Events and ideas: 1200-1345

December 24, 1999


1204 Crusaders sack Constantinople.

1208 St Francis founds Franciscan order of friars.

1215 King John signs Magna Carta, limiting royal authority.

1216 St Dominic founds Dominican order of friars.

12 Genghis Khan dies leaving Mongol empire stretching from Black Sea to Pacific.

1235 Notre Dame completed two centuries after work began.

1240 Gunpowder reaches Europe from China.

1258 First English Parliament convened.

1259 Foundation of Ottoman Empire by Turkish tribes.

11 Marco Polo leaves Venice for China.

1290 Edward I expels Jews from England.

1305 Papacy moves to Avignon.

1339 Beginning of Hundred Years' War between France and England.


1225 Birth of Thomas Aquinas. His Summa Theologiae systematised Catholic.


1266 Birth of Giotto, founder of Florentine school of painting.

1285 Invention of spectacles.

1295 Scholastic philosopher and theologian Duns Scotus lectures at Oxford.

1321 Dante Alighieri writes The Divine Comedy.

1320 Oxford scientists the Merton Calculators invent astronomical instruments.

1345 Birth of Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales.

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