Saturday, November 22, 2008

Louis XIV

Louis XIV of France is a very interesting man. He is known as the sun king and took to his thrown at the age of four. He ruled France and Navarre for many years, the longest European rule known. He ruled for 72 years, 3 months, and 18 days.

During his extremely long reign he established a court at Versailles, and brought absolute monarchy to its height in Europe. He was also known for fighting most of the other European contries in only four wars. At the begging of his rule the empire was led mainly by the chief minister Cardinal Mazarin. Louis was too young to rule by himself so the chief minister led the empire with the four year old at his side.

The middle of his rule he led by himself, effectively and without trouble. His last years, though were full of problems. The nick name "Sun King", came from a role he led on stage in Versailles. Versailles was one of his greatest achievements, and was even open to the public most of the week.

King Louis was also know for the building and blossoming of the theatre, music, architecture, painting, sculpture, and all the sciences. All of these accomplishments were shown on the cieling of the Hall of Mirrors. What an exremely effective man!

In conclusion, Louis XIV had many things to show for his extremly long reign. He showed his side of the arts and how talented he was. He also fought many wars and was also effective in the area of military.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Real Story of Saint Nicholas

Many people have grown to learn that Santa Claus is not real, but what they do not realize that "Good ol' Saint Nick" was a real man. Saint Nicholas was born during the third century, in a Greek city known as Patara. Which now lies on the coast of Turkey. He was raised a Christian by his parents who died when he was still a child. Nicholas followed Jesus' teachings and gave all of his inheritance to those who needed it. He gave all that he owned.

Saint Nicholas became the Bishop of Myra and dedicated all of his life to serving God. Bishop Nicholas was known all over for his love for children, being generous to all who need, and his concern for ships and sailors. Nicholas was alive during the rule of Diocletian, the Roman Empire, and for being a Christian was punished. He was exiled and sent to prison.

These prison were so full of the clergy and the church workers that there was absolutely no room for the actual criminals. He was released from the prisons and soon attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. Less than twenty years later Saint Nicholas died in Myra on December 6, 343 A.D. He was buried in his church. December 6Th is known as Saint Nicholas Day and is a day of celebration.

Many can see the resemblance of this real Saint, and the made up character during Christmas season. One can see how the love of children turned into the giving of toys and how much care was given to all. It is interesting to learn how such a great Saint was turned into a mythological man.

In conclusion, Saint Nicholas was an extraordinary man. He followed the teachings of Jesus and gave all he owned to those in need. His death is still remembered today and he is a very well looked up to man. I can see why, however it happened, his life turned into a fairytale man who gives toys to kids for Christmas.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Bubonic Plague

During the Ancient and Medieval world plague was one of the most feared diseases. The biggest epidemic of the Bubonic Plague was during the 1300's in France, England, Germany, and Italy. One out of every three people were killed. People back then did not know how it was spread which, in turn was a contributing factor to the rate at which it spread.

The Bubonic Plague first began with aching limbs, and vomiting of blood. Then the lymph nodes would begin to swell, found within your armpits, neck, and groin. The lymph nodes would swell for three to four more days until they burst. How quick the disease spread, the excruciating pain, and the awful appearances of the people, all made the plague even worse.

The plague was also known as the "Black Death" because the skin of the infected people would turn a dark gray color. It began in China’s Gobi Desert, and it killed about 35 million people living there. When sailors traveled to Asia infected rats returned with them and were back inside Europe. Fleas living on the infected blood would then carry it to the European people.

Merchant ships traveled from Asia on the Black Sea. They arrived in port at Messina, Italy. The disease spread as far as England within a year. The reason it spread so quickly was due to the fact many did not know why it was spreading. The people thought that if they all gathered together to pray they would find healing. They were in fact completely wrong.

By being so close to each other for so many amounts of time the disease spread much more rapidly. If people had avoided contact with each other the death count would have been much lower. Now we have a cure but death still exist due to the Bubonic Plague.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tudor Dynasty

The Tudor Dynasty occurred in England from around 1485-1603. Many people know this dynasty by two very important monarchs who were members of the Tudor Dynasty. Both King Henry VII and his daughter Elizabeth I played a key role within this dynasty. During the Tudor Dynasty, England survived a great number of economic, religious, social, and political reforms that drastically changed the country and the people.

The founder of the Tudor Dynasty was Henry VII, who reigned from 1485-1509. In 1485 a great civil war within England took place titled the War of the Roses. Henry Tudor took the crown away from Richard III and then married Elizabeth of Your, establishing the Tudor Dynasty.

Henry VII was succeeded by his son Henry the VIII, who reigned from 1509-1547. Henry the VIII was a significant figure in History and certainly made his mark. He is commonly known for having many wives and killing them, along with proclaiming himself the Head of the Church of England. Henry VIII was followed by his son Edward VI in 1547, who ruled until 1553. He was a very young hing who didn't hold the thrown for long.

Lady Jane Grey held the thrown for a very short while and was soon followed by Mary I. Mary I is more commonly known as "Bloody Mary" and was the daughter of Henry VIII. She reigned from 1553 to 1558. Her main goal during her reign was to reestablish a Catholic England, which was newly a protestant country. This failed miserably.

Elizabeth I followed her sister in ruling the Dynasty from 1558-1603. During her reign many great changes occurred in England. They became an economic power and prospered commercially. Her 44 year reign led England to be a great naval power and trade was booming. After the death of Elizabeth the Tudor Dynasty ended and the Stuart Monarch began.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.