1500

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The Century That Was *

Let's review the 15th century. We have transitioned from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance and the beginnings of the Modern Age. The Great Vowel Shift moved English pronunciation higher up the throat. A German merchant league imposed quality control on fish packing and grew into a naval fighting force. Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks and became Istanbul. Dracula lived and hopefully died. Tamerlane felt misunderstood and then dropped dead. Good. The Great Western Schism split the Church. John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English so it was banned. The Hussites fended off Church forces, inventing mobile warfare and the wooden tank. The Church returned to an uneasy unity. The Chinese Starfleet went on a Grand Tour. The Gutenberg printing press made books affordable and the first modern patent system was established but too late for Gutenberg. Joan of Arc pushed France to victory and was put to the flames for her trouble. The Portuguese found a route to India around Africa and brought back slavery! The Blarney Stone was set into place. Volcanoes exploded. The Little Ice Age got colder, driving wolves into Paris. A shortage of silver and wool caused an economic depression called "The Great Slump". The first Tudor king took the throne. Witches were burned. Heretics died. The Spanish Inquisition was established and the Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal. Christopher Columbus discovered a route to the Americas but he thought that he had reached the East Indies. Thus he called the people "Indians". The word stuck. Other sticky words were Calico, Tangerine, Mocha, Sherry, Lackey and Bedlam. You can't hold a candle to that!

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It's been a heck of a century and in another century the world will be completely different... again. The Black Death will continue to ravage Europe into the 16th century. A lot of Indians of the Americas will die of disease, unknown and unsung. Could we have stopped it even if we had known how disease was carried? Absolutely not. It would have meant finding the New World, immediately realizing that it was a new continent, realizing that the people there might catch germs from us and then selflessly shooting ourselves so that our friends in Europe would think we were lost at sea.... and every generation thereafter shooting themselves as they came across the Atlantic over and over again. Never in a million years would that have happened. And the Europeans will die as well, bringing syphilis from the New World along with potatoes and a blight that will destroy the Irish potato crop MOSTLY DUE TO MODERN (at the time) FARMING METHODS! A lot of Irish men and women who depend on those potatoes are going to die. The next century is going to be a heck of a ride and its just getting started.

Cannons at Sea: The Second Battle of Lepanto

"The Battle of Lepanto" [lih-PANT-o] that most people think about will be fought in 1571 when all of Christendom is saved but before that happens, several significant battles in the same area are fought in 1499 and 1500. They feature cannons at sea. The Ottomans strike at the Venetians in the Ionian Sea and overwhelm their forces. The battles result in yet another devastating loss for the Venetian Republic. Their commercial empire is being torn apart. With the French army at their doorstep in the 2nd Italian War, the Venetians have no choice but to capitulate to the Turks. In the next few years the Venetians will find the Ottoman cavalry on Italian shores. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In my research I found references to these battles as the first time that cannons are used at sea, yet, except for that simple statement, I was unable to find anything to verify that claim. However, I did find something to pass doubt on that claim. In historian Will Durant's book on the Renaissance, he notes that the Venetians used cannons at sea against their enemies, the Genoans, to great effect. The date? 1379. That is over 100 years before this battle. 'Nuf said.[8] [9]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1500, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. History Review (JOURNAL) (March 2001). Retrieved on 13 January 2015. “1499 Battle of Zonchio (Navarino) gives Turkey control of Venetial trade”
  2. Encyclopedia: Battle of Zonchio. StateMaster.com (2015). Retrieved on 13 January 2015. “The Venetian fleet under the command of Antonio Grimani was soundly defeated at Zonchio, near Lepanto.”
  3. Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies. De Re Militari (2001). Retrieved on 2014.
  4. Ottoman-Venetian War (1499-1503) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Alex Shrugged Notes: I was inspired to look into the various battles at Lepanto after hearing commercials on the Buck Sexton Podcast concerning his upcoming dramatization of the Battle of Lepanto of 1571.
  6. Cannon - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 January 2015.
  7. The Battle of Lepanto (PODCAST). The Blaze Radio Network (October 7, 2014). Retrieved on November 13, 2014.
  8. A History of Civilization in Italy from 1304-1576 A.D., The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781567310160. “In December, 1379, Pisani and the Doge Andrea Contarini led the reconstituted fleet -- thirty-four galleys, sixty large craft, four hundred small boats -- to besiege the Genoese and their ships at Chioggia. The Genoese fleet was too small to face the new Venetian navy; Venetian cannon shot into the Genoese vessels, fortresses, and barracks stones weighing 150 pounds, killing, among many, the Genoese admiral Pietro Doria.” 
  9. War of Chioggia - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 January 2015.

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