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LIVES AND CHARACTERS, LABOURS AND ACTIONS,
PROGRESS OF MEN AND THINGS, FRóM ‘īāčaščišić OF
REV. JOHN PLATTs,
1402 Tamerlane defeats and takes prisoner Bajazet.
1405 The Canary Islands discovered by Bathencourt.
1411 The university of St. Andrew's, in Scotland, founded.
1412 Algebra brought from Arabia into Europe.
1415 The battle of Agineourt gained over the French by Henry V. of England.
1420 Madeira discovered by the Portuguese.
1428 The siege of Orleans. The French, encouraged by the heroic Joan of Arc, compel the Knglish to raise the siege of Orleans, and take Jergeau. Charles VII. crowned at Kheims.
1430 Henry VI. of England crowned at Paris.
1431 Joan, the patriotic maid of Orleans, taken by the duke of Bedford,
and barbarously burned for a witch. 1440 Printing by wooden blocks invented by Laurentius, at Haarlem in
Holland. 1446 The Vatican library founded at Rome.
1450 The Bible printed at Mentz, by John Faustus and Co., with cut metal types.
1453 Constantinople taken by the Turks, which ends the Eastern Empire,
1123 years from its dedication by Constantine the Great, 2208 from the foundation of Rome.
1454 The University of Glasgow in Scotland founded.
1459 Printing completed by Schooner's invention of cast metal types,
1460 Engraving and etching on copper invented. 1468 Printing first performed in England, at Oxford.
1471 William Caxton erects a printing press in Westminster Abbey, 1473 The study of the Greek language introduced into France. 1477 The University of Aberdeen in Scotland founded. ".
1479 Union of the kingdoms of Arragon and Castile.
VOL. IV. B
1482 The coast of Guinea discovered by the Portuguese. A court of
inquisition erected in Seville.
1483 Richard HI., of England, defeated and killed at the battle of Bos.
worth, by Henry VII. I486 Henry establishes fifty yeomen of the guards, the first standing army.
1489 Maps and sea-charts first brought to England by Barth. Columbus.
1490 William Groceyn introduces the study of the Greek language into
England. The Moors subdued by Ferdinand V. of Spain, and become his subjects. 1492 America discovered by Columbus. The Moors expelled from Granada, which they had possessed for more than 800 years.
1496 The Jews and Moors banished out of Portugal.
1497 The Portuguese first sail to the East Indies, by the Cape of Good
Hope. South America discovered by Americas Vesputius.
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•"ftf 14^3, the #qo,nqu£st of Constantinople by the Turks, fixed that wandering jpeGrieJ tto! T»$e place; and though they now possess very large regions •m'rfiirrorw?, Asia, and Africa, an effectual stop has long been put;t<J tReit'Sufther progress.
About/lji^nirtfe; learning also began to revive in Europe, where it had long been lost; and the invention of printing, which happened at the same time, rendered it impossible for barbarism ever to take place in such a degree as formerly. All nations of the world, indeed, seem now to have laid aside much of their former ferocity; and though wars have by no means been given up, they have not been carried on with such circumstances of fury and savage cruelty as before. Instead of attempting to enrich themselves with plunder, and the spoils of their neighbours, mankind in general have applied themselves to commerce, the only true and durable source of riches. This soon produced improvements in navigation; and these improvements led to the discovery of many regions formerly unknown. At the same time, the European powers being at last thoroughly sensible that extensive conquests could never be permanent, applied themselves more to provide for the security of those dominions which they already possessed, than to attempt the conquest of one another; and this produced the policy to which so much attention was lately paid, namely, the preventing any one of the nations from acquiring sufficient strength to overpower another.
In the end of the fifteenth century, the vast continent of America was discovered; and about the same time, the passage to the East Indies, or the Cape of Good Hope. The discovery of these rich countries gave a new turn to the ambition of the Europeans. To enrich themselves either by the gold and silver produced in these countries, or by traffic with the natives, now became their object. The Portuguese had the advantage of being the first discoverers of the Eastern, and the Spaniards of the Western countries. The former did not neglect so favourable an opportunity of enriching themselves by commerce. Many settlements were formed by them in the East India islands, and on the continent; but their avarice and perfidious behaviour towards the natives proved, at last, the cause of their total expulsion. The Spaniards enriched themselves by the vast quantities of precious metals imported from America, which were not obtained but by the most horrid massacres committed on the natives. These possessions of the Spaniards and Portuguese soon excited other European nations to make attempts to share with them in their treasures, by planting colonies in different parts of America, and making settlements in the East Indies. Thus the rage of war was in some measure transferred from Europe to those distant regions; and after various contests, the British at last obtained a superiority both in America and in the East Indies.
In 1492, the Moors and Saracens were expelled from Spain, by the taking of Granada.
JOHN VII., Palaeologus, emperor of the East, succeeded his father Emanuel in 1425. He was unsuccessful against the Turks, and solicited the assistance of the Latins. To secure the support of the princes of the west, he meditated a union between the two churches, and the pope called a council at Ferrara, where the emperor himself attended, and a reconciliation took place in 1439, but did not long continue. John died in 1448, after a reign of twenty-nine years.
CONSTANTINE XIII.*, surnamed Dracoses, the son of Palaeologus, was placed on the throne by the sultan Amurath II., in 1448; but Mahomet II., his successor, resolving to dethrone him, laid siege to Constantinople, by sea and land. Constantine being summoned, for the last time, to deliver up the city, with a promise of his life and liberty, answered, that he was unalterably determined either to defend that city or to perish with it. The attack began at three in the morning, on the 29th of May, 1453; such troops were first employed as the sultan valued least, and designed for no other purpose than to tire the Christians, who made a prodigious havoc of that disorderly multitude. After the carnage had lasted some hours, the Janizaries and other fresh troops advanced in good order, and renewed the attack with incredible vigour. The Christians, summoning all their courage and resolution, twice repulsed the enemy; but being, in the end, quite spent, they were no longer able to stand their ground, so that the enemy broke into the city in several places. In the mean time, Justiniani, the commander of the Genoese and a select body of the Greeks, having received two wounds, one in the thigh and the other in the hand, was so disheartened
* This emperor is denominated XIII., because, iu the imperial catalogue, a son of Constantine XI. is ranked as Constantine XII., though he enjoyed no more lhau the title under his elder brother Michael,