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Highlights of da Renaissance

  • Period: Jan 1, 1400 to

    Da Renaissance

    The renaissance was the rebirth of Europe after the middle ages came to an end.
  • Jan 1, 1450

    Witch Hunts

    Witch Hunts
    From 1450 to 1750, tens of thousands of men and woman had died as victims to witch hunts. Although mostly women were accused of being witches, some men also faced the same punishments. At this time, most people believed in magic and spirits. They believed there was a close link between magic and heresy. In addition to that, people often looked for scapegoats to blame their problems on during times of crisis and trouble. Those accused of witchcraft were often tortured or burned at the stake.
  • Jan 1, 1456

    Gutenberg invents printing press

    Gutenberg invents printing press
    In the year 1456, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and started a printing revolution. Before this invention, if you wanted a copy of a book, you had to copy it by hand. This new method was much easier and quicker. It still took a while, but compared to earlier methods, it was almost instant. This allowed books and knowledge to be much more common.
  • Jan 1, 1510

    Raphael paints the school of Athens

    Raphael paints the school of Athens
    One of the most famous paintings of the Italian Renaissance is the School of Athens. Painted by Raphael, it depicts a gathering of great thinkers and scientists, such as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, as well as Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and himself.
  • Jan 1, 1512

    Michaelangelo paints the Sistine Chapel ceiling

    Michaelangelo paints the Sistine Chapel ceiling
    In 1512, Michaelangelo finally finishes painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. For 4 years he lay on his back on a wooden platform suspended just below the ceiling. He described the ordeal with this poem:
    "My stomach is thrust toward my chin.
    My beard curls up toward the sky.
    My head leans right over onto my back...
    The brush endlessly dripping on my face."
    ~Michaelangelo
  • Jan 1, 1513

    The Prince

    The Prince
    In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli published The Prince, a different kind of handbook. It combined his personal experience with politics and knowledge of the past to offer a guide to rulers on how to gain and maintain power.
  • Jan 1, 1515

    Leonardo's self-portrait

    Leonardo's self-portrait
    Not long before he died, Leonardo drew a portrait of an old man. He drew it on paper using red chalk. It hasn't been proven yet if this really is a self-portrait, but many have guessed it to be.
  • Jan 1, 1516

    Ghettos

    Ghettos
    By 1516, most Jews who didn't convert to Christianity were forced to live in ghettos. A ghetto is a separate quarter of a city with extremely poor living conditions. If they left the ghetto, they had to wear a yellow badge. Up until 1516, the Renaissance had been a time of prosperity for many Jews. Events like the Catholic Reformation brought many hard times for Jews.
  • Jan 1, 1517

    Martin Luther protests

    Martin Luther protests
    By the late 1400s, the corruption and abuse in the Roman Catholic Church had become far beyond excessive. Popes competed with other rulers for power. Fees were increased for marriage and baptism. Some clergy even gave indulgences for money. A German monk named Martin Luther was fed up with the corruption and worldliness of the Church. When he discovered that a priest named Johann Tetzel was selling indulgences, it was the last straw. He posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church.
  • Jan 1, 1519

    The Mona Lisa

    The Mona Lisa
    Painted by Leonardo da Vinci and completed in 1519, this intruiging painting was a comissioned portrait of Mona Lisa, the wife of a Florentine merchant. When it was finished Leonardo liked it so much he decided to keep it for himself instead of giving it away. To this day, the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world.
  • Jan 1, 1521

    Luther is excommunicated

    Luther is excommunicated
    In the year 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated for refusing to give up his arguments against the corrupted ways of the Church. Later that same year, the new emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V, called him to the Diet of Worms. Luther expected to defend his writings, but instead Charles ordered he give them up. Again he refused to recant, and was declared an outlaw. Still, he had many powerful followers. A prince hid him in a castle in Wartburg while thousands called him a hero.
  • Jan 1, 1524

    Peasants' revolt

    Peasants' revolt
    By the 1530s, many people had become followers of the new Lutheran Church- including peasants. They hoped to gain Luther's support for social and economic change. During 1524, a peasant revolt exploded across Germany. They called for changes in their harsh lives, such as the end of serfdom. However, Luther favored social order and respected political power. With his support, nobles killed tens of thousands of peasants and left many more homeless.
  • Jan 1, 1527

    Henry's break with the Catholic Church

    Henry's break with the Catholic Church
    Henry VIII thought that the stability of England depended on him having a male heir, but he and his Spanish wife, Catherine of Aragon, had one survivng child, Mary Tudor. Believing she might bear him a son, he wanted to marry Anne Boleyn. Catholic law doesn't allow divorce, so Henry asked the Pope to annul his marriage. But the pope refused, as he didn't want to offend Catherine's nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor. Henry was furious. He decided to break from Rome and take over the English Church.
  • Jan 1, 1530

    Catholic reformation

    Catholic reformation
    While the Protestant Reformation swept across Europe, a reform movement took place in the Catholic Church. This reform movement, called the Catholic Reformation, was led by Pope Paul III. Throughout the 1530s and 1540s, he tried to revive the Church's moral authority and defeat the Protestant tide. To end corruption within the papacy, he appointed reformers to key posts. They, along with their successors, then guided the Catholic Reformation for the rest of the 15th century.
  • Jan 1, 1534

    Henry's annulment

    Henry's annulment
    After ending papal control over the Church of England, King Henry VIII appointed Thomas Cranmer archbishop, who annuled Henry's marriage. After that Henry married Anne Boleyn, who only bore him another daughter, Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn was then executed and Henry married four more times but only had one son, Edward.
  • Jan 1, 1536

    John Calvin

    John Calvin
    The most important reformer to come after Luther was John Calvin, who had a logical, razor-sharp mind. He had a huge effect on the Protestant Reformation. In 1536, he published his religious beliefs as well as how to run a Protestant Church in his book, The Institutes of Christian Religion. Like Luther, Calvin believed that spiritual salvation was gained only through faith in God and that the Bible was the only source of religious truth.
  • Jan 1, 1536

    The Church of England

    The Church of England
    From 1536 to 1540, royal officials were investigating English monastaries and covents. Henry claimed they were centers of immortality and had them closed. Then he confiscated their lands and wealth and gave them to nobles and other high-ranking citizens. By doing this, he secured their support for the new English Church, called the Anglican Church. Aside from breaking from Rome and allowing use of the English Bible, Henry kept most Catholic traditions and forms of worship.
  • Jan 1, 1540

    The Society of Jesus

    The Society of Jesus
    In 1540, Pope Paul III recognized a new religious order, the Jesuits. Founded by Ignatiaus of Loyola, the order of the Jesuits were determined to combat heresy and spread the Catholic faith. Ignatiaus of Loyola was a Spanish knight born in crusading tradition. After shattering his leg in battle, he found comfort in reading about saints who had overcome physical and mental torture. He vowed to become a "soldier of God" and created a strict program for Jesuits to follow.
  • Jan 1, 1541

    Calvin's theocracy

    Calvin's theocracy
    As well as agreeing with Luther, John Calvin had some of his own ideas. For example, he believed that long ago God had decided who would have salvation. In the eyes of Calvinists, there were 2 kinds of people: saints and sinners. They tried to live holy lives like saints, believing only one saved from sin could truly live a Christian life. People in the city-state of Geneva, Switzerland asked Calvin to lead their town. So he set up a government run by church leaders, called a theocracy.
  • Jan 1, 1543

    Nicholas Copernicus

    Nicholas Copernicus
    In the year 1543, a scholar named Nicholas Copernicus published his view of the universe in his book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres. He believed that the universe was heliocentric, or sun-centered, meaning that the sun was the center of the universe and the Earth was just one of a few planets that revolved around the sun. Most experts dismissed this theory, as all scientific knowledge came from arguments of ancient and classical thinkers.
  • Jan 1, 1545

    Council of Trent

    Council of Trent
    In order to control the direction in which reforms would take, the Pope invoked the Council of Trent in 1545. Off and on it met for nearly 20 years. The council reaffirmed many of the traditional Catholic veiws, which had been challenged by Protestants. Salvation comes through faith AND good work,"
    declared the council. While a major source of religious truth, the Bible is not the only source. The council also ended abuses in the Church by providing stiff penalties for corruption among clergy.
  • Jan 1, 1547

    King Edward VI

    King Edward VI
    After his father's death in 1547, Henry's 10-year-old son, Edward VI, inherited the throne. Edward passed new laws that brought protestant reforms to England. Thomas Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer, which imposed moderate protestant services while keeping many of the Catholic doctrines. When Edward died in his teens, his sister, Mary Tudor, became Queen of England. Mary was determined to return England to the Catholic faith and had hundreds of English protestants burned at the stake.
  • Jan 1, 1555

    The Peace of Augsburg

    The Peace of Augsburg
    During the 1530s and 1540s, emperor Charles V attempted to force Lutheran princes back into the Catholic Church, but he had little success. After a few wars, Charles came to a settlement with the princes. In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg was signed, allowing princes to decide which religion (Catholic or Lutheran) would be preached in his land. Most of the northern German princes chose Lutheran, while the south remained mostly Catholic.
  • Jan 1, 1558

    Elizabeth I

    Elizabeth I
    When Mary died in the year 1558, the throne was passed down to Elizabeth. As queen, she held the future of the Church of England. Cautiously at first, Elizabeth enforced a series of reforms called the Elizabethan Settlement. These new policies were a compromise between Catholic and Protestant practices. She restored the Book of Common Prayer, accepted Protestant doctrine, and allowed Latin to be replaced by English in mass. During her long reign, she used all her skills to unite England.
  • Jan 1, 1580

    Spread of Calvinism

    By the late 1500s, Calvinism had taken root in Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, and Scotland. This new challenge to the Catholic Church unleashed wars of religion all over Europe.
  • Jan 1, 1580

    Tycho Brahe

    Tycho Brahe
    In the late 1500s, the astronomer Tycho Brahe gathered evidence to support Corpernicus's heliocentric theory. He built an observatory and spent years carefully observing the sky every night and collecting data about the heavenly bodies.
  • A new approach to science

    By the early 1600s, a new approach to science emerged, despite opposition from religious authorities. Unlike previous methods, it didn't rely on authorities such as Ptolemy or Aristotle or even the Bible. It depended upon observation and experimentation.
  • Bacon and Descartes

    Bacon and Descartes
    The new scientific method was a revolution in thought. 2 giants of this revolution were Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes. They both devoted themselves to the problem of knowledge. They both dismissed the scientific assumptions of classical thinkers like Aristotle.They also challenged traditions of medieval universities, which tried to make the physical world fit with the Church's teachings. Both of them argued that truth is not found right away, but after a long process of investigation.
  • Aftermath of the Catholic Reformation

    The Catholic Reformation was overall successful. By the 1600s, Rome was a much more devout and religious city than it had been a century earlier. The reforms slowed down the Protestant tides and even returned some areas to the original Catholic faith. Even so, Europe still remained divided into a mostly Catholic south and mostly Protestant north.
  • Johannes Kepler

    Johannes Kepler
    After Brahe's death his asistant, Johannes Keppler, used his data to calculate the orbits of the planets. His calculations supported Copernicus's heliocentric theory. But at the same time it showed that the planets did not revolve in circles like Ptolemy and Copernicus had both believed. Instead, it showed that the planets orbited the sun in elliptical, oval-shaped paths.
  • Galileo's telescope

    Galileo's telescope
    In the year 1609 Galileo Galilei fixed his new telescope on the sky. He saw amazing sights no man had ever witnessed before. He saw fiery spots on the Sun, mountains on the Moon, and 4 moons circling the planet Jupiter. In addition to his work in astronomy, Galileo made significant discoveries about the motion of falling objects. Galileo supported Copernicism, the belief that the sun was the center of the universe. He was later placed under house arrest for the rest of his life for his beliefs.
  • Sir Isaac Newton

    Sir Isaac Newton
    In 1687, Isaac Newton published Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which contained his theories on the workings of the universe. One of the most brilliant of those theories is gravity. According to one story, Isaac saw an apple fall from a tree. He wondered if the force that pulled the apple to Earth might also control the movement of the planets. He later perfected his theory using mathematics to show that the force did indeed keep the planets in orbit. He called the force gravity.