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Piers... You're FIRED!

The Earl of Lancaster, has Piers de Gaveston cornered at Knaresborough Castle in York. Two years prior, Piers had been exiled to Flanders "because of the improper familiarity" with King Edward II of England and interfering with the King's marriage to Queen Isabella. Piers is forced to surrender after breaking his oath of exile and is turned over to the Earl of Pembroke... who Piers had called "The Black Dog of Arden"... and now Piers has misplaced his head somewhere along the road to Warwick. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Have you ever met a guy who had big connections and flaunted them to the point of embarrassing the worst professional butt-kissers on the planet? That was Piers de Gaveston. He was the reason that the Earl of Lancaster was able to impose the Ordinances of 1311 on the King, effectively making the Earl the defacto ruler of England. The primary sources for this period imply certain things about the relationship between King Edward II and Piers de Gaveston that they can't say outright but Queen Isabella is a beautiful and frighteningly capable woman and she hates Piers. If she wants a man dead, he dies... any man. In time, that will include the King.

Civil War Amongst the Mongols

The last non-Muslim Mongol is dead. The Khan of the Golden Horde, Toqta, has died suddenly... along with several of his sons, coincidentally. His successor, Ozbeg Khan, will disagree with the previous khan's support of the Yuan dynasty and begin a civil war, destroying the previous few years of peace between the Mongol factions. Aside from the chaos, this civil war will become part of the vehicle that will draw the Black Plague closer to Europe but for now, the Plague is contained in the wilderness of Mongolia. [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Toqta's death is plausible, but with the death of his sons it sound's a lot like he committed suicide by stabbing himself in the back 40 times with a spear... if you know what I mean. He was the last non-Muslim and some historians believe that Ozbeg Khan had at least one of the sons murdered.

Knights Templar Disbanded

With a stack of confessions and the brunt of the accusations going against the Knights Templar, Pope Clement V gives in to King Philip the Fair of France and disbands the Knights Templar. He will distribute much of the property to the Templar's competing order, the Knights Hospitaliers. It is a dismal day for the Knights Templar and the Papacy but the Grand Knight Templar will have his day. He is preparing a terrible curse for his persecutors and this one is going to work. [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It seems like a forgone conclusion that the Knights Templar were going to lose this fight. Yet they were so powerful. How could they have let it happen? They knew they had enemies. While individual Knights were illiterate they were not stupid. They hired good people to work for them, but it wasn't enough. And remember that King Philip the Fair is a sincere guy and very brave but not too smart. He's being played as well... probably by his ministers.

The Slave Makes Way for the New Emperor

Mali's line of succession had failed in previous years due to insanity, allowing a former slave to take the throne... and he did a fabulous job rebuilding Mali, but with Mansa Sakura's passing the succession has returned to the family and the new Emperor is going to be great. Mansa Kankan Musa will spread the wealth so liberally that gold prices in Egypt will fall. [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I found it interesting that Mansa Musa could drop gold prices in Egypt by dumping gold into the local market. I'm not sure if he was doing that for a purpose or was simply so generous that his spending distorted the market. Egypt is in eastern Africa and Mali is in west Africa. It seems like a long distance to be able to distort the gold market that far away.

See Also

  • 1285 A Slave Becomes Emperor


  1. Maxwell, Herbert. The Chronicle of Lanercost, 1272-1346. Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons. 1913. pp. 184-185, 197-199. (BOOK)
  2. Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Knaresborough Castle - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. The Mongol Empire by Kallie Szczepanski, About.com.
  5. Dols, Michael W.. The Black Death in the Middle East, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1977. pp.49-50. (BOOK)
  6. Toqta - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Mongol Empire - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Knights Templar - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Pope Clement V - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Mali Empire, from Afropedia
  11. The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3, edited by J.D. Fage and Roland Anthony Oliver, Cambridge University Press, Jan 20, 1977, p 380
  12. Mansa means Emperor, Wikipedia
  13. Mali - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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