Friday, July 31, 2015

History: The Year is 1616

I've uploaded year 1616 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Copernicus and the List of Forbidden Books -- Astronomers have been using a book published by Copernicus in 1593 about the Earth orbiting around the Sun rather than the apparent observational conclusion. The book is added to the List of Prohibited Books.

In Search of El Dorado... Again -- Sir Walter Raleigh has convinced King James to let him go on a search for the City of Gold. He is dying to go and it's going to kill him in the end.

Notable Births and Deaths -- William Shakespeare is dead and the tallest woman in the world is born.

Copernicus and the List of Forbidden Books

A short time before his death Copernicus handed his book to the Bishop of Culm who was also a family friend. The Bishop took the book to Nuremberg and published it in 1593. It theorized that the Earth orbits the Sun which was a radical notion, but few realized how radical the book was at the time. It was too technical so only astronomers bought it. Current observations of the heavens by astronomers have brought the book to the attention of the Church. The title has now been entered into the book of prohibited works called The List of Forbidden Books. Many books regarding the heliocentric model of the universe (the idea that the Earth, the planets and the stars orbit the Sun) will be included on the list. Years later the books will fall off of the List. By 1966 the List itself will become more of a suggestion than a rule. It will cease publication long before then. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The people veto embarrassing old laws by simply ignoring them. Changing the law itself becomes an afterthought. By 1742 two Franciscan monks began teaching from Sir Issac Newton's book on mathematics despite its being prohibited. Science and math books eventually fell off of the list as evidence in their favor mounted, but it took decades if not a century. In the Church's defense, the scientists couldn't PROVE their case with actual evidence. They didn't have accurate enough tools to do so. Modern day scientists have a similar problem accepting changes in their pet theories. Albert Einstein was working in a patent office when he published his paper on Special Relativity because he couldn't get a research position at a university. At the time, scientists were certain they had discovered all that could be discovered. In 1905 Einstein overturned everything, but it wasn't until 1919 that he could prove it with physical evidence. In turn, Einstein fought against Quantum Theory saying that "God does not play dice with the universe," and let's not dwell on the issues with String Theory! We all have our blind spots. Let's forgive each other and move forward. [4] [5]

In Search of El Dorado... Again

Sir Walter Raleigh is determined to find El Dorado, the City of Gold, even if it kills him... and it will. He has been detained in the Tower of London for treason but he has managed to talk King James into letting him take an expedition to Guyana in South America to find the lost city of gold... and return with gold for the King, of course. King James extracts a promise on threat of death that Sir Walter will do nothing to upset the Spaniards. The King doesn't want trouble, but Sir Walter is 60 years old. How much trouble could he find? Plenty. By next year he will launch his expedition. His ships will be manned by thugs, so to keep them from mutinying, Sir Walter stays on board and sends his son to do the exploring. His son soon finds a Spanish town and the musket balls start flying. His son his killed and the expedition never finds gold. Sir Walter returns home a failure. Since any shootout with the Spaniards qualifies as a breach of charter... along with the previous treason, Sir Walter Raleigh will lose his head in 1618. As he takes that last long walk to the executioner, he will toss his hat to a bald man and say, "You need this, my friend, more than I do." [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Was Sir Walter Raleigh really guilty of treason? It's hard to say. He was part of Queen Elizabeth's crew of favorites so when King James took the throne, Sir Walter fell out of favor. During an investigation into a plot to kidnap the King, Sir Walter's name came up. I'm not sure he was part of the plot. He was certainly a prominent name so he was tried separately and sent to the Tower of London. But if the King really believed that Sir Walter was guilty, why send him on this expedition to find gold years later? Perhaps it was greed, but if I'm expecting to get gold from some get-rich-quick scheme, I'm not going to trust someone who tried to kidnap me years earlier. That is why I doubt that Sir Walter was guilty of anything more than being a starry-eyed fool in his old age. There is no city of gold despite what Nicolas Cage did in the movie National Treasure. It's fun to imagine, though. [8]

Notable Births and Deaths

  • The illegitimate son of King Gustav the 2nd of Sweden (that wonderful guy that historians love) is born. His name is Gustav too. [9]
  • "The Big Girl" is born. She will become the tallest woman in history at 8 foot 4 inches. [10]
  • William Shakespeare, the English playwright and poet dies from unknown causes... after a big night of drinking. He was 52. [11]
  • Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, dies from cirrhosis of the liver. One can die of cirrhosis without hard drinking, but probably he was a drinker. [12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1616, Wikipedia.

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