The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Charles Cotton was an English poet and writer, best known for translating the work of Michel de Montaigne from the French, for his contributions to The Compleat Angler, for the influential The Compleat Gamester attributed to him. He was born in Alstonefield, near the Derbyshire Peak District, his father, Charles Cotton the Elder, was a friend of Ben Jonson, John Selden, Sir Henry Wotton and Izaak Walton. The son was not sent to university, but was tutored by Ralph Rawson, one of the fellows ejected from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1648. Cotton travelled in France and in Italy, at the age of twenty-eight he succeeded to an estate encumbered by lawsuits during his father's lifetime. Like many Royalist gentlemen after the English Civil War the rest of his life was spent chiefly in quiet country pursuits, in Cotton's case in the Peak District and North Staffordshire, his Voyage to Ireland in Burlesque states that he served in Ireland. His friendship with Izaak Walton began about 1655, contradicts any assumptions about Cotton's character based on his coarse burlesques of Virgil and Lucian.
Walton's initials, made into a cipher with Cotton's own, were placed over the door of Cotton's fishing cottage on the Dove near Hartington. Cotton contributed a second section "Instructions how to angle for a trout or grayling in a clear stream", to Walton's The Compleat Angler. Another addition to the volume was Cotton's well-known poem "The Retirement", which appeared from the 5th edition onwards. In 1656 he married his cousin Isabella Hutchinson, the daughter of Charles Hutchinson, M. P. for Nottingham. She was a half-sister of Col. John Hutchinson. Isebella Cotton, died in 1670. At the request of his wife's sister, Miss Stanhope Hutchinson, he undertook the translation of Pierre Corneille's Horace in 1671. In 1675, he married the dowager Countess of Ardglass; the 1674 first edition of The Compleat Gamester is attributed to Cotton by publishers of editions, to which additional, post-Cotton material was added in 1709 and 1725, along with some updates to the rules Cotton had described earlier.
The book was considered the "standard" English-language reference work on the playing of games – gambling games, including billiards, card games, horse racing and cock fighting, among others – until the publication of Edmond Hoyle's Mr. Hoyle's Games Complete in 1750, which outsold Cotton's then-obsolete work. At Cotton's death in 1687 he left his estates to his creditors, he was buried in St James's Church, Piccadilly, on 16 February 1687. Cotton's reputation as a burlesque writer may account for the neglect with which the rest of his poems have been treated, their excellence was not, overlooked by good critics. Coleridge praises the purity and unaffectedness of his style in Biographia Literaria, Wordsworth gave a copious quotation from the "Ode to Winter"; the "Retirement" is printed by Walton in the second part of the Compleat Angler. He was a Derbyshire man who loved the Peak District and wrote a long topographic poem describing it: his father had moved there from the south of England, to live on his wife's estates.
In Cotton's day, in the decades after the Civil War, the inaccessibility of good fishing spots was physical as well as legal. The opening chapters of his section of the Compleat Angler draw Cotton and his friend across a savage and mountainous landscape; the friend, who will be taught fly-fishing, expresses doubt as to whether they are still in Christendom: "What do I think? Why, I think it is the steepest place that sure men and horses went down. After he picked his way down, they reach a bridge. "Do you... travel with wheelbarrows in this country" he asks. "Because this bridge was made for nothing else. It is the first description of paradise in fishing history. "It stands in a kind of peninsula, with a delicate clear river about it." There Cotton and his friend breakfast on ale and a pipe of tobacco to give them the strength to wield their rods. For a trout river, he says, a rod of five or six yards should be long enough. In fact, "longer, though never so neatly and artificially made, it ought not to be, if you intend to fish at ease".
Though he used a light line of tapered horse-hair, Cotton's rod, of solid wood, was heavy. His description of the sport differs from modern fly-casting, which began with the arrival of heavy dressed-silk lines 200 years later. On windy days, he advises his guest to fish the pools because in the rapids, where the gorge of the Dove is narrower, the wind will be too strong for fishing; some of Cotton's advice is still useful, as when he tells his guest to fish "fine and far off". The flies which catch fish will always look wrong to the untrained eye, because they look too small and too delicate. Cotton's dressings are made with bear hair and camel's under fur, the soft bristles from inside a black hog's ear, from dog's tails. "What a heap of trumpery is here!" Cries his visitor, when Cotton's dubbing bag is opened. "Certainly never an angler in Europe has his shop
Plutarch named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the small town of Chaeronea, about 80 kilometres east of Delphi, in the Greek region of Boeotia, his family was wealthy. The name of Plutarch's father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, it was Nikarchus; the name of Plutarch's grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia and in his Life of Antony. His brothers and Lamprias, are mentioned in his essays and dialogues, which speak of Timon in particular in the most affectionate terms. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarch's wife, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, named Timoxena after her mother.
He hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them and the second Plutarch, are mentioned. Plutarch's treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, the marriage of his son Autobulus is the occasion of one of the dinner parties recorded in the "Table Talk". Another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarch's son, but this is nowhere stated, his treatise on marriage questions, addressed to Eurydice and Pollianus, seems to speak of the latter as having been an inmate of his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67. At some point, Plutarch received Roman citizenship; as evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, his sponsor for citizenship was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman of consular status whom Plutarch used as a historical source for his Life of Otho.
He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, participated in local affairs serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, the 78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia. In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was a magistrate at Chaeronea and he represented his home town on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality only an annual one which he served more than once.
He undertook the humblest of duties. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, Plutarch did not speak Illyrian. According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor Hadrian appointed him nominal procurator of Achaea – which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his life serving as a priest in Delphi, he thus connected part of his literary work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving and the personalities who lived or traveled there. One of his most important works is the "Why Pythia does not give oracles in verse". More important is the dialogue "On the E in Delphi", which features Ammonius, a Platonic philosopher and teacher of Plutarch, Lambrias, Plutarch's brother. According to Ammonius, the letter E written on the temple of Apollo in Delphi originated from the following fact: the wise men of antiquity, whose maxims were written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but five: Chilon, Thales and Pittakos.
However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros used their political power in order to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the E, which corresponds to number 5, constituted an acknowledgment that the Delphic maxims originated from the five real wise men; the portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dating to the 2nd century AD, had been in the past identified with Plutarch. The man, although bearded, is depicted at a young age, his hair and beard are rendered in thin incisions. The gaze is due to the heavy eyelids and the incised pupils; the portrait is no longer thought to represent Plutarch. But a fragmentary hermaic stele next to the portrait did once bear a portrait of Plutarch, since it is inscribed, "The Delphians along with the Chaeroneans dedicated this to Plutarch, following the precepts of the Amphictyony". Plutarc
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War, it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the western half of the Carolingian Empire, with the Treaty of Verdun. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty; the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, in 1190. France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a feudal monarchy. In Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France.
West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, but the regular coronation of the eldest son of the reigning king during his father's lifetime established the principle of male primogeniture, which became codified in the Salic law. During the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years' War. Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars. France in the early modern era was centralised. Religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France. Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America but was costly and achieved little for France.
The Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the other great powers in 1814 and lasted until the French Revolution of 1848. During the years of the elderly Charlemagne's rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks. After Charlemagne's death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble; the Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Charles the Bald was crowned King of Lotharingia after the death of Lothair II in 869, but in the Treaty of Meerssen was forced to cede much of Lotharingia to his brothers, retaining the Rhone and Meuse basins but leaving the Rhineland with Aachen and Trier in East Francia. Viking advances were allowed to increase, their dreaded longships were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other inland waterways, wreaking havoc and spreading terror.
During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, to become Normandy. The Carolingians were to share the fate of their predecessors: after an intermittent power struggle between the two dynasties, the accession in 987 of Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris, established the Capetian dynasty on the throne. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years; the old order left the new dynasty in immediate control of little beyond the middle Seine and adjacent territories, while powerful territorial lords such as the 10th- and 11th-century counts of Blois accumulated large domains of their own through marriage and through private arrangements with lesser nobles for protection and support. The area around the lower Seine became a source of particular concern when Duke William took possession of the kingdom of England by the Norman Conquest of 1066, making himself and his heirs the King's equal outside France.
Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, married France's newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who ruled much of southwest France, in 1152. After defeating a revolt led by Eleanor and three of their four sons, Henry had Eleanor imprisoned, made the Duke of Brittany his vassal, in effect ruled the western half of France as a greater power than the French throne. However, disputes among Henry's descendants over the division of his French territories, coupled with John of England's lengthy quarrel with Philip II, allowed Philip II to recover influence over most of this territory. After the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne; the death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line. Under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman (Philip IV's daughter
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entities. Some religions have religious texts which they view as divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired. For instance, Orthodox Jews and Muslims believe that the Torah was received from Yahweh on biblical Mount Sinai. Most Christians believe that both the New Testament were inspired by God. Muslims believe. In Hinduism, some Vedas are considered apauruṣeya, "not human compositions", are supposed to have been directly revealed, thus are called śruti, "what is heard"; the 15,000 handwritten pages produced by the mystic Maria Valtorta were represented as direct dictations from Jesus, while she attributed The Book of Azariah to her guardian angel. Aleister Crowley stated that The Book of the Law had been revealed to him through a higher being that called itself Aiwass. A revelation communicated by a supernatural entity reported as being present during the event is called a vision.
Direct conversations between the recipient and the supernatural entity, or physical marks such as stigmata, have been reported. In rare cases, such as that of Saint Juan Diego, physical artifacts accompany the revelation; the Roman Catholic concept of interior locution includes just an inner voice heard by the recipient. In the Abrahamic religions, the term is used to refer to the process by which God reveals knowledge of himself, his will, his divine providence to the world of human beings. In secondary usage, revelation refers to the resulting human knowledge about God and other divine things. Revelation from a supernatural source plays a less important role in some other religious traditions such as Buddhism and Taoism. Inspiration – such as that bestowed by God on the author of a sacred book – involves a special illumination of the mind, in virtue of which the recipient conceives such thoughts as God desires him to commit to writing, does not involve supernatural communication. With the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, beginning about the mid-17th century, the development of rationalism and atheism, the concept of supernatural revelation itself faced skepticism.
In The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine develops the theology of deism, rejecting the possibility of miracles and arguing that a revelation can be considered valid only for the original recipient, with all else being hearsay. Thomas Aquinas believed in two types of individual revelation from God, general revelation and special revelation. In general revelation, God reveals himself through his creation, such that at least some truths about God can be learned by the empirical study of nature, cosmology, etc. to an individual. Special revelation is the knowledge of God and spiritual matters which can be discovered through supernatural means, such as scripture or miracles, by individuals. Direct revelation refers to communication from God to someone in particular. Though one may deduce the existence of God and some of God's attributes through general revelation, certain specifics may be known only through special revelation. Aquinas believed; the major theological components of Christianity, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, are revealed in the teachings of the church and the scriptures and may not otherwise be deduced.
Special revelation and natural revelation are complementary rather than contradictory in nature. "Continuous revelation" is a term for the theological position that God continues to reveal divine principles or commandments to humanity. In the 20th century, religious existentialists proposed that revelation held no content in and of itself but rather that God inspired people with his presence by coming into contact with them. Revelation is a human response; some religious groups believe a deity has been revealed or spoken to a large group of people or have legends to a similar effect. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Yahweh is said to have been revealed upon giving the Ten Commandments to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. In Christianity, the Book of Acts describes the Day of Pentecost wherein a large group of the followers of Jesus experienced mass revelation; the Lakota people believe Ptesáŋwiŋ spoke directly to the people in the establishment of Lakota religious traditions. Some versions of an Aztec legend tell of Huitzilopochtli speaking directly to the Aztec people upon their arrival at Anåhuac.
Some emperors, cult leaders, other figures have been deified and treated as though their words are themselves revelations. Some people hold that God can communicate with man in a way that gives direct, propositional content: This is termed verbal revelation. Orthodox Judaism and some forms of Christianity hold that the first five books of Moses were dictated by God in such a fashion. One school of thought holds that revelation is non-verbal and non-literal, yet it may have propositional content. People were divinely inspired by God with a message, but not in a verbal-like fashion. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel has written, "To convey what the prophets experienced, the Bible could either use terms of descriptions or terms of indication. Any description of the act of revelation in empirical categories would have produced a caricature; that is.
European colonization of the Americas
The European colonization of the Americas describes the history of the settlement and establishment of control of the continents of the Americas by most of the naval powers of Western Europe. Systematic European colonization began in 1492, when a Spanish expedition headed by the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sailed west to find a new trade route to the Far East but inadvertently landed in what came to be known to Europeans as the "New World", he ran aground on the northern part of Hispaniola on 5 December 1492, which the Taino people had inhabited since the 9th century. Western European conquest, large-scale exploration and colonization soon followed. Columbus's first two voyages reached the Bahamas and various Caribbean islands, including Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba. In 1497, Italian explorer John Cabot, on behalf of England, landed on the North American coast, a year Columbus's third voyage reached the South American coast; as the sponsor of Christopher Columbus's voyages, Spain was the first European power to settle and colonize the largest areas, from North America and the Caribbean to the southern tip of South America.
The Spaniards began building their American empire in the Caribbean, using islands such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola as bases. The North and South American mainland fell to the conquistadors, with an estimated 8,000,000 deaths of indigenous populations, argued to be the first large-scale act of genocide in the modern era. Florida fell to Juan Ponce de León after 1513. From 1519 to 1521, Hernán Cortés waged a campaign against the Aztec Empire, ruled by Moctezuma II; the Aztec capital, became Mexico City, the chief city of what the Spanish were now calling "New Spain". More than 240,000 Aztecs died during the siege of Tenochtitlan. Of these, 100,000 died in combat. Between 500 and 1,000 of the Spaniards engaged in the conquest died; the areas that are today California, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri and Alabama were taken over by other conquistadors, such as Hernando de Soto, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. Farther to the south, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca Empire during the 1530s.
The de Soto expedition was the first major encounter of Europeans with North American Indians in the eastern half of the United States. The expedition journeyed from Florida through present-day Georgia and the Carolinas west across the Mississippi and into Texas. De Soto fought his biggest battle at the walled town of Mabila in present-day Alabama on October 18, 1540. Spanish losses were 148 wounded; the Spaniards claimed. If true, Mabila was the bloodiest battle fought between red men and white in the present-day United States; the centuries of continuous conflicts between the North American Indians and the Anglo-Americans were secondary to the devastation wrought on the densely populated Meso-American and Caribbean heartlands. Other powers such as France founded colonies in the Americas: in eastern North America, a number of Caribbean islands and small coastal parts of South America. Portugal colonized Brazil, tried colonizing the eastern coasts of present-day Canada and settled for extended periods northwest of the River Plate.
The Age of Exploration was the beginning of territorial expansion for several European countries. Europe had been preoccupied with internal wars and was recovering from the loss of population caused by the Black Death. Most of the Western Hemisphere came under the control of Western European governments, leading to changes to its landscape and plant and animal life. In the 19th century over 50 million people left Western Europe for the Americas; the post-1492 era is known as the period of the Columbian Exchange, a widespread exchange of animals, culture, human populations and communicable disease between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following Columbus's voyages to the Americas. Henry F. Dobyns estimates that before European colonization of the Americas there were between 90 and 112 million people in the Americas. Norse journeys to Greenland and Canada are supported by archaeological evidence. A Norse colony in Greenland was established in the late 10th century, lasted until the mid 15th century, with court and parliament assemblies taking place at Brattahlíð and a bishop located at Garðar.
The remains of a Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, were discovered in 1960 and were dated to around the year 1000. L'Anse aux Meadows is the only site accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, it was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978. It is notable for its possible connection with the attempted colony of Vinland, established by Leif Erikson around the same period or, more broadly, with the Norse colonization of the Americas. Early explorations and conquests were made by the Spanish and the Portuguese following their own final reconquest of Iberia in 1492. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, ratified by the Pope, these two kingdoms divided the entire non-European world into two areas of exploration and colonization, with a north to south boundary that cut through the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern part of present-day Brazil. Based on this treaty and on early claims by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, discoverer of the Pacific Ocean in 1513, the Spanish conquered large territories in