The first part of this age was the period of Feudalism. It saw the beginnings of some recovery of lost knowledge. It was also an age of religious upheaval and conflict, with the crusades, and the persecution of heretics like the Cathars. It was brought to an end by the black death c.1350. Beginning in the aftermath of the Black Death this was an age of Recovery and Renaissance, at first a gradual recovery of ancient lost knowledge, and in the end a rapid flood of understanding leading at last to the first fruits of new knowledge. It was also an age of religious upheaval and conflict, with the persecution of supposed witches, and of heretics which, after the 'reformation' of the christian church and the proloferation of protestant sects even led to religious wars. The renaissance saw great advances in mathematics and the arts, of music, painting and architecture. It may be noted that the science of this period was mixed up with astrology, alchemy, magic and other occult ideas even in the minds of many of the more enlightened thinkers.
Colour coding: red = mathematics, astronomy, physics orange = materials, chemistry, geology, engineering, architecture yellow = biology, medicine, exploration, anthropology, psychology green = visual art, printing blue = literature, poetry, music mauve = history, philosophy, metaphysics, theology grey = wars, politics, events (indented)
1101 - 1162 Heloise &, Letter to Abelard.
c.1114 - 1187 Gerard of Cremona, translated 87 works from Arabic to Latin, including editions of Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's Almagest and Al Khwarizmi's Algebra.
1126 - 1198 Ibn Rushd, aka Averroes physician and philosopher, The Incoherence of 'the Incoherence' is a rationalist response to Ghazali's mysticism.
c.1135-1201 Léonin, Notre Dame, Paris, beginnings of polyphonic music.
1138 - 1193 Salah al Din, aka Saladin &.
c.1160 - 1205 Pérotin, Paris, continues polyphonic music.
1160 - 1216 Lotario de Conti, aka Innocent III & & &, became Pope 1198, Papal Letters, authorised the fourth crusade & 1198 and fifth crusade 1215, and the Albigensian crusade & & against the Cathar heresy (1209-1255).
1162 - 1227 Genghis Khan Founder and first ruler of the Mongol empire, covering central Asia and China.
1162: Chancellor Thomas Becket becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered by knights of Henry II in 1170.
1167 - 1216 King John, forced to sign Magna Carta & & 1215.
c.1170 - 1221 Dominic de Guzman founder of the Dominican order, fourth Lateran council 1215, associated with the inquisition.
1170 - 1250 Leonardo of Pisa, aka Fibonacci & & &, Liber Abbaci 1202 and 1228 introduced Hindu decimal numerals, for use in conjunction with the Abacus, in place of the Roman numerals then in use in Europe. The important series now known by his name appears in a problem about breeding rabbits, Practica Geometriae 1220, Liber Quadratorum and Flos 1225 solved some quadratic and cubic equations.
1175 - 1253 Robert Grosseteste.
1181 - 1226 Francis of Assisi, aka Giovanni Bernadone & founder of the Franciscan order, Canticle of Brother Sun &.
1192: Blondel, troubadour, friend of Richard the Lionheart, rescued him from imprisonment in Austria.
1194 - 1250 Frederick Hohenstaufen, king of Sicily 1198, emperor 1220, crusade 1228-9, wrote on falconry, patron of science and arts.
1200 - 1220: Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzifal.
1200 Manuscripts cut on wood block and printed.
1204: Constantinople sacked by Fourth Crusade.
1206: Ghengis Khan declares Mongol empire.
1206 - 1280 Albertus Magnus, Dominican friar, preached the 8th crusade 1270.
1214 - 1294 Roger Bacon, Friar Bacon's Discoveries 1270 (1659 edition).
1215: Mongols conquer Persia.
1215: King John of England forced to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede.
1215 - 1294 Kublai Khan grandson on Ghenghis Khan and fifth ruler of the Mongol emoire from 1260.
1218: Mongols conquer China, enter Peking.
Yuan (Mongol) dynasty in China (to 1,368).
1220 - 1296 Johannes Campanus of Novara, influential Latin edition of Euclid's Elements.
1225: "Sumer is icumen in" sung as a round in England, six-part polyphony.
1225 -1274 Thomas Aquinas theologian.
1240: Mali empire founded in W. Africa. Benin Kingdom founded in S. Nigeria.
1,244: Massacre of the Cathars at Montsegur.
c.1245 - c.1288 Adam de la Halle, Trouvere, adapted sacred motet to secular texts.
1250 - 1310 Theodoric (aka Dietrich) von Freiberg &, De Iride 1305, experimented with water-filled flasks to simulate primary and secondary rainbow formation by refraction and reflection in rainwater droplets.
1254 - 1324 Marco Polo. Venetian merchant who wrote of his travels, and those of his father, in East Asia, including the China of Kublai Khan.
d.c.1256 Johannes de Sacrobosco aka John of Halifax or Holywood, author of widely used school texts on arithmetic Algorismus and astronomy De Sphaera Mundi.
1258: The Golden Age of Islam was ended by the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258.
1265 - 1321 Dante Alighieri, poet Divina Commedia 1307.
1266 - 1337 Giotto artist
fl.1270 Peter Peregrinus & aka Pierre Pelerin de Maricourt, Epistola de Magnete 1269, states the laws of attraction and repulsion of magnetic poles, describes the floating compass already in use and proposes a pivoted compass.
1277 - 1367 China: Yuan dynasty.
1287 - 1347 William of Ockham & & commentaries with extracts and links.
1291 - 1361 Philippe de Vitry, Ars Nova, composer describes developments in polyphony, including motets.
1,300: Ottoman empire founded in Turkey.
More polynesians, Maoris, arrive in New Zealand.
1300 - 1358 Jean Buridan &. Secular philosopher and logician, Summulae de dialectica [Compendium of Dialectic]. He developed the concept of impetus, the first step toward the modern concept of inertia. His name is most familiar through the thought experiment known as Buridan's ass.
c.1300 - 1377 Guillaume du Machaut, poet and composer of sacred and secular motets, polyphonic Messe de Nostre Dame.
1,309 (to 1,378): Avignon Papacy. Seven successive French popes resided in Avignon rather than Rome, under protection of the French kings.
1313 - 1375 Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron 1358 a hundred romances told among a group of people sheltering from the plague.
1323 - 1382 Nicolas Oresme &. Anticipated Descartes in use of coordinates in geometry. He proved the divergence of the harmonic series.
c.1325 - 1397 Francesco Landini, composer of ballata, dance-song.
1,325: Aztec capital Tenochtitlan founded in Mexico.
1,327: William of Ockham summoned to Avignon by Pope John XXII on charges of heresy.
c.1330 - c.1387 William Langland, The Vision Concerning Piers Plowman allegorical poem.
1336 - 1405 Timur aka Tam(b)erlaine, conqueror
Ala'addin Tabrisi, shatranj player, promoter of Timur's game an elaborate form of chess, including new pieces, dabbaba, zebra.
1,337 - 1,453: Hundred Years War.
c.1343 - 1400 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales.
1,347 - 1,350: The black death, bubonic plague, sweeps through Europe.
1,347 - 1,350: The black death, bubonic plague, sweeps through Europe.
1364 - 1436 Qadi Zada +, Treatise on the sine.
1368 (to 1,643): China: Ming dynasty, succeeds Mongols. Building of the Great Wall.
1371 Earliest manuscript of "The Travels of Sir John Mandeville" + a mixture of fact and fiction, including the name of the author.
1377 - 1446 Filippo Brunelleschi + architect of the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.
1,378: The Papal Schism +. Following the Avignon popes (1,309) there were two rival claimants to the papacy, resulting in separate popes residing in Rome and Avignon (to 1,417).
c.1380 - 1441 Jan van Eyck +, artist, The Arnolfini Portrait +.
1381 Wat Tyler + and the Peasants' Revolt.
c.1380 - 1429 Ghiyath al-Kashi +, Treatise on the circumference 1424 computes 2pi to sixteen decimal places using inscribed and cirumscribed polygons.
1385/90? - 1453 John Dunstable + + + composer. Used major and minor thirds.
1386 - 1466 Donatello + sculptor.
1393 - 1449 Ulugh Beg + grandson of Timur, set up observatory at Samarkand and made accurate determinations, Zij-i Sultani 1437 catalogue of (992) stars.
1395 - 1455 Fra Giovanni aka Fra Angelico + painter.
1400: N.Australia visited by Indonesian traders.
1397?/1400 - 1474 Guillaume Dufay +, Gilles de Bins, aka Binchois, (c.1400 - 1460), Johannes Ockeghem (c.1410 - c.1497) and Josquin Des Prez (c.1440 - 1521) composers of songs, motets and masses, and masses, the Franco-Flemish school under patronage of Duke Philip "the Good", Burgundy.
c.1400 - 1468 Johannes Gutenberg + + + + +, invention of printing with moveable type 1439, 42-line Bible + + 1455.
1400-1430 perspective and drawing systems developed.
1404 - 1472 Leone Battista Alberti +, De Pictura 1435 on laws of perspective.
1412 - 1431 Joan of Arc +.
1412 - 1492 Piero della Francesca +, De prospectiva pingendi 'On perspective for painting'.
c.1415/1420 - 1492 William Caxton + + + + English merchant who who took up the new tchnology of printing and published the first printed books in English from 1473, including an edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales 1476.
1420 - 1498 Tomas de Torquemada +, head of the Spanish Inquisition + 1483, expelled Jews from Spain 1492.
1422 oil paint, used by Van Eyck.
1432 - 1492 Giovanni Cibo, aka Pope Innocent VIII + +, pope 1484, Summis desiderantes (papal bull against witchcraft) 1484, authorised Malleus Maleficarum + 'The Hammer of the Witches' 1486 (by Henry Kramer 1430 – 1505 and Jakob Sprenger c. 1435 – 1495).
1433 - 1499 Marsilio Ficino +, Corpus Hermeticum 1471, translated Plato's complete works into Latin 1484.
1436 - 1476 Johannes (Peter?) Muller von Konigsburg, aka Regiomontanus +, astronomer Alphonsine Tables, Ephemerides (1475-1506) 1473.
1,438: Inca empire begins to expand.
1,445: Johannes Gutenberg invents the process of printing with moveable type. 1450 Gutenberg Textura typeface.
1445 - 1517 Luca Pacioli +, Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita 1494, encyclopedic textbook explaining double-entry book-keeping and summarising the mathematics of Euclid, Boethius, Sacrobosco and Fibonacci, Divina proportione 1509, illustrated by da Vinci.
1448: Portuguese fort built at Arguin in Mauritania, beginnings of European imperialism.
1451 - 1506 Christopher Columbus +, navigator, first voyage 1492-3 to Bahamas, Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti).
1452 - 1498 Girolamo Savonarola + + theocrat.
1452 - 1519 Leonardo da Vinci + + + +, artist and scientist.
1453: Byzantine empire extinguished with taking of Constantinople by Ottomans.
1455 - 1485: Wars of the Roses (York v. Lancaster) in England.
1455 - 1522 Johann Reuchlin +, De Verbo Mirifico, De Arte Cabbalistica 1517.
1463 - 1494 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola +, Oration on the Dignity of Man + 1486, Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem 1495.
1465 - 1526 Scipione del Ferro +, first to solve cubic equations 1520.
1466 - 1536 Desiderius Erasmus + + + +, The Praise of Folly + 1509 a satirical attack on superstition, Education of a Christian Prince + 1516.
c.1469 - 1525 Vasco da Gama +, Portuguese navigator.
1469 - 1527 Nicolo Machiavelli +, The Prince + 1532.
1470 Nicolas Jenson, printer, typeface designer; Cloister Old Style.
1471 - 1528 Albrecht Durer + +, artist, Melencolia I 1514.
1473 - 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus +, Commentariolus a brief account of his moving earth theory 1512, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium + 1543.
1475 - 1564 Michelangelo +.
1478 - 1535 Thomas More +, Utopia + 1516.
1480 - 1521 Ferdinand Magellan +, navigator, whose crew were first Europeans to observe the irregular star clusters now called the Magellanic Clouds.
1483 - 1520 Raphael, artist
1483 - 1546 Martin Luther + + +.
1485 - 1528 Graf, artist
1486 - 1535 Cornelius Agrippa +, occultist, Philosophy of Natural Magic, De Occulta Philosophia.
1488 - 1576 Tiziano Vecellio, aka Titian + artist.
c.1490 - 1545 John Taverner, composer. (c.1490 - 1562) Adrian Willaert, composer.
1,492: Christopher Columbus lands in the Bahamas and Cuba and discovers the "New World" of the American continent.
1494 - 1576 Hans Sachs, composer.
1497 - 1543 Holbein
1497 - 1560 Philipp Melanchthon + theologian.
1500 - 1557 Nicolo Fontana aka Tartaglia +, solved cubic equations (independent of the earlier work of del Ferro), Quesiti et Inventioni + 1546.
1501 - 1576 Girolamo (Jerome?) Cardano +, physician, mathematician, gambler, Ars Magna 1545 solution of cubic and quartic equations.
1,501: Safavid dynasty founded in Persia.
c.1505 - 1568 Jacob Arcadelt, composer.
c.1505 - 1585 Thomas Tallis, composer.
1506 Aldus Manutius printer, Bembo typeface.
1509 - 1564 John Calvin + + +, theologian Institutes of the Christian Religion 1536.
c.1510 - 1556 Jacobus Clemens, composer.
1510 - 1566 Antonio de Cobézon, composer.
c.1510 - 1585 Andrea Gabrieli, composer.
1511 - 1553 Michael Servetus + physician (investigated circulation of blood), persecuted by Calvin, burnt at the stake for unitarian heresy.
1512 - 1594 Mercator
1514 - 1574 Georg Joachim Rheticus +, Narratio Prima 1540 on Copernican system, Opus Palatinum de triangulis trigonometric tables, completed by Valentine Otho 1596.
1514 - 1564 Andreas Vesalius + anatomist De Humani Corporis Fabrica 1543 +
1514 - 1574 Bartolomeo Eustachi + physician.
1516 - 1565 Conrad Gesner +, De Rerum Fossilium 1565, the first book about fossils.
1,517: Martin Luther publishes his 95 theses against practices of the Roman church and sets off the Protestant reformation.
1519 camera obscura.
1,521: Aztec empire conquered by Cortes.
1,522; The Magellan/Cano expedition completes the first circumnavigation of the Earth via Cape Horn, the Pacific (named by Magellan) and the Philippines.
1522 - 1565 Lodovico Ferrari +, solves the quartic equation 1540.
1522 Inrice Arrighi, typeface and Italic writing.
1523 - 1562 Gabriel Falloppio + physician, anatomist.
1524 - 1580 Luis de Camoes, aka Camoens +, Os Lusiadas, The Lusiads, epic poem on history and myths of Portugal.
c.1525 - 1569 Pieter Breughel the Elder +.
1525 - 1594 Giovanni da Palestrina, composer of motets, masses and madrigals.
1526 - 1572 Rafael Bombelli +, Algebra 1572, uses negative and complex numbers.
1526 (to 1,857); Mughal empire founded in India.
1527 - 1598 Ortelius, artist
1527 - 1609 John Dee +.
1530 Garamond typeface.
1531 Petrus Apianus, aka Peter Apian, noted comet tails are directed away from the Sun.
1532 - 1594 Orlande di Lassus, composer of motets.
1533: Inca empire conquered by Pizarro.
1534: Henry VIII of England breaks with Rome and makes himself head of the Church of England.
1537 - 1619 Hieronymus Fabricius + anatomist and surgeon, studied development of embryos, teacher of Willliam Harvey.
c.1540 - 1596 Francis Drake + + + + + +, circumnavigation 1577-1580.
1540 - 1603 William Gilbert + + + + + + +, De Magnete + + + + 1600.
1540 - 1610 Ludolf van Ceulen +, computed pi to 35 decimal places On The Circle 1596.
1541 - 1614 El Greco + painter.
1,543: Copernicus publishes his work placing the Sun at the centre of the planetary system.
1543: Vesalius publishes his book on human anatomy.
1543 - 1623 William Byrd, composer.
1546 - 1595 Thomas Digges +, observed Tycho's new star of 1572, wrote on the Copernican system within an infinite universe, 1576.
1546 - 1601 Tycho Brahe + +, De Nova Stella 1573 reported on a supernova seen in 1572, De Mundi Aetherei 1588 and used parallax to prove that a comet observed in 1577 was beyond the atmosphere, Astronomiae instauratae ... 1598 and 1602 described his accurate instruments and observational methods.
1547 - 1616 Miguel de Cervantes + + + +, writer, Don Quixote + 1605, 1615.
1548 - 1611 Tomas Luis de Victoria, composer.
1548 - 1600 Giordano Bruno + + + + + + +, De Umbris Idearum 'The Shadow of Ideas' + 1582 and other works, De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi 'On the Infinite Universe and Worlds' 1584, burnt at the stake for heresy on the orders of the Catholic Inquisition.
1550 - 1617 John Napier +, natural logarithms Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio 1614.
1552 - 1616 Richard Hakluyt + + +, historian, geographer, Divers Voyages 1582, Principal Navigations 1599.
c.1555 - 1612 Giovanni Gabrieli, composer.
1557 - 1602 Carracci, artist
c.1557 - 1602 Thomas Morley, composer.
1,557; China allows Portuguese settlement in Macao.
1558 - 1617 Hendrick Goltzius + artist.
c.1560 - 1613 Don Carlo Gesualdo, composer.
1560 - 1621 Thomas Harriot +.
1561 - 1633 Jacopo Peri, composer.
1561 - 1626 Francis Bacon + + + + +, lawyer, philosopher, Novum Organum + + 1620.
1561 - 1626 Henry Briggs +, decimal logarithms Logarithmorum Chilias Prima 1617.
1,562 - 1,598: French Wars if religion.
1562 - 1621 Jan Sweelinck, composer.
c.1562 - 1628 John Bull, composer.
1563 - 1626 John Dowland, composer, lute.
1564 - 1616 William Shakespeare + +, dramatist and poet, Complete Works +.
1564 - 1617 David Fabricius + with his son Johannes one of the first astronomers to a telescope and to observe sunspots.
c.1564 - 1638 Pieter Breughel the Younger +, painter.
1564 - 1642 Galileo Galilei +, Sidereus Nuncius 'Starry Messenger' + 1610, reported the first telescopic discoveries, including moons of Jupiter, Two World Systems + 1632, Two New Sciences + 1640.
1565 - 1604 Filippino Lippi + painter.
1567 - 1643 Monteverdi + composer, opera.
1,571: Battle of Lepanto
1571 - 1610 Caravaggio + painter.
1571 - 1630 Johannes Kepler + + + + + + +, Mysterium Cosmographicum 1596, Astronomia Pars Optica 1604, De Stella Nova 1606, Astronomia Nova gave the first two laws of planetary motion 1609, Dioptrice 1611, Nova Stereometria Dolorium 1615 uses primitive calculus to estimate volumes of revolution of wine barrels, Harmonice Mundi includes work on polyhedra, and the third law of planetary motion relating size and period of orbits 1619, Epitome Astronomiae 1621 influential textbook, Rudolphine Tables accurate astronomical data 1627.
1571 - 1638 Blaeu, artist
1572: St Bartholomew Day Massacre (24 August) of French Huguenots (Calvinist Protestants) in Paris.
1573 - 1624 Simon Marius + + astronomer, involved in priority disputes with Galileo, named the four main satellies of Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. Supported the Tychonic system rather than the Copernican.
1574 - 1660 William Oughtred +, Clavis Mathematicae 1631, slide rule.
1576 - 1623 Thomas Weelkes, composer.
1577 - 1640 Robert Burton + The Anatomy of Melancholy + + 1621, literary psychology.
1577 - 1640 Peter Paul Rubens + + +, painter.
1578: Moroccans overcome Portuguese in NW Arica.
1578 - 1657 William Harvey + + + + + + +, On the Motion of the Heart +, On Generation +.
1579 - 1644 Jan Baptista van Helmont + + + chemistry and alchemy.
1580 - 1626 Willebrord Snell + +, mathematician whose name is often given to the law of refraction of light, though his work on this was not published until 1703 in Huyghens book Dioptrica and the law was known earlier, in tabular form, to Ibn Sahl 984.
1581 - 1638 Claude Gaspar Bachet + Sieur de Meziriac, Problèmes plaisans et delectables 1612. Also published an Edition of Diophantus used by Fermat.
1581 - 1656 James Ussher + + + +, biblical scholar and chronogist dated creation at −4004.
1582 - 1652 Gregorio Allegri, composer.
1583 - 1625 Orlando Gibbons, composer.
1583 - 1643 Girolamo Frescobaldi, composer.
1585 - 1672 Heinrich Schütz, composer.
1587 - 1616 Johannes Fabricius + with his father David one of the first astronomers to a telescope and to observe sunspots.
1588: Defeat of Spanish Armada.
1588 - 1679 Thomas Hobbes + + + + + +, materialist philosopher, Leviathan + + 1651, political philosophy.
1588 - 1648 Marin Mersenne + + + + + + Minim Friar, mathematician and organiser of scientific meetings and correspondence with many scholars, L'harmonie universelle on music and physics of sound 1627, studied prime 'Mersenne numbers' + of the form 2^n - 1 with n prime.
1590 marbled papers first used
1592 - 1635 Callot, artist
1592 - 1655 Pierre Gassendi + + + + + + + +, observed transit of Mercury 1831 predicted by Kepler, wrote on inertia De Motu + 1642, advocated vegetarianism Letter to Van Helmont +, revived Epicurean atomism and favoured empiricism Syntagma Philosophicum 1656.
1596 - 1650 Rene Descartes + + + + + +, philosopher, mathematician, Discourse on Method + + +.
1598 - 1647 Bonaventura Cavalieri +, Geometria indivisibilibus 1635.
1600: the Ottoman Empire controlled almost all the Middle East, the Ming Dynasty ruled China, and the Mughal Empire held sway over India. By contrast, Europe was divided into a number of warring states.