Late Middle Ages

The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from 1250 to 1500 AD. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period. Around 1300, centuries of prosperity and growth in Europe came to a halt. A series of famines and plagues, including the Great Famine of 1315–1317 and the Black Death, reduced the population to around half of what it was before the calamities. Along with depopulation came social unrest and endemic warfare. France and England experienced serious peasant uprisings, such as the Jacquerie and the Peasants' Revolt, as well as over a century of intermittent conflict, the Hundred Years' War. To add to the many problems of the period, the unity of the Catholic Church was temporarily shattered by the Western Schism. Collectively, those events are sometimes called the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages. Despite the crises, the 14th century was a time of great progress in the arts and sciences. Following a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman texts that took root in the High Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance began.

The absorption of Latin texts had started before the Renaissance of the 12th century through contact with Arabs during the Crusades, but the availability of important Greek texts accelerated with the Capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West Italy. Combined with this influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing, which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning; those two things would lead to the Protestant Reformation. Toward the end of the period, the Age of Discovery began; the expansion of the Ottoman Empire cut off trading possibilities with the East. Europeans were forced to seek new trading routes, leading to the Spanish expedition under Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492 and Vasco da Gama’s voyage to Africa and India in 1498, their discoveries strengthened the power of European nations. The changes brought about by these developments have led many scholars to view this period as the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modern history and of early modern Europe.

However, the division is somewhat artificial, since ancient learning was never absent from European society. As a result, there was developmental continuity between the modern age; some historians in Italy, prefer not to speak of the Late Middle Ages at all but rather see the high period of the Middle Ages transitioning to the Renaissance and the modern era. The term "Late Middle Ages" refers to one of the three periods of the Middle Ages, along with the Early Middle Ages and the High Middle Ages. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodization in his History of the Florentine People. Flavio Biondo used a similar framework in Decades of History from the Deterioration of the Roman Empire. Tripartite periodization became standard after the German historian Christoph Cellarius published Universal History Divided into an Ancient and New Period. For 18th-century historians studying the 14th and 15th centuries, the central theme was the Renaissance, with its rediscovery of ancient learning and the emergence of an individual spirit.

The heart of this rediscovery lies in Italy, where, in the words of Jacob Burckhardt: "Man became a spiritual individual and recognized himself as such". This proposition was challenged, it was argued that the 12th century was a period of greater cultural achievement; as economic and demographic methods were applied to the study of history, the trend was to see the late Middle Ages as a period of recession and crisis. Belgian historian Henri Pirenne continued the subdivision of Early and Late Middle Ages in the years around World War I, yet it was his Dutch colleague, Johan Huizinga, responsible for popularising the pessimistic view of the Late Middle Ages, with his book The Autumn of the Middle Ages. To Huizinga, whose research focused on France and the Low Countries rather than Italy and decline were the main themes, not rebirth. Modern historiography on the period has reached a consensus between the two extremes of innovation and crisis, it is now acknowledged that conditions were vastly different north and south of the Alps, the term "Late Middle Ages" is avoided within Italian historiography.

The term "Renaissance" is still considered useful for describing certain intellectual, cultural, or artistic developments, but not as the defining feature of an entire European historical epoch. The period from the early 14th century up until – and sometimes including – the 16th century, is rather seen as characterized by other trends: demographic and economic decline followed by recovery, the end of western religious unity and the subsequent emergence of the nation state, the expansion of European influence onto the rest of the world; the limits of Christian Europe were still being defined in the 15th centuries. While the Grand Duchy of Moscow was beginning to repel the Mongols, the Iberian kingdoms completed the Reconquista of the peninsula and turned their attention outwards, the Balkans fell under the dominance of the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, the remaining nations of the continent were locked in constant international or internal conflict; the situation led to the consolidation of central authority and the emergence of the nation state.

The financial demands of war necessitated higher levels of taxation, resulting in the emergence of representative bodies – most notably the English Parliament. The growth of secular authority was further aided by t

Bill Hanzlik

William Henry Hanzlik is an American former professional basketball player and coach. A 6'7" guard, Hanzlik played college basketball at the University of Notre Dame, he was selected for the 1980 US Men's Olympic Team, which did not compete due to the US's boycott of the Moscow Games. However, in 2007 he did receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created for the spurned athletes, he was selected with the 20th pick of the 1980 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. A defense specialist, at the time of his selection Hanzlik had the lowest college scoring average for any player selected in the first round of the draft. Hanzlik played in eight with the Denver Nuggets, he was a 1986 All-Defense second team selection. He worked as an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks in the 1990s. In 1997, Hanzlik was tabbed to replace Dick Motta as head coach of the Denver Nuggets, he coached the Nuggets for one year. He was replaced with Mike D'Antoni. To date, Hanzlik owns the worst full-season record for a rookie coach in NBA history.

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David Raikuna

David Raikuna, is a professional rugby union player. He plays for the Blues in Super Rugby and North Harbour in the ITM Cup, he has played for the New Zealand sevens team. Raikuna plays predominantly as a winger, although has the ability to cover fullback. Raikuna made his debut for Counties Manukau in 2010, before signing with North Harbour for the 2011 season. In the same year, he was selected for the New Zealand sevens team, he was signed by the Blues for the 2012 season and made his Super Rugby debut against the Crusaders in the first round of the competition. Blues Profile North Harbour Profile David Raikuna at the World Rugby Men's Sevens Series