Tenochtitlan known as Mexica-Tenochtitlan, was a large Mexica city-state in what is now the center of Mexico City. The exact date of the founding of the city is unclear, but the most accepted date is March 13, 1325; the city was built on an island in what was Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. The city was the capital of the expanding Aztec Empire in the 15th century until it was captured by the Spanish in 1521. At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, it subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlan are in the historic center of the Mexican capital; the World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains. Tenochtitlan was one of two Mexica āltēpetl on the other being Tlatelolco. Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl tetl and nōchtli and is thought to mean, "Among the prickly pears rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggest the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain.
Tenochtitlan covered an estimated 8 to 13.5 km2, situated on the western side of the shallow Lake Texcoco. At the time of Spanish conquests, Mexico City comprised both Tlatelolco; the city extended from north to south, from the north border of Tlatelolco to the swamps, which by that time were disappearing to the west. The city was connected to the mainland by bridges and causeways leading to the north and west; the causeways were interrupted by bridges that allowed canoes and other water traffic to pass freely. The bridges could be pulled away, to defend the city; the city was interlaced with a series of canals, so that all sections of the city could be visited either on foot or via canoe. Lake Texcoco was the largest of five interconnected lakes. Since it formed in an endorheic basin, Lake Texcoco was brackish. During the reign of Moctezuma I, the "levee of Nezahualcoyotl" was constructed, reputedly designed by Nezahualcoyotl. Estimated to be 12 to 16 km in length, the levee was completed circa 1453.
The levee kept fresh spring-fed water in the waters around Tenochtitlan and kept the brackish waters beyond the dike, to the east. Two double aqueducts, each more than 4 km long and made of terracotta, provided the city with fresh water from the springs at Chapultepec; this was intended for cleaning and washing. For drinking, water from mountain springs was preferred. Most of the population liked to bathe twice a day. According to the context of Aztec culture in literature, the soap that they most used was the root of a plant called copalxocotl, to clean their clothes they used the root of metl; the upper classes and pregnant women washed themselves in a temāzcalli, similar to a sauna bath, still used in the south of Mexico. This was popular in other Mesoamerican cultures; when we saw so many cities and villages built in the water and other great towns on dry land we were amazed and said that it was like the enchantments on account of the great towers and cues and buildings rising from the water, all built of masonry.
And some of our soldiers asked whether the things that we saw were not a dream? I do not know how to describe it, seeing things as we did that had never been heard of or seen before, not dreamed about; the city was divided into camps. There were three main streets that crossed the city, each leading to one of the three causeways to the mainland of Tepeyac and Tlacopan. Modern names please. Bernal Díaz del Castillo reported. Surrounding the raised causeways were artificial floating gardens with canal waterways and gardens of plants and trees; the calpullis were divided by channels used for transportation, with wood bridges that were removed at night. The earliest European images of the city were woodcuts published in Augsburg around 1522; each calpulli had its own tiyanquiztli, but there was a main marketplace in Tlatelolco – Tenochtitlan's sister city. Cortés estimated it was twice the size of the city of Salamanca with about 60,000 people trading daily. Bernardino de Sahagún provides a more conservative population estimate of 20,000 on ordinary days and 40,000 on feast days.
There were specialized markets in the other central Mexican cities. In the center of the city were the public buildings and palaces. Inside a walled square, 500 meters to a side, was the ceremonial center. There were about 45 public buildings, including: the Templo Mayor, dedicated to the Aztec patron deity Huitzilopochtli and the Rain God Tlaloc. Outside was the palace of Moctezum
Moctezuma II, variant spellings include Montezuma, Motecuhzoma, Motēuczōmah and referred to in full by early Nahuatl texts as Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, was the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlán, reigning from 1502 to 1520. The first contact between indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica and Europeans took place during his reign, he was killed during the initial stages of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, when conquistador Hernán Cortés and his men fought to escape from the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. During his reign the Aztec Empire reached its greatest size. Through warfare, Moctezuma expanded the territory as far south as Xoconosco in Chiapas and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, incorporated the Zapotec and Yopi people into the empire, he changed the previous meritocratic system of social hierarchy and widened the divide between pipiltin and macehualtin by prohibiting commoners from working in the royal palaces. The portrayal of Moctezuma in history has been colored by his role as ruler of a defeated nation, many sources describe him as weak-willed and indecisive.
The biases of some historical sources make it difficult to understand his actions during the Spanish invasion. Moctezuma had many wives and concubines but only two women were his Queens – Tlapalizquixochtzin and Teotlalco, he was a King Consort of Ecatepec because Tlapalizquixochtzin was Queen of that city. His many children included Princess Isabel Moctezuma -- and sons Tlaltecatzin; the Nahuatl pronunciation of his name is. It is a compound of a noun meaning "lord" and a verb meaning "to frown in anger", so is interpreted as "he is one who frowns like a lord" or "he, angry in a noble manner."His name glyph, shown in the upper left corner of the image from the Codex Mendoza above, was composed of a diadem on straight hair with an attached earspool, a separate nosepiece and a speech scroll. The Aztecs did not use regnal numbers; the Aztec chronicles called him Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, while the first was called Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina or Huehuemotecuhzoma. Xocoyotzin means "honored young one"; the descriptions of the life of Moctezuma are full of contradictions, thus nothing is known for certain about his personality and rule.
The firsthand account of Bernal Díaz del Castillo's True History of the Conquest of New Spain paints a portrait of a noble leader who struggles to maintain order in his kingdom after he is taken prisoner by Hernán Cortés. In his first description of Moctezuma, Díaz del Castillo writes: The Great Montezuma was about forty years old, of good height, well proportioned and slight, not dark, though of the usual Indian complexion, he did not wear his hair long but just over his ears, he had a short black beard, well-shaped and thin. His face was rather long and cheerful, he had fine eyes, in his appearance and manner could express geniality or, when necessary, a serious composure, he was neat and clean, took a bath every afternoon. He had many women as his mistresses, the daughters of chieftains, but two legitimate wives who were Caciques in their own right, only some of his servants knew of it, he was quite free from sodomy. The clothes he wore one day he did not wear again till four days later, he had a guard of two hundred chieftains lodged in rooms beside his own, only some of whom were permitted to speak to him.
When Moctezuma was killed by being stoned to death by his own people "Cortés and all of us captains and soldiers wept for him, there was no one among us that knew him and had dealings with him who did not mourn him as if he were our father, not surprising, since he was so good. It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, was the best king they had in Mexico, that he had triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. I have spoken of the sorrow. We blamed the Mercederian friar for not having persuaded him to become a Christian." The Florentine Codex, made by Bernardino de Sahagún, relied on native informants from Tlatelolco, portrays Tlatelolco and Tlatelolcan rulers in a favorable light relative to those of Tenochtitlan. Moctezuma in particular is depicted unfavorably as a weak-willed and indulgent ruler. Historian James Lockhart suggests that the people needed to have a scapegoat for the Aztec defeat, Moctezuma fell into that role. Unlike Bernal Díaz, recording his memories many years after the fact, Cortés wrote his Cartas de relación to justify his actions to the Spanish Crown.
His prose is characterized by simple descriptions and explanations, along with frequent personal addresses to the King. In his Second Letter, Cortés describes his first encounter with Moctezuma thus: Mutezuma came to greet us and with him some two hundred lords, all barefoot and dressed in a different costume, but very rich in their way and more so than the others, they came in two columns, pressed close to the walls of the street, wide and beautiful and so straight that you can see from one end to the other. Mutezuma came down the middle of this street with two chiefs, one on his right hand and the other on his left, and they were all dressed alike except that Mutezuma wore sandals whereas the other
Pacification of Ghent
The Pacification of Ghent, signed on 8 November 1576, was an alliance of the provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands for the purpose of driving mutinying Spanish mercenary troops from the country and promoting a peace treaty with the rebelling provinces of Holland and Zeeland. In 1567 king Philip II of Spain, the overlord of the Habsburg Netherlands, sent Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba as governor general to the Netherlands with an army of Spanish mercenaries to restore order after the political upheavals of 1566 that culminated in the Iconoclastic fury of that year, he soon replaced the most important advisors of the former Regent Margaret of Parma by summarily executing them, such as the counts of Egmont and Hoorn, or by driving them into exile, such as William the Silent, the Prince of Orange. Philipe de Croÿ, Duke of Aerschot, remained in his favor as leader of the royalist faction. At first, Alba had little difficulty in repelling the rebel military incursions, led by Orange.
However, maintaining a large military presence put a severe strain on the royal finances as Spain at the same time was fighting expensive wars against the Ottoman Sultan and in Italy. Alba's attempts to finance these expenses by new taxes estranged loyal subjects from the cause of the royalists. In 1572, an incursion of privateers with letters of marque from Orange into Holland and Zeeland met with unexpected success. Orange was able to take over the government in these two provinces, under the guise of his old post of royal Stadtholder, bring them in open revolt against the government in Brussels; this brought about a formal state of war between Holland and Zeeland and the fifteen loyalist provinces. This civil war was fought with mercenary troops on both sides, with Spanish Tercios playing a preponderant role on the royalist side; because of the dire state of the royalist finances, these Spanish mercenaries went unpaid. They mutinied after victories, during such actions they pillaged nearby towns.
This brought disaffection with the Brussels government to a boil in the summer of 1576. Meanwhile, Alba had been replaced by Luis de Zúñiga y Requesens as governor-general in 1573. Requesens was unable to prevail over the rebels, he was in bad health and died in March, 1576. This caused a power vacuum in the Brussels government, as the difficult communications of the day prevented a speedy replacement from Madrid. Philip appointed his younger brother John of Austria governor-general, but it took Don Juan several months to take up this appointment. Meanwhile, in Brussels the Duke of Aerschot stepped into the breach, he had held inconclusive peace talks with his former colleague in the Raad van State, Orange. When Spanish troops mutinied because of lack of payment, sacked the towns of Zierikzee and Aalst, the States-General of the Netherlands was convened by the States of Brabant and Hainaut on 8 September 1576 to deal with the mutinous troops. Holland and Zeeland, as rebellious provinces, were not invited.
Aerschot was now appointed by the States-General, acting in usurpation of the royal prerogatives, as head of the Council of State. This made him acting governor-general; this action was the equivalent of the comparable events in Holland and Zeeland, in which royal authority had been usurped by rebels pretending to act "in the name of the king."The States General referred to ancient precedent to justify their actions. They had acted after the deaths of Charles the Bold in 1477 and Philip the Handsome in 1506. Now they authorised the provincial States to raise troops to defend against marauding foreign mercenaries. More from a perspective of constitutional history, the States General embarked on a program of institutional innovation. To facilitate its governance in permanent session they appointed a rotating presidency; the president, from one of the provincial delegations, assisted by one or two of the pensionaries, would preside over the meetings for a week at a time. This system was followed during the existence of the Dutch Republic.
The pensionaries started acting as an executive committee of the States General. The first order of business was now to bring about peace with the rebel provinces, to make a common front against the marauding mutineers. Hatred of these marauders was what united rebel and loyalist alike if there were few other common interests; the States General therefore appointed a committee to negotiate with the Prince of Orange and the provinces of Holland and Zeeland. As the Prince's troops were invading the province of Flanders, where they were made welcome in the rebellious city of Ghent, the negotiations were held in that city; the delegates met in the first week of October, 1576. The rebels were represented by Paulus Buys, Grand Pensionary of Holland, Philips of Marnix, lord of Sint-Aldegonde; these negotiators had met during the abortive negotiations at Breda the previous year, therefore knew what the main stumbling blocks for reaching agreement were. They knew that speed was of the essence, because the arrival of Don Juan was imminent, it would be easier to reach agreement if the "royalist" side was not encumbered by his control.
The delegates reached an agreement on 30 October, less than three weeks after the beginning of the negotiations. Its ratification by the States General on 8 November 1576 was undoubtedly sped up by the Sack of Antwerp by Spanish mutineers of 4 November, which concentrated the mind
The Trần dynasty ruled in Vietnam from 1225 to 1400. The dynasty was founded when emperor Trần Thái Tông ascended to the throne after his uncle Trần Thủ Độ orchestrated the overthrow of the Lý dynasty; the final emperor of the dynasty was Thiếu Đế, who at the age of five years was forced to abdicate the throne in favor of his maternal grandfather, Hồ Quý Ly. The Trần dynasty defeated three Mongol invasions, most notably in the decisive Battle of Bạch Đằng River in 1288; the ancestors of the Trần clan originated from the province of Fujian before they migrated under Trần Kính to Đại Việt, where their mixed-blooded descendants established the Trần dynasty which ruled Đại Việt. The descendants of the Trần clan who came to rule Đại Việt were of mixed-blooded descent due to many intermarriages between the Trần and several royal members of the Lý dynasty alongside members of their royal court as in the case of Trần Lý and Trần Thừa, the latter whose son Trần Thái Tông would become the first emperor of the Trần dynasty.
Their descendants established the Tran dynasty. Some of the mixed-blooded descendants and certain members of the clan could still speak Chinese, as when a Yuan dynasty envoy met with the Chinese-speaking Tran Prince Trần Quốc Tuấn in 1282; the first of the Trần clan to live in Đại Việt was Trần Kinh, who settled in Tức Mặc village who lived by fishing. After three generations in Đại Việt, the Trần clan became a rich and powerful family under Trần Lý, Trần Kinh's grandson. During the troubled time under the reign of Lý Cao Tông, the Crown Prince Lý Sảm sought refuge in the family of Trần Lý and decided to marry his beautiful daughter Trần Thị Dung in 1209. Afterward, it was the Trần clan who helped Lý Cao Lý Sảm restore the throne in Thăng Long; as a result, the Emperor appointed several members of the Trần clan for high positions in the royal court, such as Tô Trung Từ, an uncle of Trần Thị Dung, Trần Tự Khánh and Trần Thừa, who were Trần Lý's sons. In 1211 the Crown Prince Lý Sảm was enthroned as Lý Huệ Tông after the death of Lý Cao Tông.
By that time the Trần clan's position began to rise in the royal court. Having been mentally ill for a long time, the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông decided to cede the throne of the Lý dynasty to crown princess Lý Chiêu Hoàng in October of the lunar calendar, 1224. Ascending the throne at the age of only six, Lý Chiêu Hoàng ruled under the total influence of the commander of the royal guard, Trần Thủ Độ; the Empress Regnant's servants were chosen by Trần Thủ Độ. When Trần Cảnh informed Trần Thủ Độ that the Empress Regnant seemed to have affection towards him, the leader of the Trần clan decided to take this chance to carry out his plot to overthrow the Lý dynasty and establish a new dynasty ruled by his own clan. First Trần Thủ Độ moved the whole Trần clan to the royal palace and arranged a secret marriage between Lý Chiêu Hoàng and Trần Cảnh there, without the appearance of any mandarin or member of the Lý royal family. After that, he announced the fait accompli to the royal court and made Lý Chiêu Hoàng cede the throne to her new husband on the grounds that she was incapable of holding office.
Thus Trần Cảnh was chosen as her successor. As a result, the 216-year reign of the Lý dynasty was ended and the new Trần dynasty was created on the first day of the twelfth lunar month, 1225. After the collapse of the Lý Dynasty, Trần Thủ Độ was still afraid that the newly established Trần Dynasty might be overthrown by its political opponents, he therefore continued to ruthlessly eliminate members of the Lý royal family. First the former emperor Lý Huệ Tông in the tenth lunar month of 1226 other members of the Lý royal family were massacred by the order of Trần Thủ Độ in the eighth lunar month of 1232. Trần Thái Tông was enthroned. There were several rebellions in Đại Việt at that time, so Trần Thủ Độ had to devote all of his efforts to consolidating the rule of Thái Tông in the royal court and over the country. Right after the coronation of the Emperor in 1226, Nguyễn Nộn and Đoàn Thượng rose in revolt in the mountainous region of Bắc Giang and Hải Dương. By both military and diplomatic measures, such as sending an army and by awarding two leaders of the revolt the title of Prince, Trần Thủ Độ was able to put down this revolt in 1229.
According to Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, Thái Tông and his wife, the Empress Chiêu Thánh, did not have their first son for some time. This situation worried the grand chancellor Trần Thủ Độ because he had profited from similar circumstances with the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông in overthrowing the Lý dynasty. Therefore, in 1237 Trần Thủ Độ decided to force Prince Hoài Trần Liễu, Thái Tông's elder brother, to give up his wife, Princess Thuận Thiên, for the Emperor when she had been pregnant with Trần Quốc Khang for three months. After the royal marriage, Thuận Thiên was entitled the new empress of the Trần dynasty, while Chiêu Thánh was downgraded to princess. Furious at losing his pregnant wife, Trần Liễu rose in revolt against the royal family. Meanwhile, Thái Tông felt awkward about the situation and decided to become a monk at Yên Tử Mountain in Quảng Ninh. Trần Thủ Độ persuaded Thái Tông to return to the throne, Trần Liễu had to surrender after judging that he could not stand with his fragile force.
All soldiers who participated in this revolt were killed. Fujian was the origin of the Trần ancestors who migrated to Vietnam under Trần Kinh along with a large amount of other Chinese during the Ly dynasty where they served as officials. Distinctl
Ali ibn Abu'l-Hayja'Abdallah ibn Hamdan ibn al-Harith al-Taghlibi, more known by his laqab of Sayf al-Dawla, was the founder of the Emirate of Aleppo, encompassing most of northern Syria and parts of western Jazira, the brother of al-Hasan ibn Abdallah ibn Hamdan. The most prominent member of the Hamdanid dynasty, Sayf al-Dawla served under his elder brother in the latter's attempts to establish his control over the weak Abbasid government in Baghdad during the early 940s CE. After the failure of these endeavours, the ambitious Sayf al-Dawla turned towards Syria, where he confronted the ambitions of the Ikhshidids of Egypt to control the province. After two wars with them, his authority over northern Syria, centred at Aleppo, the western Jazira, centred at Mayyafariqin, was recognized by the Ikhshidids and the Caliph. A series of tribal rebellions plagued his realm until 955, but he was successful in overcoming them and maintaining the allegiance of the most important Arab tribes. Sayf al-Dawla's court at Aleppo became the centre of a vibrant cultural life, the literary cycle he gathered around him, including the great al-Mutanabbi, helped ensure his fame for posterity.
Sayf al-Dawla was celebrated for his role in the Arab–Byzantine Wars, facing a resurgent Byzantine Empire that in the early 10th century had begun to reconquer Muslim territories. In this struggle against a much superior enemy, he launched raids deep into Byzantine territory and managed to score a few successes, held the upper hand until 955. After that, the new Byzantine commander, Nikephoros Phokas, his lieutenants spearheaded an offensive that broke Hamdanid power; the Byzantines annexed Cilicia, occupied Aleppo itself in 962. Sayf al-Dawla's final years were marked by military defeats, his own growing disability as a result of disease, a decline in his authority that led to revolts by some of his closest lieutenants, he died in early 967, leaving a much weakened realm, which by 969 had lost Antioch and the Syrian littoral to the Byzantines and become a Byzantine tributary. Sayf al-Dawla was born Ali ibn Abdallah, the second son of Abdallah Abu'l-Hayja ibn Hamdan, son of Hamdan ibn Hamdun ibn al-Harith, who gave his name to the Hamdanid dynasty.
The Hamdanids were a branch of the Banu Taghlib, an Arab tribe resident in the area of the Jazira since pre-Islamic times. The Taghlibs had traditionally controlled Mosul and its region until the late 9th century, when the Abbasid government tried to impose firmer control over the province. Hamdan ibn Hamdun was one of the most determined Taghlibi leaders in opposing this move. Notably, in his effort to fend off the Abbasids, he secured the alliance of the Kurds living in the mountains north of Mosul, a fact which would be of considerable importance in his family's fortunes. Family members intermarried with Kurds, who were prominent in the Hamdanid military. Hamdan was defeated in 895 and imprisoned with his relatives, but his son Husayn ibn Hamdan managed to secure the family's future, he raised troops for the Caliph among the Taghlib in exchange for tax remissions, established a commanding influence in the Jazira by acting as a mediator between the Abbasid authorities and the Arab and Kurdish population.
It was this strong local base which allowed the family to survive its strained relationship with the central Abbasid government in Baghdad during the early 10th century. Husayn was a successful general, distinguishing himself against the Kharijites and the Tulunids, but was disgraced after supporting the failed usurpation of Ibn al-Mu'tazz in 908, his younger brother Ibrahim was governor of Diyar Rabi'a in 919 and after his death in the next year he was succeeded by another brother, Dawud. Sayf al-Dawla's father Abdallah served as emir of Mosul in 905/6–913/4, was disgraced and rehabilitated, until re-assuming control of Mosul in 925/6. Enjoying firm relations with the powerful Mu'nis al-Muzaffar, he played a leading role in the short-lived usurpation of al-Qahir against al-Muqtadir in 929, was killed during its suppression. Despite the coup's failure and his death, Abdallah had been able to consolidate his control over Mosul, becoming the virtual founder of a Hamdanid-ruled emirate there. During his long absences in Baghdad in his final years, Abdallah relegated authority over Mosul to his eldest son, al-Hasan, the future Nasir al-Dawla.
After Abdallah's death, Hasan's position in Mosul was challenged by his uncles, it was not until 935 that he was able to secure confirmation by Baghdad of his control over Mosul and the entire Jazira up to the Byzantine frontier. The young Ali ibn Abdallah began his career under his brother. In 936, Hasan invited his younger brother to his service, promising him the governorship of Diyar Bakr in exchange for his help against Ali ibn Ja'far, the rebellious governor of Mayyafariqin. Ali ibn Abdallah was successful in preventing Ibn Ja'far from receiving the assistance of his Armenian allies, secured control over the northern parts of the neighbouring province of Diyar Mudar after subduing the Qaysi tribes of the region around Saruj. From this position, he launched expeditions to aid the Muslim emirates of the Byzantine frontier zone against the advancing Byzantines, intervened in Armenia to reverse growing Byzantine influence. In the meantime, Hasan became involved in the intrigues of the Abbasid court.
Since the murder of Caliph al-Muqtadir in 932, the Abbasid government had all but collapsed, in 936 the powerful governor of Wasit, Muhammad ibn Ra'iq, as
Eighty Years' War
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance, they were able to oust the Habsburg armies, in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas; the Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire; the Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.
There are numerous causes that led to the Eighty Years' War but the primary reasons could be classified into two: resentment towards the Spanish authority and religious tension. The first was articulated by the Dutch nobility who wanted to regain power and privileges lost in favor of the King, so they settled the thought that Phillip II was surrounded by evil advisors; this developed into an overarching discontent against the absolutist Spanish regime. Religious resistance, on the other hand, came with the imposition of an ecclesiastical hierarchy for all of the Spanish territories; this created resistance in the Dutch provinces, which embraced the Reformation. In the decades preceding the war, the Dutch became discontented with Spanish rule. A major concern involved the heavy taxation imposed on the population, while support and guidance from the government was hampered by the size of the Spanish empire. At that time, the Seventeen Provinces were known in the empire as De landen van herwaarts over and in French as Les pays de par deça – "those lands around there".
The Dutch provinces were continually criticised for acting without permission from the throne, while it was impractical for them to gain permission for actions, as requests sent to the throne would take at least four weeks for a response to return. The presence of Spanish troops under the command of the Duke of Alba, brought in to oversee order, further amplified this unrest. Spain attempted a policy of strict religious uniformity for the Catholic Church within its domains, enforced it with the Inquisition; the Reformation meanwhile produced a number of Protestant denominations, which gained followers in the Seventeen Provinces. These included the Lutheran movement of Martin Luther, the Anabaptist movement of the Dutch reformer Menno Simons, the Reformed teachings of John Calvin; this growth led to the 1566 Beeldenstorm, the "Iconoclastic Fury", in which many churches in northern Europe were stripped of their Catholic statuary and religious decoration. In October 1555, Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire began the gradual abdication of his several crowns.
His son Philip II took over as sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands, which at the time was a personal union of seventeen provinces with little in common beyond their sovereign and a constitutional framework. This framework, assembled during the preceding reigns of Burgundian and Habsburg rulers, divided power between city governments, local nobility, provincial States, royal stadtholders, the States General of the Netherlands, the central government assisted by three councils: the Council of State, the Privy Council and the Council of Finances; the balance of power was weighted toward the local and regional governments. Philip did not govern in person but appointed Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy as governor-general to lead the central government. In 1559 he appointed his half-sister Margaret of Parma as the first Regent, who governed in close co-operation with Dutch nobles like William, Prince of Orange, Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn, Lamoral, Count of Egmont. Philip introduced a number of councillors in the Council of State, foremost among these Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, a French-born cardinal who gained considerable influence in the Council, much to the chagrin of the Dutch council members.
When Philip left for Spain in 1559 political tension was increased by religious policies. Not having the liberal-mindedness of his father Charles V, Philip was a fervent enemy of the Protestant movements of Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists. Charles had outlawed heresy in special placards that made it a capital offence, to be prosecuted by a Dutch version of the Inquisition, leading to the executions of over 1,300 people between 1523 and 1566. Towards the end of Charles' reign enforcement had become lax. Philip, insisted on rigorous enforcement, which caused widespread unrest. To support and strengthen the attempts at Counter-Reformation Philip launched a wholesale organisational reform of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands in 1559, which resulted in the inclusion of fourteen dioceses instead of the old three; the new hierarchy was to be headed by Granvelle as archbishop of the new archdiocese of Mechelen. The reform was unpopular with the old church hierarchy, as the new dioceses were to be financed by the transfer of a number of rich abbey
Battle of Andrassos
The Battle of Andrassos or Adrassos was an engagement fought on 8 November 960 in an unidentified mountain pass on the Taurus Mountains, between the Byzantines, led by Leo Phokas the Younger, the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo under the emir Sayf al-Dawla. Sayf al-Dawla had established an emirate based on Aleppo in 945, emerged as the main Muslim antagonist of the Byzantine Empire on its eastern frontier. Both sides launched raids and counter-raids with alternating success: the Hamdanids invading the Byzantine provinces of Asia Minor, the Byzantines raiding Hamdanid possessions in Upper Mesopotamia and northern Syria. In summer 960, taking advantage of the absence of much of the Byzantine army on campaign against the Emirate of Crete, the Hamdanid prince launched another invasion of Asia Minor, raided and into the region of Cappadocia. On his return, his army was ambushed by Leo Phokas at the pass of Andrassos. Sayf al-Dawla himself escaped, but his army was annihilated. Following a series of Byzantine successes in the previous years, the battle of Andrassos is considered by many scholars to have broken the power of the Hamdanid emirate.
Having lost much of his strength, beset by illness, Sayf al-Dawla would never again be able to raid as into Byzantine territories. Led by Leo's brother Nikephoros Phokas, the Byzantines now launched a sustained offensive that by 969 had conquered Cilicia and northern Syria around Antioch, resulted in the vassalization of Aleppo itself. In the middle of the 10th century, after a period of expansion on its eastern frontier, led by John Kourkouas, at the expense of the Muslim border emirates, the Byzantine Empire was confronted by the Hamdanid prince Sayf al-Dawla. In 945, Sayf al-Dawla made Aleppo his capital, soon established his authority across northern Syria, much of the Jazira, what remained of the Abbasid Caliphate's frontier districts with Byzantium. Committed to the spirit of jihad, during the following two decades the Hamdanid ruler emerged as the main enemy of the Byzantines. By the time of his death in 967, Sayf al-Dawla was said to have fought against the Byzantines in over forty battles.
After his establishment in Aleppo, in winter 945–946, Sayf al-Dawla launched his first raid into Byzantine territory, but a truce was arranged and regular warfare between Sayf al-Dawla and the Byzantines began only in 948. The Byzantines were led by the Domestic of the Schools Bardas Phokas the Elder, but although he was capable enough as a subordinate commander, his tenure as commander-in-chief proved a failure. In 948–950 the Byzantines scored a few successes, sacking the border fortresses of Hadath and Marash, taking Theodosiopolis, putting an end to the Muslim border emirate there. Bardas' second son, distinguished himself in these years, leading the capture of Hadath and a raid that reached the outskirts of Antioch and defeated a Hamdanid army. In November 950 Leo scored a major success against Sayf al-Dawla, who had advanced deep into Byzantine Asia Minor from Cilicia and defeated Bardas in battle. Leo ambushed the Hamdanid army during its return journey in a mountain pass. Sayf al-Dawla rejected offers of peace from the Byzantines, continued his raids.
More he set about restoring the frontier fortresses of Cilicia and northern Syria, including at Marash and Hadath. Bardas Phokas tried to hinder him, but was defeated each time losing his youngest son, Constantine, to Hamdanid captivity. In 955, Bardas' failures led to his replacement by Nikephoros Phokas. Under the capable leadership of Nikephoros and their nephew John Tzimiskes, the tide began to turn against the Hamdanid emir. In 956, Tzimiskes ambushed Sayf al-Dawla but the Hamdanid army, fighting amidst torrential rain, managed to drive the Byzantines back; the city of Hadath was sacked again in 957, Samosata in 958, after which Tzimiskes scored a major victory over Sayf al-Dawla himself. In 959, Leo Phokas raided through Cilicia to Diyar Bakr and back to Syria, leaving a trail of destruction behind him. In early summer 960, Sayf al-Dawla saw an opportunity to reverse his recent setbacks and re-establish his position: the best troops of the Byzantine army, Nikephoros Phokas in person, departed the eastern front for an expedition against the Emirate of Crete.
With the Tarsiot troops he launched an invasion of Byzantine territory from Cilicia, while his lieutenant Naja launched a parallel raid from Mayyafariqin in the western Jazira. The task of confronting the Hamdanid emir fell on Leo Phokas, who according to the Byzantine chroniclers had been appointed as Domestic of the Schools of the West following the accession of Romanos II in November 959 and had just defeated a Magyar raid into Thrace in a daring night attack on their camp; the 11th-century Christian Arab chronicler Yahya of Antioch, reports that Leo had been appointed Domestic of the East, that he had remained on the eastern front throughout 959–960, leading raids into the Hamdanid domains up until the invasion of Sayf al-Dawla. The forces at Phokas' disposal are unknown, but were considerably inferior in numbers to the army of the Hamdanid ruler. At the head of a strong cavalry force—the numbers reported in the sources vary from a 3,000 to as many as 30,000—Sayf al-Dawla invaded Byzantine territory, advanced unopposed as far as the fortress of Charsianon, capital of the theme of the s