Today in the Middle Ages

These articles highlight significant historical events that happened on a particular month and day of the year.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 16, 1620

William Adams, the first Englishman to reach Japan, died on May 16, 1620.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 15, 756

On May 15, 756, Abd ar-Rahman was proclaimed Emir of Cordoba, beginning the three-century Umayyad dynasty of Moorish Spain.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 14, 964

Pope John XII died in his mistress' house on May 14, 964.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 13, 1501

Amerigo Vespucci departed Lisbon on May 13, 1501 on the voyage that would put his name on two continents.

Today in the Middle Ages:May 12, 1191

The valorous but irresponsible Richard Coeur de Lion married Berengaria of Navarre on May 12, 1991 in a city he had captured a few days earlier.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 11, 868

The earliest known printed book was created on May 11, 868 in China. The text was the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, a classic work of meditative Buddhism which stresses the importance of avoiding extremes of attachment.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 10, 1291

On May 10, 1291, Edward I of England met with the nobles of Scotland to select their king.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 9, 1386

On May 9, 1386, England and Portugal signed the Treaty of Windsor, a pledge of mutual assistance which remains in effect to this day.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 8, 1373

Seriously ill, Dame Julian of Norwich had a series of visions of Christ's love on May 8, 1373. She spent years in contemplation of their meaning, finally producing Revelations of Divine Love, the first known English book written by a woman.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 7, 558

On May 7, 558, the dome of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople collapsed after an earthquake.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 6, 1527

Rebellious unpaid soldiers of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sacked Rome on May 6, 1527.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 5, 1260

On May 5, 1260, Kublai Khan was unanimously elected Khagan of the Mongol Empire.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 4, 1471

Edward IV of York defeated the Lancastrian army at the Battle of Tewkesbury on May 4, 1471.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 3, 1469

On May 3, 1469, Niccolo Machiavelli, Florentine political theorist, was born.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 2, 907

Boris I of Bulgaria died on May 2, 907.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 1, 1576

On May 1, 1576, Stephen Báthory, former lord of Transylvania, was crowned king of Poland after his election by a majority of Polish nobles.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 30, 1006

The brightest supernova seen in historical times appeared on April 30, 1006.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 29, 1429

On April 29, 1429, Joan of Arc attacked the besieging English at Orleans.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 28, 1521

The final defeat of the Aztec empire began when Hernan Cortes laid siege to the capital city of Tenochtitlan on April 28, 1521.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 27, 1174

On April 27, 1174, Marie de Champagne's Court of Love released its reply to the oft-debated question, "Can real love exist between married people?"

Today in the Middle Ages: April 26, 1573

Marie de'Medici, Queen of France, was born on April 26, 1573.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 25, c. 451

April 25 is both the traditional date for the founding of Venice and the holy day of St. Mark, the city's patron saint.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 24, 1066

On April 24, 1066, Halley's Comet appeared in the skies over an already unsettled England.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 23, 1564

The most famous writer in the English language, William Shakespeare, was born on April 23, 1564.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 22, 1348

The legendary dropped-underwear incident that led to the founding of England's highest order of knighthood is said to have happened on April 22, 1348.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 21, 1509

Henry VII of England, the Tudor victor in the Wars of the Roses, died on April 21, 1509.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 20, 161

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was born on April 20, 161 CE.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 18, 1480

Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of a future Pope and his mistress, was born on April 18, 1480.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 17, 1521

Already excommunicated, Martin Luther appeared before the Emperor on April 17, 1521 at Worms to answer for his views.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 16, 1209

Traditionally, April 16, 1209 is regarded as the day Pope Innocent III gave oral permission of St. Francis of Assisi to found the Franciscan order.