778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass (Pyrenees on the border between France and
Spain), at which Roland (commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne's army) was
killed. The battle was romanticized by oral tradition into a major conflict
between Christians and Muslims, when in fact both sides in the battle were
Christian. The legend is recounted in the 11th century The Song of Roland,
which is the oldest surviving major work of French literature, and in Orlando
Furioso, which is one of the most celebrated works of Italian literature.
1309 – The city of Rhodes
surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest
of Rhodes. The knights established their headquarters on the island and renamed
themselves the Knights of Rhodes.
1483 Pope Sixtus IV consecrated the Sistine Chapel.