Daily Lives of Ancient Mesopotamians Western Civilization Discussion

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Renaissance and Age of Exploration (1400 CE – 1600 CE)
As a history professor, I agree that understanding chronology is a critical course
objective. When it comes to the Renaissance and Age of Exploration (1400 CE – 1600 CE), there
were many significant events that took place. After careful consideration, I have chosen the
following ten events to plot on a timeline:
1401 CE: The completion of the Florence Cathedral dome by Filippo Brunelleschi
The completion of the Florence Cathedral dome by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1401 CE is an
important event in the Renaissance era. This dome is considered one of the greatest feats of
architecture in history and marked the beginning of the Renaissance period’s architectural
advancements. The dome, built with a double shell design, was a solution to the problem of
building a dome over such a large area. The cathedral’s previous architect, Arnolfo di Cambio,
had designed the cathedral with the intent of a dome, but the plan was never implemented due to
the lack of viable construction methods. Brunelleschi’s dome was not only technically
impressive, but it also had significant artistic value George and E, (2016). The dome was covered
with frescoes depicting the Last Judgment, and the interior was adorned with intricate marble
work. The completion of the Florence Cathedral dome was a significant event as it marked the
beginning of the Renaissance period’s architectural advancements and set the stage for future
architectural achievements.
1453 CE: The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire
The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 CE was a significant event in
world history. The city of Constantinople, which had been the capital of the Eastern Roman
Empire since its founding in 324 CE, was a crucial center of trade, culture, and religion. The fall
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of Constantinople marked the end of the Eastern Roman Empire and the beginning of the
Ottoman Empire’s rise to power. It also marked the end of the medieval period and the beginning
of the Renaissance in Europe (Sanjian et al., 1971). The fall of Constantinople was a turning
point in world history as it changed the balance of power in Europe and the Mediterranean.
The fall of Constantinople was significant for several reasons. Firstly, it ended the
Byzantine Empire, which had been one of the longest-lasting empires in history. Secondly, it
marked the end of the medieval period and the beginning of the Renaissance, which was a time
of great cultural, scientific, and artistic advancements in Europe. The fall of Constantinople also
had significant political implications as it shifted the balance of power in the Mediterranean. The
Ottoman Empire’s rise to power threatened European powers, which eventually led to the Age of
Exploration as Europeans searched for new trade routes to bypass Ottoman-controlled territories.
The fall of Constantinople was an important event in world history as it marked the end of an era
and the beginning of a new age. 1492 CE: Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Americas.
1494 CE: The beginning of the Italian Wars
The beginning of the Italian Wars in 1494 CE marked a significant turning point in
European history. The wars, which lasted until 1559 CE, were a series of conflicts fought
between the major powers of Europe for control over the Italian peninsula. The wars were
sparked by the invasion of Italy by the French king Charles VIII, and they involved a complex
web of alliances and conflicts between the major European powers of the time (Fournel et al.,
2020). The Italian Wars had a profound impact on the political and social landscape of Europe,
shaping the course of history for centuries to come.
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1509 CE: The accession of Henry VIII to the English throne
The accession of Henry VIII to the English throne in 1509 marks a significant event in
the history of England. Henry VIII was a powerful monarch who reigned over England for nearly
four decades, from 1509 until his death in 1547. His reign was marked by significant political
and religious changes, including the break with the Catholic Church and the establishment of the
Church of England (Bernard et al., 2007). The accession of Henry VIII to the throne also marked
the beginning of the Tudor dynasty, which played a crucial role in the shaping of modern
England. Henry VIII’s reign saw the consolidation of royal power and the establishment of the
English monarchy as one of the most powerful in Europe.
1517 CE: Martin Luther’s publication of his 95 Theses
Martin Luther’s publication of his 95 Theses in 1517 is one of the most significant events
of the Renaissance and Age of Exploration. Luther was a German theologian who challenged the
authority of the Catholic Church and questioned the legitimacy of many of its practices. His
publication of the 95 Theses, which criticized the sale of indulgences and other practices of the
Catholic Church, sparked a religious and cultural revolution that had a profound impact on the
course of European history (Sanchez et al., 2015). Luther’s ideas inspired a movement that
eventually led to the Protestant Reformation, which challenged the authority of the Catholic
Church and changed the course of European history.
1520 CE – Magellan’s Voyage: Ferdinand Magellan embarked on his voyage to
circumnavigate the globe
Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage is one of the most significant events of the Renaissance and
Age of Exploration period. Magellan’s journey marked the first time in history that a ship
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circumnavigated the globe, contributing greatly to the knowledge and understanding of the
Earth’s geography. His expedition also led to the discovery of new trade routes and the expansion
of European influence across the world. Magellan’s voyage was not only a technological feat, but
also a testament to human curiosity and the spirit of exploration. His legacy continues to inspire
adventurers and explorers to this day. Therefore, it is no surprise that Magellan’s voyage is
widely considered as one of the most important events of this time period.
1521 CE: The capture of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan by Hernán Cortés
The capture of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan by Hernán Cortés in 1521 marked the
end of the Aztec Empire and the beginning of Spanish colonization in the Americas. Cortés and
his troops were vastly outnumbered by the Aztecs, but they were able to use their superior
weaponry, tactics, and the help of other indigenous groups who were opposed to the Aztecs to
defeat them. The conquest of Tenochtitlan was a brutal affair, with the Spanish taking advantage
of the Aztecs’ religious beliefs and customs to subjugate them. Cortés also destroyed many of the
city’s buildings and monuments and built a new city on top of the ruins. This event had farreaching consequences for both the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Spanish Empire
Alford and S. (2002). The Spanish were able to gain access to the vast resources of the New
World, and the indigenous peoples were forced to adapt to a new way of life under Spanish rule.
The capture of Tenochtitlan marked a turning point in world history, as it paved the way for the
conquest and colonization of other parts of the Americas by European powers.
1558 CE: The accession of Elizabeth I to the English throne
The accession of Elizabeth I to the English throne in 1558 marked the beginning of a new
era in English history. Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne
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Boleyn, and her reign was marked by a number of significant political, economic, and cultural
developments. Elizabeth was a strong and effective ruler, who was able to maintain stability and
unity in England despite facing numerous challenges, including the threat of invasion from
Catholic powers such as Spain and France Cross and C, (2017). Her reign saw the growth of
English trade and commerce, the expansion of England’s overseas colonies, and the flowering of
English literature and drama, with writers such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe,
and Ben Jonson producing some of the greatest works of the English Renaissance. Elizabeth’s
reign also saw the establishment of the Church of England as a separate entity from the Roman
Catholic Church, and the rise of Protestantism as the dominant religious force in England.
Elizabeth’s long and successful reign had a profound impact on English history and culture, and
she remains one of the most celebrated and revered monarchs in British history.
1571 CE: The Battle of Lepanto, where the Holy League defeated the Ottoman
Empire
The Battle of Lepanto, fought on October 7, 1571, was a crucial naval battle between the
Ottoman Empire and the Holy League. The Holy League was a coalition of Catholic maritime
states, including Spain, Venice, and Genoa, formed to defend against Ottoman expansion in the
Mediterranean. The battle was a decisive victory for the Holy League, and it is considered a
turning point in European history KORPÁS and Z, (2022). The defeat of the Ottoman Empire
prevented their expansion into Europe, secured the Mediterranean for Christian powers, and
ended the Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean. The battle also marked the first
significant defeat of the Ottomans in naval warfare and changed the balance of power in Europe.
The battle inspired numerous works of literature, including Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”
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and G. K. Chesterton’s “Lepanto,” which celebrated the victory as a triumph of Western
civilization over the “Turk.”
1600 CE: The establishment of the British East India Company
The establishment of the British East India Company in 1600 was a significant event that
laid the foundation for British colonialism in India and ultimately shaped the course of Indian
history. The company was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I, allowing it to conduct
trade in the East Indies, specifically India, which was a major hub of trade at the time. The
company established a permanent trading post in the port city of Surat in 1613 and expanded its
operations throughout India. The company’s profits grew exponentially, and it became the most
powerful economic and political force in India Watts and S, (2001). The company eventually
gained control over large swathes of territory in India, which led to the establishment of British
colonial rule in India, ultimately lasting until India’s independence in 1947. The British East
India Company also played a significant role in the development of modern Indian society and
economy by introducing new technologies, infrastructure, and administrative systems. The
impact of the company’s rule on India is a complex and controversial topic, but there is no
denying that the establishment of the British East India Company was a crucial event that shaped
the course of Indian and British history. I selected these events because they represent significant
developments in various fields such as art, architecture, religion, politics, and exploration. For
example, the completion of the Florence Cathedral dome by Brunelleschi was a remarkable feat
of engineering and marked a new era in Renaissance architecture. Similarly, Columbus’s voyage
to the Americas had far-reaching consequences for the world, opening up new trade routes and
expanding European influence across the globe. The capture of Tenochtitlan by Cortés was a
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turning point in the conquest of the Americas, while the Battle of Lepanto was a decisive victory
for European powers against the Ottoman Empire.
Primary sources are essential for historians to gain a deeper understanding of the past as
they offer first-hand accounts of events, ideas, and perspectives. These sources can be used to
support or challenge historical interpretations. In contrast, secondary sources provide historians
with analysis and interpretations of primary sources, offering a broader context for historical
events. Tertiary sources are useful for general background information but are not generally used
as the basis for scholarly arguments. It is essential to use a combination of primary and
secondary sources when conducting research to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of
the past.
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References
George, E. (2016). The Renaissance. Cavendish Square Publishing, LLC.
Sanjian, A. K. (1971). Two contemporary armenian elegies on the fall of Constantinople,
1453. Viator, 1, 223-262.
Fournel, J. L. (2020). The writing of catastrophe during the Italian Wars (1494-1559)-A
European history. Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes-Journal of Medieval
and Humanistic Studies, 2019(38), 23-45.
Bernard, G. W. (2007). The king’s reformation: Henry VIII and the remaking of the English
church. Yale University Press.
Potgieter, R. (2018). The 97 theses (04-05 September 1517): A precursor to the 95 theses (31
October 1517)?. In die Skriflig, 52(1), 1-8.
Sanchez, G. M. (2015). Did Emperor Moctezuma II’s head injury and subsequent death hasten
the fall of the Aztec nation?. Neurosurgical focus, 39(1), E2.
Alford, S. (2002). The Early Elizabethan Polity: William Cecil and the British Succession Crisis,
1558-1569. Cambridge University Press.
Cross, C. (2017). The Political Enforcement of Liturgical Continuity in the Church of England
1558-1662. Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique. French Journal of British
Studies, 22(XXII-1).
KORPÁS, Z. (2022). History is Written by Victorious Battles: Glorious Lepanto (1571) and
Forgotten Preveza (1538). Tarih Dergisi, (76), 63-94.
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Watts, S. (2001). The New Cambridge History of India. Vol. 3, part 5: Science, Technology, and
Medicine in Colonial India. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 75(2), 337-340.

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