1500’s a timeline of natural light, the hidden light, and the ever-present darkness in the Western World.
1501 Aldus Manutius, a printer, introduces his new standard format for the printed book. He creates the pocket book, an octavio (eight inch tall) size book, with a title page stating the author’s name, each page was numbered, and the text had an index. He also invents italic font. The first book he published in this format was Virgil’s Opera. This format is the invention of the comparatively inexpensive hand held book. Manutius is also the first publisher of the Greek classic texts.
1504 Michelangelo completes his sculpture of David
1505: Ten České Budějovice Jews are tortured and executed after being accused of killing a Christian girl; later, on his deathbed, a shepherd confesses to fabricating the accusation.
1506 April 19: A marrano expresses his doubts about miracle visions at St. Dominics Church in Lisbon, Portugal. The crowd, led by Dominican monks, kills him, then ransacks Jewish houses and slaughters any Jew they could find. The countrymen hear about the massacre and join in. Over 2,000 marranos killed in three days.
1508 Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus’s Adagia, a collection of Greek and Latin proverbs.
1508-12 Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.
1509 August 19: A converted Jew Johannes Pfefferkorn receives authority of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor to destroy the Talmud and other Jewish religious books, except the Hebrew Bible, in Frankfurt.
1510 July 19: Forty Jews are executed in Brandenburg, Germany for allegedly desecrating the host; remainder expelled. 23 November. Less-wealthy Jews expelled from Naples; remainder heavily taxed. 38 Jews burned at the stake in Berlin.
1511 June 6: Eight Roman Catholic converts from Judaism burned at the stake for allegedly reverting.
1512-14 Copernicus’s in Commentariolus, outlines his heliocentric theory. 1513 Machiavelli writes The Prince.
1516 Thomas More writes the book Utopia. The first ghetto is established, on one of the islands in Venice.
1517 Marin Luther posts his theses in the city of Wittenburg, Germany challenging Papal authority. This is the beginning of the Reformation and the creation of what will become known as Protestant Christianity.
1519: Martin Luther leads Protestant Reformation and challenges the doctrine of Servitus Judaeorum "... to deal kindly with the Jews and to instruct them to come over to us". 21 February. All Jews expelled from Ratisbon/Regensburg.
1520: Pope Leo X allows the Jews to print the Talmud in Venice. A first complete translation of Maimonides's Guide for the Perplexed in Latin (Rabbi Mossei Aegyptii Dux seu Director dubitantium aut perplexorum) was printed in Paris by Agostino Giustiniani/Augustinus Justinianus.
1521 The official act that openly divides the Lutherans from Roman Catholic Christianity is begun with the Edict of Worms, which officially excommunicated Luther and all of his followers from the Catholic Church’s form of Christianity.
1522 Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, born Cordovero Spain
1523 The first complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud was printed in Venice by Daniel Bomberg. In addition to the Mishnah and Gemara, Bomberg's edition contained the commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot. Henceforth every edition of the Talmud would follow this format and include the comprehensive commentary of Rashi.
1527 June 16: Jews are ordered to leave Florence, but the edict is soon rescinded.
1528: Three judaizers are burned at the stake in Mexico City's first auto da fe.
1530 A deck with a fifth suit of trumps called carte da trionfi is called a Tarocchi deck to be played with.
1531 German Heinrich von Nettesheim aka Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535) publishes De Occulta Philosophia
1534 Isaac Luria (the ARI) was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. Henry the VIII of England issues Act of Supremacy rejecting Papal control in England. Luther completes translation of the Latin Vulgate Christian Bible into the German language. This is the first translation of the Christian Bible into an accessible common language. This begins a long series of translations for a similar purpose, to make the text accessible to all Christian believers.
1535: After Spanish troops capture Tunis all the local Jews are sold into slavery.
1540 the book Le Sorti published in Venice provides instructions on how to use ordinary four suit playing cards for divination or fortune-telling. All Jews are banished from Prague.
1541 Michelangelo completes the Last Judgment
1542 Establishment of the Roman Inquisition by Catholic Church.
1543: Copernicus’s De Revolutinibus Orbium Coelestium. Vesalius’ On the Structure of the Human Body. Martin Luther In his pamphlet On the Jews and Their Lies advocates an eight-point plan to get rid of the Jews as a distinct group either by religious conversion or by expulsion: "...set fire to their synagogues or schools..." "...their houses also be razed and destroyed..." ...their prayer books and Talmudic writings... be taken from them..." "...their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb..." "...safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews..." "...usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them..." and "Such money should now be used in ... the following [way]... Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [certain amount]..." "...young, strong Jews and Jewesses [should]... earn their bread in the sweat of their brow..." "If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country" and "we must drive them out like mad dogs." Luther "got the Jews expelled from Saxony in 1537, and in the 1540s he drove them from many German towns; he tried unsuccessfully to get the elector to expel them from Brandenburg in 1543. His followers continued to agitate against the Jews there: they sacked the Berlin synagogue in 1572 and the following year finally got their way, the Jews being banned from the entire country."
1542/48 Pardes Rimonim (Garden / Orchard of Pomegranates ) Moses ben Jacob Cordovero’s ‘notes’ on his study of the Zohar is finished.
1546: Martin Luther's sermon Admonition against the Jews contains accusations of ritual murder, black magic, and poisoning of wells. Luther recognizes no obligation to protect the Jews.
1547: Ivan the Terrible becomes ruler of Russia and refuses to allow Jews to live in or even enter his kingdom because they "bring about great evil" (quoting his response to request by Polish king Sigismund II).
1550: Dr. Joseph Hacohen is chased out of Genoa for practicing medicine; soon all Jews are expelled.
1553: Pope Julius III forbids Talmud printing and orders burning of any copy found. Rome's Inquisitor-General, Cardinal Carafa (later Pope Paul IV) has Talmud publicly burnt in Rome on Rosh Hashanah, starting a wave of Talmud burning throughout Italy. About 12,000 copies were destroyed.
1554: Cornelio da Montalcino, a Franciscan Friar who converted to Judaism, is burned alive in Rome.
1555: The Peace of Augsburg a treaty between Charles V of the Catholic Holy Roman Empire and the forces of an alliance of Lutheran princes is signed on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg, now in present-day Bavaria, Germany. It officially ends the first religious war between the two groups and made the legal division of Christendom permanent within the territories controlled by the Holy Roman Empire. In Papal Bull Cum nimis absurdum, Pope Paul IV writes: "It appears utterly absurd and impermissible that the Jews, whom God has condemned to eternal slavery for their guilt, should enjoy our Christian love." He renews anti-Jewish legislation and installs a locked nightly ghetto in Rome. The Bull also forces Jewish males to wear a yellow hat, females – yellow kerchief. Owning real estate or practicing medicine on Christians is forbidden. It also limits Jewish communities to only one synagogue.
1557: Jews are temporarily banished from Prague.
1558 The Zohar first published edition. Recanati, Italy: a baptized Jew Joseph Paul More enters synagogue on Yom Kippur under the protection of Pope Paul IV and tries to preach a conversion sermon. The congregation evicts him. Soon after, the Jews are expelled from Recanati.
1559: Pope Pius IV allows Talmud on conditions that it is printed by a Christian and the text is censored.
1561 Joseph Gikatilla’s Sha’ are Orah published.
1562: The editio princeps of the Sefer Yetzirah (Mantua, 1562) contains two recensions, which were used in the main by the commentators of the book as early as the middle of the 10th century. The shorter version (Mantua I.) was annotated by Dunash ibn Tamim or by Jacob b. Nissim, while Saadia and Donnolo wrote commentaries on the longer recension (Mantua II.). The shorter version was also used by most of the later commentators, such as Judah b. Barzillai and Nahmanides, and it was, therefore, published in the ordinary editions. The longer recension, on the other hand, was little known, the form given in the editio princeps of the Sefer Yetzirah being probably a copy of the text found in Donnolo's commentary. In addition to these two principal recensions of the text, both versions contain a number of variant readings which have not yet been examined critically.In Pope Pius IV's Counter-Reformation, he restores church music to its pure vocal form by eliminating all instruments except the organ, any evidence of secularism, harmony and folk melody. Giovanni Da Palestrina satisfies the pope's rigid requirements and creates a new spiritual style that legend says “saved polyphony” when he writes Pope Marcellus Mass, his most famous and enchanting piece.
1563 February: Russian troops take Polotsk from Lithuania, Jews are given ultimatum: embrace Russian Orthodox Church or die. Around 300 Jewish men, women and children were thrown into ice holes of Dvina river.
1564: Brest-Litovsk: the son of a wealthy Jewish tax collector is accused of killing the family's Christian servant for ritual purposes. He is tortured and executed in line with the law. King Sigismund II of Poland forbids future charges of ritual murder, calling them groundless.
1565: Jews are temporarily banished from Prague. In Italian music, castration emerges as a way of preserving high male singing voices. St. Paul's dictum prohibited women from singing on stage and in churches. The practice becomes commonplace by 1574.
1566: Antonio Ghislieri elected and, as Pope Pius V, reinstates the harsh anti-Jewish laws of Pope Paul IV. In 1569 he expels Jews dwelling outside of the ghettos of Rome, Ancona, and Avignon from the Papal States, thus ensuring that they remain city-dwellers.
1567: Jews are reauthorised to live in France.
1569: Rabbi Isaac Luria moves to Safed, Palestine.
1570 Moses ben Jacob Cordovero dies
1572 Isaac Luria dies in Safed. Tycho Brahe records the observation of a supernova
1584 Giordano Bruno (born in Nola Italy 1548) publishes The Ash Wednesday Supper and On Cause, Principle and Unity, and On the Infinite Universe and Worlds.
1588: The English Madrigal School is firmly established. The movement, led by Thomas Morley, produces some of the most delightful secular music ever heard. Madrigals often told stories of love or grief.
1590 Dutch spectacle makers Hans Jansen and his son Zacharias Jansen, claimed by later writers Pierre Borel or William Borel, to have invented a device to study small objects by looking through the compound lenses, and thus created his version of what will be called the microscope. Jewish quarter of Mikulov (Nikolsburg) burns to ground and 15 people die while Christians watch or pillage. King Philip II of Spain orders expulsion of Jews from Lombardy. His order is ignored by local authorities until 1597, when 72 Jewish families are forced into exile. William Shakespeare’s Henry VI.
1590- 1607 These are the years when William Shakespeare wrote and had his first performances of his plays, such as The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Macbeth.
1590–1604:A group of musicians and intellectuals gather in Count Giovanni de Bardi's camerata (salon) and discuss and experiment with music drama. It is during this period that opera is born. Jacopo Peri's Dafne, the first Italian opera, is produced in 1598 and Euridice in 1600.
1591 Moses Cordevero’s Pardes Rimonim is first published
1593 February 25: Pope Clement VIII confirms the Papal bull of Paul III that expels Jews from Papal states except ghettos in Rome and Ancona and issues Caeca et obdurata ("Blind Obstinacy"): "All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit. ... Then as now Jews have to be reminded intermittently anew that they were enjoying rights in any country since they left Palestine and the Arabian desert, and subsequently their ethical and moral doctrines as well as their deeds rightly deserve to be exposed to criticism in whatever country they happen to live."
1596 Kepler’s Mysterium Cosmographicum and Spenser’s Faerie Queene.
And so it goes…