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Papacy

1202 – The Crusader Siege of Zara

On This Day – 10 November 1202

The siege of Zara began. This was the first major action of the fourth crusade and the first attack against a Catholic city by Catholic crusaders. The attack was forbidden by Pope Innocent III who threatened the crusaders with excommunication.

Continue reading “1202 – The Crusader Siege of Zara”

1498 – Girolamo Savonarola dies

23 May

An Italian Dominican friar, preacher and de facto ruler of Florence, Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake in Florence on this day in 1498.

Continue reading “1498 – Girolamo Savonarola dies”

1387 – Battle of Castagnaro

11 March

The Battle of Castagnaro was fought on this day in 1387 at Castagnaro (today’s Veneto, northern Italy) between Verona and Padua. It is one of the most famous battles of the Italian condottieri* age. Continue reading “1387 – Battle of Castagnaro”

380 – Edict of Thessalonica

27 February

The Edict of Thessalonica, also known as Cunctos populos, was issued on 27 February 380 AD. It ordered all subjects of the Roman Empire to profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria, making Nicene Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Continue reading “380 – Edict of Thessalonica”

1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy

16 January

The House of Medici was an Italian banking family, political dynasty and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de’ Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside, gradually rising until they were able to fund the Medici Bank. The bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, seeing the Medici gain political power in Florence — though officially they remained citizens rather than monarchs. Continue reading “1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy”

1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral

29 December

Thomas Becket (21 December c. 1119 (or 1120) – 29 December 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. Continue reading “1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral”

336 – First documentary sign of Christmas celebrations in Rome

25 December

The Christian ecclesiastical calendar contains many remnants of pre-Christian festivals. Christmas includes elements of the Roman feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra. The Chronography of 354 AD contains early evidence of the celebration on December 25 of a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus. This was in Rome, while in Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6. The December 25 celebration was imported into the East later: in Antioch by John Chrysostom towards the end of the 4th century, probably in 388, and in Alexandria only in the following century. Even in the West, the January 6 celebration of the nativity of Jesus seems to have continued until after 380.

1590 – Pope Urban VII dies making this the shortest papacy in history.

27 September – On this day

Pope Urban VII (4 August 1521 – 27 September 1590), born Giovanni Battista Castagna, was Pope from 15 to 27 September 1590. His twelve-day papacy was the shortest in history. Continue reading “1590 – Pope Urban VII dies making this the shortest papacy in history.”

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