History Schmistory, May 24: Yo, Crusades!

1218 – The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt.

History Schmistory: April 28. Roman Emperor born as Rome is about to die…

A.D. 359, the future Roman emperor Gratian was born. He, um, had a rough life. Gratian was the son of Emperor Valentinian I. When Valentinian died, Gratian ruled in the west and his uncle Valens ruled in the east. Gratian had been fighting the Alamanni while Valens was dealing with the Goths at Adrianople. Gratian was scheduled to come to Valens’ assistance, but arrived too late to prevent the disaster. The disaster at Adrianople is one of the major turning points in the fortunes of Imperial Rome and a possible date for Rome’s fall.

History Schmistory: April 27. First Man to Sail Around the World Dead, Dies.

1521: Ferdinand Magellan who got credit as the first man to circumnavigate the globe, even though he spent much of the voyage dead, was killed. After a journey beset by rebellion, treacherous weather and disease, the ConcepciĆ³n, the Victoria and the Trinidad finally reached the Philippines. There, where the crew recovered from their trials in a tropical paradise, Magellan became caught up in the fervor of conversion. He attempted to overcome a huge force of natives resistant to Christianity with a mere handful of men, and was killed in battle.

History Schmistory: April 26: Pazzi Conspiracy Fails

1478: In an attempt to overthrow the Medici family from power in Florence, Girolamo Riario, Archbishop Francesco Salviati, and several members of the Pazzi family planned an assassination in the Cathedral of Florence. Pope Sixtus IV, uncle to Riario, was aware of the plot but had no hand in the assassination attempt. Lorenzo de Medici survived with some minor injuries, but his younger brother Giuliano was stabbed 29 times. He was only twenty-three. Far from ridding Florence of “tyrants,” the assassination instigated an uprising in favor of the Medici, strengthening Lorenzo’s position. Makes me want to sing!

History Schmistory: April 24. Rough Anniversary for Mary Queen of Scots

1558: Mary Queen of Scots marries the future King Francis II of France.
1567: Mary Queen of Scots is captured by Lord Bothwell and taken to Dunbar.
1568: Mary Queen of Scots makes mental note to skip anniversary.

History Schmistory: April 23. Henry VIII becomes King.

1509. King Henry VIII accedes to the throne. His wife considers the whole thing a pain in the neck.

History Schmistory: April 22. Bastille Construction Begins

1370: Construction of the Bastille begins. Plans to build a big play toy in the back are never completed.

Da Vinci Birthday Week Continues!

New Video! Get up close and personal with Mr. Da Vinci himself!

History Schmistory: April 6. After 1500 Years…Boring Sports are Back!

1896. Athens, Greece–The Olympics are back for the first time since 369 AD when Emperor Theodosius abolished the Games as he considered them pagan. Finally, sports so boring that you’re only willing to watch them every four years are back!

History Schmistory: April 5. Harvard weeps.

1649. Elihu Yale, the English philanthropist for whom Yale University is named, was born in Boston. Dave Harvard, in the next crib, is immediately jealous.

Team Marco Polo Presents: History Schmistory

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