14th Century Quotes

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Human beings of any age need to approve of themselves; the bad times in history come when they cannot.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Farsi Couplet: Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast. English Translation: If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this
Amir Khusrau (The Writings Of Amir Khusrau :700 years after the prophet : a 13th-14th century legend of Indian-sub-continent)
Farsi Couplet: Mun tu shudam tu mun shudi,mun tun shudam tu jaan shudi Taakas na guyad baad azeen, mun deegaram tu deegari English Translation: I have become you, and you me, I am the body, you soul; So that no one can say hereafter, That you are someone, and me someone else.
Amir Khusrau (The Writings Of Amir Khusrau :700 years after the prophet : a 13th-14th century legend of Indian-sub-continent)
For belligerent purposes, the 14th century, like the 20th, commanded a technology more sophisticated than the mental and moral capacity that guided its use.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Khusrau darya prem ka, ulti wa ki dhaar, Jo utra so doob gaya, jo dooba so paar. English Translation. Oh Khusrau, the river of love Runs in strange directions. One who jumps into it drowns, And one who drowns, gets across.
Amir Khusrau (The Writings Of Amir Khusrau :700 years after the prophet : a 13th-14th century legend of Indian-sub-continent)
When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In individuals as in nations, contentment is silent, which tends to unbalance the historical record.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.
Catherine of Siena
Vainglory, however, no matter how much medieval Christianity insisted it was a sin, is a motor of mankind, no more eradicable than sex.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Farsi Couplet: Ba khak darat rau ast maara, Gar surmah bechashm dar neaayad. English Translation: The dust of your doorstep is just the right thing to apply, If Surmah (kohl powder) does not show its beauty in the eye!
Amir Khusrau (The Writings Of Amir Khusrau :700 years after the prophet : a 13th-14th century legend of Indian-sub-continent)
[T]he obverse of facile emotion in the 14th century was a general insensitivity to the spectacle of pain and death.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
An event of great agony is bearable only in the belief that it will bring about a better world. When it does not, as in the aftermath of another vast calamity in 1914-18, disillusion is deep and moves on to self-doubt and self-disgust.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The origin of war, according to its 14th century codifier Honoré Bonet, lay in Lucifer’s war against God,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Raising money to pay the cost of war was to cause more damage to 14th century society than the physical destruction of war itself.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Farsi Couplet: Naala-e zanjeer-e Majnun arghanoon-e aashiqanast Zauq-e aan andaza-e gosh-e ulul-albaab neest English Translation: The creaking of the chain of Majnun is the orchestra of the lovers, To appreciate its music is quite beyond the ears of the wise.
Amir Khusrau (The Writings Of Amir Khusrau :700 years after the prophet : a 13th-14th century legend of Indian-sub-continent)
The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The textile industry was the automobile industry of the Middle Ages,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Perhaps by this time the 14th century was not quite sane. If enlightened self-interest is the criterion of sanity, in the verdict of Michelet, “no epoch was more naturally mad.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Fear of God is thrown away,” lamented Brigitta in Rome, “and in its place is a bottomless bag of money.” All the Ten Commandments, she said, had been reduced to one: “Bring hither the money.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
A German goldsmith covered a bit of metal with cloth in the 14th century and gave mankind its first button. It was hard to know this as politics, because it plays like the work of one person, but nothing is isolated in history -- certain humans are situations.
Lyn Hejinian (My Life)
the seven “liberal arts”: Grammar, the foundation of science; Logic, which differentiates the true from the false; Rhetoric, the source of law; Arithmetic, the foundation of order because “without numbers there is nothing”; Geometry, the science of measurement; Astronomy, the most noble of the sciences because it is connected with Divinity and Theology; and lastly Music.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Once people envisioned the possibility of change in a fixed order, the end of an age of submission came in sight; the turn to individual conscience lay ahead. To that extent the Black Death may have been the unrecognized beginning of modern man.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
So lethal was the disease that cases were known of persons going to bed well and dying before they woke, of doctors catching the illness at a bedside and dying before the patient.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
To admit error and cut losses is rare among individuals, unknown among states. States function only in terms of what those in control perceive as power or personal ambition, and both of these wear blinkers.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Stories to read are delitabill (delightful) Suppose that they be nocht but fable (fiction) Then should stories that suthfast were (truthful) - And they were said in good manner - Have double pleasure in hearing. The first pleasance is the carping (reading aloud) And the tothir the suthfastness That shows the thing richt as it was;
John Barbour
In Leipzig [in the 14th century], the university found it necessary to promulgate a rule against throwing stones at the professors. As late as 1495, a German statute explicitly forbade anyone associated with the university from drenching freshmen with urine.
Leonard Mlodinow (Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace)
Armed forces were no longer primarily feudal levies serving under a vassal’s obligation who went home after forty days; they were recruited bodies who served for pay.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
If there have been mute inglorious Miltons in rural villages, presumably there have been unrealized Washingtons born in unpropitious times.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Women were considered the snare of the Devil, while at the same time the cult of the Virgin made one woman the central object of love and adoration.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
That conflict between the reach for the divine and the lure of earthly things was to be the central problem of the Middle Ages.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In 14th century England, they baptized children with cider because it was cleaner than the water. ***
Charles Klotz (1,077 Fun Facts: To Leave You In Disbelief)
Jay-Z and Kanye West are to authentic rap culture what diseased rates were to 14th century Europeans
Dean Cavanagh
The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide to contemplative prayer. "Be willing to be blind, and give up all longing to know the why and how, for knowing will be more of a hindrance than a help." This 1912 edition was edited by Evelyn Underhill, and contains her introduction.
Geerhardus Vos (Grace and Glory)
The wave of insurrection passed, leaving little change in the condition of the working class. Inertia in the scales of history weighs more heavily than change. Four hundred years were to elapse before the descendants of the Maillotins seized the Bastille.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
One of the nice things about Time, Crowley always said, was that it was steadily taking him further away from the fourteenth century, the most bloody boring hundred years on God's, excuse his French, Earth.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Medieval justice was scrupulous about holding proper trials and careful not to sentence without proof of guilt, but it achieved proof by confession rather than evidence, and confession was routinely obtained by torture.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In many guilds artisans struck for higher pay and shorter hours. In an age when social conditions were regarded as fixed, such action was revolutionary.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
History never repeats itself,” said Voltaire; “man always does.” Thucydides,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Political balance among the competing groups was unstable because the king had no permanent armed force at his command.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Can the military art be learned in the games and hunts in which you pass your youth?” The
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In France they were called écorcheurs (skinners) and routiers (highwaymen), in Italy condottieri from the condotta or contract that fixed the terms of their employment as mercenaries.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the plague was not the kind of calamity that inspired mutual help. Its loathsomeness and deadliness did not herd people together in mutual distress, but only prompted their desire to escape each other.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. The fact of being on the record makes it appear continuous and ubiquitous whereas it is more likely to have been sporadic both in time and place. Besides, persistence of the normal is usually greater than the effect of the disturbance, as we know from our own times. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to face a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, broken water mains, stalled trains, school shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening--on a lucky day--without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena. This has led me to formulate Tuchman's Law, as follows: "The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold" (or any figure the reader would care to supply).
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
History was finite and contained within comprehensible limits. It began with the Creation and was scheduled to end in a not indefinitely remote future with the Second Coming, which was the hope of afflicted mankind, followed by the Day of Judgment. Within that span, man was not subject to social or moral progress because his goal was the next world, not betterment in this. In this world he was assigned to ceaseless struggle against himself in which he might attain individual progress and even victory, but collective betterment would only come in the final union with God.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Medieval technology could raise marvels of architecture 200 feet in the air, it could conceive the mechanics of a loom capable of weaving patterned cloth, and of a gearshaft capable of harnessing the insubstantial air to turn a heavy millstone, but it failed to conceive the fore-and-aft rig and swinging boom capable of adapting sails to the direction of the wind. By such accident of the human mind, war, trade, and history are shaped.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
We are now exposed to more images in a day than anyone in the 14th century would have known in a lifetime. [...] Most of it is garbage. Most of it needs excising. Even if we’re fearful that we might be missing something. We are probably not. We have to discard. We have to throw things away, cleanse the doors of our perception and work out what is worth looking at, what is worth remembering, what are the images that matter, what will we retain.
Robert Hughes
That the Jews were unholy was a belief so ingrained by the Church that the most devout persons were the harshest in their antipathy, none more so than St. Louis. If the Jews were unholy, then killing and looting them was holy work.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Eyeglasses had been in use since the turn of the century, allowing old people to read more in their later years and greatly extending the scholar’s life of study. The manufacture of paper as a cheaper and more plentiful material than parchment was beginning to make possible multiple copies and wider distribution of literary works.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Still later, after the invention of saddles and stirrups, horses allowed the Huns and successive waves of other peoples from the Asian steppes to terrorize the Roman Empire and its successor states, culminating in the Mongol conquests of much of Asia and Russia in the 13th and 14th centuries A.D. Only with the introduction of trucks and tanks in World War I did horses finally become supplanted as the main assault vehicle and means of fast transport in war. Arabian and Bactrian camels played a similar military role within their geographic range. In all these examples, peoples with domestic horses (or camels), or with improved means of using them, enjoyed an enormous military advantage over those without them.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel)
For a knight to ride in a carriage was against the principles of chivalry and he never under any circumstances rode a mare.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Fine dressing could not be suppressed despite ever-renewed sumptuary laws which tried especially and repeatedly to outlaw the pointed shoes.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The boy would learn to ride, to fight, and to hawk, the three chief physical elements of noble life,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Doctors were admired, lawyers universally hated and mistrusted.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
As a camel beareth labour, and heat, and hunger, and thirst, through deserts of sand, and fainteth not; so the fortitude of a man shall sustain him through all perils.
Akhenaton King of Egypt 14th century BC
The cry of “Traitor!” was not a local voice only, but a bewildered people’s explanation of the inexplicable. It was the eternal cry of conspiracy, of stab in the back.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Margery Kempe was obviously an uncomfortable neighbor to have, like all those who cannot conceal the painfulness of life.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Because life was collective, it was intensely sociable and dependent on etiquette, hence the emphasis on courteous conduct and clean fingernails.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Marco Polo dictated his Travels in French,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the symbolism of the Garter, a circlet to bind the Knight-Companions mutually, and all of them jointly to the King as head of the Order.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Though surnamed the Wise, he was not immune from the occupational disease of rulers: overestimation of their capacity to control events. No
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Marsilius of Padua, whose Defensor Pacis in 1324 was a forthright assertion of the supremacy of the state.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
A reformer exhorted children that they would succeed where he and his colleagues had failed with the charge: "Live for that better day.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
A regular method was the levy for a crusade, which allowed ecclesiastical income within each country to be taxed by its king, who soon came to regard it as a right.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Devout or not, all owned and carried Books of Hours, the characteristic fashionable religious possession of the 14th century noble.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the Pope replied, “What can you preach to the people? If on humility, you yourselves are the proudest of the world, puffed up, pompous and sumptuous in luxuries. If on poverty, you are so covetous that all the benefices in the world are not enough for you. If on chastity—but we will be silent on this, for God knoweth what each man does and how many of you satisfy your lusts.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
also usually employed one or more resident physicians, barbers, priests, painters, musicians, minstrels, secretaries and copyists, an astrologer, a jester, and a dwarf, besides pages and squires.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
I saw exactly one picture of Marx and one of Lenin in my whole stay, but it's been a long time since ideology had anything to do with it. Not without cunning, Fat Man and Little Boy gradually mutated the whole state belief system into a debased form of Confucianism, in which traditional ancestor worship and respect for order become blended with extreme nationalism and xenophobia. Near the southernmost city of Kaesong, captured by the North in 1951, I was taken to see the beautifully preserved tombs of King and Queen Kongmin. Their significance in F.M.-L.B. cosmology is that they reigned over a then unified Korea in the 14th century, and that they were Confucian and dynastic and left many lavish memorials to themselves. The tombs are built on one hillside, and legend has it that the king sent one of his courtiers to pick the site. Second-guessing his underling, he then climbed the opposite hill. He gave instructions that if the chosen site did not please him he would wave his white handkerchief. On this signal, the courtier was to be slain. The king actually found that the site was ideal. But it was a warm day and he forgetfully mopped his brow with the white handkerchief. On coming downhill he was confronted with the courtier's fresh cadaver and exclaimed, 'Oh dear.' And ever since, my escorts told me, the opposite peak has been known as 'Oh Dear Hill.' I thought this was a perfect illustration of the caprice and cruelty of absolute leadership, and began to phrase a little pun about Kim Jong Il being the 'Oh Dear Leader,' but it died on my lips.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
At Coucy’s level, men and women hawked and hunted and carried a favorite falcon, hooded, on the wrist wherever they went, indoors or out—to church, to the assizes, to meals. On occasion, huge pastries were served from which live birds were released to be caught by hawks unleashed in the banquet
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
An event of great agony is bearable only in the belief that it will bring about a better world. When it does not, as in the aftermath of another vast calamity in 1914–18, disillusion is deep and moves on to self-doubt and self-disgust. In creating a climate for pessimism, the Black Death was the equivalent of the First World War, although it took fifty years for the psychological effects to develop.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The feelings of the men who had raised Urban over their own heads probably cannot be adequately described. Some thought that the delirium of power had made the Pope furiosus et melaneholicus—in short, mad.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Although the mortality rate was erratic, ranging from one fifth in some places to nine tenths or almost total elimination in others, the overall estimate of modern demographers has settled—for the area extending from India to Iceland—around the same figure expressed in Froissart’s casual words: “a third of the world died.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Hours of the day were named for the hours of prayer: matins around midnight; lauds around three A.M.; prime, the first hour of daylight, at sunrise or about six A.M.; vespers at six in the evening; and compline at bedtime.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
A terrible worm in an iron cocoon,” as he was called in an anonymous poem, the knight rode on a saddle rising in a high ridge above the horse’s backbone with his feet resting in very long stirrups so that he was virtually standing up and able to deliver tremendous swinging blows from side to side with any one of his armory of weapons.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
principle, formulated for the occasion, that “a woman does not succeed to the throne of France.” Thus was born the momentous Salic “Law” that was to create a permanent bar to the succession of women where none had existed before.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the irony of man’s fate reflected in his image: that all men, from beggar to emperor, from harlot to queen, from ragged clerk to Pope, must come to this. No matter what their poverty or power in life, all is vanity, equalized by death.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The only really detestable character in Chaucer’s company of Canterbury pilgrims is the Pardoner with his stringy locks, his eunuch’s hairless skin, his glaring eyes like a hare’s, and his brazen acknowledgment of the tricks and deceits of his trade.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Penalties were established for refusal to work, for leaving a place of employment to seek higher pay, and for the offer of higher pay by employers. Proclaimed when Parliament was not sitting, the ordinance was reissued in 1351 as the Statute of Laborers.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
THE GENESIS OF THIS BOOK was a desire to find out what were the effects on society of the most lethal disaster of recorded history—that is to say, of the Black Death of 1348–50, which killed an estimated one third of the population living between India and Iceland.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
What proportion of the peasantry was well off and what poor is judged by what they bequeathed, and since the poorest had nothing to leave, they remain mute. For no other class is that famous goal of the historian, wie es wirklich war (how it really was), so elusive.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Peruzzi, secured on expected revenue from the wool tax. When this brought in too little and Edward could not repay, the drain on the Italian companies bankrupted them. The Peruzzi failed in 1343, the Bardi suspended a year later, and their crash brought down a third firm, the Acciaiuioli. Capital vanished, stores and workshops closed, wages and purchases stopped. When, by the malignant chance that seemed to hound the 14th century, economic devastation in Florence and Siena was followed first by famine in 1347 and then by plague, it could not but seem to
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
That the mortality was accepted as God’s punishment may explain in part the vacuum of comment that followed the Black Death. An investigator has noticed that in the archives of Périgord references to the war are innumerable, to the plague few. Froissart mentions the great death but once, Chaucer gives it barely a glance. Divine anger so great that it contemplated the extermination of man did not bear close examination.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In the woe of the century no factor caused more trouble than the persistent lag between the growth of the state and the means of state financing. While centralized government was developing, taxation was still encased in the concept that taxes represented an emergency measure requiring consent.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Why incentivize laziness? High-school students shouldn't be discouraged from grappling, sometimes unsuccessfully, with challenging books, pictures, and songs. A really, really good work of art doesn't bow down to you; you step up to it, and it rewards you. In the end, kids faced with what Chaucer actually wrote may still dislike him, and I'm fine with that; they will have earned that opinion rather than had it handed to them. For heaven's sake, it's easy for kids to see themselves and their peers in a rap song. When they can start to see themselves in a 14th-century poem, then they're actually learning something.
Jeff Sypeck
If someone skilled at studying moons, planets, stars and other celestial bodies such as galaxies, comets, asteroids and gamma-ray bursts were to analyse the Romani migration and settlement patterns, as they wandered India and Persia 1500 years ago, passing through Armenia in the early 9th century, trading spices, incense, rugs, fabrics, colouring agents and jewellery along the Great Silk Road, and then beginning to establish themselves in Europe, arriving in Transylvania in the 13th century, and then onto Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and England in the 14th century they may very well discover that their routes mirrored that of the stars
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
In history this is exactly the same as in the daily newspaper. The normal does not make news.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Chairs were few; even kings and popes received ambassadors sitting on beds furnished with elaborate curtains and spreads;
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
it was unthinkable to sell land, was to sell communal privileges or commute labor services and bonds of serfdom for a money rent.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
All human temperaments were considered to belong to one or another of the four humors—sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
...if autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Medieval political structure was ideally a contract exchanging service and loyalty in return for protection, justice, and order.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
if people could be made to save money, the King could obtain it when necessary.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Human behavior is timeless.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Plagues had been known before, from the plague of Athens (believed to have been typhus)
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Despised as ineffective, they were ineffective because they were despised.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The cracking of old and famous structures is slow and internal, while the facade holds.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Between the happening of a historical process and its recognition by rulers, a lag stretches, full of pitfalls.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In addition to grand estate, Coucy clearly possessed a personal power of attraction and a faculty for not making enemies.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In theory the Holy Roman Emperor exercised a temporal sway matching the spiritual rule of the Pope over the universal community under God.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
double et louche (a provocative phrase which could mean “double and squinting” or “equivocal” or “shady” in the sense of disreputable).
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The amount the rich could squander on occasions like these in a period of repeated disasters appears inexplicable, not so much with regard to motive as with regard to means.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Smite a villein and he will bless you; bless a villein and he will smite you.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
liberality in gifts and expenditure which, since his followers lived off it, was extolled as the most admired attribute of a noble.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The clergy were to pray for all men, the knight to fight for them, and the commoner to work that all might eat.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
fireflies were the souls of unbaptized dead infants.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the symptoms of depression, despair or melancholy, and lethargy were considered by the Church the sin of accidia or sloth.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
ecclesiam nulla salus
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The castle’s predecessor, the Roman villa, had been unfortified, depending on Roman law and the Roman legions for its ramparts.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Only the Church offered an organizing principle, which was the reason for its success, for society cannot bear anarchy.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Rule was still personal, deriving from the fief of land and oath of homage. Not citizen to state but vassal to lord was the bond that underlay political structure.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Contradictory conditions are always present. Evidence
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Every incident in the Old Testament was considered to pre-figure in allegory what was to come in the New.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the blood libel took possession of the popular mind most rabidly in Germany, where the well-poisoning charge too had originated in the 12th century.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The Empire had no political cohesion, no capital city, no common laws, common finances, or common officials. It was the relic of a dead ideal.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Satire is a wrapping of exaggeration around a core of reality.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Book 1)
For each man that shall be damned shall be damned by his own guilt, and each man that is saved shall be saved by his own merit.” Unperceived, here was the start of the modern world.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Fourteenth-century men seemed to have regarded their doctor in rather the same way as the twentieth-century men are apt to regard their priest, with tolerance for someone who was doing his best and the respect due to a man of learning but also with a nagging and uncomfortable conviction that he was largely irrelevant to the real and urgent problems of their lives.
Philip Ziegler (The Black Death)
According to then current laws of war, the besieged could make terms if they surrendered, but not if they forced a siege to its bitter end, so presumably Charles felt no compunctions.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
For each man that shall be damned shall be damned by his own guilt, and each man that is saved shall be saved by his own merit.” Unperceived, here was the start of the modern world. When
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Survivors of the plague, finding themselves neither destroyed nor improved, could discover no Divine purpose in the pain they had suffered. God’s purposes were usually mysterious, but this scourge had been too terrible to be accepted without questioning. If a disaster of such magnitude, the most lethal ever known, was a mere wanton act of God or perhaps not God’s work at all, then the absolutes of a fixed order were loosed from their moorings. Minds that opened to admit these questions could never again be shut. Once people envisioned the possibility of change in a fixed order, the end of an age of submission came in sight; the turn to individual conscience lay ahead. To that extent the Black Death may have been the unrecognized beginning of modern man.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
These private wars were fought by the knights with furious gusto and a single strategy, which consisted in trying to ruin the enemy by killing or maiming as many of his peasants and destroying as many crops, vineyards, tools, barns, and other possessions as possible, thereby reducing his sources of revenue. As a result, the chief victim of the belligerents was their respective peasantry.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
An oft-mentioned example in this regard is the Medieval practice of catapulting corpses. The primal scene in this regard is the 14th century Italian trading post at Caffa, on the northern border of the Black Sea. Ongoing skirmishes between Italian merchants and Muslim locals led, in one instance, to the catapulting of plague-ridden corpses by the latter, over the fortress walls of the former.87
Eugene Thacker (In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy vol. 1)
In the middle Ages, Berber was written in the Maghribi style of the Arabic script, in what is to all appearances a standardized orthography. The earliest known examples of the medieval Berber spelling date from the middle of the 10th century A.D., while the youngest examples date from the 14th century. Although there is some variation in the representation of a number of consonants, the orthography is remarkably consistent. In this respect it is quite unlike the early orthographies of the European vernaculars, where the same word is often written in different ways even within one line of text. This consistency implies that the Berber orthography was consciously designed, and that it was formally taught to berberophones. "MEDIEVAL BERBER ORTHOGRAPHY" - MELANGES OFFERTS A KARL-G. PRASSE (pp. 357-377).
Nico Van Den Boogert
Philip was fascinated by the all-absorbing question of the Beatific Vision: whether the souls of the blessed see the face of God immediately upon entering Heaven or whether they have to wait until the Day of Judgment.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In the same five years three new colleges were founded at Cambridge—Trinity, Corpus Christi, and Clare—although love of learning, like love in marriage, was not always the motive. Corpus Christi was founded in 1352 because fees for celebrating masses for the dead were so inflated after the plague that two guilds of Cambridge decided to establish a college whose scholars, as clerics, would be required to pray for their deceased members.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Christine makes it her own in the prologue, where she sits weeping and ashamed, wondering why men “are so unanimous in attributing wickedness to women” and why “we should be worse than men since we were also created by God.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Not a passing phenomenon nor an external force, the companies had become a way of life, a part of society itself, used and joined by its rulers even as they struggled to throw them off. They ate at society from within like Erysichthon, the “tearer up of earth,” who, having destroyed the trees in the sacred grove of Demeter, was cursed by the goddess with an insatiable appetite and finally devoured himself attempting to satisfy his hunger. Discipline
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
One by one, members of the Commons, speaking in turn at a lectern in the center of the chamber, added their charges and complaints. The King’s councillors, they said, had grown rich at the cost of impoverishing the nation; they had deceived the King and wasted his revenues, causing the repeated demands for fresh subsidies. The people were too poor and feeble to endure further taxation. Let Parliament discuss instead how the King might maintain the war out of his own resources.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In village games, players with hands tied behind them competed to kill a cat nailed to a post by battering it to death with their heads, at the risk of cheeks ripped open or eyes scratched out by the frantic animal’s claws. Trumpets enhanced the excitement.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In Siena, where more than half the inhabitants died of the plague, work was abandoned on the great cathedral, planned to be the largest in the world, and never resumed, owing to loss of workers and master masons and “the melancholy and grief” of the survivors. The cathedral’s truncated transept still stands in permanent witness to the sweep of death’s scythe. Agnolo di Tura, a chronicler of Siena, recorded the fear of contagion that froze every other instinct. 'Father abandoned child, wife husband, one brother another,' he wrote, 'for this plague seemed to strike through the breath and sight. And so they died. And no one could be found to bury the dead for money or friendship.… And I, Angolo di Tura, called the Fat, buried my five children with my own hands, and so did many others likewise.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In a long and fiercely argued process, against the strenuous resistance of the peers, he ordered the Sire de Coucy to stand trial. Enguerrand IV was convicted, and although the King intended a death sentence, he was persuaded by the peers to forgo it. Enguerrand was sentenced to pay a fine of 12,000 livres, to be used partly to endow masses in perpetuity for the souls of the men he had hanged, and partly to be sent to Acre to aid in the defense of the Holy Land. Legal history was made and later cited as a factor in the canonization of the King.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Money was evil, beauty vain, and both were transitory. Ambition was pride, desire for gain was avarice, desire of the flesh was lust, desire for honor, even for knowledge and beauty, was vainglory. Insofar as these diverted man from seeking the life of the spirit, they were sinful.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The same double-headed eagle, supporting the figure of a man or a god, is met with at Boghaz Keui, and must be regarded as one of the peculiarities of Hittite symbolism and art. The symbol was adopted in later days by the Turkoman princes, who had perhaps first seen it on the Hittite monuments of Kappodokia; and the Crusaders brought it to Europe with them in the 14th century. Here it became the emblem of the German Emperors, who have passed it on to the modern kingdoms of Russia and Austria. It is not the only heirloom of Hittite art which has descended to us of to-day.
A.H. Sayce (The Hittites: The Story of a Forgotten Empire (Original Illustrations))
Owing to the disabilities of the two major sovereigns, one incapacitated by alcohol and the other by insanity, the result was not what it might have been. Renewed madness was already darkening Charles’s mind when he arrived and in the brief intervals when he was lucid, Wenceslas was drunk.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
When Latimer demanded to know by whom and by what authority he was being indicted, Sir Peter de la Mare supplied the historic answer that the Commons as a body would maintain all their charges in common. At one stroke he created the constitutional means for impeachment and removal of ministers.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In contrast, Europe has never come remotely close to political unification: it was still splintered into 1,000 independent statelets in the 14th century, into 500 statelets in A.D. 1500, got down to a minimum of 25 states in the 1980s, and is now up again to nearly 40 at the moment that I write this sentence. Europe still has 45 languages, each with its own modified alphabet, and even greater cultural diversity. The disagreements that continue today to frustrate even modest attempts at European unification through the European Economic Community (EEC) are symptomatic of Europe’s ingrained commitment to disunity.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs And Steel)
terrible worm in an iron cocoon,” as he was called in an anonymous poem, the knight rode on a saddle rising in a high ridge above the horse’s backbone with his feet resting in very long stirrups so that he was virtually standing up and able to deliver tremendous swinging blows from side to side with any one of his armory of weapons.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Even today, every night of the year, the Queen’s Keys are carried in great ceremony to lock up the gates of the Tower. The Chief Yeoman Warder at 9:53 meets his escort warders and they walk to the gates. They arrive at 10:00 p.m. exactly and are challenged by a sentry with a bayonet who cries loudly, “Who comes here?” The reply by the Chief is, “The Keys.” “Whose keys?” “Queen Elizabeth’s keys.” “Pass, Queen Elizabeth’s keys, and all is well.” The party passes through the Bloody Tower Archway into the fortress and halts at the Broadway Steps. At the top of the stairs, the Tower Guard presents arms and the Chief Warder raises his hat and proclaims, “God preserve Queen Elizabeth.” The sentry replies, “Amen!” Afterward, the keys are taken to the Queen’s House for safekeeping and the Last Post is sounded. This ancient ceremony was interrupted only once since the 14th century. During World War II there was an air raid on London. Bombs fell on the Victorian guardroom just as the party was coming through the Bloody Tower Archway. The noise knocked down the Chief Yeoman and one of the Warder escorts. In the Tower is a letter from the Officer of the Guard in which he apologizes to King George VI for the ceremony finishing late, as well as a reply from the King which states that the officer is not to be punished since the delay was due to enemy action.
Debra Brown (Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors)
Melancholy, amorous and barbaric,” these tales exalted adulterous love as the only true kind, while in the real life of the same society adultery was a crime, not to mention a sin. If found out, it dishonored the lady and shamed the husband, a fellow knight. It was understood that he had the right to kill both unfaithful wife and lover. Nothing fits in this canon. The gay, the elevating, the ennobling pursuit is founded upon sin and invites the dishonor it is supposed to avert. Courtly love was a greater tangle of irreconcilables even than usury. It remained artificial, a literary convention, a fantasy (like modern pornography) more for purposes of discussion than for everyday practice.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
When death slowed production, goods became scarce and prices soared. In France the price of wheat increased fourfold by 1350. At the same time the shortage of labor brought the plague’s greatest social disruption—a concerted demand for higher wages. Peasants as well as artisans, craftsmen, clerks, and priests discovered the lever of their own scarcity.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The physical suffering of the disease and its aspect of evil mystery were expressed in a strange Welsh lament which saw “death coming into our midst like black smoke, a plague which cuts off the young, a rootless phantom which has no mercy for fair countenance. Woe is me of the shilling in the armpit! It is seething, terrible … a head that gives pain and causes a loud cry … a painful angry knob … Great is its seething like a burning cinder … a grievous thing of ashy color.” Its eruption is ugly like the “seeds of black peas, broken fragments of brittle sea-coal … the early ornaments of black death, cinders of the peelings of the cockle weed, a mixed multitude, a black plague like halfpence, like berries.…
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Again Pope Clement [VI] attempted to check the hysteria in a [Papal] Bull of September 1348 in which he said that Christians who imputed the pestilence to the Jews had been “seduced by that liar, the Devil,” and that the charge of well-poisoning and ensuing massacres were a “horrible thing.” He pointed out that “by a mysterious decree of God” the plague was afflicting all peoples, including Jews; that it raged in places where no Jews lived, and that elsewhere they were victims like everyone else; therefore the charge that they caused it was “without plausibility.” He urged the clergy to take Jews under their protection as he himself offered to do in Avignon, but his voice was hardly heard against local animus.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
[It is as] if they (followers of subculture) said in former times, [such as] in the 14th century or whenever, that in America everyone can do what he wants [and] everyone can pursue happiness in his own fashion. But every Sunday you see all of them using a certain type of car to go to certain kind of places to eat a certain kind of dinner and so on and so on. So while you have the extreme individualism as principle, in practice we have an amazing conformity. Now this is how Europeans looked at it, but I think if a European (if I can still imagine how a European thinks) would see the younger generation of American subculture, he would say they are exactly the children of their parents. They have a new conformism.
Leo Strauss (Leo Strauss on Nietzsche's Beyond Good & Evil)
A Bishop of Durham in 1318 could not understand or pronounce Latin and after struggling helplessly with the word Metropolitanus at his own consecration, muttered in the vernacular, “Let us take that word as read.” Later when ordaining candidates for holy orders, he met the word aenigmate (through a glass darkly) and this time swore in honest outrage, “By St. Louis, that was no courteous man who wrote this word!
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
the Pastoureaux spread the fear of insurrection that freezes the blood of the privileged in any era when the mob appears. Excommunicated by Pope John XXII, they were finally suppressed when he forbade anyone to provision them on pain of death and sanctioned the use of force against them. That was sufficient, and the Pastoureaux ended like every outbreak of the poor sooner or later in the Middle Ages, with corpses hanging from the trees.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The Dark Ages gradually ended six centuries ago with the Renaissance, which seeded new ideas for a different world. The Renaissance ideal dominated our culture until three centuries ago, from the 14th to the 18th century, when it was superseded by modernism. Not surprisingly, this human ideal has almost been forgotten in our culture. The Renaissance, literally "re-birth", was a revival and rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman culture following the decline of culture, trade, and technology during the Dark Ages.
Jacob Lund Fisker
Charles’s old ally Don Enrique, King of Castile, also died before taking sides, and his son, Juan I, though heavily pressed by Charles V to support Clement, preferred to maintain “neutrality,” saying that, while faithful to the French alliance, he could not go against the conscience of his subjects. Common people, nobility, clerics, learned men, he wrote, were all Urbanist. “What government, O wise prince,” he pointedly inquired of Charles, “has ever succeeded in triumphing over public conscience supported by reason? What punishments are available to subjugate a free soul?
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
NO PEACE TREATY WAS REACHED at Bruges because the English were determined to retain their former possessions in France under their own sovereignty, while Charles V was equally determined to regain the sovereignty of Guienne yielded at Brétigny. His lawyers argued that the yielding of sovereignty had been invalid because it violated the sacred oath of homage, therefore the Black Prince and the King of England had been guilty of rebellion comparable to that of Lucifer against God. While this satisfied Charles’s life-long care to exhibit a lawful case, it failed to impress the English.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
wicked ecclesiastics who show the worst example to the people,” and, above all, nobles who empty the purses of the poor by their extravagance, and disdain them for “lowness of blod or foulenesse of body,” for deformed shape of body or limb, for dullness of wit and uncunning of craft, and deign not to speak to them, and who are themselves stuffed with pride—of ancestry, fortune, gentility, possessions, power, comeliness, strength, children, treasure—“prowde in lokynge, prowde in spekyng,… prowde in goinge, standynge and sytting.” All would be drawn by fiends to Hell on the Day of Judgment.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The proximate causes of the Flemish “peasant” revolt were local and immediate; its roots, the reason it could occur in the first place, were four centuries in creation. As Europe’s population increased threefold between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, the Continent’s demographic pyramid changed its shape. The base grew larger relative to its peak, and more distant: the gap between nobility and peasantry got bigger and bigger. Families that were noble by birth became more and more “noble” in behavior: dressing more opulently, entertaining more lavishly, and housing themselves more extravagantly, while the rural peasantry lived more or less the same as their many times great-grandparents.
William Rosen (The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century)
All that we have seen in this work shows us one clear fact: The Qur'an, this extraordinary book which was revealed to the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (saas), is a source of inspiration and true knowledge. The book of Islam-no matter what subject it refers to-is being proved as Allah's word as each new piece of historical, scientific or archaeological information comes to light. Facts about scientific subjects and the news delivered to us about the past and future, facts that no one could have known at the time of the Qur'an's revelation, are announced in its verses. It is impossible for this information, examples of which we have discussed in detail in this book, to have been known with the level of knowledge and technology available in 7th century Arabia. With this in mind, let us ask: Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known that our atmosphere is made up of seven layers? Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known in detail the various stages of development from which an embryo grows into a baby and then enters the world from inside his mother? Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known that the universe is "steadily expanding," as the Qur'an puts it, when modern scientists have only in recent decades put forward the idea of the "Big Bang"? Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known about the fact that each individual's fingertips are absolutely unique, when we have only discovered this fact recently, using modern technology and modern scientific equipment? Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known about the role of one of Pharaoh's most prominent aids, Haman, when the details of hieroglyphic translation were only discovered two centuries ago? Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known that the word "Pharaoh" was only used from the 14th century B.C. and not before, as the Old Testament erroneously claims? Could anyone in 7th century Arabia have known about Ubar and Iram's Pillars, which were only discovered in recent decades via the use of NASA satellite photographs? The only answer to these questions is as follows: the Qur'an is the word of the Almighty Allah, the Originator of everything and the One Who encompasses everything with His knowledge. In one verse, Allah says, "If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it." (Qur'an, 4:82) Every piece of information the Qur'an contains reveals the secret miracles of this divine book. The human being is meant to hold fast to this Divine Book revealed by Allah and to receive it with an open heart as his one and only guide in life. In the Qur'an, Allah tells us the following: This Qur'an could never have been devised by any besides Allah. Rather it is confirmation of what came before it and an elucidation of the Book which contains no doubt from the Lord of all the worlds. Do they say, "He has invented it"? Say: "Then produce a sura like it and call on anyone you can besides Allah if you are telling the truth." (Qur'an, 10:37-38) And this is a Book We have sent down and blessed, so follow it and have fear of Allah so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Qur'an, 6:155)
Harun Yahya (Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an)
Medieval illustrations show people in every other human activity-making love and dying, sleeping and eating, in bed and in the bath, praying, hunting, dancing, plowing, in games and in combat, trading, traveling, reading and writing—yet so rarely with children as to raise the question: Why not? Maternal love, like sex, is generally considered too innate to be eradicable, but perhaps under certain unfavorable conditions it may atrophy. Owing to the high infant mortality of the times, estimated at one or two in three, the investment of love in a young child may have been so unrewarding that by some ruse of nature, as when overcrowded rodents in captivity will not breed, it was suppressed. Perhaps also the frequent childbearing put less value on the product. A child was born and died and another took its place.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In the Old Testament, the Egyptian ruler during the period of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and Prophet Yusuf (as) are named "Pharaoh." However, this title was actually employed after the eras in which these two prophets lived. While addressing the Egyptian ruler at the time of Prophet Yusuf (as), the word "Al-Malik" in Arabic is used in the Qur'an: It refers to a ruler, king or sultan: The King said, ‘Bring him to me straight away!'… (Qur'an, 12:50) The ruler of Egypt in the time of Prophet Musa (as) is referred to as "Pharaoh." This distinction in the Qur'an is not made in the Old and New Testaments nor by Jewish historians. In the Bible, the word "Pharaoh" is used, in every reference to an Egyptian monarch. On the other hand, the Qur'an is far more concise and accurate in the terminology it employs. The use of the word "Pharaoh" in Egyptian history belongs only to the late period. This particular title began to be employed in the 14th century B.C., during the reign of Amenhotep IV. Prophet Yusuf (as) lived at least 200 years before that time. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says that the word "Pharaoh" was a title of respect used from the New Kingdom (beginning with the 18th dynasty; B.C. 1539-1292) until the 22nd dynasty (B.C. 945-730), after which this term of address became the title of the king. Further information on this Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an 291 subject comes from the Academic American Encyclopaedia, which states that the title of Pharaoh began to be used in the New Kingdom. As we have seen, the use of the word "Pharaoh" dates from a specific period in history. For that reason, the fact that the Qur'an distinguishes between the different Egyptian titles in different Egyptian eras is yet another proof that the Qur'an is Allah's word.
Harun Yahya (Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an)
Throughout history, there have been many wars fought for many different reasons. Some reasons are very serious, like politics, power, economics, or just revenge. Some reasons are as simple as a difference in opinion or just not liking each other. Then there are reasons that are so stupid you wonder what was going through the minds of people at the time. According to “The Vintage News,” the “War of the Bucket” was fought between two Italian city-states, Bologna and Modena, in 1325. To fully understand why two city-states went to war over a bucket, you need to understand the history behind it. From the 12th to the 14th century, the different powers of Europe fought a series of wars, which are known as the Guelph and Ghibelline Wars. During that time, the two Italian city-states of Modena and Bologna both took opposing sides. In 1325, a group of soldiers from Modena snuck into the city of Bologna and stole a bucket from the city’s central well. It wasn’t the fact that they stole the bucket that angered the people of Bologna. They were angered by the fact that their enemies were able to sneak into their city undetected and steal something. They saw it as dishonorable and demanded the return of their bucket. Modena refused to do so. At this point, both of them should have realized that a fight over a bucket was a bit silly, but they didn’t. Bologna mobilized its forces, and so did Modena. Modena was severely outnumbered during the war, and the Bolognese had the high ground. Even with these circumstances, Modena still managed to win the war and steal a second bucket from the city for good measure. This is a funny tale, but let’s not forget that 2,000 people died in this war and the Modenese soldiers destroyed most of the city of Bologna in the process. They even destroyed a sluice on the local river so that the Bolognese had no need for a bucket because they couldn’t get water anymore.
Larry Baz (5 Minute Smarter: The amazing facts and interesting trivia of the world that impress your friends and have a fun time)
When the Black Death swept through 14th century Europe, killing upwards of 200 million people and forever altering the course of human history, one of the original culprits of the epidemic was said to be the black rat, carrying plague-infested fleas into population centers to wreak their destruction. This is, in fact, not true. The true perpetrator was actually the Asian great gerbil, who took advantage of the warmer climate to travel the silk road and bring the disease into Europe. This is only important to know because Ralph, champion pit fighter of the kobold training grounds, lives his life in a perpetual state of rage. Why? Because he feels that human death toll of 200 million is much too low, and he will do everything in his power to triple that number. Starting with you. The only survivor of a family of gerbils left to starve by a child who’d grown bored with the pets, Ralph had to commit unspeakable acts of cannibalism in order to endure. Part earth rodent, part the embodiment of death, Frenzied Gerbils are regular mobs one might encounter on the fifth or seventh floors. But Ralph here is special. He has dedicated his existence to fighting and training in hopes that one day he might exact his revenge against the humans he so despises. He is fast, he is angry,
Matt Dinniman (Dungeon Crawler Carl (Dungeon Crawler Carl, #1))
Concentration of wealth was moving upward in the 14th century and enlarging the proportion of the poor, while the catastrophes of the century reduced large numbers to misery and want. The poor had remained manageable as long as their minimum subsistence could be maintained by charity, but the situation changed when urban populations were swelled by the flotsam of war and plague and infused by a new aggressiveness in the plague’s wake.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
servile degree.” The object of the noble’s function, in theory, was not fighting for fighting’s sake, but defense of the two other estates and the maintenance of justice and order. He was supposed to protect the people from oppression, to combat tyranny, and to cultivate virtue—that is, the higher qualities of humanity of which the mud-stained ignorant peasant was considered incapable by his contemporaries in Christianity, if not by its founder.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Mounted on a bay horse (or, according to some accounts, a palomino) with clipped tail and ears and a plow-horse’s harness, the abbot’s representative carried a whip, a seed bag of wheat, and a basket filled with 120 rissoles. These were crescent-shaped pastries made of rye flour, stuffed with minced veal cooked in oil. A dog followed, also with clipped ears and tail, and with a rissole tied around his neck. The agent circled a stone cross at the entrance to the court three times, cracking his whip on each tour, dismounted and knelt at the lion platform, and, if each detail of equipment and performance was exactly right so far, was allowed to proceed. He then mounted the platform, kissed the lion, and deposited the rissoles plus twelve loaves of bread and three portions of wine as his homage. The Sire de Coucy took a third of the offerings, distributed the rest among the assembled bailiffs and town magistrates, and stamped the document of homage with a seal representing a mitered abbot with the feet of a goat.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Protected by plate armor and the pride of chivalry, the noble felt himself invulnerable and invincible and became increasingly contemptuous of the foot soldier. He believed that commoners, being excluded from chivalry, could never be relied upon in war. As grooms, baggage attendants, foragers, and road-builders—the equivalent of engineer corps—they were necessary, but as soldiers in leather jerkins armed with pikes and billhooks, they were considered an encumbrance who in a sharp fight would “melt away like snow in sunshine.” This was not simple snobbism but a reflection of experience in the absence of training. The Middle Ages had no equivalent of the Roman legion. Towns maintained trained bands of municipal police, but they tended to fill up their contingents for national defense with riff-raff good for nothing else. Abbeys had better use for their peasants than to employ their time in military drill. In any epoch the difference between a rabble and an army is training, which was not bestowed on foot soldiers called up by the arrière-ban. Despised as ineffective, they were ineffective because they were despised.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The persistence of the normal is strong.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The leader of Christendom, Pope Clement VI, was preserved in health by this method, though for an unrecognized reason: Clement’s doctor, Guy de Chauliac, ordered that two huge fires should burn in the papal apartments and required the Pope to sit between them in the heat of the Avignon summer. This drastic treatment worked, doubtless because it discouraged the attention of fleas and also because de Chauliac required the Pope to remain isolated in his chambers. Their lovely murals of gardens, hunting, and other secular joys, painted at Clement’s command, perhaps gave him some refreshment. A Pope of prodigal splendor and “sensual vices,” Clement was also a man of great learning and a patron of arts and science who now encouraged dissections of the dead “in order that the origins of this disease might be known.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
nuns of the Hôtel Dieu or municipal hospital, “having no fear of death, tended the sick with all sweetness and humility.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
flery
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Comparing the aftermaths of the Black Death and of World War I, James Westfall Thompson found all the same complaints: economic chaos, social unrest, high prices, profiteering, depraved morals, lack of production, industrial indolence, frenetic gaiety, wild expenditure, luxury, debauchery, social and religious hysteria, greed, avarice, maladministration, decay of manners.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The English were increasingly resentful of the papal appointment of foreigners to English benefices, with its accompanying drain of English money outside the country. In their growing spirit of independence, they were already moving toward a Church of England without being aware of it.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Curiously undeterred by the plague, the court held the elaborate ceremonial of the Order of the Garter as usual in 1349,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Besides, life was not precious, for what was the body after all, but carrion, and the sojourn on earth but a halt on the way to eternal life?
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Recent research has revealed that the richest person of all time lived in the 14th century in West Africa and went by many names, including Kankan Musa Keita, Emir of Melle, Lord of the Mines of Wangara, Conqueror of Ghanata and the Lion of Mali II, but today he is usually referred to as Mansa Musa.
Charles River Editors (Mansa Musa and Timbuktu: The History of the West African Emperor and Medieval Africa’s Most Fabled City)
Havoc in a given period does not cover all the people all the time, and though its effect is cumulative, the decline it drags behind takes time before it is recognized.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Even one item from the Torah is worth several thousand gold dinars (Midrash haGadol, 14th century Yemen).
David Adani
Sociologist Barry Glassner (1999) has documented many of the biases introduced by “If it bleeds, it leads” news reporting, and by the strategic efforts of special interest groups to control the agenda of public fear of crime, disease, and other hazards. Is an increase of approximately 700 incidents in 50 states over 7 years an “epidemic” of road rage? Is it conceivable that there is (or ever was) a crisis in children’s day care stemming from predatory satanic cults? In 1994, a research team funded by the U.S. government spent 4 years and $750,000 to reach the conclusion that the myth of satanic conspiracies in day care centers was totally unfounded; not a single verified instance was found (Goodman, Qin, Bottoms, & Shaver, 1994; Nathan & Snedeker, 1995). Are automatic-weapon-toting high school students really the first priority in youth safety? (In 1999, approximately 2,000 school-aged children were identified as murder victims; only 26 of those died in school settings, 14 of them in one tragic incident at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.) The anthropologist Mary Douglas (Douglas & Wildavsky, 1982) pointed out that every culture has a store of exaggerated horrors, many of them promoted by special interest factions or to defend cultural ideologies. For example, impure water had been a hazard in 14th-century Europe, but only after Jews were accused of poisoning wells did the citizenry become preoccupied with it as a major problem. But the original news reports are not always ill-motivated. We all tend to code and mention characteristics that are unusual (that occur infrequently). [...] The result is that the frequencies of these distinctive characteristics, among the class of people considered, tend to be overestimated.
Reid Hastie (Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgement and Decision Making)
Before his mistress a lover was prostrate, wounded to death by her beauty, killed by her disdain, obliged to an illimitable constancy, marked out for her dangerous service. A smile from her was in theory a gracious reward for twenty years of painful adoration.
Nevill Coghill (The Canterbury Tales)
It may be taken as axiomatic that any statement of fact about the Middle Ages may (and probably will) be met by a statement of the opposite or a different version.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
passion for Sybil, wife of a lord of Lorraine, Enguerrand
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” HAFIZ, 14TH-CENTURY PERSIAN POET
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
Tuchman’s Law: "The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to- tenfold." Barbara Tuchman Foreward to A Distant Mirror Published 1978
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Simply summarized by the Swiss historian J.C.L.S. de Sismondi, the 14th century was “a bad time for humanity.” Until recently, historians tended to dislike and to skirt the century because it could not be made to fit into a pattern of human progress. After the experiences of the terrible 20th century, we have greater fellow-feeling for a distraught age whose rules were breaking down under the pressure of adverse and violent events. We recognize with a painful twinge the marks of “a period of anguish when there is no sense of an assured future.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
royal ordinance stated rather ambiguously, “It is not proper for a noble to be an innkeeper.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Bourgeois might be forbidden to own a carriage or wear ermine, and peasants to wear any color but black or brown. Florence allowed doctors and magistrates to share the nobles’ privilege of ermine, but ruled out for merchants’ wives multicolored, striped, and checked gowns,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Expenditure of money by commoners pained the nobles not least because they saw it benefiting the merchant class rather than themselves.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
princes are instituted by God not to seek their own gain but the common good of the people.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
I didn't trust it for a moment but I drank it anyway, the wine of my own poetry. It gave me the daring to take hold of the darkness and tear it down and cut it into little pieces.
Lala
derives from the 14th-century word Old French aleurer, to attract, captivate, and more exotically, to train a falcon to hunt. The roots are à, to, and loirre, falconer’s lure.
Phil Cousineau (The Painted Word: A Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words and Their Origins)
The Proto-Canaanite ... seems to have employed 27 different characters. The Ugaritic alphabet from around the 14th century BCE uses 30 characters ... Phoenician had by the 12th century BCE already dropped five characters ... 22 consonantal phonemes.
Angel Sáenz-Badillos
reproaches himself for recoiling from the stench of the poor and the sick,
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The Chronicle of Guillaume de Nangis, written by a monk at the Abbey of Saint-Denis, records their start in the middle of April. Other accounts have the storms arriving in Flanders around Pentecost, May 11. The abbot of Saint-Vincent, near Laon, noted that “it rained most marvelously and for so long.” So long, in fact, that it didn’t stop, except for a day or two, until August. By one count, it rained for 155 days in a row, virtually everywhere in Europe north of the Pyrenees and Alps, and west of the Urals: throughout France, Britain, the Baltic and German principalities, Poland, and Lithuania.
William Rosen (The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century)
The 14th century Christian mystic, Miester Eckhart wrote, “If the only prayer we prayed was thank you, that would suffice.
Angelica Jayne Taggart (And So It Is: A Book of Uncommon Prayer)
In the Hundred Years’ War that dragged France and England through the 14th century, both sides would have liked to quit but could not, for fear of losing power and status; hate and mistrust fed by the war prevented them from talking. In the ghastly toll and futility of 1914–18, no end could be negotiated short of victory for one side or the other, because each felt it must bring home to its people some compensating gain in the form of territory or a seaport or industrial resource to justify the terrible cost. To come home empty-handed might mean a revolt against the rulers at home—or at least the loss of their position and place in society, as the Kaiser and the Hohenzollerns were thrown out in 1918.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution)
In a somewhat different form, noblewomen of 14th- to 16th-century Europe and England shaved or plucked their frontal scalp in order to create a prominent forehead: Elizabeth I, the great virgin queen, appears so in extant portraits. Widespread use of this style among aristocratic women in court led to its reference outside of court as “high brow.
Kurt Stenn (Hair: A Human History)
I am about to recount occurred during the last years of the 14th century, when the Scottish sceptre was swayed by the gentle but feeble hand of John, who, on being called to the throne, assumed the title of Robert the Third.
Walter Scott (The Complete Novels of Sir Walter Scott: Waverly, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe, The Pirate, Old Mortality, The Guy Mannering, The Antiquary, The Heart of Midlothian and many more (Illustrated))
Crop rotation in the 14th century was considerably more widespread after John?
Rik Mayall
When I surveyed perceptions of violence in an Internet questionnaire, people guessed that 20th-century England was about 14 percent more violent than 14th-century England. In fact it was 95 percent less violent.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Divorce was legalized in Maryland and Holland adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1701. On that same date the German Hohenzollern royal family was developed from former emperors, kings, princes who were descended of the Germanic kingdoms scattered throughout central Europe. On April 9, 1865, in America, General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate States of America, ended the Civil War by surrendering to General Ulysses S. Grant, Commander of the United States Forces. It wasn’t even a week later, when on April 14th, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, while watching “Our American Cousin” at the Ford Theater. The following day, as Lincoln lay dying in Washington, D.C., Otto Von Bismarck, a conservative Prussian statesman was elevated to the rank of Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen in Europe. During the second half of the 19th century as Bismarck ran German and dominated European history, Cuba fought for its independence from Spain. On April 25, 1898, at the start of the Industrial Revolution, the United States declared war against Spain. The century ended with turmoil in Europe, a free Cuba and the United States as the new world power!
Hank Bracker
To put on the garment of legitimacy is the first aim of every coup. When
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Dante Alighieri wrote his first book in the prosimetrum genre – La Vita Nuova – in 14th century Florence. Since I’m compiling this collection – my first indie publication – in Florence, just blocks from Dante’s house, and since his book involves a lost love, and ‘A New Life,’ I thought it fitting to emulate this style in my own casual, intuitive fashion. My hope is that the juxtaposition of poems, journal entries, essays and prose will create a story; a memoir in anarchistic vignettes.
Jalina Mhyana (Dreaming in Night Vision: A Story in Vignettes)
Although my initial question has escaped an answer, the interest of the period itself— a violent, tormented, bewildered, suffering and disintegrating age, a time, as many thought, of Satan triumphant— was compelling, as it seemed to me, consoling in a period of similar disarray. If our last decade or two of collapsing assumptions has been a period of unusual discomfort, it is reassuring to know that the human species has lived through worse before.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
After a last attempted poisoning—this time of Burgundy and Berry—Navarre died in horrid circumstances. Sick and prematurely old at 56, he was tormented by chills and shivering and at doctor’s orders was wrapped at night in cloths soaked in brandy to warm his body and cause sweat. To keep them in place, the wrappings were sewn on each time like a shroud, and caught fire one night from the valet’s candle as he leaned over to cut a thread. To the King’s shrieks of pain, the brandy-soaked cloth flamed around his body; he lived for two weeks with doctors unable to relieve his agony before he expired.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
The reckoning of time was based on the movements of sun and stars, nature’s timekeepers, which were familar and carefully observed.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
No one dared tell the outcome of the battle to Philip VI until his jester was thrust forward and said, "Oh, the cowardly English, the cowardly English!" and on being asked why, replied, "They did not jump overboard like our brave Frenchmen." The King evidently got the point. The fish drank so much French blood, it was said afterward, that if God had given them the power of speech they would have spoken in French.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
In the annual Feast of Fools at Christmastime, every rite and article of the Church no matter how sacred was celebrated in mockery. A dominus festi, or lord of the revels, was elected from the inferior clergy—the curés, subdeacons, vicars, and choir clerks, mostly ill-educated, ill-paid, and ill-disciplined—whose day it was to turn everything topsy-turvy. They installed their lord as Pope or Bishop or Abbot of Fools in a ceremony of head-shaving accompanied by bawdy talk and lewd acts; dressed him in vestments turned inside out; played dice on the altar and ate black puddings and sausages while mass was celebrated in nonsensical gibberish; swung censers made of old shoes emitting “stinking smoke”; officiated in the various offices of the priest wearing beast masks and dressed as women or minstrels; sang obscene songs in the choir; howled and hooted and jangled bells while the “Pope” recited a doggerel benediction. At his call to follow him on pain of having their breeches split, all rush violently from the church to parade through the town, drawing the dominus in a cart from which he issues mock indulgences while his followers hiss, cackle, jeer, and gesticulate. They rouse the bystanders to laughter with “infamous performances” and parody preachers in scurrilous sermons. Naked men haul carts of manure which they throw at the populace. Drinking bouts and dances accompany the procession. The whole was a burlesque of the too-familiar, tedious, and often meaningless rituals; a release of “the natural lout beneath the cassock.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Two years later the logic of the struggle led (Pope) John XXII to excommunicate William of Ockham, the English Franciscan, known for his forceful reasoning as “the invincible doctor.” In expounding a philosophy called “nominalism,” Ockham opened a dangerous door to direct intuitive knowledge of the physical world. He was in a sense a spokesman for intellectual freedom, and the Pope recognized the implications by his ban. In reply to the excommunication, Ockham promptly charged John XXII with seventy errors and seven heresies.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)