The Fifteenth Century 1476-1499

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1476        Apr 26, Simonetta Vespucci (b.~1453), nicknamed la bella Simonetta, died. She was an Italian Renaissance noblewoman from Genoa, the wife of Marco Vespucci of Florence. She also is alleged to have been the mistress of Giuliano de' Medici, Lorenzo the Magnificent's younger brother. She was renowned for being the greatest beauty of her age - certainly of the city of Florence.

1476        Aug 4, Jacob van Armagnac-Pardiac, French duke of Nemours, was beheaded.
    (MC, 8/4/02)

1476        Aug 13, Christopher Columbus swam ashore to Portugal from a burning ship. He believed that Cathay, i.e. China, lay about 3,900 miles west of the Canary Islands.

1476        Dec 24, Some 400 Burgundy soldiers froze to death during the siege of Nancy.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1476        Dec 26, Galeazzo Maria Sforza (Il Sforza del Destino), duke of Milan, was murdered.
    (MC, 12/26/01)

1476        In Burma (later Myanmar) a 270-ton bell, believed to be one of the largest ever cast, was made on the order of King Dhammazedi and donated to the revered Shwedagon pagoda. In the early 1600s, it was stolen by Portuguese despot Philip de Brito, but his rickety vessel sank where the Yangon and Bago rivers meet the Pazundaung creek.
    (AP, 8/14/14)

1476        The Swiss overcame Burgundy’s Charles the Bold at the Battle of Murten.
    (SSFC, 5/26/02, p.C5)

1476/1477    The first edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1387-1400) was printed by William Caxton. A copy of the red, leather-bound edition sold at auction in 1998 for $7.5 million. In 1905 the Caxton Club in Chicago published the leaf book “William Caxton" by E. Gordon Duff. Each book contained one of 148 leaves from a Caxton 1st edition of the Canterbury Tales.
    (SFC, 7/9/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 5/12/05, p.D8)

1476-1507    Cesare Borgia, Italian cardinal, military leader and politician.
    (WUD, 1994, p.171)

1477        Jan 5, Swiss troops defeated the forces under Charles the Bold of Burgundy at the Battle of Nancy.
    (HN, 1/5/99)

1477        Nov 18, William Claxton published the first dated book printed in England. "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers," by Earl Rivers. It was a translation from the French. [see 1473/1474]
    (HN, 11/18/99)

1477        Future Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, a member of the Habsburg family of Austria, married Mary of Burgundy, heiress of all the Netherlands. Maximilian had given Mary a diamond engagement ring, a practice that soon spread. In 1996 Andrew Wheatcroft wrote a history of the Habsburgs: "The Habsburgs."
    (WSJ, 1/19/96, p.A-12)(SFEM, 6/28/98, p.6)(SFC, 5/28/08, p.G2)

1477        The Seventeen Provinces, a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 16th century, became the property of the Habsburgs. They roughly covered the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France (Artois, Nord) and a small part of Germany.

1477        Joao II (John II) served as king of Portugal for a short time when his father retired to a monastery. He succeeded his father as king in 1481.

1477-1576    Titian (Titziano Vecellio), Italian painter. He painted "Venus and Adonis and Allegory" with subjects Alfonso d’Este and Laura Diante.
    (AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.1488)

1478        Feb 7, Sir Thomas Moore (d.1535), English humanist, statesman and writer, was born in London. He was best friend of Erasmus, and called by Erasmus: "a man for all seasons." He studied law and rose to the post of lord chancellor after the fall of Cardinal Wolsey. More would not accept Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon nor his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn. The king had charges of treason filed and More was beheaded on July 6, 1535. He was canonized in 1935. The 1966 film "A man for All Seasons" was based on his life. He is famous for "Utopia."
    (V.D.-H.K.p.160)(CU, 6/87)(WUD, 1994, p.931)(HN, 2/7/99)

1478        Feb 18, George, the Duke of Clarence, who had opposed his brother Edward IV, was murdered in the Tower of London. George underwent forced drowning in a wine barrel ("A butt of Malmsey").
    (HN, 2/18/99)(MC, 2/18/02)

1478        Apr 26, Pazzi conspirators attacked Lorenzo de'Medici but killed Giuliano de'Medici (~24), Medeheerser of Florence.
    (HN, 4/26/98)(MC, 4/26/02)

1478        Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) painted "La Primavera" about this time.
    (WSJ, 4/14/07, p.P11)

c1478        Giorgione (d.1510), Italian painter, was born.
    (T&L, 10/80, p. 58)(WSJ, 12/4/97, p.A20)

1478        Ten years after the death of Skanderbeg, his citadel at Kruje was finally taken by the Ottoman Turks and Albania fell into obscurity during several centuries of Turkish rule.
    (HNQ, 10/5/98)(www, Albania, 1998)

1478        In Japan the Onin War ended after rival warlords died of natural causes. Shogun Yoshimasa disinherited his brother and abdicated in favor of his son.
    (ON, 7/01, p.5)

1478        Russia’s Ivan the Great destabilized territory under the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania much of which later became Ukraine. The policy was designed to encourage people living along the frontier to seek Muscovy’s protection.
    (Econ, 9/20/14, p.16)

1478        The Swiss began annexing the southern approaches to the strategic and lucrative St. Gothard Pass over the Alps.
    (SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T4)

1478-1483    The Gubbio Studiola was constructed in the shop of the Florentine woodworker Giuliano da Maiana. The wood inlay art of intarsia was used whereby the carving was done by knife rather than with saws. It was purchased by the NY Metropolitan in 1939.
    (WSJ, 6/6/96, p.A12)

1478-1529    Baldassare Castiglione, Italian diplomat and author. He wrote the "Book of the Courtier," in which the term sprezzatura was coined. It described the art of making the difficult seem effortless.
    (WUD, 1994, p.230)(WSJ, 8/22/97, p.A12)

1478?-1533?    Jan Gossaert (Mabuse), Flemish painter. He painted "St Luke Drawing the Virgin Mary."
    (AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.858)

1479        Mar 26, Vasili III, great prince of Moscow (1505-33), son of Ivan III, was born.
    (SS, 3/26/02)

1479        Sep 4, After four years of war, Spain agreed to allow a Portuguese monopoly of trade along Africa's west coast and Portugal acknowledged Spain's rights in the Canary Islands.
    (HN, 9/4/98)

1479        Nov 6, Johanna, the Insane, Queen of Castilia (1504-20), was born.
    (MC, 11/6/01)

1479         Shkodra fell to the Ottoman Turks. Subsequently, many Albanians fled to southern Italy, Greece, Egypt, and elsewhere; many remaining were forced to convert to Islam.
    (www, Albania, 1998)

1479        Gentile Bellini (1429-1507), Italian artist, was selected by the Venetian Republic to work at the court of the Ottoman sultan, Mehmed II, in Istanbul.
    (WSJ, 12/20/05, p.D8)

1479        In Bosnia the Turks erected a mosque in the center of Banja Luka. It was leveled by the Serbs in 1993.
    (WSJ, 8/26/98, p.A1)

1479        Venice signed a peace treaty with Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (1432-1481) ending 16 years of war.
    (WSJ, 3/16/06, p.D8)(

1479        Jorge Manrique (b.1440), Spanish military hero and poet, died.
    (SSFC, 9/3/06, p.M3)(

1480        Feb 13, Hieronymus Alexander, [Girolamo Aleandro], Italian diplomat, cardinal, was born.
    (MC, 2/13/02)

1480        Apr 18, Lucretia Borgia (d.1519), murderess, was born. Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara, was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and the sister and political pawn of Cesare Borgia. She was also considered a patroness of the arts.
    (HN, 4/18/98)(WUD, 1994, p.171)

1480        Giovanni Bellini painted "St. Francis in the Desert."
    (WSJ, 1/14/00, p.W12)

1480        Sandro Botticelli painted "The Birth of Venus."
    (WSJ, 2/5/97, p.A16)

1480        Bartolomeo Saachi de Platina had a cookbook printed titled: "De honesta voluptate et valetudine." In 1997 it was valued at $37,000.
    (SFC, 2/19/96, zz-1 p.2)

1480        In Hamburg a pioneering labor market appeared for hiring day workers.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)

1480        In Italy 813 people were slain in Otranto for defying demands by Turkish invaders to renounce Christianity. In 2013 the "Martyrs of Otranto" were canonized as saints by Pope Francis.
    (AP, 5/12/13)
1480        The Spanish Inquisition was introduced by Ferdinand and Isabella to enable the crown to control the inquiries into whether or not converted Jews were really secret "Judaizers" who kept their original faith. "The Spanish Inquisition," a history of the Inquisition was written by Henry Kamen and a new edition was published in 1998.
    (WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A1)

1480-1520    In France the fortress at Bonaguil in the Quercy province was built by a baron as a bulwark against his vassals.
    (SFEC, 7/11/99, p.T4)

1480-1521    Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese navigator. He was assigned the task of finding a route to the Spice Islands.

1480-1533    A huge Inca cemetery was active in Lima at this time. It was uncovered in 2002 with some 2,200 mummies.
    (SFC, 4/18/02, p.A4)

1480-1538    Albrecht Altdorfer, German painter. He painted "Martyrdom of St. Florian." He also painted a depiction of Alexander’s 333BC defeat of Darius at Issus.
    (AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.43)(WSJ, 5/15/98, p.W11)

1480-1557    Lorenzo Lotto, Italian painter, celebrated as a realist and a man of religious fervor.
    (WSJ, 1/15/98, p.A17)

1481        Mar 2, Franz von Sickingen, German knight, was born.
    (SC, 3/2/02)

1481        Aug 29, Joao II (John II) became king of Portugal.

1481        Aug 30, Two Latvian monarchs were executed for conspiracy to murder Polish king Kazimierz IV.
    (MC, 8/30/01)

1481        Sandro Botticelli painted "The Annunciation."
    (SFC, 10/7/03, p.D8)

1481        Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II died at age 60. Kritovoulos authored "History of Mehmet the Conqueror" in the 15th century.
    (ON, 10/00, p.12)

1481-1512    Beyazid II followed Mehmed II in the Ottoman House of Osman.
    (Ot, 1993, xvii)

1481-1530    In Spain the first burnings of 8 people occurred as a result of the Inquisition trials. Over this period some 2000 people were burned.
    (WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A20)

1482        Sep 1, Krim-Tataren plundered Kiev.
    (MC, 9/1/02)

1482        The border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed ended up in English hands after changing hands 13 times in wars between England and the Scots.
    (WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A14)

1482        A Milanese Duke commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to make an equine statue that would have been the largest in the world. A clay cast was made over 16 years but the appropriated bronze was used for cannons and the clay cast was destroyed when the Duke’s castle fell to French invaders.
    (Hem., 12/96, p.19)
1482        Luca della Robbia (b.1400), Italian artist, died. Luca developed the art of enameled relief sculpture. Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525), his nephew and student, continued the work.
    (SFC, 11/23/05, p.G2)

1482        In Ghana Elmina Castle was built by Portuguese traders. It later became a slave holding castle.
    (SFEC, 11/22/98, p.T10)

1482        Captain Diogo Cao sailed south along the African coast and became the first Portuguese sailor to reach the equator. He4 landed at the mouth of the Zaire (Congo) River. He left four servants and took four Africans hostage back to his king, John, in Portugal. This was the first European encounter with the vast kingdom of the Kongo.
    (ATC, p.149)(ON, 11/07, p.1)

1482        The Ginkaku Temple, also known as the Silver Pavilion was built in Kyoto, Japan. The Shogun who built it died before its completion and it remains without silver.
    (Hem., 2/96, p.58)

1482-1786     In Ghana fortified trading posts were founded during this period by traders from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and the UK. They stretched 500km (310 miles) along the coast.
    (BBC, 9/23/20)

1483        Feb 14, Zahir al-Din Mohammed Babur Shah, prince, founder Mughal dynasty in India (1526-30), was born.
    (MC, 2/14/02)

1483        Apr 6, Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio, d.1520), Dutch painter (Sistine Madonna), was born to an unremarkable painter in the Duchy of Urbino. He went on to paint famous works in the Vatican. After an apprenticeship in Perugia, he went to Florence, having heard of the work da Vinci and Michelangelo were doing. His last 12 years were spent on numerous commissions in Rome. He died on his 37th birthday, his funeral mass being celebrated in the Vatican. .
    (HN, 4/6/98)(HNQ, 11/17/00)

1483        Apr 9, Edward IV (b.1442), King of England (1461-70, 71-83) died. His young sons, Edward and Richard, were left in the protection of their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester. He housed them in the Tower of London where they were probably murdered on his orders.

1483        Jun 25, Edward V, king of England (Apr 9-Jun 25, 1483), was murdered.
    (MC, 6/25/02)

1483        Jun 26, Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, usurped himself to the English throne.
    (HN, 6/26/98)(MC, 6/26/02)

1483        Jul 6, England's King Richard III was crowned.
    (AP, 7/6/97)

1483        Aug 9, Pope Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which was named in his honor.
    (HN, 8/9/98)

1483        Oct 17, The Reverend Dr. Tomas de Torquemada, OP, was appointed inquisitor-general of Spain.
    (MC, 10/17/01)

1483          Nov 2, Henry Stafford (b.1454), earl of Buckingham and constable of England, was beheaded at Salisbury for his rebellion against King Richard III (1452-1485).
    (DoW, 1999, p.71)

1483        Nov 10, Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Eisleben, Germany. He was a monk in the Catholic Church until 1517, when he founded the Lutheran Church. He died in 1546.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.163)(Voruta #27-28, Jul 1996, p.10)(SFC, 7/21/97, p.A11)(AP, 11/10/97)

1483        Dec 24, Leaders of the English rebels swore fealty to Henry Tudor in the Cathedral of Rennes in Brittany.
    (ON, 12/06, p.1)

1483        Felice della Rovere (d.1536), illegitimate daughter of Pope Julius II (r.1503-1513), was born about this time. Her mother was a member of the Normanni, an illustrious Roman family long in decline. In 2005 Caroline P. Murphy authored “The Pope’s Daughter: The Extraordinary Life of Felice della Rovere."

1483        When King Vladislav restored Catholic dominion, a dissident band of Hussites threw the Catholic mayor [Prague?] out of the window.
    (NH, 9/96, p.24)

1483-1505    Trithemius, author and monk, served as the abbot of a Benedictine monastery. His work included "De Laude Scriptorium" (In Praise of Scribes).
    (SSFC, 2/22/04, p.M6)

1484          Mar 4, Casimir (Kazimierz), the son of Lithuania's Grand Duke Casimir, died in Grodno at age 25. In 1602 he was declared a saint and protector of Lithuania. St. Casimir was born Oct 3, 1458, in Cracow.
    (LHC, 3/4/03)

1484        Aug 12, Pope Sixtus IV died. His rule was marked by nepotism and he was involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the Medici in Florence.
    (PTA, 1980, p.420)

1484        Aug 29, Cardinal Cibo was crowned as Pope Innocent VIII.

1484        Dec 5, Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull deploring the spread of witchcraft and heresy in Germany. He ordered that all cats belonging to witches scheduled to be burned, be also burned. Kraemer and Sprenger, two Dominican friars, had induced Pope Innocent VIII to issue a bull authorizing them to extirpate witchcraft in Germany. [see 1486]
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, Z1 p.2)(HN, 12/5/98)(HNQ, 10/31/99)

1484        Bartolomeo di Giovanni Corradini, Italian painter who joined the Dominican order as Fra Carnevale, died.
    (Econ, 12/11/04, p.82)

1484-1768    The Nepalese city-states of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, were each ruled by its own Malla king after the Malla dynasty divided up the Kathmandu Valley.
    (SSFC, 9/21/03, p.C8)

1485        Aug 1, Henry (VII) Tudor's army set sail from Harfleur to Wales.
    (ON, 12/06, p.1)

1485        Aug 7, Henry (VII) Tudor's army landed in Milford Haven, South-Wales.
    (ON, 12/06, p.1)

1485        Aug 22, Henry Tudor defeated Richard III (32) at Bosworth. England's King Richard III (1483-1485), the last of the Plantagenet kings, was killed in the Battle of Bosworth. This victory established the Tudor dynasty in England and ended the War of the Roses. 12 miles west of Leicester, the forces of Richard III met the forces under Henry Tudor (later to become Henry VII). Henry Tudor had returned from French exile on August 7 at Milford Haven and assembled forces including two Yorkist defectors, Thomas Stanley and his brother Sir William. These allies, plus the defection of Henry Percy, the 4th earl of Northumberland helped decide the outcome of the battle. Richard, whose forces had taken position on Ambien Hill, died fighting in an attempt to get at Henry Tudor himself. On Feb 4, 2013, scientists announced that they had identified his skeleton, which was found in a car park in 2012. 
    (AP, 8/22/97)(HN, 8/22/98)(HNQ, 8/22/00)(Reuters, 2/4/13)

1485        Sep 3, Henry Tudor entered London following his Aug 22 victory at Bosworth.
    (ON, 12/06, p.4)

1485          Oct 30, Henry Tudor (1457-1509) of England was crowned as Henry VII. This followed his defeat of King Richard III at Bosworth Field on Aug 22.
    (HN, 10/30/98)(DoW, 1999, p.66)

1485        Dec 16, Katherine of Argon, first wife of Henry VIII, was born.
    (HN, 12/16/98)

1485        Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) painted "Venus and Mars" about this time.
    (WSJ, 6/16/07, p.P16)

1485        William Caxton, the first printer in Britain, published "Le Morte Darthur" by Sir Thomas Mallory (c1400-1471).
    (WUD, 1994, p.868)(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D1)

1485        The medical encyclopedia "Gart der Gesundheit" described the female mandrake, thought to stop bleeding, and to scream when pulled by its roots.
    (WSJ, 7/7/98, p.A14)

1485        Yeoman Warders, all men, began patrolling the parapets and passages of the Tower of London. They became known colloquially as Beefeaters because of the rations of meat they were given during medieval times. In 2007 the 1st woman joined their ranks.
    (AP, 1/3/07)

1485        Diogo Cao, Portuguese explorer, sailed south beyond Cape Palmas, beyond Cape St. Catherine, until he reached Cape Cross (Namibia) at 22’ south latitude. His expedition returned to Portugal in 1486.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.124)(ATC, p.149)(ON, 11/07, p.1)

1485-1545    Jean Clouet, French painter. He painted "Francis I, King of France."
    (AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.280)

1485-1547    Hernando Cortes, Spanish conqueror of Mexico. He is credited with naming California after an island in "Sergas de Esplandian," a popular romance in the early 1500s.
    (HFA, '96, p.65)

1485-1603    The Tudor family ruled over England.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1523)

1486        Jan 18, King Henry VII (1457-1509) married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV. This ended the Wars of the Roses.
    (HN, 1/18/99)(ON, 12/06, p.4)

1486        Feb 12, In Toledo, Spain, some 750 lapsed Christians were paraded through the streets of Toledo from the Church of San Pedro Martir to the cathedral in order to be reconciled to the Christian faith. In the Auto Da Fe at Toledo the Jews were forced to recant, fined 1/5 of their property and permanently forbidden to wear decent clothes or hold office.
    (SSFC, 11/13/05, p.M3)(

1486        Mar 4, Jogaila was crowned king of Poland.
    (LC, 1998, p.12)

1486        May 1, Christopher Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to fund expedition to the West Indies.
    (HN, 5/1/98)

1486        Jul 14, Andrea del Sarto (d.1531), aka Vanucchi or di Francesco, Italian Renaissance artist (Recollets), was born. He represented what Vasari called the terza maniera, the third or modern manner of painting.
    (WUD, 1994, p.55)(WSJ, 10/29/96, p.A21)(MC, 7/14/02)

1486        Sep 14, Heinrich Agrippa von Nettesheim (d.1535), German occultist, alchemist, royal astrologer, was born in Cologne.

1486        Pico Mirandola challenged the scholars of all of Europe that he would defend a list of nine hundred thesis drawn from various Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic authors. His list came to the attention of the Vatican, which found thirteen of the theses heretical. Pico was stunned and issued an immediate recantation but was imprisoned for a short time anyway. Later in Florence he wrote "On the Dignity of Man," where he implied that man is the spiritual center of the universe, or that perhaps he is one focus and God the other.

1486        Heinrich Kraemer and Johann Sprenger, Dominican friars, published Malleus melefircarum (The Witches’ Hammer), which became the authoritative encyclopedia of demonology throughout Christendom. The authority of their work, which was a synthesis of folk beliefs that had until then been manifested in local outbursts of witch finding, lasted through the European witch craze of the next three centuries. [see 1486, Dec 5]
    (HNQ, 10/31/99)

1486        King Joao II of Portugal chose Bartolomeu Dias (~1450-1500 to attempt to find a route to India around Africa. Diaz departed with 3 ships in the fall of 1487.
    (ON, 11/07, p.2)(
1486        A limestone stone cross bearing the Portuguese coat-of-arms was erected on the coast of what later became Namibia to assert the country's territorial claim. It was taken to Germany in 1893 when the area was part of the German colonial empire. In 2019 Germany said it is returning the cross to Namibia, even though it was originally of European origin, as a gesture of reconciliation.
    (AP, 5/17/19)

1487        Jun 16, Battle at Stoke: Henry VII beat John de la Pole & Lord Lovell.
    (MC, 6/16/02)

1487        Aug, Bartolomeu Dias, Portuguese explorer, set out from Lisbon in August, and sailed south to the Cape Verde Islands and past Cape Cross. Storms forced him out to sea and when the winds moderated he continued east but found nothing. He turned north and then sighted land.

1487        Sep 10, Julius III, Italian counter-Reformation Pope (1550-1555), was born. He was also a poet and promoted the Jesuits.
    (WUD, 1994, p.773)(HN, 9/10/98)(MC, 9/10/01)

1487        Hans Memling (c.1440-1494), Flemish painter, painted the diptych “Virgin and Child" and “Maarten van Nieuwenhove" (1463-1500), who was his patron.
    (SFC, 10/18/05, p.D2)(SFC, 12/23/06, p.E12)

1487        Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, Dominican inquisitors, authored “Malleus Maleficarum" (The Hammer of Witches), which spoke of supernatural horrors that witches performed and provided advice on identifying them. In 2006 Christopher Mackay provided a critical translation in English.
    (WSJ, 1/19/08, p.W8)

1487        Lorenzo the Magnificent ordered a giraffe from Africa and a cardinal’s hat for his 13-year-old son from Pope Innocent VIII. In return for the hat Lorenzo promised the hand of his eldest daughter for the Pope’s illegitimate son along with a nice loan. The giraffe was procured from Sultan Qaitbay, the Ottoman ruler of Egypt. Pope Innocent promised to get Queen Anne of France to hand over Djem, the exiled brother of Qaitbay, for use as a pawn. Lorenzo promised to give the giraffe to Anne. In 2006 the story was covered by Marina Belozerskaya in her book “The Medici Giraffe."
    (WSJ, 8/19/06, p.P9)

1488        Jan,  Bartolomeu Dias, Portuguese explorer, rounded Africa’s southern cape and put to shore to take on food and water. There he found a group of smaller and lighter-skinned Africans, commonly known as the San, who chased his men back with arrows.
    (Econ 7/22/17, p.66)

1488        Feb 3, Bartolomeu Dias, Portuguese explorer, sighted the coast of Africa sailing north and made landing at Mossel Bay (South Africa) and realized that they had rounded the continent. He saw the southern tip on his return journey in May and named it Cabo Tormentoso (Cape of Storms). He continued north to the Great Fish River near present day Port Elizabeth, and then returned home in December. King Jaoa changed the cape’s name to Cape of Good Hope to encourage future explorers.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.173)(, 11/07, p.2)

1488        Jun 11, James III, king of Scotland, died in the battle of Sauchieburn, Scotland.
    (SC, 6/11/02)(PC, 1992, p.157)

1488        Oct 7, Andrea del Verrocchio, sculptor, painter, goldsmith, died at 52.
    (MC, 10/7/01)

1489        Feb 14, Henry VII and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I ally to assist the Bretons in the Treaty of Dordrecht.

1489        Apr 6, Hans Waldmann, Swiss military, mayor (Zurich), was beheaded.
    (MC, 4/6/02)

1489        Jul 2, Thomas Cranmer, first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556), was born.
    (HN, 7/2/01)

1489        Giuliano da Sangallo made his wooden model of the Strozzi palace in Florence.
    (Econ, 3/30/13, p.83)

1489        A sculpture St. George and the Dragon, created by Bernt Notke, was unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden. He composed the dragon entirely of elk horns.
    (SSFC, 8/19/07, p.G4)

1489-1490    The plague ravaged the Netherlands.
    (WSJ, 10/12/98, p.A17)

1490        Mar 23, 1st dated edition of Maimonides "Mishna Torah" was published.
    (SS, 3/23/02)

1490        Apr 6, Matthias Corvinus (b.1443), king of Hungary and Croatia (1458-1590), died. He has assembled one of Europe’s finest libraries, 2nd in size only to that in the Vatican. When Hungary later fell to the Turks the library was lost. In 2008 Marcus Tanner authored “The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library."
    (, 7/19/08, p.93)

1490        Francois Rabelais (d.1553), French physician, satirist and humorist, was born. [see 1494]
    (WUD, 1994, p.1183)(V.D.-H.K.p.143)(SSFC, 2/10/02, p.G5)

1490        Leonardo da Vinci painted “Lady with an Ermine" about this time. It featured Cecilia Gallerani (1473-1536), the favorite mistress of Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan.
    (Econ, 10/29/11, IL p.27)(

1490        In Venice the Aldine Press opened and went on to publish the first pocket editions of poetry and Greek classics.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)

1490        A version of the legal handbook "Statham’s Abridgement" was printed. A copy later became part of the collection of the SF law library and was stolen by a city bookbinder. The text is classed as part of the "incunabula," or books printed in the first 50 years after the introduction of movable type by Gutenberg in 1450.
    (SFC, 5/15/97, p.A26)

1490        Anne of Brittany married by proxy the recently widowed Maximilian of Hapsburg who had inherited Burgundy and Flanders from his first wife. Brittany was under siege by France and Maximilian failed to send troops in its defense. Anne had her marriage annulled and married the French Dauphin who had been engaged to marry Margaret of Austria, the daughter of Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy. Anne’s portrait was later painted by Jan Mostaert
    (WSJ, 7/30/97, p.A13)

1490        Christopher Columbus was permitted to make his proposal to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. He asked to be made a noble with eternal title in the family, and to receive 10% commission on all transactions from his found domain. He was initially turned down and left for France and England, but was then called back and his requests were met.

1490        Linz became the capital of the province of Upper Austria.
    (StuAus, April '95, p.39)

1490        Ashikaga Yoshimasa (55), former Shogun of Japan (1449-1478), died.
    (ON, 7/01, p.5)

1490        The Portuguese king sent teachers and missionaries to Mani-Kongo in southwest Africa. Mani-Kongo converted to Christianity and later his son became king with the Christian name of Affonso I.
    (ATC, p.152)

1490-1491    Chinese, Japanese, and Korean astronomers reported a bright comet for 48 nights during the mid-winter weeks of these 2 years. An Italian astronomer again saw its sunlit debris in 1825 and it became known as the Quadrantid meteor shower. It was later cataloged as 2003EH_1. In 2003 it was related to a star explosion over 500 million earlier.
    (SFC, 12/31/03, p.A2)

c1490s        Muslims of the Songhai Empire in West Africa supported Askia Muhammad, who overthrew Sunni Ali’s son, and declared Islam the state religion. Songhai grew and expanded to become the greatest trade empire of West Africa.
    (ATC, p.121)

c1490s    Civil wars weakened Monomutapa in East Africa and by the 1500s the empire was split in two.
    (ATC, p.148)

c1490s    The Medici went bankrupt.
    (Wired, 8/96, p.118)

1490-1495    Tullio Lombardi created his sculpture "Adam."
    (WSJ, 5/18/00, p.A24)

1490-1500    Hieronymus Bosch, Dutch artist, painted "Christ Mocked (The Crowning With Thorns)."
    (WSJ, 6/19/00, p.A42)

1490-1700    This period was covered in 2003 by Diarmaid MacCulloch in the book "Reformation: Europe's House Divided 1490-1700."
    (Econ, 12/13/03, p.82)

1491        Jun 28, Henry VIII, King of England (1509-1547) and founder of the Church of England, was born at Greenwich. He later divorced four times. An inventory of his wealth in 1547 estimated his wealth at £300,000 and his military equipment at another £300,000.
    (CFA, '96, p.48)(AP, 6/28/99)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)

1491        Nov 15, 6 Jews and 5 Conversos (Jews who pretend to be Catholic converts) were accused of killing Christians in La Guardia, Spain.
    (MC, 11/15/01)

1491        Dec 24, Ignatius Loyola (d.1556), Spanish soldier and ecclesiastic, was born. He founded the Society of Jesus, i.e. the Jesuits, wrote Spiritual Exercises, and introduced a new flexibility that enabled a worldwide ministry.
    (CFA, '96, p.60)(CU, 6/87)

1491        Perkin Warbeck appeared in Ireland and claimed to be the missing Duke of York, thought by many to have been murdered by Richard III. After winning support in France and Scotland, Warbeck's fortunes turned and he was captured and executed in 1497.
    (HNQ, 4/17/02)

1491        William Caxton (b.1422), 1st English printer (Histories of Troy), died.
    (, 5/12/05, p.D8)

1491        Pietro Roccabonella, doctor of medicine and lecturer at the Univ. of Padua, died.
    (SFEC, 2/15/98, BR p.8)

1491        In Russia the Spasskaya Tower was built in Moscow. It was designed by Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solairi, who was hired by Ivan III. In 1935 the Soviet government installed a red star instead of a two-headed eagle atop the 233-foot Red Square tower.
    (SFC, 11/7/15, p.A2)

1492        Jan 2, Boabdil, the leader of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrendered to Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I. Sultan Muhammad XI surrendered, ending Muslin rule in Spain. The combined Catholic forces of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile drove out the last of the Berbers from Spain. The Moors were expelled. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took the town of Grenada, the last Moslem kingdom in Spain. The event became marked by an annual festival that began around 1516.
    (ATC, p.73,100)(AP, 1/2/98)(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.T11)(HN, 1/2/99)(WSJ, 1/2/02, p.A6)(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C20)

1492        Jan 23, "Pentateuch," a Jewish holy book, was first printed.
    (MC, 1/23/02)

1492        Mar 30, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a decree expelling all Jews from Spain. Jews numbered about 80,000 and it was estimated that about half chose to convert. [see Mar 31]
    (HN, 3/30/98)(WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A20)

1492        Mar 31, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling Jews from Spanish soil, except those willing to convert to Christianity. In 2002 Claudia Roden authored "The Ornament of the World," a collection of stories of Sephardic Jews in Spain from 750 to 1492. [see Mar 30]
    (AP, 3/30/97)(WSJ, 4/26/02, p.W12)

1492        Apr 8, Lorenzo I de' Medici ("il Magnifico"), ruler of Florence (1469-92), died.
    (MC, 4/8/02)

1492        Apr 17, A contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to find the Indies [to Asia].
    (AP, 4/17/97)(HN, 4/17/98)

1492        Apr 30, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella granted Christopher Columbus specific privileges and prerogatives regarding the discovery and conquest of islands and a continent in the (western) ocean.
    (DAH, 1946, p.1)

1492        May 15, Cheese and Bread rebellion: German mercenaries killed 232 Alkmaarse.
    (MC, 5/15/02)

1492        Jun 16, Jan Coppenhole, Flemish rebel leader, was beheaded.
    (MC, 6/16/02)

1492        Aug 2, Jews were expelled from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. [see Mar 31]
    (MC, 8/2/02)

1492        Aug 3, Christopher Columbus, set sail from the port of Palos, in southern Spain and headed for Cipangu, i.e. Japan. The voyage took him to the present-day Americas. His squadron consisted of three small ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina. The 2nd ship was owned by Cristóbal Quintero, and was named Pinta. The 3rd ship was owned by Juan Niño, and was named the Santa Clara, but became known by its nickname, the Nina.
    (, 11/15/98, p.23)(SFEC, 8/8/99, Z1 p.8)

1492        Aug 11, Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia Lanzol (61), father of Cesare and Lucretia, became Pope Alexander VI (d.1503). He siphoned off untold riches from Church funds. Borgia arrived in Rome from Spain in 1449 and Italianized his name from Borja to Borgia. His rise in the church was helped a great deal when his uncle became Pope Calixtus III.
    (HN, 8/10/98)(PTA, p.424)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R4)(MC, 8/11/02)

1492        Sep 6, Columbus' fleet sailed from Gomera, Canary islands.

1492        Sep 25, Crew members aboard one of Christopher Columbus' ships, the Pinta, shouted that they could see land, but it turned out to be a false sighting.
    (AP, 9/25/99)

1492        Oct 7, Columbus changed course to the southwest. As a result he missed Florida.

1492        Oct 11, Rodrigo de Triana, a sailor on the Pinta, sighted land (the Bahamas) on the horizon.

1492        Oct 12, (Old Style calendar; Oct. 21 New Style), Christopher Columbus sited land, an island of the Bahamas which he named San Salvador, but which was called Guanahani by the local Taino people. Seeking to establish profitable Asian trade routes by sailing west, Columbus seriously underestimated the size of the Earth--never dreaming that two great continents blocked his path to the east. Even after four voyages to America, Columbus believed until the end of his life in 1506 that he had discovered an isolated corner of Asia.
    (NH, 10/96, p.22)(AP, 10/12/97)(HNPD, 10/12/98)(
1492        Oct 12, Pierro della Francesca (b.1415), Tuscany-born artist, died in Florence. He was later called the Father of the Renaissance. His work included “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels."
    (Econ, 2/16/13, p.82)(

1492        Oct 16, Columbus' fleet anchored at "Fernandina" (Long Island, Bahamas).

1492        Oct 17, Columbus sighted the isle of San Salvador (Watling Island, Bahamas).

1492        Oct 19, Columbus sighted "Isabela" (Fortune Island, Bahamas).

1492        Oct 21, Columbus landed on San Salvador Island (Bahamas-Watling Island).

1492        Oct 26, Columbus' fleet anchored on Ragged Island Range, Bahamas.
    (MC, 10/26/01)
1492        Oct 26, Lead pencils were 1st used.
    (MC, 10/26/01)

1492        Oct 28, Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba and claimed it for Spain.

1492        Nov 5, Christopher Columbus learned of maize (corn) from the Indians of Cuba.
    (MC, 11/5/01)

1492        Nov 7, A meteorite landed in Ensisheim, Germany. Emperor Maximilian visited Ensisheim 15 days after the fall and ordered that the Ensisheim meteorite be preserved in the local church. A piece of the stone was put up for auction in 2007.
    (, 10/27/07, p.96)

1492        Nov 15, Christopher Columbus noted the 1st recorded reference to tobacco.
    (MC, 11/15/01)

1492        Nov 21, Pinta under Martin Pinzon separated from Columbus' fleet.
    (MC, 11/21/01)

1492        Dec 5, Columbus discovered Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

1492        Dec 24-1492 Dec 25, The Santa Maria under Columbus ran aground on a reef off Espanola on Christmas eve, and sank the next day. With the remains of the Santa Maria, Columbus built a fort and called it La Navidad. About two dozen crew members were left behind.
    (, 10/6/14, p.A2)

1492        Dec 31, 100,000 Jews were expelled from Sicily.
    (MC, 12/31/01)

c1492    Andrea Montegna, Italian painter, created his "Descent Into Limbo," a depiction of Christ descending into limbo to liberate the souls of the righteous. In 2003 the work sold for $28 million.
    (SFC, 1/24/03, p.D2)

c1492     Research in 2003 indicated that the Kuikuro people in the Amazon basin had a "complex and sophisticated" civilization with a population of many thousands prior to 1492.
    (AP, 9/19/03)

1492        Leonardo da Vinci drew a flying machine.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1492        Piero della Francesca (b.1415/1420), Italian artist, died. His work included “The Virgin and child with Saints, angels and Federigo da Montefeltro" (1472-1474).
    (WSJ, 2/2/08, p.W14)

1492        Jews began arriving in Morocco after their expulsion from Spain.
    (SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)

c1492    In Portugal about this time King Manuel I, bedazzled by the Moorish tiles at the Alhambra in Spain, brought home enough to decorate his palace in Sintra.
    (SFEC, 4/26/98, p.T6)

1492        Sephardic Jews were welcomed by the Ottoman Empire after their expulsion from Spain.
    (SFEC, 3/28/99, p.T4)

1492-1870    Some 11 million African people were brought to the New World as slaves during this period.
    (SFEC, 11/16/97, BR p.4)

1493        Jan 2, Columbus departed La Navidad, Hispaniola, and sailed eastward along the coast.

1493        Jan 4, Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow, announced the 1st war with Lithuania. In fact the war had begun in 1487.
    (LHC, 1/4/03)

1493        Jan 6, Columbus encountered the Pinta along the north coast of Hispaniola.

1493        Jan 9, Christopher Columbus 1st sighted manatees.
    (MC, 1/9/02)

1493        Jan 12, This was the last day for all Jews to leave Sicily.
    (MC, 1/12/02)

1493        Jan 16, Columbus aboard the Nina departed Hispaniola along with the Pinta to return to Spain.

1493        Feb, Christopher Columbus penned a letter to Spain's monarchs, four months after discovering the New World, describing what he had found and laying the groundwork for his request to fund another voyage. A Latin copy was printed in Rome by Stephan Plannack in 1493, and found its way into the Vatican Library. This was later stolen by book thief Marino Massimo De Caro and sold in 2014 to American collector David Parsons for $875,000. In 2018 it was returned to the Vatican.
    (Reuters, 6/14/18)

1493        Mar 15, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
    (AP, 3/15/97)(HN, 3/15/98)

1493        Apr 15, Columbus met with King Ferdinand and Isabella in Barcelona.
    (MC, 4/15/02)

1493        May 1, Phillippus Paracelsus (d.1541), physician and alchemist, was born in Switzerland. He was christened as Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim.
    (HN, 5/1/98)(NH, 6/00, p.30,34)(MC, 5/1/02)

1493         May 4, The Discovery Doctrine, a legal doctrine claiming the right and duty of Christian states to rule newly discovered territories and their peoples, was first issued by Pope Alexander VI regarding the Americas. The Papal Bull Inter caetera ("Among other [works]") granted to the Catholic Majesties of Ferdinand and Isabella (as sovereigns of Castile) all lands to the "west and south" of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde islands. “Inter Caetera" was amended in Sep. granting Spain the right to hold lands to the “western regions and to India." The Patronata Real granted the Spanish throne the privilege and duty of overseeing propagation of Christianity among Spain’s subjects in the New World.
    (, 3/5/11, p.E3)

1493        Aug 19, Maximilian succeeded his father Frederick III as Holy Roman Emperor. Frederick III of Innsbruck (77), German Emperor (1440-1493), died.
    (HN, 8/19/98)(MC, 8/19/02)

1493        Sep 25, Christopher Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, with a flotilla of 17 ships on his 2nd voyage to the Western Hemisphere. He was accompanied by 13 clerics; Alvarez Chanca, a physician who left valuable accounts of the voyage; Juan Ponce de Leon; Juan de la Cosa, a cartographer; and Columbus’s younger brother Bartholomew.
    (AP, 9/25/97)(AM, 7/97, p.58)

1493        Oct 13, Christopher Columbus left the Canary Islands with 16 ships and over 1000 men on his 2nd voyage to the New World.

1493        Nov 3, Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbee Isles (Dominica) during his second expedition. He and his crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned within 5 years due in part to poor relations with the Taino Indians. This area was part of the chiefdom of Higuey.
    (AM, 7/97, p.54,60)(

1493        Nov 4, Christopher Columbus discovered Guadeloupe during his second expedition.
    (HN, 11/4/98)

1493        Nov 10, Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua during his second expedition.
    (HN, 11/10/98)

1493        Nov 11, The island of St. Martin was sighted and named by Columbus, though the explorer never landed there. The Dutch and French agreed to divide control of the island in 1648, but often clashed over where the border should be until a final pact in 1817.
    (, 9/18/10)

1493        Nov 12, Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Redonda during his second expedition. It was about 34 miles WSW of Antigua.

1493        Nov 13, Columbus sighted Saba, North Leeward Islands (Netherland Antilles).

1493        Nov 19, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico on his 2nd voyage.  Juan Ponce de Leon was a member of Columbus’ crew.
    (HT, 4/97, p.28)(MC, 11/19/01)

1493        Nov 22, Christopher Columbus arrived at Hispaniola.
    (AM, 7/97, p.54,60)(

1493        Nov 28, Christopher Columbus arrived La Navidad, Hispaniola. He found the fort burned and his men from the 1st voyage dead. According to the account of Guacanagari, the local chief who had befriended Columbus on the first voyage, the men at Navidad had fallen to arguing among themselves over women and gold.

1493        Dec 8, Christopher Columbus and his crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned within 5 years due in part to poor relations with the Taino Indians. This area was part of the chiefdom of Higuey.
    (AM, 7/97, p.54,60)(

1493        The 600-page "World Chronicle" by physician Hartmann Schedel (1440-1513) was first published in Nuremburg. One copy is held at the Library of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. Anton Koberger, a Nuremberg publisher, published 2,500 copies of the "Nuremberg Chronicle" by Hartmann Schedel. It included woodcuts by Michael Wohlgemuth and Wilhelm Pleyenwurff.
    (, April '95, p.49)(SFC, 3/1/02, p.D18)

1493        Columbus landed a small herd of swine on the island of Cuba.
    (ON, 4/01, p.4)
1493        Columbus named Montserrat after the monastery near Barcelona. He did not bother to land on the island.
    (NH, Jul, p.20)
1493        Columbus sailed into St. Croix’s Salt River Bay.
    (NG, Jan, 1968, C. Mitchell, p. 73)
1493        Columbus discovered a group of islands, now called the Virgin Islands, that he christened Las Once Mil Virgenes, in memory of St. Ursula and her 11,000 martyr virgins who were slaughtered by the Huns at Cologne in the 5th century.
    (SFEC, 2/15/98, p.T8)
1493        Rodrigo de Jerez, a sailor under Christopher Columbus, became the first person to bring tobacco to Europe. In November 1492, Jerez and Luis de Torres first observed natives smoking. The Spanish Inquisition imprisoned him for his "sinful and infernal" habits.
    (Econ, 3/30/13, p.38)(

1493        Pavia’s pawn bank was founded. It was later absorbed by Italy’s Banca Regionale Europea.
    (Econ, 5/27/06, p.73)

1493        In Russia after a major fire in Moscow, Ivan III forbade the construction of wooden buildings in the old city.
    (AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.33)

1493-1519    Maximilian I (1459-1519), Holy Roman Emperor over this period.
    (WUD, 1994, p.886)

1494        Jan 6, The 1st Roman Catholic Mass in the New World marked the official establishment of La Isabela.
    (AM, 7/97, p.58)

1494        Jan 25, Ferdinand I (b.1423), cruel king of Naples, died. He was also called Don Ferrante and was the natural son of Alfonso V of Aragon.
    (MC, 1/25/02)(Wikipedia)

1494        Jan, In the Dominican Republic there was a failed rebellion against Columbus. The revolt was organized by Bernal de Pisa, the royal accountant, who was unhappy with the poor return of gold. Pisa was jailed and several others were hanged.
    (AM, 7/97, p.57,59)

1494        Feb 2, Columbus began the practice using Indians as slaves.
    (HN, 2/2/01)

1494        Feb 20, Johan Friis, chancellor (Denmark, helped formed Lutheranism), was born.
    (MC, 2/20/02)

1494        Apr 20, John Agricola, [Schneider], German theologian, prime minister, was born.
    (MC, 4/20/02)

1494        Apr 24, Columbus departed Isabela, Hispaniola, with 3 ships in an effort to reach China, which he believed was nearby.

1494        Apr 30, Christopher Columbus arrived at Cuba on his 2nd voyage to the Americas.

1494        May 5, During his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus first sighted Jamaica and commented on the daily rains. Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.
    (NOHY, 3/90, p.183)(AP, 5/5/97)(HN, 5/5/98)

1494        May 13, Columbus found the natives on Jamaica hostile and left for Cuba.

1494        May 25, Jacopo Pontormo (d.1557), Italian painter (Sepulture of Christ), was born. He represented what Vasari called the terza maniera, the third or modern manner of painting.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1118)(WSJ, 10/29/96, p.A21)(SC, 5/25/02)

1494        Jun 7, Spain and Portugal divided the new lands they had discovered between themselves. King Joao II signed the Treaty of Tordesillas in which he conceded to Spain a monopoly on Columbus’ western route in exchange for a Portuguese monopoly on the eastern route.
    (HN, 6/7/98)(ON, 11/07, p.2)(

1494        Aug 11, Hans Memling (b.1435), German-born master of Flemish painting, died in Brugge.

1494        Aug 20, Columbus returned to Hispaniola. He had confirmed that Jamaica was an island and failed to find a mainland.

1494        Sep 12, Francois I of Valois-Angoulome, king of France (1515-47), was born.
    (MC, 9/12/01)

1494        Nov 5, Hans Sachs, cobbler, poet, composer, was born in Nuremberg. He was also the prototype for Wagner's "Die Meistersinger."
    (MC, 11/5/01)

1494        Nov 6, Suleiman I (d.1566), the Great, Ottoman sultan (1520-66), was born. Suleiman the Magnificent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, was reported to have a harem of 2,000 women.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)(MC, 11/6/01)

1494        Nov 8, Uprising against Piero de' Medici in Florence, Italy.
    (MC, 11/8/01)

1494        Nov 17, Charles VIII (1470-1498) of France entered Florence, Italy, to press his claim to the Kingdom of Naples. The First Italian War pitted Charles VIII of France, who had initial Milanese aid, against the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and an alliance of Italian powers led by Pope Alexander VI.
    (, 3/28/20, p.73)

1494        Lodovico il Moro, the duke of Milan, commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to paint "The Last Supper" (Cenacolo).
    (WSJ, 6/2/99, p.A24)
1494        Luca Pacioli’s textbook “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità," was published in Venice and used as a textbook for schools of Northern Italy. It was notable for including the first published description of the method of bookkeeping that Venetian merchants used during the Italian Renaissance, known as the double-entry accounting system.
c1494    Father Ramon Pane wrote an account of the Taino religion at the request of Christopher Columbus.
    (AM, 7/97, p.61)
1494        Carol Verardi in Basel published an illustrated report of the first expedition to the new world by Christopher Columbus.
    (HNPD, 10/12/98)
1494        The earliest report of Scots making whiskey was made. [see 1495]
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1494        Piero Medici, son of Lorenzo and head of the Medici family, fled Florence in the face of a French invasion. Savonarola took the opportunity to lead Florence in restoring a representative government.
    (WSJ, 7/10/98, p.W11)(Econ, 4/23/05, p.82)
1494        In Italy humanist philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and writer Angelo Ambrogini, better known as Poliziano, both died. In 2007 their bodies were exhumed from Florence's St. Mark's Basilica. The men were thought to be lovers. Both Pico and Poliziano tutored Lorenzo de Medici's son Giovanni, who as Pope Leo X helped make Rome a cultural center of Renaissance Europe.
    (AP, 7/27/07)

1494-1547    In France the time of King Francois I. The stench along the Seine drove him from the Hotel des Tournelles. Cesspools and the guild that emptied them, the Maitres Fy-Fy, developed at this time.
    (Hem., 3/97, p.132)

1494-1553     Francois Rabelais, French satirist: "If you wish to avoid seeing a fool you must first break your mirror." [see 1490, 1553]
    (AP, 2/23/98)

1494-1576    Hans Sachs, German Meistersinger. He authored stories, songs, poems and dramatic works. He later became the central figure in Wagner’s Meistersinger.
    (WUD, 1994 p.1258)(WSJ, 10/2/01, p.A17)

1495        Jan 28, Pope Alexander VI gave his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France.
    (MC, 1/28/02)

1495        Feb 5, The 1st Lithuanian Russian war ended with the signing of a peace treaty in Moscow.
    (LHC, 2/5/03)

1495        Mar 8, Juan de Dios, Portuguese-Spanish saint, founder (Brothers of Mercy), was born.
    (MC, 3/8/02)

1495          Jun 1, The first written record of Scotch Whiskey appeared in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. Friar John Cor was the distiller. The later J&B brand stood for Justerini and Brooks. [see 1494]
    (DTnet, 6/1/97)(SFEC, 12/28/97, Z1 p.2)

1495        Oct 25, Portugal’s King Joao II died without leaving male issue. He was succeeded by his brother-in-law Manuel I.

1495        Nov 27, Scottish king James IV received Perkin Warbeck (21), a pretender to the English throne. James gave Warbeck, a Walloon, Lady Catherine Gordon in marriage.
    (MC, 11/27/01)(PCh, 1992, p.160)

1495        Leonardo da Vinci sketched a design of a parachute.
    (SFEC, 9/8/96, zone 1 p.6)
1495      Italian artist Andrea Mantegna painted an “Adoration of the Magi" about this time in which one of the three kings is seen offering the Christ child a cup filled with gold coins. The blue and white, Ming-style cup in the painting was the first time that a Ming work of art appeared in a European painting.
    (Econ, 9/13/14, p.92)

1495        The Taino Indians on Hispaniola staged an organized attack on the Spaniards, but it was easily crushed.
    (AM, 7/97, p.59)

1495        In Korea King Yonsan-gun succeeded King Songjong. His reign was noted for his unscrupulous suppression of the literati. In 2005 the South Korean film industry produced “The King and the Clown." It was based on the 15th century monarch and a troupe of entertainers invited to his court.
    (, 2/18/06, p.44)

c1495    The 500-year-old body of a young Inca girl was found frozen near the summit of Mt. Ampato, Peru, by American archeologist Johan Reinhard in 1995. The girl was killed by a crushing blow to the head probably in a ritual sacrifice.
    (SFC, 5/22/96, p.A8)

1495-1498    Leonardo da Vinci worked on "The Last Supper" in Milan under commission for Duke Ludovico Sforza. The 15 by 28 foot work was undergoing a 20 year restoration in 1998 by Dr. Pinin Brambilla Barcilon.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, Par p.4)

1496        Mar 5, English king Henry VII hired John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore.
    (MC, 3/5/02)

1496        Mar 9, Jews were expelled from Carinthia, Austria.
    (MC, 3/9/02)

1496        Mar 10, Christopher Columbus concluded his 2nd visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Isabela, with 2 ships for Spain. He returned to Spain to ask for more support for his colony on Hispaniola.
    (AM, 7/97, p.59)(

1496        Mar 12, Jews were expelled from Syria.
    (HN, 3/12/98)

1496        cApr, Bartolome Columbus moved the colony to a new settlement on the south coast, named Isabela La Nueva. It was established on the east bank of the Ozama River. Columbus established Santo Domingo in what is now the Dominican Republic.
    (SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(AM, 7/97, p.59)(SFEC, 2/14/99, p.T10)

1496        Oct 20, Spain’s Juana of Castile (1479-1555) married Philip the Handsome, the Duke of Burgundy, in Lier (later a part of Belgium). Philip's parents were Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife, Duchess Mary of Burgundy. Juana had sailed from Spain with 15,000 men to the Habsburg Netherlands. Between 1498 and 1507, she gave birth to six children: two emperors and four queens.
    (Econ, 4/13/13, p.55)(

1496        Dec 5, Jews were expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I.
    (MC, 12/5/01)

1496        The "Treatyse of Fyshynge wyth an Angle" by Dame Juliana Berner was published. It was the first book on fishing ever written.
    (WSJ, 7/29/96, p.A11)

1496        In Germany a Benedictine abbey in Altomuenster, a town on the end of the subway line from Munich, began housing the Bridgettine Order, a female religious order founded by Saint Bridget in Sweden in the 14th century. It was ordered closed in 2015 after the number of nuns fell below the three needed to train novices. In 2018 Catholic authorities in Bavaria said the Vatican has granted their request to close the abbey.
    (AP, 12/24/17)(AP, 4/12/18)

1496        Banca del Monte was founded in Milan. It was later absorbed by Italy’s Banca Regionale Europea.
    (Econ, 5/27/06, p.73)

1496        Juan de Flandes painted “Christ Calming the Storm," a commission by Spain’s Queen Isabel.
    (WSJ, 12/16/04, p.D8)
1496        La Laguna was founded on the island of Tenerife by Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, who conquered the Canary Islands for Spain. It served as Tenerife’s 1st. capital.
    (SSFC, 4/16/06, p.F7)

1496        A Polish edict, pushed by Krakow’s gentile bakers, banned Jews from selling bagels within the city limits.

1496-1497    Michelangelo sculpted "Bacchus," considered his first masterpiece.
    (WSJ, 2/29/96, p.A-14)

1496-1498    Albrecht Durer made his woodcut "The Four Avenging Angels" from the Apocalypse.
    (LSA, fall/96, p.23)

c1496-1544    Clement Marot, early vernacular French writer.

1497        Jan 6, Jews were expelled from Graz, Syria. [see Mar 12, 1496]
    (MC, 1/6/02)

1497        Feb 7, Followers of the priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects in Florence, Italy, on the Shrove Tuesday festival. Tom Wolfe's 1997 novel, “The Bonfire of the Vanities," makes reference to the original event, but is not a retelling of the story.

1497        Feb 16, Philip Melanchthon, German Protestant reformer (Augsburgse Confessie), was born.
    (MC, 2/16/02)

1497        Mar 9, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Polish astronomer, made the 1st recorded astronomical observation.
    (WUD, 1994 p.322)(MC, 3/9/02)

1497        May 2, John Cabot departed for North America. [see Jun 24]
    (MC, 5/2/02)

1497        May 10, Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci left for his 1st voyage to New World.
    (MC, 5/10/02)

1497        May 13, Pope Alexander VI excommunicated Girolamo Savonarola for heresy. In Florence the Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) had led the Feb 7 burning of musical instruments, books and priceless works of art. He preached against corruption in the Church and civil government.
    (Hem., 4/97, p.53)(WUD, 1994, p.1672)(

1497        Jun 24, Italian explorer John Cabot (1450-1498?), (aka Giovanni Caboto), on a voyage for England, landed in North America on what is now Newfoundland or the northern Cape Breton Island in Canada. He claimed the new land for King Henry VII. He documented the abundance of fish off the Grand Banks from Cape Cod to Labrador.
    (NH, 5/96, p.59)(WUD, 1994, p.206)(AP, 6/24/97)(HN, 6/24/98)

1497        Jul 8, Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer, departed on a trip to India. He sailed from Lisbon enroute to Calicut, India. His journey took him around South Africa and opened the Far East to European trade and colonial expansion.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.143)(WUD, 1994, p.1672)(

1497        Jul 22, Francesco Botticini (c52), Italian painter, died.
    (MC, 7/22/02)

1497        Jul 26, "Edward IV's son" Perkin Warbeck's army landed in Cork.
    (MC, 7/26/02)

1497        Aug 6, John Cabot returned to England after his first successful journey to the Labrador coast.
    (HN, 8/6/98)

1497        Aug 10, John Cabot told King Henry VII of his trip to "Asia."
    (MC, 8/10/02)

1497        Sep 7, Sailor Perkin Warbeck became [briefly] England’s King Richard I. Warbeck had invaded Cornwall after failing to find support in Ireland. He was soon forced to surrender and was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
    (MC, 9/7/01)(PCh, 1992, p.161)

1497        Sep, Henry VII defeated the Cornishmen at Blackheath. An insurrection in Cornwall had developed over taxes to support English defenses against Scottish invasion forces.
    (PCh, 1992, p.161)

1497        Nov 18, Vasco da Gama reached the Cape of Good Hope.
    (MC, 11/18/01)

1497        Nov 22, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope.
    (MC, 11/22/01)

1497        Hans Holbein the Younger (d.1543), painter, was born in Augsburg, Bavaria.
    (WSJ, 12/30/06, p.P10)(

1497        Sandro Botticelli painted "The Calumny." It showed King Midas with donkey ears.
    (SFC, 10/7/03, p.D8)

1497        Portuguese Jews were forced to convert to Christianity and were known as "New Christians," though many continued to practice their original faith in secret.
    (WSJ, 6/8/98, p.A21)

1497        In Scotland the Declaration of Education Act required children to go to school.
    (SFEC, 12/27/98, Z1 p.8)

1498        Mar 2, Vasco da Gama's fleet visited Mozambique Island.
    (SC, 3/2/02)

1498        Apr 7, A crowd stormed Savonarola's convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy.
    (MC, 4/7/02)
1498        Apr 7, Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer, arrived at Mombasa, Kenya, where the Arabs repelled him. He sailed on to Malindi and came to terms with the local sultan, who supplied a pilot that knew the route to Calicut (Kozhikode), the most important commercial port in Southwest India at the time.
    (Econ, 9/30/06, p.58)(

1498        Apr 8, Charles VIII (27), King of France (1483-98), died while preparing a new expedition to invade Italy. He was succeeded by his Valois cousin the Duc d’Orleans (36), who reigned until 1515 as Louis XII.
    (PC, 1992 ed, p.161)

1498        May 20, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut (Kozhikkode) in Kerala, India.

1498        May 23, The body of Girolamo Savonarola (45), moral scourge of Florence (1494-98), was burned along with 2 Dominican companions. An enraged crowd burned the previously hanged body of Savonarola at the same spot where he had ordered cultural works burned the year before. In 2006 Lauro Martines authored “Fire in the City," an account of Savonarola’s life.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1672)(, 5/19/06, p.W6)

1498        May 30, Columbus departed Spain with 6 ships for his 3rd trip to America. He took 30 women along on his third trip to the New World.

1498        May, John Cabot began his 2nd transatlantic voyage. Richard Ameryk (1445-1503), a wealthy Welsh merchant, was the chief investor in Cabot's second transatlantic voyage. Five ships set sail for Newfoundland, but en route one ship was forced to return after being damaged in a storm. The rest were never heard from again. A theory, not widely held, suggests the Americas are named after his surname.
    (, 9/22/07, p.23)
1498        May, Vasco da Gama reached Calicut, the chief Indian trading port, at 11 north latitude. He was not welcomed by the Muslim traders who saw him as a Christian and competitor. He returned to Lisbon swearing revenge.

1498        Jun 21, Jews were expelled from Nuremberg, Bavaria, by Emperor Maximillian.
    (MC, 6/21/02)

1498        Jun 26, Toothbrush was invented. In China the first toothbrushes with hog bristles began to show up. Hog bristle brushes remained the best until the invention of nylon.
    (SFC, 6/6/98, p.E3)(MC, 6/26/02)

1498        Jul 31, During his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at an island he named Trinidad because of its 3 hills.
    (AP, 7/31/98)(

1498        Aug 4-1498 Aug 12, Christopher Columbus explored the Gulf of Paria (Venezuela) between Trinidad and South America.

1498        Aug 14, Columbus landed at the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
    (MC, 8/14/02)

1498        Aug 16, Christopher Columbus reached the island of Margarita (Venezuela).

1498        Aug 17, French King Louis XII made Cesare Borgia (1475-1507) the Duke of Valentinois. Borgia resigned his position as cardinal, which had been bestowed on him at age 18 by his father, Pope Alexander VI.
    (Econ, 8/16/08, p.16)(

1498        Sep 16, Tomas de Torquemada (b.1420) died in Avila, Spain. He was a Spanish Dominican friar and the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain's movement to restore Christianity among its populace in the late 15th century. He was one of the chief supporters of the Alhambra Decree, which expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492.
    (, 9/16/06)

1498        Albrecht Durer made his woodcut titled "The Bath House."
    (WSJ, 10/29/99, p.W1)

1498        Emperor Maximilian I relocated his court from Innsbruck to Vienna and brought along the court musicians. He also decided to include boy singers which gave rise to The Vienna Boys School and Choir. In 1918 the Austrian government took control of the court musicians, but not the boys choir, which became a private institution. The boys choir began to give public concerts in 1926. In 2007 the choir accepted its first African-born member, Jens Ibsen (12) of Daly City, Ca.
    (SFC, 12/8/07, p.A8)

1498        The Shore Porters’ Society was founded as a semi-public body controlled by the town of Aberdeen, Scotland.
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.104)

1498        Niccolo Machiavelli began working as a diplomat for the city-state of Florence. His employment ended in 1512 when he was dismissed by Giuliano de Medici.
    (ON, 11/04, p.3)

1498        Columbus sailed by Grenada and named the island Concepcion.

1498        The first pawnshop reportedly opened in Nuremberg, Germany.
    (SFEC, 2/22/98, Z1 p.8)

1499        Mar 31, Pius IV (Gianangelo de' Medici), Italian lawyer, pope (1559-65), was born.
    (MC, 3/31/02)

1499        Aug 25, Battle at Sapienza: An Ottoman fleet beat Venetians.
    (, 8/25/01)

1499        Sep 10, The French marched on Milan.
    (Hem., 12/96, p.19)

1499        Nov 12, Perkin Warbeck, Flemish sailor, was hanged for conspiring to escape from the tower of London with the imprisoned earl of Warwick. [see Nov 23]
    (PCh, 1992, p.162)

1499        Nov 23, Perkin Warbeck, Flemish sailor, was hanged. [see Nov 12]
    (MC, 11/23/01)(AP, 11/23/02)

1499        Nov 28, Edward Plantagenet, 18th Count of Warwick, was beheaded.
    (MC, 11/28/01)

1499        Michelangelo completed his "Pieta" for the Vatican. The marble was from Carrara.
    (, 8/1/05, p.D10)

1499        The Spanish play "Celestine" was published.
    (WSJ, 11/19/98, p.A21)
1499        Alonso de Ojeda, a Columbus Spanish lieutenant, and Amerigo Vespucci landed at Curacao.
    (SSFC, 10/9/11, p.C3)(

1499        Anne of Brittany initiated the white wedding gown.
    (SFEM, 6/28/98, p.7)

1499        Portuguese briefly explored and claimed Greenland, naming it Terra do Lavrador (later applied to Labrador in Canada).

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