|The Legend of JING!!!!||
For my Final Project, I chose to do the 2 Concept Images because I like drawing and watercolors. I did 1 on the Magna Carta and the other on the Age of Exploration. Both were done within a few days time and all by myself (© Jing-Jing), done June 2014.
The Magna Carta Concept Image
This "concept image" basically shows the main aspects of the Magna Carta - the document that nobles and the Church forced King John of England (brother of Richard the Lionheart, rose to power while Richard was gone on the 3rd Crusade) to sign on June 15th, 1215. This document forced the previous rule of Rex Lex (The King is above the Law) to charge to Lex Rex (The Law is above the King) so that the King had to follow his own laws. It limited his power and gave more power to the Nobles. There were 9 copies of the Magna Carta, whose name literally means "Great Chart(er)."
The Age of Exploration Concept Image
This drawing took me longer than the above, and it was the 1 I started with. The ship to the left represents all the journeys of exploration that occurred via the Sea. The Old map next to that shows the main regions of Europe that sent explorers off from the "Old World" of Europe to the "New World" of the Americas. These regions mainly being: Spain (who conquered New Spain - Mexico, South America, Central America), Portugal (who conquered the Cape of Good Hope in Africa as well as Brazil), France (who conquered New France - east Canada such as modern-day Quebec, regions of the east and southeast US), and England, who conquered New England (northern regions of Canada and the US East Colonies). To the right and below that are 5 other mini images, 3 of which represent the reasons for Exploration: God, Gold, and Glory. To the right is a drawing of a Mission, a Catholic missionary trying to convert a Native American woman to Catholicism, reading the Holy Bible, an example of exploration for God or religion. Below that to the left is an drawing of Native American treasures, representing that some explored for riches and gold, to steal from those of the New World. Below that is supposed to be an image of Christopher Columbus who sailed to the New World in 1492, and there he is planting the Spanish flag (he was funded by the Spanish royal government - Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand) into the ground of the New World, which represents exploration for glory or fame, to go down as a remarkable explorer. To the right of that is a sketch of a tomato (crop from the New World) and a banana (from the Old World), representing the Columbian Exchange, the great trade of plants, animals, and knowledge between the 2 Worlds. Finally, in the right corner, is a lasting effect of New World Exploration - where Europeans brought diseases with them and used them to kill of the Natives or sicken them. The Native population dwindled and many died, unaccustomed to these illnesses. Other Natives were slaves to the new explorers and went through brutal lives of harsh treatment and slavery. Though Exploration may have had some good impacts, there were many bad ones as well, and this all lives on today.
The world was changed drastically from the 15th to 17th centuries because of 4 revolutions: The Spanish Inquisition, The (Protestant) Reformation, The Golden Age of Western Africa, and The Age of Exploration. Each revolution includes a gallery with pictures and the Exploration one contains an iMovie I made.
The Spanish Inquisition
The Inquisition, or Spanish Inquisition, was a period in the late 15th century or 1400s begun by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain where a group of priests searched for and punished anyone in Spain who was secretly practicing their own old religion or opposing Catholic teachings – people who committed heresy – known as heretics, including Muslims, Jews, Protestants, and atheists.
There were four main causes of the Inquisition. First of all, the royal rulers of Spain (King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella) wanted an all-Catholic kingdom, making people admit to being heretics and then publicly killing them, or killing those who did not admit they were guilty. Centuries before, in 711, Moors, Muslims from Africa, invaded the Iberian Peninsula, which is modern-day Spain and Portugal. They ruled much of Spain beginning in 790, and for almost 500 years they were there but over these years the Christians tried to gain Spain back, which was the Spanish Reconquista, and in 1300 the Muslims were forced out. There was now a harsh feeling between Christians and Muslims. Also, there was a post-crusade feeling against heretics. The Pope tried to remove all people against Catholic teachings in Europe, especially Jews and Muslims. Finally, Portugal and Spain rose in power, and they had a great desire for more. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella funded Christopher Columbus to journey to the New World. The Inquisition was going on in other areas of the world such as Portugal, but the greatest and most famous one was the one that occurred in Spain.
During this time, priests would search for heretics. If you were found to be a heretic or if the priests claimed you were one (even if you really were not) you would be brought to publicly be executed, in most cases, by torture, burning, or other death means. There was a long line to wait for execution, so everyone around could see how the executions took place and also start to become afraid. The Catholic Church and Spain’s royal rulers worked together to invoke fear in people for their all-Catholic desire.
In some cases, instead of being executed, you were excommunicated – banned from the Catholic Church and destined to live in Hell for eternity. This must have had some special requirement as the majority of the people were all executed.
If you were lucky enough, perhaps you could attempt running away, escaping Spain to try to go to another country, though the journey would be long, tedious, and very dangerous. If you were caught by Catholic or Spanish officials, you may face a fate even worse than you would have before - certain death.
The main effects of the Inquisition were that most Jews and Muslims in Spain left or were killed, making Spain a predominantly Catholic society, changing aspects and life in Spain and their colonies in the New World – which would become New Spain. Even so, this explains why Spain does not have much religious diversity today – why Mexico and other former areas of New Spain are mostly Catholic today. And, when the Church banned books to keep information that opposed them flowing, and questioners were put on trial, people began to fear the Catholic Church, actually making them fear and resent the Church and its teachings, affecting society in the Reformation as well. Finally, the Spanish Inquisition also led to the 20 Year War that would be fought in France.
The (Protestant) Reformation
The Reformation was a period in the beginning of the 16th century or 1500s begun by a German-Augustinian monk named Martin Luther.
In the beginning of the 1500s and prior to that, it was the Catholic Church that held all political and religious power, mainly the Pope. Though claiming to be the messengers of God and Jesus, over time they became politically corrupted. Too interested in riches and money, no longer focused spiritual rituals. This can be seen in the famous sale of indulgences that Martin Luther so despised, when redemption/forgiveness for sins were given by priests not through spiritual rituals but actually through money. At that time, the Pope also issued a decree where salvation could not occur outside the Roman Empire, and the capital of the Catholic Church was transferred from Rome to Auvergne. After the Black Death, people began to lose faith in the Church and Christianity also.
Martin Luther was born in 1483 in Germany, where he went to a Church school and studied to become a lawyer, but after praying not to be killed in a deadly thunderstorm, he became a monk instead of a lawyer.
Luther did not approve of a lot of the aspects of the Catholic Church at this time, but the most famous was the sale of indulgences. Outside St. Peter’s Basilica, Martin saw Johann Tetzel selling indulgences for money to get out of purgatory. This disgusted Martin Luther and encouraged him to write what would soon become a famous document – the 95 Theses.
On Wednesday, October 31st, 1517, Martin nailed his 95 criticisms of the Catholic Church to the Wittenberg Castle Church door. He did not know that this would be noticed by townspeople and Church officials, and because of the printing press, this information would spread farther.
For this, he was put on trial, the Diet of Worms. He admitted to writing these works and wanting to change the Church – reform it. I said he would not take them back – “I cannot recant.” He was later kidnapped by Friedrich the Wise to protect his identity.
Back in Wittenberg, people sparked a revolt against the Church – not at all what Luther wanted, but the movement became known as the Protestant Reformation. Hundred thousands of both Catholic Church members and Protestants were killed. It wasn’t even what Martin wanted, but now, different branches of Christianity were developed: Lutheranism, Calvinism, and the Anglican Church as well as others. Now the Church had been divided and Christianity’s diversity was just beginning. Religious wars in different countries began, and this little Reformation sparked into a world-changing revolution.
The Golden Age of West Africa
West Africa is located on the western coast of the continent of Africa, where it is rich in gold and salt. It is south of the famous, treacherous Sahara Desert. To the west were large mountains, and meanwhile to the south were rainforests. The region was predominantly Muslim.
As Europe began to fall into the Dark Ages, or Middle Ages, West Africa entered their Golden Age, where salt and gold found along the coasts boosted the West African economy, Islam and the Arabic language spread, and goods, ideas, and knowledge were diffused to and from Africa, Asia, and Europe. There were three empires that ruled West Africa: The Ghana, The Mali, and The Songhai.
The Ghana Empire was first, ruled by a strong monarchy government and army. Through trade with Africans from all over the continent as well as Muslims, the Ghana Empire’s wealth and control grew. These people used silent barters during trade. They had a powerful army, used to conquer smaller nearby villages to add to the Empire’s size. Then Muslims from North Africa, known as Amoravids, came and blocked off trade, bringing animals that grazed the majority of the Ghana Empire’s land, and an internal rebellion began, though the Ghana Empire still ended up falling.
The second empire to rise to power was known as the Mali Empire. A ruler, Sundiata, added more farmland to the region as well as introducing the new crop cotton, which made clothing and trade better. It was during the Mali Empire, in the 1300s or 14th century, a rich West African ruler named Mansa Musa journeyed on a Hajj to Mecca. He was a devout Muslim.
Musa spent months preparing for the 3,000 mile journey from then Timbuktu to Mecca. It would take him months to loop around the Sahara Desert, curve over the northern tip of the Middle East boot, and then travel south to Mecca.
Musa brought along with him 60,000 people as well as 2,000 slaves (not surprising because he was so rich). It took him almost a year to reach Mecca, and on every Friday of his journey, he paid for a mosque to be built. He also gave out more than two tons of gold to people he met, and for 20 years his actions would raise the price of other goods drastically, changing the economy in an unintentional way. He was the one who established the city of Timbuktu as well as schools and universities as he was a big supporter of education.
After Mansa Musa passed away, his son, Maghan, took the throne, but when invaders could not be stopped, the Mali Empire drew to a close.
The Songhai Empire was the last of the three great West African empires. The Songhai was a monarchy who was once controlled by the Mali but had finally “regained freedom.” Sunni Ali, a ruler of the Songhai, unified the kingdom and expanded it, and because he was Muslim, trade was popular. But when a non-Muslim, Sunni Baru, rose to the throne, he was overtaken, for the fear that people would not trade with those who were not Muslim. The following ruler was Askia The Great, who took over Africa’s countryside to expand the Empire’s size, and Askia established libraries, universities, and mosques, encouraging people to study and be educated at his most famous university – University of Sankore. Unexpectedly, in 1591, a region named Morocco ordered soldiers to destroy Timbuktu, using guns, while European explorers discovered sea trade routes that shut off the Songhai, and that is how the West Africa’s Golden Age finally fell.
The Age of Exploration
The Age of Exploration was fueled by a “perfect mix” of many things: Science, Government, Education, Technology, and Curiosity, also the components of the Scientific Revolution that contributed to the Renaissance.
After events such as the Black Death, people lost faith in the Church, seeing the world for themselves, putting an emphasis on human achievement – known as humanism. Instead of just focusing their life on religion and God, they turned to subjects from Greek and Roman Classics: literature, philosophy, science, math, art, music, and more.
Royal rulers gained back political power from the Church, and their wealth also grew. With people gaining curiosity about the world around them, and wanting to explore, royal rulers were able to fund explorers for their journeys, like Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain funding Christopher Columbus.
During this great age of humanism, knowledge, ideas, and inventions all spread around. New inventions like the printing press and the caravel (Portuguese ship with triangular sail) helped out. With the printing press, information now could be spread rapidly, cheaply, and easily, allowing people to become more educated. The other inventions like the telescope and caravel allowed for more advanced exploration.
Through the Silk Road trade, goods from China were traded to the middle man, passing from one seller to the next, increasing the price of the goods. People in Europe didn’t like having to pay extra, and they wanted to get rid of the middle man and travel to Asia directly and purchase goods at a cheap price, but the journey would be look and treacherous.
Explorers from all over Europe wanted to reach some fantastic destination, and after Marco Polo in the 1200s or 13th century visited China, many wanted to go to Asia as well. They wanted to find faster ways of travel from Europe to Asia by sea. They traveled for three main reasons: for God (religion), for Gold (riches), and for Glory.
One famous sea traveler was Prince Henry the Navigator. He contributed to a lot of exploration science, building observatories and navigation schools that taught sailors basic knowledge of navigating on voyages. Advances were also made in shipbuilding that allowed for faster travel. It was Prince Henry who led the Portuguese to the south tip of Africa – the Cape of Good Hope.
The most famous explorer we probably know of was an Italian sailor by the name of Christopher Columbus. He was the one who wanted to sail west to get to the East, but accidentally discovered part of the Americas, which would later become part of the New World. He had traveled to all of Europe’s nations to ask for funding, but all turned him down except for Spain’s rich rulers, who thought that funding his three boats was not even that much. He was the first to use slavery on the Natives and he was very cruel to them.
Others include Francisco Pizarro and Hernan Cortés, both Spanish explorers that stole much of Native wealth, conquering the Inca Empire and the Aztec Empire (separately and respectively), both defeating the rulers.
There were some people known as missionaries whose goal was to convert the Native peoples to Christianity. When Natives refused to convert, they were tortured or even killed. This led to the Natives almost completely losing their old culture and religion.
Different European countries conquered different areas of the New World. France claimed east Canada, including today’s Quebec and New Orleans, which became New France, and aspects of French culture like clothing, architecture, food, and language spread. Spain conquered many southern American regions, like Ecuador and Colombia, as well as Central America and Mexico
With Europeans arriving at the land of the Natives, cultural diffusion began. This great trade of plants, animals, and ideas between the New (Americas) and Old (Europe) worlds was called the Columbian Exchange. Goods from the New World included: cacao, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, tobacco, pineapples, and goods from the Old World included: horses, pigs, rice, wheat, sugar cane, chicken, cattle, citrus, and more. Because of this today, we in the US have much more food than we would have had before.
Even though the Columbian Exchange as mentioned above seems to have good effects, there were terrible effects as well. Spanish explorers used imperialism and stole the land that belonged to the Natives, and now many Natives had to relocate. The explorers and the settlers to come would bring many European diseases with them: smallpox, typhon, and others, and this caused the Native population to decrease by 50%. So it was not battles (which happened) but actually germs that killed off the Natives.
With Natives dying and the previous aspects of their culture converted, the Natives lost their lives, land, culture, language, and lifestyle all to the Europeans who explored the world and changed it forever.
In the beginning of the 1500s, it was the Catholic Church that held all political and religious power in Europe. Because all of the Europeans were Christian, all of Europe was under the power of the Pope and Church, and everyone was Catholic Christian.
Over time, however, the Catholic Church became politically corrupted. This can be seen in many events. Before, the Pope had issued a decree where salvation could not occur outside the Roman Catholic Church, and that the only religious and political power came from himself. Also, the capital of the Roman Catholic Church was moved from Rome to Auvergne. And an “over fondness” for wealth disturbed other people, such as the fact that indulgences, where a person gains redemption/forgiveness for a sin, now was not done spiritually, but for money instead. This practice for business where you paid priests and you would be “cleansed” instead of spiritual purposes was hated/despised by many, including Martin Luther.
People lost faith in the Church because of the above and also some events that had happened earlier. The Black Death wiped out ½ to 2/3 of Europe’s population, and people had turned to the Church for help to ask why God had caused this epidemic over the innocent. The Church had no response because some of their own were dying as well. People lost faith in both the Church and Christianity, decreasing the Church’s power.
Because of their actions, people did not trust their religious leaders and lost faith in the Church and Christianity. When some people denounced the Church’s rules/policies, they were executed. Some people, how ever, still continued to speak out for what they believed. One man, not knowing he would change the world, spoke out and began a movement that would change everything: Martin Luther and the Reformation.
Martin Luther was born in 1483 in Germany. He went to a Church school, and at that time information was spreading rapidly than ever before. Luther later moved east where there was a great cathedral. He had to follow a difficult religious life but was later ordained a Catholic priest. He worked in a cathedral teaching biblical scripture.
On October 31, 1517, Luther put together a list of his own 95 criticisms about the Church, the 95 Theses In Luther’s time, Indulgences were the Church’s income and when he saw Johann Tetzel, a German preacher selling, papal Indulgences at Erfurt for the reconstruction of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Martin was compelled to write his 95 Theses and post them on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther especially despised this indulgence-selling practice, as it turned something spiritual into business. Luther also felt that the Papal Bulls, or decrees/laws issued by the Pope, were not fair.
Indulgences were used to leave Purgatory, the place between Heaven and Earth, where one would stay forever in a state of imperfect purification, to go to Heaven. But know that the Church was doing this for money, anyone, bad or good, could get out of purgatory and the poor might not be able to.
Martin did not know that his 95 Theses would be seen very quickly by Wittenberg’s people and Church officials. Someone took a copy of Luther’s works to a printing press. Soon, many more copies were made.
In Martin’s 95 Theses, Luther explained how the Church’s practices did not all follow teachings from the Bible, which he had read. Many of the things the Church did were not even listed in the Bible, showing that the Church had really abused their power. But Martin was not backing down from threats of excommunication. He wanted to get his message out to the world – about Protestantism, the belief in being able to lead oneself in religious practices instead of needing a priest to explain the rights and wrongs of life. He put this belief into his 95 Theses and described how from reading the Bible he believed people could have their own relationship with God, without the need of the Church. A Pope emissary tried to stop him and Luther claimed he only trusted the Bible, not the Pope at all. Luther refused to yield to the Pope’s orders to stop and instead published books about his ideas.
The Diet of Worms, held in the city of Worms, was a trial for heretics, a meeting of the Holy Roman Emperor and princes of all the German states. Luther traveled there in April of 1521 and was put on trial for his writing and preaching. Here, after a day of his own thought, Luther admitted that he had written the Theses and felt they were still all true, feeling guided by his conscious. He closed his remarks with: “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.” and his famous quote “I CANNOT RECANT.”
The Church did not like hearing those words. They were sure that Luther would cower under their power. The Pope was angry. From the trial, Luther was declared an outlaw, his literature works banned, and demanded his arrest, saying that anyone who helped Luther would be committing a crime. He was also excommunicated, or banished from the Church to remain in Hell.
Surprisingly, one person who did start to believe Luther’s teachings was Prince Friedrich (Or Friedrich the Wise), a prince of a German state who eventually believed in Luther’s teachings. After the Diet of Worms he kidnapped Luther to protect him from the Church and kept him inside his own castle so Luther could continue his writings. After the Diet of Worms he kidnapped Luther to protect him from the Church and kept him inside his own castle so Luther could continue his writings. For years Luther was kept there, and he made up his identity as Sir George. He continued his writings about how the Church does not completely follow the Bible. One of Luther’s greatest achievements here was translating the Bible from Latin to the local German language. His books were published and now people all over Germany did not need a priest to translate; they could read and interpret it themselves, which became known as the Priesthood of the Believers. In a way, this is putting an emphasis on humanism, as now humans have become those who think for themselves, not always needing the Church telling them what to do. They could control their own life as well as the things they did.
Luther did not know it, but back in Wittenberg where he was from, one of Luther’s old teachers/professors who had eventually believed in Luther’s teachings had told the people there that Luther was not calling a reformation, or change of the Church, but a protest against the Church. Now instead of change, it was violence that would take place. The people who were now part of this Protestant Reformation were against the Church, both trying to hurt/kill each other. Protestants broke the stained glass windows of Churches and fights were fought. People on both sides were killed and wounded. Charles V, Emperor of the Roman Empire and strong supporter of the Pope, assembled armies and ordered them to attack the city where Luther was. Religious wars, battles fought over religion, such as if you do not believe in the same God or religious rituals as someone else or another nation/group of people, broke out. During this period two main religious wars broke out: French Huguenots and Germany’s Thirty-Year War. Some say that 50,000 died, others say 100,000. Either way, Martin Luther had not wanted his idea to turn into this. He had wanted to CHANGE the Church, as he was a heresy who believed in change for the Church. But he had never wanted to DESTROY it.
Martin eventually did return to his city of Wittenberg, leaving Prince Friedrich’s castle behind. All the deaths and violence he saw disgusted him. He never wanted his change to turn out like this. He called for a stop to the peasants and got angry with his former professor who had interpreted his words like this. Even when Martin stopped the Protestant Reformation, he still wanted to change the Church.
Even so, the Church denied change. They knew that if they changed they would lose power and believers. They refused to listen to Luther.
Luther eventually met a woman named Katie and they fell in love and married. Under the Church's law he never would have been allowed to marry her, but in his branch Lutheranism of course he made it allowed.
Luther’s ideas caught on with some other people too. Luther had created his own branch of Christianity – Lutheranism: it followed the Bible and had some influence from the Catholic Church, but had other features as well, such as indulgences not being sold. England’s king, King Henry VIII wanted a divorce from his wife, but the Catholic Church denied it. Thus, Henry VIII created his own branch of Christianity – the Anglican Church, where “Anglican” means “England.” John Calvin formed his own branch too – Calvinism, which he used to take religious and political power in Switzerland as well as turning that nation into a theocracy.
At first the Church ignored the Protestant Reformation, but then began using violence. They put any opposers in a trial for heresy and sentenced most of them to death or torture. However, they did not kill Martin Luther (he would become a martyr and have more followers in the Reformation). Violence hindered the progress of the protest but did not stop it. Finally, they decided to change some of their aspects, but it was too late. Many people had converted to other branches of Christianity that were being formed.
There were several effects of the Reformation. A major one is that instead of Europe being united because everyone was Christian, people followed their own branches and the unification broke. Europe divided into Catholic and non-Catholic regions. Northern regions such as England, Germany, Sweden became Protestant while Southern European areas like Italy, Spain, France remained Catholic. Also, two main religious wars broke out: French Huguenots and Germany’s Thirty-Year War. Social changes occurred too, as the Bible was translated into the local language, priests were no longer needed to read it as people could do it themselves. They believed they could have their own relationship with God and the classes changed. Federalism began in the Church and soon protestants wanted power to be shared between leaders and people, between a local and strong central government. The Treaty of Westphalia was signed to stop religious wars between the Catholic French and the Protestants/Huguenots. Before the French king had been Catholic and banned the Protestant religion. With it now occurring, some power was given to the people and some to officials. The US today has this as well and so it is also an enduring impact. With Europe being divided into different branches of Christianity, new countries were formed with like cultures, allowing the diversity of Europe to flourish, which leads to why countries are so different today. Protestantism is created, spreading and inspiring those prosecuted in Europe to move to the New World in America, the pilgrims who came here for religious freedom.
And to believe that all of this started with one man who spoke out for a cause he wanted. All of this began with the man known as Martin Luther. Hard to imagine that all he wanted was a change and he sparked much more than that. Luther eventually died in 1546 but what he did still lives on.
The Renaissance, literally "rebirth" in French, was a time of great human achievement in art, literature, science, music, and poetry. It was the effect of the Black Death, what came from the fall of feudalism, and flourished with help from traders, humanism, and Marco Polo. It began in Italy, a port peninsula with connections to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
The Black Death (brought by the Mongols) wiped out a lot of Europe’s population and also diminished some people’s faith in the Church. With people realizing that God and religion could not help them during that time they realized they could make their own achievements instead of being controlled by religion, thus the humanism idea was developed. With so much of the population gone, the feudal system collapsed and there was a surplus of food. With more food than necessary for survival, people could take up other jobs they wanted to and learn new things, like science, architecture, literature, music, art, etc., learning more and becoming educated. Because of the Black Death, even though the plague took its toll, humanism in the Renaissance grew.
A very soon-to-be-famous Italian trader named Marco Polo was one of the main travelers during this time. He went to the far east of Asia, to China, and brought back knowledge, inventions, goods, and a bunch of other things Asian that the Europeans wanted. Bringing back goods and information from Asia led to Europeans starting to trade with the Asians to the east and the Middle East to the southeast, as the Arabs had brought back the ancient Greek and Roman classics. By trading with both of these places, more knowledge, goods, philosophies, among other things, were able to spread, as cultural diffusion, and allowing all three regions to advance and change for the better.
The rise of trade and creation of the new middle class caused a huge change in society. The middle class was a new group who had enough for survival in terms of needs but still had some left over for wants.
The rise of trade helped bring the classics of ancient Greece and Rome rediscovered by the Arabs to Europe. With the middle class being created, people have time and money (they have enough to fulfill their needs and some leftover for wants) to look at these works and gain the knowledge of these peoples. Because of this, people learn the old ideas that had been lost and are able to become even more educated, leading to a strong and smart middle class.
Because of the creation of a middle class, new jobs were created. These included banking, writing, music, art, literature, and others. With these new jobs knowledge was required so people were forced to become smarter and educated. Once they did and had the job, they still had the knowledge. For example, in banking, accountants had to know foreign languages, arithmetic, writing, etc. These jobs allowed society but mostly the middle class to expand and advance.
Ideas and philosophies changed based on what people observed. Before, the Church had told people that the universe revolved around the Earth, but astronomers Galileo and Copernicus proposed the idea that would later become true - the Universe was Heliocentric. Also, medical practices no longer were based on Church scholars' thoughts, but actually on experimentation. Thus, people began to live longer and healthier lives. Inventors like Leonardo da Vinci came up with ideas like a helicopter and anatomy way before his time that are still used today.
Art in the Renaissance also changed. Back in the Middle Ages, art had been dull, 2D, with no perspective, and everything revolved around religion. Now art was more like the classics of ancient Greece and Rome, with everything painted/sculpted more realistically revolving around people and having perspective, color, and shadow.
In the Renaissance, lots of inventions were developed, from flush toilets to lenses to the printing press, and they would change the world, the inventors becoming much more than just thinkers.
CLOCKS – with clocks people now could tell time and keep track of it. There was no more cluelessness about when things were going on. There was a way to keep things consistent – time.
PRINTING PRESS – brought back/invented by Johannes Gutenberg (controversy over which) changed printing forever. Books could be printed with many copies cheaply and quickly, no longer having to be done as illuminated manuscripts painstakingly done by hand. Society could learn to read books and gain knowledge from these works. This led to a more educated middle class and allowed history from then to be recorded and not lost.
LENSES - were used to develop microscopes and telescopes. Between 1590 and 1608, the first useful telescope was made. Now in the Renaissance new advances in medicine and science could be made. In 1608 an eyeglass maker from Holland created the first useful telescope, and this was used for astronomical studies, leading to an expanse of knowledge about the universe. If not for lenses, we would not know much about the outside universe or our own medicine and science today, because we too use lenses today.
GUNPOWDER - changed how wars were fought. Instead of being hand-on-hand, war was about fighting with firearms. From gunpowder rockets were also developed. Now today we still use guns, firearms, and fireworks, and rockets were still in use by NASA a few years ago.
During the Renaissance there were changes in society and life. To follow is just one example. After the feudal system collapsed, there was no more need for knights to protect the king. Instead, the knights became the king’s personal paid army who protected the kingdom. The kingdom was now a large nation-state, not just a small territory. Now the army fought common enemies and protected a larger group of people.
I didn’t know that one raid by the Mongols on a castle in Italy would change my life. That day, Mongols sieged a castle in Caffa, Italy. They used the first biological weapon - catapulting dead bodies of their own over castle walls. From Mongolia, the Mongols had carried a plague with them, but being exposed to it for so long, the Mongols were not much affected by it. They carried the disease with them along the Silk Road to Europe. It was from bacterium known as Yersinia pestis. When the castle became infected with it, the diseased died immediately. Three men left the castle to go to Sicily and then Venice and Florence, major port trade cities, running away from immediate death. Little did they know that they would be the ones would spread this plague even further through Europe. Little did I know that even though I had not known these men, their actions would affect my entire life.
One morning I went to a trade route in France to trade for some food. The trader had some strange, large zit-like things that were black and blue. He asked me if I could try to get those things off. I took a nearby rag and wiped one on his neck. But then I had direct contact with this disease the trader had - The Bubonic Plague.
Being a clergy, higher than the average priest, I knew a bit of medicine. Before I caught the diseases myself I had heard rumors from traders in my city of Limousin, France. They had said that there were apparently three kinds of the plague - bubonic (of the lymph), pneumonic (of the lungs), and septicemic (of the blood). The worst, they said, was the bubonic plague, where you would develop huge zit-like things and spots, spread through direct contact. The pneumonic forced you to cough blood and was spread through the air. The septicemic infected your blood when the infected fleas bit into you.
After the day I traded with the trader with the buboes, the next morning when I woke up, I felt so weak and in lots of pain. My throat hurt so badly and my forehead was hot with fever. After just a few hours, I developed spots on my skin that were at first red and then began to turn black. Huge zits began to form, black and blue and very ugly and gross. More spots that were purple also started popping up. I wanted to scream. They kept forming on me and I was afraid to go anywhere for fear I may spread it.
I knew that running would spread it even more; anyone with any intelligence could see that whenever newcomers (really runaways) came to Limousin, they looked sick themselves and by the next day the people caring for them would look exactly like them, possibly worse.
Each day I prayed to God. “Save us, please,” I would say each night and hope for help for everyone.
Instead of going out to talk and work, I stayed in my room, writing about my life, sure that it would soon end. I had food in my room, for the summer I was planning on visiting the Duomo of Milan Cathedral in Italy. I had traded for lots of bread, fruits, vegetables, and other food that were now stocked here. After listening to some outside conversations, I was able to find out that the plague itself had first spread to Italy. There was no way I would or could go there in this condition.
Instead of worrying and screaming and coughing, which I knew would not do to my good, I prayed and wrote in my journal. I also thought a lot. I wanted to tell someone that our manor was in danger. But no one wanted to be near me. Zane would peek into my castle sometimes and drop off some more food and drink. He was very nice; I knew that he was still saddened by his brother Quinn's death. One day he came and let me know that he was always coughing up blood, wondering if it was the plague. I guessed from the rumors that he had the pneumonic plague and had caught it through the air.
This Black Death hit everyone in every level of social class - from the poorest peasant to the richest king. Even so, when higher classes like kings and nobles began to die from the plague, lower classes took advantage and drank themselves drunk and stole items. But lower classes too died. No matter who you were, if you caught the plague, there was no cure. If you were richer you may have been able to afford priest care (that was not advanced enough to fight the plague) or be able to run away like lower classes. Some people locked themselves in, but you still had it. When people had to bury the dead, they would get the plague as well. But as I have stated before, there was NO escaping the Black Death. Plague victims may have been cared for by others who they too just got infected. Then they were quarantined or they ran and spread the disease further. Or they died.
Daily life was changed greatly due to the Black Death. With more people dying every day, there were labor shortages throughout Europe. Workers demanded higher wages, however landlords denied. Peasant revolts began and the feudal system collapsed. Higher members of the social class were getting sick and dying, and with no one to enforce the laws, lower classes did whatever they chose unless they got the plague. Survivors became wealthy and manual labor gained value. Wages increased and time became more valuable. But peasants still lived with dirty animals, including fleas and rats, making it easy to catch sickness. Knights’ living conditions were not as bad but not good either. Nobles who traveled, contacted others, or went to parties would have contact with the disease, and the same for kings.
Before the Black Death, the Church was who you would turn to for medical help. The doctors were really well-paid scholars. When the Church was unable to cure plague victims, medicine and religion changed in terms of how people saw it and now medicine focused on experimentation instead. The Church lost power as people had lost faith in them.
There were some known as flagellants that still believed that The Black Death was God's way of punishing people for their sins. They beat themselves to "suffer like Jesus" and to ask for forgiveness. The Black Death made them very violent. They also believed that the Jews disgraced God, so they killed many of them. They thought the Jews poisoned people (later found out that Jews caught the plague too, so this could not be).
After weeks and weeks of hopeless praying, I began to lose faith. Why hadn’t God answered my prayers and helped us? I began to question my religion. I know God would think it is wrong, but I truly started my own thinking. I had not committed any sins, so why was I sick now? Perhaps the Church was wrong. Perhaps I needed to start thinking for myself. Maybe all of the clergy class needed to think more.
I was scared to go anywhere. I had never been this scared in my life. I would peek out of my room sometimes and hear constant moaning, cries of pain and anguish, smell a horrible rotten smell like death, and see the grotesqueness of the plague on people everywhere. Is this what my great-great-grandfather Tiberius felt when his Rome collapsed? That he was trapped? That his world was ending?
I considered to run. But when I tried to stand out of my bed I collapsed. I could not stand. I had days left to live. Maybe less. My food supply was running short. I was thirsty, hungry, tired, frustrated, insane, and then, in just three days, little did I know something would happen.
~~~ continued below ~~~
Thinglink made by myself, (for some reason it shows a source link but I MADE IT)
~ ~ ~
Addition by Terryn (a friend of Xalvador's, father of Quinn and Zane, husband of Arabella) : I know this is Xalvador’s journal...but now that he is….gone….I have to write what happened to him.
On August 18, 1349, I am so sad to say that the dear bishop of Limousin, France - Xalvador Cannon...has fallen to the Black Death.
March 21, 1351, the Black Death has wiped out half to two thirds of Europe's population. Modern medicine was developed, changing public health and hospital management. Instead of using astrology and superstition, diagnoses were made with physical science and experimentation instead. The social class changed, as did art, religion, and views.
The greatest effect was in people's hearts. People lost faith in the Church and began questioning their religion. When the people needed help (medical and in terms of faith), the Church could not cure them or answer why God has caused the plague. The Church lost power and so did the Feudal System, as many high and low class members died. Thankfully, although Zane, my son, was infected, he is immune now and doing well.
But because many people had died, in Italy, famine and bad land was common. But now, Italian farmers had enough to grow food and exotic fruit, and they even had a surplus of it. Now peasants could become landowners and could live independent lives. Diets for peasants now included meat and better food and they became healthier. But nobles like myself had to farm myself; my peasants were gone. I did not know how to farm...it took a while to learn. Some other nobles killed others because they didn't want to farm. They looted cities, but I felt that this was wrong. Knights, too, battled and killed.
Danse and death macabre both began. Danse macabre, known as the "Dance of Death," is a concept shown through drama, music, poetry, art, which shows a dance between the living and the dead. Death macabre was an art of paintings of skeletons and death. It changed trade as well as religion. People changed their views of death. They no longer embraced it and became afraid. We learned to take control of our own lives.
But after The Black Death, the greatest "flowering of culture and knowledge" in Europe occurred. The Renaissance.
In the twentieth and twenty-first century, geneticists sound that genetic diversity in England is much less than in the eleventh century because the Black Death killed so many. In the twenty-first century, the bubonic plague can be cured by antibiotics, but it has to be identified. But if there still are microscopic killers...and a plague hit again....would we be ready?
1214 was the same as the years before. King John, while his brother King Richard was off fighting in the Crusades, John had become king. Richard was a good king, John was the opposite. Simple way to see it.
When the Christians were coming back from the 3rd Crusade (one where Merek, Quinn, and Charles fought in), Richard was ransomed by the Duke of Austria, whom he had embarrassed during the Siege of Acre. King John had to tax all of our people so much, paying way more than our usual taxes. John gave over over twice the annual revenue of England so his brother could be freed (though I am sure he didn’t want to lose the throne back to his brother).
When John was king, before his brother had been captured, I had seen all that that greedy man had done. He taxed our people way more than was needed, punished lower classes for crimes not committed, stole things/property/land from nobles, and more. We the people were getting fed up!
In 1215, the Church including myself discussed how this could not go on….violation of God’s word, doing this to people! We decided to talk with the nobles. We had a meeting and discussed a document to write. This document would do many things: put the king’s power under the law, helped show Habeas Corpus (every free man has right to trial by a jury), developed checks and balances, and helped found other government documents….such as the United State’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The Magna Carta was written by a fellow friend of mine, Archbishop Stephen Langton. Years before, in 1205, Langton and King John had both wanted to be Archbishop, but the Pope made Langton the actual. He wrote 37 laws on it, some old and some new. He wrote it on parchment with a quill pen.
On June 15, 1215, we finally got King John to come to Runnymede with us. We held the document in front of him and told him everything we wanted. He at first refused. We then told him that if there was no one behind him to support him during his rule he would be dethroned. Finally, he signed with his signet ring.
Now our government was no longer “Rex Lex” (Latin for “The king is above the law.”) Now it was “Lex Rex” (Latin for “The law is above the king.”) Now our King John had to follow the same laws and rules we did. With this came a system of checks and balances so that John could not tax nobles without their consent.
With the king’s power limited, nobles were able to gain power. At this time, every decision the king wanted to make would have to be approved by the nobles, which gave them more control.
The Magna Carta changes my life too. Now that the king can no longer say he is too good for the law, life is fair. There are no crazy taxes put around or tales of stealing around the manor. Judging is much more logical with the ability to have a trial by jury and not just be said “guilty.”
I can see the Magna Carta in the future. Little would I know that a new land Britain settled in, America, would have government documents very similar to our “Great Charter,” the Magna Carta.
PREFACE: This tale is told by me, Bishop Xalvador Cannon. The events of the First and Third Crusade will be told to the best of my ability, in a Christian light for the Church. Again I have weaved the tales of those Crusaders who have returned (I myself, being a bishop, would not go fight). It was brutal, harsh, heart-pounding, and no one will ever be able to forget it.
Pope Urban II encouraged everyone to go fight in the Crusades. Terryn, the noble friend I have mentioned in past writings, has ALWAYS wanted his sons to be good Christians. Quinn, Terryn’s son who was a knight, told me he had committed sins in his life, and he said that if he was killed by a Muslim or killed a Muslim he could be cleansed of the sin, and also get to go to Heaven. I knew that the belief the people had in Christianity and God was very great. The Pope had told me my job was to convince people to go. I told them that God would reward them and many people went. Pope Urban II had exclaimed, “Deus Vult!” or “God Wills It!” He hoped this would convince people to bring back the Holy Lands and the Holy City that the Muslims had stolen from us. It was interesting to me how all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, all had their holy city as Jerusalem. But the Christians wanted it, so many Christians went out to fight!
Anyways, Quinn was convinced to go. He loved battles and fighting. Arabella, Quinn’s mother, was religious, but she told me, “How could I be sure if he was going to return or get killed?” Arabella told me she would not go. “If he dies….I don’t want to see it. I am afraid of battles….I can’t go.” Arabella also had a niece named Seraphina who was only seven. Seraphina’s family’s castle had been destroyed in an old attack, so Arabella and Terryn had taken her in. Seraphina was from Germany and knew little English or French.
Perhaps I will write a bit of background knowledge here. Before the First Crusade the Turks had invaded the Holy Land and captured it. The Holy Land consisted of the holy city of Jerusalem (an important place for all three monotheistic religions) and the surrounding regions. Aside from having control over Jerusalem, the Turks were also threatening the Byzantine Empire’s borders. Fearing the Turkish seizing Constantinople, the emperor came to Pope Urban II for help. As many knights in the kingdom had been bored, so after the Pope’s promise of safe passage to Heaven, knights, peasants, priests, and even others could go.
Quinn and other knights I knew, such as Charles, Merek, James, and William from my kingdom all went. They promised to conquer the Holy Land and bring it back for the Church. I wished them luck, promised them honor, and watched them leave. They marched with pride and energy, bringing horses and weapons. I remember hundreds of thousands of men leaving.
Three years had passed: 1096-1099. The men left in 1096 and it had been several years before I saw any of them again. Only some had come back, much less than had left. Those who came back, though, had faces gleaming with pride. They raised the Holy Cross in honor, shouting with glee. “We’ve conquered the land!” Merek ran at me and told me. “We won against the Muslims! We’ve won the Holy City!” I was proud of the men. They with no doubt would go to Heaven. Merek, Charles, and Quinn had tears running down their dirty faces, and then I noticed some people were missing. “Where are James and William?”
The three knights looked down before me. They spoke of the journeys they had endured just to GET to the battle. Quinn first told me about his young cousin Seraphina. He had said, “They said it would be best if they put some children on the ships so the Muslims would have mercy.” Quinn looked down. “But - on the way there, in Marselle, pirates attacked. Some of them drowned or died because of the environment. Seraphina...she didn’t survive.” This broke my heart. I had seen Seraphina before...so young. But if the Pope wanted something done, it was God’s want too, so everyone of the lands, including myself, had to obey. If he wanted thousands of ships of children sent over, what could I do?
Charles took on from there. “It was such a treacherous journey,” he sighed out. “We crossed over miles and miles of land...and in the winter our toes were freezing in our boots and we were so hungry and thirsty. Riding on the horse became torture; the horse’s back was so hard and uncomfortable.” Merek added in, “But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was time! It took two years just to get to the city!” They knights then continued about how they had went to see some King and received blessings. I asked them where they traveled over, they told me they traveled east, crossing over Germany, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and then to the Holy Land. The conditions were terrible and some Crusaders, fighters in the Crusades, died along the way, from diseases to exhaustion and hunger. Merek said, “We lost James before the battles started. James seldom had a good resistance to diseases...he died a few months before we reached Jerusalem.” Along the way though, in 1098, the Crusaders sieged Antioch and captured it. They also destroyed Jewish homes and temples, claiming they had killed Jesus.
Charles told me that once they reached the walls of Jerusalem, one Crusader had a vision that they should march around Jerusalem barefoot and then close in. So they did this and the unprepared Muslims lost. The Crusaders brought back knowledge, cotton, foods, and stories. Quinn piped up, “Charles forgot to mention that during the battle with them, we lost William too, he was stabbed in the back. At least we know he’ll end up in Heaven.”
“You all did well, winning victory for the Christians,” I told the three knights. I turned to Quinn. “Your father will be proud of you.”
Little did I know that what I said would all change.
Eighty years later in 1189, a brilliant war general named Saladin became Sultan of Egypt. He had captured Jerusalem in 1187, as he united Syrian Muslims and then beat the Christians, getting the Holy Land back for the Muslims.
When the rest of our people heard about the loss of the Holy City, men sewed gold, silk, and cloth crosses onto their garments. They called for yet another Crusade. They made sure the red crosses were bright on their clothing.
The three most powerful kings, Philip of France, Richard of England, and Frederick Barbarossa of Germany led the armies. In order to fight, Richard had to raise money, and he did this by robbing/persecuting Jews, taxing the classes, and selling royal lands.
Soon the three kings led their armies to the Holy Land. Unlike the First Crusade, travel in the Third Crusade involved water travel and ships. The German emperor Barbarossa was almost seventy, and when he and his army were traveling, he drowned. His army was dejected, so they returned to Germany. The English and French armies went on, and with 600,000 men, they sieged Acre, though it took a long time. After capturing Acre, Richard and Philip had argued, and Philip was angry, so he returned home. Richard led the mission alone.
Not during battles, Saladin was generous with Richard. When Richard had a fever, Saladin personally gave him some of the best fruits in the land. When Richard’s horse had been killed, Saladin gave him a fine Arabian steed. For 2 years Richard and Saladin fought in daily combat. Even so, Richard could not win. He and Saladin ended with a truce where the Christians would be free to visit the Holy Land without having to pay for access.
On Richard’s return home, he was shipwrecked along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. He tried to travel through Austria in disguise but was captured by the duke of Austria. He had offended the duke during the Siege of Acre, and in order to be let free, Richard had to pay a fine of twice England’s annual revenue.
The First Crusade was the only Crusade won by the Christians. Even so, the Crusaders didn’t come back empty-handed, they had more knowledge, objects, and had brought back Muslim ideas. However, there was now a huge distrust between Christians and Jews.
During the Third Crusade, Merek, Quinn, and Charles again went, accompanied by other groups of peasants and knights. When they returned in 1192, their numbers had gone so small and the look of defeat and exhaustion was plain on their faces. They had lost. They told me the Crusade ended in a truce, the Christians could still visit when they wanted to, but the land wasn't completely ours. We had to share it. I looked up again but I only saw Merek and Charles. “Where’s Quinn?” Arabella had screamed out behind me.
Merek looked into his fellow knight’s mother’s face. “Quinn was killed by a Muslim. He is in Heaven now.” I saw Zane and Terryn, Quinn’s brother and father, behind Arabella. Arabella wailed and cried, her tears streaming across her face. “Why my son? Why him?” she yelled at the sky, sobbing.
After Terryn, Zane, and Arabella left, Merek told me that it wasn’t just cleansing of sin and Heaven that made Quinn and himself want to go. “It was the opportunity,” he explained. “If we won, we could have gotten more land for ourselves. I myself have three older brothers and of course they get more land than myself. Quinn? He has Zane the noble as a brother who gets much more than himself. We wanted more...so we went to fight.”
Charles piped in, “I will say, those Muslims were strategic fighters...they knew how battles go. They were prepared this time. But they killed so many of ours...including Quinn….how could they do this!”
None of us needed to mention it, but for the Crusades, so many faithful Christians had left home, safety, peace, and family behind. On the First, they may have brought back knowledge and food, and on the Third knowledge, ideas, and materials, but we all knew, so many who went did not come back. No one would ever be able to forget this bloody, religious series of brutal wars for the sacred city all of us wanted.
This tale happened only a few weeks ago, and I will tell it to the best of my ability. I have weaved together the statements of the knights and King Frederick to come up with this story - one that will become history. It was my duty to go into the castle keep, the safest place in the castle, to pray for our knights' victory, the King assigned me this, for I am the clergy.
In the day of our Lord, February 28, 700. King Frederick told me he had heard a sound like thunder, rumbling across the land. He felt something that he guessed must have been an earthquake, shaking the castle inhabitants from head to toe. He told me this, and my first thought: Has God brought a disaster to me? Then I realized this was not a disaster. This - THIS - was an attack. I knew somehow. I told the King.
King Frederick sent knights to investigate, who told us later that this group of scoundrels was cruel, brutal, and ugly as weasels. Nasty-looking fellows, mind you. But they were good fighters, that much could be seen. They all worn chain mail and armor that glistened in the day, their helmets hiding cruel faces, all walking in perfect army lines, banging their shields and weapons. Well trained, very well trained. These bad boys were definitely from a nearby French kingdom, one knight knew that from the Fleur de Lis on each of their crests. We had no idea who sent them, but knew they were our enemy.
King Frederick was well reasoned. “I am no coward. I am not to lose my castle to those weasels. We WILL fight, but not just yet,” he told his knights. “Lure them into the Cursed Hall, where the murder holes are. That should get rid of some of them.” I was sent to the keep. King Frederick told me he needed me to pray there for our victory.
The knights told me after the battle ended that they stormed after them, taunting and shooting arrows and firing cannons at the opponent. One thing to note, those knights had been angry, running after my fellows. When our knights ran to the Cursed Hall, they knew what spots on the ground to dodge. The opponents? Not so much. One by one many fell, consumed into the holes that held spikes, fire, and boiling water.
Other knights were smarter. The head knight told our men to use the arrow loops in the castle to fire arrows. These opponents had brought siege towers, but the moat around the castle protected us and they soon realized they had to discard their siege tower. Arrows plucked off the enemy smoothly. All of our weapons were great ones and I am sure they would be used in future years as well. Some of our knights fought hand to hand, using maces, crossbows, swords, lances, and other weapons, all useful that I am sure they will last long times. The crossbow is a large bow that can fire long shots with lots of power. The mace is a weapon with a chain you can spin to gain speed and then attack with.
Though the sound when the approached was great, about half of them were left, according to what the knights said. It is apparent that many of these men are not the smartest, falling into holes and being killed. Frederick then decided to tell the men to look where some more enemies were. One told me a bunch were climbing up ladders, and that they had SWAM across the moat. Daredevils, eh? The leading knight Charles told him to send a few knights to drop Greek fire on them, which eliminated much more, leaving a few dozen left. Charles then fired THE prized baby cannon. Shots rang out in the air and the rest of the enemy fled. Only when their cries of fear had completely vanished did Charles sent the wounded knights out to the barber to fix them up. No injuries were that bad. Even though the enemy had been well organized, their weaponry could not hit the knights, we had famous armor from our very own blacksmith.
A few hours after, I went to the chapel in the Notre Dame Cathedral where I worked to thank God for saving us all from those weasel barbarians. I couldn’t help but as always notice the advancements like flying buttresses, gothic arches, and ribbed vaults that kept the ceiling up. The flying buttresses are amazing; they took the pressure and weight from the pointed arch and directed it to the ground, allowing arches to go even higher. Higher and grander. The pointed arch looked both magnificent and functioned well too. And don't forget those vaults, they're all that's keeping the ceiling from crashing down.
When I returned to the castle, Charles informed me that another knight, Merek, had been injured, a huge gash on his arm. I hoped the barber wouldn’t have to amputate him. I prayed to God to let this good soul live. The barber had wrapped some bandages around it and told me it was not deep and that it should heal. This barber was old and knew what kind of treatments worked. He barely ever used blood letting or leeches, thank goodness. He didn't just amputate people for no reason...and tried to make things, erm, as painless as possible. Amputating or blood letting is all useless...peh. Another knight, James, had caught fever. The barber used herbal medicine and gem therapy and soon James was running around with his lance again. A few days later, my knights were good. I thanked God again and returned to fixing up the castle defenses in case those barbaric weasels ever returned.
ARCHITECTURE: timber-framed houses, grindstones, iron, steel, windmills, plough, three-field crop rotation, horse shoes, artesian well, blast furnace, wheelbarrow
WAR: cannon, crossbow, lance, siege towers, trebuche
DAILY USE: mirror, soap, spectacles, wine press, magnets, printing press, clocks
ARCHITECTURE: gothic, flying buttresses, vaults, drawbridge
I work at the Notre Dame Cathedral, the most famous church in all of my home country France. In the morning I lead the religious services every day and prayers. When people ask why world events happen, it is my job to say what occurred - I am the head bishop. To the poor in our community me and my fellows provide them education, and we help the sick. We can also excommunicate leaders of the world if they are not following the Ways of God - it is the job of us to keep order in the Christian World.
During church services, members of the manor file into the wooden pews as I step up to lead the service. I have to use a powerful, expressive voice, as well as talking loudly and clearly. Church services mean a lot to me, they represent my true being as God’s messenger.
My family consisted of my mother Sybil, my father Althalos, my brother Leofrick, and my sister Muriel. We have done Sacraments for all of us, but I will only say three. I had never seen Leofrick baptized (I don’t remember, I would’ve only been a toddler), but I did see Muriel’s baptism. Our mother and father held the young Muriel in their hands as the priest placed the holy water on her little head. When my friend Terryn married to his wife, Arabella, I was at their wedding and saw when they became a family. I was actually helping to lead the wedding service, my being a bishop! When Althalos Cannon, my father, was dying from likely old age, I had to give the last rites to him, which truly saddened myself. I know for certain in my heart that he made it to Heaven.
Even though I work at the magnificent cathedral Notre Dame, one day Terryn invited me to join his family to go ALL THE WAY to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia. It is a very unique church and I was quite interested in something besides Notre Dame. We traveled a long time via horseback from France to Germany to Poland, staying overnight at taverns while we fed our horse. It took a very long time, I am not sure how long, but we finally reached the cathedral. My legs and arms were so sore that I could barely open the door there. It was magnificently colorful and full of amazing patterns that had a Russian taste to it. I wandered around with Terryn. This was our pilgrimage, as Notre Dame was our home church, it wouldn’t count as a pilgrimage. The architecture inside was stupendous. We talked with the bishop there and acquired much knowledge. Then, after two days of exploring, it was time to endure another hard journey back. Curses!
A cathedral is a large and famous church, and some important architectural pieces to note are: the rose stained glass windows that let in light, the flying buttresses that support the walls, the gothic arches, the groin vault, and the fact that from the sky it is shaped in a cross.
Being the bishop, the people believe us because the Church is the connection between them and God. If they want to reach Heaven, the only way is to do as we say.
In the day of our lord Feb 7, 800. Days just seem to grind on. It is now winter and some snow has fallen. That is fine as we have a warm fire in the Castle. I have plenty of wood, remember the laws give me rights to everything and everyone on my manor. Well let me explain a day in my life......
I get up at sunrise and go to bed at sunset, working with the sun. When the guard trumpets the waking call, I get up and have breakfast by myself, a good, hearty meal.
I greet the knights and peasants that live on my manor and thank them for working. My role is at the Church, where I lead services in the chapel, give advice from God, and translate Latin occasionally. I read documents to others because I am one of the few people that actually know how to read.
On my manor, I need my peasants to grow food and make weapons as well as clothes, and my knights to protect us all. I also need artisans like the blacksmith, bower, candle-maker, etc., as well as the miller and baker. I have no children. I eat very good food topped with expensive spices, like meats, fish, breads, cheeses, and rich fruits. They depend on me to break up fights, give advice, read documents, et cetera.
Being rich, I dress in colorful silks, damask, and the like. I wear a hooded garment sometimes, for I am the clergy. For fun? I go to the Medieval Festival, practice archery (I like it), read Latin books, et cetera. I sometimes travel to my friend Terryn, my noble best friend, and see his family at his castle.
My great-great-great-grandfather Tobias used to live in Rome, where there was a tripartite government of a Republic, and there was no fear of invasion. Rome had been one vast empire, while the kingdoms here are small. We use the feudal and manor system now, and we always fear another group will invade us. We are ruled by one King or Queen and the Church has lots of power. I enjoy helping people and am grateful for my peaceful life. I would change...hmmm….not much...ah! Yes! More sleep! I need more sleep!