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1460 - 1469
Richard, 3rd duke of York
Battle of Northampton
Battle of Wakefield
Margaret of Anjou
James III of Scots
David Gerard
Gerard David
Lombardo Tullio
Tullio Lombardo
Palazzo Pitti
Edward IV
Battle of Towton
George Plantagenet
Richard III Plantagenet
Louis XI
Wars of the Roses. War Continues.
Ivan III the Great
Turks conquer Bosnia
Pico Giovanni
Treaty of York
Paul II
Holbein Hans, the Elder
Hans Holbein the Elder
Massys Quentin
Quentin Massys
Mentelin Johannes
Charles the Bold
Turks conquer Herzegovina
Tell William
Sansovino Andrea
Andrea Sansovino
Master E. S.
Master E. S.
Encina Juan
Juan del Encina - Cucu, cucu - The Stairwell Carollers, Ottawa.
Juan del Encina
Ferdinand II the Catholic
Isabella I the Catholic
Machiavelli Niccolo
Niccolo Machiavelli
The Prince
Erasmus Desiderius
Robbia Giovanni della
Giovanni della Robbia
Da Gama Vasco
YEAR BY YEAR:  1400 - 1499
1462 - 1463
Ivan III the Great

Ivan III, Russian in full Ivan Vasilyevich, byname Ivan the Great, Russian Ivan Veliky (born Jan. 22, 1440, Moscow—died Oct. 27, 1505, Moscow), grand prince of Moscow (1462–1505), who subdued most of the Great Russian lands by conquest or by the voluntary allegiance of princes, rewon parts of Ukraine from Poland–Lithuania, and repudiated the old subservience to the Mongol-derived Tatars. He also laid the administrative foundations of a centralized Russian state.

  Early life and reign
Ivan was born at the height of the civil war that raged between supporters of his father, Grand Prince Vasily II of Muscovy, and those of his rebellious uncles. His early life was dramatic and tumultuous: when his father was arrested and blinded by his cousin in 1446, Ivan was first hidden in a monastery and then smuggled to safety, only to be treacherously handed over to his father’s captors later in the year; shortly after his father’s release in the same year Ivan was solemnly affianced—for purely political reasons—to the daughter of the Grand Prince of Tver, whom he married in 1452. During the last years of his father’s reign, he gained experience in the arts of war and government. At the age of 12 he was placed nominally in command of a military expedition dispatched to deal with the remnants of his father’s internal enemies in the far north; and at 18 he led a successful campaign against the Tatars in the south. Vasily II died on March 27, 1462, and was succeeded by Ivan as grand prince of Moscow.

Little is known of Ivan’s activities during the early part of his reign. Apart from a series of sporadic and largely successful campaigns against his eastern neighbours, the Tatars of Kazan, there was evidently not much beyond the routine business of ruling to occupy him. But his private life soon changed radically. In 1467 his childhood bride died (perhaps poisoned), leaving him with only one son.

In view of the primitive state of Muscovite medicine and the demonstrable reluctance of Ivan’s brothers to see the royal line continued longer than was necessary, the likelihood of the son predeceasing his father and thus robbing him of an heir appeared only too real, and another wife had to be sought. Curiously, the initiative seems to have come from outside; in 1469 Cardinal Bessarion wrote from Rome offering Ivan the hand of his ward and pupil, Zoë Palaeologus, niece of the last emperor of Byzantium. It took three years before the fat and unattractive Zoë, who, on entering Moscow, changed her name to Sofia (and perhaps her faith to Orthodoxy), was married to Ivan in the Kremlin.

Destruction of Novgorod's assembly by Ivan III
Middle reign
At Ivan’s accession many Great Russian lands were not yet under Muscovite control; the entire Ukraine and the upper Oka districts were part of the Polish–Lithuanian union and Ivan himself, in name at least, was a tributary of the Khan of the Golden Horde. He set himself the task of reconquering from Poland–Lithuania the Ukrainian possessions of his forefathers. But first the independent Great Russian lands had to be annexed or subdued and subservience to the Tatars had to be repudiated.

After rendering the Kazan Horde on his eastern flank temporarily impotent by a series of campaigns (1467–69), Ivan attempted to subdue Novgorod and its huge northern empire. He repeatedly invaded Novgorod, formally forced it to accept his sovereignty (1478), stripped it of the last vestiges of political freedom, secularized large tracts of its church lands, annexed its colonies, and replaced many of its citizens with reliable elements from his own domains.

By 1489 Novgorod could offer no more resistance to Ivan. Of the remaining Russian lands still technically independent in 1462, Yaroslavl and Rostov were annexed by treaty (1463 and 1474, respectively).

  Tver offered little resistance and meekly yielded to Moscow in 1485. Ryazan and Pskov alone retained their independence at the cost of abject subservience to their virtual suzerain.

Freedom from subjection to Khan Ahmed of the Golden Horde came in 1480. To counterbalance Ahmed’s friendship with Poland–Lithuania, Ivan concluded an invaluable alliance with Khan Mengli Girei of Crimea. After a victorious campaign by Ivan in 1480, Ahmed withdrew his forces from Ivan’s dominions, and although Ahmed’s sons continued to worry Moscow and Crimea until their final defeat in 1502, Ivan from 1480 no longer considered himself a vassal of the Khan and entered the field of European diplomacy as an independent sovereign. By tact and diplomacy he managed to maintain his friendship with Mengli and to avoid serious trouble in Kazan for the rest of his reign.

In 1480 Ivan also had to cope with the danger of rebellion by his two brothers Andrey and Boris, who had been incensed by his high-handed appropriation of their deceased elder brother’s estates. They defected with their armies to the western frontiers but eventually returned and acknowledged Ivan’s territorial acquisitions and primacy.


Ivan III tearing the khan's letter to pieces
Late reign
In 1490 Ivan’s eldest son by his first wife died of gout. He had been ineptly treated by a Jewish doctor who had been brought to Russia by Sofia’s brother, and Ivan suspected foul play. He now had to solve the problem of who was to be his heir—his eldest son’s son Dmitry (born 1483) or his eldest son by Sofia, Vasily (born 1479). For seven years he vacillated. Then, in 1497, he nominated Dmitry as heir. Sofia, anxious to see her son assured of the throne, planned rebellion against her husband, but the plot was uncovered. Ivan disgraced Sofia and Vasily and had Dmitry crowned grand prince (1498).

However, in 1500 Vasily rebelled again and defected to the Lithuanians. Ivan was forced to compromise. At that stage of his war with Lithuania he could not risk the total alienation of his son and wife. And so, in 1502, he gave the title to Vasily and imprisoned Dmitry and his mother, Yelena.

  At home Ivan’s policy was to centralize the administration by stripping the appanage princes of land and authority. As for the boyars, they were stripped of much of their authority and swiftly executed or imprisoned if suspected of treason.

Ivan’s reign saw the beginning of the pomestie system, whereby the servants of the grand prince were granted estates on a basis of life tenure and on condition of loyal service.

Ivan’s last years were years of disappointment. The war against Lithuania had not ended as conclusively and satisfactorily as he had expected—much of Ukraine was still in the hands of a strangely buoyant enemy; his ecclesiastical plans for secularizing church lands had been thwarted at the Council of 1503, and the Khanate of Kazan, which had been so carefully neutralized during Ivan’s reign, was beginning to rid itself of Muscovite tutelage. Ivan died in the autumn of 1505.


Tsar Ivan III 1440-1505 Tearing the Deed of Tatar Khan. Paintng by Nikolay Shustov, 1862
In terms of political success, the 15th-century grand prince Ivan III was easily the greatest of all the descendants of Rurik, the reputed founder of Russia. No ruler of Muscovy until Peter I the Great, two centuries later, did more to consolidate and develop the achievements of his predecessors, to strengthen the authority of the monarch, or to lay the foundations for a centralized state.
  By means of cunning diplomacy and shrewdly calculated aggression, Ivan not only established Muscovy as a great power to be reckoned with by the rulers and diplomats of Europe but also set in motion the reconquest of the Ukraine from Poland and Lithuania.

In spite of his great achievements, Ivan died unmourned and seemingly unloved. Singularly little is known about him as a man. He was tall and thin and had a slight stoop.

It is said that women fainted in his presence, so frightened were they by his awesome gaze. His only known pleasures were those of the bed and the table.

His contemporaries are silent about his virtues. Yet few scholars have underestimated the role of Ivan in the creation of the Russian state, and none dispute the significance of his diplomatic and military successes.

It may be that the excessive cautiousness of his character, the lack of élan and glamour, and the very dullness of the man have prevented historians from universally recognizing the appellation of “the Great,” first attributed to him by the Austrian ambassador to his son’s court.

John Lister Illingworth Fennell

Encyclopædia Britannica

Emperor Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor recognizes Matthias I Corvinus of Hungary, who recognizes Hapsburg claims to succession

Matthias Corvinus as depicted in Chronica Hungarorum by Johannes de Thurocz
Turks conquer Bosnia
History of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1463–1878)

The arrival of the Ottoman Turks marked a new era in Bosnian history.

Ottoman Rule
The Turks had conquered Slavonia and most of Hungary by 1541. In the next century, most of the Bosnian province wasn't a borderland and developed in relative peace. However, when the Empire lost the war of 1683-1697 with Austria, and ceded Slavonia and Hungary to Austria at the Treaty of Karlowitz, Bosnia's northern and western borders became the frontier between the Austrian and Ottoman empires.

In 1716, Austria occupied northern Bosnia and northern Serbia, but this lasted only until 1739 when they were ceded to the Ottoman Empire at the Treaty of Belgrade. The borders set then remained in place for another century and a half, though the border wars continued.
The wars between the Ottomans and Austria and Venice impoverished Bosnia, and encouraged further migration and resettlement; Muslim refugees from Hungary and Slavonia resettled in Bosnia, assimilating into the emerging Bosniak population, and many Serbs, mostly from Kosovo but also from Bosnia and Serbia, resettled across the Bosnian border in Slavonia and the Military Frontier at the invitation of the Austrian Emperor.

  The most famous of these insurrections was the 1831-1832 one, headed by Captain Husein Gradaščević (Zmaj od Bosne, the Bosnian Dragon), who raised a full-scale rebellion in the province, joined by thousands of native Bosnian soldiers.

Despite winning several notable victories, the rebels were eventually defeated in a battle near Sarajevo in 1832. Internal discord contributed to the failure of the rebellion, because Gradaščević was not supported by much of the Herzegovinian nobility. The rebellion was extinguished by 1850, but the Empire continued to decline.

The Ottoman Sultans attempted to implement various economic and military reforms in the early 19th century in order to address the grave issues mostly caused by the border wars. The reforms, however, were usually met with resistance by the military captaincies of Bosnia.

The Ottoman rule lasted for over four hundred years, until 1878.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pico Giovanni

Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Italian: [dʒoˈvanni ˈpiko della miˈrandola]; 24 February 1463 – 17 November 1494) was an Italian Renaissance philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when at the age of 23, he proposed to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic against all comers, for which he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man, which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance", and a key text of Renaissance humanism and of what has been called the "Hermetic Reformation."

  Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, count di Concordia, (born Feb. 24, 1463, Mirandola, duchy of Ferrara [Italy]—died Nov. 17, 1494, Florence), Italian scholar and Platonist philosopher whose De hominis dignitate oratio (“Oration on the Dignity of Man”), a characteristic Renaissance work composed in 1486, reflected his syncretistic method of taking the best elements from other philosophies and combining them in his own work.

His father, Giovanni Francesco Pico, prince of the small territory of Mirandola, provided for his precocious child’s thorough humanistic education at home. Pico then studied canon law at Bologna and Aristotelian philosophy at Padua and visited Paris and Florence, where he learned Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. At Florence he met Marsilio Ficino, a leading Renaissance Platonist philosopher.

Introduced to the Hebrew Kabbala, Pico became the first Christian scholar to use Kabbalistic doctrine in support of Christian theology. In 1486, planning to defend 900 theses he had drawn from diverse Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin writers, he invited scholars from all of Europe to Rome for a public disputation. For the occasion he composed his celebrated Oratio. A papal commission, however, denounced 13 of the theses as heretical, and the assembly was prohibited by Pope Innocent VIII. Despite his ensuing Apologia for the theses, Pico thought it prudent to flee to France but was arrested there.

After a brief imprisonment he settled in Florence, where he became associated with the Platonic Academy, under the protection of the Florentine prince Lorenzo de’ Medici. Except for short trips to Ferrara, Pico spent the rest of his life there. He was absolved from the charge of heresy by Pope Alexander VI in 1492. Toward the end of his life he came under the influence of the strictly orthodox Girolamo Savonarola, martyr and enemy of Lorenzo.

Pico’s unfinished treatise against enemies of the church includes a discussion of the deficiencies of astrology. Though this critique was religious rather than scientific in its foundation, it influenced the astronomer Johannes Kepler, whose studies of planetary movements underlie modern astronomy. Pico’s other works include an exposition of Genesis under the title Heptaplus (Greek hepta, “seven”), indicating his seven points of argument, and a synoptic treatment of Plato and Aristotle, of which the completed work De ente et uno (Of Being and Unity) is a portion. Pico’s works were first collected in Commentationes Joannis Pici Mirandulae (1495–96).

Encyclopædia Britannica

  IDEAS that Changed the World

Myths and Legends

History of Religion

History of Philosophy
Villon Francois, saved from gallows, disappears (b. 1431)
  Francois Villon  "Ballades"


Goodbye! the tears are in my eyes;
Farewell, farewell, my prettiest;
Farewell, of women born the best;
Good-bye! the saddest of good-byes.
Farewell! with many vows and sighs
My sad heart leaves you to your rest;
Farewell! the tears are in my eyes;
Farewell! from you my miseries
Are more than now may be confessed,
And most by thee have I been blessed,
Yea, and for thee have wasted sighs;
Goodbye! the last of my goodbyes.
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature

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