[Steppes] Period Week In Review 12-10-2006 through 12-16-2006
meggiddo at netzero.net
Wed Dec 20 21:14:52 PST 2006
Hope the reader will enjoy this look at History
within Period - both from the past and the present
as it affects the history that is known today.
Germany 1501 - 1600
On December 10th, 1520 - Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal
bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.
Exsurge Domine was a papal bull issued on June 15, 1520 by Pope
Leo X in response to the teachings of Martin Luther in opposition to the
papacy stated in his 95 theses and subsequent writings.
The Latin title, Exsurge Domine is translated into English as
Arise, O Lord.
While the bull did not directly condemn all the points of Luther's
doctrines, it did specifically demand that Luther retract 41 of his 95
theses as well as other specified errors within sixty days of its
publication in neighbouring regions to Saxony. This time expired on
December 10, 1520, which was the day on which Luther burned his
copy of this bull along with volumes of Canon law by the Elster Gate
in Wittenberg. This book burning was in reaction to Johann Eck's
procedure of burning Luther's books after he had published the
bull in various places in Germany. As he burned his copy of the
bull, Luther is reported to have said, "Because you have
confounded the truth [or, the saints] of God, today the Lord
confounds you. Into the fire with you!" reminiscent of Psalm 21:10.
Because Luther refused to comply, the pope issued the bull Decet
Romanum Pontificem on January 3, 1521, excommunicating him.
The Vatican's copy of Exsurge Domine is still extant in the
Vatican Library. When it is shown to visitors they are told,
"You know what Luther did with his copy."
England Wales 1201 - 1300
On December 11th, 1282 - Llywelyn ap Gruffydd or Gruffudd the last
native Prince of Wales, was killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south
Wales. He was the last prince of an independent Wales before its
conquest by King Edward I of England. Some would say he was the
penultimate, but in effect he was the last ruler. In Welsh, he is
remembered by the alliterative soubriquet Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf
(Llywelyn, Our Last Leader).
Rome Roman Empire
Palatine Hill excavation in Rome yields artifacts from
Archaeologists have unearthed what they say are the only
existing imperial insignia belonging to Emperor Maxentius --
precious objects that were buried to preserve them and keep them
from enemies when he was defeated by his rival Constantine.
Excavation under Rome's Palatine Hill near the Colosseum
turned up items including three lances and four javelins that experts
said are striking for their completeness -- digs usually turn up only
fragments -- and the fact that they are the only known artifacts of
Clementina Panella, the archaeologist who made the discovery,
said the insignia were likely hidden by Maxentius' people in an
attempt to preserve the emperor's memory after he was defeated
by Constantine I in the A.D. 321 battle of the Milvian Bridge --
a turning point for the history of the Roman Empire which saw
Constantine become the unchallenged ruler of the West.
"Once he's lost, his objects could not continue to exist and, at the
same time, could not fall in the hands of the enemy," she said Friday.
Some of the objects, which accompanied the emperor during his
public appearances, are believed to be the base for the emperor's
standards -- rectangular or triangular flags, officials said.
An imperial scepter with a carved flower and a globe, and a number
of glass spheres, believed to be a symbolic representation of the
earth, also were discovered.
The discovery was announced Wednesday by Italy's Culture
Minister Francesco Rutelli during a visit to New York.
No other findings like them
The items, inside wooden boxes and wrapped in linen and silk, were
found buried at a sanctuary last year and have since been restored
and analyzed. The depth of the burial allows experts to date them to
the early 4th century A.D., ministry officials said.
"These artifacts clearly belonged to the emperor, especially the
scepter, which is very elaborated. It's not an item you would let
someone else have," Panella said.
"As far as we know, there are no similar findings," said Angelo
Bottini, the state's top official for archaeology in Rome. "Similar
representations are only on coins and paintings, but we never saw
them for real," he said. Bottini added that the artifacts will be
shown to the public in February.
Persia 1001 - 1100
On December 13th, 1048 - Al-Biruni, Persian mathematician, died
at age 75.
Abu Rayhan Biruni was a Persian mathematician, physicist,
scholar, encyclopedist, philosopher, astronomer, astrologer, traveller,
historian, pharmacist, and teacher, who contributed greatly to the
fields of mathematics, philosophy, medicine, and science. Al-Biruni
crater, on the Moon, is named after him. He was the first muslim
scholar to study India and Brahminical tradition.
He was born in Khwarazm (formerly north-eastern Persia at the
time under the Persian Samanid dynasty) presently in Khiva
Uzbekistan. He studied mathematics and astronomy under Abu
He was a colleague of the fellow Persian Muslim philosopher and
physician Ibn Sina, the historian, philosopher and ethicist Ibn
Miskawayh, in a university and science center established by prince
Abu Al Abbas Ma'mun Khawarazmshah. He also travelled to South
Asia with Mahmud of Ghazni who also became his patron, and
accompanied him on his campaigns in India (in 1030), learning
Indian languages, and studying the religion and philosophy of its
people. There, he also wrote his Ta'rikh al-Hind
("Chronicles of India"). Biruni knew the Greek language, the Sanskrit
language and possibly Syriac and Berber. He wrote his books in
Persian and Arabic, but his native language was Khwarezmian.
Biruni's works number more than 120.
His contributions to mathematics include:
* theoretical and practical arithmetic
* summation of series
* combinatorial analysis
* the rule of three
* irrational numbers
* ratio theory
* algebraic definitions
* method of solving algebraic equations
* Archimedes' theorems
His non-mathematical works include:
* Critical study of what India says, whether accepted by reason or
refused - a compendium of India's religion and philosophy
* The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries - a comparative study of
calendars of different cultures and civilizations, interlaced
mathematical, astronomical, and historical information.
* The Mas'udi Canon - a book about Astronomy, Geography and
Engineering, named after Mas'ud, son of Mahmud of Ghazni,
to whom he dedicated
* Understanding Astrology - a question and answer style book
about mathematics and astronomy, in Arabic and Persian
* Pharmacy - about drugs and medicines
* Gems about geology, minerals, and gems, dedicated to Mawdud
son of Mas'ud
* A historical summary book
* History of Mahmud of Ghazni and his father
* History of Khawarazm
Scotland 1501 - 1600
On December 14th, 1542 - Princess Mary Stuart becomes Queen
Mary I of Scotland.
Mary I of Scotland (Mary Stuart, popularly known as Mary, Queen
of Scots); (December 8, 1542 - February 8, 1587) was the Queen of
Scots (the monarch of the Kingdom of Scotland) from
December 14, 1542 to July 24, 1567. She also sat as Queen
Consort of France from July 10, 1559 to December 5, 1560.
Because of her tragic life, she is one of the best-known Scottish
Princess Mary Stuart was born at Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow,
West Lothian, Scotland, on December 7 or December 8, 1542 to
King James V of Scotland and his French wife, Marie de Guise. In
Falkland Palace, Fife, her father heard of the birth and prophesied,
"The devil go with it! It came with a lass, it will pass with a lass!"
James truly believed that Mary's birth marked the end of the
Stuarts' reign over Scotland. Instead, through Mary's son, it was the
beginning of their reign over both the Kingdom of Scotland and
the Kingdom of England.
The six-day-old Mary became Queen of Scotland when her father
died at the age of thirty, probably from cholera, although his
contemporaries believed his death to have been caused by grief
over the Scots' humiliating loss to the English at the Battle of
Solway Moss. James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran was the next in
line for the throne after Mary; he acted as regent for Mary until
1554, when he was succeeded by the Queen's mother, who
continued as regent until her death in 1560.
Modern Day - Rome
Saint Paul's Tomb Found?
Vatican archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to
contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried
beneath Rome's second largest basilica.
The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been
the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was
completed last month, the project's head said this week.
"Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light
for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible,"
said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the
project at St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica.
The interior of the sarcophagus has not yet been explored,
but Filippi didn't rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.
Two ancient churches that once stood at the site of the current
basilica were successively built over the spot where tradition said
the saint had been buried. The second church, built by the Roman
emperor Theodosius in the fourth century, left the tomb visible,
first above ground and later in a crypt.
When a fire destroyed the church in 1823, the current basilica
was built and the ancient crypt was filled with earth and covered
by a new altar.
"We were always certain that the tomb had to be there beneath
the papal altar," Filippi told The Associated Press in a telephone
Filippi said that the decision to make the sarcophagus visible
again was made after many pilgrims who came to Rome during
the Catholic Church's 2000 Jubilee year expressed
disappointment at finding that the saint's tomb could not be
visited or touched.
The findings of the project will be officially presented during a
news conference at the Vatican on Monday.
Korea and Japan 1501 - 1600
On December 16th, 1598 - Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang
Point - The final battle of the Seven Year War is fought between
the Korean and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive
The naval Battle of Noryang Point was the final battle of the
Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598) between the Japanese
navy and the allied Korean and Chinese fleets. The battle took
place on December 16 (November 19 in Lunar calendar), 1598.
The Korean-Chinese side's objective was to stop the Japanese
from picking up retreating Japanese troops on land and also to
destroy the Japanese fleet.
The coalition force of 80 Korean panokseons and 60 Chinese
naval ships, led by Admiral Yi Sun-sin and Chen Lin, pursued and
destroyed half of the Japanese fleet of 500. Admiral Yi suffered
a gunshot wound, and died soon after during the battle.
After receiving information about movements of Konishi's navy
from local fishermen and scouts, Yi suspected that the Japanese
would sail through the Noryang Point. He planned to take
advantage of the narrow, rocky straits of Noryang to destroy the
Japanese ships. He then asked Chen Lin, the Chinese admiral,
to move his Chinese fleet to the open sea west of Noryang Point.
There, the Koreans and Chinese positioned their fleet and waited.
Late at night, on December 16, at 2:00 am, Yi was informed of a
huge Japanese fleet anchored in the strait by scouts. Yi seized the
chance and roused the Korean and Chinese soldiers to commence
the attack. The Korean and Chinese ships charged across the
sea in a shock surprise attack.
While the Japanese forces were fumbling to get into battle
positions, Korean and Chinese cannons thundered into the enemy
ships. Already the Japanese ships began breaking down. Admiral
Yi's strategy of bombarding the enemy ships from a distance again
proved to be successful, and the Japanese were offered no chance
to board the panksons or Chinese ships. There were no chances to
shoot at the Koreans and Chinese with guns either, as the range of
cannons was a greater distance. Konishi and his Japanese
captains rallied their fleet and attempted to approach the allied
ships, but were repelled with heavy losses. About half of the fleet
had sunk by now. The tight straits allowed nearly no movement and
the Japanese vessels were stuck as the Korean and Chinese
cannons destroyed their ships.
When the Japanese ships suffered significant damage, Chen Lin
led the Chinese ships to board the Japanese ships to participate in
a fierce melee combat. The Japanese immediately threw grappling
hooks under cover of arquebuse fire and began attack with swords.
Although the Japanese morale had been suffering, they were able
to inflict considerable casualties on the Chinese with the help of the
arquebusiers. When Chen Lin's flagship came under attack by
Japanese ships, Admiral Yi charged with his Korean fleet into the
heat of the battle. The Koreans destroyed the Japanese with rapid
fires of mortars, and volleys of cannons at point blank range.
To make matters worse for the Japanese, Korean archers began
to pepper fire arrows into their ships.
Lord Michael Kettering
Combat Archer for the Condottieri
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