Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy. It is known for deep color, full body, low tannins and high levels of acid. Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow for the production of long-aging, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content; the best known appellation is the DOCG Barbera d'Asti in the Piedmont region: the highest-quality Nizza DOCG wines are produced within a sub-zone of the Barbera d'Asti production area. When young, the wines offer a intense aroma of fresh red cherries and blackberries. In the lightest versions notes of cherries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity, aging potential, hints of vanilla notes; the lightest versions are known for flavors and aromas of fresh fruit and dried fruits, are not recommended for cellaring.
Wines with better balance between acid and fruit with the addition of oak and having a high alcohol content are more capable of cellaring. Barbera is believed to have originated in the hills of Monferrato in central Piemonte, where it has been known from the thirteenth century. Documents from the cathedral of Casale Monferrato between 1246 and 1277 detail leasing agreements of vineyard lands planted with "de bonis vitibus barbexinis" or Barbera, as it was known then. However, one ampelographer, Pierre Viala, speculates that Barbera originated in the Lombardy region of Oltrepò Pavese. In the 19th and 20th centuries, waves of Italian immigrants brought Barbera to the Americas where the vine took root in California and Argentina among other places. Recent DNA evidence suggest. In 1985, the Piedmont region was rocked by a scandal involving Barbera producers illegally adding methanol to their wines, killing over 30 people and causing many more to lose their sight; the bad press and publicity saw a steady decline in Barbera sales and plantings, allowing the grape to be eclipsed by the Montepulciano grape as Italy's second most planted red grape variety in the late 1990s.
The Barbera vine is vigorous and capable of producing high yields if not kept in check by pruning and other methods. Excessive yields can diminish the fruit quality in the grape and accentuate Barbera's natural acidity and sharpness. In Piedmont, the vine was prized for its yields and ability to ripen two weeks earlier than Nebbiolo on vineyard sites with less than ideal exposure; this allowed the Piedmontese winemakers in regions like Alba to give their best sites over to the more difficult to cultivate Nebbiolo and still produce quality wine with Barbera that could be consumed earlier while the Nebbiolo ages. Harvest for Barbera takes place in late September-early October two weeks after Dolcetto has been picked. In recent times, winemakers have been experimenting with harvesting Barbera at higher sugar levels to produce heavier, more fruit forward wines. In some vintages, these producers may harvest their Barbera after Nebbiolo. Barbera can adapt to a wide range of vineyard soils but tends to thrive most in less fertile calcareous soils and clay loam.
Sandy soils can help limit yields. The grape thrives in alkaline or saline soils. Like many grape varieties with a long history, the Barbera vine has seen mutation and clonal variation arise with different clones of the variety found in Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and the Mezzogiorno; the different clones can be identified by the size and shape of their grape clusters with the smaller cluster clones producing the highest quality wine. In recent years, viticulturalists have been working with clonal selection to increase Barbera's resistance to the leafroll virus. Winemakers working with Barbera have a variety of ways to deal with the grape's high acidity and moderate astringency; the most common has been through blending with varieties lacking those components and creating a softer and more balanced wine as a result. In the 1970s, the French enologist Emile Peynaud recommended that Barbera producers use small oak barrels for fermentation and maturation in order to add subtle oak spice flavors and limited levels of oxygenation to soften the wine.
The added oxygen would limit the reductive quality of Barbera and the occurrence of off-odors of hydrogen sulfide that would occur in some examples. The polysaccharides picked up from the oak, was found to increase the richness of Barbera. At the time, his recommendation met some resistance from the tradition minded Barbera producers, but the success of the "Super Tuscans" which introduced new oak barrel treatment to Sangiovese caused many producers to reconsider. In addition to the subtle oxygenation and spice notes, oak imparts to the wine ligneous wood tannins which give structure to the wine without adding as much astringent bite as the tannins derived from the phenolic compounds of the grape. This, coupled with reduced maceration time, contributed to the production of softer wines. Lower yields and harvesting riper grapes with more fruit and sugar has been found to be a better balance for Barbera's high acidity. Northwest Italy is the viticultural home for Barbera, but Italian immigrants spread it through much of the New World, where its acidity is valued in blended wines for the'freshness' it imparts.
Barbera is found in the northwestern part of Italy in Monferrato, to a lesser extent further south. Near
Filippo Maria Visconti
Filippo Maria Visconti was the duke of Milan from 1412 to 1447. Filippo Maria Visconti, who had become nominal ruler of Pavia in 1402, succeeded his assassinated brother Gian Maria Visconti as Duke of Milan in 1412, they were the sons of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Gian Maria's predecessor, by his second wife, Caterina Visconti. From Filippo's marriage to Beatrice Lascaris di Tenda, Countess of Biandrate and the unhappy widow of Facino Cane—the condottiere who had fomented strife between the factions of Filippo's elder brother and his mother, Caterina Visconti, the regent—Filippo Maria received a dowry of nearly half a million florins. Cruel and sensitive about his personal ugliness, he was a great politician, by employing such powerful condottieri as Carmagnola, Piccinino—who unsuccessfully led his troops at the Battle of Anghiari, 1440— and Francesco Sforza, he managed to recover the Lombard portion of his father's duchy. At the death of Giorgio Ordelaffi, lord of Forlì, he took advantage of his guardianship of the boy heir, Tebaldo Ordelaffi, to attempt conquests in Romagna, provoking war with Florence, which could not permit his ambitions to go uncontested.
Venice, urged on by Francesco Bussone da Carmagnola, decided to intervene on the side of Florence and the war spread to Lombardy. In March 1426 Carmagnola fomented riots in Brescia, which he had conquered for Visconti just five years previously. After a long campaign, Venice conquered Brescia, extending its mainland possessions to the eastern shores of Lake Garda. Filippo Maria unsuccessfully sought imperial aid but was constrained to accept the peace proposed by Pope Martin V, favoring Venice and Carmagnola; the terms were grudgingly accepted by the emperor. The following year the duke married his second wife Marie of Savoy, Duchess of Milan, daughter of Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy, a potent ally. With Visconti's support, Amadeus reigned as antipope Felix V from November 1439 to April 1449, he invited the famous scholar Gasparino Barzizza to establish a school at Milan. Barzizza served as his court orator, he died in 1447, the last of the Visconti in direct male line, he was succeeded in the duchy, after the short-lived Ambrosian republic, by Francesco Sforza, who had married in 1441 Filippo Maria's only heir, his natural daughter Bianca Maria by his mistress Agnese del Maino.
The oldest extant Tarot decks called carte da trionfi, were commissioned by Filippo Maria Visconti. Montechino Castle Wars in Lombardy Vincenzo Bellini's 1833 opera Beatrice di Tenda Marina, Areli. "The Langobard Revival of Matteo il Magno Visconti, Lord of Milan". I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance. University of Chicago Press. Vol. 16, No. 1/2 September. Wilkins, David G.. The Search for a Patron in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. E. Mellen Press; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Visconti". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28. Cambridge University Press. P. 129
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading. In the latter number will be my uncle, of your compositions. Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle's book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79 in Stabiae while attempting the rescue of a friend and his family by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, Pliny died during that event.
Pliny's dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, which would put his birth in AD 23 or 24. Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names, their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th-century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The form is an elegy; the most accepted reconstruction is PLINIVS SECVNDVS AVGV. LERI. PATRI. MATRI. MARCELLAE. TESTAMENTO FIERI IVSSOThe Vs represent Us, it should say "Plinius Secundus augur ordered this to be made as a testament to his father ler and his mother Marcella"The actual words are fragmentary. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through. Whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from an unknown source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona and that his parents were Celer and Marcella.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus. How the inscription got to Verona is unknown, but it could have arrived by dispersal of property from Pliny the Younger's Tuscan estate at Colle Plinio, north of Città di Castello, identified for certain by his initials in the roof tiles, he kept statues of his ancestors there. Pliny the Elder was born at Como, not at Verona: it is only as a native of old Gallia Transpadana that he calls Catullus of Verona his conterraneus, or fellow-countryman, not his municeps, or fellow-townsman. A statue of Pliny on the façade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son, he had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncle's breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers; this shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a "good Roman", which means that he maintained the customs of the great Roman forefathers.
This statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory. One commemorates the younger's career as the imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como. Another identifies his father Lucius' village as Fecchio near Como. Therefore, Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinia gens: the insubric root Plina still persists, with rhotacism, in the local surname "Prina", he did not take his father's cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded the Plinii Secundi; the family was prosperous. No earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Pliny's birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat, he imported a population of 4,500 from other provinces to be placed in Comasco and 500 aristocratic Greeks to found Novum Comum itself.
The community was thus multi-ethnic and the Plinies could have come from anywhere. No record of any ethnic distinctions in Pliny's time is apparent; the population prided themselves on being Roman citizens. Pliny the Elder had no children. In his will, he adopted his nephew; the adoption is called a "testamental adoption" by writers on the topic, who assert that it applied to the name change only, but Roman jurisprudence recognizes no such category. Pliny the Younger thus became the adopted son of Pliny the Elder after the latter's death. Fo
Marcus Velleius Paterculus
Marcus Velleius Paterculus known as Velleius, was a Roman historian. His History, written in a rhetorical style, covered the period from the end of the Trojan War to the death of Livia in AD 29, but is most useful for the period from the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. to the death of Augustus in 14 AD. Although Velleius's praenomen is given as Marcus by Priscian, some modern scholars identify him with Gaius Velleius Paterculus, whose name occurs in an inscription on a north African milestone. Paterculus may have been born c. 19 BC in Aeclanum, a major centre of Hirpinia, into a distinguished Campanian family. He may have been a native of Capua, he entered the army at an early age, served as military tribune in Thrace, Macedonia and the East, in AD 2 was present at the interview on the Euphrates between Gaius Caesar, grandson of Augustus, the Parthian king Phraataces. Afterwards, as praefect of cavalry and legatus, he served for eight years in Germany and Pannonia under Tiberius. For his services he was rewarded with the quaestorship in AD 8, together with his brother, with the praetorship in AD 15.
He was still alive in AD 30, for his history contains many references to the consulship of M. Vinicius in that year, it has been conjectured. His Compendium of Roman History consists of two books dedicated to M. Vinicius, covers the period from the dispersion of the Greeks after the siege of Troy down to the death of Livia; the first book brings the history down to the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC. The history the period from the death of Julius Caesar, 44 BC, to the death of Augustus, AD 14, is treated in much greater detail. Brief notices are given of Greek and Roman literature, but no mention is made of Plautus, Horace or Propertius; the author does not display real historical insight, although trustworthy in his statements of individual facts. He may be regarded as a courtly annalist rather than an historian, his chronology is inconsistent. On Caesar and above all on his patron Tiberius, he lavishes praise or flattery; the repetitions and slovenliness of expression may be due to the haste with which it was written.
The inflated rhetoric, the straining after effect by means of hyperbole and epigram, belong to the Silver Age, of which Paterculus is the earliest example. He purposed to write a fuller history of the period, including the civil war between Caesar and Pompey and the wars of Tiberius, his chief authorities were Cato's Origines, the Annales of Quintus Hortensius, Pompeius Trogus, Cornelius Nepos, Livy. Velleius Paterculus was little known in antiquity, he seems to have been read by Lucan and imitated by Sulpicius Severus, but he is mentioned only by the scholiast on Lucan, except once by Priscian. The text of the work, preserved in a single badly written and mutilated manuscript, is corrupt. Editio princeps, 1520 early editions by Justus Lipsius J. Gruter Nikolaes Heinsius the Elder Pieter Burman the Elder editions Ruhnken and Frotscher J. C. Orelli Justus Friedrich Kritz Friedrich Gottlob Haase Karl Felix Halm R. Ellis On the sources see F. Burmeister, "De Fontibus Vellei Paterculi," in Berliner Studien für classische Philologie, xv.
English translation by J. S. Watson in Bohn's Classical Library. Velleius Paterculus, Historiarum Libri Duo, ed. W. S. Watt = Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana ISBN 3-598-71873-X A. J. Woodman, Velleius Paterculus: The Caesarian and Augustan Narrative = Cambridge Classical texts and commentaries 25. ISBN 0-521-60702-7 Velleius Paterculus: The Tiberian Narrative = Cambridge Classical texts and commentaries 19. ISBN 0-521-60935-6) Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History, trans. F. W. Shipley. Virtues of Tiberius in Velleius’ "Histories." Historia 63.3: 340-363. Connal, R. T.. Velleius Paterculus: The Soldier and the Senator. Classical World 107, 49-62. Cowan, E. ed.. Velleius Paterculus: Making History. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. Gowing, A. M.. Caesar Grabs my Pen: Writing on Civil War under Tiberius. In Citizens of Discord: Rome and Its Civil Wars. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gowing, A. M.. Empire and Memory; the Representation of the Roman Republic in Imperial Culture.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kramer, E. A.. Book One of Velleius’ History: Scope, Levels of Treatment, Non-Roman Elements. Historia 54.2: 144–161. Schultze, C.. Universal and Particular in Velleius Paterculus. In Historiae Mundi: Studies in Universal Historiography. Edited by P. Liddel and A. Fear, 116–130. London: Duckworth. Starr, R. J.. Velleius’ Literary Techniques and the Organization of his History. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 110: 287–301. Sumner, G. V.. The Truth about Velleius Paterculus: Prolegomena. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 74: 257–297. Syme, R.. Mendacity in Velleius. American Journal of Philology. 99: 45–63. Syme, R.. "Seianus on the Aventine". Hermes. Franz Steiner Verlag. 84: 257–266. JSTOR 4474933. Woodman, A. J.. Vell
The Po is a river that flows eastward across northern Italy. The Po flows either 682 km -- considering the length of the Maira, a right bank tributary; the headwaters of the Po are a spring seeping from a stony hillside at Pian del Re, a flat place at the head of the Val Po under the northwest face of Monviso. The Po ends at a delta projecting into the Adriatic Sea near Venice, it has a drainage area of 74,000 km² in all, 70,000 in Italy, of which 41,000 is in montane environments and 29,000 on the plain. The Po is the longest river in Italy; the Po extends along the 45th parallel north. The river flows through many important Italian cities, including Turin and Ferrara, it is connected to Milan through a net of channels called navigli, which Leonardo da Vinci helped design. Near the end of its course, it creates a wide delta at the southern part of, Comacchio, an area famous for eels; the Po valley was the territory of the Roman Cisalpine Gaul, divided into Cispadane Gaul and Transpadane Gaul. The Po begins in the Alps, is in Italy, flows eastward.
The river is subject to heavy flooding. Over half its length is controlled with argini, or dikes; the slope of the valley decreases from 0.35 % in the west to 0.14 % in a low gradient. There are 450 standing lakes, it is characterized by its large discharge. The vast valley around the Po is called the Po Po Valley. In 2002, more than 16 million people lived there, at the time nearly ⅓ of the population of Italy; the two main economic uses of the valley are for agriculture, both major uses. The industrial centres, such as Turin and Milan, are located on higher terrain, away from the river, they rely for power on the numerous hydroelectric stations in or on the flanks of the Alps, on the coal/oil power stations which use the water of the Po basin as coolant. Drainage from the north is mediated through several scenic lakes; the streams are now controlled by so many dams as to slow the river's sedimentation rate, causing geologic problems. The expansive and fertile flood plain is reserved for agriculture and is subject to flash floods though the overall quantity of water is lower than in the past and lower than demand.
The main products of the farms around the river are cereals including – unusually for Europe – rice, which requires heavy irrigation. The latter method is the chief consumer of surface water, while industrial and human consumption use underground water; the Po Delta wetlands have been protected by the institution of two regional parks in the regions in which it is situated: Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. The Po Delta Regional Park in Emilia-Romagna, the largest, consists of four parcels of land on the right bank of the Po and to the south. Created by law in 1988, it is managed by a consortium, the Consorzio per la gestione de Parco, to which Ferrara and Ravenna provinces belong as well as nine comuni: Comacchio, Ostellato, Mesola, Ravenna and Cervia. Executive authority resides in an assembly of the presidents of the provinces, the mayors of the comuni and the board of directors, they employ a Park Council to carry out directives. In 1999 the park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and was added to "Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, its Po Delta."
The 53,653 ha of the park contain wetlands, forest and salt pans. It has a high biodiversity, with 1000–1100 plant species and 374 vertebrate species, of which 300 are birds; the most recent part of the delta, which projects into the Adriatic between Chioggia and Comacchio, contains channels that connect to the Adriatic and on that account is called the active delta by the park authorities, as opposed to the fossil delta, which contains channels that no longer connect the Po to the Adriatic. The active delta was created in 1604 when the city of Venice diverted the main stream, the Po grande or Po di Venezia, from its channel north of Porto Viro to the south of Porto Viro in a channel called the Taglio di Porto Viro, "Porto Viro cut-off", their intent was to stop the gradual migration of the Po toward the lagoon of Venice, which would have filled up with sediment had contact been made. The subsequent town of Taglio di Po grew around the diversionary works; the lock of Volta Grimana blocked the old channel, now the Po di Levante, which flows to the Adriatic through Porto Levante.
Below Taglio di Po the Parco Regionale Veneto, one of the tracts under the authority of the Parco Delta del Po, contains the latest branches of the Po. The Po di Gnocca branches to the south followed by the Po di Maestra to the north at Porto Tolle. At Tolle downstream the Po di Venezia divides into the Po delle Tolle to the south and the Po della Pila to the north; the former exits at Bonelli. The latter divides again at Pila into the Busa di Tramontana to the north and the Busa di Scirocco to the south, while the mainstream, the Busa Dritta, enters Punta Maistra and exits past Pila lighthouse. Despite the park administration's definition of the active delta as beginning at Porto Viro, there is another active channel upstream from it at Santa Maria in Punta, where the Fiume Po d
The Scrivia, 117 kilometres long, is a right tributary of the Po River, in northern Italy. It runs through Liguria and Lombardy. Left hand: torrente Laccio. Media related to Scrivia river at Wikimedia Commons
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