The Chinese of the
Song dynasty are the first to describe gunpowder. Within a centure the Chinese begin to use early forms of guns.
1096-1291 Period of the Christian crusades, set up after increased Muslim interference in the free unhindered travel of Christian pilgrims towards Jerusalem. Godfrey de Bouillon was one of the leaders of the first crusade. Richard Lionheart was a key player in the third crusade.
1120 Creation of the Knights Templar. They do their best to protect pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem and act as storm troopers on the battlefield against Muslim armies.
1185 Japan enters its medieval/feudal era. Powerful family clans (Daimyo) rule Japan, who are only subordinate to the shogun, the military commander. The emperor is a figurehead, often compared to the role of the pope. The Daimyo have samurai soldiers working for them.
1202 Leonardo Fibonacci introduces his Fibonacci sequence, indicating that there’s a mathematical order to various things in nature. He uses an unrealistic example of breeding rabbits, but in the modern era we are finding examples of the Fibonacci sequence in trees, pineapples and at the DNA and atom level.
1207 The Mongols, under the leadership of Gengis Khan, begin their invasion of China and Central Asia.
1241 The Mongols are at the border with Germany, having crushed the Polish army of well-armed knights at Wroclaw, western Poland. The main force of the Mongols is working to conquer various Hungarian castles, but have control of the countryside. In December Ogedei Khan dies, ceasing Mongol military operations, as the leaders all rush back to Mongolia to appoint a successor.
1250 Rise of European cities, with their distinct cultural differences with the countryside.
1254 Marco Polo is born. He becomes the first Westerner to give detailed accounts of his travels to Mongolia and China.
1273-1291 Rudolf I of Habsburg is the holy roman emperor.
1279 The Mongols defeat the Song dynasty, uniting China under the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).
1280 The Mongol empire is at its largest, stretching from the Sea of Japan to eastern Europe.
1281 A second Mongol invasion of Japan fails, once again due to a hurricane destroying most of the Mongol fleet.
1299 Birth of the Ottoman Empire.
1303 An 8 meter (26 feet) tsunami hits Crete, Rhodes, Alexandria and Acre in Israel.
1337-1453 The 100 Years War between France and England, with many interruptions.
1340 The first documented cannons and rifles are used in Europe by the English. Gunpowder secrets appear to have traveled with the Mongols to the West.
1347-1351 The Black Plague kills about 50 percent of the European population, 75-80 percent in countries as Spain and Italy and about 20 percent in countries further north. The disease originated in China where it kills about 1/3 of the population. The disease will locally return on occasion for centuries.
1429 Under the guidance of Joan of Arc, the supposed recipient of Angelic visions, the French manage to reconquer much of their territory from the English. She is burned at the stake at age 19 by the British.
1438-1802 Almost continuous domination of the Habsburg family of the Holy Roman Empire.
1443 Evidence that an asteroid hit just off the coast of New Zealand, creating the Mahuika Crater of 2 km wide (just over a mile) and over 153 meters (500 feet) deep. Additional evidence shows that the resulting tsunami wave was 220 meters high at nearby Stewart Island and still 130 meters (425 feet) high when it reached Australia’s east coast. Native Aboriginal settlements are abandoned in this period.
1450 Johannes Gutenberg invents the first book printing press in the world. Before this time books were written by hand. Now it becomes possible to print 1,000 copies of a page in one or two days before moving to the next page. It’s one of the most significant revolutions in history.
1453 Final collapse of the Byzantine Empire, or Eastern Roman Empire, with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans.
1456 Vlad III Dracula, or Vlad Tepes, regains control of Wallachia and Transylvania. From here he fights the Ottoman influence for the next two decades. Notorious for his practice of widespread impalement and for being the inspiration for the modern day vampire, Count Dracula. His father had gotten the name Dracula by becoming a member of the Order of the Dragon which swore to protect Christianity from the Ottoman Empire.
1462 Ivan III of Russia comes to power. Over the next half century he pushes out the Mongols and conquers what is now western Russia. This is the basis of the later Russian empire and even the Soviet Union.
1467-1573 Warring States period in Japan, after which it is united under the Shogunate. Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi play key roles in this period. The ninja (shinobi) also rose to prominence in this period. They did all kinds of covert operations not deemed respectable by the samurai.
1490 A reported meteor shower kills many thousands in China. At this point China is ruled by the Ming dynasty, which arose after the Mongol empire collapsed a century earlier.
1492 Columbus discovers America. He will treat the locals miserably. This same year the last Muslim remnants are pushed out of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), Columbus’ homeland.