Saturday, November 29, 2014

History: The Year is 1476

I've uploaded year 1476 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Dracula is Dead... for Now -- Vlad the 3rd the Impaler dies in battle. He is buried at the cemetery of a local abbey but years later his grave will be unearthed and they will find nothing but a few animal bones. I also talk about a novel "Out of the Dark" that combines vampires, alien invasion and a survivalist theme.

The Plague Kills the Calendar Fix -- A German astronomer named Muller, is called to Rome to fix the Julian calendar but he dies of the Plague. I then talk about last names and how they are formed from the names of towns, occupations and even after one's own father.

Dracula is Dead... for Now

Vlad the 3rd the Impaler is more commonly known as Dracula... that is... Son of the Dragon. The King of Hungary had established a special Christian Order of the Dragon, pledged to fight the Ottoman Turks. Vlad the 2nd was a member of the Order and was given the name Dracul. Vlad the 3rd, being his son, was called Dracula. Dracula was a very good Ottoman killer. He would drain the blood from the bodies of his enemies and leave them impaled on wooden stakes. In this year he has organized several armies to hit the Ottomans once again but his fortunes take a turn for the worst. He dies in battle near Bucharest. It is not clear how he dies, but the Ottomans find his body and send Dracula's head to the Sultan. The Sultan has the head raised on a pike. While he remains an infamous figure to most of the world, Romania has embraced him as a hero. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
By tradition Dracula's body is buried at Snagov Monastery in present day Romania, but when explorers attempted to exhume the body, the grave was empty. Only a few animal bones were found. (shudder!) If you enjoy a good story that involves Romania, Dracula and a survivalist theme, you can't do better than David Weber's novel "Out of the Dark". The book begins with a family in the USA who have set up a bug out location that is also a country retreat. Everyone thinks that "Dad" is a little nutty, but he's been stocking the place up and thinking about possible disasters. Then the craziest disaster occurs. Earth is invaded by aliens. I won't give away the ending, but the story follows several characters around the world as they attempt to avoid capture. One character is a military man who gets dropped in Romania and who meets some mountain people who seem to have no fear of being killed. (wink, wink) The story is a little silly but the author approaches the problem of survival seriously. [4]

The Plague Kills the Calendar Fix

Johann Müller is a German astronomer and the son of a miller... which is probably why his last name is "Müller." However, he is best known as Regiomontanus [ree-gee-oh-mon-TAY-nus] which means "king's mountain." It is the place of his birth. It's like being born in Laredo and thereafter being known as "The Man from Laredo." He has learned Greek so that he can study the ancient astronomy books in the original. He has also studied what is now known as Halley's comet. It is the first time such objects are studied in a formal manner instead of being seen as an omen. He has become so famous that he has been summoned by the Pope to help fix the Julian calendar. Unfortunately, the Black Death will take him this year in Rome. A fix for the calendar is DENIED! [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Last names are becoming the norm during this time. They are shortening up their names, so "Richard of York" is shortened to "Richard York". Last names can be tied to an occupation like Baker, Miller, Smith (meaning blacksmith) or Smithson (the blacksmith's son). The name "Wasserman" probably refers to an ancestor who carried water for the town, or lived near the water. There is also the patronymic [pat-trow-NIM-ick] method of naming... being named after your father. If you watch the credits for the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (2013), which was filmed in Iceland, you will notice an inordinate number of people with nearly the same last name. It is a patronymic formula: Ólafsson means son of Ólaf and Haraldsdóttir means daughter of Harald. My own name would be Alex Alexson since my father's name was Alex.[7]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1476, Wikipedia.

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