Chapter XI: 1300 to 1499 CE

by Jesse Potter aka Elkin Vanaeon
 On this ninth day of August in the year of our Lord and Lady 2005 CE

1300 CE - Africa - Rise of the Mali Empire of the Mande (or Mandinka) peoples in West Africa. The Mali Empire was strategically located near gold mines and the agriculturally rich interior floodplain of the Niger River. This region had been under the domination of the Ghana Empire until the middle of the 11th century. As Ghana declined, several short-lived kingdoms vied for influence over the western Sudan region.

1300 CE - Walter Langton the Bishop of Coventry and Chester, Treasurer of England, and Edward I's chief minister, was accused of making a pact with the Devil.

1302 CE -Pope Boniface VIII (c. 1235 - 1303) issues the papal bull Unum Sanctum, which declares that the pope has supreme and final authority in all matters, both civic and spiritual which decreed: "It is necessary to salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

1303 CE - Pope Boniface VIII is kidnapped by supporters of French King Philip IV (1268- 1314) after he threatened to depose Philip, he dies within a month.

1305 CE - The 70-year "Babylonian Captivity" of the papacy begins when Pope Clement V (1260 - 1314) moves the papal residence and administrative offices to Avignon in France.

1306 CE - Philip IV expels the Jews from France.

1310 CE - The parfait Pierre Authier was burnt for heresy at Toulouse. The Dominican Bernard Gui was the inquisitor of that province. His Inquisitors' Manual (circa 1320) provided guidance for his inquisitorial colleagues.

1310 CE - The Templars are recorded as being the first to be officially tortured in England.

1310 CE - The Council of Trier declares those worshipping the goddess Diana are Witches, practitioners of magic and guilty of heresy.

1313 CE - Giovanni de Matociis wrote that there were many lay people that believe in a nocturnal society headed by a queen they call Diana in his Historiae Imperiales.

1314 CE - Robert Bruce defeats the armies of Edward II at the battle at Bannockburn and gains Scottish independence. Edward I died in 1307 on a March north to defeat Bruce.

1315 CE - A mixture of war, famine, and plague in the Late Middle Ages reduces the population of Europe by half. Bad weather and crop failures result in famine across northwestern Europe. Unsanitary conditions and malnutrition increase the death rate. Even after the revival of agricultural conditions, weather disasters reappear.

1320 CE - The Inquisition begins, Pope John XXII authorizes the persecution of sorcery and witchcraft. He ordered the Inquisition at Carcassonne "to take action against magicians, sorcerers, and those whom invoked demons or made waxen images or abused the sacraments, as heretics, and to confiscate their property." His Bull of 1318 permitted the trial of dead heretics - "the memory even of a man who is dead must be assailed." Pope John's Bull of 1326 provided a description of the crimes of witches.

1320 CE - The Pastoureaux, various dissatisfied peasants and penniless outcasts, traveled southwards plundering abbeys and storming castles and towns. Their targets, when they reached the south of France, were Jews and Lepers.

1323 CE - The Cathars had been almost eradicated from Europe.

1324 to 1325 CE - Africa, Mali Emperor Mansa Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca, spreads Mali's fame across Sudan to Egypt, the Islamic and European worlds. ("Mansa" means "emperor.") He brought with him hundreds of camels laden with gold, under Mansa Musa, diplomatic relations with Tunis and Egypt were opened, and Muslim scholars and artisans were brought into to the empire. Islam penetrated Mali's elaborate court life and thrived in commercial sahel centers such as Jenne and Tombouctou or Timbuktu, on the great bend of the Niger River.

1324 to 1325 CE - Lady Alice Kyteler, her son, and associates in Kilkenny, Ireland, are tried for witchcraft amidst tales of mating with demons and pacts with Satan. She escapes to England, but others are burned at the stake.

1327 CE - Born in 1260, German Dominican Master Eckhart defines the individual soul as a "spark" of the divine at its most basic element. By renouncing all knowledge of the self, one is able to retreat into that "spark" and reach God. Most of his teachings are condemned by the papacy. Two bands of mysticism arise from Eckhart's theories:

1328 CE - England recognizes Scottish independence, with Robert Bruce as King.

1335 CE - Pope Benedict XII issues sweeping reforms of the monastic orders.

1336 CE - The Hundred Years' War between France and England begins.

1347 CE - The Black Death (bubonic plague) reaches Cyprus from eastern Asia.

1348 CE - The Black Death (bubonic plague) first reaches England between 1348 and 1349 killing approximately one third of the inhabitants in Western Europe. The Pope issued a Bull in 1348 claiming God inflicted the pestilence on the Christian people, many Christians sincerely believed that God intended to destroy Humanity. The onset of the Bubonic Plague re-activates the belief of ludicrous charges that Jews were poisoning rivers and wells. Discontent with the Church was an outcome of the Black Death, and this dissatisfaction precipitated heresy and dissent. Extreme labor laws lead to the popular uprisings worsen post-plague economic and social conditions, thus bringing about the revolution movements of:

1349 CE - A new period of persecution of Jews sweeps Germany.

1350 CE - Renaissance begins in Italy.

1360 CE - Nicholas Eymeric, the Inquisitor, is recorded lamenting, "In our days there are no more rich heretics, so the princes not seeing much money in prospect will not put themselves to any expense. It is a pity that so salutary an institution as ours should be so uncertain of its future." The trials of sorcerers and witches become the new source of income for the Inquisitors.

1366 CE - The Council of Chartres ordered anathema to be pronounced on sorcerers in every parish church on each Sunday of the year!

1368 CE - Manichaeanism and its related sects, the White Lotus and the Black and White Clouds is condemned under edict in China in 1368, 1374, and 1390. Manichaeans are accused of burning incense to foreign images and icons, practicing magic, and doing unseemly things in the dark of night until dawn.

1372 CE - The Inquisition condemned the Brethren of the Free Spirit and burnt all their books. One of their female leaders was burnt at the stake in Paris. The Beghards, or Brethren of the Free Spirit, members of a Christian Brotherhood, had been founded in Flanders in the 13th century and spread both doctrinal and civil disorder during the 14th century. The Beghards preached the immanence of God, and considered themselves perfect and without sin, alarming the Inquisition by demanding social justice for the poor. The Brethren of the Free Spirit admitted both men and women.

1374 CE - Dancing epidemics are attributed to revels of St. John's days, an adaptation of heathen ceremonies. Cases are recorded of the frenzied dancing of people unable to stop till dropping from exhaustion, having visions, and prophesying in the lower Rhine. In Italy similar epidemics were recorded as the Dance of the Tarantella, whose bite was found the only cure for the dancing.

1377 CE - Pope Gregory XI (1329 - 1378) returns the papacy to Rome.

1378 CE - French cardinals elect Clement VII (d. 1394) to the same office of the papacy which challenged the election of Urban VI (c.-1318 - 1389). Clement becomes known as the "Anti-Pope" and changes the papal residency to Avignon, France. Rome and Avignon have the "Great Schism" of rival popes for 40 years.

1376 CE - John Wycliffe (1320 - 1384), English priest, writes Civil Dominion calling for reforms in the Church. He begins the first English translation of the Bible in 1380 and is expelled from Oxford University in 1382, because of his opposition to traditional Church doctrines.

1384 CE - John Purvey, follower of John Wycliffe, revises the Wycliffe's translation of the bible.

1389 CE - The reviling of the Dominicans began due to one of their leading theologians having argued that Mary, mother of god, had been conceived in original sin. This ran counter to the opinions of the Franciscans and the theologians of the University of Paris. Pope Clement VII went along with the majority view, and decreed that the Virgin Mary had been immaculately conceived.

1390 CE - The Parliament of Paris rules that witchcraft was a civil, as well as an ecclesiastical, offence. The first secular trial for witchcraft held in Europe is in a Paris criminal court heard.

1390 CE - Milan, Italy, Inquisition Records of a woman tried by for belonging to the "Society of Diana", confessing to worshipping the "goddess of Night" and stating that "Diana" bestowed blessings on her.

1391 CE - Spanish Jews are forced to convert to Catholicism for the sake of "social and sectarian uniformity."

1398 CE - The theology faculty at the University of Paris declare all forms of magic or divination involve some sort of pact with the devil and are thus heresy, justifying the persecution of every possible sort of witchcraft. Witches were now viewed as heretics actively opposed to God and His Church. Witches in Europe were burnt as heretics because they were arraigned for heresy. English witches were hanged as felons because they were arraigned for felony.

1399 CE - England - The death penalty becomes the punishment for heresy, and many Lollards, Wyclif's lay followers, convert.

1400 CE - The Holy Roman Emporer Wenceslas IV is deposed due to drunkenness.

1400 CE - Africa - The emergence of Lake States and Central African Empires were established between Lakes Victoria and Edward, including kingdoms ruled by the Bachwezi, Luo, Bunyoro, Ankole, Buganda, and Karagwe. Engaruka, a town of 6,000 stone houses in Tanzania, played a key role in the emergence of Central African empires. Bunyoro was the most powerful state until the second half of the 18th century, with an elaborate centralized bureaucracy. Rwanda is founded by the Bachwezi (called Bututsi or Bahima), who rule over the settled Bantu peoples from the 16th century onward.

Swahili cities flourish on the east African coast of the Indian Ocean, an urban Swahili culture developed through mutual assimilation of Bantu and Arabic speakers. The ruling classes were of mixed Arab-African ancestry; the populace was Bantu, many of them slaves.

1400 CE - Czech students of John Wycliffe bring Wyclifism to the Bohemian capital of Prague. Preacher John Hus (1373-1415 CE) adopts Wyclif's theories to support his own claims against ecclesiastical extravagance.

1400 CE - The three cities expand and conquer most of Northern Italy, devising their own systems of government:

1400 to 1500 CE - Africa -The Great Zimbabwe, is the center of Bantu peoples that controlled a large part of interior southeast Africa. The Karanga peoples formed the Mwene Mutapa Empire, which derived its wealth from large-scale gold mining. At its height in the 15th century, its sphere of influence stretched from the Zambezi River, to the Kalahari, to the Indian Ocean and the Limpopo River.

1400s CE - European Convents begin to record exhibitions of animal manifestations. By the fifteenth century in Germany, one of the inmates of a nunnery was seized with a passion for biting her companions. The mania spread until most, if not all, of her fellow-nuns followed her example. The epidemic passed to other convents in Germany, Holland and across the Alps to Italy. In a French convent, one of the nuns began to mew like a cat, and severe measures were required to check the contagion which soon affected the other nuns."

1407 CE - The Rosicrucian Order began with one Christian Rosenkreuz, born in 1378 in Germany. Beginning in 1393, he visited Damascus, Egypt and Morocco where he sat under the masters of the occult arts. Upon his return to Germany, he began in 1407 the Rosicrucian Order with three monks from the cloister in which he had been raised. He also erected the House of the Holy Spirit (the Spiritus Sanctum) which was completed in 1409. The original group was enlarged to eight. Christian Rosenkreuz died in 1484 (at the age of 106) and was entombed in the Spiritus Sanctum. Knowledge of his tomb was lost, but it was rediscovered in 1604, its opening led to the spread of the Order anew.

1408 CE - Council of Oxford forbids translations of the Scriptures into the vernacular unless and until they were fully approved by Church authority, initiated by the Wycliffite Bible.

1409 CE - Pope John XXIII was elected Pontiff of the Catholic Church in direct opposition to the Popes in Rome and Avignon.

1413 CE - Sir John Oldcastle, Baron Cobham (1378-1417) was the leader of the Lollards he was condemned as a heretic, the Lollard uprising in England fails. Some Lollards retreat underground and aid the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century.

1415 CE - John Hus travels to the Council of Constance to propose his reforms for the Church. Upon his arrival at the Council, Hus is tried for heresy and burned. His death encourages further revolt by his followers.

1417 CE - The Council of Constance, the largest Church meeting in medieval history, ends the Great Schism. The council gains secular support and elects Martin V as pope. The Council of Constance removes Pope John XXIII, charging him with incest, sodomy and murder. This new period is known as the Italian territorial papacy, which lasts until 1517 replacing papal monarchy with a conciliar government, which recognizes a council of prelates as the pope's authority, and mandates the frequent meeting of the council. This new period is known as the Italian territorial papacy, which lasts until 1517 CE.

1420 CE - The lower class Hussites led by General John Zizka, defeat the German "crusaders."

1427 CE - Thomas a Kempis writes The Imitation of Christ, its major themes concern the path of Christian piety for those active in everyday life, communion with Christ, biblical meditation and a moral life, directing the individual through Orthodox mysticism. Originally in Latin, it is translated into European languages for the lay audience. The only sacrament suggested is the Eucharist.

1428 CE - Witch trials of Brianqon take place in the Dauphine. About 167 local people are burned as witches between 1428 and 1450.

1429 CE - Joan of Arc, a peasant girl in France, seeks out the French leader and relates her divinely - inspired mission to drive the English out of France. She is given control of the French troops and liberates most of central France.

1431 CE - Joan of Arc is captured and taken to England. The English accuse her of being a witch and condemn her for heresy. Joan is publicly burned in the city of Rouen.

1439 CE - Byzantine Emperor John VIII, hoping for Western military aid against the Turks, travels to Italy and negotiates a reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches at the Council of Florence. On hid return the leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church refuse to accept the reunion.

1439 CE - Africa - Portugal takes the Azores and increases expeditions along northwest African coast, eventually reaching the Gold Coast (modern Ghana). The Portuguese explorations were motivated by:

Wherever the Portuguese, the English, French, and Dutch went, they disrupted ongoing patterns of trade and political life and changed economic and religious systems.

1440 CE - Gilles de Rais was accused and tried of witchcraft and debaucheries.

1441 CE - Beginning of European slave trade in Africa with first shipment of African slaves sent directly from Africa to Portugal. With the complicity and blessings of the Catholic Church the Portuguese would come to dominate the gold, spice and slave trade for almost a century before other European nations became greatly involved. African slaves are soon sold in the market at Lisbon. About 10,000,000 Africans will be transported to Europe by 1901.

1448 CE - The Russian Orthodox Church declares its organizational independence from Constantinople and elects the first native-born Russian bishop, Jonas I. Prince Basil II of Russia imprisons Bishop Isidore of Moscow, a Greek, for accepting the reunion of Florence.

1450 CE - Pope Nicholas V authorizes the Portuguese to "attack, subject, and reduce to perpetual slavery the Saracens, pagans and other enemies of Christ southward from Cape Bajador and Non, including all the coast of Guinea."

1453 CE - Constantine XI, the last emperor of Byzantium, leads a force of 4,000 troops and succeeds in holding off 160,000 advancing Turks for seven weeks. The Ottomans defeat the Byzantine Empire and continue expanding into the Balkans. The Ottoman Turkish Empire moves its capital from Bursa to Istanbul (Constantinople). After 1500, the Moguls (1526-1857 CE) and the Safavids (1520-1736 CE) follow the military example set by the Ottomans and create two new empires.

1451 CE - North America - The Founding of Iroquois Confederacy.

1453 CE - A prior was accused of flying to the Sabbat, kissing a goat under its tail, and having carnal relations with a succubus by the Inquisition at Evreux and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1456 CE - The Inquisition burnt a man at Falaise whose crime was of flying to the Sabbat.

1457 CE - Bressanone, Italy - Nicholas of Cusa writes of the trial of three women who were tried for witchcraft and confessed to belonging to the "Society of Diana."

1459-1460 CE - The witch trials at Arras demonstrate the Inquisition was still trying to establish what constituted witchcraft. Pierre le Broussart, the inquisitor at Arras, tried a woman accused of the Waldensian (Vaudois) heresy. Under torture, she named accomplices, five of whom were accused of flying on sticks, trampling the Cross-, and adoring the Devil. The inquisitor burnt them as Vaudois heretics.

1461 CE - The Parliament of Paris intervened and demanded the release of some of the prisoners held at Arras. The Bishop of Arras hurried back to his diocese in time to release the remaining prisoners.

1473 CE - Sistine Chapel built, under supervision of Giovanni de Dolci.

1478 CE - Inquisition established by Pope Sixtus IV.

1481 to 1482 CE - Africa - El Mina is founded on the West African "Gold Coast," trading settlements established by the Portuguese. Gold, ivory, and slaves were exchanged for ironware, firearms, and textiles.

1483 CE - Martin Luther was born at Eisleben, Germany, November 10.

1484 CE - The Papal Bull Summis desiderantes is issued by Pope Innocent VIII, authorizing Jakob Sprenger, Dean of Cologne University, and Prior Heinrich Kramer, both Dominican monks, to systematize and categorize the persecution of witches.

1486 CE - The publication of Malleus Maleficarum known as "The Hammer of Witches", by Sprenger and Kramer. Based upon their experiences in Germany, this manual for witch hunters ran to 40 editions. In their opinion, witchcraft was based upon sexual lust - "All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable."

"All wickedness," wrote the authors, "is but little to the wickedness of a woman. ... What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colours. ... Women are by nature instruments of Satan -- they are by nature carnal, a structural defect rooted in the original creation." (Quoted in Katz, The Holocaust in Historical Context, Vol. I, pp. 438-39.) Declaring that not believing in witches is heresy and to maintain the opposite opinion is heresy.

Later census showed 100,000 trials between 1450 and 1750, with between 40,000 and 50,000 executions, of which 20 to 25 per cent were men and 75 to 80 percent of those accused and convicted of witchcraft were female.

1488 CE - A Papal Bull is issued, calling upon European nations to rescue the church because it is "imperiled by the arts of Satan."

1490 CE - King Charles VIII issues an edict against fortunetellers, enchanters, necromancers and others engaging in any sort of witchcraft.

1491 CE - The Parliament of Paris rebuked the Inquisition for its handling of the Arras trials, and called for prayers to be said for those who were burnt.

1492 CE - Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile end Muslim rule in Spain, later becoming benefactors of Christopher Columbus in his voyage to the Americas.

Pre 1492 CE - The Indigenous population of Native-American aboriginal population in the pre- Columbus Period is estimated to be between 50 to 70 million people, with 10 + million in North America, 15 + million in Mesoamerica, and around 30 + million in South America. Tribes by regions were:

By the 16th century an estimated 100,000 Europeans had become permanent emigrants to the Americas - bringing with them disease, war, slavery, and the destruction of existing agriculture and food-stocks, which devastated the native populations. Within 100 years an estimated 15,000,000 Native American Indians died from conquering European armies looting for gold and other riches. They brought with them smallpox, measles, cholera, and venereal diseases foreign to the populations of the indigenous peoples of the North, Meso, and South America, which decimated the native populations. By 1800 CE, only 600,000 Native Americans were left in the United States, which dropped to 250,000 by 1900 CE.

1494 CE - Columbus sends five hundred Carib Indians taken in wars with the Caciques to be sold as slaves at Seville. Queen Isabella suspends the royal order for their sale and requests an inquiry into the lawfulness of the sale. Theologians differ on the lawfulness of the sale. The Indians are eventually shipped back home. 

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