It was an age reaping the benefits of events of the 1450’s—when Constantiople’s fall to the Turks threatened all of Europe and Gutenberg’s innovation of movable type gave more than a select few the privelege of coming to their own conclusions. In Zwingli’s lifetime—a mere fifty years—scholars of the church questioned the faith as Rome had tought it, and courageous explorers thrust through ancient myths and fears to discover new horizons. It was a world encountering a new kind of trade, including tasty foods from exotic lands. It was a world becoming stronger—in England, France, and Spain. It was a world equipping itself with giants—moneyed families such as the Medici and the Fuggers, geniuses of form such as Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael, singleminded leaders such as Columbus, Henry VIII, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Luther. It was an age to give people hope in princely powers as well as in personal ideals. It was an age beginning to change at a faster pace, yet it was an age when one could still burn as a heretic.

1477 Swiss pikemen distinguish themselves at Battle of Nancy, making them much sought after as mercenaries

1480 Ferdinand and Isabella appoint Inquisition against heresy among converted Jews

1480 Ivan III styles himself Czar of the Russians

1482 Portuguese explorers discover bananas on west coast of Africa

1483 Martin Luther born

1484 “At Hammel in Saxony, on the 20th of June, 1484, the Devil, in the likeness of a pied piper, carried away 130 children, that were never after seen.” 

1484 Japan’s shogun Yoshimasa introduces the tea ceremony

1484 Huldrych Zwingli born at Wildhaus (Toggenburg) in Canton of St. Gall

1485 Battle of Bosworth on August 22 ends England’s 15-year Wars of the Roses; Henry VII crowned first ...

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