The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which covered Wales and Ireland, were driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion accommodated itself. Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of his marriage, the English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute.
The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore. Until the break with Rome, it was general councils of the Church that decided doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops; the break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the "Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England". Final authority in doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch, the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the appointment of bishops; the theology and liturgy of the Church of England became markedly Protestant during the reign of Henry's son Edward VI along lines laid down by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Under Mary, the whole process was reversed and the Church of England was again placed under papal jurisdiction.
Soon after, Elizabeth reintroduced the Protestant faith but in a more moderate manner. The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations; the violent aspect of these disputes, manifested in the English Civil Wars, ended when the last Roman Catholic monarch, James II, was deposed, Parliament asked William III and Mary II to rule jointly in conjunction with the English Bill of Rights in 1688, from which emerged a church polity with an established church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities that were removed over time. The legacy of the past Roman Catholic Establishment remained an issue for some time, still exists today. A substantial minority remained Roman Catholic in England, in an effort to disestablish it from British systems, their church organisation remained illegal until the 19th century; the Reformation was a clash of two opposed schemes of salvation. The Roman Catholic Church taught that the contrite person could cooperate with God towards their salvation by performing good works.
Protestants taught that fallen humanity was helpless and under condemnation until given the grace of God through faith. An earlier reform movement that anticipated some Protestant teachings but remained outside the religious mainstream was Lollardy. Derived from the writings of John Wycliffe, a 14th-century theologian and Bible translator, Lollardy stressed the primacy of scripture and emphasised the preaching of the word over the sacrament of the altar, holding the latter to be but a memorial. Unlike Protestants, the early Lollards lacked access to the printing press and failed to gain a foothold among the church's most popular communicators, the friars. Unable to gain access to the levers of power, the Lollards were much reduced in numbers and influence by the 15th century, they sometimes faced investigation and persecution and produced new literature after 1450. Lollards could still be found—especially in London and the Thames Valley, in Essex and Kent, Bristol and in the North—and many would be receptive to Protestant ideas.
More respectable and orthodox calls for reform came from Renaissance humanists, such as Erasmus, John Colet, Dean of St Paul's, Thomas More. Humanists downplayed the role of rites and ceremonies in achieving salvation and criticised the superstitious veneration of relics. Erasmus and Colet emphasised a simple, personal piety and a return ad fontes, back to the sources of Christian faith—the scriptures as understood through textual and linguistic scholarship. Colet's commentaries on the Pauline epistles emphasized double predestination and the worthlessness of human works. Anne Boleyn's own religious views were shaped by French humanists such as Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, whose 1512 commentaries on Paul's epistles stated that human works were irrelevant to salvation five years before Luther published the same views. Humanist scholarship provided arguments against papal primacy and support for the claim that popes had usurped powers that rightfully belonged to kings. In 1534, Lorenzo Valla's On the Donation of Constantine—which proved that one of the pillars of the papacy's temporal authority was a hoax—was published in London.
Thomas Cromwell paid for an English translation of Marsiglio of Padua's Defensor pacis in 1535. The conservative cleric Stephen Gardiner used Marsiglio's theory of a unitary realm to defend royal power over spiritual as w
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 1189 until his death. He ruled as Duke of Normandy and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Anjou and Nantes, was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period, he was the third of five sons of Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior, he was known in Occitan as: Oc e No, because of his reputation for terseness. By the age of 16, Richard had taken command of his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father. Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, leading the campaign after the departure of Philip II of France and achieving considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, although he did not retake Jerusalem from Saladin. Richard spoke both Occitan, he was born in England. Following his accession, he spent little time as little as six months, in England. Most of his life as king was spent on Crusade, in captivity, or defending his lands in France.
Rather than regarding his kingdom as a responsibility requiring his presence as ruler, he has been perceived as preferring to use it as a source of revenue to support his armies. He was seen as a pious hero by his subjects, he remains one of the few kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, is an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France. Richard was born on 8 September 1157 at Beaumont Palace, in Oxford, son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, he was a younger brother of Count William IX of Poitiers, Henry the Young King and Duchess Matilda of Saxony. As the third legitimate son of King Henry II, he was not expected to ascend to the throne, he was an elder brother of Duke Geoffrey II of Brittany. Richard was the younger maternal half-brother of Countess Marie of Champagne and Countess Alix of Blois; the eldest son of Henry II and Eleanor, died in 1156, before Richard's birth. Richard is depicted as having been the favourite son of his mother, his father was great-grandson of William the Conqueror.
Contemporary historian Ralph of Diceto traced his family's lineage through Matilda of Scotland to the Anglo-Saxon kings of England and Alfred the Great, from there legend linked them to Noah and Woden. According to Angevin family tradition, there was even'infernal blood' in their ancestry, with a claimed descent from the fairy, or female demon, Melusine. While his father visited his lands from Scotland to France, Richard spent his childhood in England, his first recorded visit to the European continent was in May 1165, when his mother took him to Normandy. His wet nurse was Hodierna of St Albans. Little is known about Richard's education. Although he was born in Oxford and brought up in England up to his eighth year, it is not known to what extent he used or understood English. During his captivity, English prejudice against foreigners was used in a calculated way by his brother John to help destroy the authority of Richard's chancellor, William Longchamp, a Norman. One of the specific charges laid against Longchamp, by John's supporter Hugh, Bishop of Coventry, was that he could not speak English.
This indicates that by the late 12th century a knowledge of English was expected of those in positions of authority in England. Richard was said to be attractive. According to Clifford Brewer, he was 6 feet 5 inches, though, unverifiable since his remains have been lost since at least the French Revolution. John, his youngest brother, was known to be 5 feet 5 inches; the Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi, a Latin prose narrative of the Third Crusade, states that: "He was tall, of elegant build. He had long arms suited to wielding a sword, his long legs matched the rest of his body". From an early age, Richard showed significant political and military ability, becoming noted for his chivalry and courage as he fought to control the rebellious nobles of his own territory, his elder brother Henry the Young King was crowned king of England during his father's lifetime. Marriage alliances were common among medieval royalty: they led to political alliances and peace treaties and allowed families to stake claims of succession on each other's lands.
In March 1159 it was arranged that Richard would marry one of the daughters of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona. Henry the Young King was married to Margaret, daughter of Louis VII of France, on 2 November 1160. Despite this alliance between the Plantagenets and the Capetians, the dynasty on the French throne, the two houses were sometimes in conflict. In 1168, the intercession of Pope Alexander III was necessary to secure a truce between them. Henry II had conquered Brittany and taken control of Gisors and the Vexin, part of Margaret's dowry. Early in the 1160s there had been suggestions Richard should marry Alys, Countess of the Vexin, fourth daughter of Louis VII
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from 1250 to 1500 AD. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period. Around 1300, centuries of prosperity and growth in Europe came to a halt. A series of famines and plagues, including the Great Famine of 1315–1317 and the Black Death, reduced the population to around half of what it was before the calamities. Along with depopulation came social unrest and endemic warfare. France and England experienced serious peasant uprisings, such as the Jacquerie and the Peasants' Revolt, as well as over a century of intermittent conflict, the Hundred Years' War. To add to the many problems of the period, the unity of the Catholic Church was temporarily shattered by the Western Schism. Collectively, those events are sometimes called the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages. Despite the crises, the 14th century was a time of great progress in the arts and sciences. Following a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman texts that took root in the High Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance began.
The absorption of Latin texts had started before the Renaissance of the 12th century through contact with Arabs during the Crusades, but the availability of important Greek texts accelerated with the Capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West Italy. Combined with this influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing, which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning; those two things would lead to the Protestant Reformation. Toward the end of the period, the Age of Discovery began; the expansion of the Ottoman Empire cut off trading possibilities with the East. Europeans were forced to seek new trading routes, leading to the Spanish expedition under Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492 and Vasco da Gama’s voyage to Africa and India in 1498, their discoveries strengthened the power of European nations. The changes brought about by these developments have led many scholars to view this period as the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modern history and of early modern Europe.
However, the division is somewhat artificial, since ancient learning was never absent from European society. As a result, there was developmental continuity between the modern age; some historians in Italy, prefer not to speak of the Late Middle Ages at all but rather see the high period of the Middle Ages transitioning to the Renaissance and the modern era. The term "Late Middle Ages" refers to one of the three periods of the Middle Ages, along with the Early Middle Ages and the High Middle Ages. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodization in his History of the Florentine People. Flavio Biondo used a similar framework in Decades of History from the Deterioration of the Roman Empire. Tripartite periodization became standard after the German historian Christoph Cellarius published Universal History Divided into an Ancient and New Period. For 18th-century historians studying the 14th and 15th centuries, the central theme was the Renaissance, with its rediscovery of ancient learning and the emergence of an individual spirit.
The heart of this rediscovery lies in Italy, where, in the words of Jacob Burckhardt: "Man became a spiritual individual and recognized himself as such". This proposition was challenged, it was argued that the 12th century was a period of greater cultural achievement; as economic and demographic methods were applied to the study of history, the trend was to see the late Middle Ages as a period of recession and crisis. Belgian historian Henri Pirenne continued the subdivision of Early and Late Middle Ages in the years around World War I, yet it was his Dutch colleague, Johan Huizinga, responsible for popularising the pessimistic view of the Late Middle Ages, with his book The Autumn of the Middle Ages. To Huizinga, whose research focused on France and the Low Countries rather than Italy and decline were the main themes, not rebirth. Modern historiography on the period has reached a consensus between the two extremes of innovation and crisis, it is now acknowledged that conditions were vastly different north and south of the Alps, the term "Late Middle Ages" is avoided within Italian historiography.
The term "Renaissance" is still considered useful for describing certain intellectual, cultural, or artistic developments, but not as the defining feature of an entire European historical epoch. The period from the early 14th century up until – and sometimes including – the 16th century, is rather seen as characterized by other trends: demographic and economic decline followed by recovery, the end of western religious unity and the subsequent emergence of the nation state, the expansion of European influence onto the rest of the world; the limits of Christian Europe were still being defined in the 15th centuries. While the Grand Duchy of Moscow was beginning to repel the Mongols, the Iberian kingdoms completed the Reconquista of the peninsula and turned their attention outwards, the Balkans fell under the dominance of the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, the remaining nations of the continent were locked in constant international or internal conflict; the situation led to the consolidation of central authority and the emergence of the nation state.
The financial demands of war necessitated higher levels of taxation, resulting in the emergence of representative bodies – most notably the English Parliament. The growth of secular authority was further aided by t
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II was King of Sicily from 1198, King of Germany from 1212, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 and King of Jerusalem from 1225. He was the son of emperor Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and of Constance, heiress to the Norman kings of Sicily. Frederick's reign saw the Holy Roman Empire achieve its greatest territorial extent, his political and cultural ambitions were enormous as he ruled a vast area beginning with Sicily and stretching through Italy all the way north to Germany. As the Crusades progressed, he styled himself its king. However, the Papacy became his enemy, it prevailed. Viewing himself as a direct successor to the Roman emperors of antiquity, he was Emperor of the Romans from his papal coronation in 1220 until his death; as such, he was King of Germany, of Italy, of Burgundy. At the age of three, he was crowned King of Sicily as a co-ruler with his mother, Constance of Hauteville, the daughter of Roger II of Sicily, his other royal title was King of Jerusalem by virtue of marriage and his connection with the Sixth Crusade.
At war with the papacy, hemmed in between Frederick's lands in northern Italy and his Kingdom of Sicily to the south, he was excommunicated four times and vilified in pro-papal chronicles of the time and after. Pope Gregory IX went so far as to call him an Antichrist. Speaking six languages, Frederick was an avid patron of the arts, he played a major role in promoting literature through the Sicilian School of poetry. His Sicilian royal court in Palermo, beginning around 1220, saw the first use of a literary form of an Italo-Romance language, Sicilian; the poetry that emanated from the school had a significant influence on literature and on what was to become the modern Italian language. He was the first king to formally outlaw trial by ordeal, which had come to be viewed as superstitious. After his death his line did not survive, the House of Hohenstaufen came to an end. Furthermore, the Holy Roman Empire entered a long period of decline from which it did not recover until the reign of Charles V, 250 years later.
Historians have searched for superlatives to describe him, as in the case of Donald Detwiler, who wrote: A man of extraordinary culture and ability – called by a contemporary chronicler stupor mundi, by Nietzsche the first European, by many historians the first modern ruler – Frederick established in Sicily and southern Italy something much like a modern, centrally governed kingdom with an efficient bureaucracy. Born in Iesi, near Ancona, Frederick was the son of the emperor Henry VI, he was known as the puer Apuliae. Some chronicles say that his mother, the forty-year-old Constance, gave birth to him in a public square in order to forestall any doubt about his origin such as son of a butcher. Frederick was baptised in Assisi. In 1196 at Frankfurt am Main the infant Frederick was elected King of the Germans, his rights in Germany were disputed by Henry's brother Philip of Otto of Brunswick. At the death of his father in 1197, Frederick was in Italy, traveling towards Germany, when the bad news reached his guardian, Conrad of Spoleto.
Frederick was hastily brought back to his mother Constance in Palermo, where he was crowned king on 17 May 1198, at just three years of age. Constance of Sicily was in her own right queen of Sicily, she established herself as regent. In Frederick's name she dissolved Sicily's ties to Germany and the Empire, created by her marriage, sending home his German counsellors and renouncing his claims to the German throne and empire. Upon Constance's death in 1198, Pope Innocent III succeeded as Frederick's guardian. Frederick's tutor during this period was Cencio, who would become Pope Honorius III. Markward of Annweiler, with the support of Henry's brother, Philip of Swabia, reclaimed the regency for himself and soon after invaded the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1200, with the help of Genoese ships, he landed in Sicily and one year seized the young Frederick, he thus ruled Sicily until 1202, when he was succeeded by another German captain, William of Capparone, who kept Frederick under his control in the royal palace of Palermo until 1206.
Frederick was subsequently under tutor Walter of Palearia. His first task was to reassert his power over Sicily and southern Italy, where local barons and adventurers had usurped most of the authority. Otto of Brunswick had been crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Innocent III in 1209. In southern Italy, Otto became the champion of those noblemen and barons who feared Frederick's strong measures to check their power, such as the dismissal of the pro-noble Walter of Palearia; the new emperor invaded Italy. In response, Innocent sided against Otto, in September 1211 at the Diet of Nuremberg Frederick was elected in absentia as German King by a rebellious faction backed by the pope. Innocent excommunicated Otto, forced to return to Germany. Frederick sailed to Gaeta with a small following, he agreed with the pope on a future separation between the Sicilian and Imperial titles, named his wife Constance as regent. Passing through Lombardy and Engadin, he reached Konstanz in September 1212, preceding Otto by a few hours.
Frederick was crowned as king on 9 December 1212 in Mainz. Frederick's authority in Germany rem
Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres; the wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the field of the art, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism, its business district hosts Italy's stock exchange and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies.
In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three, is the wealthiest among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the Blue Banana and one of the "Four Motors for Europe"; the city has been recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are among the world's biggest in terms of revenue and growth. It hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015; the city hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students. Milan is the destination of 8 million overseas visitors every year, attracted by its museums and art galleries that boast some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci; the city is served by a large number of luxury hotels and is the fifth-most starred in the world by Michelin Guide.
The city is home to two of Europe's most successful football teams, A. C. Milan and F. C. Internazionale, one of Italy's main basketball teams, Olimpia Milano; the etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum planus. However, some scholars believe that lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence Mediolanum could signify the central sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France bore the name "Mediolanum", for example: Saintes and Évreux. In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow an ancient emblem of the city, fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata, beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French; the foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar.
Alciato credits Ambrose for his account. The Celtic Insubres, the inhabitants of the region of northern Italy called Insubria, appear to have founded Milan around 600 BC. According to the legend reported by Livy, the Gaulish king Ambicatus sent his nephew Bellovesus into northern Italy at the head of a party drawn from various Gaulish tribes; the Romans, led by consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, fought the Insubres and captured the city in 222 BC. They conquered the entirety of the region, calling the new province "Cisalpine Gaul" – "Gaul this side of the Alps" – and may have given the site its Latinized Celtic name of Mediolanum: in Gaulish *medio- meant "middle, center" and the name element -lanon is the Celtic equivalent of Latin -planum "plain", thus *Mediolanon meant " in the midst of the plain". In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum. Diocletian himself chose to reside at Nicomedia in the Eastern Empire, leaving his colleague Maximian at Milan.
Maximian built several gigantic monuments, the large circus, the thermae or "Baths of Hercules", a large complex of imperial palaces and other services and buildings of which fewer visible traces remain. Maximian increased the city area surrounded by a new, larger stone wall encompassing an area of 375 acres with many 24-sided towers; the monumental area had twin towers. From Mediolanum the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, granting tolerance to all religions within the Empire, thus paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion of Roman Europe. Constantine had come to Mediolanum to celebrate the wedding of his sister
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"