Nikephoros II Phokas
Nikephoros II Phokas was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century and his mother, whose name is unknown, was a member of another powerful Anatolian Greek clan, the Maleinoi. Nikephoros joined the army at an early age and he was appointed the military governor of the Anatolikon Theme in 945 under Emperor Constantine VII. When his father was wounded in battle in 953, Nikephoros was promoted to commander on the eastern frontier. In the war with the Abbasid Caliphate under Al-Muti, Nikephoros began with a defeat in 954, from which he recovered in the following years with victories in Syria. From the accession of Emperor Romanos II in 959, Nikephoros and his younger brother Leo were placed in charge of the eastern and western field armies, in 960,27,000 oarsmen and marines were assembled to man a fleet of 308 ships carrying 50,000 troops. At the recommendation of the influential minister Joseph Bringas, Nikephoros was entrusted to lead this expedition against the Saracen Emirate of Crete, after a nine-month siege, Nikephoros stormed Chandax and wrested control of the entire island from the Muslims in 961.
Upon returning to Constantinople, he was denied the honor of a triumph. He soon returned to the east with a large and well-equipped army, in the campaigns of 962–963, he employed a brilliant strategy to conquer the cities of Cilicia and to advance into Syria. There he captured Aleppo, in collusion with his nephew, John Tzimiskes and it was on these campaigns that he earned the sobriquet, The Pale Death of the Saracens. During the capture of Aleppo, the Byzantine army took possession of 390,000 silver dinars,2,000 camels, early in his life Nikephoros had married Stephano. She had died before he rose to fame, and after her death he took an oath of chastity and this would create problems on. On 15 March 963, Emperor Romanos II died unexpectedly at the age of twenty-six of uncertain cause, Theophano had already gained a reputation as an intelligent and ambitious woman. She would gain a reputation for ruthlessness in achieving her goals, Romanos had already crowned as co-emperors his two sons Basil II and Constantine VIII.
At the time that Romanos died, Basil was five years old, Theophano was not allowed to rule alone. Joseph Bringas, the eunuch palace official who had become Romanos chief councilor, according to contemporary sources he intended to keep authority in his own hands. He tried to reduce the power of Nikephoros Phokas, the victorious general had been accepted as the actual commander of the army and maintained his strong connections to the aristocracy. Joseph was afraid that Nikephoros could claim the throne with the support of both the army and the aristocracy, josephs intrigues during the following months turned both Theophano and Nikephoros against him
Duchy of Brunswick
The Duchy of Brunswick was a historical German state. Its capital was the city of Brunswick and it was established as the successor state of the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In the course of the 19th-century history of Germany, the duchy was part of the German Confederation and it was disestablished after the end of World War I, its territory incorporated into the Weimar Republic as the Free State of Brunswick. The title Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg was held, from 1235 on and these holdings did not have all of the formal characteristics of a modern unitary state, being neither compact nor indivisible. The unifying element of all territories was that they were ruled by male-line descendants of Duke Otto I. After several early divisions, Brunswick-Lüneburg re-unified under Duke Magnus II, following his death, his three sons jointly ruled the Duchy. After the murder of their brother Frederick I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, brothers Bernard and Henry redivided the land, received the southern half of Brunswick-Lüneburg as Prince of Wolfenbüttel while his brother John became Prince of Lüneburg.
Wolfenbüttel fell to his brother Albert II, Otto the Mild 1318–1344, son of Albert II, was Prince of Wolfenbüttel and Prince of Göttingen. After his death his son Ernest became Prince of Göttingen 1344–1367, Magnus the Pious became Prince of Wolfenbüttel 1344–1369. Magnus son Magnus II with the Necklace, Prince of Wolfenbüttel 1369–1373, the War of the Lüneburg Succession continued until 1388. Frederick 1373–1400, son of Magnus II, conquered Lüneburg in 1388, succeeded by his brothers, Henry the Mild, 1400–1408 Bernard, 1409–1428. Returned control of Wolfenbüttel to his nephew, Henrys son, was deprived by his brother, Henry the Peaceful 1432–1473, moved the residence to Wolfenbüttel. William regained control of Wolfenbüttel after his brothers death, and left the Principality to his two sons, Frederick III 1482–1484, imprisoned and deprived of power by his younger brother, William IV 1484–1491. Took control of all of Wolfenbüttel, ceded Wolfenbüttel to his sons, co-rulers, sons of William IV, Eric I 1491–1494.
Divided the territory in 1494, taking Calenberg, sole ruler in Wolfenbüttel from 1494. Acquired Calenberg in 1584 on the death of his cousin Eric II, last of the male descendants of Albert the Tall. On Frederick Ulrichs death, his complex of territories passed to a line of distant cousins ruling in Lüneburg, Wolfenbüttel was eventually awarded to Augustus, son of Henry of Dannenberg. Augustus 1635–1666 Augustuss sons succeeded him, sometimes ruling together, Rudolph Augustus 1666–1704 Anthony Ulrich 1685–1702, deposed 1702–1704 for allying with France in the War of the Spanish Succession
Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter was a Dutch admiral. He is the most famous and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history and he fought the English and French and scored several major victories against them, the best known probably being the Raid on the Medway. It is said once, when he was a child. Not knowing that De Ruyter was there, some workers removed the ladders, De Ruyter had to smash the tiles on the church roof to get into the church and out the door. In 1622, he fought as a musketeer in the Dutch army under Maurice of Nassau against the Spaniards during the relief of Bergen-op-Zoom and that same year he rejoined the Dutch merchant fleet and steadily worked his way up. According to English sources, he was active in Dublin between 1623 and 1631 as an agent for the Vlissingen-based merchant house of the Lampsins brothers, although Dutch sources have no data about his whereabouts in those years, it is known that De Ruyter spoke Irish fluently. He occasionally travelled as supercargo to the Mediterranean or the Barbary Coast, in those years, he usually referred to himself as Machgyel Adriensoon, his name in the Zealandic dialect he spoke, not having yet adopted the name De Ruyter.
De Ruyter most probably was a given to him. In 1631, he married a daughter named Maayke Velders. The marriage lasted until the end of 1631, when Maayke died after giving birth to a daughter who died three weeks later, in 1633 and 1635, De Ruyter sailed as a navigating officer aboard the ship Groene Leeuw on whaling expeditions to Jan Mayen. At this point he did not yet have a command of his own, in the summer of 1636 he remarried, this time to a daughter of a wealthy burgher named Neeltje Engels, who gave him four children. One of these died shortly after birth, the others were named Adriaen, Neeltje, in the midst of this, in 1637, De Ruyter became captain of a private ship meant to hunt for raiders operating from Dunkirk who were preying on Dutch merchant shipping. He fulfilled this task until 1640, a Dutch fleet, with De Ruyter as third in command, beat back a Spanish-Dunkirker fleet in an action off Cape St Vincent on 4 November 1641. After returning, he bought his own ship, the Salamander, during this time, his esteem grew among other Dutch captains as he regularly freed Christian slaves by redeeming them at his own expense.
In 1650, De Ruyters wife, who in 1649 had given him a son named Engel. On 8 January 1652, he married the widow Anna van Gelder and he bought a house in Flushing, but his blissful family life did not last long. During the First Anglo-Dutch War, De Ruyter was asked to join the fleet as a subcommander of a Zealandic squadron of directors ships. After initially refusing, De Ruyter proved his worth under supreme commander Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and he fought at the Battle of Kentish Knock and the Battle of the Gabbard
Wang Mang, courtesy name Jujun, was a Han Dynasty official who seized the throne from the Liu family and founded the Xin Dynasty, ruling 9–23 AD. The Han dynasty was restored after his overthrow, and his rule marks the separation between the Western Han Dynasty and Eastern Han Dynasty, some historians have traditionally viewed Wang as a usurper, while others have portrayed him as a visionary and selfless social reformer. Though a learned Confucian scholar who sought to implement the harmonious society he saw in the classics, in October 23 AD, the capital Changan was attacked and the imperial palace ransacked. Wang Mang died in the battle, the Han dynasty was reestablished in 25 AD when Liu Xiu took the throne. Wang Mang was the son of Wang Man, the brother of Empress Wang Zhengjun. Wang Man died early, while Wang Mang was young, before Emperor Cheng took the throne, unlike most of his brothers, Wang Man did not have the opportunity to become a marquess. Empress Wang took pity on his family, and after she herself was widowed, had Qu moved to the palace to live with her.
While Wang Mang was obviously well-connected to the family, he did not have nearly the luxuries that his cousins enjoyed. Indeed, unlike his relatives who lived expensively and competed with other on how they could spend more, Wang Mang was praised for his humility, thriftiness. He wore not the clothes of young nobles but those of a young Confucian scholar and he was praised on how filial he was to his mother and how caring he was to his deceased brother Wang Yong s wife and son Wang Guang. Wang Mang befriended many people and served his uncles carefully. When Wang Mangs powerful uncle Wang Feng grew ill, Wang Mang cared for him near his sick bed day and night, Wang Feng was greatly touched, and before his death, he asked Empress Dowager Wang and Emperor Cheng to take good care of Wang Mang. Wang Mang was therefore given the post of imperial attendant and promoted to be one of the subcommanders of the imperial guards. In 16 BC, another of Wang Mangs uncles, Wang Shang the Marquess of Chengdu, submitted a petition to divide part of his march, several well-regarded officials concurred in this request, and Emperor Cheng was impressed with Wang Mangs reputation.
He therefore created Wang Mang the Marquess of Xindu and promoted him to the Chamberlain for Attendants and it was described by historians that the greater the posts that Wang was promoted to, the more humble he grew. He did not accumulate wealth, but used the money to support scholars and to give gifts to colleagues, another thing that Wang Mang made himself known for was that he had only a single wife, Lady Wang, and no concubines. However, as events would show, Wang was not completely faithful to his wife. Chunyu had relations with both Emperor Chengs wife Empress Zhao Feiyan and his deposed former wife Empress Xu
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The title was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne, some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars generally concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, the office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although frequently controlled by dynasties. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806, after the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon, before 1157, the realm was merely referred to as the Roman Empire.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, by the end of the 18th century, the term Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation had fallen out of official use. As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control, by the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, and the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel’s son Pepin became King of the Franks, the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768 Pepin’s son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an expansion of the realm. He eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, on Christmas Day of 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor, restoring the title in the west for the first time in over three centuries. After the death of Charles the Fat in 888, the Carolingian Empire broke apart, according to Regino of Prüm, the parts of the realm spewed forth kinglets, and each part elected a kinglet from its own bowels.
After the death of Charles the Fat, those crowned emperor by the pope controlled only territories in Italy, the last such emperor was Berengar I of Italy, who died in 924. Around 900, autonomous stem duchies reemerged in East Francia, on his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony, who was elected king at the Diet of Fritzlar in 919. Henry reached a truce with the raiding Magyars, and in 933 he won a first victory against them in the Battle of Riade, Henry died in 936, but his descendants, the Liudolfing dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowlers death, his son and designated successor, was elected King in Aachen in 936 and he overcame a series of revolts from an elder brother and from several dukes. After that, the managed to control the appointment of dukes. In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her. In 955, Otto won a victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld
House of Gonzaga
Their family includes a saint, twelve cardinals and fourteen bishops. Two Gonzaga descendants became empresses of the Holy Roman Empire, the first members of the family of historical importance are known to have collaborated with the Guelph faction alongside the monks of the Polirone Abbey. Starting from the 12th century they became a dominant family in Mantua, growing in wealth when their allies, the Bonacolsi, defeated the traditional familiar enemy, the Casalodi. Ludovico was succeeded by Guido and Ludovico II, while Feltrino, lord of Reggio until 1371, formed the cadet branch of the Gonzaga of Novellara, whose state existed until 1728. Francesco I abandoned the alliance with the Visconti of Milan. In 1530 Federico II received the title of Duke of Mantua, in 1531, the family acquired the Marquisate of Montferrat through marriage. Through maternal ancestors, the Gonzagas inherited the Imperial Byzantine ancestry of the Paleologus, the Gonzaga-Nevers came to rule Mantua again when Louiss son Charles inherited Mantua and Montferrat, triggering the War of the Mantuan Succession.
Another cadet branch were first sovereign counts, dukes of Guastalla and they descended from Ferrante, a younger son of Duke Francesco II of Mantua. Ferrantes grandson, Ferrante II, played a role in the War of the Mantuan Succession, a further cadet branch was that of Sabbioneta, founded by Gianfrancesco, son of Ludovico III. Marie Louise Gonzaga, daughter of Prince Charles Gonzaga-Nevers, was a Polish queen consort from 1645 to her death in 1667. Two daughters of the house, both named Eleanor Gonzaga, became Holy Roman Empresses, by marrying emperors Ferdinand II of Germany and Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, from the latter Empress Eleanor, the current heirs of the Gonzaga descend. St. Aloysius Gonzaga was a member of a branch of this family. The House of Gonzaga is the inspiration for the play-within-the-play in Shakespeares Hamlet, in Act 3 scene 2, they act out a play called The Murder of Gonzago. Gonzaga rule continued in Mantua until 1708 and in Guastalla until 1746, both ruling lines became extinct, and the headship of the House of Gonzaga passed to the Vescovato line, descended from Giovanni, a son of Federico I Gonzaga.
That branch, shorn of sovereign domains, is extant and its head is Don Maurizio Ferrante Gonzaga, Principe del Sacro Romano Impero, Marchese Gonzaga, Conte di Villanova, Conte di Cassolnovo, Marchese del Vodice, Signore di Vescovato, Patrizio Veneto. The branches of the Gonzaga family, showing marquises and dukes of Mantua in bold, dukes of Nevers and Rethel in italics and the Guastalla line to the right
First Anglo-Dutch War
Dates in this article are given in the Gregorian calendar, ten days ahead of the Julian calendar in use in England. The First Anglo-Dutch War was a conflict fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, caused by disputes over trade, the war began with English attacks on Dutch merchant shipping, but expanded to vast fleet actions. Ultimately, it resulted in the English Navy gaining control of the seas around England and it was the first of the Anglo-Dutch Wars. In the 16th century and the Netherlands had been allies against the ambitions of the Habsburgs. They cooperated in fighting the Spanish Armada, England supported the Dutch in the Eighty Years War by sending money and troops. There was a permanent English representative in the Dutch government to ensure coordination of the joint war effort, the separate peace in 1604 between England and Spain strained this relationship. The ensuing rush for empire brought the former allies into conflict, they had conquered most of Portugals territories and trading posts in the East Indies and Brazil, giving them control over the enormously profitable trade in spices.
They were even gaining significant influence over Englands trade with her as yet small North American colonies, thus Dutch products would be less expensive and more competitive on the world market than English products. Dutch ships, on the hand, would leave American ports with barely 1000 bags of wool cloth unsold. Because of this disparity, English trade with her traditional markets in the Baltic, the end of the war meant a lifting of the Spanish embargoes of the Dutch coast and Dutch shipping. This translated into cheaper prices for Dutch products due to a steep and sustained drop in Dutch freight charges, with normalized relations between Spain and the Dutch United Provinces, trade between the two countries resumed almost immediately. Meanwhile, English trade with Spain was still limited, by 1651, England was in an economic slump. The third cause of the Dutch trading advantage was the English Civil War, in 1649, Parliament overthrew the monarchy and beheaded King Charles I, and until 1651, the English Parliament remained at war with royalists both at home and in some of their colonies.
From 1649 to 1651, Parliament in London set about expanding and improving the English Navy to pursue the war at sea. At the same time, the war raised havoc with English trading and shipping, to broadly study their commercial condition, the first Commission of Trade to be established by an Act of Parliament was erected on 1 August 1650. The English accused the Dutch of profiting from the turmoil of the English Civil War, the Dutch navy had five autonomous admiralties. After 1648 these colleges sold off many of their ships, one of the ships sold was Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromps own flagship, the Aemilia, of 600 tons and fitted with 57 guns. Admiral Tromp was forced to take up the 600-ton Brederode with its 54 guns as his flagship, by the onset of this first Anglo-Dutch War in 1652, the Dutch navy had only 79 ships at its disposal
John Stark was a New Hampshire native who served as an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian war and a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He became widely known as the Hero of Bennington for his service at the Battle of Bennington in 1777. John Stark was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1728 and his father was born in Glasgow, Scotland to parents who were from Wiltshire, who met his wife when he moved to Derry in Ireland. When he was eight years old, he and his moved to Derryfield. Stark was married to Elizabeth Molly Page, with whom he had 11 children including his eldest son Caleb Stark, while a prisoner of the Abenaki, he and his fellow prisoner Amos Eastman were made to run a gauntlet of warriors armed with sticks. Stark grabbed the stick from the first warriors hands and proceeded to attack him, the chief was so impressed by this heroic act that Stark was adopted into the tribe, where he spent the winter. Alternatively, in The Invasion Within, Axtell describes how colonists were often abducted by Indians, the following spring a government agent sent from the Province of Massachusetts Bay to work on the exchange of prisoners paid his ransom of $103 Spanish dollars and $60 for Amos Eastman.
Stark and Eastman returned to New Hampshire safely, Stark served as a second lieutenant under Major Robert Rogers during the French and Indian War. His brother William Stark served beside him in Rogers Rangers, as a member of the daring Rogers Rangers, Stark gained valuable combat experience and a detailed knowledge of the northern frontier of the American colonies. While serving with the rangers in 1757, Stark went on a scouting mission toward Fort Carillon in which the rangers were ambushed, General Jeffery Amherst, in 1759 ordered Rogers Rangers to journey from Lake George to the Abenaki village of St. Francis, deep in Quebec. The Rangers went north and attacked the Indian town, Rogers second-in-command of all ranger companies, refused to accompany the attacking force out of respect for his Indian foster-parents residing there. He returned to New Hampshire to his wife, whom he had married the previous year, at the end of the war, Stark retired as a captain and returned to Derryfield, New Hampshire.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19,1775, signaled the start of the American Revolutionary War, as soon as Stark could muster his men, he ferried and marched them south to Boston to support the blockaded rebels there. He made his headquarters in the confiscated Isaac Royall House in Medford, on June 16, the rebels, fearing a preemptive British attack on their positions in Cambridge and Roxbury, decided to take and hold Breeds Hill, a high point on the Charlestown peninsula near Boston. On the night of the 16th, American troops moved into position on the heights, as dawn approached, lookouts on HMS Lively, a 20-gun sloop of war noticed the activity and the sloop opened fire on the rebels and the works in progress. This in turn drew the attention of the British admiral, who demanded to know what the Lively was shooting at, subsequent to that, the entire British squadron opened fire. He ordered Major General William Howe to prepare to land his troops, thus began the Battle of Bunker Hill.
American Col. William Prescott held the hill throughout the initial bombardment with only a few hundred American militia
American Revolutionary War
From about 1765 the American Revolution had led to increasing philosophical and political differences between Great Britain and its American colonies. The war represented a culmination of these differences in armed conflict between Patriots and the authority which they increasingly resisted. This resistance became particularly widespread in the New England Colonies, especially in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. On December 16,1773, Massachusetts members of the Patriot group Sons of Liberty destroyed a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor in an event that became known as the Boston Tea Party. Named the Coercive Acts by Parliament, these became known as the Intolerable Acts in America. The Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, establishing a government that removed control of the province from the Crown outside of Boston. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, and established committees, British attempts to seize the munitions of Massachusetts colonists in April 1775 led to the first open combat between Crown forces and Massachusetts militia, the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Militia forces proceeded to besiege the British forces in Boston, forcing them to evacuate the city in March 1776, the Continental Congress appointed George Washington to take command of the militia. Concurrent to the Boston campaign, an American attempt to invade Quebec, on July 2,1776, the Continental Congress formally voted for independence, issuing its Declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe began a British counterattack, focussing on recapturing New York City, Howe outmaneuvered and defeated Washington, leaving American confidence at a low ebb. Washington captured a Hessian force at Trenton and drove the British out of New Jersey, in 1777 the British sent a new army under John Burgoyne to move south from Canada and to isolate the New England colonies. However, instead of assisting Burgoyne, Howe took his army on a campaign against the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia. Burgoyne outran his supplies, was surrounded and surrendered at Saratoga in October 1777, the British defeat in the Saratoga Campaign had drastic consequences.
Giving up on the North, the British decided to salvage their former colonies in the South, British forces under Lieutenant-General Charles Cornwallis seized Georgia and South Carolina, capturing an American army at Charleston, South Carolina. British strategy depended upon an uprising of large numbers of armed Loyalists, in 1779 Spain joined the war as an ally of France under the Pacte de Famille, intending to capture Gibraltar and British colonies in the Caribbean. Britain declared war on the Dutch Republic in December 1780, in 1781, after the British and their allies had suffered two decisive defeats at Kings Mountain and Cowpens, Cornwallis retreated to Virginia, intending on evacuation. A decisive French naval victory in September deprived the British of an escape route, a joint Franco-American army led by Count Rochambeau and Washington, laid siege to the British forces at Yorktown. With no sign of relief and the situation untenable, Cornwallis surrendered in October 1781, Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tory majority in Parliament, but the defeat at Yorktown gave the Whigs the upper hand
It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city.
Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, the Roman Republic, and as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika.
The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century AD
Battle of the Spurs
The Battle of the Spurs, or Battle of Guinegate, took place on 16 August 1513. As part of the Holy League, during the ongoing Italian Wars and Imperial troops under Henry VIII, Henry and Maximilian were besieging the town of Thérouanne in Artois. Henrys camp was at Guinegate, now called Enguinegatte, after Thérouanne fell, Henry VIII besieged and took Tournai. Henry VIII had joined in the Holy League on 13 October 1511 with Venice and Spain to defend the Papacy from its enemies, Henry promised to attack France at Guyenne, landing 10,000 men at Hondarribia in the Basque in June 1512. This army was conveyed by the admiral Edward Howard, and commanded by Thomas Grey and it remained at Bayonne till October 1512 supporting Ferdinand II of Aragons action in the Kingdom of Navarre, though undersupplied and in poor morale. Maximilian joined the league in November 1512, Louis XII of France hoped that Scotland would aid France against England. In May 1513 English soldiers began to arrive in number at Calais to join an army commanded by George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury was appointed Lieutenant-General on 12 May, John Hopton commanded the troop ships.
On 17 May Henry announced to the Cinque Ports and Edward Poynings, Constable of Dover Castle, that he would join the invasion in person, in Henrys absence across the sea, Catherine of Aragon would rule England and Wales as Rector and Governor. The Chronicle of Calais recorded the names and arrivals of Henrys aristocratic military entourage from the 6 June 1513 onwards, at the end of the month the army set out for Thérouanne. Shrewsbury commanded the vanguard of 8,000, and Charles Somerset, Henry VIII arrived in person at Calais on 30 June 1513 with the main grouping, of 11,000 men. Eight hundred German mercenaries marched in front of Henry, Shrewsbury set up a battery and dug mines towards the towns walls, but made little progress against the defending garrison of French and German soldiers in July. The town was held for France by Antoine de Créquy, sieur de Pont-Remy who returned fire until the town surrendered, reports of setbacks and inefficiency reached Venice. On the way to Thérouanne two English cannon called John the Evangelist and the Red Gun had been abandoned, and French skirmishing hampered their recovery with loss of life.
Edward Hall, the author, mentions the role of the Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex in this operation. An Imperial agent of Margaret of Savoy wrote that two obstinate men govern everything, these were Charles Brandon, Viscount Lisle who he called the Grand Esquire, the Emperor Maximilian came to Aire-sur-la-Lys in August. Henry hosted Maximilian at a tent with a gallery of cloth-of-gold at his camp over the weekend beginning 13 August 1513, according to the chronicles, the weather on the day of the meeting was the foulest ever. Louis XII of France determined to break the siege, Fonterailles was helped by covering artillery fire from the town. Reports sent to Venice mentioned 300 English casualties or more, and Fonterailles statement that the town could hold out till the feast day of the Nativity of the Virgin, the Venetians were aware that their French sources might have been misrepresenting the situation to gain their support