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The Age of Exploration: The Azores

The Portuguese continue to explore in every direction. The Atlantic islands of the Azores are about half the way to North America, but no one realizes it. The Azores are uninhabited so the Portuguese colonize it. Like the Madeira Islands, it will remain part of Portugal into the modern day. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Given how hit-and-miss navigation still is, it takes real nerve to set out on such exploration at sea but this is not done to satisfy their curiosity. They are perfecting their navigational skills. Portugal is at the end of a long, overland shipping route so they are looking for ways to navigate around the cape of Africa without crashing into the shore at night. They believe that they can get cheaper goods for themselves from India and China over a sea route. They can also sell those same goods to the Europeans for a profit. The Silk Road is no longer reliable since Tamerlane discontinued the patrols that kept the route safe from bandits. [3]

The Hussites Spank the Crusaders

Pope Martin the 5th is the right man at the right time. He is sternly rebuilding Rome, a city of 25,000 starving people, abandoned buildings and wolves wandering the streets. He is also making sense of the Church finances and maintaining control over the College of Cardinals. After 40 years of separation he is reuniting the Church, but the Hussites of Bohemia will not comply. General John Ziska has died of the Plague so the Pope thinks that the Hussites are now easy pickings. But what he doesn't realize is that before John Ziska died, he named a successor: not a second-stringer and not the equal of John Ziska. This man is EVEN BETTER! Prokop the Great will offer quarter to the 70,000 invaders but the Crusaders, who think they will need no quarter will offer none in return. So be it. The Battle of Assig is an absolute rout. The Crusaders will receive more casualties in retreat than in the battle itself. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The villagers are picking off the fleeing Crusaders who had swaggered through those same villages months before no doubt looking for food and loot. As the saying goes... be nice to the people on your way up because you will be meeting those same people on the way down.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1427, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Asimov, Isaac. Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery. New York: HarperCollins. 1994. ISBN 0062701134. p. 104 (BOOK)
  2. Azores - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Alex Shrugged Notes: My remarks come from my reading on this subject. You can find elements of my remarks in earlier years on the TSPWiki.com.
  4. Norwich, John Julius. Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy. New York: Random House. 2011. (BOOK)
  5. Prokop the Great - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Offen, Lee. The Hussites - History Reconsidered. 2012 [last update] | quote: "4 August 1427 A Crusade led by Henry De Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester gathered its forces and was defeated by a Bohemian Army comprised of Hussites and Catholics at the city of Meiss. The Crusaders fled without a fight and suffered considerable casualties from the villagers they had pillaged enroute to Meiss."
  7. Wylie, James Aitken. The History of Protestantism (1878): Book 3 - John Huss and the Hussite Wars: Chapter 16 - Second Crusade Against. Bohemia. 3 vol. London: Cassell & Co., 1899. StudyLight.org. 2014 [last update] Quote: "To encourage and stimulate him, the Pope wrote to the princes of Germany and the King of Poland, exhorting them to unite their arms with those of Sigismund, and deal a blow which should make an end, once for all, of this troublesome affair. Than the Hussite heretics, the Turk himself, he said, was less the foe of Christianity; and it was a more urgent as well as a more meritorious work to endeavor to bring about the extirpation of the Bohemian adversary than the overthrow of the Moslem one."
  8. Battle of Aussig - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Laager - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Hussite Wars - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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