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Great Schism: A Chance for Unity... Denied!

Last year Pope Urban the 6th in Rome was seriously hurt after a fall. Now he has passed away. Due to the split in the Church, there are two Popes: one in Rome and one in Avignon but with Pope Urban dead, the Church has a chance at reunification. Rome is still in the grip of several warlords so it is impossible for any Pope to live there year round. It would make sense to turn to Pope Clement the 7th in Avignon (in the south of present day France) but 14 Roman Cardinals decide to elect another Italian... Pope Boniface the 9th... and keep the Great Schism going. Pope Boniface has no training in Church Law nor administration but he will manage to fortify the Roman defenses so that he can live in Rome at least most of the time. A large part of Europe and England will accept him as Pope with the obvious exception of France and a minority of Italians. In the modern day Pope Boniface is considered the legitimate Pope, but if you had asked Pope Clement the 7th in Avignon, he would have told you sincerely that he is the legitimate Pope. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Aside from the ideals of religion at work here: most of the bureaucracy do not want to uproot their lives in Avignon to move to a violent place like Rome, yet if they don't move, what effort will they put into quelling the violence there? It is unusual for an individual to move from a good situation into a bad one to try to make it better. Even moving from a bad situation to a good one seems impossible for some. My mother-in-law once lamented that her nephew had not worked for over a year in Michigan. (He was laid off from a major car company.) I asked her why he didn't move to Tennessee where they make cars too. She told me that he was waiting to be rehired. It was just too scary to move. Indeed. Change is always scary... but often necessary.

Ottoman Turks: The Battle of Kosovo

While the Europeans have been fighting amongst themselves, the Ottoman Turks have been chewing their way through Bulgaria. Sofia has already fallen and the terrain makes the Ottoman's turn toward Moravian Serbia obvious. The key region here is Kosovo so Prince Lazar leads a blocking force to meet the Turks. All the chips are on the table as the Battle of Kosovo turns into a death match. Prince Lazar breaks through the line and kills Sultan Murad the 1st. The sultan's son rallies and kills the Prince in turn. When the smoke clears, almost everyone is dead on both sides, but the Ottoman reserves will be brought forward from the east to blow through what is left of Kosovo and threaten Hungary. [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The accounts of the Battle of Kosovo are epic.... almost mythical. Songs were composed of the battle so it is difficult to know what is true except that almost everyone died on both sides and the leaders of both sides were killed. Later accounts have Milos Obilic as the assassin of the Sultan but whoever did the deed, he didn't live through it. Even though the forces fought to a draw, nothing was left of the Serbian forces which left the region wide open for invasion. Prince Lazar will be sainted and this epic battle will be remembered into the modern day... especially at the beginning of World War I and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. [9]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1389, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Norwich, John Julius. Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy. New York: Random House. 2011. Chapter 16 "Laetentur Coeli!" (BOOK)
  2. Pope Boniface IX - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Pope Urban VI - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Antipope Clement VII - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. 1389: Saint Tsar Lazar, after the Battle of Kosovo, ExecutedToday.com, 2009-Jun-15.
  6. Matthias, John and Vuckovic, Vladeta (translators). The Battle of Kosovo (Serbian Epic Poems), kosovo.net, 2009 [last update]
  7. Emmert, Thomas A. The Battle of Kosovo: Early Reports of Victory and Defeat (from Kosovo: Legacy of a Medieval Battle, 1991). 2014 [last update]
  8. Battle of Kosovo - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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