Jacques Cartier was a French explorer who was asked by the king of France to explore the New World and to found a colony. Cartier, seeking adventure, readily agreed.
He set out with two ships and sixty-one men. They crossed the Atlantic and reached land on the far side, only to discover that it was Vineland* (Canada). They stayed there and discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Prince Henry Island. Then they returned to France and stayed there for two or three years while they made plans for another expedition. Continue reading
The Islamic Empire (and its religion) all began with a man named Mohammed. Mohammed’s early upbringing gave no indication whatsoever as to the great man he would become. He was orphaned at an early age and brought up by his uncle. He was illiterate and nothing special in his demeanor. Later on he married a wealthy widow and became a high class merchant. Continue reading
The Hundred Years’ War lasted from 1337 until 1453. Many different kings fought and ruled over the course of this war. Probably the most famous person who fought in the war was Joan of Arc. Even though that brave girl fought for France only two years, she won herself more fame and glory than all the kings and princes that fought in it. Continue reading
Gerhard Groote was born in 1340 in a small town in the Netherlands. In 1350 the Black Plague swept through his town, carrying off his parents. So, at the age of ten, Groote inherited all of his father’s large wealth. As one could well imagine, he became an insufferable young man. Continue reading
Francesco Petrarca was born in 1304 in a town in Italy. He was an Italian poet who helped to ‘develop’ humanism. For this he earned one of his many titles—Father of Humanism. He was a very self-centered man. For example, he once wrote a poem to a girl he was in love with. It contained one paragraph about her and the rest, some twenty paragraphs, were about himself.
Petrarca’s father wanted him to study law, but he refused. When his father died he turned to poetry. Continue reading
Constantine, the emperor who is famous for integrating the Church into the Roman Empire, built his capital city on the borders of nowadays Turkey in 330 AD, and called it Constantinople. This city was a major trade, learning and cultural center. Continue reading