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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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This is the AAR thread for the RPG game Destiny.

It is time for Europe to arise and dominate the world. The year is 1520 and the European nations will find their destiny.

Many events conspired to make the 1520s so important. What happened during those ten years, both in Europe and the rest of the world, would permanently affect the way we now live our lives.
Will the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent send his huge army towards Vienna, the main eastern outpost of Europe's dominant Habsburg dynasty?
And will he succeed? Will then those who oppose the Habsburg ascendancy in the continent emboldened to challenge it?
Will Martin Luther and his burgeoning but still fragile Protestant heresy be a loser or a winner?
Will Charles V defeat the French and command his armies in a campaign through Italy, ending with the sacking of Rome?
What about merry king Henry VIII? Will he get papal blessing for his divorce from his Habsburg queen? Will there be an Anglican Church?

A bold person, captain Magellan is busy rounding the world, as the first person recorded in history, but will he succeed? Spain is in a war with the Aztec Empire, they will most probably manage to get access to the vast gold resources there, but will this prove to be the best for their country in the long run?

Many interesting questions and this brand new rpg multiplayer game shall give the answers.

The comment thread is HERE
 

juv95hrn

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"Sire, the entire realm demands a change to the heretic teachings of Luther! Not a single burgher, noble nor citydwelling creature supports the corruption of the Papal authorities!"

King Christian II shook his head in disbelief.
"It hurts us in our hearts that tings have come to this. My inheritence will be torn apart if we don't yield to my subjects will or it will be torn apart by strife with other potents that wish to uphold Rome's supremacy! What are we to do!?"

"Sire, with our loyal vassals aid we might still peacefully convince the population to return to the faith of their fathers. If not we could potentially grant the heretics the same right as the papal church enjoys. After all the lutherans are famed for their working skills and that means further tax collections for the royal treasury."

"My dearest advisor..." sighed the troubled Danish monarch. "We do not know what way to act. We will inform you of our intentions in good time. All in good time." With these words ended the audience...
 
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logo_vatican.jpg

[color=660000]Exsurge Domine
Bull of Pope Leo X issued June 15, 1520
[/color]



Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.

Rise, Peter, and fulfill this pastoral office divinely entrusted to you as mentioned above. Give heed to the cause of the holy Roman Church, mother of all churches and teacher of the faith, whom you by the order of God, have consecrated by your blood. Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects, and drawing upon themselves speedy doom. Their tongues are fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. They have bitter zeal, contention in their hearts, and boast and lie against the truth.

We beseech you also, Paul, to arise. It was you that enlightened and illuminated the Church by your doctrine and by a martyrdom like Peter's. For now a new Porphyry rises who, as the old once wrongfully assailed the holy apostles, now assails the holy pontiffs, our predecessors.

[etc etc]

Therefore we can, without any further citation or delay, proceed against him to his condemnation and damnation as one whose faith is notoriously suspect and in fact a true heretic with the full severity of each and all of the above penalties and censures. Yet, with the advice of our brothers, imitating the mercy of almighty God who does not wish the death of a sinner but rather that he be converted and live, and forgetting all the injuries inflicted on us and the Apostolic See, we have decided to use all the compassion we are capable of. It is our hope, so far as in us lies, that he will experience a change of heart by taking the road of mildness we have proposed, return, and turn away from his errors. We will receive him kindly as the prodigal son returning to the embrace of the Church.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father's love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency.

We enjoin, however, on Martin that in the meantime he cease from all preaching or the office of preacher.



Full text
 

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HISTORY OF VENICE
~ expansion on seas and land ~


697 The first doge
Paoluccio Anafesto, the first doge of Venice, marked Venetian independence from Byzantium.

810 The attack of king Pippin and birth of city of Venice
Charlemagne's son, Pippin, king of Italy, was severely beaten by the venetici on the lagoon in 810. The territorial integrity of the duchy of Venice situated on the lagoon between Grado and Chioggia was guaranteed in the pax Nicephori concluded between the two emperors in 814.

828 The body of St. Mark the evangelist strengthening Venetian independence
Two Venetian merchants purloined the body of St. Mark the evangelist from Alexandria and brought it back to their home town in 828. The transfer of the body of St. Mark was of political significance. It symbolized the independence of the church and community of Venice from both the Western Empire and the Eastern Empire, not to mention Rome itself, by linking the city with one of the founding saints of Christianity who was neither Byzantine nor Roman.

840 Pactum Lotarii recognizing Venice's right of control over the Adriatic
At the request of Venice, the Frank-Byzantine treaty of mutual respect of territory (814) was renewed entrusting the Venetian fleet with the defense of the sea (since there was no imperial fleet, and the Byzantine fleet was elsewhere), thus implicitly recognizing Venice's right of control over the Adriatic.

1000 Dux Dalmatinorum
On Ascension Day 1000 a seaborne expedition left for Dalmatia. Pietro II Orseolo received homage from the Dalmatians at Ossero, Veglia, Arbe and Zara. From Zara he fought the Croats, while at Spalato (Split) he forced the Narentines to negotiate, and took from them Curzola and Lagosta. He thus removed the Slavs from the sea, and placed the Byzantine Dalmatian coast under Venice's protection, assuming the title Dux Dalmatinorum.

1099-1100 The first crusade and trading rights in Holy Land
Only in 1099 did a Venetian fleet set out on the crusades, wintering in Rhodes. Venetian fleet left Rhodes at the end of May I 100. At Jaffa the Venetians made an agreement with Godfrey of Bouillon to help him to extend the control of the crusaders over the coast, at the cost of granting them a colony (with a church, square, market, freedom to trade and tax exemptions) in every city conquered. Only Haifa was taken, and the fleet returned to Venice before the year ended.

1104 The Arsenal
The Arsenal was founded in 1104 and constantly further enlarged to house an arms magazine, naval equipment and provisions, repair shops, a protected base, and a construction yard.

1145-53 Totius Istriae Dominator
Venice's relations with Istria were ones of protection, involving an obligation to provide defense by sea. The cities had to swear fidelitas and recognize Venetian dominion over the mainland. The doge was given the title Totius Istriae Dominator.

1201-04 Major gains during the fourth crusade: "A quarter and a half" of the Eastern Empire
The fourth crusade was undertaken by the count of Champagne and other great feudal lords of France. More than 33,000 men were to be transported for a vast sum equivalent to 20,000 kilograms (44,000 lbs) of silver. The ships were ready by the spring of 1202, but the crusaders were not as many as they should have been, neither had the agreed financial terms been completely honoured. Doge Enrico Dandolo agreed that the balance of the debt should be paid out of future booty, and while they were on their way, he requested the crusaders to help Venice recapture Zara (Zadar), which had rebelled with the support of the Hungarian crown. In the winter they decided to attack Constantinople. The Venetians and the crusaders took the city in April 1204 and sacked it for three days. The Venetians and the crusader barons drew up a contract, forming the Eastern Latin Empire. The emperor was chosen by a council of six Venetians and six barons. The Venetians cast all their votes in favour of Baldwin, count of Flanders, who was elected. The emperor was given a quarter of the empire, and the remaining three-quarters were divided up between Venice and the barons, half going to each party. In this way the Doge became "Lord of a quarter and a half of the empire." The division was confused. With the fall of the empire, everyone who was able attempted to take what he could, whilst the Venetians were more interested in trade and naval bases than in territory. Apart from three-eighths of the city of Constantinople, their main gains were Negropont in Euboea, the two bases of Modon and Corone (Methoni and Koroni) on the southern tip of Morea (the Peloponnese), and lastly Candia (Crete).

1240 Control of the Po
In 1240 the lord of Ferrara joined forces with the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II. At the pope's request the Venetians sent a naval squadron to besiege the city. The declaration of the citizens of Ferrara in favour of the Este family contributed to the city's fall. The Venetians concluded a treaty with the new lords of Ferrara, giving them control of all trade between the city and the sea, all merchandise coming from the Adriatic to Ferrara having to pass through the port of Venice. In order to exercise this right unobstructed they built the castle of Macramò at the mouth of the PO di Primaro in 1258. Thus the PO, the great commercial route into the plain of Padua, fell under their control.

1255 The maritime code
In 1255 doge Ranieri Zeno promulgated a code of maritime practice. The first statutes date back to 1242 in the reign of Jacopo Tiepolo. This regulated maritime affairs, the responsibilities of ship owners, one of whom was designated as the ship's captain or "patrono" de facto, the rights of the crew, sailors and merchant-seamen, who were allowed to trade on their own account, and fixed the dates for contracts and the dates of departure of the mude (convoys).

1257-70 The columns of St. John of Acre: the first war with Genoa
The Genoese position in Acre, as in Tyre, was as strong as the Venetian position, and a series of bloody incidents occurred between the citizens of these two maritime republics. 1257 marked the beginning of the fight with Genoa which was to end only after four wars more than a century later. A few years after the initial victory in Acre (1258), the Venetians suffered a reversal in the greatest center of their colonial power. The Byzantine emperor Michael Paleologus allied himself with the Genoese in 1261, took Constantinople in July 1261 and so put an end to the Eastern Latin Empire. The war at sea consisted of the harassment of Venetian shipping, which was forced to adopt the expensive procedure of sailing in convoy. In spite of this, the Venetians won the two main naval encounters, at Settepozzi in 1263, and at Trapani in 1266. Michael Paleologus again permitted the Venetians into Constantinople in 1268 although they were still at war with his Genoese allies, and peace was concluded in 1270.

1261-95 The Polos in the Far East
In the same year in which Michael Paleologus retook the city of Constantinople, 1261, two Venetian merchants, the brothers Nicolò and Matteo Polo set out to investigate the commercial possibilities of the hinterland in the new circumstances prevailing in Asia in the wake of the creation of the Mongol power. On their second trip to the Mongol emperor in 1271 they were accompanied by Nicolò's son, the famous Marco Polo. They journeyed on through Laiazzo, a port in lesser Armenia which was to become an important point on the Asian caravan routes after the Mameluke conquest of Syria, and through Tabriz in Persia, the Pamir, and the oases of central Asia, the historical Silk Road, finishing up at Peking. Marco journeyed extensively in the far eastern parts of the Mongol empire, sometimes on official missions, eventually reaching Burma in 1285. The three Venetians returned home in 1295, 25 years after setting out, by the sea route from the straits of Malacca and the Indian Ocean.

1294-99 The second war with Genoa
The rivalry between the two maritime republics of Italy now became more intense than ever over the Black Sea trade. The first Genoese victory was in 1294 off Laiazzo, which had become the most important Asian port after the fall of the crusaders' positions. The Venetians then made an incursion into Pera, and finally 80 ships under the command of Lamba Doria entered the Adriatic to ravage the Dalmatian coast. The Genoese won the ensuing great battle or Curzola (I 298), but with such losses that they were unable to pursue the Venetians and carry the war into the lagoon. The peace of 1299 recognized Genoese supremacy over the coast of Liguria and Venetian supremacy over the coast of the Adriatic. In the East their rivalry remained unresolved.

1308-13 The war with Ferrara and the interdict
The chief reason for Venice's dominance over the Gulf of the Adriatic was to make sure that all goods passed through the market of Venice. Vessels of all countries could sail to Venice and merchants from every country did business there, but every transaction had to take place in Venice's market. The Venetian castle of Marcamò on the PO delta made sure that trade bound for Lombardy from theRomagna passed through Venice. In 1308 the Venetians saw an opportunity to consolidate their control over the Po waterway by making themselves masters of Ferrara. From Avignon the pope, overlord of Ferrara, placed Venice under an interdict. Venice treated with Verona, and a waterway was planned to join the Adige and the Po, allowing access to the Po upstream of Ferrara. With this the interdict was eventually lifted in 1313.

1339 Treviso acquired
The first city of the Veneto mainland over which Venice asserted its rule was Treviso. At the rear of the lagoon the Della Scala family had risen to threatening proportions, ruling from Verona to Padua, Treviso and many other cities. The ambitions of these lords of Verona were cut down by a timely series of alliances and by a war. In Padua Venice lent its support to the rise of the Carraresi, while Treviso, which controlled the trade routes north, was directly taken over.

1347-48 The plague
The Bubonic plague, which was raging in the Tartar army besieging the trading base of Kaffa in the Crimea, was brought to Italy by a returning Venetian vessel in the autumn of 1347. Within 18 months the city had lost three-fifths of its inhabitants.

1350-55 The third war with Genoa
This began with a number of incidents connected with the Black Sea trade. Venice was cast as the protector of the Byzantine empire against growing pressure from Genoa. After a series of bloody battles and victories and defeats on both sides, racked with internal strife, the Genoese submitted to the lord of Milan, Giovanni Visconti, who engineered a compromise agreement in 1355.

1358 Dalmatia lost
Three and a half centuries after the profitable crusade of doge Pietro II Orseolo, at the end of 1355, after the peace with Genoa, Venice had to deal with the "whole of Slavonia in tumult." Arrayed against Venice in 1356 were the dukes of Austria, the patriarch of Aquileia, the Carrarese lord of Padua, and worst of all, the Hungarians, who were laying siege to Zara (Zadar). Zara fell, Trag (Trogir) and Spalato (Split) went over to the Hungarians, and in June 1358 Venice ceded her claim to the possessions in Dalmatia to the Hungarian crown.

1378-81 The war of Chioggia, and the fourth war with Genoa
The origins of the fourth war with Genoa lay in rivalry over the conquest of the island of Tenedos, which was a potential base commanding the straits coveted by both Venetians and Genoese. The Venetians occupied it in 1376; war was not far behind. Against Venice were Genoa, the Carraresi of Padua, and the king of Hungary. In 1378 the Venetian fleet under Vittor Pisani sailed on an offensive war to the West, achieved a brilliant victory, and returned to winter at Pola. Here they were attacked by the Genoese in the spring of 1379. Pisani was lured into a trap, and his victory was turned into defeat. Returning home, he was thrown into prison. After the initial defeats, the Genoese attacked the coast of the lagoon, taking Chioggia with the help of the Paduans on 16 August 1379. Never had Venice stood in greater danger. During the night of 22 December 1379Venetians blockaded Chioggia, cutting off the occupying forces from both the Paduans and the Genoese fleet. The Genoese in Chioggia surrendered six months later in June 1380, allowing the Venetians to sally forth and regain control of the Adriatic. The peace of Turin of 1381 seemed to favour Genoa more than Venice, but Venice's greater political stability meant that she emerged victorious from the centuries of conflict.

1386 The occupation of Corfu
The island of Corfu was occupied with the consent of its rulers in 1386; legal rights of possession were later obtained from Charles, pretender to the throne of Naples. Corfu was strongly fortified and became a very important base, commanding the lower Adriatic. It remained in Venice's possession until the end of the Republic.

1389-1420 Expansion over the mainland of the Veneto
Venice was a seafaring and mercantile power, whose main interests were trade and commerce. Just as in the Adriatic and in the Levant Venice's policy was to control ports, bases and tradingstations, so in the hinterland of the lagoon her policy was to keep the roads free so that her trade could flow unhindered. But with the flowering of the age of the great lords ruling over large stretches of land and ambitious to expand their territories, the situation was radically altered. There were three main pawns in Venice's game, the Scaligeri of Verona, the Carraresi of Padua, and the Visconti of Milan. Farther to the East were the lands of the patriarch of Aquileia, and here it was necessary to keep an eye on the ambitions of powers north of the Alps. Vicenza, Belluno, and Bassano submitted to Venice in 1404. In 1405 Padua and Verona were conquered. Within the lands of the patriarchate, the house of Savorgnan at Udine held firm with Venetian support, but here too the Carraresi had made attempts to expand, and Trieste had been given over to the dukes of Austria in 1382. When the emperor Sigismund of Hungary, with whom Venice was also fighting over Dalmatia, intervened, the military campaign of 1418-20 broke out. On 16 June 1420, Tristano di Savorgnan entered Udine bearing the banner of St. Mark. Venice now possessed almost the whole of the modern Veneto and Friuli.

1409-20 Dalmatia regained
At the beginning of the 15th century there were two kings of Hungary, Sigismund of Luxembourg and Ladislas of Anjou-Durazzo, king of Naples, who was in possession of Dalmatia which he had conquered in an expedition against Zara (Zadar) in 1403. In January 1409 Venice regained its rights over Dalmatia, ceded in 1358, from Ladislas who was in difficulties. Less than a third of the intitial asking price of 300,000 ducats was paid. The little which Ladislas retained, principally Zara, was handed over to Venice, and the rest, Trafi, Sebenico, Spalato, Cattaro, Curzola (Trogir, Sebenik, Split, Kotor, Korcula), and the other islands she won in the war with Sigismund in 1420.

1424-30 Loss of Thessalonica to the Turks
The Turks had occupied nearly all the Byzantine Empire with the exception of Constantinople. Thessalonica was soon lostin 1430, while Venice was caught up in the wars in Italy against Milan.

1425-54 The wars in Lombardy
The prelude to those four wars of supremacy, or from the other point of view, to protect the balance of power in Italy which was threatened by the expansion of the Visconti house was the League between Venice and Florence of 4 May 1425. In the first, (1425 26), Venice took Brescia. The second (1427-28) saw a Venetian victory at Maclodio on 4 October 1427, and ended with Venice being granted Bergamo as well as Brescia. The peace of Ferrara in 1433 after the third war, despite of Venetian victories over Genoa, at that time a dependency of the Visconti, left things as they stood. In the fourth war Milan laid siege to Brescia in 1438 and penetrated the Veronese defenses. Venice's response to this crisis was the famous transportation of six galleys and other lesser craft by land from the Adige to Lake Garda, more than 2,000 oxen being used in the operation (1439). No territorial changes were made in the ensuing Peace of Cremona of 20 November 1441. None of these treaties was more than a truce, and no general accord between the Italian states was reached, as Venice would have preferred. Instead, important political changes occurred. After the Visconti dieath Francesco Sforza was ruling Miland, while Florence took a new turn under Cosimo de' Medici. Two coalitions were now formed, Sforza Milan with Medici Florence on the one hand, against Venice and Aragonese Naples on the other. The main theater of war was still Lombardy, where Venice clashed with Francesco Sforza. Worn out, both sides joined in the Peace of Lodi in May 1454, a peace which formed the basis for a general accord between the four contenders, Venice, Milan, Florence and Naples, under the leadership of the pope. After 30 years of war Venice's frontiers was moved o the Adda river, giving her Brescia and Bergamo. Peace of Lodi brought 40 years of peace to Italy, but not to Venice.


1463-79 The Turkish advance
On 3 April 1463, ten years after the capture of Constantinople, the Turks seized the Venetian fortress of Argos in a surprise attack. A long war ensued from which Venice emerged defeated. The peace of 24 January 1479 was humiliating: Venice lost Argos, Euboea and Scutari, and had to pay an annual tributeof lO,000 ducats. TheTurks went on to attack peninsular Italy, landing at Otranto, but were unsuccessful in this attempt. The death of Mehmed II brought Turkey a period of crisis, which allowed Venice to take and hold Zante in the Ionian islands, and to improve the terms of the treaty. The tribute was abolished, duty was lowered from five to four per cent, and the privileges and immunities of the Venetian bailo in Constantinople were renewed.

1473 Cyprus acquired
During the course of the disastrous war with the Turks, Venice managed to consolidate her hold on the island of Cyprus. The kingdom remained in the possession of Caterina Corner and of her baby son Giacomo III Lusignano, who died in 1474, under strict Venetian control until she was forced to abdicate on 24 February 1489. She ceded the island to the direct administration of Venice.

1484 The Polesine taken from Ferrara
The pope had sought Venice's help against the king of Naples, leaving her a free hand against Ferrara (1482). He subsequently became alarmed by Venice's success, however, and while Florence and Milan intervened in Ferrara's favour, Sixtus IV had recourse to an interdict in order to stop Venice. At the peace of 1484 Venice was allowed to retain the Polesine, which she had conquered.

1495-1503 Forced to chose between land and sea: gained Cremona but lost Lepanto, Modon and Corone
Charles VIII of France's descent into Italy in order to conquer the kingdom of Naples in 1494 is one of the turning points in Italian history. Venice, as one of the architects of the anti-French league which failed to destroy the French king's army at Fornovo in 1495, occupied the Apulian ports, important strategic bases commanding the lower Adriatic and the Ionian islands. A few years later in 1499 Venice allied itself with Louis XII against Milan, and gained Cremona. In the same year the Ottoman sultan moved to attack Lepanto. Preferring peace to total war both against the Turks and by sea, Venice surrendered the bases of Lepanto, Modon, and Corone in 1499. Her supremacy in Italy seemed to be in peril and her ambitions on the mainland won the day. Some believe that this decision, and this period were the critical point in Venice's fortunes.

1508-17 The League of Cambrai: Venetians land ambitions in Italy stopped
Taking full control over Romagna from the pope was the next Venetian goal in Italy. Venice's power was at its height, but this brought her enemies. Eager to take some of Venice's lands, these all joined in the League of Cambrai in 1508. The pope wanted Romagna, the emperor Friuli and the Veneto, Spain the Apulian ports, the king of France Cremona, the king of Hungary Dalmatia, and each of the others some part. The offensive against the huge army enilisted by Venice was launched from France. On 14 May 1509 Venice was defeated at Agnadello, French and imperial troops were occupying the Veneto, but Venice extricated herself by her efforts and her political skill. The Apulian ports were ceded in order to come to terms with Spain, and pope Julius II was placated when he perceived how much more dangerous Venice would be destroyed than powerful. Andrea Gritti recaptured Padua in July 1509, and successfully defended it against the besieging imperial troops. Spain and the pope broke off their alliance with France, and Venice regained Brescia and Verona from France also. After seven years of ruinous war, Venice regained her domains on the mainland up to the Adda.

(read the full text at http://www.veneto.org/history)
 
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HISTORY OF VENICE
~ evolution of government from autocracy towards democracy ~


697 The first doge
According to Venetian historical traditions, the first doge that marked the independence from Byzantium was Paoluccio Anafesto, elected in 697.

976 Fire and revolt
Doge Pietro IV Candiano was assassinated by the rebellious populace, and the palatium, the basilica of St. Mark, the church of San Teodoro and more than 300 houses, mostly built of wood, were destroyed by fire. The people then elected Pietro I Orseolo as doge in the church of San Pietro di Castello.

1032 The first Dogal Councillors
The Orseolo were overthrown in a revolutionary movement which carried Domenico Flabianico to power. At the same time two Dogal Councillors were elected for the first time, one from each side of the Grand Canal. This restricted the development of a monarchical type of government, which had been the tendency under the Candiano and the Orseolo, and laid the foundation for the ever-increasing limitations of the doge's power.

1143 Consilium Sapientium
A new body had been instituted "for the honour and benefit and salvation of our country," the Council of Wise Men or Consilium Sapientium. This may have had 35 members as we know it did later, at the beginning of the 13th century. It was a deliberatory body, with the doge as president, and was the first nucleus of the later Maggior Consiglio.

1172 Doge Vitale II Michiel killed: Sebastiano Ziani elected
In 1171 when Manuel Comnenus destroyed the Genoese quarter and dispersed the Venetian colony in Constantinople, arresting residents and confiscating their goods. The doge Vitale II Michiel sailed with a fleet to the Aegean. He returned with his crew decimated by plague and without having achieved anything. There were rumours of treachery, and rebels broke up the Council of Wise Men and pursued the doge, killing him near San Zaccaria. Sebastiano Ziani, the richest man in Venice was chosen to succeed him. An indirect method of election was used for the first time, 11 electors being nominated, and their choice made subject to the assembly's ratification. This was the beginning of the complex and famous method of election and lottery, which was used in the later centuries.

1178 The six Dogal Councillors
The electoral procedure instituted in 1172 was completed in 1178 with the election of doge Orio Mastropiero, II men being designated to elect electors of the doge. Six Dogal Councillors were now appointed from the six sestieri of the city.

1220 The Quarantia
A new council appears in Venetian government in the first decades of the 13th century, under the general heading "pro proficuo et utilitatis Comunis Venecie." This was the Quarantia, the Council of Forty, entitled for the election of the Doge.

1255 The Pregadi
From 1255 we have secure records of the Consiglio dei Rogati or dei Pregadi, those "invited" to give their advice and work. They were known in Venetian political life simply as the Pregadi, or classically as the Senate. The council was founded with a brief over naval material and certain international questions. It could meet either alone, or in conjunction with the Maggior Consiglio, in which it participated ex officio. Later, when the Maggior Consiglio had increased in size, the Senate was elected by the Maggior Consiglio and assumed the highest functions of state.

1255 The maritime code
In 1255 doge Ranieri Zeno promulgated a code of maritime practice. The first statutes date back to 1242 in the reign of Jacopo Tiepolo. This regulated maritime affairs, the responsibilities of ship owners, one of whom was designated as the ship's captain or "patrono" de facto, the rights of the crew, sailors and merchant-seamen, who were allowed to trade on their own account, and fixed the dates for contracts and the dates of departure of the mude (convoys).

1268 The Quarantaun
The procedure for the election of the doge by the Maggior Consiglio was completed with the introduction of a series of stages of alternate voting and lottery, culminating in the selection of 41 electors (the Quarantaun) who nominated the doge. This method was used for the first time at the election of Lorenzo Tiepolo in 1268, and continued unchanged thereafter.
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Rules on the Election of the Doge
The doge's prerogatives were not defined with precision, and though the position was entrusted to members of the inner circle of powerful Venetian families, after several doges had associated a son with themselves in the ducal office, this tendency towards a hereditary monarchy was checked by a law which decreed that no doge had the right to associate any member of his family with himself in his office, or to name his successor. After 1172 the election of the doge was finally entrusted to The Quarantia, who were chosen by four men selected from the Maggior Consiglio, which was itself nominated annually by twelve persons. After a deadlocked tie at the election of 1229, the number of electors was increased from forty to forty-one.
New regulations for the elections of the doge introduced in 1268 remained in force until the end of the republic in 1797. Their object was to minimize as far as possible the influence of individual great families, and this was effected by a complex elective machinery, a combination of elections and lotery:
- thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine
- the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve
- the twelve chose twenty-five; the twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine
- the nine elected forty-five; the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven
- the eleven finally chose the forty-one, The Quarantaun, who actually elected the doge

When a new doge was chosen, before he took the oath of investiture he was presented to the people with the formula "This is your doge, if it please you," preserving the fiction that the people of Venice ratified the selection, yet in a real sense the doge was the highest servant of the greater community.
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1297 The membership in the Maggior Consiglio
Historically, the admission to the Council of Wise Men, later to become the Maggior Consiglio, has been achieved by election between the members of the most influential families. With this reform in the reign of Pietro Gradenigo, admission into the Maggior Consiglio was restricted to all those who were members or had been members within the last four years, subject to the approval of the Quarantia with at least 12 votes. New candidates required the same approval. This more than doubled the number of members of the Maggior Consiglio, bringing it to more than a thousand. The rules for admission were subsequently made even more restrictive, with the quorum of votes from the Quarantia required for approval being raised first to 25, and later to 30. Bartolo Di Sassoferrato remarked, "They are few in number in comparison with the whole population, though many when compared to those who rule in other cities, and so the people accept their government with a good will." [HAPPENED IN REAL HISTORY BUT NOT IN OURS :) In 1323 membership of the Maggior Consiglio finally became permanent and hereditary. This became known as the "locking" of the Maggior Consiglio]

1310 The plot of Baiamonte Tiepolo and the Council of Ten
The architect of the expansionist policies in Ferrara which had led to the war with the pope was the doge, Pietro Gradenigo. Other families opposed this policy. This lay at the root of the conspiracy of 1310, the leaders of which were Marco Querini, Baiamonte Tiepolo, and Badoero Badoer. The rebels failed to synchronize their attack, and this together with the doge's preparations resulted in their defeat. In order to prevent this and the formation of fresh conspiracies, the Council of Ten was established. Its members held office for a year, and one of three elected heads presided over them for a month at a time. The council was at first provisional, but because its small size allowed it to act with speed it was made permanent in 1335.

1329 Galleys for auction
The state owned great galleys, and sailed on trading missions in regular convoy twice a year to four destinations, a system which reached full development at the end of the 14th century. These destinations were the Eastern Empire (the Aegean, Constantinople, and the Black Sea), Cyprus and Syria, Alexandria and Flanders. Alongside this system were the "free" merchant galleys and cogs, which were more numerous than the state-owned galleys. In 1329 the Pregadi (the Senate) decided to auction the state galleys and offer them on lease to the highest bidder voyage by voyage, on a given route and under binding conditions. The experiment began with the Eastern Empire galleys, and the success of the operation led to its being extended to the galleys bound for the other destinations. This system ensured work for the Arsenal, the largest state industry even in time of peace.

1340 The Hall of the Maggior Consiglio
[HAPPENED IN REAL HISTORY BUT NOT IN OURS :) The number of those entitled to sit in the MaggiorConsiglio had grown] The importance and authorities of the MaggiorConsiglio had grown and it was decided to build a hall worthy of the council. This project took ten years to complete, and occupied the part of the Doge's Palace facing on to the Molo. The Paduan artist Guariento painted it with frescoes depicting the Coronation of the Virgin or Paradise between 1365 and 1367.

1355 The doge beheaded
Internal strife following the defeat at Alghero brought Genoa under Milanese subjection. TheVenetian defeat at Portolongo led to an attempted dictatorship by the newly-elected doge, the septuagenarian Marino Falier. In Venice, however, the outcome was quite different. The Dogal Councillors were warned by denunciations, and summoned the Council of Ten. Among the conspirators who were at once arrested and condemned was Filippo Calendario, a building contractor, who has wrongly been credited with the construction of the Doge's Palace. When the doge's involvement was discovered, he was sentenced and beheaded on 17 April 1355. In the series of portraits of the doges in the Hall of the Maggior Consiglio, there is a black curtain in Marino Falier's place.
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The Limited Power of the Doge
The Doge theoretically held his elective office for life (not always ended in a natural way, as seen in some of the above mentioned examples). In practice, a number of Doges were forced by pressure from their oligarchical peers to resign the office and retire into monastic seclusion when they were felt to have been discredited by perceived political failure.
While Doges had great temporal power at first, after 1268, the Doge was under strict surveillance: he must wait for other officials to be present before opening dispatches from foreign powers; he was forbidden to leave the city and was not allowed to possess any property in a foreign land. He was by law confined for the rest of his life to the Doge's Palace complex and the connected Basilica di San Marco.
After a Doge's death, a commission of inquisori passed judgment upon his acts, and his estate was liable to be fined for any discovered malfeasance. The official income of the Doge was never large, and from early times holders of the office remained engaged in trading ventures. These ventures kept them in touch with the requirements of the grandi.
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1423 The election of Francesco Foscari: more power to the Maggior Consiglio
The formula, "If he is pleasing to you," with which the doge was presented to the populace recalled the fact that the election of the doge had originally been subject to the approval of the popular assembly, although it had long been a pure formality. In 1423 the formula was abolished; henceforth the Maggior Consiglio alone was the sovereign master. In 1423 Francesco Foscari was elected doge to succeed Tommaso Mocenigo, who had in vain warned the Maggior Consiglio not to choose him.

1520"Thanks to the virtue and wisdom of our ancestors"
Gasparo Contarini, politician and Venetian diplomat, and later a cardinal, wrote his De Magistratibus et Republica Venetorum. In this work he expressed the approval and interest which surrounded Venice's constitutional arrangements, not only among the patricians of Venice but throughout Italy and in foreign lands, where men were astonished at Venice's greatness, her long independence, her resistance to Italy's tragic loss of freedom and, not least, her emerging unscathed from the war against the League of Cambrai. In this work Contarini suggested that the secret of Venice's greatness lay in the co-existence of Aristotle's three types of government, monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. The Maggior Consiglio was the democratic part, the Senate and the Ten were the oligarchy, while the doge represented monarchy. The combination of these three principles in the Venetian government came as close as was possible to perfection in the mechanism of government. [HAPPENED IN REAL HISTORY BUT NOT IN OURS :) At the same time the patrician Marino Sanudo, a politician who had a remarkable career, and a celebrated diarist, was bewailing the corruption which resulted from the great number of poor or impoverished patricians. "Votes are sold for money . . . . May God help this poor Republic....". ]
(read the full timeline at http://www.veneto.org/history and the rest in wikipedia)
 
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THE ARSENALE
~ the greatest shipyard in the world ~

The Venetian Arsenal is a shipyard and naval depot that played a leading role in Venetian empire-building. It was one of the most important areas of Venice, lying in the Castello sestiere.

The Byzantine-style establishment may have existed as early as the 8th century, though the present structure is usually said to have been begun in 1104, although there is no evidence for such a precise date. It definitely existed by the early thirteenth century and is mentioned in Dante's Inferno. The name probably comes from Arabic Dar al Sina’a ("Dockyard") and the concept was clearly Islamic as much as Byzantine.

Initially the state dockyard worked merely to maintain naval ships built privately, but in 1320 the Arsenal Nuovo was built, much larger than the original. It enabled all the state's navy and the larger merchant ships to be both constructed and maintained in one place. The Arsenal incidentally became an important centre for rope manufacture, while housing for the arsenal workers grew up outside its walls.

Venice developed methods of mass-producing warships in the Arsenal, including the frame-first system to replace the Roman hull-first practice. The new system was much faster and required less wood. At the peak of its efficiency in the early 16th century, the Arsenal employed some 16,000 people who apparently were able to produce nearly one ship each day, and could fit out, arm, and provision a newly-built galley with standardized parts on a production-line basis not seen again until the Industrial Revolution.
The Arsenal Novissimo was begun in 1473. It enabled the creation of a system similar to an assembly line, in which hulls were constructed in the newer areas of the Arsenal before being fitted out in the old Arsenal.

The staff of the Arsenal also developed new firearms at an early date, beginning with bombards in the 1370s and numerous small arms against the Genoese a few years later. Improvements in handguns led to their muzzle velocity (and therefore their ability to penetrate armor) exceeding that of the crossbow. The Venetian condottieri leader, Bartolomeo Colleoni, is usually given credit as being the first to mount the Arsenal's new lighter-weight artillery on mobile carriages for field use.

In the late 16th century, the Arsenal's designers experimented with larger ships as platforms for heavy naval guns. The most impressive was the galleass, already used at Lepanto, and developed from the old merchanting "great galley". It was huge, with sails as well as oars, and was virtually a floating fortress, with guns mounted on wheeled carriages along the sides in the modern fashion. It was slow and unwieldy in battle, however, and few were ever built. The galleon, also developed at the Arsenal, was an armed sailing ship, a slimmer version of the merchant "round ship". It was useful in major naval battles, but not in the small bays and off the frequent lee shores of the Dalmatian coast.

Naval tactics had been revolutionized by the line-of-battle ship, which derived from galeons. Venice chartered some Dutch and British ships, and adapted merchant ships to military purposes. After this the first line-of-battle ship was built in the Arsenal in 1667, to the design of a British battleship. In the next half-century 68 line-of-battle ships came from the Arsenal stocks.
 

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NAVAL AND MILITARY AFFAIRS
~ yes, Venice did have an army and a good one ~


By 1450, more than 3,000 Venetian merchant ships were in operation, and most of these could be converted when necessary into either warships or transports. The government required each merchant ship to carry a specified number of weapons (mostly crossbows and javelins) and armour; merchant passengers were also expected to be armed and to fight when necessary. A reserve of some 25 (later 100) war-galleys was maintained in the Arsenal. Galley slaves did not exist in medieval Venice, the oarsmen coming from the city itself or from its possessions, especially Dalmatia. Those from the city were chosen by lot from each parish, their families being supported by the remainder of the parish while the rowers were away. Debtors generally worked off their obligations rowing the galleys. Rowing skills were encouraged through races and regattas.

By 1303, crossbow practice had become compulsory in the city, with citizens training in groups. As weapons became more expensive and complex to operate, professional soldiers were assigned to help work merchant sailing ships and as rowers in galleys. The company of "Noble Bowmen" was recruited in the later 14th century from among the younger aristocracy and served aboard both war-galleys and armed merchantmen, with the privilege of sharing the captain's cabin.

Though Venice was famous for its navy, its army was equally effective. In the 13th century, most Italian city states already were hiring mercenaries, but Venetian troops were still recruited from the lagoon, plus feudal levies from Dalmatia and Istria. In times of emergency, all males between seventeen and sixty years were registered and their weapons were surveyed, with those called to actually fight being organized into companies of twelve. The register of 1338 estimated that 30,000 Venetian men were capable of bearing arms; many of these were skilled crossbowmen. As in other Italian cities, aristocrats and other wealthy men were cavalrymen while the city's conscripts fought as infantry.

Early in the 15th century, as new mainland territories were expanded, the first standing army was organized, consisting of condottieri on contract. In its alliance with Florence in 1426, Venice agreed to supply 8,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry in time of war, and 3,000 and 1,000 in peacetime. Later in that century, uniforms were adopted that featured red-and-white stripes, and a system of honors and pensions developed. Throughout the 15th century, Venetian land forces were almost always on the offensive and were regarded as the most effective in Italy, largely because of the tradition of all classes carrying arms in defense of the city and official encouragement of general military training.

The command structure in the army was different from that in the fleet. By ancient law, no nobleman could command more than twenty-five men (to prevent against sedition by private armies), and while the position of Captain General was introduced in the mid-14th century, he still had to answer to a civilian panel of twenty "wise men". Not only was efficiency not degraded, this policy saved Venice from the military takeovers that other Italian city states so often experienced. A civilian commissioner (not unlike a commissar) accompanied each army to keep an eye on things, especially the mercenaries. The Venetian military tradition also was notably cautious; they were more interested in achieving success with a minimum expense of lives and money than in the pursuit of glory.
 

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THE SERENISSIMA: VENICE MIGHTIER THAN EVER BUT WITH UNCERTAIN FUTURE


After the recent history, marked with the loss of a few bases in Greece to Ottoman Empire and the stalemate by the League of Cambrai on mainland, The Serenissima Republic of Venice is in it's highest times, but also on the major turning point: clearly, a new, yet also old, course to be taken is trade, but trade from where and to where? There is more and more competition of both inbound goods from the east and markets on the west: Portuguese merchants are bringing the goods directly from the east by sea, competing our historical routes from Alexandria and Constantinople, while Genoan and Florentine ports carry goods to Lombardy and even Germany. The market of Venice is losing the monopoly held for centuries.

Venice had to adopt to the changes new times are bringing upon her, so a number of projects and agreements was initiated with the intention the Serenissima to boldly exit Mediterranean and establish the world trading empire, and who knows, perhaps find an island or two for her eager colonists.


Trade is the Main Business

The newest agreement with Portugal, according to which our merchants will be included in their convoys to the East, should return the glorious days of Venetian trade. But naturally, we mustn't rely only on this one solution, because precisely this is the cause of our current problems. In the same time while our merchants are re-establishing and even expanding our presence in the eastern trade, we must continue the efforts to regain the control over our ancient trading routes interrupted by the Turks.


Bank of Venice Established

Due to a lot of interest for fresh capital the Bank of Venice is established based upon the richness accumulated in the past, with the intention to earn more profits for the Republic.

The first, rather huge, loan goes to England, to finance Viking explorer lead expedition to a New World. Surely, riches found there would make repayment of the loan a piece of cake, but since this is Bank's first deal and since England is the first client, better to be safe than sorry… The terms are as follows:
- 750 d non-returnable capital
- 8% interests
- 20 years repayment period
- possible loan termination agreement for a small fee to avoid financially-driven stability problems in England

Financing the exploration and spreading the word of God surely is a noble effort, recognized even by the Pope himself. Especially when done for a third party.


Venetian Exploring Expedition

Besides financing English exploration efforts, Venice also decided to directly hire the services of Danish explorer Dennis Kvist. Mapping as much as possible of the New World is definitely a primary task if the Republic is to become the world trading and colonial power.
 
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France - the early days till 1520

Franks

In 486, Clovis I, leader of the Salian Franks to the east, conquered the Roman territory between the Loire and the Somme, subsequently uniting most of northern and central France under his rule and adopting in 496 the Roman Catholic form of Christianity (over the Arianism preferred by rival Germanic rulers).

180px-CLOVISRoydeFrance.JPG

Clovis I

After Clovis's death in 511 his realm underwent repeated division while the Merovingian dynasty eventually lost effective power to their successive Mayor of the Palace, the founders of what was to become the Carolingian dynasty. The assumption of the crown in 751 by Pepin the Short (son of Charles Martel) established Carolingian rule.

The new rulers' power reached its fullest extent under Pepin's son Charlemagne, who in 771 reunited the Frankish domains after a further period of division, subsequently conquering the Lombards under Desiderius in what is now northern Italy (774), incorporating Bavaria (788) into his realm, defeating the Avars of the Danubian plain (796), advancing the frontier with Islamic Spain as south as Barcelona (801), and subjugating Lower Saxony (804) after prolonged campaigning.


190px-Charlemagne.jpg

Charlemagne

In recognition of his successes and his political support for the Papacy, Charlemagne was in 800 crowned Emperor of the Romans, or Roman Emperor in the West, by Pope Leo III: on the death of his son Louis I (emperor 814-840), however, the empire was divided among Louis's three sons (Treaty of Verdun, 843). After a last brief reunification (884-887), the imperial title ceased to be held in the western part which was to form the basis of the future French kingdom.

France in the Middle Ages

During the later years of the elderly Charlemagne's rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of his kingdom. After Charlemagne's death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining any kind of political unity and the once great Empire began to crumble. Viking advances were allowed to escalate, their dreaded longboats sailing up the Loire and Seine Rivers and other inland waterways, wreaking havoc and spreading terror. In 843 the Viking invaders murdered the Bishop of Nantes and a few years after that, they burned the Church of Saint-Martin at Tours. Emboldened by their successes, in 845 the Vikings ransacked Paris. Charles the Simple (898-922), whose territory comprised much of the France of today, was forced during his reign to concede to the Vikings a large area on either side of the Seine River, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy.

The Carolingians were subsequently to share the fate of their predecessors: after an intermittent power struggle between the two families, the accession (987) of Hugh Capet, duke of France and count of Paris, established on the throne the Capetian dynasty which with its Valois and Bourbon offshoots was to rule France for more than 800 years.

The Carolingian era had seen the gradual emergence of institutions which were to condition France's development for centuries to come: the acknowledgement by the crown of the administrative authority of the realm's nobles within their territories in return for their (sometimes tenuous) loyalty and military support, a phenomenon readily visible in the rise of the Capetians and foreshadowed to some extent by the Carolingians' own rise to power.

The new order left the new dynasty in immediate control of little beyond the middle Seine and adjacent territories, while powerful territorial lords such as the 10th and 11th century counts of Blois accumulated large domains of their own through marriage and through private arrangements with lesser nobles for protection and support.

The area around the lower Seine, ceded to Scandinavian invaders as the duchy of Normandy in 911, became a source of particular concern when duke William took possession of the kingdom of England in 1066, making himself and his heirs the king's equal outside France (where he was still nominally subject to the crown).

180px-William_I_of_England.jpg

Duke William

Worse was to follow, with the succession in 1154 to the disputed English throne of Henry II, already count of Anjou and duke of Normandy before his marriage (1152) to France's newly-divorced ex-queen Eleanor of Aquitaine brought him control also of much of south-west France. A century of intermittent warfare brought Normandy once more under French control in 1204 and English control of French territory ended with the French victory at Bouvines in 1214.

The 13th century was to bring the crown important gains also in the south, where a papal-royal crusade against the region's Albigensian or Cathar heretics (1209) led to the incorporation into the royal domain of Lower (1229) and Upper (1271) Languedoc. Philippe IV's seizure of Flanders (1300) was less successful, ending two years later in the rout of her knights by the forces of the Flemish cities at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302 near Kortrijk (Courtrai in French).

Valois Dynasty

The extinction of the main Capetian line (1328) brought to the throne the related house of Valois, but as Philippe IV's grandson, Edward III of England claimed the French crown for himself, inaugurating the succession of conflicts known collectively as the Hundred Years' War. The following century was to see devastating warfare, peasant revolts in both England (Wat Tyler's revolt of 1381) and France (the Jacquerie of 1358) and the growth of nationhood in both countries.

French losses in the first phase of the conflict (1337-1360) were partly reversed in the second (1369-1396); but Henry V of England's shattering victory at the battle of Agincourt in 1415 against a France now bitterly divided between rival Armagnac and Burgundian factions of the royal house was to lead to his son Henry VI's recognition as king in Paris seven years later under the 1420 Treaty of Troyes, reducing Valois rule to the lands south of the Loire River.

France's humiliation was abruptly reversed in 1429 by the appearance of a restorationist movement symbolised by the Lorraine peasant maid Joan of Arc, who claimed the guidance of divine voices for the campaign which rapidly ended the English siege of Orléans and ended in Charles VII's coronation in the historic city of Reims. Subsequently captured by the Burgundians and sold to their English allies, her execution for heresy in 1431 redoubled her value as the embodiment of France's cause.

447px-Ingres_coronation_charles_vii.jpg

Joan of Arc

Reconciliation between the king and Philippe of Burgundy (1435) removed the greatest obstacle to French recovery, leading to the recapture of Paris (1436), Normandy (1450) and Guienne (1453), reducing England's foothold to a small area around Calais. After the war, France's emergence as a powerful national monarchy was crowned by the incorporation of the duchy of Burgundy (1477) and Brittany (1491).

The losses of the century of war were enormous, particularly owing to the plague (the Black Death, usually considered an outbreak of bubonic plague), which arrived from Italy in 1348, spreading rapidly up the Rhone valley and thence across most of the country: it is estimated that a population of some 18-20 million in modern-day France at the time of the 1328 hearth-tax returns had been reduced 150 years later by 40% or more.

Despite the beginnings of rapid demographic and economic recovery, the gains of the previous half-century were to be jeopardised by a further protracted series of conflicts, this time in Italy (1494-present), where French efforts to gain dominance ended in the increased power of the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors of Germany.

Despite the conclusion of a Concordat between France and the Papacy (1516), granting the crown unrivalled power in senior ecclesiastical appointments, France was deeply affected by the Protestant Reformation's attempt to break the unity of Roman Catholic Europe.
 

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A chronology of important dates for Denmark

A chronology of important dates for Denmark

430
(circa) Saxo Grammaticus, in Gesta Danorum, says that the Danish King Frode raised a huge united army from many conquered lands and defeated a king of the Huns.

443
As Western Europe was threatened by the Huns (A.D. 406~436 - their most famous king was called Attila) and the Roman Empire wasn't capable of holding its position on the British islands any more, the Angles were (according to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) asked to come and participate in the war against the Picts. The Angles are believed to have lived somewhere in the area of Southern Jutland and the estuary of river Elbe, or maybe further north on Jutland.

449
The Jutes, the Saxons and more Angles participate in the war on Britain. Soon the Britons are fought by the new-comers.

515
The first Danish king known from contemporary sources is killed during a military attack against the Frankish Empire. Name: Huglik [or Chocillaicus in Gregor of Tours' annals].

737
(circa) Danevirke is founded.

772
Charlemagne begins the Frankish expansion to the North. The deep woods of Holstein do however protect the Danes for several decades yet.

Longships approaching
Viking longships were superior in battles

787-1066 (circa)
Viking Age
Danes raid e.g England, France and Spain. The beginning of the Viking era is by convention dated to the raid at Northumbria A.D. 793 (referred to in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that too, although the same source says that the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English nation came A.D. 787).

808
(circa) The Danes defeat Slavic tribes.

During the war the market at Haithabu is abandoned to the Slavic Vends. Haithabu /Hedeby/ is situated at the very same bay as the later town Schleswig /Slesvig, on the narrowest part of south Jutland, the short-cut between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.

811
As Charlemagne extended his realm in the late 8th century he came to meet a united Danish army which successfully defended Danevirke. A Danish-Frankish border was established at the River Eider A.D. 811. Haithabu is regained.

Frankish sources, for instance Annales regni Francorum against the year 811, gives a rather good picture of the Danish realm. Godfred, or perhaps a predecessor, seems to have brought the lands of the South- and North Danes together shortly before 800. And to end the war between the Franks and the Danes a hostage was sent to Charlemagne in Aachen. That Danish hostages came from Southern Jutland, Zealand and Scania ("Osfrid de Sconaowe"). Probably also southern Norway was held by the kings of Denmark of that time.

845
Hamburg is raided and burned by Danish Vikings. As a consequence Arch-bishop Ansgar moves the Cathedral to Bremen.

874
The Danes get control of northern and eastern England.

890-935 (circa)
A separate kingdom of Haithabu was established by the Viking chieftain Olaf from Svealand. Olaf's son Gnupa was however killed in battle (against the Danish King Hardeknud?), and his kingdom vanished. King Gorm is said to have regained Haithabu A.D. 935.

911
(circa) Rollo, a Danish Viking chieftain, is granted Normandy as a Duchy by the Frankish king Charles the Simple.

948
A bishopric is established in Slesvig.

958-986/988
Harald Gormsson (a.k.a. "Black-tooth") unites Denmark and Norway as a single kingdom. Scania, Jutland and the islands in-between had been ruled by the same king now and then, for instance under King Godfred in the early 800s, but first with the Christianization of kings and magnates the kingdom of Denmark seems to have become a stabile entity. [ See also the web-site at the Royal Danish Embassy, Washington D.C. <http://www.denmarkemb.org/viking94.htm> ]

Lars Hemmingsen writes:
Harald boasts at the rune stone in Jellinge that he has won "all of Denmark" - but what this really means is unclear: There are some circumstantial evidence that Gorm lost Scania and Norway, as well as his life, in 958 and that what Harald accomplished was merely a re-conquest. But the standard explanation is that Harald held the lands from the beginning and that what he won of Denmark was merely the area around Haithabu, A.D. 983, which he had first lost to Emperor Otto II.

965
Harald Gormsson (a.k.a. "Blåtand" - Black-Tooth) baptized.

983-1253
Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) is an integrated part of the Danish realm.

1013
The King Svend Tveskæg ("Double-beard" or "Fork-beard") conquers England, which remains in Danish control until the year 1042.

1018-35
Knud den Store (Canute the Great) ruled over a vast kingdom that included present-day Denmark, England, Norway and southern Sweden, and during his reign Christianity became widespread. After his death, the empire disintegrated.

1022
Bishopric in Roskilde

1060
King Svend Estridsen lets build a stone church for the bishop Egino in Dalby, close to Lund. (This church is the oldest remaining stone church on the Scandinavian peninsula.)

This year the Church was re-organized with new bishoprics also in: Lund, Aarhus, Borglum, Ribe and Odense.

1074
After King Svend Estridsen's death Denmark is from time to time split between his sons. The Thing in Scania supports Knud ("the Holy") against whom the Jutes revolt in 1086 and King Knud is murdered.

1080
The Bishop in Bremen and the Bishop in Canterbury have fought over dominance of Denmark, and as a move in this complicated struggle, rich funds are donated by the king for a cathedral in Lund. The cathedral school is opened in 1086. The school has been in function ever since.

1104
With the first arch-bishop of Lund, Scandinavia was made a separate church province, no longer belonging to Hamburg.

1137-1157
Denmark seems to divide itself in pieces. Scania, Zealand and Jutland can't agree on choosing the same king and Civil War follows, in which King Valdemar the Great comes out on top in 1157.

1145
The Lund cathedral is opened. (The church in Dalby had lost the competition for cathedral status.)

1167
Copenhagen (Havn) is founded.

1168
The Vendic castle Arkona on the island Rügen is captured by King Valdemar the Great.

1195
Saxo writes the history of Scandinavia.

1201-1227
King Valdemar II Sejr conquers Holstein with the town of Hamburg,which soon enough is re-captured by a united German army. He also conquers Pomerania, and Mecklenburg, and reestablishes the nation as a great power in northern Europe. Soon, however, a civil war between the nobles and the king vying for control of the country erupted.

1202-1210
The Scanian Law is written down. 50 years later it's also transcribed to runes.

1219
King Valdemar II Sejr conquers northern Estonia. According to the legend, the Danish flag "Dannebrogen" fell down from the sky during this mission. [ The Dannebrog is the oldest flag in the world still in use. All Nordic flags except the Greenland flag are variations of the Dannebrog. ]

1253-1325
Denmark's southern border had since long been guarded by troops under command of an Earl (Jarl), later Duke, in Schleswig /Slesvig in Sønderjylland. The Duchy had become also a means of providing for the expenses of younger royal princes. As the Hansa and the German Empire expanded, the Counts of Holstein, the Duke of Slesvig and the Hansa found a common enemy in the king of Denmark. The result was a long row of wars where the Dukes strived for independence from the Danish Crown.

At the same time also the Arch-bishop in Lund strived for supremacy over the secular king, or at least for independence, and the nobility demanded the realm to be governed by a Senate (Danehof).
1320-32
King Christoffer II was forced to make major concessions to the nobles and clergy at the expense of royal power, which was also diminished by the influence of the German Hanseatic League. 1326-30 King Christoffer is replaced by an under-age king with Count Gerhard of Holstein as regent.

The Scanian nobility (alternatively the Thing in Lund) had in the beginning of the 1330s chosen the young Magnus Eriksson to be king also for the Scanian provinces, after his regents had promised to pay Count Johan of Holstein to whom Scania was pawned. At that time Magnus Eriksson was the under-age king of both Norway and Sweden.

1332-40
Due to the expensive but failed wars almost all rights to taxes and custom fees are given in pawn to the creditors of the realm (mainly the Counts of Holstein). The Danish Crown has no incomes to speak of, and no king is appointed.

1340-75
King Valdemar IV Atterdag succeeded in restoring royal authority.

1346
After an Estonian uprising, Denmark sells its possessions in Northern Estonia to the Order of Teutonic Knights.

1360
Valdemar IV Atterdag re-conquers Scania.

1361
Valdemar IV Atterdag conquers Gotland.

1375
The five years old Crown Prince Olof of Norway is elected King of Denmark, with his mother Queen Margrete of Norway as regent. In 1380 he becomes King of Norway too. The union between Denmark and Norway will remain until 1814.

1386
To avoid a war on the southern border, and to regain the rich Slesvig region, Queen Margrete I (the daughter of Valdemar IV) unites the Danish Duchy of Slesvig with the German County of Holstein by giving Slesvig as a fief to the Counts of Holstein. The unity between Slesvig and Holstein has remained ever since, although the northern part of Slesvig was split of in 1920.

Until 1440 the dukes of Slesvig fails to agree with their kings over the Duchy's duties in the realm.

1388
Margrete, Queen-widow and mother of the late King Oluf, who had died in 1387, is acclaimed as "plenipotentiary lady and rightful warden" for Norway and Sweden.

1389-96
Queen Margrete of Norway and Denmark unites all the Nordic countries as a single kingdom, the Kalmar Union, under the under-age Eric of Pomerania, who is crowned in Kalmar 1397.

1429
Duty on goods through Öresund is introduced by King Erik of Pomerania. This becomes an important income for the Danish Crown, and creates heaps of enemies to the State of Denmark.

1448
The house of Oldenburg (one of the branches of Counts of Holstein) was established on the throne in the person of Christian I and has continued to rule Denmark up to the present day.

1460-74
King Christian I becomes Duke of the duchies of Slesvig (1460) and Holstein (1474). Holstein and Slesvig become twin duchies with peculiar rules for succession. In 1490-1721 both of the duchies are split in two or more parts, one of which is held by the king of Denmark.

15th ct
During the late 15th century male serfdom (vornedskab) was introduced on the islands.

1520, 1 january
A mysterious advisor shows up at the Danish court and from this day forward the Royal house of Denmark puts great value in his trusted advice and loyal service, practically turning the lordship of the nation and the Kalmar Union over to him.
 
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BiB

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1520 : The Birth of Habsburg Spain
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The Age of the Catholic Kings has come to an end. It had been a good era for the united Kingdoms of Castilla and Aragon. The last vestige of muslim power had been eradicated in 1492 when the Kingdom of Granada had been incorporated into the Empire. Yes, an Empire it was by now. With the explorations that had started with Colón and the conquests that followed it and that are still to come Spain now was on the fast track of adding huge tracts of lands in the New World to its realm.

The Spanish Inquisition was also founded and heathens and heretics were gotten rid of. Though Moriscos still remain in the former muslims lands in the south, they are accepted for now. They would have to be on their best behaviour though as at the first sign of trouble they would also be banished from Spanish lands. In the north the Basques had also been subdued and the Kingdom of Navarra was added to the core lands.

However, a new, even more glorious dynasty has now taken the Spanish throne and effectively united the many Kingdoms into one Spanish one. The mighty Habsburg family from Austria, through a series of calculated weddings and unfortunate (for some, fortunate for others) passing aways has inherited an Empire on which the Sun never sets. The Emperorship, Austria, Spain, the Low Countries, the New World, Southern Italy, … with more to come.

Such a large empire of course also brought with it enemies, both numerous and powerful. They ranged from the French king who recently claimed our lands in Italy, pirates in the Mediterranean from the Barbary Coast, the upcoming threat of a schism in the catholic church and related issues to that in the Holy Roman Empire and also England, invasions of other suitors on the lands designated to us by the Holy Father in the New World and of course the ever expanding Ottoman empire across the Mediterranean and the Balkans. We can’t have another muslim invasion in the Christian world.

So the young and dynamic Carlos I, even though having many resources at his disposal, will actually also need all those resources to answer the many difficult situations surrounding him. However, if one man is up to the task, it is him, aided by his brother Ferdinand.

Emperor Karl V (1519-1556)
kaiser_karl_v.jpg



Ferdinand I, Emperor (1556-1564)
kaiser_ferdinand_i.jpg

Ferdinand will see to issues in the Holy Roman Empire, Balkans and North Italy while Carlos himself will expand Spanish influence in the New World, keep control of his birthlands in Flanders and fight for dominance in the Mediterranean.

Though there are rumours of a revolt looming in Castilla, Carlos’s biggest concern at the moment is the establishment of a Holy League to counter the Ottoman menace in the Mediterranean. With the Ottoman sultan officially promising protection to the pirates from Algiers harassing Spanish trade in the Mediterranean, they have left us no choice. We must take action. The great catholic nations of Portugal and Venice have agreed to join Spain in this venture and the wheels have been set in motion to create an Armada to fight the heathens should they refuse to halt their many offensive actions. May God have mercy on our souls …
 

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England - 1520
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This Sceptered Isle

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England​

It is now one score years and fifteen since the Battle of Bosworth, which decided the War of the Roses. That bitter conflict, between the two different factions of the Plantagenats, the Lancastrians and Yorkists, started due to rivalry between the two, especially over the failure of the Hundred Years War with France (which made us an island nation again, save a small foothold in Calais).

But that war was finally won by Henry VII, who was from a junior branch of the Lancastrians, called the Tudors. The victory was cemented by executing the last male Yorkist heir, and marrying the best female candidate, Elisabeth of York.

Henry VII
henry7.jpg


Henry VII not only brought stability to a troubled country, but also a start of the new era for England, which would plant the seeds of a new prosperous country. John Cabot explored new found lands across the ocean, The economy recovered from 30 years of war and instability. The royal line was strengthened (after a shaky start) by the birth of the future Henry VIII.

Henry VII’s reign ended in 1509, and Henry VIII’s began. At first things were as before, but towards the end of the 1510’s Henry began to feel discontent as his wife Catherine of Aragon failed to bear him a male heir. Henry was also unhappy about the Treaty of Tordesilas carving up virtually the whole world between Spain and Portugal, for he was keen to expand on what was already known by John Cabot’s voyages.

So, what will England’s future be – only time will tell……
 
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K'shar

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Margravate of Brandenburg

brandenburgcoat.gif

This here; the state of Brandenburg, loyal Elector and ever the first defense of the Northern Marche. Lead by his Noble Lord Joachim I Nestor Hohenzollern since 1499 Anno Domini, intends on furthering the integrity and rights of this Holy Entity that is the Roman Empire.

The history of Brandenburg has been the history of a crusade ... a crusade for Christian Europe and the European State. It was to the Kings of Saxony that the future state of Brandenburg first owed it's breath of freedom, in under 100 yrs the slavic infestation was cleansed by courageous German Knights marching to the tune of the our brethren the hospitallers, templars and teutonic knights. Finally in 1134 the German magnate Albert the Bear


Albrecht_gesamt.jpg



was granted the Northern March by the Holy Roman Emperor Lothar II. Herein was the illustrious history of Brandenburg truly begun, it would forever more be the charge of the Electorate to stave off the slavic, nordic hordes that seek succour from our rich and civil lands. For 200 yrs the honourable house of Ascania lorded over the fearless germans of the Northern March, when that line failed the House of Wittelsbach and Imperial Luxembourg strove to fill the void, but neither family had the marbles for the job.

It was in the year 1415 that the most climactic wedding occured in German history; that of the Hohenzollerns and Brandenburg ... ever since this union of Imperial sanctioned glory, the kingdom of heaven has shined on the sons of Brandenburg and shall continue to do so, as long as the crusaders of the north strive on to fulfill and spread the message of god to all friends and foes alike.

More Recently: In accordance with our lord Emperor Charles the V whom the Hohenzollern's studiously supported into the Imperial Office, we are sworn to delve into the lutheran menace that besets our land, provide a bulwork against the Nordic states that seek expansion into his land and work as a conduit for peace between the Empire and all its' neighbours. The loyal work of our crusading forefathers shall be the guiding light of our motive and their strength the blinding might of our arms. Dane and Swede, Pole and Turk alike need look to their defences if they seek to infringe upon the land of the Empire at any point as the forces of Brandenburg (slovering mercenaries at this point :eek: ) ) shall march at the first call of the Emperor and his holy rights.

If this hope for peace should fail, the Electorate is ensuring that the profesionalism of our arms be unmatched and unchallenged in all the known world.

Peace be with you
 
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Negotiations with our Cousin the Grandmaster of the Teutonic order, shall be undertaken soon as his lesser business in Kopenhagen is complete. There are disturbing rumours that the Order is fracturing and it appears our Crusading brothers may need to inquire on closer union with Brandenburg.
 

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News from the Bank of Venice: New Loans Available

Apparently English Treasury miscalcuated herself when taking two huge 750 d loans at the same time. The Bank of Venice was kind enough to cancell her one for a small cancellation fee of 100 d, because of our good will and hopes for the future similar cooperation.

That beeing said, Bank of Venice now again has funds available for loans, although preferable not of that size, should someone be interested. The terms will now also include the loan termination agreement that will enable both seccurity of Bank capital and financial stability of the client.
 

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Treaty of Istria

Based on the Emperor's argument that "allies can not have claims on each others land" and that "Mantua was part of HRE", Spain, Austria and Venice reached the following agreement:

~1~
Venetian claim on Istria is dropped .

~2~
Habsburgs allow Venice to deal with Mantua in ways she feels necessary.​

Carlos I, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain
Archduke Ferdinand
Loredano, Doge of Venice
 
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AGREEMENT REGARDING MANTUA A PRECEDENT IN VENETIAN HISTORY?


The talks between Venice and Habsburgs as allies in Holy League on the subject of Mantua started as a casual information about the facts: Mantua is claimed only by Venice and none else, so it should be regarded as Venetian sphere of influence.

Karl V, Holy Roman Emperor, was of the different opinion: he kept pointing out that Mantua in the past was part of HRE. Gradually we came to the source of problems: Venetian claim on Istria, province owned by Austria. It was suggested that Venice should drop this particular claim and than Habsburgs would recognize Venetian claim on Mantua.

The Doge, however, pointed out that this would be an unseen event: Venice giving something for nothing, in fact giving something for something she already had :eek: . The talks were trapped in a sort of a deadlock, until in the end Emperor hikmself presented a valid argument, against which the Doge couldn't complain in his good will: allies can not have claims on each others land.

So, in the end Venice did gave something for nothing, at least nothing material. However, we have a strengthened alliance with Spain in which a new spirit of fairness and understanding exists, based on the Emperor's vise principle of "no claiming each others land".
 

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Treaty of Würtemberg

In reward for loyal service of the Holy Roman Empire and its Emperor, the Archduke, ruler of the Habsburg hereditary lands and vice ruler of the Empire during the absence of Karl, Ferdinand of Habsburg grants the lands of Würtemberg to the Electorate of Bavaria.
We hope this will greatly strengthen relations between these two states of the Empire and serve as the ground for which the realm will stand on in the times to come.

Signed Archduke Ferdinand Habsburg of Austria
 

ForzaA

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[color=660000]Cum Uxore
Brief of Pope Christianus Forzanus I
[/color]

"You shall not have sexual relations with your kinsman's wife, and defile yourself with her."(Lev 18:20) Thus is written in the Holy Scripture. The Holy Spirit, through the marriage of Henry VIII Tudor and Catalina de Aragón, has made known to us the full meaning of this verse.

Even though the marriage of Prince Arthur Tudor, brother of the aforementioned Henry VIII Tudor, and the aforementioned Catalina de Aragón, was never consummated, it is clear, now, that Catalina de Aragón should be considered as Prince Arthur Tudor's wife.

Therefore, we see no other option than to rescind our previous dispensation for the marriage of Henry VIII Tudor and Catalina de Aragón, and declare their marriage null and void.

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti,

Scripsi, Anno Domini MDXXI,

Christianus Forzanus I
 

Hive

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A brief history of
PORTUGAL

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The naming of Portugal
Portugal's name derives from the Roman name Portus Cale (Latin for "Warm Port.") Cale was the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal. Around 200 BCE, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, and in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale. During the Middle ages, the region around Cale became known by the Visigoths as Portucale. Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, and by the 9th century, the term "Portugale" was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho.

Portugal as a nation
The origin of Portugal, as a separate state, lay in the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula. Towards the close of the 11th century crusading knights came from every part of Europe to aid the kings of Castile and Aragon in combatting the Moors. Among these adventurers was Henry of Burgundy, an ambitious warrior whose mother was Catalan and who, in 1095, married Theresa, natural daughter of Alfonso VI, king of León. The county of Portugal, which had already been won back from the Moors (1055-1064), was included in Theresa's dowry. Count Henry ruled as a vassal of Alphonso VI, whose Galician marches were thus secured against any sudden Moorish raid.

Henry was a strong supporter of independence. Under his leadership, the County of Portucale and the County of Coimbra merged. But Henry died without reaching his aims. His son, Afonso Henriques, took control of the county. The lords of the cities of Coimbra and Porto (then Portucale) with the Braga's clergy demanded the independence of the renewed county.

Portugal traces its national origin to 24 June 1128 with the Battle of São Mamede. Afonso proclaimed himself first as Prince of Portugal and in 1139 as the first King of Portugal. By 1143, with the assistance of a representant of the Holy See at the conference of Zamora, Portugal was formally recognized as independent, with the prince recognized as Dux Portucalensis. In 1179, Afonso I was declared, by the pope, as King.

Recent history
Portugal grew as an independent country and created the objective conditions that would make it be the pioneer in the exploration of the World. On July 25, 1415, the Portuguese Empire began when a Portuguese fleet, with King John I and his sons Duarte (later king), Pedro, Henry the Navigator, and Afonso, along with the Portuguese supreme constable Nuno Álvares Pereira departed to siege and conquer Ceuta in North Africa, a rich Islamic trade center. On August 21, the city was conquered. Henry the Navigator's interest in exploration, together with some technological developments in navigation, made Portugal's expansion possible and led to great advances in geographic knowledge. The discoveries were financed by the wealth of the Order of Christ. Order founded by King Denis for the Templar knights, who found refuge in Portugal after being pursued all over Europe. The Templars had their own objective, finding the lost Christian Kingdom of Prester John.

In 1418 two captains of Prince Henry the Navigator, were driven by a storm to an island which they called Porto Santo, or Holy Port, in gratitude for their rescue from the shipwreck. Also in early 15th century, Madeira Island and the Azorean islands were discovered.

In 1434, Gil Eanes rounded the Cape Bojador, South of Morocco. The trip marked the beginning of the Portuguese exploration of Africa. Before this voyage very little information was known in Europe about what lay beyond it. At the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th centuries, those who tried to venture there became lost, giving birth to legends of sea monsters. Fourteen years later, on a small island known as Arguim off the coast of Mauritania a castle was built, working as a feitoria (a trading post) for commerce with inland Africa thus circumventing the Arabic caravans that crossed the Sahara. Some time later, the caravels explored the Gulf of Guinea leading to the discovery of several uninhabited islands and reaching the Congo River.

A remarkable achievement was the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Dias in 1487. By then the spices of India were nearby, hence the name of the cape. In 1489, the King of Bemobi gave his realms to the Portuguese King and converted to Christianity. In the last decade of the 15th century, Pêro de Barcelos and João Fernandes Lavrador explored North America, Pêro da Covilhã reached Ethiopia, searching for the mythical kingdom of Prester John and Vasco da Gama sailed to India, and arrived at Calicut on May 20, 1498, returning in triumph to Portugal the next year. In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral landed on the Brazilian coast.

João da Nova discovered Ascension in 1501 and Saint Helena 1502; Tristão da Cunha was the first to sight the archipelago still known by his name 1506. In East Africa small Islamic states along the coast of Mozambique, Kilwa, Brava and Mombasa were destroyed or became subjects or allies of Portugal.

The two million Portuguese people ruled a vast empire with hundreds of millions of inhabitants in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. From 1514, the Portuguese had reached China and Japan. In the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, one of Cabral's ships discovered Madagascar (1501), which was partly explored by Tristão da Cunha (1507); Mauritius was discovered in 1507, Socotra occupied in 1506, and in the same year D. Lourenco d'Almeida visited Ceylon.

On the Asiatic mainland the first trading-stations were established by Cabral at Cochin and Calicut (1501); more important, however, were the conquest of Goa (1510) and Malacca (1511) by Albuquerque. East of Malacca, Albuquerque sent Duarte Fernandes as envoy to Thailand (1511), and dispatched to the Moluccas two expeditions (1512, 1514), which founded the Portuguese dominion in the Malay Archipelago. Fernão Pires de Andrade visited Canton in 1517 and opened up trade with China.