Monday, February 23, 2015

History: The Year is 1526

I've uploaded year 1526 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Tyndale Bible -- The English translation is a big hit... in Germany. William Tyndale's translation will be carried to England and eventually become the basis for the Authorized Version. Of course, if they catch him, they will kill him. They will catch him in a few years.

The Beretta Weapons Factory ... A Family Business Since 1526 -- Yep. THAT Beretta. He sells muskets to the military for about $200 each. I talk about the problem with inflation and getting caught on the wrong end of a contract.

Solving Cubic Equations Is a Secret! -- A math professor finds a general solution to solving cubic equations... and keeps it a secret! Why? Because in those days it was NOT "publish or perish". It was "show everyone that you can do something that they can't!" It's job security.

The Tyndale Bible

With only seven printing presses in London, it is impossible to get anything controversial past the authorities, so William Tyndale takes a boat to Hamburg, Germany and drops out of sight. Martin Luther's German translation has been filtering into England, but Tyndale thinks an English translation from the original is needed. German presses publish his translation of the New Testament and it's a best seller. Tyndale's translation will eventually become the Authorized Version as he works on the rest of the Bible with additions from Bishop Coverdale. Tyndale is risking his life so he is watching his steps. It will be another 9 or 10 years before they catch him and when they do, he will be strangled to death at the stake and his body burned. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Tyndale had a wicked sense of humor but his puns won't make sense to the modern reader without context. He also has a smooth rhythmic writing style that does not come through to the modern reader but it made his translations very easy to read. To give you a sense of his style, I've selected Matthew 5:29-30, but as you read it, think of what someone might do if they took it literally. Here we go...
Wherefore if thy right eye offend thee, pluck him out, and cast him from thee. Better it is for thee that one of thy members perish than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Also if thy right hand offend thee, cut him off and cast him from thee. Better it is that one of thy members perish, than that all thy body should, be cast into hell. [3]

The Beretta Weapons Factory ... A Family Business Since 1526

Weapons master Bartolomeo Beretta sells 185 arqebuses (ARK-keh-buses) to the Venetian military for 296 ducats (a little over $200 per firearm). The war business runs hot and cold, but it never seems to run out. The family business will be passed down from father to son until the modern day when the sons will go childless leaving the succession in doubt. Ugo Gussalli will marry one of the Beretta daughters and take on the Beretta name. The family name will live on. Beretta's original bill of sale from 1526 will remain in the family's archives into the modern day. [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
An arquebus is a primitive muzzle-loading musket that will likely burn you as blind you when you fire one. $200 many seem cheap for a military-grade weapon, but the value of the gold content of a ducat varied due to market conditions. In the 1500s there was a severe shortage of gold so the value of gold shot up. When gold and silver were discovered in America, it had a warping effect on the European and Chinese economies, driving the price of gold down but with existing contracts remaining the same. It's like when you take out a mortgage at a static interest rate. Inflation makes your money worth less for buying food and fuel BUT your mortgage payment remains the same. During the days of Jimmy Carter, inflation was so bad that people were paying off their mortgages with worthless dollars. That was when variable interest rates came into being.

Solving Cubic Equations Is a Secret!

It is not known exactly when the mathematician, Scipione del Ferro (ship-pee-OWN-ay del FAIR-oh) solved the problem of cubic equations mathematically. He found a general solution but doesn't know it because negative numbers haven't been invented yet. Nevertheless he almost takes his formula to the grave. The mathematician is a lecturer at the University of Bologna, and he dies this year after he hands over his secret formula to a student. [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The secret formula is... ahhhhhhhhhhh! Just kidding. The formula is x3 + mx = n. Why is this such a secret? His father was a printer. Why didn't he publish his finding! Well... in those days mathematicians tended to challenge one another to solve difficult math problems. If you lost, then you often lost all credibility with your students and thus lost your job. Being a student was a pay-as-you-go proposition and if they wouldn't pay then OFF YOU GO! (The professor goes.) These math challenges are career busters so having a card up the sleeve, so to speak, made sense at the time. In the modern day it is "publish or perish" for college professors.[10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1526, Wikipedia.

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