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The Maroons of the New World and Mississippi State *

African slaves began arriving in numbers in 1512 and as might be expected, the number of escaped slaves went up in parallel. These are not simple folk. African slaves of this time are people with skills such as blacksmiths, tanners and jewelers. Unfortunately for the Spaniards, African slaves are also being drawn from the wealth of military prisoners being taken during the civil war in the Jolof Empire (a region that encompasses modern day Senegal and Gambia). These slaves have serious skills in fighting and surviving. They escape to the jungles of the Caribbean and Brazil in huge numbers. The Spaniards call them "cimarróns" which means "mountain runaways" indicating that they head for the hills at the first opportunity. They will eventually develop into an identifiable hereditary group and win their independence from the Dutch in 1760 negotiated by a Maroon living in Boston who had learned to read and write. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Obviously, this is also where we get the word "maroon" meaning abandoned or stuck as most African slaves were when they were brought to the Americas. The name "Maroons" also applies to the Mississippi State University football team. Beginning in 1885, Mississippi A&M began playing football under the name "The Maroons." They also used the name "The Aggies." In 1932 when they became Mississippi State College they took on the name "Bulldogs, but the name "Maroons" was still used well into the 1960s, even after they had officially adopted "Bully Bulldog" as their mascot.[4] [5]

The Passing of Amerigo *

Amerigo Vespucci has passed away at the age of 57. As we have learned, Amerigo's reports on his exploration of the New World entranced Europe. He also proved that Christopher Columbus had not reached China. Two popular cartographers named the new region "America" after him and the rest is history. He was made a citizen of Spain and taught navigation toward the end of his life. [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've noted this almost every time... the reports on Amerigo are tainted by a certain enthusiasm that looks a lot like someone was monkeying with the reports for their own purposes. That doesn't make Amerigo wrong or bad. It might have been someone else doing it but it makes his information unreliable in detail... like a lot of reports from this time period.

The Faithless Are Doomed: The Fifth Lateran Council Begins

Pope Julius the 2nd had promised to convene a council but when he failed to do so, the Holy Roman Emperor and King Louis the 12th of France held one in Pisa with 4 cardinals and several bishops and abbots. This upset Pope Julius so he convened an official Council at St. John Lateran's Basilica this year. They will spend most of their time refuting what the previous 4 cardinals decided. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It has been a long-term principle of the Church that there is no salvation outside of the Church. That principle will be reaffirmed by the Fifth Lateran Council. It's a tough principle and the Jews have suffered under the Christians for it for centuries but in recent times the Pope has conceded that the Jews have a special salvation aside from Christianity. I think most Jews would not really care what the Pope thinks of Jewish salvation, but he had to say it and I'm glad he did. FYI, I am Jewish and associated with Rabbi David Novak who has written extensively on Christian-Jewish relations. [9] [10] [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1512, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Maroon (people) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 February 2015. “In the New World, as early as 1512, black slaves had escaped from Spanish and Portuguese captors and either joined indigenous peoples or eked out a living on their own.”
  2. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “The first bondsmen in Hispaniola came mainly from the civil war–torn Jolof empire in what is now Senegal and Gambia. It seems likely that many of the slaves sent to the Caribbean were POWs—military men.” 
  3. Jolof Empire - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 February 2015. “In the early 16th century, it was capable of fielding 100,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry.[20] But the seeds of the empire's destruction had already been sown by the prospects of Atlantic trade.”
  4. Game of Change between Mississippi State and Loyola cannot be forgotten -- college basketball. ESPN (December 13, 2012). Retrieved on 3 February 2015. “That game was in 1966, three years after the Ramblers beat the Maroons (as MSU was known at the time) in a seminal stop on their way to a Cinderella national title.”
  5. Alex Shrugged notes: I remember Bugs Bunny using the word "maroon" as a malapropism... switching one word for another than sounds similar. In this case, Bugs was calling Elmer Fudd a moron.
  6. Amerigo Vespucci - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 29 January 2015.
  7. (1910) "Fifth Lateran Council (1512-17)", The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved on 12 January 2015. 
  8. A World Lit Only by Fire. Hachette Book Group. ISBN 9780316082792. “The faithless were doomed; the Fifth Lateran Council (1512--1517) reaffirmed Saint Cyprian's third-century dictum: "Nulla salus extra ecclesiam" -- "Outside the Church there is no salvation." Any other finding would have been inconceivable.” 
  9. David Novak - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 February 2015.
  10. Christian--Jewish reconciliation: Modern Papal Views - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 February 2015. “Pope John Paul II made special effort to improve relations between Christianity (Catholicism in particular) and Jews and is often seen as a major figure in opening up dialogue between the Catholic and Jewish communities. He was the first pope to make an official visit to a synagogue, and made official apologies on behalf of the Catholic Church for wrongdoing against Jews throughout history. His theology often posed a dual covenant quality, and referred to Judaism as 'the older brother' of Christianity.”
  11. Dual-covenant theology - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 February 2015. “On November 17, 1980, Pope John Paul II delivered a speech to the Jews of Berlin in which he discussed his views of Catholic-Jewish relations. In it, John Paul II said that the Jewish people are the 'people of the Old Covenant, which was never revoked.'”

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