1291

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Central Switzerland Comes Into Being

The three cantons of the forest join to create the democracy of the valley of the Schwyz or Swiss. The name comes from an old High German word for burning and probably refers to the clearing of the forest for the building of the town of Schwyz but as a whole they won't call themselves Schwyz until 1499 when other countries begin calling them Schwiizer. This is similar to calling Englishmen, Brits or British because they come from Britain. The Swiss will like the name Schwiizer so much that they will use it themselves but for now they will call themselves The Confederacy and the charter they write is an inspiring document. It reads a lot like the Constitution of the United States of America. It is a good beginning. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Here is how the Swiss Charter begins...

THE NAME OF GOD - AMEN. Honor and the public weal are promoted when leagues are concluded for the proper establishment of quiet and peace.

Therefore, know all men, that the people of the valley of Uri, the democracy of the valley of Schwyz, and the community of the Lower Valley of Unterwalden, seeing the malice of the age, in order that they may better defend themselves, and their own, and better preserve them in proper condition, have promised in good faith to assist each other with aid, with every counsel and every favor, with person and goods, within the valley and without, with might and main, against one and all, who may inflict upon any one of them any violence, molestation or injury, or may plot any evil against their persons or goods. And in every case each community has promised to succour the other when necessary, at its own expense, as far as needed in order to withstand the attacks of evil-doers, and to avenge injuries; to this end they have sworn a solemn oath to keep this without guile, and to renew by these presents the ancient form of the league, also confirmed by an oath.

[5]

The Last Crusader Stronghold Comes to an End

The Holy Land is lost when the last Crusader stronghold of Acre [pronounced AH-ker] is seized by the Mamluks. With that seaside stronghold lost, the Crusaders will have little chance of gaining a foothold in the Holy Land again. This marks the end of the Ninth Crusade. [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One wonders why enough troops could not be mustered to defend this final position. It has to do with the previous Crusades and the manner of recruitment of knights and troops to fight on behalf of the Pope. The inducements the previous Popes offered brought with them a sense of corruption that debased the noble nature of taking back the Holy Land. It's sort of like being paid to be good. While it might seem like a good idea at first, over time it loses its power to move the people who receive such rewards and it repels those who would not wish to be thought of as having to be paid to do the right thing. Know what I mean?

Going to Cathay to Convert the Khan!

Friar John of Monte Corvino leaves Persia on a trip to meet Kublai Kahn and bring him the Good News of the Gospel. The good Friar carries with him a letter from the Pope. Unfortunately the good Friar will report that the Khan is too old and set in his ways. He just won't convert to Christianity. However, the Khan will allow a church to be built in the capital city which is present day Beijing and Friar John, will manage to educate and baptize 150 boys and their parents. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It was a nice sightseeing trip but at least Friar John wasn't killed and he got to establish a church.

See Also

References

  1. Swiss Plateau, Wikipedia
  2. Schwyz/Swiss, Wikipedia
  3. Waldsttte/Three Forest Cantons, Wikipedia
  4. Year 1291, Wikipedia
  5. "Swiss Federal Charter", Xavier Nègre, Lexilogos 2002-2014 (ENGLISH TRANSTATION)
  6. Ludolph of Suchem: The Fall of Acre, 1291, from Medieval Sourcebook
  7. Acre, Israel, Wikipedia
  8. Year 1291, Wikipedia
  9. "John of Monte Corvino: Report from China 1305", from Medieval Sourcebook
  10. "Cambaliech/Khanbaliq", Wikipedia

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