Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Through History with the Monday Quiz in Exile: The 1460's

The Leaflocker is currently hosting Michael5000's weekly history quiz while he takes a break from creating non-art-tournament content. I don't know if he's noticed this fact yet, but I'm not going to let a little thing like that stop me.

Some decades are so full of important events that it's hard to decide which of them to include in our weekly history quiz, and some decades are...decidedly less interesting. It's not that I think that the 1460's were boring, exactly, just that there seems to be remarkably few world-changing events going on during them. So yes, I am blaming history itself if you feel that the notable events this week seem...less notable than usual. As usual, leave your answers in the comments, and do show your workings, as it's much more fun like that.

1. 1461 is commonly given as the date of foundation by the Ottoman Empire of which city, the modern-day capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

2. The conclusion of the Thirteen Years War and the Second Peace of Thorn saw one of the final nails in the coffin of the Teutonic Knights, who were forced to cede control of Prussia to which state in 1466?

3. Cosimo de Medici died in 1464 after more than thirty years as de facto ruler of Florence, exerting power through use of his considerable fortune. At this point in time, Florence was officially ruled by the Signoria, a group of 9 priori selected every two months from amongst whom?

4. Having set up his Offizin, or printery, in Strasbourg earlier in the decade, in 1466, Johannes Mentelin printed the first of many bibles to be printed in the vernacular. In the decade to follow, bibles would be printed in Italian, Catalan and Czech, but what language was the Mentelin bible printed in?

5. Feeling a little short of cash in 1469, Christian I of Norway ponied up Shetland and Orkney as security against the payment of a dowry for his daughter Margaret. When he failed to pay, which Kingdom officially annexed the islands?

6. Beginning in 1467, the Ōnin war, an eleven year conflict that left Kyoto in ruins, marks the transition from the Nanboku-chō period into which era of Japanese history, a 150-year period notable marked by near-constant military conflict?

7. Invented in 1467 by Leon Battista Alberti, the polyalphabetic cipher was a step forward in cryptography as it allowed the use of wheels like the one pictured above to switch encryption alphabets during the message. Why was this such a significant advance?

8. I have a soft spot for Pope Pius II because he wrote erotica and generally messed about before ascending to the papacy. I am the proud owner of a lovely edition of his autobiography, written in the third person because he was just that cool. He died in Ancona on the Adriatic coast of modern Italy in 1464, what was he doing there?

9. The 1460's saw the rise of Tenguella as chief of the Fula people, still the largest nomadic people group in the world, and a large influence in the spread of Islam in Northern and then Western Africa. Under Tenguella, as the Empire of Grat Fulo, the Fula were again on the move, out of Senegal into which modern-day state?

10. 'Catholicons' were important books in Europe the late 15th century, and one of the more notable examples,the Catholicon Armoricum, was written in 1464 in Tréguier, Brittany, modern-day France. You still come across Catholicons all the time, though under which more common name are they now known?

Please leave your answers in the comments below. Thanks for playing and for dropping by, and I hope to see you (and to visit your blog) during Blaugust 2017.


John said...

Right, let's do this.

1. Sarajevo.
2. A guess, but I'll say Poland-Lithuania.
3. I'd imagine from among the old, wealthy families, but I don't have enough knowledge of Florence to name anything specific.
4. Two obvious candidates: French and German! (and in Strasbourg it's not trivial guessing one or another); let's guess German.
5. Scotland. Poor Margaret died on her way to claim the crown, I believe.
6. The Sengoku period.
7. I would imagine the biggest advance is it means you're not confined to a single cipher for the entire message, which would otherwise leave it vulnerable to a letter-frequency analysis and guessing common words.
8. Probably at war with one of the Italian cities, or the Holy Roman Empire, or the French.
9. It's guessing time once again, and I'll say Mali.
10. Dictionaries?

Michael5000 said...

1. Sarajevo!
2. Perhaps Lithuania! Or Poland, which would be much the same thing in the 14s. Or the Holy Roman Empire.
3. All eligible voters, I think! Funky little republics...
4. You'd think he'd start with German!
5. Scotland! Or perhaps England!
6. The Samourai Movie Period! Oh, actually -- the Shogunate? Same same.
7. There are so many ways this question could go. "Because it was a vital factor in War X" or "Because it advanced mathy theory" or "it's like Enigma in miniature" or so on. I'm going to just say "it was the first code that was systematically unbreakable given the cryptography of its time."
8. Had he retired there? Was he the last Pope to retire for all that time, maybe? Working on his memoirs?
9. The Gambia, for a bathe. Just kidding. If the Fula are going to become the Fulani, than they are heading ESE towards modern Nigeria, taking in numerous other modern countries on the way.
10. That's going to be an encyclopedia, or perhaps something closer to a dictionary, and I will get my point either way or I WILL KNOW WHY, damn it!