Sunday, April 17, 2011
April 22, 238 Year of the Six Emperors: The Roman Senate outlawed emperor Maximinus Thrax for his bloodthirsty proscriptions in Rome and nominated two of its members, Pupienus and Balbinus, to the throne. 960 Basil II was crowned Emperor of the Byzantine Empire. 1073 Gregory VII was elected pope. Gregory was most noted for the sweeping reforms he implemented to the Papacy. He also attempted to limit the aggression of the Normans in Italy and initiate a military expedition to assist the Christians in Byzantine territories, neither with much success. 1370 First stone of the Bastille laid. The fortress that was later to become a prison was built on the orders of King Charles V of France. It was intended as a fortification to help protect the wall around Paris against English attack during the Hundred Years' War. 1451 Queen Isabella was born. As queen of Castille, Isabella's marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon united a huge portion of Spain. Her fierce Catholicism led to the expulsion of Jews from Spain and the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition. She also supported the voyages of Christopher Columbus.