The History of Tamerlane and Crowdsourcing
A history book on the life of Tamerlane, who killed millions, has been published. It is entitled "Zafar-Nama" which translates to "Letter of Triumph" or "Book of Victory". Much of the information we have today about Tamerlane comes from this book. Portions of an English translation are online with a very long title but the short version is "The History of Timur-Bec". See the link below.    
The Penultimate Emperor
The once great Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium [biz-ANTI-um] now extends to the city limits of Constantinople. Last year the Ottoman Turks laid siege to Thessalonica [thess-a-LAWN-ih-ka] and rather than surrender, the Empire gave the city over to the Venetians... for food. In desperation, Prince John went on a mission to Europe to ask for help but no help is coming until the Greek Church returns to the Latin Church... and Hell is freezing over right now. Prince John is a man of great vision, but what the Emperor wants is someone to manage the decline. Emperor Manuel the 2nd dons monks robes, changes his name to Matthew and dies at age 75. He will leave Emperor John the 8th to tend the dying embers of an Empire. John's brother, Constantine the 11th, will rake the ashes and die in hand-to-hand combat defending the walls of the city.      
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1425, Wikipedia.
- Zafar-Nama - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Timur - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Sharaf al-Din 'Ali Yazdi. The History of Timur-Bec: Known by the Name of Tamerlain the Great, Emperor ... - Sharaf al-Din 'Ali Yazdi - Google Books. London: J. Darby. 1425. (BOOK)
- Crowdsourcing - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Josephus - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Norwich, John Julius. (John J. Norwich, bio). Byzantium: Volume 3: Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1995. pp. 385-390. (BOOK) Quote: "The Empire of which, on 21 July 1425, the thirty-two-year-old John Palaeologus became sole basileus was effectively bounded by the walls of Constantinople; and Constantinople now presented a dismal picture indeed."
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 204. (BOOK) Quote: "John VIII, Byzantine Emperor (-1448)."
- Byzantium - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Manuel II Palaiologos - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- John VIII Palaiologos - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Constantine XI Palaiologos - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]