Ethan's personal timeline, a place to collect and share things from Ethan's life.
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Last updated: 11/12/09 at 11:14 AM
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Great Schism, in the history of the Christian church, term used to refer to both the break between the Eastern and Western churches, traditionally dated 1054, and the period (1378-1417) in the Western church when two (and then three) popes simultaneously claimed to be legitimate. The term schism means any formal and willful separation from the unity of the Christian church; unlike heresy, with which it is often linked, it does not of itself denote doctrinal deviations.
Babylonian Captivity or Babylonian Exile, term applied to the period between the deportation of the Jews from Palestine to Babylon by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II and their release in 538 bc by the Persian king Cyrus. Two main deportations are recorded: one in 597 bc, when Israelite nobles, warriors, and artisans were transported; and one in 586 bc when Nebuchadnezzar's army destroyed Jerusalem, and the major part of the remaining Israelite community was taken to Babylon. At the time of the second deportation an important group of Israelites fled to Egypt; thereafter, only the poorest peasants were allowed to remain in Palestine, and the political dissolution of independent Israel was an accomplished fact. The majority of the Jews living in Babylon did not return to Palestine at the end of the exile period, but became a part of the Diaspora, or body of Jews dispersed among nations outside Palestine.
In the history of the Roman Catholic church, the term Babylonian Captivity is frequently applied to the residence of the popes in Avignon, France, from 1309 to 1377.
The last years of Charlemagne’s reign were marked by political tensions that continued into the reigns of his descendants. Europe during the later 9th and 10th centuries was a scene of renewed political disintegration and one more series of cataclysmic invasions, this time from the Scandinavian Vikings out of the north and the Asian Magyars west across the Danube plains. Borderlands were withdrawn from cultivation, trade was disrupted, and travel even over short distances became dangerous.
Throughout this period several important tendencies are discernible. Europe experienced another great wave of political fragmentation, and if the forces of political centralization were weak, the same cannot be said for the power of local landholding families. This was also the time of ascendancy of the Benedictine monastic houses, themselves great landholders embedded in the network of feudal alliances. Finally, the papacy became a secular power in its own right, exercising direct political control of much of central and northern Italy. It gradually elaborated the machinery of central authority over the regional churches and monastic houses, and, by expanded diplomacy and, above all, by the administration of justice, it also accumulated substantial secular and political power throughout Europe
Ockham or William of Occam (1285?-1349?), known as Doctor Invincibilis (Latin, “unconquerable doctor”) and Venerabilis Inceptor (Latin, “worthy initiator”), English philosopher and Scholastic theologian, who is considered the greatest exponent of the nominalist school, the leading rival of the Thomist and Scotist schools. See Nominalism; Scholasticism.
Ockham was born in Surrey, England. He entered the Franciscan order and studied and taught at the University of Oxford from 1309 to 1319. Denounced by Pope John XXII for dangerous teachings, he was held in house detention for four years (1324-1328) at the papal palace in Avignon, France, while the orthodoxy of his writings was examined. Siding with the Franciscan general against the pope in a dispute over Franciscan poverty, Ockham fled to Munich in 1328 to seek the protection of Louis IV, Holy Roman emperor, who had rejected papal authority over political matters. Excommunicated by the pope, Ockham wrote against the papacy and defended the emperor until the latter's death in 1347. The philosopher died in Munich, apparently of the plague, while seeking reconciliation with Pope Clement VI.
Ockham won fame as a rigorous logician who used logic to show that many beliefs of Christian philosophers (for example, that God is one, omnipotent, creator of all things; and that the human soul is immortal) could not be proved by philosophical or natural reason but only by divine revelation. His name is applied to the principle of economy in formal logic, known as Ockham's razor, which states that entities are not to be multiplied without necessity.
Black Death, outbreak of bubonic plague that struck Europe and the Mediterranean area from 1347 through 1351. It was the first of a cycle of European plague epidemics that continued until the early 18th century. The last major outbreak of plague in Europe was in Marseilles in 1722. These plagues had been preceded by a cycle of ancient plagues between the 6th and 8th centuries AD; they were followed by another cycle of modern, but less deadly, plagues that began in the late 19th century and continued in the 20th century. The term “Black Death” was not used to refer to the plagues of 1347 through 1351 until much later; contemporaries usually referred to it as the Pestilence, or the Great Mortality.
Plague is a bacterial infection that can take more than one form. Victims of bubonic plague usually suffer from high fevers and swellings under the armpits or in the groin. Unless treated with modern antibiotics, usually 60 percent of the infected will die, often within the first five days. Other forms of plague include pneumonic plague and septicemic plague (see Plague). The disease is carried by a variety of rodents—rats, marmots, and prairie dogs, among others. It can pass into a human population when fleas carrying infected rodent blood attach themselves to a human host.
Hundred Years’ War, armed conflict between France and England during the years from 1337 to 1453. The Hundred Years’ War was a series of short conflicts, broken intermittently by a number of truces and peace treaties. It resulted from disputes between the ruling families of the two countries, the French Capetians (see Capet) and the English Plantagenets, over territories in France and the succession to the French throne.
Marco Polo (1254-1324), Venetian traveler and author, whose account of his travels and experiences in China offered Europeans a firsthand view of Asian lands and stimulated interest in Asian trade.
Marco Polo was born in Venice, one of the most prominent centers of trade in medieval Europe, into a merchant family. Venetian merchants of the day traded regularly throughout the Mediterranean region. They also maintained trading posts in port cities on the Black Sea, where they obtained silk, porcelain, and other goods that came from China over the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking China with Rome. Little is known about Marco Polo’s early life, because his own account of his travels, published later in his life, is the primary source of biographical material about him. Polo probably received a fairly typical education for children of merchants at that time, learning how to read, write, and calculate.
Marco Polo’s account is also the primary source of information about the travels of his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, who were jewel merchants. They left Venice in 1260 on a commercial venture to the Black Sea ports of Constantinople (now İstanbul, Turkey) and Soldaia (now Sudak, Ukraine). From Soldaia they continued farther east to trading cities on the Volga River in present-day Russia. In 1262 a war broke out behind them and prevented them from returning home, so they proceeded farther east to the great Central Asian trading city of Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan). After three years there they joined a diplomatic mission going to the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongol ruler of China. The khan received them warmly and expressed a desire to learn more about Christianity. He asked the Polo brothers to return to Europe and persuade the pope to send Christian scholars who could explain the religion to him. Niccolò and Maffeo journeyed back to Europe in 1269 to satisfy the khan’s request.
The pope appointed two missionaries to accompany the Polos on their return to the Mongol court. The party set out in 1271, this time with Niccolò’s son Marco. Soon after their departure from Acre (now ‘Akko, Israel) the missionaries became concerned about hazardous conditions along the route and abandoned the embassy. The three Polos continued the journey. Judging from Marco’s account, they most likely traveled overland through Armenia and Persia (now Iran) to Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, north through Persia to the Oxus River (now Amu Darya) in Central Asia, up the Oxus to the Pamirs, across the mountains and around the southern edge of the Takla Makan Desert to Lop Nur (in present-day Xinjiang Uygur (Uighur) Autonomous Region in western China), and across the Gobi Desert. In 1275 they reached the summer court of Kublai Khan at Shangdu (about 300 km/about 200 mi north of present-day Beijing). Marco’s account records that the khan warmly welcomed the party and arranged accommodations for them.
Salic Law, code of laws written in Latin and first compiled early in the 6th century by the Salians, a Frankish people that conquered Gaul in the 5th century. It comprises principally the fines to be paid for various injuries and crimes. Among its civil statutes, however, was one prohibiting daughters from inheriting land. It is this aspect of the law to which the term Salic law is most often applied, primarily because it mistakenly came to be employed as an argument against the succession of women, or of the descendants of kings' daughters, to European thrones. This Frankish land law was extended to the throne to prevent the crown from passing out of the country through the marriage of a woman to a foreigner. The Salic law in this respect was important in French history. It first was used in France early in the 14th century by King Philip V. The law later formed the legal basis for the denial of the French crown to Edward III, king of England, whose mother was a daughter of the French king Philip IV; this dispute was the basis of the Hundred Years' War.
The peasants on the crown domains of North Jutland rebel.
University of Rome, institution of higher learning, in Rome, Italy. It is an autonomous national university financed by the national government. The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. It remained under papal authority until 1870, when the Italian government assumed control. The university has faculties of economics and commerce; statistical, demographic, and actuarial science; education; law; political science; literature and philosophy; medicine and surgery; pharmacy; mathematics, physics, and natural science; engineering; and architecture; schools of aeronautical engineering and librarianship; and an astronomical observatory. The faculties maintain 150 institutes and clinics. The degree of laurea, entitling the recipient to the honorific dottore, is awarded by all faculties after a 4-to-6-year course of study. The laurea is approximately equivalent to a U.S. master's degree. Post-laurea studies are offered by most faculties and lead to a higher specialized diploma after an additional period of study, normally two years.