Sunday, December 17

The Womb of Time Part 1

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The Middle Ages died in the tear 1500, or so it has been said. If so, no one noticed their passing or the birth of the new world which was about to replace them. Yet some of the men destined to shape and form that world were born between 1475 and 1500 in the final quarter of the medieval century. In 1475, the wife of an lpswich butcher, who was churchwarden of St Nicholas’s Church in that city butcher, birth to a son; his parent named him Thomas, but the world, was to know him as Cardinal Wolssey. In March of the same year, the wife of an impoverished gentleman of Florence name Ludovico Buonarotti also gave birth to a son, who was destined to become famous by his baptismal name of Michelangelo; and before year was out the Medici family was increased by the birth of another boy, Giovanni, who grew up to become Pope Leo X. two years later (or thereabouts, for the date is uncertain) in the small town of Cadore in the Friuli, Lucia Vecelli presented her husband, Gregorio, with a son; the child was named Tiziano or Titain, and a few years later still, in 1483,Raphael was born in Urbino. In the same year Hans and Margarethe Luther, German peasants of Mansfeld in Thuringia, had a son whom they named Martin. In 1485, Ismail I of Persia, a remarkable man whose name remains undeservedly obscure in the West, was born, while six years later and half a world away Henry VIII of England first saw  the light of day on 28 June 1491 at Greenwich. Spanning the world again, the years 1494 and 1495 saw the birth of Francis I of France, head of the house of Valois, and of Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of Turkey and head of the house of Osaman, the founder of the ottoman dynasty; while to crown it all Charles Habsburg, who was destined to become king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor was Cellini.

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