Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the established Kingdom of Italy; the Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982; the city is noted for Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.
The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries; the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. All the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.
Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, they financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France and, after his death in, reigned as regent in France. Marie de' Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future King Louis XIII; the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de' Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737.
The Etruscans formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole, destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, changed to Florentia, it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement became an important commercial centre. In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital.
The population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD; the Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte; the exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune"; the city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry, access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community; the Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation to medieval fairs. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice.
Of a population estimated at 94,00
Leon Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian humanist author, architect, priest, linguist and cryptographer. Although he is characterized as an architect, as James Beck has observed, "to single out one of Leon Battista's'fields' over others as somehow functionally independent and self-sufficient is of no help at all to any effort to characterize Alberti's extensive explorations in the fine arts." Although Alberti is known for being an artist, he was a mathematician of many sorts and made great advances to this field during the 15th century. Alberti's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects. Leon Battista Alberti was born in 1404 in Genoa, his mother is not known, his father was a wealthy Florentine, exiled from his own city, allowed to return in 1428. Alberti was sent to boarding school in Padua studied Law at Bologna, he lived for a time in Florence travelled to Rome in 1431 where he took holy orders and entered the service of the papal court. During this time he studied the ancient ruins, which excited his interest in architecture and influenced the form of the buildings that he designed.
Alberti was gifted in many ways. He was strong and a fine athlete who could ride the wildest horse and jump over a man's head, he distinguished himself as a writer while he was still a child at school, by the age of twenty had written a play, passed off as a genuine piece of Classical literature. In 1435, he began his first major written work, Della pittura, inspired by the burgeoning pictorial art in Florence in the early 15th century. In this work he analyses the nature of painting and explores the elements of perspective and colour. In 1438 he began to focus more on architecture and was encouraged by the Marchese Leonello d'Este of Ferrara, for whom he built a small triumphal arch to support an equestrian statue of Leonello's father. In 1447 he became the architectural advisor to Pope Nicholas V and was involved with several projects at the Vatican, his first major architectural commission was in 1446 for the facade of the Rucellai Palace in Florence. This was followed in 1450 by a commission from Sigismondo Malatesta to transform the Gothic church of San Francesco in Rimini into a memorial chapel, the Tempio Malatestiano.
In Florence, he designed the upper parts of the facade for the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella, famously bridging the nave and lower aisles with two ornately inlaid scrolls, solving a visual problem and setting a precedent to be followed by architects of churches for four hundred years. In 1452, he completed De re aedificatoria, a treatise on architecture, using as its basis the work of Vitruvius and influenced by the archaeological remains of Rome; the work was not published until 1485. It was followed in 1464 by De statua, in which he examines sculpture. Alberti's only known sculpture is a self-portrait medallion, sometimes attributed to Pisanello. Alberti was employed to design two churches in Mantua, San Sebastiano, never completed, for which Alberti's intention can only be speculated upon, the Basilica of Sant'Andrea; the design for the latter church was completed in 1471, a year before Alberti's death, but was brought to completion and is his most significant work. As an artist, Alberti distinguished himself from the ordinary craftsman, educated in workshops.
He was a humanist, part of the expanding entourage of intellectuals and artisans supported by the courts of the princes and lords of the time. Alberti, as a member of noble family and as part of the Roman curia, had special status, he was a welcomed guest at the Este court in Ferrara, in Urbino he spent part of the hot-weather season with the soldier-prince Federico III da Montefeltro. The Duke of Urbino was a shrewd military commander, who generously spent money on the patronage of art. Alberti planned to dedicate his treatise on architecture to his friend. Among Alberti's smaller studies, pioneering in their field, were a treatise in cryptography, De componendis cifris, the first Italian grammar. With the Florentine cosmographer Paolo Toscanelli he collaborated in astronomy, a close science to geography at that time, produced a small Latin work on geography, Descriptio urbis Romae. Just a few years before his death, Alberti completed De iciarchia, a dialogue about Florence during the Medici rule.
Alberti, having taken holy orders, remained unmarried all his life. He had a pet dog, a mongrel, for whom he wrote a panegyric. Vasari describes him as "an admirable citizen, a man of culture.... A friend of talented men and courteous with everyone, he always lived honourably and like the gentleman he was." Alberti died in Rome on April 25, 1472 at the age of 68. Alberti regarded mathematics as the common ground of the sciences. "To make clear my exposition in writing this brief commentary on painting," Alberti began his treatise, Della Pittura, "I will take first from the mathematicians those things with which my subject is concerned."Della pittura relied in its scientific content on classical optics in determining perspective as a geometric instrument of artistic and architectural representation. Alberti was well-versed in the sciences of his age, his knowledge of optics was connected to the handed-down long-standing tradition of the Kitab al-manazir of the Arab polymath Alhazen, mediated by Franciscan optical workshops of th
History of Florence
Florence is a major historical city in Italy, distinguished as one of the most outstanding economic, cultural and artistic centres in the Italian peninsula from the Late Middle Ages to the Renaissance. For much of the Quaternary Age, the Florence-Prato-Pistoia plain was occupied by a great lake bounded by Monte Albano in the west, Monte Giovi in the north and the foothills of Chianti in the south. After most of the water had receded, the plain, 50 metres above sea level, was strewn with ponds and marshes that remained until the 18th century, when the land was reclaimed. Most of the marshland was in the region of Campi Bisenzio and Bagno a Ripoli, it is thought that there was a settlement at the confluence of the Mugnone River with the River Arno between the 10th and 8th centuries BC. Between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, Etruscans discovered and used the ford of the Arno near this confluence, closer to the hills to the north and south. A bridge or a ferry was constructed here, about ten metres away from the current Ponte Vecchio, but closer to the ford itself.
The Etruscans, preferred not to build cities on the plain for reasons of defence and instead settled about six kilometres away on a hill. This settlement was a precursor of the fortified centre of Vipsul, connected by road to all the major Etruscan centres of Emilia to the north and Lazio to the south; the seat of a bishopric from around the beginning of the 4th century CE, the city was ruled alternatively by Byzantine and Ostrogothic potentates as the two powers fought each other for control of the city. The city would be taken by siege only to be lost again by one of the two powers. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Conquered by Charlemagne in 774, Florence became part of the March of Tuscany, whose capital was Lucca; the population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugh "the Great" of Tuscany chose Florence as his residence instead of Lucca in about 1000 CE; this initiated a Golden Age of Florentine Art.
In 1013, construction was begun on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte. The exterior of the baptistry was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. Florence experienced a long period of civic revival beginning in the 10th century and was governed from 1115 by an autonomous medieval commune, but the period of revival was tragically interrupted when the city was plunged into internal strife by the 13th-century struggle between the Ghibellines, supporters of the German emperor, the pro-Papal Guelphs after the murder of nobleman Buondelmonte del Buondelmonti for reneging on his agreement to marry one of the daughters of the Amidei family. In 1257, the city was ruled by the Guelph Luca Grimaldi; the Guelphs had triumphed and soon split in turn into feuding "White" and "Black" factions led by Vieri de' Cerchi and Corso Donati. These struggles led to the exile of the White Guelphs, one of whom was the poet Dante Alighieri; this factional strife was recorded by Dino Compagni, a White Guelph, in his Chronicles of Florence.
Political conflict did not, prevent the city's rise to become one of the most powerful and prosperous in Europe, assisted by its own strong gold currency. The "fiorino d'oro" of the Republic of Florence, or florin, was introduced in 1252, the first European gold coin struck in sufficient quantities to play a significant commercial role since the 7th century. Many Florentine banks had branches across Europe, with able bankers and merchants such as the famous chronicler Giovanni Villani of the Peruzzi Company engaging in commercial transactions as far away as Bruges; the florin became the dominant trade coin of Western Europe, replacing silver bars in multiples of the mark. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, defeated by Genoa in 1284 and subjugated by Florence in 1406. Power shifted from the aristocracy to the mercantile elite and members of organized guilds after an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, enacted the Ordinances of Justice in 1293. While visiting the ruins of Rome during the jubilee celebration in 1300, the banker and chronicler Giovanni Villani noted the well-known history of the city, its monuments and achievements, was inspired to write a universal history of his own city of Florence.
Hence he began to record the history of Florence in a year-by-year format in his Nuova Cronica, continued by his brother and nephew after he succumbed to the Black Death in 1348. Villani is praised by historians for preserving valuable information on statistics and events taking place throughout Europe, but his work has drawn criticism by historians for its many inaccuracies, use of the supernatural and divine providence to explain the outcome of events and glorification of Florence and the papacy. In 1338, there were about 17,000 beggars in the city. 4,000 were on public relief. There were 6 primary schools including girls. Four high schools taught 600 students, including a few girls, they studied literature and philosophy.. Of a population estimated at 80,000 before the Black Death of 1349, about 25,000 are estimated to have been engaged in the city's wool industry. In 1345, Florence was the scene of an attempted strike by wool carders, who in 1378 rose up in a brief revolt against oligarchic rule known as the Revolt of the Ciompi.
After their suppression, the city came under the sway of the Albizzi family, bitter rivals of the Medici family, between 1382 and 1434. Cosimo de' Medici was the first Medici family member to govern the city from behind the scenes. Although the ci
Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi; the exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Giotto's Campanile; these three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world, it remains the largest brick dome constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is Giuseppe Betori.
Santa Maria del Fiore was built on the site of Florence's second cathedral dedicated to Saint Reparata. The ancient structure, founded in the early 5th century and having undergone many repairs, was crumbling with age, according to the 14th-century Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani, was no longer large enough to serve the growing population of the city. Other major Tuscan cities had undertaken ambitious reconstructions of their cathedrals during the Late Medieval period, such as Pisa and Siena where the enormous proposed extensions were never completed; the new church was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and approved by city council in 1294. Di Cambio was architect of the church of Santa Croce and the Palazzo Vecchio, he designed three wide naves ending under the octagonal dome, with the middle nave covering the area of Santa Reparata. The first stone was laid on 9 September 1296, by Cardinal Valeriana, the first papal legate sent to Florence; the building of this vast project was to last 140 years.
After Arnolfo died in 1310, work on the cathedral slowed for thirty years. When the relics of Saint Zenobius were discovered in 1330 in Santa Reparata, the project gained a new impetus. In 1331, the Arte della Lana, the guild of wool merchants, took over patronage for the construction of the cathedral and in 1334 appointed Giotto to oversee the work. Assisted by Andrea Pisano, Giotto continued di Cambio's design, his major accomplishment was the building of the campanile. When Giotto died on 8 January 1337, Andrea Pisano continued the building until work was halted due to the Black Death in 1348. In 1349, work resumed on the cathedral under a series of architects, starting with Francesco Talenti, who finished the campanile and enlarged the overall project to include the apse and the side chapels. In 1359, Talenti was succeeded by Giovanni di Lapo Ghini who divided the center nave in four square bays. Other architects were Giovanni d'Ambrogio, Neri di Fioravante and Andrea Orcagna. By 1375, the old church Santa Reparata was pulled down.
The nave was finished by 1380, by 1418, only the dome remained incomplete. On 18 August 1418, the Arte della Lana announced an architectural design competition for erecting Neri's dome; the two main competitors were two master goldsmiths, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi, the latter of whom was supported by Cosimo de Medici. Ghiberti had been the winner of a competition for a pair of bronze doors for the Baptistery in 1401 and lifelong competition between the two remained sharp. Brunelleschi received the commission. Ghiberti, appointed coadjutator, drew a salary equal to Brunelleschi's and, though neither was awarded the announced prize of 200 florins, was promised equal credit, although he spent most of his time on other projects; when Brunelleschi became ill, or feigned illness, the project was in the hands of Ghiberti. But Ghiberti soon had to admit. In 1423, Brunelleschi took over sole responsibility. Work started on the dome in 1420 and was completed in 1436; the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on 25 March 1436.
It was the first'octagonal' dome in history to be built without a temporary wooden supporting frame. It was one of the most impressive projects of the Renaissance. During the consecration in 1436, Guillaume Dufay's motet Nuper rosarum flores was performed; the structure of this motet was influenced by the structure of the dome. The decoration of the exterior of the cathedral, begun in the 14th century, was not completed until 1887, when the polychrome marble façade was completed with the design of Emilio De Fabris; the floor of the church was relaid in marble tiles in the 16th century. The exterior walls are faced in alternate vertical and horizontal bands of polychrome marble from Carrara, Siena, Lavenza and a few other places; these marble bands had to repeat the existing bands on the walls of the earlier adjacent baptistery the Battistero di San Giovanni and Giotto's Bell Tower. There are two side doors: the Doors of the Canonici and the Door of the Mandorla with sculptures by Nanni di Banco and Jacopo della Quercia.
The six side windows, notable for their delicate tracery and ornaments, are separated by pilasters. Only the four windows closest
Cathay is an alternative historical name for China in English. During the early modern period Europeans thought of Cathay as a separate and distinct culture from China; as knowledge of East Asia increased, Cathay came to be seen as the same nation as China and the term'"Cathay" became a poetic name for the nation. The name Cathay originates from the word Khitan, the name of a nomadic people who founded the Liao Empire which ruled much of today's Northern China from 907 to 1125, who migrated west after they were overthrown by the Jurchens to form the Qara Khitai centered on today's Kyrgyzstan for another century thereafter; this name was the name applied by Central and Western Asians and Europeans to northern China. Orderic of Pordenone writes about Cathay and the Khan in his travelbooks from his journey before 1330 1321-30; the term Cathay came from the name for the Khitans. A form of the name Cathai is attested in a Uyghur Manichaean document circa 1000; the Khitans refer to themselves as Qidan, but in the language of the ancient Uyghurs the final -n or -ń became -y, this form may be the source of the name Khitai for Muslim writers.
This version of the name was introduced to medieval and early modern Europe via Muslim and Russian sources. The Khitans were known to Muslim Central Asia: in 1026, the Ghaznavid court was visited by envoys from the Liao ruler, he was described as a "Qatā Khan", i.e. the ruler of Qatā. The Persian scholar and administrator Nizam al-Mulk mentions Khita and China in his Book on the Administration of the State as two separate countries; the name's currency in the Muslim world survived the replacement of the Khitan Liao dynasty with the Jurchen Jin dynasty in the early 12th century. When describing the fall of the Jin Empire to the Mongols, Persian history described the conquered country as Khitāy or Djerdaj Khitāy; the Mongols themselves, in their Secret History talk of both Khitans and Kara-Khitans. In about 1340 Francesco Balducci Pegolotti, a merchant from Florence, compiled the Pratica della mercatura, a guide about trade in China, a country he called Cathay, noting the size of Khanbaliq and how merchants could exchange silver for Chinese paper money that could be used to buy luxury items such as silk.
Words related to Khitay are still used in many Slavic languages to refer to China. However, its use by Turkic speakers within China, such as the Uyghurs, is considered pejorative by the Chinese authority who had tried to ban it; as European and Arab travelers started reaching the Mongol Empire, they described the Mongol-controlled Northern China as Cathay in a number of spelling variants. The name occurs in the writings of Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, William of Rubruck. Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, ibn Battuta, Marco Polo all referred to Northern China as Cathay, while Southern China, ruled by the Song dynasty, was Mangi, Chin, or Sin; the word Manzi or Mangi is a derogatory term in Chinese meaning "barbarians of the south", would therefore not have been used by the Chinese to describe themselves or their own country, but it was adopted by the Mongols to describe the people and country of Southern China. The name for South China used on Western medieval maps was Mangi, a term still used in maps in the 16th century.
The division of China into northern and southern parts ruled by, in succession, the Liao and Mongol Yuan empires in the north, the Song dynasty in the south, ended in the late 13th century with the conquest of southern China by the Mongol Yuan Empire. While Central Asia had long known China under names similar to Cathay, that country was known to the peoples of South-East Asia and India under names similar to China. Meanwhile, in China itself, people referred to their nation state based on the name of the ruling dynasty, e.g. Da Ming Guo, or as the "Middle Kingdom"; when the Portuguese reached South-East Asia and the southern coast of China, they started calling the country by the name used in South and South-East Asia. It was not clear to the Europeans whether this China is the same country as Cathay known from Marco Polo. Therefore, it would not be uncommon for 16th-century maps to apply the label "China" just to the coastal region well known to the Europeans, to place the mysterious Cathay somewhere inland.
It was a small group of Jesuits, led by Matteo Ricci who, being able both to travel throughout China and to read, learned about the country from Chinese books and from conversation with people of all walks of life. During his first 15 years in China Matteo Ricci formed a strong suspicion that Marco Polo's "Cathay" is the "Tatar" name for the country he was in, i.e. China. Ricci supported his arguments by numerous correspondences between Marco Polo's accounts and his own observations: The River "Yangtze" divides the empire into two halves, with 9 provinces south of the river and 6 to the north.
Council of Florence
The Seventeenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church was convoked as the Council of Basel by Pope Martin V shortly before his death in February 1431 and took place in the context of the Hussite wars in Bohemia and the rise of the Ottoman Empire. At stake was the greater conflict between the Conciliar movement and the principle of papal supremacy; the Council entered a second phase after Emperor Sigismund's death in 1437. Pope Eugene IV convoked a rival Council of Ferrara on 8 January 1438 and succeeded in drawing the Byzantine ambassadors to Italy; the Council of Basel first suspended him, declared him a heretic, in November 1439 elected an antipope, Felix V. The rival Council of Florence concluded in 1445 after negotiating unions with the various eastern churches; this bridging of the Great Schism was a political coup for the papacy. In 1447, Sigismund's successor Frederick III commanded the city of Basel to expel the Council of Basel; the initial location at Basel reflected the desire among parties seeking reform to meet outside the territories of the Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire or the kings of Aragon and France, whose influences the council hoped to avoid.
Ambrogio Traversari attended the Council of Basel as legate of Pope Eugene IV. Under pressure for ecclesiastical reform, Pope Martin V sanctioned a decree of the Council of Constance obliging the papacy to summon general councils periodically. At the expiration of the first term fixed by this decree, Pope Martin V complied by calling a council at Pavia. Due to an epidemic the location transferred at once to Siena and disbanded, in circumstances still imperfectly known, just as it had begun to discuss the subject of reform; the next council fell due at the expiration of seven years in 1431. Martin himself, died before the opening of the synod; the Council was seated on 14 December 1431, at a period when the conciliar movement was strong and the authority of the papacy weak. The Council at Basel opened with only a few bishops and abbots attending, but it grew and to make its numbers greater gave the lower orders a majority over the bishops, it adopted an anti-papal attitude, proclaimed the superiority of the Council over the Pope and prescribed an oath to be taken by every Pope on his election.
On 18 December Martin's successor, Pope Eugene IV, tried to dissolve it and open a new council on Italian soil at Bologna, but he was overruled. Sigismund, King of Hungary and titular King of Bohemia, had been defeated at the Battle of Domažlice in the fifth crusade against the Hussites in August 1431. Under his sponsorship, the Council negotiated a peace with Calixtine faction of the Hussites in January 1433. Pope Eugene acknowledged the council in May and crowned Sigismund Holy Roman Emperor on 31 May 1433; the divided Hussites were defeated in May 1434. In June 1434, the pope began a ten-year exile in Florence; when the Council was moved from Basel to Ferrara in 1438, some remained at Basel, claiming to be the Council. They elected Duke of Savoy, as Antipope. Driven out of Basel in 1448, they moved to Lausanne, where Felix V, the pope they had elected and the only claimant to the papal throne who took the oath that they had prescribed, resigned; the next year, they decreed the closure of what.
The new council was transferred to Florence in 1439 because of the danger of plague at Ferrara and because Florence had agreed, against future payment, to finance the Council. The Council had meanwhile negotiated reunification with several Eastern Churches, reaching agreements on such matters as the Western insertion of the phrase "Filioque" to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, the definition and number of the sacraments, the doctrine of Purgatory. Another key issue was papal primacy, which involved the universal and supreme jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church, including the national Churches of the East and nonreligious matters such as the promise of military assistance against the Ottomans; the final decree of union was a signed document called the Laetentur Caeli, "Let the Heavens Rejoice". Some bishops feeling political pressure from the Byzantine Emperor, accepted the decrees of the Council and reluctantly signed. Others did so by sincere conviction, such as Isidore of Kiev, who subsequently suffered for it.
Only one Eastern Bishop, Mark of Ephesus, refused to accept the union and became the leader of opposition back in Byzantium. The Russians, upon learning of the union, angrily rejected it and ousted any prelate, remotely sympathetic to it, declaring the Russian Orthodox Church as autocephalus. Despite the religious union, Western military assistance to Byzantium was insufficient, the fall of Constantinople occurred in May 1453; the Council declared the Basel group heretics and excommunicated them, the superiority of the Pope over the Councils was affirmed in the bull Etsi non dubitemus of 20 April 1441. The democratic character of the assembly at Basel was a result of both its composition and its organization. Doctors of theology and representatives of chapters and clerks of inferior orders outnumbered the prelates in it, the influence of the superior clergy had less weight because instead of being separated into "nations", as at Constance, the fathers div
Halley's Comet or Comet Halley designated 1P/Halley, is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061. Halley's returns to the inner Solar System have been observed and recorded by astronomers since at least 240 BC. Clear records of the comet's appearances were made by Chinese and medieval European chroniclers, but were not recognized as reappearances of the same object at the time; the comet's periodicity was first determined in 1705 by English astronomer Edmond Halley, after whom it is now named. During its 1986 apparition, Halley's Comet became the first comet to be observed in detail by spacecraft, providing the first observational data on the structure of a comet nucleus and the mechanism of coma and tail formation; these observations supported a number of longstanding hypotheses about comet construction Fred Whipple's "dirty snowball" model, which predicted that Halley would be composed of a mixture of volatile ices—such as water, carbon dioxide, ammonia—and dust.
The missions provided data that reformed and reconfigured these ideas. Comet Halley is pronounced, rhyming with valley, or, rhyming with daily. Colin Ronan, one of Edmond Halley's biographers, preferred. Spellings of Halley's name during his lifetime included Hailey, Hayley, Halley and Hawly, so its contemporary pronunciation is uncertain, but contemporary individuals with this last name appear to prefer the version that rhymes with "valley". Halley was the first comet to be recognized as periodic; until the Renaissance, the philosophical consensus on the nature of comets, promoted by Aristotle, was that they were disturbances in Earth's atmosphere. This idea was disproved in 1577 by Tycho Brahe, who used parallax measurements to show that comets must lie beyond the Moon. Many were still unconvinced that comets orbited the Sun, assumed instead that they must follow straight paths through the Solar System. In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, in which he outlined his laws of gravity and motion.
His work on comets was decidedly incomplete. Although he had suspected that two comets that had appeared in succession in 1680 and 1681 were the same comet before and after passing behind the Sun, he was unable to reconcile comets into his model, it was Newton's friend and publisher, Edmond Halley, who, in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets, used Newton's new laws to calculate the gravitational effects of Jupiter and Saturn on cometary orbits. Having compiled a list of 24 comet observations, he calculated that the orbital elements of a second comet that had appeared in 1682 were nearly the same as those of two comets that had appeared in 1531 and 1607. Halley thus concluded that all three comets were, in fact, the same object returning about every 76 years, a period that has since been found to vary between 74–79 years. After a rough estimate of the perturbations the comet would sustain from the gravitational attraction of the planets, he predicted its return for 1758. While he had observed the comet around perihelion in September 1682, Halley died in 1742 before he could observe its predicted return.
Halley's prediction of the comet's return proved to be correct, although it was not seen until 25 December 1758, by Johann Georg Palitzsch, a German farmer and amateur astronomer. It did not pass through its perihelion until 13 March 1759, the attraction of Jupiter and Saturn having caused a retardation of 618 days; this effect was computed prior to its return by a team of three French mathematicians, Alexis Clairaut, Joseph Lalande, Nicole-Reine Lepaute. The confirmation of the comet's return was the first time anything other than planets had been shown to orbit the Sun, it was one of the earliest successful tests of Newtonian physics, a clear demonstration of its explanatory power. The comet was first named in Halley's honour by French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in 1759; some scholars have proposed that first-century Mesopotamian astronomers had recognized Halley's Comet as periodic. This theory notes a passage in the Bavli Talmud that refers to "a star which appears once in seventy years that makes the captains of the ships err."Researchers in 1981 attempting to calculate the past orbits of Halley by numerical integration starting from accurate observations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries could not produce accurate results further back than 837 due to a close approach to Earth in that year.
It was necessary to use ancient Chinese comet observations to constrain their calculations. Halley's orbital period has varied between 74–79 years since 240 BC, its orbit around the Sun is elliptical, with an orbital eccentricity of 0.967. The perihelion, the point in the comet's orbit when it is nearest the Sun, is just 0.6 AU. This is between the orbits of Venus, its aphelion, or farthest distance from the Sun, is 35 AU. Unusual for an object in the Solar System, Halley's orbit is retrograde; the orbit is inclined by 18 ° with much of it lying south of the ecliptic. Due to the