The 1420s were a busy time to be alive! They are all, of course, busy times to be alive.
1. In 1420, construction started on the dome of this building, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, after Filippo Brunelleschi landed the commission with a new and innovative design. As the dome went up, the city around it was becoming a world center in finance and art. What’s that city?
2. The First Empire was founded around 681 along the lower Danube, and lasted until it was conquered by the Byzantines in 1018. The Second Empire was founded in 1185, but after being harassed for decades by the Golden Horde, it began falling apart after 1371. In 1422, the last Tsar, Constantine II, died in exile in Serbia; by then, the empire's lands had been incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, where they would remain until the country reemerged in 1878. This is of course the country of __________?
3. In or around the 1420s, according to traditional histories anyway – it’s a subject of debate -- a Eunuch-dominated cabal began “to control the palace guards and imperial workshops, infiltrate the civil service and head all foreign missions” in what country?
4. Charles VI of France died in 1422, and in accordance with the Treaty of Troyes, the French throne was inherited by Henry VI of England. Henry wasn’t able to hang onto it, however, and Charles VII – the estranged son of Charles VI – defeated what must have looked like overwhelming odds to re-establish an independent French monarchy for himself. But, it’s hard to blame Henry VI for not being a more effective leader while this was happening. What was his most obvious disadvantage at the time?
5. Until about the mid-1420s, Nanjiang was probably the largest city in the world. When the imperial capital was moved elsewhere, however, Nanjiang lost this distinction. What city would be the largest in the world from the 1420s until at least the 1600s?
6. Only one of these countries had anything resembling an independent existence in the 1420s. Which one?
7. Meanwhile, in the Kingdom of Navarre, King Charles III died in 1425 and was succeeded by his daughter, Queen Blanche I. There’s no Navarre anymore. Where was it?
8. The Ming Chinese had taken advantage of a dynastic rivalry to occupy this productive and populous coastal land, but after 10 years of warfare under the national hero Lê Lợi, they were kicked out in 1427 and independence was reestablished. What country lived happily ever after, or at least until 1887?
9. In 1428, the three cities of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan formed an alliance. This was the beginning of what empire?
10. This doodle on a 1429 French court document portrays someone who was very much “in the news” at the time. Who must it be?
Through History with The New Monday Quiz: the 1410s
1. The Yongle Emperor restored the Grand Canal.
2. The Teutonic Knights began their decline at Tannenburg.
3. The Medici family were the up-and-coming bankers of the fifteenth century.
4. Zheng He was the epic voyager.
5. After the Council of Constance, most everybody settled on a single Pope.
6. Jan Hus was not well received at Constance; they had him tied to a post and lit on fire.
7. The outnumbered English beat the French at Agincourt because they had newfangled longbows, and the French cavalry got stuck in the mud.
8. Portugal began its colonial expansion.
9. A Defenestration of Prague is when you throw someone out of a window, in Prague. It sounds like a lark, especially in the Second Defenestration of Prague where legend has it that the defenestrated landed on a dung heap and survived. In the First Defenestration, though, the folks so expelled died horribly. It was a very high window. In Prague.
10. "Bohemia," as they liked to call the Czech kingdom in those days, was a hotbed of innovative religious ideas -- not quite Protestantism, but starting to gesture in that direction. Mr. Hus had been a leader of this ferment, and his being burned to death had not been popular locally. In the defenestration, religious radicals (you might or might not say) threw the city council to its collective death on the pavements three stories down. Bohemia became "Hussite," and for more than a decade was wracked by internal dissension and attacked by five crusades. The aftermath left the area impoverished for decades. You could probably make a case that the region is still trying to get back on track.
Out of DrSchnell and Susan both took the Quiz, which means that they can reign as co-Popes for one more decade. Susan, you take Avignon; Doc, you're Rome. Susan, keep your Defenestration answers handy in case I use the second Defenestration of Prague.