    The Great Age of Discovery - 15th Century

    Half of Europe had thrown itself upon the Orient to liberate the tomb of our Savior from the tyranny of the Moslem, so one flood of adventurers followed another to the new land of promise with colorful prospects of wealth and enjoyment.
    With great jealousy, England and France entered the path on which Portugal and Spain had so gloriously preceded them. As the result of this competition the whole western shore of the Atlantic basin was drawn into the circle of the known earth.


    If Columbus was undoubtedly the first to discoverer of the West Indian Islands (the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, 1492; Lesser Alitilles, 1493; Jamaica, 1494), the honor of having preceded him on the American continent belongs to John Cabot, a Venetian merchant settled in Bristol, and to his son Sebastian. They landed on the coast of Labrador in 24th June, 1497, about five hundred years after Vikings, but seventeen months before the continent of Tropical America in the delta of the Orinoco was discovered by Columbus on his third voyage.



    Genoa
    and Venice, the great Mediterranean rivals, split the glory of unveiling a new world to mankind, but the laurels of their sons were blooming under a foreign flag. Columbus steered into the western ocean in the service of the Spanish monarch, the Cabots were sent by Henry the Seventh of England across the Atlantic to discover a north-western passage to India. This, of course, they did not accomplish, but the rediscovery of Newfoundland and Labrador laid the foundation of Britain's colonialism.
    Their voyage is also remarkable as having been the first expedition that ever left the shores of England. On this occasion it may be interesting to mention about the beginnings of British navigation. In the year 1217 the first treaty of commerce was concluded with Norway. In the beginning of he fourteenth century Bergen was the most distant port to which English vessels resorted. Soon afterwards they ventured into the Baltic. It was not before the middle of the following century that they began to sail to the Castilian and Portuguese ports. Towards the end of the fifteenth century the English flag was still a stranger to the Mediterranean. The direct communication with the Levant only began in the sixteenth century. Edward the Second, preparing for his great Scottish war, was thankful to hire five galleys from Genoa.


    In 1499, Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci were the first to sail along the coast of Paria. The following year was uncommonly rich in voyages of discovery. In the western ocean, the equator was first crossed by Vincent Yanez Pinson, who doubled Cape Saint Augustin, discovered the mouths of the Amazon river, and then sailed northwards along the coast as far as the island of Trinidad, which Columbus had discovered two years before.
    About the same time a Portuguese fleet, sailing under the command of Pedro Alvarez Cabral to the Indian Ocean, was driven by adverse winds to the coast of the Brazils, so that, if the genius of Columbus had not evoked, America would have chance to be discovered a few years later.
    A third voyage, which renders the year 1500 is that of Gaspar Cortereal, a son of John Vaz Cortereal is one of the doubtful forerunners of Columbus. Hoping to realize the dream of a north-west passage to the riches of India, Gaspar sailed along the inhospitable shores of Labrador, and penetrated into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Storms and ice-drifts forced him to retreat but he again set sail in the following year with two small vessels. On this second voyage he supposedly penetrated into Frobisher Bay, but here floating ice-masses and violent gales separated him from his companion ship, which returned alone to Portugal.
    The doubtful destiny of the Portuguese explorer gave his brother Miguel no rest. The following spring found him sailing with three ships on the traces of the lost Gaspar. But Miguel also disappeared for ever among the ice-fields of the north. A third brother remained, who earnestly implored the king that he also might be allowed to go and sail this treacherous waters. But Emanuel refused permission, saying that these enterprises had already cost him two of his most valuable servants, and he could not afford to lose more.
    In the year 1501 Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed to the coast of Paria, and discovered the whole shore-line from Cape de Vela to the Gulf of Darien. In the year 1502 the aged Columbus, entering his fourth and last voyage, set sail with four wretched vessels, the largest of which was only seventy tons burthen. That time he discovered the coast of the American continent from Cape Gracias a Dios to Porto-Bello. The east coast of Yucatan was explored in the year 1508 by Juan Diaz de Solis and Vincent Yanez Pinson, and the island of Cuba circumnavigated for the first time by Sebastian de Ocampo.
    In 1512 Juan Ponce de Leon sailed to Florida, where, instead of finding as he hoped the fountain of eternal youth, he is doomed to a miserable end. In 1517 the above mentioned Solis sails along the coasts of the Brazils to the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, where he is killed in a conflict with the Indians. In 1518 Cordova makes his countrymen acquainted with the north and west coasts of Yucatan, and in the same year Grijalva discovers the Mexican coast from Tabasco to San Juan de Ulloa.
    In 1518 Grijalva is followed by Cortez, who lands at Vera Cruz, overthrows the empire of Montezuma after a series of exploits, and renders the whole coast of Mexico far to the north subject to the Spanish crown.
    The voyages of Verazzani in 1523, who sailed along the coast of the United States, and of Jacques Cartier in 1524, who investigated the Bay of St. Lawrence, did not indeed widely extend geographical knowledge, as these navigators, who had been sent out by Francis I., did no more than examine more closely the previous discoveries of Cabot and Cortereal; their explorations however had the result of giving France possession of Canada, and of entitling her to a share in the fisheries of Newfoundland.
    Thus within half a century after the day when Columbus first landed on Guanahani, we find almost the whole eastern coast of America rising from an unknown past.


    While the western shores of the Atlantic were unrolling from unknown, the Indian Ocean was the scene of no less remarkable events. The same year (1498) that Columbus first visited the American continent, Vasco de Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope, crossed the Eastern Ocean, and on the 22nd of May landed at Calicut on the coast of Malibar, ten months and two days after leaving the port of Lisbon.
    Now the great revolution in commerce took place which the Venetians long had feared and the Portuguese had hoped for. Portuguese lost no time in reaping the golden fruits of the glorious discoveries of Vasco de Gama and his predecessors. In less than twenty years their flag waved in all the harbors of the Indian Ocean, from the east coast of Africa to Canton Shortly a row of fortified stations secured to them the dominion of the seas.
    Their settlements in Diu and Goa awed the whole coast of Malabar, and cut off the intercourse of Egypt with India by way of the Red Sea. They took possession of the small island of Ormus, which commands the entrance of the Persian Gulf and rendered this important commercial highway likewise tributary to their power. In the center of the East-Indian world rose their chief market-place, Malacca, and even in distant China Macao obeyed their laws. The discovery of the Molucca Islands gave them the monopoly of the lucrative spice trade, which was destined at a later period to enrich the economical Dutchman.
    What vast changes had taken place since Prince Henry's first expeditions to the coast of Africa. During one life time the old Atlantic Ocean enlarged his boundary into the boundless world of waters from the coasts of Canton to the West Indies.
    Few years later the Pacific opens its gates, and all the discoveries of Columbus and Vasco seem small when compared with the vast regions which Magellan reveals to man.
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    The Tumultuous 15th Century
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The 15th century provides with many childhood images of the Middle Ages: the knight in shining armour, the joust, elegant ladies in tall and pointed hats. Many of the hallmarks of medieval society had already faded and were being replaced by a culture associated with the Renaissance. Feudalism, that uniquely political system, had effectively been dead for centuries. Medieval monarchs increasingly looked to develop effective, professional armies that could be more adaptive, better trained and able to stay longer in the field. At the same time that his employers were reexamining his role on the battlefield, the knight's newly completed harness was increasingly challenged by a combination of arms, in the form of pike, bow and gun, and they would soon unseat him from his place at the center of military society. Even the joust had become an increasingly artificial, international sport, rather than serious military training. Meanwhile, intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe, seeking new wealth in Asia and Africa, and launching what has been called the Age of Discovery.
    In the year 1400, England and France were still locked in the Hundred Years War, and France was ruled by a mad king, with its worst defeats still yet to come. Emboldened by the weakening of the French monarchy, the powerful Dukes of Burgundy continued to grow more autonomous, building in all but name an independent kingdom, and a court that became the cultural center of northern Europe. In Iberia, the ancient Muslim culture of Al Andalus had been driven back by the Spanish kingdoms, until only the small kingdom of Granada remained, giving the Iberian Christians more time to war against themselves. Meanwhile, far to the east, the battle of Cross and Crescent was taking a very different course: the ancient Byzantine Empire was making its last stand against the inexorable advance of the Ottoman Turks. And through it all, the bankers and trading houses of Italy and the Hanseatic League grew ever wealthier.

    The 15th century was a period of drama and elegance, as well as an idealized romanticizing of chivalric ideals. An illustration from Rene d'Anjou's &quote;Book of Love&quote;. (1465)

    By 1500, the Middle Ages as we think of them had been all but swept away. France had emerged victorious from the Hundred Years War and brought her rebellious duchies to heel, including Burgundy, making the monarchy stronger than it ever had before. England, on the other hand, and proceeded from the disastrous loss of her French territories into a bloody, thirty year long civil war, the War of the Roses, that saw the Plantagenets lose the crown of England after nearly three and a half centuries of unbroken rule. In 1453, Constantinople at last fell to the Turks, bringing to an end the last true survivor of the ancient Roman Empire. Meanwhile, the Spanish kingdoms of Castille and Aragon had driven out the last of the Muslim rulers, and had united into a single Spanish kingdom, creating what was soon to become a European superpower.
    But during the intervening years of this century, European society would undergo far more change than just political upheaval. A new intellectual culture was brewing that would bring sweeping changes in art, science, fashion and a drive for exploration. The Renaissance was being born.
    Humanism

    The 1400s were driven first and foremost by a change in intellectual culture that returned to a reading of classical authors, put a new emphasis on secular topics and legitimized the striving for personal accomplishment. This new ideology was Humanism.
    The Middle Ages had been dominated by the intellectual culture of Scholasticism, which focused on resolving contradictions between famous Classical authors. Over time, the commentaries by these later scholars would develop an authority almost equivalent to that of the original author, so that a trained scholar might say that he had studied Aristotle without ever having read an actual word written by Aristotle himself! In the late 14th century, however, a new intellectual movement began to take shape in northern Italy. Because of their mercantile dominance, the Italian cities had long since had a need for highly educated, literate men with secular backgrounds. Initially, such a clerk, notary or lawyer was known as a humanist if he was a student or teacher of Latin and Latin literature but was not a Churchman. These scholars began to rediscover many Latin and Greek texts, particularly poetic, historical and rhetorical works that had been neglected or even oppressed by clerics. By the mid-fifteenth century, the philosophy of Humanism had come to describe the studia humanitatis - a complete curriculum of grammar, rhetoric, moral philosophy, poetry and history as learned from a direct study of Classical authors. Above all, these Humanists asserted that, as Man was created in the image of God, his unique ability to reason, appreciate beauty and to create and fashion objects was an inherently divine quality. As such, art and science were twin pillars that not only ennobled, but essentially sanctified man.
    In the century that followed, Humanist political writers such as such as Niccolo Machiavelli and Thomas More would use the idea of Classical authors to criticize their governments, while new exposure to Plato would lead theologians such as Giordano Bruno and Martin Luther to challenge Church leaders not only politically and morally, but at the very philosophical underpinnings of their Aristotelian world view.
    Art and Science
    The Humanist worldview naturally intermingled Art and Science. Noted artists such as Leonardo da Vinci made observational drawings of anatomy and nature, while disciplines such as music and fencing were considered to be both a science and an art, as they were governed by certain undeniable physical laws of proportion and time, but were applied in a creative, ever-changing fashion. The most noted artistic change of the 15th century was the development towards a sense of perspective. Masters such as Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337) had begun this process in the 14th century, but it did not achieve its full-flowering as a formal technique to be studied and used as a measurement of the artist's skill, until it became popularized by the architect-sculptors Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). Once a quest for realism had begun in one artistic element, artists quickly began to apply it to others, such as light and shadow. Inspired by the Humanist fascination with beauty and nature, they sought to more carefully render natural elements, most specifically, the human form, and this was expressed in the peerless works of da Vinci and Raphael that appeared in the last decades of the century.
    But the Italians had not cornered the market on artistic innovation, and under the patronage of the wealthy Burgundian Dukes, a new school developed in the Netherlands, building around the work of Jan van Eyck (1385 -1441), who is also credited with the introduction of oil paint and canvas.


    Jan van Eyk's famous &quote;The Arnolfini Portrait&quote; (1434)

    Brunelleschi's dome atop the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (1419 - 36)

    The fusion of art and science was perhaps most felt in the world of architecture, which became influences by a rediscovery of the writings of the 1st century mathematician Vitruvius. The architectural revolution of the 15th century began when Filippo Brunelleschi built the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (1419-1436). Based upon the famed Pantheon in Rome, it would be the first free-standing dome of any significant size built in Western Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire.
    Throughout the century a vast array of other innovations and inventions, such as the printing press (1455), the woodcut (1400 - 1450), the harpsichord (c.1460), canal locks (1481), the distillation of malt into whiskey (c.1460). Yet the most significant development of the era was probably not any one discovery, but rather a process for discovery, based on empirical evidence. This method was the scientific method that has driven western science ever since.
    Fashion The fashion trends of the 1400s followed the same trend towards exuberant extremes reflected in the rest of society during this period. As the worst of the Black Death (1348 - 1350) lay long in the past, the changes in European society it had created included a tend towards greatly empowered, urban middle classes. These tradesmen, guildsmen and merchant-princes were nowhere as powerful or influential as the Italian city-states, or the Flemish cities under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy.
    With England and France mired in the Hundred Years War and its aftermath and then the English Wars of the Roses through most of the century, the glittering, the fashion-conscious, and sharp-witted Duke Philip the Good (ruled 1419-1469) had turned Burgundy into an autonomous kingdom in all but name, and had used his control of the trading cities Holland and Flanders to the acquire the finest English wool, eastern silks and Italian fashions.
    Meanwhile, in Italy the old nobility had long fallen to mercantile republics or military despots. In many cases, the latter simply assumed the old hereditary titles of marchese, count or duke, whether they came from old noble families or were upstarts raising themselves up as the new nobility. Desiring to establish their legitimacy, these despots sought to make their courts the envy of Europe. Those who embraced the new ideals of Humanism became great patrons of art, science and learning. The lord acquired renown as a man of culture, learning and wealth, gaining additional civil or military service from the courtier, while the courtier gained far more: stable financial support, prestige, and a chance to develop his work without having to fight against the pressure of daily life.
    The end result was that, there was a class of wealthy commoners in the midst of these extravagant courts who had the wealth and connections to successfully mimic, and sometimes exceed, the fashions of the nobility, regardless of any sumptuary laws. This thereby prompted the nobility towards ever more elaborate and extravagant fashions themselves. It also led to the first real trend towards clear national variances in European fashions.
    At end of the previous century, the voluminous houppelande had become a popular fashion for both men and women. The houppelande continued to be popular in Burgundian, French and English circles until well into the 1470s. Although it could be worn anywhere from floor to knee length, in all cases it became progressively more pleated, fitted with a high collar and tall, stuffed shoulders. At the same time, a counter-fashion was evolving in Italy and the south, as the old men's cotehardie became shorter and tighter, until it evolved into the revealing doublets and hose associated with the Italian Renaissance. Both houppelande and doublet would become popular throughout Europe, but with unique regional styles, such as the Italian fashion of wearing the doublet with a short, pleated tabard called the giornea, or the Burgundian fashion of the mid-century for the wealthiest of men to dress in solid black.

    Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy and his court, in a miniature by Rogier van der Weyden (1477).

    The elegant houppelande, first appearing in the late 14th century, would dominate the fashions of the nobility throughout the first half of the 15th century.

    Women's headwear was nothing if not dramatic!

    Feminine fashion went through its own evolution as well. The old cotehardie and sideless surcoat persisted through the early decades of the century, with the cutouts of the surcoat becoming progressively wider. However, it was again the late 14th century houppelande, fitted with a high collar and wide sleeves that was to influence feminine fashion throughout most of the century. By 1450, the northern Europe fashion had developed a low V-neck that revealed glimpses of the undergown below. The full, long sleeves continued to be worn, although they were increasingly more fitted with wide, turned-back cuffs. Meanwhile, in Italy, the low V-neck and scoop-neck of the early decades gave way to a neckline that was worn high in front with a lower V-neck at the back, often worn with a sleeveless tabard, or giornea. This evolution would lead towards a series of new fashions in the final decades of the century, including the first appearance of puffed and slashed sleeves that would last for two centuries.
    Meanwhile, accessories assumed a new level of importance, particularly headwear. The old 14th century rolled chaperone evolved from a rolled-up hood into a unique, padded hat, hoods and turbans assumed new forms, and men's hats took on a variety of shapes, including some oddly familiar to modern eyes (one example looking much like the offspring of a derby and a ten-gallon hat!). But for the lady of means, the height of distinction was in multitude of headdresses that came in and out of fashion during the 1400s, many of which can only be best described as a Gothic arch on your head!
    Throughout the High Middle Ages, Europeans had been looking for more effective trade routes into Asia. Ironically, the same Mongol invasions that had destabilized much of Eastern Europe in the 13th century also united great swathes of Asia under a single rule, allowing Europeans merchants, mostly Italians, to more easily travel into the Far East. The most famous voyager was of course Marco Polo, who traveled throughout the Asia from 1271 to 1295, and became a guest at the court of Kublai Khan. His journey recorded a Travels was read throughout Europe. Yet Polo's voyage had little immediate effect, for the collapse of the Mongol Empire, the devastation of the Black Death and the rise of the aggressive Ottoman Empire effectively destroyed any chance at Europeans increasing overland exploration or trade.
    But Marco Polo was not forgotten, and entered a new period of fame in the 15th century Niccolo da Conti published an account of his travels to India and Southeast Asia in 1439. There was again an interest in new trade routes East, and this interest came none too soon, for with the fall of Constantinope in 1453, the old routes were now firmly under Ottoman control, and barred to Europeans. Fortunately, at the same time that a way around the Muslim lands of Asia Minor and North Africa were becoming viewed as crucial to European businessmen, the people of the Iberian peninsula had already begun developing the key to unlock the road East. This was the invention of new ships, the carrack and the caravel, &quote;round ships&quote; developed and influenced by North African models and better suited to open ocean voyage. At the same time, Humanist authors continued to rediscover classical accounts of geography and exploration, and became convinced that there was a way around Africa.
    The 15th century saw the first swell of expeditions that would launch the Age of Exploration, and it was the Portuguese who led the way. The first of these voyages was launched by the Prince Henry the Navigator (1394 - 1460). Sailing out into the open Atlantic, Henry discovered first the Madeira Islands in 1419 and the Azores in 1427, and quickly established colonies on both. From here he turned to West Africa, seeking a way to bypass the trans-Saharan trade routes in the hope of finding gold, slaves and the fabled Christian kingdom of Prester John. By the 1440s the Portuguese had pushed south of the desert and into the interior, and although they did not find Prester John, they found a vigorous trade in gold and slaves. But the crucial breakthrough came in 1487, when Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope and proved that access to the Indian Ocean was possible. Eleven years later, Vasco da Gama (1460 - 1524) successfully reached India.
    The Spanish kingdoms had been slower to respond and now anxiously needed their own check on Portuguese domination of the African entire. With the union of Castille and Aragon, the newly united Spain suddenly had the resources to launch an expedition of its own, with the hope that a Genoese sailor was right that the African route to India could be by-passed entirely by sailing straight west across the Pacific Ocean. When Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506) returned with claims of having reached the Indies it was unclear precisely where he had been and what he had found, but it was clear that he had been somewhere.
    At the dawn of the 16th century, while the old maritime powers of Genoa and Venice continued to war with the Ottomans for control of the eastern Mediterranean, the Italian city-states braced themselves for foreign invasion, and the glory of the Burgundian court became the memory of the previous generation, a New World loomed and the balance of European power began to shift to the children of Iberia.
    Last edited by PedroL; April 20, 2010 at 05:02 PM.
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    Default Re: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    The capital of the Crone of Aragon was Zaragoza

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    Alexandros I.'s Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    Maybe you should rename the crown of Leon Castile to "Corona de Castilla" (if you want to make it in the native language) because the kingdom of Castile and Leon was named just the crown of Castile.

    "The Crown of Castile, as an historic entity, is usually considered to have begun in 1230 with the third and almost definitive union of the monarchies of kingdoms Castile and Toledo in one hand, and the kingdoms of Leon and Galicia in other hand"

    And also the Casa de Navarre was called "Reino de Navarra"

    I hope this helps.

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    PedroL's Avatar Citizen
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    Portugual Empire in the East
    (1502 to 1739)

    Portugal — versus — Arabs, Ottomans, Egyptians, Indian Rajas


    D'Azambuja receiving the native chief at Elmira.


    During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Portugal led the world in navigation, exploration, and ship-building. During this time it systematically built up a trading empire in Asia that was the envy of all of Europe, and destroyed the monopoly that Arab merchants had over trade with the east. This was enormously significant for several reasons. First, it greatly weakened the powerful Ottoman empire and its allies, which was had conquered much Christian territory in the Balkans and threatened all of Europe. Second, it facilitated the spread of the Christian Faith throughout the east, since Portuguese missionaries actively evangelized natives. Third, it brought enormous riches to Portugal and later to Spain, but ultimately weakened them due to corruption and decadence.
    By the seventeenth century the Portuguese trading empire in the east began to decline. The Dutch East India Company was established in 1602 and within a few generations had conquered many Portuguese trading ports, less by arms than by more agressive trading practices. Portugal continued to loose influence in the region for the next few centuries until the 1770's when the French and Mysoris conquered many of Portugal's remaining holdings on the Malabar coast of India. Their primary portt at Goa, however, remained in Portugal's hands until 1961 when it was peacefully ceded to the Indian government.


    Exploration of West Africa : 1419-1499



    Vasco da Gama meets the Zamorin of Calicut


    The driving for behind Portugal's sea-faring escapades of the fifteenth century, was Prince Henry the Navigator. In his youth he fought against the Moors at Ceuta, a Mediterranean island which served as a base for Moorish trade and piracy. The rest of his life he dedicated to the arts of ship-building, map-making, exploration, and navigation. Slowly and systematically, he oversaw the exploration of the West Coast of and established Portuguese forts and trading posts all along the African coast. Although he died well before the Cape of Good Hope was rounded, his legacy long survived him, and his innovations in ship-building and navigation spread throughout Europe.
    From the conquest of Ceuta in 1415, until Bartholomew Diaz's famous voyage around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, Portugal made steady progress in trade, colonization, and missionary activity along the West Coast of Africa. Portuguese colonies on the west coast of Africa include:

    Year/Landmark/Location

    1415 Ceuta Island South of Spain
    1419 Madeira Islands West of Morocco
    1427 Azore Islands West of Portugal
    1434 Cape Bojador Western Sahara
    1441 Senegal River Senegal
    1445 Cape Verde Islands West of Senegal
    1475 Bight of Benin Gulf of Guinea
    1482 Congo River Congo
    1486 Cape Cross Namibia
    1488 Cape of Good Hope South Africa

    Battle / Outcome/ Description

    Battle of Ceuta
    Portuguese defeat Moors /Fought August 14 / 1415 between 45,000 Portuguese invaders led by Prince Henry the Navigator and the Moorish defenders of the city. The Moors were caught off guard and the Moorish trading post located on an island south of Spain was captured by nightfall.

    Commander /Short /Biography

    Prince Henry the Navigator - Organized sailing expeditions along the coast of Africa. Initiated age of Discovery.

    Bartholomew Diaz - Discovered Cape of Good Hope at the southernmost point of Africa.

    Alvise Cadamosto - Early Portuguese explorer who, under the direction of Prince Henry the Navigator, discover Cape Verdes and the Gambia river.Nuno TristanPortuguese explorer, sent by Henry the Navigator, who sailed as far south as Guinea in 1445.


    Diogo Cao Portuguese explorer who discovered the Congo river and sailed as far south as Angola.


    Portuguese Conquest of South Asia : 1503-1557



    Francisco Barreto fights the Kafirs.

    In 1498, only six years after Columbus discovered the new world, the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama reached India by rounding the Cape of Good Hope. Within two decades from this date, Portugal had effectively destroyed the Arab merchant routes, conquered dozens of strategic trading posts from the East Coast of Africa all the way to Indonesia, and was well on its way to establishing a Portuguese Empire in Asia. The empire consisted only of trading posts of course, and almost no inland regions were even explored, much less conqured, but the opening of a trade route directly from the East to Europe, in a manner that bypassed the Arab traders, was of terrific consequence.
    Two years after da Gama returned from the East he lead a second expedition, this time with 20 warships. The Portuguese agressively resisted the Arab traders, seized and sank many of their ships and forced the Zamorin of Calicut to agree to a treaty permitting Portuguese trade in the area. Hardly had he returned that Francisco Almeida led another fleet to the east. This time, he conquered or destroyed every Arab trading post along Eastern Coast of Africa, and immediately upon his arrival in India, organized more exploration and military expedititions. Almeida prevailed in numerous battles with the Arabs, and engaged in considerable piracy. In the Battle of Diu, 1509, all of the Arab forces, including their allies in Egypt, India, and even Venice were arrayed against the Portuguese, but they prevailed handily.
    Almeida, the first governor of India was a worthy successor to Vasco da Gama, but Afonso Albuquerue, who followed him, was even more aggressive in his conquests. Almeida had permanently established Portuguese presence in the Far East, but Albuquerque, in his short reign of only six years, drove the the Arabs from the East and nearly conquered their home base. He fought Arabs from the Red Sea, all along the Malabar Coast, to the Spice Islands. He conquered Goa (1510) on the Western Coast of India, and Malacca (1511) in Malaysia, the two largest trading posts in the region, and even took the island of Hormuz (1507) off the coast of Arabia.
    The governors that followed Almeida and Albuquerque were less impressive, but the Portuguese held their posts when the Ottomans regrouped and attacked Dui and Goa several decades later on. The Portuguese also established trading posts in Macau, China and Nagasaki, Japan and other locations in Indonesia, India, and Africa. Because of their superior ships, they came to control much trade between eastern countries as well as between the east and the west. A list of major Portuguese trading centers follows.

    Established/Location/Year Lost/Lost to Whom

    1503 Cochin, Malabar Coast / 1773 Mysoris, aided by the French
    1505 Colombo, Sri Lanka / 1658 Dutch East India Company
    1507 Hormuz, Persian Gulf / 1622 Persia, aided by England
    1509 Dui, Malabar Coast / 1961 Ceded to Independent India
    1510 Goa, Malabar Coast / 1961 Ceded to Independent India
    1511 Malacca, Malaysia / 1641 Dutch East India Company
    1513 Maluku (Spice Islands) / 1646 Dutch East India Company
    1534 Bombay, Malabar Coast / 1661 Ceded to Britain as a Dowry
    1542 Nagasaki, Japan / 1637 Takugawa Shogunate, aide by Dutch
    1557 Macau, China / 1974 Ceded to People's Republic of China

    Battle / Outcome / Description

    Battle of Goa
    Portuguese defeat Deccanis (In 1511, Goa, held by a Portuguese garrison, under Albuquerque, was invested by Kumal Khan, General of the Rajah of Bijapore, at the head of 60,000 men. After a siege of 20 days Albuquerque found his communication with his fleet threatened, and withdrew the garrison. In the same year, however, having collected a force of 1,500 men with 23 ships at Cananore, he attacked Goa, and at once forced an entrance. After severe fighting in the streets, the Deccanis fled in confusion to the mainland, with a loss of 6,000. The Portuguese lost 50 only.

    Battle of Malacca
    Portuguese defeat Malays (This city, which was defended by 30,000 Malays, under the Sultan Mohammed, was captured by Albuquerque, with 19 ships and 1,400 Portuguese regulars, after a very feeble defence, in 1513.)

    Battle of Diu
    Portuguese defeat Turks (This fortified Portuguese factory was besieged early in September, 1537, by a fleet of 76 Turkish galleys, and 7,000 soldiers under Solyman, Pasha of Egypt, acting with whom was an army of 20,000 Gujeratis under Bahadur Shah, and Khojah Zofar, an Italian renegade. The garrison of 600, under Antonio de Silveira, repulsed assault after assault, but were nearly at the end of their resources, when the false rumour of an approaching Portuguese fleet caused Solyman to withdraw.)

    Siege of Diu
    Portuguese defeat Gujeratis (In 1545 Diu was again besieged by the Gujeratis, the garrison being commanded by Mascarenhas. Khojah Zofar, who led the besiegers, was killed in the course of the siege, and was succeeded by Rami Khan. The garrison, at the end of several months, was on the point of surrendering, owing to famine, when it was relieved by Juan de Castro, who signally defeated the Gujeratis, and raised the siege.)

    Siege of Goa
    Portuguese defeat Deccanis (This fort, which was held by a Portuguese garrison of 700, under the Viceroy, Luis de Ataida, was attacked by Ali Adil Shah, Rajah of Bijapore, with 135,000 men and 350 guns, in 1570. Aided by the civilians, and 1,300 monks, the garrison made so strenuous a defence, that the Rajah was beaten off, after losing 12,000 men.)

    Commander /Short Biography

    Vasco da Gama - Sailed from Europe to the Orient by sailing around the Cape of Good Hope.

    Francisco de Almeida - Distinguished himself the wars against Granada, and then was appointed first governor of Portuguese India.

    Alfonso de Albuquerque - Naval officer who helped establish a Portuguese colony in India at Goa.

    Francisco Barreto - Portuguese explorer who served as governor of India, and died searching for Gold in South Africa.Lourenzo AlmeidaPortuguese naval commander, who aided his father Francisco, in his conquests in India.


    Decline of Portuguese Empire in the East : 1600-1796



    Storming the Geriah, 1756


    In the early 1600's the British and Dutch East India Companies were formed, so that the Protestant nations in Northern Europe, might have a share of the Eastern trade. They threatened, and eventually superceded, the Portuguese trading empire in the East, not as much by conquest as by superior organization. By the 1600's, Portugal was no longer the ambitious, war-like power it had been 100 years earlier, but was united with Spain, and in general decline. The Dutch companies therefore, set up trading posts in regions nearby those of Portugal and over time, became dominant, particularly in Malaysia and the Spice Islands. It was not until the 1700's that the British East India Company began agressive expansion, particularly in India.
    A few open conflicts did occur between the trading companies, particularly in Malaysia and the Spice islands, where the Dutch aggressively established control in the 1640's. The most dramatic loss of Portuguese influence during this era, however, was in Japan. When the Takugawa Shogunite came to power, it drove the Portuguese out of mainland Japan and murdered thousands of newly converted Christians, before closing its door on trade to countries but Holland. The main Portuguese stronghold, however, remained the Malabar coast in India, but this declined over time as the French and British gained influence in the region. Nevertheless, Goa and Dui, two of the oldest Portuguese ports in the east, were not ceded to the Indian government until 1961, and Macau, an island off the coast of China, was not ceded to the Chinese until 1974.

    Battle / Outcome / Description
    Siege of Vasai
    Marathas defeat PortugueseThis Portuguese fort was besieged by the Marathas, led by the brother of Baji Rao I, in 1739. The fort was taken and the Portuguese were driven from the surrounding area.

    Last edited by PedroL; April 29, 2010 at 09:52 AM.
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    PedroL's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    Portuguese Soldiers in Asia
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    PedroL's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    The populations of the two Iberian powers in about 1530.7

    Table 1
    Region/Population/Region/Population

    SPAIN

    Castile - 4,513,000
    Catalonia - 312,000
    Valencia - 300,000
    Aragon - 290,000
    Navarre - 152,000
    Alava - 50,000
    Others - 132,000

    Total - 5,749,000

    PORTUGAL

    Trás-os-Montes - 178,000
    Entre Douro e Minho - 275,000
    Beira - 334,000
    Estremadura - 262,000
    Entre Tejo e Guadiana - 244,000
    Algarve - 44,000
    Lisbon - 65,000

    Total - 1,402,000

    Last edited by PedroL; April 29, 2010 at 10:13 AM.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: (ChC)Iberia and its factions

    WoW PedroL you are an expert in Portuguese information.. I always learn a lot... and I didn't know (well I imagined, but never got it confirmed) that there was WAY more people in rural Portugal. I mean Lisbon had 60,000? And Tras os Montes 100.000? Seriously? That place is deserted now..

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