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The Last Tribune and One to the Head

Rome is a rough neighborhood which may explain why the Papal Palace is in Avignon these days. The last attempt to restore Rome to its glory days has failed. Cola di Rienzi is dead. In 1347 Cola di Rienzi was elected Roman Tribune and ran a good government. The laws were faithfully executed with everyone equal under the law, nobility and peasantry alike. Unfortunately success went to his head. He began calling himself the "Illustrious Redeemer of the Holy Roman Republic by the authority of... Jesus Christ." This made Pope Clement the 6th nervous so he took him into custody. Cola di Rienzi was released years later and returned to Rome but he was no longer a young firebrand. His followers thought he had sold out and two months later the mob was shouting "Death to the traitor!" Cola di Rienzi's body was dragged through the streets. Such was the fate of the last Roman Tribune. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
How many times have we put our faith in someone only to see him change later? Was he a liar? Maybe but when people tell you how great you are, you will be tempted to believe it after a while. So it was with Charlie. Most people thought that when Charlie spoke, wisdom fell from his mouth like pearls. One day, Charlie placed the barrel of a 38 into his mouth and blew the back of his head off. What was the lesson to be learned here? We were pushing Charlie up on a pedestal and he liked it there but he knew he didn't belong there. He wanted down in the worst way and Charlie found the worst way. (That was over thirty years ago. His death reminds me that I'm good but I'm not THAT good. I am grateful to him for teaching me this lesson, as hard as it was on my mentor, Charlie.)

The Camel's Nose in the Tent

Constantinople is in the midst of a civil war and one side is using the Ottoman Turks as mercenaries. As a reward they are given a strategically insignificant fortification on the Gallipoli peninsula. Unfortunately for Constantinople, a massive earthquake has caused the people to abandon their cities temporarily. In the confusion, the Ottoman Turks make quick jaunt over to the main fortifications of Gallipoli and gain control over the strait. This allows the Ottomans to control all traffic between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The Ottomans will use this new foothold in Europe to invade the Balkans. [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In World War I, British forces will attempt to take Gallipoli and fail. A statue of a Turkish soldier carrying a wounded Australian out of danger remains as a memorial to the failed invasion. Years later that same wounded Australian will hold a major position in government... and owe his life to a Turk. Gallipoli itself will rebel when the League of Nations cuts up the Ottoman Empire but it will eventually be absorbed into Turkey.

The Three-King Clock

The first animated clock in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is completed along with the Cathedral. Such clocks were both works of art, visually animated and real astronomical instruments. One could track the changing of the seasons, the eclipse of the sun and moon and so forth. This clock is the beginning of Disney animatronics. It has a rooster that flaps its wings and crows at noon. The Three-King Clock no longer exists. A more elaborate and astronomically useful clock began construction in 1547 but it eventually stopped working. A new clock was commissioned in 1838 and remains functional to this day. [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The name of this cathedral contains the words "Notre-dame" but this is NOT the same church as portrayed in the Victor Hugo novel, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame". That cathedral is in Paris. [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1354, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Durant, Will and Durant, Ariel. The Story Of Civilization, Volume 5, The Renaissance: A History of Civilization in Italy from 1304-1576 A.D.. 1953. pp. 19-25. (BOOK)
  2. 1354: Cola di Rienzi, last of the Roman Tribunes, ExecutedToday.com, 2011-Oct-8.
  3. Norwich, John Julius. (John J. Norwich, bio). Byzantium: Volume 3: Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1995. pp. 315-319. (BOOK)
  4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 190. (BOOK) quote="The Turks take Gallipoli"
  5. Nicolle, David. Ottoman Fortifications 1300-1710. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2010. p. 8. (BOOK)
  6. Taylor, Martin. Greece and Turkey Holiday 2000 Diary: Turkey Page 9. 2006 [last update]
  7. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 191. (BOOK) quote="The mechanical clock at Strasbourg Cathedral"
  8. Strasbourg astronomical clock: First Clock - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Cathédrale de Strasbourg : Horloge astronomique - YouTube. 2012 [last update]
  10. Strasbourg Astronomical Clock, TheAntiqueClockShop.com, 2011 [last update]
  11. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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