1404

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St. Elizabeth's Flood

Another storm surge as caused several settlements in the Netherlands to submerge below the waves, never to be seen again. Back in 1287 the flood waters from a different storm breached the dikes and created a shallow bay out of an inland sea. It was the 6th largest flood in world history and it took place around St. Lucia's Day. The St. Elizabeth's Day flood is not as big but it is still catastrophic. The Count of Flanders, John the Fearless, gives the order to link all the existing dikes to provide more protection from floods and as a consequence, the shoreline of Belgium will straighten into its modern day configuration. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Netherlands inner sea created by the flooding is called the Braakman in the modern day. It is much smaller than it once was in the Middle Ages due to better flood control measures. It used to be called the Zuder Zee which means "South Sea". And now you know why they call the North Sea "North". It is this flooding of the South Sea that caused shipping and financial institutions to move to Amsterdam in the 1290s and 1300s. The grant of tax-free export from Amsterdam over the Count's lands also helped businesses to flourish in Amsterdam, thus turning Amsterdam into a financial powerhouse in the 1600s willing to sink money into a colony called New Amsterdam... known in the modern day as New York City. [9]

The Last Emperor

Constantine the 11th is born this year and will one day become Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (or as historians called it nowadays... the Byzantium [biz-AN-tee-um] Empire). He is named after his ancient ancestor, Constantine the 1st who was born a pagan but converted to Christianity and was the first to use a cross as his battle symbol. In 324 Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Byzantium [biz-AN-tee-um] and renamed it Constantinople. After Constantine the 1st died, competition for the succession caused so much instability that the Empire was briefly ruled by a pagan. Then with the split between the Latin Church and the Greek Orthodox Church, Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire alone. Over the centuries they have been losing ground. Constantine the 11th will be the last emperors. He will die in the defense of Constantinople in the final battle against the Ottoman Turks. The Turks will rename the city Istanbul. [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Over the centuries Constantinople's hold over the Empire was weakened for several reasons: civil war, fighting over the succession, failing to pay their bills to their Italian business partners and failing to pay their army... and probably most critically... debasing its currency, forcing the Italians to produce their own coinage for international payments. Florence and Genoa issued their own coins for international commerce in 1252 and Venice issued the gold ducat in 1284... all in response to the debasing of coinage in Constantinople. In case anyone is wondering why producing their own coins made sense... it is because they KNEW how much gold was in their OWN COINS but in order to figure out how much gold was in the Emperor's coins they needed an expert to evaluate every coin. You can't do business like that. You can't even make a contract unless you know EXACTLY how much you will be paid in REAL MONEY.[13] [14] [15]

India: Say Hello and Say Good-bye

A new emperor has been crowned in the south of India. (India won't become a unified country until the 20th century but ... let's call it India for the moment.) This southern empire is called the Kingdom of Bisnagar by the Portuguese. It is mostly made up of Hindus and has become a refuge for Hindus escaping the Muslims in the north. Tamerlane has recently murdered a million Hindus in the northern regions. (Tamerlane accused the Muslims there of being too soft on the Hindus and forced individual Muslims to kill a certain quota of them or be killed themselves.) The new Emperor is named... well... it doesn't matter. He will be dead in a couple of months, murdered by his own children, and replaced by his brother.... Bukka Raya the 2nd. [16] [17] [18] [19]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The new Emperor liked the ladies and the booze too much to be an effective leader. He lost a lot of land to the Muslims in the short time he was ruling. His brother, Bukka Raya the 2nd, will not be much better. I apologize for not using this Indian empire's proper name. It has a lot of vowels and it is a mouthful. The Portuguese name seemed easier to pronounce.


India: Say Hello and Say Good-bye

Year 1404, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. St. Elizabeth's flood (1404) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. List of settlements lost to floods in the Netherlands: The Braakman - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. North Sea Flood (1953) by Phillip Harwood, 2013
  4. Severe flooding "could put lives at risk" by Emma Henry, 2007
  5. Watersnoodramp 1953 (in Dutch) (VIDEO)
  6. St. Lucia's flood, Wikipedia
  7. Zuider Zee, Wikipedia
  8. Hurricane Sandy, Wikipedia
  9. New Amsterdam - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Norwich, John Julius. (John J. Norwich, bio). Byzantium: Volume 3: Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1995. (BOOK)
  11. Constantine XI Palaiologos - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. Constantinople - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. Florin - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  14. Ducat of Venice - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  15. Hyperpyron - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  16. Vijayanagara Empire (Kingdom of Bisnagar) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  17. Virupaksha Raya - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  18. Harihara II - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  19. Bukka Raya II - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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