Saturday, December 31, 2011
December 31, 192 The Roman emperor Commodus, whose brutal reign ended 90 years of peaceful prosperity, was assassinated. 406 Vandals, Alans and Suebians crossed the Rhine, which began an invasion of Gaul. 535 Byzantine General Belisarius completed the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year. 870 Skirmish at Englefield: Ethelred of Wessex beat the Danish invasion army. 1229 James I of Aragon the Conqueror entered Medina Mayurqa (Palma, Spain) thus consummating the Christian reconquest of the island of Majorca.1502 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupied Urbino (walled city in the Marche region of Italy).
Friday, December 30, 2011
December 30, 41 Titus was born. He was Roman emperor from 79-81 and during his reign the Coliseum was completed. 1370 Pope Gregory XI elected pope. Gregory attempted to foster peace between England and France during the Hundred Years' War, defeated Florence in its war against the Papal States, and returned the papacy to Rome from Avignon. 1460 The Lancastrians routed the Yorkists at the Battle of Wakefield, and executed Richard, Duke of York.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
December 29, 1170 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered while at vespers in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights of King Henry II. Acting on the frustrated outburst of King Henry II, four knights entered the Cathedral and struck down the Archbishop. The knights fled. Henry would later do public penance for his ill-considered words that ultimately ended the quarrel between one-time friends.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
December 28, 418 Boniface I became Roman Catholic pope. 1065 Westminster Abbey in London, built under the auspices of Edward the Confessor, was consecrated. The Benedictine monastery had been re-endowed and enlarged under the oversight of Edward the Confessor, but the King had been too ill to attend the consecration ceremonies. He was buried in the abbey after his death on January 4, 1066.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
December 26, 795 Leo III was elected Roman Catholic pope. Pope Saint Leo recognized Charlemagne as the patricius of the Romans, crowning the great leader Holy Roman Emperor who protected Pope Leo from his enemies. He was an effective administrator of the papal territories, and contributed to the beautification of Rome.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
December 25, the date recognized by the Roman Catholic Church for the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas was also known as Yule (Anglo-Saxon) or Noel (French). 337 Earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th. 352 First definite date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th. 498 French king Clovis baptized himself. 597 England adopted the Julian calendar. 795 Pope Adrian I died. The relationship of Adrian to Charlemagne was considered an ideal expression of Church and State in a united Christian society. 800 Charlemagne, King of the Franks, was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in Rome. 875 Charles the Bald was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. 1066 William the Conqueror was crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London. 1100 Baldwin of Boulogne was crowned the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity. 1156 Peter the Venerable died. As Abbot of Cluny, Peter of Montboissier made great reforms to the monastery that restored its influence in European religious politics. 1223 St. Francis of Assisi assembled the first Nativity scene. 1559 Pius IV was elected pope. Born Giovanni Angelo de'Medici, Pius concluded the Council of Trent and pursued reforms of the Papal Curia.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
December 24, 3 BC Servius Sulpicius Galba was born. He was emperor of Rome from 68-69AD. 563 The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes. 640 Pope John IV was elected. In his brief pontificate, John sent help to the victims of invaders in Dalmatia, opposed monothelitism and the Irish choice for the date of Easter, and defended the orthodoxy of Pope Honorius I. 1167 King John I of England was born. The youngest son of King Henry II, John lacked the trust of his barons and was maneuvered into signing the Magna Carta. 1294 Pope Boniface VIII was elected Pope, replacing St. Celestine V, who had resigned. 1476 400 Burgundy soldiers froze to death during siege of Nancy (Burgundian Wars, the battle finally being fought outside the walls on 5 January 1477 between Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and René II, Duke of Lorraine. René's forces won the battle, and Charles' mutilated body was found three days later.) 1515 Thomas Wolsey was appointed English Lord Chancellor.
Friday, December 23, 2011
December 23, 619 AD Boniface V became Roman Catholic pope. 1116 St. Ivo of Chartres died. He was one of the most notable bishops of France at the time of the Investiture struggles and the most important canonist before Gratian. Gratian was a legal scholar and the founder of the science of canon law, which is the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local) and the popes, as well as the bishops (for diocesan matters) in the Roman Catholic Church.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
December 22, 69 Roman Emperor Vitellius was killed in a street battle in Rome by soldiers of Vespasian, who succeeded Vitellius as emperor. 1135 Norman nobles recognize Stefanus van Blois (Stephen, grandson of William the Conqueror) as English king. His reign was plagued with civil war with his cousin the Empress Matilda whose son Henry II succeeded him upon his death. 1216 the Dominican order was formally sanctioned. Founded by St. Dominic, the Dominican order of mendicant friars emphasized scholarship as well as preaching. The organization received official sanction from Pope Honorius III.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
December 21, 69 the end of the Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian became the fourth Emperor of Rome within a year. 882 Hincmar of Reims died. As archbishop of Reims, Hincmar was one of the most influential political and ecclesiastical figures of Carolingian Europe. 1118 Thomas A. Becket was born. 1140 Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg. 1163 A hurricane hit villages in Holland/Friesland, causing massive flooding.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
December 20, 1192 Richard the Lionheart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade. 1334 Benedict XII was elected pope. The third pope to reside at Avignon, Benedict attempted to reform the church and its religious orders. His pontificate saw the beginning of the Hundred Years' War. 1522 Suleiman the Magnificent accepted the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who were allowed to evacuate. They eventually settled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta.
Monday, December 19, 2011
December 19, 211 Publius Septimius Geta, co-emperor of Rome, was murdered. 324 Licinius abdicated his position as Roman Emperor. 1154 Henry II of England was crowned at Westminster Abbey. 1187 Clement III became Pope. The fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in the Third Crusade occurred during his pontificate. 1490 Anne, Duchess of Brittany, was married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy. 1551 The Dutch west coast was hit by a hurricane.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
December 18, 218 BC Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebbia – Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeated those of the Roman Republic. 1118 Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captured Saragossa, Spain, causing a major blow to Muslim Spain. 1352 Innocent VI became Pope. He introduced many needed reforms in the administration of church affairs and also sought to restore order in Rome and permitted Charles IV to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor provided he would quit the city on the day of the ceremony.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
December 17, 546 Gothic War: The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquered Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison. 920 Romanos I was crowned co-emperor of the underage Emperor Constantine VII. 1187 Pope Gregory VIII died. In his brief pontificate, Gregory initiated the Third Crusade and began reforms in the Curia. 1531 Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal. 1538 Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII of England.
Friday, December 16, 2011
December 16, 882 Marinus I was elected Roman Catholic pope, replacing the murdered John VIII. 955 Ottaviano (age 18), the only son of Duke Alberic II of Spoleto, who ruled Rome, became Pope John XII when his father ordered his election. John's pontificate lasted nine years. 1431 Henry VI of England was crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. Though young Henry had been proclaimed king at age ten months, it was not until he was ten years old that he was officially crowned at Notre Dame Cathedral. 1485 Catherine of Aragon, Spanish princess and first wife of Henry VIII was born. 1653 Parliamentarian general Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
December 15, 37 AD, Nero was born. He was the Roman emperor who is alleged to have fiddled while Rome burned. 533 Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron. 687 Sergius I (Saint Sergius) was elected Roman Catholic pope. He received Caedwalla, King of the West Saxons, and baptized him (689) but because the King died in Rome, he was buried in St. Peter's. Sergius ordered St. Wilfrid to be restored to his see (Bishopric at York), greatly favored St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, and is credited with endeavoring to secure the Venerable Bede as his adviser. He also consecrated the Englishman St. Willibrord bishop, and sent him to preach Christianity to the Frisians.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
December 14, 867 AD Adrian II was elected Roman Catholic pope. Adrian had difficulties with international politics. The eighth ecumenical council and the fourth Council of Constantinople took place during his reign. He died on this date in 872. 872 AD John VIII was elected Roman Catholic pope on the very day Pope Adrian II died. His pontificate was marked with political intrigue, and he is believed to have been murdered by conspirators involved in a plot of local politics. 1503Nostradamus was born. Author of a collection of predictions in quatrains published in the book Centuries, Nostradamus gained fame in his lifetime when some of his prophecies appeared to come true. 1542 Princess Mary Stuart became Queen Mary I of Scotland.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
December 13 863 Boudouin with the Iron Arm, earl of Flanders, wed Charles II the Bald of France's daughter Judith. He was daring warrior who fell in love with the youthful widow of two English kings, married her and fled with his bride to Lorraine. Charles, though at first angry, was at last conciliated, and made his son-in-law margrave of Flanders, which he held as a hereditary fief. The Norsemen were continually devastating the coastlands at this time, and Baldwin was entrusted with this outlying borderland in order to defend it. He was the first of a line of strong rulers of Flanders, who early in the 10th century exchanged the title of margrave for that of count. 1294 Saint Celestine V resigned the papacy after only five months; Celestine, who founded the Celestine order, was the first pope to abdicate. He had accepted the position only because the papacy had been vacant for years and needed a leader. In his eighties when elected, the work proved too problematic, and he resigned. 1545 Council of Trent began. The council would pass legislation dealing with the doctrinal challenges of the Protestant Reformation.
Monday, December 12, 2011
December 12 884 Charles the Fat inherited the West Frankish lands and briefly reunited the empire of his ancestor Charlemagne. 1098 First Crusade: Massacre of Ma'arrat al-Numan – Crusaders breached the town's walls and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resorted to cannibalism. 1112 Tancred of Antioch died. 1189 Richard I left England, where he spent less than six months of his reign, to join the Third Crusade. 1408, The Order of the Dragon a monarchical chivalric order was created by Sigismund of Luxembourg, then King of Hungary.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
December 11, The Ancient Roman religious festival Agonalia was held. The festival was also celebrated on January 9th, March 17th and May 21st. On each day a ram was sacrificed, probably as an offering to deities Janus and Angonius. 359 Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, took office. 969 Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II was assassinated by his wife Theofano and her lover, the later Emperor John I Tzimiskes. 1192 Richard I (the Lionheart) was captured by Leopold, Duke of Austria, as he returned from the Third Crusade. 1282 Llywellyn the Last, the last native Prince of Wales, was killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south Wales by King Edward I of England soldiers. 1475 Pope Leo X (Giovanni de' Medici) was born. Leo contributed strongly to the power of the papacy, made Rome a center of culture, and excommunicated Martin Luther.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
December 10, 1520 Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate. 1541 Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and fifth wife of Henry VIII. Culpeper was beheaded and Dereham was hanged, drawn, and quartered, and their heads were placed on top of London Bridge. Catherine remained imprisoned in Syon Abbey until Parliament passed a bill of attainder on 7 February 1542. The bill made it treason, and punishable by death, for a queen consort to fail to disclose her sexual history to the king within twenty days of their marriage, or to incite someone to commit adultery with her. This solved the matter of Catherine's supposed precontract and made her unequivocally guilty. She was subsequently taken to the Tower on 10 February and was executed on February 13th.
Friday, December 9, 2011
December 9, 536 Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully left the city, returning the old capital to its Empire. 1165 King Malcolm IV of Scotland died; his short reign was marked by rebellion and tension with his cousin Henry II of England. 1425 The Catholic University of Leuven, the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium was founded by John IV, Duke of Brabant and approved by a Papal bull by Pope Martin V.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
December 8,65 BC Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) was born. He was one of the most familiar and admired of the Roman poets. 877 Louis II, the Stammerer, was crowned King of France. 1542 Mary, Queen of Scots was born. 1609 Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan Italy) opened its reading room, the second public library of Europe. 1660 The first Shakespearian actress to appear on an English stage (believed to be a Ms. Norris) made her debut as Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
December 7, 43 BC Roman orator and advocate Cicero was executed on the orders of Mark Antony. 983 German King Otto III took the throne after his father's death in Italy. He was the fourth ruler of the Saxon (Ottonian) dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 997. 1254 Pope Innocent IV died. The pontificate of Innocent was marked by a long struggle with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, characteristic of the conflict between empire and papacy.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
December 6, 1196 the Northern Dutch coast was flooded; known as the Saint-Nicolaas Flood, resulted in widespread damage and death. 1421 Henry VI was born. Henry VI was a child when he came to the throne on the death of his father Henry V. His weakness as a ruler and his occasional displays of mental instability exacerbated the Wars of the Roses (dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York).
Monday, December 5, 2011
December 5, 63 BC Marcus Tullius Cicero, the consul of Rome, read the last of his Catiline Orations, exposing to the Roman Senate the plot of Lucius Sergius Catilina and his allies to overthrow the Roman government. 1349 Five hundred Jews of Nuremberg were massacred during Black Death riots. 1360 The French Franc was created. 1456 Earthquake struck Naples and about 35,000 died. 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. 1536 The Pilgrimage of Grace against Henry VIII's Reformation was persuaded to disband by the duke of Norfolk.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
December 4, 771 Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne sole ruler of the Frankish empire. 1093 Anselm of Canterbury was consecrated as Archbishop. 1110 First Crusade: The Crusaders sacked the Syria harbor city Saida (Sidon). 1154 Nicholas Breakspear was elected Pope Hadrian IV, the only Englishman to become pope. 1259 Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels. 1563 The final session of the Council of Trent was held (it opened on December 13, 1545).
Saturday, December 3, 2011
December 3, 741 St. Zachary began his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Gregory III. 1347 Pope Clemens VI declared the Roman tribunal Coke di Rienzo as heretics. 1368 Charles VI of France was born. Known as "Mad" and as "Well-Beloved," Charles had a long reign during which he remained primarily a figurehead because of his occasional fits of madness. 1468 Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano succeeded their father, Piero de Medici, as rulers of Florence, Italy. 1557 First Covenant of Scottish Protestants formed. 1586 Sir Thomas Herriot introduced potatoes to England, from Colombia. 1621 Galileo invented the telescope.
Friday, December 2, 2011
December 2,537 Pope Saint Silverius died. When Silverius refused to restore Anthimus as Patriarch of Constantinople, Empress Theodora ordered him deposed. He was banished and died on the island of Palmaria, allegedly murdered or starved to death. 1409 The University of Leipzig was founded by Frederick I, Elector of Saxony and his brother William II, Margrave of Meissen, and originally comprised four faculties. Since its inception the university has enjoyed over 600 years of uninterrupted teaching and research. 1697 St Paul's Cathedral opened in London.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
December 1, The Festival of Juno occurred on this day. 193 Pertinax became emperor. 800 Charlemagne was called to the Vatican to judge the accusations against Pope Leo III whose enemies stated he was unfit to hold the sacred office. 1135 Henry I of England died and the crown was passed to his nephew Stephen of Blois instead of his daughter Matilda which resulted in civil war (the Anarchy). The dispute was settled when Stephen named Matilda's son Henry Plantagenet as his heir. 1170 Becket returned to Canterbury. After establishing an uneasy reconciliation with Henry II, the Archbishop returned to his See, ending a six-year-long self-imposed exile. 1420 Henry V of England entered Paris.