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Pope Stephen VIII

Pope Stephen VIII was Pope from 14 July 939 to his death in 942. Stephen VIII was born of a Roman family, prior to becoming pope was attached to the church of Saints Silvester and Martin. With his elevation as Bishop of Rome, Stephen gave his attention to the situation in West Francia, or as the Romans still referred to it, Gaul. In early 940, Stephen intervened on behalf of Louis IV of France, trying to bring to heel his rebellious dukes, Hugh the Great and Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, both of whom had appealed for support from the German king Otto I; the Pope dispatched a Papal legate to the Frankish nobles, instructing them to acknowledge Louis, to cease their rebellious actions against him, under threat of excommunication. Although the embassy did not achieve its stated objective, it did have the effect of removing the support of the Frankish bishops, backing Hugh and Herbert. Emboldened by this, Stephen sought to break up the alliance against Louis by offering Herbert's son, Hugh of Vermandois, the office of Archbishop of Reims.

Along with the Pallium, Stephen sent another legate, with instructions to the Frankish nobility, insisting that they submit to Louis. This time they were informed that if the pope had not received their embassies by Christmas, notifying him of their intent to submit to the king, they would be excommunicated; this time, there was a shift in support to Louis, as a number of the more important nobles declared for him, by the end of 942, all of the nobility had affirmed their loyalty to Louis, notified the pope of their intent. Closer to home, things were a lot more difficult for Stephen; the continuing domination of the Counts of Tusculum was evident throughout Stephen's pontificate, as it was during that of his predecessors and successors. Although Stephen was subject to Alberic II of Spoleto, Prince of the Romans, did not in reality rule the Papal States, Stephen himself was not a member of that family, nor had he any relationship with Marozia, who had dominated Roman and papal politics during the preceding decades.

Stephen was however caught up in the ongoing conflict between Alberic II and Hugh of Italy, with Hugh besieging Rome in 940. After a failed assassination attempt against Alberic, which involved a number of bishops, Alberic cracked down on any potential dissent in Rome, with his enemies either scourged, beheaded or imprisoned. If there is any truth to Martin of Opava’s account of the torture and maiming of Stephen VIII by supporters of Alberic, it must have occurred at this juncture, in the aftermath of the conspiracy, just prior to Stephen's death. On 17 August 942, Alberic summoned a council in Rome, where he demonstrated his control over the papacy by making use of various papal officials, such as the Primicerius, the Secundicerius of the Notaries, the Vestararius. Stephen died during October 942, was succeeded by Marinus II. According to the late 13th century chronicler Martin of Opava, Stephen VIII was described as being a German, elected pope due to the power and influence of his royal relative, the German king Otto I. Martin states that Otto ignored the will of the cardinals in imposing Stephen upon them, because Stephen was hated for being a German, he was taken by supporters of Alberic II, who proceeded to maim and disfigure him to such an extent that Stephen was unable to appear in public again.

This version of events has been discredited. Further, Otto's intervention in and influence over Italian affairs was still over a decade away, during this period Otto was still trying to consolidate his hold on power in Germany, with major rebellions by the German dukes. Otto would have been too preoccupied to concern himself over the papal succession at this juncture. Stephen's intervention on behalf of the Frankish king Louis IV would not have occurred had Stephen been a relative of the German king, had Stephen received the papal throne through Otto's intervention; the maiming of Stephen may have occurred, however, in the aftermath of the conspiracy against Alberic in the middle of 942. Mann, Horace K; the Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Vol. IV: The Popes in the Days of Feudal Anarchy, 891-999 Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Pope Stephen IX". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company

's-Hertogenbosch

's-Hertogenbosch, colloquially known as Den Bosch, is a city and municipality in the Netherlands with a population of 152,968. It is the capital of the province of North Brabant; the city's official name is a contraction of the Dutch des Hertogen bosch—"the Duke's forest". The duke in question was Henry I of Brabant, whose family had owned a large estate at nearby Orthen for at least four centuries, he founded a new town located on some forested dunes in the middle of a marsh. At age 26, he granted's-Hertogenbosch city rights and the corresponding trade privileges in 1185; this is, the traditional date given by chroniclers. The original charter has been lost, his reason for founding the city was to protect his own interests against encroachment from Gelre and Holland. It was soon rebuilt; some remnants of the original city walls may still be seen. In the late 14th century, a much larger wall was erected to protect the expanded settled area. Artificial waterways were dug to serve as a city moat, through which the rivers Dommel and Aa were diverted.

The birthplace and home of one of the greatest painters of the northern Renaissance period, Hieronymus Bosch,'s-Hertogenbosch suffered a catastrophic fire in 1463, which the 13-year-old Bosch witnessed. Until 1520, the city flourished, becoming the second largest population centre in the territory of the present Netherlands, after Utrecht; the city was a center of music, composers, such as Jheronimus Clibano, received their training at its churches. Others held positions there: Matthaeus Pipelare was musical director at the Confraternity of Our Lady; the wars of the Reformation changed the course of the city's history. It became an independent bishopric. During the Eighty Years' War, the city took the side of the Habsburg authorities and thwarted a Calvinist coup, it was besieged several times by Prince Maurice of Orange, stadtholder of most of the Dutch Republic, who wanted to bring's-Hertogenbosch under the rule of the rebel United Provinces. The city was defended by Claude de Berlaymont known as Haultpenne.

In the years of Truce, before the renewed fighting after 1618, the fortifications were expanded. The surrounding marshes made a siege of the conventional type impossible, the fortress, deemed impregnable, was nicknamed the Marsh Dragon; the town was finally conquered by Frederik Hendrik of Orange in 1629 in a Dutch stratagem: he diverted the rivers Dommel and Aa, created a polder by constructing a forty-kilometre dyke and pumped out the water by mills. After a siege of three months, the city had to surrender—an enormous blow to Habsburg geo-political strategy during the Thirty Years' War; this surrender cut the town off from the rest of the duchy and the area was treated by the Republic as an occupation zone without political liberties. After the Peace of Westphalia, the fortifications were again expanded. In 1672, the Dutch rampjaar, the city held against the army of Louis XIV of France. In 1794, French revolutionary troops under command of Charles Pichegru took the city with hardly a fight: in the Batavian Republic, both Catholics and Brabanders at last gained equal rights.

From 1806, the city became part of the Kingdom of Holland and from 1810, it was incorporated into the First French Empire. It was captured by the Prussians in 1814; the next year, 1815, when the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was established, it became the capital of North Brabant. Many newer and more modern fortresses were created in the vicinity of the city. A new canal was built, the'Zuid-Willemsvaart', which gave the city an economic impulse. Trade and industry grew; until 1878, it was forbidden to build outside the ramparts. That led to the highest infant mortality in the kingdom. At the end of the 19th century, the conservative city government prevented industrial investment to avoid an increase in the number of workers and the establishment of educational institutions: students were regarded as disorderly; as a result, the relative importance of the city diminished. One of the few official Nazi concentration camp complexes in Western Europe outside Germany and Austria was named after's-Hertogenbosch.

It was known to the Germans as Herzogenbusch. About 30,000 inmates were interned in the complex during this time. In the Netherlands, this camp is known as'Kamp Vught', because the concentration camp was located at a heath near Vught, a village a few kilometres south of's-Hertogenbosch, it occupied by them for over four years. The allies struck back - the railway station was bombed by planes of the Royal Air Force on 16 September 1944; the city was liberated between 24–27 October 1944 during Operation Pheasant by British soldiers of Major-General Robert Knox Ross's 53rd Infantry Division after Major Donald Bremner of the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, of 158th Infantry Brigade, had routed the enemy on 23-24 October. The population centres in the municipality are: Bokhoven, Deuteren, Empel, Gewande,'s-

Tanba, Hyōgo

Tanba is a city in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The modern city of Tamba was established on November 1, 2004, from the merger of all six towns of the former Hikami District: Aogaki, Kaibara, Kasuga and Hikami; as of April 30, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 65,753 and a population density of 130 persons per km2. The total area is 493.21 km². Tanba is a small city. Hikami is the biggest of the six towns. Kuroi Castle is located in Kasuga. Tanba has many shrines, with the oldest being Hachiman shrine. JR West Fukuchiyama Line: Shimotaki - Tanikawa - Kaibara - Iso - Kuroi - Ichijima - Tamba-Takeda Kakogawa Line: Kugemura - Tanikawa Takijirō Ōnishi, World War II IJN admiral, "the father of the kamikaze", was born in what is now Tanba. Official website