Alexius of Rome
Saint Alexius or Alexis of Rome or Alexis of Edessa was a fourth-century monastic who lived in anonymity and is known for his dedication to Christ. There are two versions of his life that are known to a Syriac one and a Greek one. According to Syriac tradition St. Alexius was an Eastern saint whose veneration was transplanted to Rome; the relocation of the veneration to Rome was facilitated by the belief that the saint was a native of Rome and had died there. This Roman connection stemmed from an earlier Syriac legend which recounted that during the episcopate of Bishop Rabbula a "Man of God" who lived in Edessa, Mesopotamia, as a beggar, who shared the alms he received with other poor people, was found to be a native of Rome after his death; the Greek version of his legend made Alexius the only son of Euphemianus, a wealthy Christian Roman of the senatorial class. Alexius fled his arranged marriage to follow his holy vocation. Disguised as a beggar, he lived near Edessa in Syria, accepting alms from his own household slaves, sent to look for him but did not recognize him, until a miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary singled him out as a "Man of God."
Fleeing the resultant notoriety, he returned to Rome, so changed that his parents did not recognize him, but as good Christians took him in and sheltered him for seventeen years, which he spent in a dark cubbyhole beneath the stairs and teaching catechism to children. After his death, his family found writings on his body which told them who he was and how he had lived his life of penance from the day of his wedding, for the love of God. Alexius seems to have been unknown in the West prior to the end of the tenth century. Only from the end of the 10th century did his name begin to appear in any liturgical books there. Since before the 8th century, there was on the Aventine in Rome a church, dedicated to St Boniface. In 972 Pope Benedict VII transferred this abandoned church to the exiled Greek metropolitan, Sergius of Damascus; the latter erected beside the church a monastery for Greek and Latin monks, soon made famous for the austere life of its inmates. To the name of St Boniface was now added that of St Alexius as titular saint of the church and monastery known as Santi Bonifacio e Alessio.
It is evidently his monks who brought to Rome the veneration of Saint Alexius. The Eastern saint, according to his legend a native of Rome, was soon popular with the folk of that city.. This church, being associated with the legend, was considered to be built on the site of the home that Alexius returned to from Edessa. St. Alexius is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology under 17 July in the following terms: "At Rome, in a church on the Aventine Hill, a man of God is celebrated under the name of Alexius, who, as reported by tradition, abandoned his wealthy home, for the sake of becoming poor and to beg for alms unrecognized."While the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize St. Alexius as a saint, his feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969; the reason given was the legendary character of the written life of the saint Johann Peter Kirsch remarked: "Perhaps the only basis for the story is the fact that a certain pious ascetic at Edessa lived the life of a beggar and was venerated as a saint."The Tridentine Calendar gave his feast day the rank of "Simple" but by 1862 it had become a "Semidouble" and, in Rome itself, a "Double".
It was reduced again to the rank of "Simple" in 1955 and in 1960 became a "Commemoration". According to the rules in the present-day Roman Missal, the saint may now be celebrated everywhere on his feast day with a "Memorial", unless in some locality an obligatory celebration is assigned to that day; the Eastern Orthodox Church venerates St Alexius on 17 March. Five Byzantine Emperors, four Emperors of Trebizond and numerous other eastern European and Russian personalities have borne his name. There are numerous churches bearing his name in Greece and Russia but the other orthodox countries. Saint Alexius is well known to the region of north Peloponnese because of the honorable skull of the Saint, kept in the monastery of Agia Lavra. Churches dedicated to St. Alexius are found in Patras. Relics of Saint Alexius are found in some churches and monasteries in Greece like Esphigmenou monastery, mount Athos and Dormition of Theotokos Monastery, Boeotia. In Russia relics of St. Alexius are kept in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in Saint Petersburg.
In Cyprys relics are kept in the Kykkos Monastery. The most precious relic is a large part of the honorable skull of the Saint, kept in the monastery of Agia Lavra near in Kalavrita, Greece. According to the Ktetorikon of the monastery, the honorable skull was donated to the monastery by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos in 1398. Saint Alexis Parish and School, located in Wexford, Pennsylvania, is named for St Alexius. Stefano Landi wrote an opera about him. Camilla de Rossi wrote an oratorio about him. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a secular cantata about him. Alexander Radishchev, in his Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow, refers to the story of St Alexis as sung by a blind soldier begging in Klin, near Moscow. Mikhail Kuzmin wrote a play about the life of St. Alexis. In 1769, San Elijo Lagoon and beach in San Diego County, California were named San Alejo by the Portola Expedition for Saint Alexius; the spelling changed in years to Elijo. St Alexius is the Patron Saint of the religious institute known as the Alexians and of the town of
Gale is an educational publishing company based in Farmington Hills, west of Detroit. Since 2007 it has been a division of Cengage Learning; the company known as Gale Research and the Gale Group, is active in research and educational publishing for public and school libraries, businesses. The company is known for its full-text magazine and newspaper databases, InfoTrac, other online databases subscribed by libraries, as well as multi-volume reference works in the areas of religion and social science. Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1954 by Frederick Gale Ruffner, the company was acquired by the Thomson Corporation in 1985 before its 2007 sale to Cengage. In 1999, Thomson Gale acquired Macmillan Library Reference from Pearson. In 2000 it acquired the Munich-based K. G. Saur Verlag, but sold it to Walter de Gruyter in 2006. On October 25, 2006 Thomson Corporation announced that it intended to wholly divest the Thomson Learning division, because, in the words of Thomson CEO Richard Harrington, "it does not fit with our long-term strategic vision".
Thomson has said that it expected this sale to generate $5 billion. Thomson Learning was bought by a private equity consortium consisting of Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners for $7.75 billion and the name was changed from Thomson Learning to Cengage Learning on July 24, 2007. Patrick C. Sommers was president of Gale from October 22, 2007, until he retired in 2010. Gale produces hundreds of products, such as Academic OneFile and Genealogy Master Index, General OneFile, General Reference Center, Sabin Americana, World History Collection. Gale print imprints include the reference brands Primary Source Scholarly Resources Inc.. Schirmer Reference, St. James Press, The TAFT Group and Twayne Publishers, among others. Five Star Publishing is Gale's fiction imprint, with hundreds of books in print in the Western, Romance and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres. Gale sells into the K–12 market with several imprints, including U·X·L, Greenhaven Press, KidHaven Press, Lucent Books, others. Gale owns large print publishers Christian Large Print and Wheeler Publishing.
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Purgatory is, according to the belief of some Christians, an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. The Catholic Church holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo this process, "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven", it has formulated this doctrine by reference to biblical verses that speak of purifying fire and to the mention by Jesus of forgiveness in the age to come. It bases its teaching on the practice of praying for the dead in use within the Church since the Church began and, mentioned earlier in 2 Macc 12:46. According to Jacques Le Goff, the conception of purgatory as a physical place came into existence in Western Europe towards the end of the twelfth century. According to him, the conception involves the idea of a purgatorial fire, which he suggests "is expiatory and purifying not punitive like hell fire". At the Second Council of Lyon in 1247, strong Eastern Orthodox opposition to the idea of a third place in the afterlife containing fire was one of the differences that prevented reunification with the Catholic Church.
That council's teaching on purgatory made no mention of these notions, which are absent in the declarations by the Councils of Florence and Trent at which the Catholic Church formulated its doctrine on purgatory. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have declared that the term does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence; the Church of England, mother church of the Anglican Communion denounces what it calls "the Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory", but the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Methodist Churches, elements of the Anglican and Lutheran traditions hold that for some there is cleansing after death and pray for the dead. Judaism believes in the possibility of after-death purification and may use the word "purgatory" to present its understanding of the meaning of the similar rabbinical concept of Gehenna; the word "purgatory" has come to refer to a wide range of historical and modern conceptions of postmortem suffering short of everlasting damnation and is used, in a non-specific sense, to mean any place or condition of suffering or torment one, temporary.
While use of the word "purgatory" as a noun appeared only between 1160 and 1180, giving rise to the idea of purgatory as a place, the Roman Catholic tradition of purgatory as a transitional condition has a history that dates back before Jesus Christ, to the worldwide practice of caring for the dead and praying for them and to the belief, found in Judaism, considered the precursor of Christianity, that prayer for the dead contributed to their afterlife purification. The same practice appears in other traditions, such as the medieval Chinese Buddhist practice of making offerings on behalf of the dead, who are said to suffer numerous trials. Roman Catholic belief in after-life purification is based on the practice of praying for the dead, mentioned in 2 Maccabees 12:42-44, which the Roman Catholic Church has declared to be part of Sacred Scripture, that, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, was adopted by Christians from the beginning, a practice that presupposes that the dead are thereby assisted between death and their entry into their final abode.
Over the centuries and others have developed theories, imagined descriptions and composed legends that have contributed to the formation of a popular idea of purgatory much more detailed and elaborate than the quite minimal elements that have been declared to be part of the authentic teaching of the Church. Shortly before becoming a Roman Catholic, the English scholar John Henry Newman argued that the essence of the doctrine is locatable in ancient tradition, that the core consistency of such beliefs is evidence that Christianity was "originally given to us from heaven"; the Catholic Church's teaching on purgatory, defined in the Second Council of Lyon, the Council of Florence, the Council of Trent, is without the imaginative accretions of the popular idea of purgatory. Some denominations Roman Catholicism, recognize the doctrine of purgatory, while many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches would not use the same terminology, the former on the basis of their own sola scriptura doctrine, combined with their exclusion of 2 Maccabees from the Protestant Canon of the Bible, the latter because the Orthodox Churches consider purgatory a non-essential doctrine.
The Catholic Church gives the name purgatory to the final purification of all who die in God's grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified. Though in popular imagination purgatory is pictured as a place rather than a process of purification, the idea of purgatory as a physical place with time is not part of the Church's doctrine. Fire, another important element of the purgatory of popular imagination, is absent in the Catholic Church's doctrine. At the Second Council of Lyon in 1274, the Catholic Church defined, for the first time, its teaching on purgatory, in two points: some souls are purified after death; the council declared: f they die repentant in charity before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for committed and omitted, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorical or purifying punishments, as Brother John has explained to us. And to relieve punishments of this kind, the offerings of the living
Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III, born Roland of Siena, was Pope from 7 September 1159 to his death in 1181. Pope Alexander III was born in Siena. From 14th century he is referred to as a member of the aristocratic family of Bandinelli, although this has not been proven, he was long thought to be the 12th-century canon lawyer and theologian Master Roland of Bologna, who composed the "Stroma" or "Summa Rolandi"—one of the earliest commentaries on the Decretum of Gratian—and the "Sententiae Rolandi", a sentence collection displaying the influence of Pierre Abélard, but John T. Noonan and Rudolf Weigand have shown this to be another Rolandus, he studied at Bologna, where Robert of Torigni notes that he taught theology. In October 1150, Pope Eugene III created him Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Cosma e Damiano, he became Cardinal-Priest of St Mark. In 1153, he became papal chancellor and was the leader of the cardinals opposed to German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, he negotiated the Treaty of Benevento, which restored peaceful relations between Rome and the Kingdom of Sicily.
On 7 September 1159, he was chosen the successor to Pope Adrian IV, the only Briton to hold the office. A minority of the cardinals, elected the cardinal priest Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV and became the German Emperor's antipope; the situation was critical for Alexander III, because according to many chronicles of the time, Barbarossa's antipope received the approval of most of the kingdoms of Europe, with the exception of the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain. However, in 1161, King Géza II of Hungary signed an agreement and recognised Alexander III as the rightful pope and declared that the supreme spiritual leader was the only one who could exercise the rite of investiture; this meant that Alexander's legitimacy was gaining strength, as soon proved by the fact that other monarchs, such as the king of France and King Henry II of England, recognized his authority. Because of imperial strength in Italy, Alexander was forced to reside outside of Rome for a large part of his pontificate.
When news reached him of the death of Victor in 1164, he wept, scolded the cardinals in his company for rejoicing at the end of the rival antipope. However, the dispute between Alexander III, Antipope Victor IV and his successors Antipope Paschal III and Antipope Calixtus III continued until Frederick Barbarossa's defeat at the Legnano in 1176, after which Barbarossa recognized Alexander III as pope. On 12 March 1178, Alexander III returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice: the first time between 1162 and 23 November 1165; when Alexander was arrested by supporters of the imperialist Antipope Victor IV, Oddone Frangipane freed him and sent to safety in Campania. Alexander again left Rome in 1167. At first he went to Benevento moving to various strongholds such as of Anagni, Ferentino and Veroli. Alexander III was the first pope known to have paid direct attention to missionary activities east of the Baltic Sea, he had created the Archbishopric of Uppsala in Sweden in 1164 at the suggestion of his close friend Eskil, Archbishop of Lund – exiled in Clairvaux, due to a conflict with the Danish king.
The latter appointed a Benedictine monk Fulco as a bishop in Estonia. In 1171, Alexander became the first pope to address the situation of the Church in Finland, with Finns harassing priests and only relying on God in time of war. In the bull Non parum animus noster, in 1171 or 1172, he gave papal sanction to ongoing crusades against pagans in northern Europe, promising remission of sin for those who fought there. In doing so, he legitimized the widespread use of forced conversion as a tactic by those fighting in the Baltic. Besides checkmating Barbarossa, Alexander humbled King Henry II of England for the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170, to whom he was unusually close canonizing Becket in 1173; this was the second English saint canonized by Alexander, the first being Edward the Confessor in 1161. Nonetheless, he confirmed the position of Henry as Lord of Ireland in 1172. In March 1177, on his way to Venice to meet the Emperor, Alexander spent four days in the city of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.
Zadar was at that time a vassal of the Republic of Venice. Through the Papal bull Manifestis Probatum, issued on 23 May 1179, he recognized the right of Afonso I to proclaim himself King of Portugal – an important step in the process of Portugal becoming a recognized independent Kingdom; as a fugitive, Alexander enjoyed the favour and protection of Louis VII of France. In 1163 Alexander summoned clergy and prelates from England, France and Spain to the Council of Tours to address, among other things, the unlawful division of ecclesiastical benefices, clerical usury, lay possession of tithes. In March 1179, Alexander III held the Third Council of the Lateran, one of the most important mediaeval church councils, reckoned by the Catholic Church as the eleventh ecumenical council, its acts embodied several of the Pope's proposals for the betterment of the condition of the Church, among them the law requiring that no one could be elected pope without the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals. The rule was altered in 1996, but was restored in 2007.
This synod marked the summit of Alexander III's power. Soon after the close of the synod, the Roman Republic forced Alexander III to leave the city, which he never re-entered, on 29 September 1179, some nobles set up the Antipope Innocent III. By the judicious use of money, Alexander III got him into his power, so that he was deposed in January 1180. In 11
Pope Lucius II
Pope Lucius II, born Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, was Pope from 9 March 1144 to his death in 1145. His pontificate was notable for the unrest in Rome associated with the Commune of Rome and its attempts to wrest control of the city from the papacy. Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, the son of Orso Caccianemici was born in Bologna, he was for many years a canon of the Basilica di San Frediano before his elevation by Pope Honorius II to cardinal priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in 1124. During this time there he renovated the basilica, attached a body of regular canons and improved its revenue stream. After he was elevated as pope, he presented to the church a copy of the Gospels bound with plates of gold and adorned with jewels, as well as an altar-cover and two chased silver-gilt ampullae for use at Mass. Honorius appointed him the librarian of the Diocese of Rome before appointing him papal legate in Germany in 1125. While there, he helped support the candidacy of Holy Roman Emperor Lothair III as well as appointing Saint Norbert of Xanten as the Archbishop of Magdeburg.
In 1128, Gherardo was sent to Benevento to govern the city, which had overthrown the previous rector. In 1130 he was again appointed legate to Germany by Pope Innocent II, where he was instrumental in convincing Lothair III to make two expeditions to Italy for the purpose of protecting Pope Innocent II against the Antipope Anacletus II, he had a further period as legate to Germany in 1135–36. He was one of the principal negotiators with Lothair III in attempting to force the monks of Monte Cassino to submit themselves to the authority of the papacy. In addition, he was sent to Salerno to negotiate the end of the schism involving Anacletus II with King Roger II of Sicily; as a principal supporter of Pope Innocent II, the pope rewarded him for his efforts by appointing him papal chancellor. After the papal election of 1144, Gherardo was elected as Lucius II and consecrated on 12 March 1144, he took his name in honor of Pope Lucius I, commemorated a few days prior to Gherardo's consecration. Lucius was involved in the usual running of church business throughout medieval Christendom.
In England, he granted a number of privileges to bishops and churches, including exempting the monastery of St. Edmund from all subjection to the secular authorities, he dispatched a papal legate, Igmarus, to England, charged to investigate the request of Bernard, Bishop of St David's, to elevate his see to the rank of Metropolitan bishop, to take the pallium to William, Archbishop of York. Regarding the political situation in England, he took the side of the Empress Matilda over the rights to the English crown. Early in his reign, Lucius received a request from prominent members of the town of Lucca to become the suzerain of the castle within the town in order to protect it from the war between Lucca and Pisa. Lucius received it on 18 March 1144 and for a payment of ten pounds of gold, agreed to defend it on his behalf. Lucius returned the castle to them as a fief. Meanwhile, in Portugal, King Afonso I, eager to maintain the newly established independence of Portugal from the Kingdom of León, offered to do homage to Lucius, as he had done to Pope Innocent II, to make the pope the feudal suzerain of his lands.
He offered Lucius his territory and a yearly tribute of four ounces of gold in exchange for the defence and support of the Apostolic See. Although Lucius accepted Afonso’s feudal homage on 1 May 1144, excused him from appearing in person, he did not acknowledge Afonso as King of Portugal, but instead as Dux Portugallensis; the royal title would be conferred by Pope Alexander III. The city of Corneto, formally belonging to the Papal States, was restored to the papacy during Lucius’ pontificate by a formal deed on 20 November 1144. Although Lucius had been the friend of King Roger II of Sicily and godparent to one of his children, the situation between the two would soon deteriorate; the two parties met at Ceprano in June 1144 to clarify the duties of Roger as a vassal of the Holy See. Lucius demanded the return of the principality of Capua, while Roger instead wanted additional territory that formed part of the Papal States in the south. Lucius II, on the advice of his cardinals, was unwilling to accept Roger’s demands and rejected them.
Infuriated, Roger returned to Sicily and asked his son Roger III, Duke of Apulia, to invade Campania. Roger did as he was asked, sent his general Robert of Selby against Lucius, ravaging the country as far north as Ferentino; this forced the Romans to capitulate, in September 1144, Lucius agreed to Roger’s terms, negotiating a seven-year truce. The Normans in return withdrew back to their conquered territories and promised not to attack Benevento or any other papal territory; this surrender on the part of Lucius II gave an opportunity for members of the Roman Senate to reassert their ancient independence and authority and to erect a revolutionary republic at Rome which sought to deprive the Pope of his temporal power. The principal groups involved in this movement were the merchants and artisans, while the urban nobility kept their neutrality; the Senate, which took all temporal power from the Pope during the pontificate of Innocent II, had been managed with considerable skill and firmness by Lucius at the beginning of his pontificate, convincing many senators to either leave the Capitoline Hill or to lay down their magisterium.
Now, encouraged by Lucius II's defeat, the Senate, led by Giordano Pierleoni, brother of the former Antipope Anacletus II, rebelled against Lucius II, driving out the papal prefects and establishing the Commune of Rome. They demanded the pope abandon all governmental duties, that he would retain only ecclesiastical
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late