Monday, March 2, 2015

History: The Year is 1531

I've uploaded year 1531 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

30,000 Dead in Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami -- Yep... they blame the Jews. I also talk about earthquake preparedness.

Battle of Puná: The Beginning of the End of the Incas -- Francisco Pizarro kicks the snot out of the natives in a 100 to 1 fight. I talk about how impossible this might have been 50 years prior without the discipline they learned in Italy fighting the French and the Swiss.

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the First Native American Saint -- A vision of the Virgin Mary first appears to Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Christianity. He builds a church in her honor, I also talk about the appearance of idolatry (which the Franciscan Monks share with me) and my experience with a middle school Spanish teacher.

30,000 Dead in Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami

The headline says it all. The earthquake is centered northeast of Lisbon, in the wetlands of the Tagus Estuary but the majority of damage and deaths obviously occur in Lisbon which is located at the mouth of the Tagus River. It is rated as a 6.9 on the Mw scale (which replaced the Richter scale) or a 10 on the MSK scale which evaluates the strength of an earthquake based on the damage it causes. A 10 is "Devastating: Masonry buildings destroyed, infrastructure crippled. Massive landslides. Water bodies may be overtopped, causing flooding of the surrounding areas and formation of new water bodies." BTW, the local friars blamed the Jews, but the Jews had been expelled from Portugal in 1496, so that rumor died out fairly quickly. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Experts consider this a moderately hazardous earthquake based on the number of human casualties but that is a poor way to judge a quake in historical terms. Frankly, building practices of the 1500s do not compare to those of modern times. Setting aside tsunamis, deaths due to earthquakes are due to stuff falling on you like bookcases, or the facades of buildings peeling off and hitting you as you run out of the building. That is why experts warn you to get under a table or stand in a doorway during an earthquake. Yet the normal reaction is to run outside. In Los Angeles, building practices require a structure to sway loosely rather than remain rigid. It's a heck of a ride, and whenever there is a moderate earthquake, camera crews will rush to the airport to film people in their bathrobes, holding their VISA cards and screaming, "Get me the HELL outta here!"

Battle of Puná: The Beginning of the End of the Incas

Francisco Pizarro was a member of the expedition when Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean. He was also instrumental in capturing Balboa and having him beheaded. As a reward he was made the mayor of Panama City but he wanted more. Pizarro arranges for an expedition to Peru to find gold. On the 3rd try he gets a foothold on the Island of Puná. Thousands of warriors swarm toward the Spaniards. With steely determination the Spaniards lower their pikes and face the enemy. The musketeers fire into the charging throng and the natives fall like rain. The call to charge sounds and the cavalry wades into the mass. It's a slaughter. Next year Pizarro will move to the mainland and capture the Incan king with an army of 200 men facing thousands.[6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Spaniards could never have done this 50 years ago. Their military was a rag tag group of undisciplined knot-heads, but their fight against the French and Swiss mercenaries over the Kingdom of Naples forced them to change their military discipline and tactics. They became lean, mobile and fearless. Nevertheless, the natives should have been able to overwhelm the Spaniards with numbers alone. It seems likely that the Puná natives were not prepared for muskets, didn't understand the tactics used by the Spaniards and weren't willing to take the losses necessary to win this battle. Ultimately, the Incas didn't stand a chance. The learning curve was too steep. They had no real metal industry with which to build the weapons necessary to counter the Spaniards. Even if they had defeated Pizarro, there would have been other "Pizarros" to come.[7]

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the First Native American Saint

Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Christianity, sees a vision of the Virgin Mary at the hill of Tepyac which is now part of Mexico City. Mary directs him to build a church in her honor there on the hill. A vision of Mary will appear 4 times to Juan Diego including as a painting on his cloak which will be preserved and displayed in the church. The church will become the most visited Catholic holy site in the modern day and will inspire many to convert to Catholicism. However, the Franciscan monks who manage the church worry that the image will lead people to idolatry. Juan Diego will be beatified in 1990, and canonized in 2002 over the objections of the abbot of the church itself. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a big, big deal, especially in Latin American countries. In fact, my daughter who is Jewish, was asked (actually commanded) by her middle school Spanish teacher to carry the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in celebration of some Christian festival. Since this is clearly against Jewish Law and Protestant ideals concerning idols, I wasn't going to let it happen with my kid. The teacher didn't understand what the big deal was so I talked to the principal and we worked it out. Some people see these images as cultural and not religious. Certainly the Catholic Church does not encourage idolatry but it gives the wrong impression when people carry statues and pictures of religious figures through the street. I don't want to stop Christians from doing what they think is important. I just want to make a little room for my kids. It all works out as long as we calmly state what we need... not all that we want but what we need.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1531, Wikipedia.

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