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Worshipful Company of Fishmongers
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Dunstable John
John Dunstable - Sancta Maria, non est tibi similis
John Dunstable -  O rosa bella
John Dunstable - Motets - Quam pulcra es
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Battle of Sempach
Vladislav II, King of Poland
Milan Cathedral
Barnaba da Modena
Barnaba da Modena
Heidelberg University
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
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Battle of Otterburn
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Truce of Leulinghem
Bayezid I
Boniface IX
YEAR BY YEAR:  1300 - 1399
1386 - 1386
Leopold III, Duke of Austria defeated and killed by the Swiss at Sempach
Battle of Sempach


The Battle of Sempach was fought on July 9, 1386, between Leopold III, Duke of Austria, and the Old Swiss Confederacy.


The battle scene in the fresco in the battle chapel at Sempach.
Date July 9, 1386
Location Sempach
Result Decisive Swiss victory
Old Swiss Confederacy
 Archduchy of Austria
Commanders and leaders
 Petermann von Gundoldingen Leopold III, Duke of Austria
Johann von Ochsenstein  
Johann von Waldburg
ca. 1,400 (400 of Lucerne, 900 of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, 100 other) ca. 4,000, including 1,500 horse (dismounted)
Casualties and losses
ca. 200 ca. 1,500, among them ca. 600 noblemen


During 1383-1384, the expansion of the Old Swiss Confederacy collided with Austrian interests. The interests of Austria were further undermined in the Pact of Constance, a union of Zürich, Zug, Solothurn and 51 cities of Swabia. In 1385, there were various attacks, without formal declaration of war or central organization, by forces of Zürich, Zug and Lucern on the Austrian strongholds of Rapperswil, Rothenburg Cham and Wolhusen.

In January 1386, Lucerne expanded its sphere of influence by entering pacts with number of towns and valleys under Austrian control, including Entlebuch, Sempach, Meienberg, Reichensee and Willisau. This move was the immediate cause of war. A local Austrian force defeated the confederate garrison at Meienberg.

On 14 January, Lucerne called the confederaces for assistance. An armistice was called on 21 February, and negotiations were held in Zürich. But neither side had any real interest in ending the conflict at this point, and as the armistice ended, the conflict escalated into a full-scale military confrontation.

Duke Leopold gathered his troops at Brugg, consisting of his feudal vassals from Swabia, the Alsace, Aargau, Thurgau, Tyrol, as well as bourgeois forces of various towns and Italian, French and German mercenaries. In the course of a few weeks, no less than 167 noblemen, both secular and of the church, declared war on the Swiss.

These declarations were sent to the Swiss diet in 20 packets, in order to increase the effect of shock.

  On 24 June, a messenger from Württemberg brought 15 declarations of war.

Before all letters had read, the messenger from Pfirt delivered another eight, and before he had finished speaking, letters from the lords of Schaffhausen were brought in. Another eight messengers arrived on the following day.

The gathering of Austrian forces at Brugg suggested an intended attack on Zürich, and the Confederate forces moved to protect that city. But Leopold marched south, to Zofingen and on to Willisau, apparently with the intention of ravaging the Lucerne countryside and perhaps ultimately aiming for the city of Lucerne. The Austrian army had a troop of mowers with them with the purpose of cutting down the corn and destroying the harvests along their route. The town of Willisau was plundered and burned, and the army moved on to Sursee on Lake Sempach, and thence towards Sempach on 9 July.

Leopold's men taunted those behind the walls of the town, and a knight waved a noose at them and promised them he would use it on their leaders. Another mockingly pointed to the soldiers setting fire to the ripe fields of grain, and asked them to send a breakfast to the reapers. From behind the walls, there was a shouted retort: "Lucerne and the allies will bring them breakfast!"

Confederate troops of Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden had marched back from Zürich once it became clear that this was not Leopold's target. The forces of Zürich had remained behind defending their own city, while those of Berne had not heeded the confederate call for assistance.


The battle in a woodcut by Niklaus Manuel
The Battle
Depiction of the battle in the Luzerner Schilling (1513)The Confederation army had presumably assembled at the bridge over the Reuss River at Gisikon. It marched from there, hoping to catch Leopold still at Sempach where he could be pressed against the lake. Around noon, the two armies made contact about 2 km outside of Sempach. This was to the mutual surprise of both armies, which were both on the move and not in battle order. But both sides were willing to engage and formed ranks. The site of the battle is marked by the old battle chapel, which was originally consecrated in the year after the battle.

The Swiss held the wooded high ground close to the village of Hildisrieden. Since the terrain was not deemed suitable for a cavalry attack, Leopold's knights dismounted, and because they did not have time to prepare for the engagement, they were forced to cut off the tips of their poulaines which would have hindered their movement on foot.

The Swiss chroniclers report how a huge pile of these shoe-tips was found in a heap after the battle, and they are also depicted in the background of the battle scene in the Lucerne Chronicle of 1513.

The main body of the Confederation army finally completed its deployment from the marching column, formed up, and attacked the knights from the flank aggressively.

  The Austrian force, on the other hand, formed a wide rank and threatened to surround the outnumbered confederates. How and at what point the battle turned in favour of the confederates is a matter of debate.

It has been suggested that an important factor was the midday heat in July, which wore out the Austrian knights wearing heavy armour much more than the lightly armed confederates (some of which had reportedly no other "armour" than a wooden plank tied to their left arm as a shield).

Another factor may have been a fatal underestimation of the confederates on the part of the nobility. According to the account by Tschudi, seeing the small strength of the confederate force, the nobles were concerned that if they sent the mercenaries in front, as would have been common practice, they might not see any action at all, as the mercenaries would finish the job on their own. Therefore they insisted to stand in front, placing the mercenary force behind them.

Traditional Swiss historiography since the 16th century has attributed the turning of the tide to the heroic deed of Arnold von Winkelried, who opened a breach in the Habsburg lines by throwing himself into their pikes, taking them down with his body so that the confederates could attack through the opening. Winkelried is usually explained as a legendary figure introduced to explain the Swiss victory against the odds, perhaps as late as a full century after the battle.

The earliest evidence of the Winkelried legend is the depiction of the battle in the Lucerne Chronicle of 1513.

The oldest accounts of the battle are unambiguous in the judgement that the Swiss victory was against all odds and expectations, and is attributed to the grace of God. In any case, the Swiss did break through the Austrian ranks and routed the enemy army completely. Duke Leopold and with him a large number of nobles and knights were slain, including several members of the noble families of Aarberg, Baldegg, Bechburg, Büttikon, Eptingen, Falkenstein, Hallwil, Reinach, Rotberg and Wetter.

The Swiss confederacy in 1385 and in 1416.
An armistice was agreed upon on 12 October, followed by a peace agreement valid for one year, beginning on 14 January 1387.

The battle was a severe blow to Austrian interests in the region, and allowed for the further growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy. Already weakened by the 1379 division of Habsburg lands, Leopoldian control of the territories left of the Rhine would collapse over the following years, not least due to the death toll among the local elites loyal to Habsburg. This allowed the confederate cities, especially Lucerne, Bern and Solothurn, an unchecked expansion into the undefended Habsburg lands. Bern, which had not participated in the Sempach war, took the opportunity and began its conquest of what would become the canton of Bern, sending military expeditions into the Jura, the Oberland, Emmental and Aargau. Lucerne by 1389 was able to consolidate its control over the towns around lake Sempach, Willisau and the Entlebuch, largely corresponding to the extent of the modern canton of Lucerne. Glarus also took the opportunity to rebel against Habsburg control and established its independence in the Battle of Näfels in 1388.

A new peace agreement between the confederacy and Austria was concluded on 1 April 1389, valid for seven years, extended to 20 years on 16 July 1394.


The battle by Karl Jauslin
Not without justification, the Battle of Sempach came to be seen as the decisive turning point between the foundation of the confederacy as a loose pact in the 14th century, and its growth into a significant political and military power during the 15th century.

At the peak of the military success of the Eight Cantons in the period of 1470 to 1510, Swiss historiography paid great attention to the Battle of Sempach. It is depicted in the Swiss illustrated chronicles of the period, and discussed by Reformation era historiographers such as Aegidius Tschudi and Wernher Steiner. Since there are few historiographical accounts of the battle predating 1470, it is difficult to judge the historicity of the individual details.

The legend of Arnold Winkelried is recorded in this period, but it cannot be shown to predate 1500.
  The battle chapel at Sempach was consecrated already in 1387. A yearly mass was celebrated there on the day of the battle. The chapel was repeatedly enlarged. It was decorated with a fresco in 1551, which was restored and enlarged in 1638–1643, 1695, 1741–43, 1747, and 1886. The current fresco is largely a restoration of the painting of 1643.

Swiss patriotism in the restored Confederacy of 1815–1847 rediscovered the formative phase of the Old Confederacy as a source of national identity. The modern Sempacherlied is a product of 1830s patriotism. During the World Wars, the Swiss policy of armed neutrality was also ideologically fuelled by reference to the military successes of the medieval confederacy.

Swiss modernist author Robert Walser (1878–1956) recounts the Battle of Sempach in brief but violent detail in his short story "The Battle of Sempach".

Vladislav II, King of Poland

Wladyslaw II Jagiełło, Lithuanian Jogaila, or Iogaila, English Jagiello, or Jagello (born c. 1351—died May 31/June 1, 1434, Grodek, near Lwów, Galicia, Pol. [now Lviv, Ukraine]), grand duke of Lithuania (as Jogaila, 1377–1401) and king of Poland (1386–1434), who joined two states that became the leading power of eastern Europe. He was the founder of Poland’s Jagiellon dynasty.


Wladyslaw III by Marcello Bacciarelli
  Early life
Jogaila (Jagiełło in Polish) was one of the 12 sons of Algirdas (Olgierd), grand duke of Lithuania, who named him his heir apparent. When his father died in 1377, Jogaila’s title of grand duke was disputed by his relatives, and only after several years and some ruthless actions—such as the imprisonment and murder of his uncle Kęstutis (Kejstut)—did his rule become as secure as his father’s had been.

Part of this reign had to be devoted to winning over Keştutis’ son Vytautas (Witold in Polish), who, with the backing of the Teutonic Order, was a rival candidate for the throne of Lithuania. In the decades that followed, Jogaila and his cousin were alternately allies and foes.

In 1384 Polish nobles, who wanted a strong ruler who could help them in their attempts at recovering territory from Hungary, offered Jogaila marriage to the young Polish queen, Jadwiga (Hedwig, born in 1373 or 1374), to share her throne on the condition that he Christianize Lithuania and unite it completely with Poland. Jogaila considered the plan strategically advantageous.

The agreements were set forth in the Treaty of Krewo (1385). Elected king of Poland on Feb. 2, 1386, Jogaila was baptized as a Roman Catholic, taking the name Władysław II, on February 15, married Jadwiga on February 18, and was crowned king on March 4 in Cracow. He began at once to convert Lithuania to Roman Catholicism.

As long as Queen Jadwiga lived, Władysław, though not content to play the role of prince consort, nevertheless was regarded as a foreigner and had to come to terms with a queen who had the prerogative of acting in her own right. Not until Jadwiga died childless in 1399 did he really become the leading personality in Poland, and even then many months were to pass before a second event turned his leadership to good advantage. The Teutonic Order had been successfully exploiting further dissension between him and Vytautas, but this subsided when, by the Treaty of Vilnius in 1401, Władysław recognized Vytautas as supreme duke of Lithuania on the condition that Poland and Lithuania be indissolubly united by a common foreign policy.

Poland and Lithuania 1386–1434
Rule of Poland and Lithuania
In foreign policy Władysław had four major problems to be solved: restoring Lithuania’s and Poland’s position vis-à-vis the Teutonic Order; halting aggression by the Tatars; regaining Ruthenia, occupied by Hungary; and expanding Poland’s influence in the southeast against its Hungarian rival. In all areas Władysław was successful—thanks, in regard to the first two problems, to the military help of the energetic Vytautas. In a series of wars (1409–11, 1414, 1422, 1431–32)—the first of which included the Battle of Tannenberg (Polish Grunwald; July 15, 1410)—the Teutonic Order was defeated and lost its leading position in northeastern Europe. The territorial losses of the order were small (Samogitia to Lithuania and a little territory on the Vistula River to Poland), but its military and financial power was weakened once and for all.

As for the Tatars, they defeated Vytautas in 1399 at the Battle on the River Vorskla, at the cost of a decisive check on their own territorial expansion. For Władysław this was a double victory: the Tatars were weakened, and Vytautas’ endeavours to become a fully independent ruler of a more powerful Lithuania were brought to an end by the defeat.

Ruthenia was recovered from Hungary as early as 1387, and Poland grew strong enough to make the prince of Moldavia its vassal.
In 1412 Władysław even came to terms with Hungary, formerly an ally of the Teutonic Order, in exchange for a loan. Continually, he played his hand cautiously: although he supported the Hussites in their struggle against King Sigismund of Bohemia and Hungary, for example, he refrained from intervention. Władysław ended his reign with good relations between Poland and Hungary.

In domestic policies Władysław was less successful. He energetically Christianized those parts of Lithuania still pagan, but he was unable to incorporate Lithuania into Poland as he had promised and was forced to let Vytautas act virtually as a sovereign. After Vytautas’ death in 1430, Władysław was still unable to restore his authority in Lithuania, and, after a period of civil war, Vytautas’ brother became governor in Lithuania. In Poland the nobility strengthened its position, especially during the latter part of Władysław’s reign, and Władysław was unable to win the burghers to his side and use them politically as a counterweight to the nobles. In questions of national religion the king showed resoluteness, particularly in his attempt to suppress the Polish followers of Jan Hus.

Władysław died in 1434. Subsequent to his marriage to Jadwiga he had married three times. His fourth wife became the mother of the future kings Władysław III and Casimir IV.

Gotthold K.S. Rhode

Encyclopædia Britannica

Wladyslaw at the Battle of Varna.
Unfinished painting by Jan Matejko.
Work begins on Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Milano; Lombard: Domm de Milan) is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent), it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola.

The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory.


Duomo di Milano from the Square.
Milan's layout, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, reveals that the Duomo occupies what was the most central site in Roman Mediolanum, that of the public basilica facing the forum. Saint Ambrose's 'New Basilica' was built on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. The old baptistery (Battistero Paleocristiano, constructed in 335) still can be visited under the Milan Cathedral, it is one of the oldest Christian buildings in Europe. When a fire damaged cathedral and basilica in 1075, they were later rebuilt as the Duomo.
The beginning
In 1386, Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction of the cathedral. Start of the construction coincided with the accession to power in Milan of the archbishop's cousin Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and was meant as a reward to the noble and working classes, who had suffered under his tyrannical Visconti predecessor Barnabò. Before actual work began, three main buildings were demolished: the palace of the Archbishop, the Ordinari Palace and the Baptistry of St. Stephen at the Spring, while the old church of Sta. Maria Maggiore was exploited as a stone quarry. Enthusiasm for the immense new building soon spread among the population, and the shrewd Gian Galeazzo, together with his cousin the archbishop, collected large donations for the work-in-progress. The construction program was strictly regulated under the "Fabbrica del Duomo", which had 300 employees led by first chief engineer Simone da Orsenigo. Orsenigo initially planned to build the cathedral from brick in Lombard Gothic style.

Visconti had ambitions to follow the newest trends in European architecture. In 1389, a French chief engineer, Nicolas de Bonaventure, was appointed, adding to the church its Rayonnant Gothic, a French style not typical for Italy. He decided that the brick structure should be panelled with marble. Galeazzo gave the Fabbrica del Duomo exclusive use of the marble from the Candoglia quarry and exempted it from taxes. Ten years later another French architect, Jean Mignot, was called from Paris to judge and improve upon the work done, as the masons needed new technical aid to lift stones to an unprecedented height. Mignot declared all the work done up till then as in pericolo di ruina ("peril of ruin"), as it had been done sine scienzia ("without science").

  In the following years Mignot's forecasts proved untrue, but anyway they spurred Galeazzo's engineers to improve their instruments and techniques.

Work proceeded quickly, and at the death of Gian Galeazzo in 1402, almost half the cathedral was complete. Construction, however, stalled almost totally until 1480, due to lack of money and ideas: the most notable works of this period were the tombs of Marco Carelli and Pope Martin V (1424) and the windows of the apse (1470s), of which those extant portray St. John the Evangelist, by Cristoforo de' Mottis, and Saint Eligius and San John of Damascus, both by Niccolò da Varallo. In 1452, under Francesco Sforza, the nave and the aisles were completed up to the sixth bay.

In 1500 to 1510, under Ludovico Sforza, the octagonal cupola was completed, and decorated in the interior with four series of 15 statues each, portraying saints, prophets, sibyls and other characters of the Bible. The exterior long remained without any decoration, except for the Guglietto dell'Amadeo ("Amadeo's Little Spire"), constructed 1507-1510. This is a Renaissance masterwork which nevertheless harmonized well with the general Gothic appearance of the church.

During the subsequent Spanish domination, the new church proved usable, even though the interior remained largely unfinished, and some bays of the nave and the transepts were still missing. In 1552 Giacomo Antegnati was commissioned to build a large organ for the north side of the choir, and Giuseppe Meda provided four of the sixteen pales which were to decorate the altar area (the program was completed by Federico Borromeo).
In 1562, Marco d' Agrate's St. Bartholomew and the famous Trivulzio candelabrum (12th century) were added.


San Bartolomeo
  Charles Borromeo
After the accession of Carlo Borromeo to the archbishop's throne, all lay monuments were removed from the Duomo. These included the tombs of Giovanni, Barnabò and Filippo Maria Visconti, Francesco I and his wife Bianca, Galeazzo Maria and Lodovico Sforza, which were brought to unknown destinations.

However, Borromeo's main intervention was the appointment, in 1571, of Pellegrino Pellegrini as chief engineer— a contentious move, since to appoint Pellegrino, who was not a lay brother of the duomo, required a revision of the Fabbrica's statutes.

Borromeo and Pellegrini strove for a new, Renaissance appearance for the cathedral, that would emphasise its Roman / Italian nature, and subdue the Gothic style, which was now seen as foreign. As the façade still was largely incomplete, Pellegrini designed a "Roman" style one, with columns, obelisks and a large tympanum.

When Pellegrini's design was revealed, a competition for the design of the façade was announced, and this elicited nearly a dozen entries, including one by Antonio Barca.

This design was never carried out, but the interior decoration continued: in 1575-1585 the presbytery was rebuilt, while new altars and the baptistry were added in the nave.

Wooden choir stalls were constructed by 1614 for the main altar by Francesco Brambilla.

In 1577 Borromeo finally consecrated the whole edifice as a new church, distinct from the old Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla (which had been unified in 1549 after heavy disputes).

17th century
At the beginning of the 17th century Federico Borromeo had the foundations of the new façade laid by Francesco Maria Richini and Fabio Mangone. Work continued until 1638 with the construction of five portals and two middle windows. In 1649, however, the new chief architect Carlo Buzzi introduced a striking revolution: the façade was to revert to original Gothic style, including the already finished details within big Gothic pilasters and two giant belfries. Other designs were provided by, among others, Filippo Juvarra (1733) and Luigi Vanvitelli (1745), but all remained unapplied. In 1682 the façade of Santa Maria Maggiore was demolished and the cathedral's roof covering completed.

In 1762 one of the main features of the cathedral, the Madonnina's spire, was erected at the dizzying height of 108.5 m. The spire was designed by Francesco Croce and sports at the top a famous polychrome Madonnina statue, designed by Giuseppe Perego that befits the original stature of the cathedral. Given Milan's notoriously damp and foggy climate, the Milanese consider it a fair-weather day when the Madonnina is visible from a distance, as it is so often covered by mist.


The Cathedral in 1856.
On May 20, 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte, about to be crowned King of Italy, ordered the façade to be finished. In his enthusiasm, he assured that all expenses would fall to the French treasurer, who would reimburse the Fabbrica for the real estate it had to sell. Even though this reimbursement was never paid, it still meant that finally, within only seven years, the Cathedral had its façade completed. The new architect, Felice Soave, largely followed Buzzi's project, adding some neo-Gothic details to the upper windows. As a form of thanksgiving, a statue of Napoleon was placed at the top of one of the spires. Napoleon was crowned King of Italy at the Duomo.
In the following years, most of the missing arches and spires were constructed. The statues on the southern wall were also finished, while in 1829-1858, new stained glass windows replaced the old ones, though with less aesthetically significant results.
The last details of the cathedral were finished only in the 20th century: the last gate was inaugurated on January 6, 1965.
  This date is considered the very end of a process which had proceeded for generations, although even now, some uncarved blocks remain to be completed as statues. The Duomo's main façade went under renovation from 2003 to early 2009: as of February 2009, it has been completely uncovered, showing again the colours of the Candoglia marble.

In November of 2012 officials announced a campaign to raise funds for the cathedral's preservation by asking patrons to adopt the building's gargoyles. Due to pollution, the 14th-century building requires regular maintenance and recent austerity cuts to Italy's culture budget has left less money for upkeep of cultural institutions, including the cathedral.

To help make up funds, Duomo management launched a campaign offering its 135 gargoyles up for "adoption." Donors who contribute €100,000 (about $128,000 Cdn) or more will have their name engraved under one of the grotesque figures perched on the cathedral's rooftop. The figures serve as drainage pipes.


The famous "Madonnina" atop the main spire of the cathedral,
a baroque gilded bronze statue
Architecture and art
The plan consists of a nave with four side-aisles, crossed by a transept and then followed by choir and apse. The height of the nave is about 45 meters, the highest Gothic vaults of a complete church (less than the 48 meters of Beauvais Cathedral, which was never completed).

The roof is open to tourists (for a fee), which allows many a close-up view of some spectacular sculpture that would otherwise be unappreciated.
The roof of the cathedral is renowned for the forest of openwork pinnacles and spires, set upon delicate flying buttresses.
  The cathedral's five broad naves, divided by 40 pillars, are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the façade. Even the transepts have aisles.

The nave columns are 24.5 metres (80 ft) high, and the apsidal windows are 20.7 x 8.5 metres (68 x 28 feet). The huge building is of brick construction, faced with marble from the quarries which Gian Galeazzo Visconti donated in perpetuity to the cathedral chapter. Its maintenance and repairs are very complicated.

Milan’s cathedral has recently developed a new lighting system, based on LED lights.


Interior view of the Duomo di Milano
Aesthetic judgements
The cathedral was built over several hundred years in a number of contrasting styles and the quality of the workmanship varies markedly. Reactions to it have ranged from admiration to disfavour. The Guida d’Italia: Milano 1998 (Touring Club Editore, p. 154) points out that the early Romantics tended to praise it in “the first intense enthusiasms for Gothic.” As the Gothic Revival brought in a purer taste, condemnation was often equally intense.

John Ruskin commented acidly that the cathedral steals

"from every style in the world: and every style spoiled. The cathedral is a mixture of Perpendicular with Flamboyant, the latter being peculiarly barbarous and angular, owing to its being engrafted, not on a pure, but a very early penetrative Gothic … The rest of the architecture among which this curious Flamboyant is set is a Perpendicular with horizontal bars across: and with the most detestable crocketing, utterly vile. Not a ray of invention in a single form… Finally the statues all over are of the worst possible common stonemasons’ yard species, and look pinned on for show. The only redeeming character about the whole being the frequent use of the sharp gable … which gives lightness, and the crowding of the spiry pinnacles into the sky.”

The plastered ceiling painted to imitate elaborate tracery carved in stone particularly aroused his contempt as a “gross degradation”.

While appreciating the force of Ruskin’s criticisms, Henry James was more appreciative: “A structure not supremely interesting, not logical, not … commandingly beautiful, but grandly curious and superbly rich. … If it had no other distinction it would still have that of impressive, immeasurable achievement … a supreme embodiment of vigorous effort.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  Gothic Art


Sculpture and Stained Glass

Barnaba da Modena

ca.1330-1386. Italian Painter. Italian painter.


Verkundigung an Maria
Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlung
Although a native of Modena (Emilia), he was first recorded as a Genoese citizen, hiring Tuscan assistants in 1361 and 1362. He was paid for paintings for the Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, in 1364; a Virgin and Child (1367; Frankfurt am Main, Städel. Kstinst.), signed in Janua, is thought to be by him. His earliest certain painting is the damaged polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (Genoa, Pal. Bianco), signed, unlike later works, in capital letters.

Its frame awkwardly combines the light Gothic arcading of Tuscan polyptychs with the continuous contour and simple gables of Emilian design.
  The incongruities of figure scale, the blackish undertone to the flesh painting and the small features and tall cranium of the Child all derive from Venetian painting, while the careful modelling of Mary’s eyes and puckered lips show the influence of the Lorenzetti brothers and their Sienese followers. Another Virgin and Child (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) by Barnaba reflects Sienese painting in its rounded faces and gold-striated highlights on Mary’s mantle. His small Virgin and Crucifixion (Modena, Gal. & Mus. Estense) and the St Bartholomew altarpiece (Genoa, S. Bartolomeo del Fossato), with simple architectural settings, brilliant colours and delicate goldwork, are probably from the 1360s.
Barnaba da Modena
Gothic & Early Renaissance Art

Heidelberg University

The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Heidelberg University, Ruperto Carola) is a public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. Heidelberg has been a coeducational institution since 1899. Today the university consists of twelve faculties and offers degree programmes at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in some 100 disciplines. It is a German Excellence University, as well as a founding member of the League of European Research Universities and the Coimbra Group.

Rupert I, Elector Palatine established the university when Heidelberg was the capital of the Electoral Palatinate. Consequently, it served as a centre for theologians and law experts from throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Matriculation rates declined with the Thirty Years' War, and the university did not overcome its fiscal and intellectual crises until the early 19th century. Subsequently, the institution once again became a hub for independent thinkers, and developed into a "stronghold of humanism", and a centre of democratic thinking. At this time, Heidelberg served as a role model for the implementation of graduate schools at American universities. However, the university lost many of its dissident professors and was marked a NSDAP university during the Nazi era (between 1933 and 1945). It later underwent an extensive denazification after World War II—Heidelberg serving as one of the main scenes of the left-wing student protests in Germany in the 1970s.   Modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology, psychiatric genetics, environmental physics, and modern sociology were introduced as scientific disciplines by Heidelberg faculty. The university has an emphasis on research and has been associated with 55 Nobel Prize laureates. It is consistently ranked among Europe's top overall universities, and is an international education venue for doctoral students, with approximately 1,000 doctorates successfully completed every year, and with more than one third of the doctoral students coming from abroad. International students from some 130 countries account for more than 20 percent of the entire student body.

Heidelberg comprises two major campuses: one in Heidelberg's Old Town and another in the Neuenheimer Feld quarter on the outskirts of the city. The university's noted alumni include eleven domestic and foreign Heads of State or Heads of Government.
Rupert I founded Heidelberg University in 1386The Great Schism of 1378 made it possible for Heidelberg, a relatively small city and capital of the Electorate of the Palatinate, to gain its own university. The Great Schism was initiated by the election of two popes after the death of Pope Gregory XI in the same year. One successor resided in Avignon (elected by the French) and the other in Rome (elected by the Italian cardinals). The German secular and spiritual leaders voiced their support for the successor in Rome, which had far-reaching consequences for the German students and teachers in Paris: they lost their stipends and had to leave. Rupert I recognized the opportunity and initiated talks with the Curia, which ultimately lead to a Papal Bull for foundation of a university. After having received on October 23, 1385 the permission from pope Urban VI to create a school of general studies (Latin: studium generale), the final decision to found the university was taken on June 26, 1386 at the behest of Rupert I, Count Palatine of the Rhine. As specified in the papal charter, the university was modelled after University of Paris and included four faculties: philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, and medicine.
On October 18, 1386, a special Pontifical High Mass in the Heiliggeistkirche was the ceremony that established the university. On October 19, 1386, the first lecture was held, making Heidelberg the oldest university in Germany. In November 1386, Marsilius of Inghen was elected first rector of the university. The rector seal motto was semper apertus—i.e., "the book of learning is always open." The university grew up quickly and in March 1390, 185 students were enrolled at the university.
A solemn holy Mass was offered in the Heiliggeistkirche in 1386 to mark and bless the establishment of the University (photo ca. 1900).
Early development
Between 1414 and 1418, theology and jurisprudence professors of the university took part in the Council of Constance and acted as counselors for Louis III, who attended this council as representative of the emperor and chief magistrate of the realm. This resulted in establishing a good reputation for the university and its professors. Due to the influence of Marsilius, the university initially taught the nominalism or via moderna. In 1412, both realism and the teachings of John Wycliffe were forbidden at the university but later, around 1454, the university decided that realism or via antique would also be taught, thus introducing two parallel ways (ambae viae).

The transition from scholastic to humanistic culture was effected by the chancellor and bishop Johann von Dalberg in the late 15th century. Humanism was represented at Heidelberg University particularly by the founder of the older German Humanistic School Rudolph Agricola, Conrad Celtes, Jakob Wimpfeling, and Johann Reuchlin. Æneas Silvius Piccolomini was chancellor of the university in his capacity of provost of Worms, and later always favored it with his friendship and good-will as Pope Pius II.

In 1482, Pope Sixtus IV permitted laymen and married men to be appointed professors in the ordinary of medicine through a papal dispensation. In 1553, Pope Julius III sanctioned the allotment of ecclesiastical benefice to secular professors. Martin Luther's disputation at Heidelberg in April 1518 made a lasting impact, and his adherents among the masters and scholars soon became leading Reformationists in Southwest Germany.

  With the Electorate of the Palatinate turn to the Reformed faith, Otto Henry, Elector Palatine, converted the university into a calvinsitic institution. In 1563, the Heidelberg Catechism was created under collaboration of members of the university's divinity school.

As the 16th century was passing, the late humanism stepped beside Calvinism as a predominant school of thought; and figures like Paul Schede, Jan Gruter, Martin Opitz, and Matthäus Merian taught at the university.

It attracted scholars from all over the continent and developed into a cultural and academic center. However, with the beginning of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, the intellectual and fiscal wealth of the university declined. In 1622, the then-world-famous Bibliotheca Palatina (the library of the university) was stolen from the University Cathedral and taken to Rome. The reconstruction efforts thereafter were defeated by the troops of King Louis XIV, who destroyed Heidelberg in 1693 almost completely.

The Old University from 1735 is today the seat of the Rector and the University SenateAs a consequence of the late Counter-Reformation, the university lost its Protestant character, and was channeled by Jesuits. In 1735, the Old University was constructed at University Square, then known as Domus Wilhelmina.

Through the efforts of the Jesuits a preparatory seminary was established, the Seminarium ad Carolum Borromæum, whose pupils were also registered in the university. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order, most of the schools they had conducted passed into the hands of the French Congregation of Lazarists in 1773.
They deteriorated from that time forward, and the university itself continued to lose in prestige until the reign of the last elector Charles Theodore, Elector Palatine, who established new chairs for all the faculties, founded scientific institutes such as the Electoral Academy of Science, and transferred the school of political economy from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg, where it was combined with the university as the faculty of political economy. He also founded an observatory in the neighboring city of Mannheim, where Jesuit Christian Mayer labored as director. In connection with the four hundredth anniversary of the university, the elector approved a revised statute book that several professors had been commissioned to prepare. The financial affairs of the university, its receipts and expenditures, were put in order. At that time, the number of students varied from 300-400; in the jubilee year, 133 matriculated. As a consequence of the disturbances caused by the French Revolution, and particularly because of the Treaty of Lunéville, the university lost all its property on the left bank of the Rhine, so that its complete dissolution was expected.

The Old University from 1735 is today the seat of the Rector and the University Senate
19th and early 20th century
This decline did not stop until 1803, when the university was reestablished as a state-owned institution by Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Baden, to whom the part of the Palatinate situated on the right bank of the Rhine was allotted. Since then, the university bears his name together with the name of Ruprecht I. Karl Friedrich divided the university into five faculties and placed himself at its head as rector, as did also his successors. During this decade Romanticism found expression in Heidelberg through Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim, Ludwig Tieck, Joseph Görres, and Joseph von Eichendorff, and there went forth a revival of the German Middle Ages in speech, poetry, and art.

The German Students Association exerted great influence, which was at first patriotic and later political. After Romanticism had eventually died out, Heidelberg became a center of Liberalism and the movement in favor of German national unity. The historians Friedrich Christoph Schlosser and Georg Gottfried Gervinus were the guides of the nation in political history.

The modern scientific schools of medicine and natural science, particularly astronomy, were models in point

  of construction and equipment, and Heidelberg University was especially noted for its influential law school.

The university as a whole became the role model for the transformation of American liberal arts colleges into research universities, in particular for the then-newly established Johns Hopkins University. Heidelberg's professors were important supporters of the Vormärz revolution and many of them were members of the first freely elected German parliament, the Frankfurt Parliament of 1848. During the late 19th century, the university housed a very liberal and open-minded spirit, which was deliberately fostered by Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch and a circle of colleagues around them.

In the Weimar Republic, the university was widely recognized as a center of democratic thinking, coined by professors like Karl Jaspers, Gustav Radbruch, Martin Dibelius and Alfred Weber. Unfortunately, there were also dark forces working within the university: Nazi physicist Philipp Lenard was head of the physical institute during that time. Following the assassination of the liberal German-Jewish Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, he refused to half mast the national flag on the institute, thereby provoking its storming by communist students.


"I saw Heidelberg on a perfectly clear morning, with a pleasant air both cool and invigorating. The city, just so, with the totality of its ambiance is, one might say, something ideal."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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