Sunday, December 5, 2010

History Trivia

December 5, 63 BC Cicero read the last of his Catiline Orations. In 663 the Fourth Council of Toledo took place. In 771 Charlemagne became the sole King of the Franks after the death of his brother Carloman. In 1082 Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona was assassinated. In 1360 The French Franc was created. In 1408 Emir Edigu of Golden Horde reached Moscow. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputized Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and lead to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history. In 1536 The 'Pilgrimage of Grace' against Henry VIII's Reformation was persuaded to disband by the duke of Norfolk.

1443, Pope Julius II was born. One of the most powerful rulers of the Renaissance, Julius was more concerned with political matters than theological ones, working hard to restore and preserve the Papal States and leading military efforts to hold off the encroaching forces of France. When defecting cardinals threatened another schism, he called the Fifth Lateran Council, and overturned another military coup with the help of Swiss troops.

Though he was enormously successful in keeping Italy together politically and militarily, Julius is perhaps best known as a patron of the arts, and is particularly remembered for his patronage of Michelangelo, who completed the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel barely a year before the pope's death.

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