Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries

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Eleventh Century

±1000 AD Venice begins to evolve as a great commercial centre.

Norwegian Vikings reach North America.

1016AD The Danish conqueror Canute becomes King of England

1054AD The Byzantine Church breaks with Rome.

William of Normandy wins battle of Hastings and becomes King of England

±1075AD Wool-manufacturing towns of Flanders help to revive European trade.

1080-1140AD Peter Abelard writes letters to Héloïse.

William IX, Duke of Normandy – the first known troubadour.

1087AD The Moslems build Timbuktu as a centre of commerce and learning.

±1090AD The Song of Roland composed in Medieval French. Chinese text mentions use of the compass by Arabs.

1095-1099AD First Crusade captures Jerusalem.

Twelfth Century

±1100-1200AD Chanson de Roland written. Growth of drama in China after Mongol take-over

2nd Crusade (1147-1149AD).

Growth of drama in China after Mongol take-over

1123AD Omar Khayyam (?-1123), poet and astronomer, dies

1153AD The Islamic geographer Idrisi’s The Pleasure of the Ardent Inquirer, containing his circular map of the world.

1163AD Notre Dame Cathedral begun in Paris

1170AD Thomas à Beckett murdered in Canterbury. Mystère d’Adam performed in France.

1187AD Saladin defeats the crusaders and takes Jerusalem.

1189-1192AD 3rd Crusade.

Thirteenth Century

1202-1204AD The height of the Great Zimbabwe tradition of settlement by the Shona (±1200-1300AD); 4th Crusade.

1203AD Nibelungenlied written in Germany. Incas begin to settle in Peru.

1209AD Cambridge University founded.

1215AD Magna Carta signed in England.

1217AD Beginning of 5th–7thCrusades (1217-1254AD).

±1235AD Le Roman de la Rose begun (±1235-77AD).

1258AD Mapungupwe starts becoming the dominant power in the Limpopo Valley. The Mongol Hulagu Khan takes Baghdad ending Abbasid rule.

1259AD Hulagu Khan sets up an observatory at Maraga, Persia.

±1265AD Marco Polo begins his travels.

±1285AD Spectacles made in Northern Italy.

1291AD Vessels from Genoa circumnavigate Africa, past Cape of Storms. Aztecs enter and begin to settle Mexico.

1292AD Marco Polo discovers a Moslem kingdom on Sumatra.

1295AD Ghazan Khan the Mongol converted to Islam.

Fourteenth Century

±1300AD A range of ritual and social dances, stories and songs evolve among the various groups (Sotho-Tswana, Nguni and Khoisan) and develop specific forms and styles over two centuries; Settlement begins of the various regions of South Africa by Sotho-Tswana speakers (highveld interior), Nguni speakers (south eastern coast and Drakensberg), while the the Khoisan become the dominant society in the easternand western Cape. Ongoing records of social, ritual and other activities are kept in rock paintings; The Ottoman Turkish conquest of Asia minor begins, diminishing the Byzantine empire.

1306AD Giotto’s The Lamentation.

±1310AD Mechanical clock perfected (±1310); Mystery and Miracle cycles flourish in England and France, often after feast of Corpus Christi; Iron Age expansion into grasslands begins.

±1320AD Firearms used in Europe.

1321AD The Divina Commedia by Dante.

1337AD 100 Years War begins between England and France.

1342AD Petrarch’s Africa.

1347AD General revolt by peasants starts against nobility in Italy, France and England (1347-81).

1348AD Boccacio’s Decameron begun (1348-53). Bubonic Plague (“The Black Death” – 1348-50).

1353AD Most of the Alhambra Palace is completed in Granada, Spain.

c. 1363 – c. 1443 Zeami writes his plays and theories of acting in Japan.

±1375AD Ibn Khaldun, the great Moslem historian, begins his Muqaddima. Noh drama developed in Japan and its conventions codified

1379AD Timur the Lame (Tamerlane) invades Persia from the North.

±1387AD Chaucer begins The Canterbury Tales.

Fifteenth Century

1401 The Rederykerskamer Het Boeck founded in Brussel.

±1402AD Decline of overland routes and search for alternative (maritime) routes to the East begins. Guild of amateur actors (Confraternity of the Passion) formed in Paris. Development of various chiefdoms among the Bantu-speaking inhabitants of the interior (Sotho-group).

±1405AD Chinese Ming Dynasty begins sending fleets to India, Persia and Africa.

1414AD Vitruvius’s De Architectura discovered in manuscript at Gallen .

1419AD Bruneleschi designs and begins dome of cathedral in Florence. He also develops ideas of perspective in drawing.

±1425AD The Morality play appears, as The Castle of Perseverence

1434-64AD Cosimo de Medici begins his domination of Florence.

±1440-2AD Donatello’s David. Slave trade begins in Africa’s Rio do Ouro region.

±1450AD Invention of printing with moveable type. Perspective as a device mastered by most Italian artists.

1453AD Fall of Constantinople and end of 100 Years War. Taken by Ottoman Turks.

1454AD Gutenberg produces first printed Bible

1455AD Wars of the Roses begin in England.

1465AD Printing press imported into Italy.

1472AD Plautus’s Plays published in Italy

1474AD Seneca’s Plays published in Italy (1474-84)

1478AD Spanish Inquisition begins.

1479AD Horatius’s Ars Poetica published in Italy.

1480AD Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

1486AD Vitruvius’s De Architectura published in Italy

1488AD Bartholomeu Dias sails past the Cape of Storms and reaches Mossel Bay.

±1490-1500AD Aztecs control most of Mexico, Inca Empire at its maximum extension from Colombia to Chile.

1492-3AD Columbus reaches America (1st and 2nd voyanges). In Granada Moslems libraries destroyed, Moslems and Jews expelled by Christians. Granada falls to the Christians.

±1495 Leonardo da Vinci begins The Last Supper. Everyman performed and also printed in Dutch.

1497-8AD Savanarola burnt at the stake (1498). Aristotle’s Poetics and Aristophanes’s Plays published in Italy. Vasco Da Gama describes how, anchored in Mossel Bay in 1497 he saw 200 negroes come to the beach with oxen, and playing on flutes and dancing, and the sailors did the same in the boats. Vasco da Gama sails around Cape and reaches Natal (25 December 1497) and India. Returns by same route.

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