Navajo Timeline
Pre-Columbus (To 1491)

Year Navajo History World History
1200
B.C.
to
800
B.C.
  • The Na-Dené arrived in Alaska from Asia. The Na-Dené Ensemble included 4 major Groups: the Eyak, the Haida, the Tlingit, and the Athabascan (or Athapaskan). There is a strong probability that a relationship may be proved between Na-Dené and the Sino-Tibetan language (i.e. the ancestral form of the Chinese and Tibetan languages).
  • Moses led Israelites out of Egypt to Canaan, and got the Ten Commandments from God.
  • c. 1103 B.C. - Greeks captured and destroyed the city of Troy. Having tried for 10 years to capture the city, they pretended to give up, and presented the people of Troy a gift, a huge wooden horse. Greek soldiers hidden inside the horse exited when the horse was brought into the city and destroyed Troy.
  • Chinese civilization developed under Shang Dynasty.
  • Olmec civilization in Mexico, erected stone monuments, and developed picture writing.
  • 1000-900 B.C. - Solomon succeeded King David, built the Jerusalem temple. After Solomon's death, kingdom divided into Israel and Judah. Hebrew elders began to write Old Testament books of Bible.
  • 900-800 B.C. - The Iliad and the Odyssey, perhaps composed by Greek Poet Homer.
   
200
B.C.
to
200
A.D.
  • The Tlingit and Athabascan separated into their own tribe.
  • 191 B.C. - Romans defeated Seleucid King Antiochus III at Thermopylae, to begin Roman world (Europe, Middle East, north Africa) domination.
  • 149-146 B.C. - Third Punic War. Rome destroyed Carthage, killing 450,000 and enslaving the remaining 50,000 inhabitants. Roman armies conquered Macedonia, Greece, Anatolia, Balearic Islands, and southern France.
  • 100-44 B.C. - Julius Caesar invaded Britain (55 B.C.) and conquered Gaul (France) (c. 50 B.C.).
  • 71 B.C. - Spartacus led slave revolt against Rome.
  • 63 B.C. - Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem.
  • 51-31 B.C. - Cleopatra on Eqyptian throne.
  • 50 B.C. - Caesar crossed Rubicon to fight Pompey.
  • 47 B.C. - Herod made Roman Governor of Judea.
  • 44 B.C. - Caesar murdered.
  • 31 B.C. - Caesar's nephew, Octavian, defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Battle of Actium, and established Roman Empire as Emperor Agustus, who ruled 27 B.C. to 14 A.D.
  • 27 B.C. - Pantheon built for the 1st time at Agrippa.
  • 1 B.C. - Birth of Jesus Christ.
  • 14-49 - After Augustus, Tiberius became Emperor (died 37 A.D.), succeeded by Caligula (assassinated 41 A.D.), who was followed by Claudius.
  • 30 - Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (who died probably at age 31). Jesus Christ visited the Americas (from Book of Mormon) "to see his other children" before his ascension.
  • 30~49- Han Dynasty in China founded by Emperor Kuang Wu Ti.
  • Buddhism introduced in China.
  • 34-60 - Missionary journeys of Paul the Apostle.
  • 49-54 - Emperor Claudius succeeded Caligula who was assassinated in 41 A.D. Emperor Claudius suffers a similiar fate by being poisoned in 54 A.D.
  • 54-68 - Emperor Nero succeeded Emperor Claudius who was poisoned in 54 A.D.. Emperor Nero then committed suicide in 68 A.D. after setting fire to Rome.
  • 64 - Roman persecutions of Christians began.
  • 70 - Jews revolted against Rome, Jerusalem destroyed.
  • 71-80 - Colosseum built in Rome.
  • 98-116 - Emperor Trajan ruled the Roman Empire. Roman Empire extended to Mesopotamia, Arabia, and the Balkans.
  • First Gospels of St. Mark, St. John, and St. Matthew, written.
  • 117-138 - Hadrian ruled Rome. Codified Roman Law, rebuilt Pantheon, established postal system, built wall between England and Scotland,
  • 122-135 - Jews revolted under Bar Kokhba. Final Diaspora (dispersion) of Jews began.
  • 161-180 - Marcus Aurelius ruled Rome.
  • c. 200 - Oldest Mayan temples and Pyramids in Central America were built.
   
825
to
1000
  • Because of cataclysmic volcanic eruptions in Alaska that caused significant climate changes there, a wave of Athabascans (or Athapaskans) left the main group and began moving south to northwest Canada and along the coastline into what is now the Washington and Vancouver areas. Those along the Pacific Coast became known as the Pacific Coast Athabascans and would include the Chasta Costa, Tutuni, Galice, Hupa, and Kato Indians.
  • 800 - Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne, King of the barbarian Franks (771), first Emperor of the new Holy Roman Empire in Rome. Charlemagne died in 814, who was succeeded by his son, Louis the Pious, who divided France among his sons (817).
  • 855-879 - Russian nation founded by Vikings under Prince Rurik, establishing capital at Novgorod.
  • 861 - Norsemen discovered Iceland.
  • 900 - Vikings discovered Greenland.
  • 900-1519 - The Mayan Post-Classical Period.
  • 936 - Otto I became King of Germany.
  • 962 - Otto I crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII.
  • 982 - Eric the Red established 1st Viking colony in Greenland.
  • 1000 - Norsemen under Leif Ericson land on the coast of North America. Because they find grapes there, they call the region Vinland. Sites from Newfoundland to Virginia have been identified as Vinland, but its location is generally thought to be the coast of Nova Scotia or New England. According to the Icelandic Saga of Eric the Red, Leif Ericson, introduces Christianity along the North American coast.
  • 1010 - Caliph Hakim renounces the Holy City of Jerusalem one year after the Arabs sack the Holy Sepulcher.
  • 919-1067 - Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, was constructed by the Anasazi (Navajo word for "the Ancient Ones"). It was 5 stories high holding over 2,650 rooms, two great kivas, and a front plaza.
   
1000
to
1300
 
  • 1000-1300 - Classic Pueblo period of Anasazi culture; cliff dwellings. "Anasazi" is a Navajo word meaning "the Ancient Ones".
   
1300
to
1500
  • A second and last wave of Athabascans (or Athapaskans) left the main group from Alaska and northwest Canada and would follow an inland migration route into the southwestern part of the United States and northern Mexico. This 2nd Athabascan wave make-up the Apachean Sub-Group (Jicarilla, Mescalero, Chiricahua, Lipan, Aravaipa, Kiowa-Apache, & Navajos) and would take over a region once occupied by the Anasazi (Navajo word for "the Ancient Ones") and was already inhabited by Pueblos, Paiutes, Utes, Commanches, and Hohokams (present day Pimas and Papagos). They were not a peaceful band, making a name for themselves as raiders and sometime plunderers. They roamed the region from present-day southern Utah to northern Mexico, from western Arizona to the pan-handle of Texas, raiding the Pueblo Indians, and fighting the Utes, Commanches, and Mexican Indians. They started to establish themselves in the area known as "Apacheria" about the time of the European discovery of the New World (the Americas) by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
        Their roaming over the large area of "Apacheria" help for their separation into different linguistic groups even though they spoke a common language. They adapted to their surroundings by absorbing the best of the customs and cultures of the non-Apache inhabitants. One group of many different clans (the Navajos) tended to always return and later settle with in and near their 4 sacred mountains, in Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado, and southern Utah, known as "Dinetah". Years later, they were spoken of by the Tewa Pueblos as "those with large cultivated fields" (Nabahu), and by the Spaniards as "Apaches Du Nabahu" (Apaches of the Cultivated Fields). "Apache" coming from the Zuni Pueblo language, meaning "Enemy". Navajo bands spoke of themselves as Diné (the "People"), while others spoke of themselves as Ni'hookaa Diyan Diné (Holy Earth People, or Lords of the Earth). In later years, "Dinetah" would be their historic land claimed by the Navajos in legal suits with the Hopi Nation during the late 1900s. Many other Apaches bands would transverse and settle in regions that would give them a distinct name because of their habits or regions of occupancy in Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, and northern Mexico.
        Later these bands of Navajos and Apaches would raid and fight the Spanish, and Mexicans, when the Spanish and Mexicans entered the region and treated them harshly.
  • 1325 - The Aztec city, Tenochtitlán, in Mexico, at the "place of the cactus in the rock", was founded.
  • 1347-1351 - The Black Death in Europe killed over 20 million (1/3 of the world's population). The bubonic plague was spread by rats and its fleas.
  • 1368 - The Ming Dynasty began in China.
  • 1378 - The Great Church Schism. Two Popes were elected, one in Rome, one in Avignon, France. They fought for control of the Roman Catholic Church. It lasted for 39 years until 1417.
  • 1400 - The Aztec city-state of Tenochtitlán arose as the preeminent city in the central Mexico basin dominating much older and more established cities.
  • 1410 - First translation of Ptolemy's Geography appeared in Toledo and revived the notion that the earth was round. Toledo was the greatest intellectual center of Europe, where Moslem traditions, rather than Christian scholarship prevailed. Arab works on mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, and medicine were kept in the great libraties of Toledo and translated into Latin.
  • 1428 - Itzcoatl became ruler of the Aztecs and led the city-state of Tenochtitlán to great wealth and military power. With his nephew and royal counselor, Tlacaelel, he built up the island city and a neighboring one called Tlateloloc, constructing great works of temples and roads and great public squares. Ambitious and driven, he built causeways of hewn stone across Lake Texcoco in all 4 directions, connecting the city-state with other islands and with the mainland. He also put up to 100,000 men under arms, conquering tribes as far south as Guatemala.
  • 1431 - Joan of Arc burned at the stake in Rouen, France. She was accused of heresy and being a witch after ecclesiastical trial. In 1430, Joan of Arc led the French against the English (who held territory in what is now part of France), and was captured by the Bugundians, who turned her over to the English (in what is now France). The English ecclesiastical (Catholic) order drilled her and declared her a witch where she was burned at the stake. In 1920, she was canonized as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1438 - Incas ruled in what is now Peru.
  • The height of Itzcoatl's rule of the Aztecs and the revision of official Aztec history to align the Aztecs with the Toltec tradition. Itzcoatl and his advisors decided that their people needed a new version of history, one that was worthy of their greatness and the scale of their conquests. He ordered all books written by previous rulers to be burned. An informant of Sahagun later wrote of this event: "They preserved an account of their history,but later it was burned, during the reign of Itzcoatl. The lords of Mexico decreed it, the lords of Mexico declared: 'It is not fitting that our people should know these pictures... for these pictures are full of lies.'"
        The new history of Tenochtitlán claimed that the Aztec were descended from the Toltec nobility of Tula and like the Toltecs, the Aztecs were superb artisans, devout worshipers, and skillful tradesmen. They also superimposed one of the gods of the Toltec religion, Quetzalcoatl, onto their own religion and placed the Azted god, Huitzilopochtli, at the same level as the ancient Toltec god. (According to mythology, at some point before the city of Tula was abandoned, Quetzalcoatl departed eastward, promising that someday he would return from beyond the sea.) The new Aztec god had to be constantly fed precious food (human blood). The source of all life, the sun, would die without human blood. The practice of live sacrifice raised warfare to a mystical plane, whereby the Aztec warriors, "the people of the sun," were required to take live captives for future sacrifice. This ritual aspect of warfare with the Spaniards, who believed in war as annihilation.
        The great wealth of Tenochtitlán was largely due to Itzcoatl's conquests and strategic alliances with 2 other city-states of the Mexico Valley, Texcoco and Tlacopán. The population of the city was believe to have been at least 250,000 with thousands more in outlying settlements. The city-state had beautiful gardens, great palaces, and a vigorous social, religious, economic, and political structure. Itzcoatl's nephew, Tlacaelel, also a skillful leader, was believed to had completely recodified the judicial structure as well as the laws governing the trading class, pochtecas, or traveling merchants.
  • 1440 - Itzcoatl's death. Tlacaelel remained as royal advisor to the new Aztec king Axayacatl. The city contined to expand and Tlacaelel reorganized the judicial system, the army, and the protocol of the royal court. A large botanical garden was built in the center of the city, a garden so grand that Europeans who later saw it called it a "wonderment." Its ceremonial center boasted more than 25 major pyramids of various heights, surmounted by temples dedicated to a pantheon of deities. There were arsenals for military stores; monastaries for the priests who served in the temples; workshops for goldsmiths and feather workers; schools for the professions. Beautiful gardens of roses and tropical flowers adorned the houses of the elite; royal aviaries housed thousands of rare birds; canals laced the island.
  • 1441 - Portugal began the slave trade from West Africa. They took slaves from Africa and sold them in Spain and Lisbon, primarily to Arab buyers.
  • 1450 - Pope Nicholas V authorized the Portuguese to "attack, subject, and reduce to perpetual slavery the Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ southward from Cape Bajador ... inicluding all the coast of Guinea."
  • Florence became center of Renaissance arts and learning under the Medicis.
  • 1453 - Turks conquered Constantinople, end of the Byzantine Empire, beginning of the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1455 - Having invented printing with movable type at Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg completed first Bible (1956).
  • 1455-1485 - The Wars of the Roses, civil wars between rival noble factions, begins in England.
  • 1458 - Death of Axayacatl. Assumption of Moctezuma 1 as ruler of the Aztec Empire.
  • 1462-1505 - Ivan the Great ruled Russia as first Czar. He ended payment of tribute to Mongols.
  • 1469 - Death of Moctezuma 1.
  • 1474 - Queen Isabella succeeded to the throne of Castile in Spain. Five years later (1479) her husband Ferdinand succeeded to the thrones of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. Ferdinand and Isabella then represented the most powerful royal house in Europe. By royal decree they deprived many of their landed aristocracy and rival Barons of many of their rights, possessions, and lands.
  • 1478 - Ferdinand and Isabella instituted the Spanish Inquisition, a quasi-religious and civil court, in coordination with the Pope and the Spanish Catholic Church. Under the joint direction of Church and State, it persecuted all religious and ethnic minorities, particularly Jews and Moors, and confiscated their properties. The Crown and the Church divided their lands between them.
  • 1481 - Death of Tlacaelel. He had remained as Chief Advisor to the Aztec Kings since 1438 when his Uncle Itzacoatl brought him to power. One of the great "what if's" of history was what would have happened if a King as brilliant and visionary as Tlacaelel had held power when Cortés arrived in Mexico. After Tlacaelel's death, Aztec rulers continued the policy of constant warfare against all the other city-states around the lake, but without his parallel strategy of building alliances. The Aztec generals maintained military readiness with up to 100,000 men under arms and, as the most powerful and dominant city-state, saw little need for allies. Some of the other city-states, such as Tlescala, engaged in an almost perpetual state of war with Tenochtitlán over the capturing of its citizens as human sacrifices. Forty years later they would become Cortés indispensable allies and spies.
  • 1483 - Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor, traveled to the court of the King of Portugal to request financing for an expedition to the west to reach India. His request was turned down.
  • 1486 - The Malleus Maleficarum published in Germany by 2 Catholic Priests. It described the "step-by_step instruction on the arrest, torture, conviction and execution of witches." An inquisition for northern Europe, which unlike Spain had few Jews or Moors, it provided a religious pretext by which Church and State could take land from specific groups. The Malleus went through 28 editions between 1486 and 1600 and was accepted by both Catholics and Protestants as the authoritative source on satanism and sorcery. Over the next 2 centuries, it spread throughout all of Europe, and resulted in the eventual death of an estimated 3 million "witches", widows, midwives, healers, or women who lived alone. One theory held that as a result of the eradication of midwives' knowledge of birth control and midwifery, the 1600s and 1700s saw a population increase which far outstripped the agricultural capacity of Europe.
  • Franciscan monks presented Columbus's request for financing to the Spanish court a 2nd time. It was rejected.
  • 1492 - Moors conquered in Spain at Granada by troops of Ferdinand and Isabella. The conquering of Granada ended 700 years of war between Christian Spain and the Islamic Moors. The Inquisition then expelled all the Moors, along with 200,000 Jews, and confiscated all their properties. Those who did not leave had to become Catholics. After 700 years of fighting the "infidels," Spain had become devoted to holy wars. New venues for this fanaticism and intolerance would be the Crusades of the next century and the conquest of the New World.
  • 1492-1504 - Columbus became the first European to encounter Caribbean islands. He returned to Spain in 1493; had a 2nd voyage to Dominica, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico (1493-1496); 3rd voyage to Orinoco (1498); 4th voyage to Honduras and Panama (1502-1504).
  • 1492 - Columbus's project of a westward route to India was presented a 3rd time at court and approved. He was given the titles of Admiral and "Governor of Territories to be discovered" and 3 ships. He was also given letters to take to the Great Kahn of China, assuming he would reach the same destination as Marco Polo.
  • The paramount Chief of the Arawaks, Guacanagari, rescued the crew and cargo of the Santa Maria when it went aground on a coral reef off the north coast of a Caribbean island now comprising the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Guacanagari was 1 of 5 paramount Chiefs and ruled over a district along the northern coast.
        The island called Hispaniola by the Spanish held a population of at least 3 million Arawaks organized into 5 separate Chiefdoms (some estimates of the Arawak population in 1492 go as high as 6 or 7 million). The Arawaks (sometimes called Tainos by anthropologists) were skilled boat builders and navigators, conducting trade throughout the Greater Antilles (Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba) and Lesser Antilles (Trinidad, Grenada, Martinique, Guadeloupe). All of the Caribbean Islands were populated by migrants from South America and perhaps Mesoamerica. They spoke a variety of Arawak and Carib dialects. The Arawaks had developed a highly complex agricultural and trading society. Their agriculture produced crops 3 times a year. Their chief staple was manioc (also called casava, a root vegetable) supplemented by yams or sweet potatoes. They also grew the combination of maize, beans, and squashes familiar throughout Mesoamerica. They had ball courts and played the game the Spanish called bata, but which was similar to the Mesoamerican game. Columbus, believed he was in India, called the Arawaks los indios, or Indians.
        Guacanagari gave Columbus gifts of a mask, plates, a belt, and objects of gold including a golden head ornament. Among the Arawaks, trading was ritualized, a way of expressing friendship, avoiding disputes, or ensuring peace. Gifts were not tribute, but a form of interaction. "Of anything they have, if it be asked for, they never say no, but do rather invite the person to accept it, and show as much lovingness as though they would give their hearts," wrote Columbus of the Arawaks. Columbus gave the Chief a red cape and decided that the Chief had recognized the Europeans' superiority and was offering his submission to Spain.
  • 1493 - Columbus returned to Spain with 2 dozen captured Arawaks and declared he had found India. The king and queen gave him 17 ships, 1,200 colonists, 300 soldiers, and 34 horses and assorted animals for a 2nd expedition.
  • Because of their cruelty; the Spanish remaining on Hispaniola were killed by the Arawaks. Arawaks had destroyed the fort that Columbus had buit on Hispaniola, named La Navidad, and killed all the Spanish men. When Columbus returned, Guacanagari told him of the cruel and violent behavior by the Spanish soldiers left behind. The Spanish had enslaved Arawak men and put them to work panning for gold or working in mines in the mountains. Columbus reacted with even greater repression. Soldiers invaded villages with mastiffs and rounded up whole populations. The inhabitants were either killed or shipped to the slave market in Spain. Those who resisted had their ears or noses cut off. Some were burned alive; others were hanged. Columbus ordered every Arawak over the age of 14 to pay a tribute of a hawk's bell of gold every 3 months. Many Arawaks soon became ill from strange diseases. Columbus rounded up 500 Arawaks for his return voyage to sell in the slave markets in Seville, Spain.
  • Pope Alexander VI published papal bull dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal.
  • 1495-1496 - Disease devasted island populations. Wherever the Spanish landed, epidemics broke out which were uncontrolled and incurable. These were believed to be variations of measles, smallpox, scarlet fever, and other diseases for which the native populations had no immunities. In Puerto Rico, tens of thousands died. Among the Arawaks, famine and disease killed with unimaginable speed. The declining numbers of the Arawaks only intensified the extraordinary cruelty of the Spaniards, who insisted that the Arawaks work to supply the colonists and soldiers with food. Many Arawaks killed themselves and their children rather than submit to the Spanish. "Some threw themselves from high cliffs down precipices; others jumped into the sea," wrote Girolamo Benzoni. Others organized what would become a 20-year resistance fought in the mountains. A Theodore De Bry engraving of the period showed the Arawaks defending a mountainous location against Spanish soldiers in full armor on horseback. It would take less than 5 decades for the Spanish to make the Arawak population virtually extinct and to replace them and their labor with African slaves brought in chains from Africa.
  • 1495 - Syphilis epidemic spreads from Naples all over Europe by French soldiers.
  • 1497 - Vaso de Gama sailed around Africa and discovered sea route to India (1498).
  • 1498 - Savonarola burned at the stake in Florence for preaching against the excess of the Borgia Pope, calling him "an infidel, a heretic, no longer a Christian." The Pope, Alexander VI, had 7 children, several mistresses, 1 of whom was publicly acknowledged, and enormous personal wealth drawn from revenues from Bishoprics in Spain and abbeys in Italy. He appointed 43 Cardinals, chargin each one 130,000 ducats for the "red hat". His reign (1492-1508) included unexplained poisonings and violent deaths, including that of his own son, who was found floating in the Tiber River with 9 stab wounds. He annulled the marriages of his daughter twice in order to marry her to more powerful Italian Princes. Although Savonarola was excommunicated, imprisoned, tortured, then hanged and burned, others took up his cry. It was said that the excesses of Alexander VI, formerly Rodrigo Borgia, brought the Catholic Church to its lowest point and provoked the Protestant secession throughout Europe.
  • Bartolomew Columbus's census listed 1,100,000 male natives in half of Hispaniola. Columbus removed as Governor of the Indies.
  • The Spanish shipped 600 Carib Indians to Spain to be sold into slavery.
  • 1499 - Columbus arrested by the new Governor of the Indies, Francisco de Bobadillas, put in chains, and returned to Spain to be tried in royal court for cruelty. Columbus never regained his titles and, under Bobadillas, direct royal control of the Caribbean island was instituted.
  • 1501 - First African slaves in America brought to Spanish colony of Santo Domingo.
   
1350
to
1398
  • Five 14th century tree ring dates from ancient Navajo (Diné) archaeological structures had been recorded as follows:

    1350vv1 - Chacra Mesa, NW New Mexico
    1387inc - Mariano Mesa, 8 miles N of Quemado, NM
    1393inc - Mariano Mesa, 8 miles N of Quemado, NM
    1394+ - Mariano Mesa, 8 miles N of Quemado, NM
    1398vv - Chacra Mesa

  • 1347-1351 - The Black Death in Europe killed over 20 million (1/3 of the world's population). The bubonic plague was spread by rats and its fleas.
  • 1368 - The Ming Dynasty began in China.
  • 1378 - The Great Church Schism. Two Popes were elected, one in Rome, one in Avignon, France. They fought for control of the Roman Catholic Church. It lasted for 39 years until 1417.
   
1398
  • Casa Grande, the last Hohokam settlement, destroyed by Apache and Navajo raiders. The Hohokam are believed to be the ancestors of the present-day Pima and Papago.
 
   
1421
to
1491
  • Thirteen 15th-century tree-ring dates from ancient Navajo (Diné) archaeological structures had been recorded as follows:

    1421+1 - Mariano Mesa, N of Quemado, NM
    1424+inc - Mariano Mesa, N of Quemado, NM
    1432vv - Chacra Mesa, NW NM
    1447+ - Mariano Mesa
    1448+ - Mariano Mesa
    1451+ - Mariano Mesa
    1462+inc - Mariano Mesa
    1464+inc - Mariano Mesa
    1469vv - Chacra Mesa
    1474inc - Mariano Mesa
    1478+inc - Mariano Mesa
    1484+ - Mariano Mesa
    1491+X - Gobernador Canyon, NW NM

  • 1428 - Itzcoatl became ruler of the Aztecs and led the city-state of Tenochtitlán to great wealth and military power. With his nephew and royal counselor, Tlacaelel, he built up the island city and a neighboring one called Tlateloloc, constructing great works of temples and roads and great public squares. Ambitious and driven, he built causeways of hewn stone across Lake Texcoco in all 4 directions, connecting the city-state with other islands and with the mainland. He also put up to 100,000 men under arms, conquering tribes as far south as Guatemala.
  • 1431 - Joan of Arc burned at the stake in Rouen, France. She was accused of heresy and being a witch after ecclesiastical trial. In 1430, Joan of Arc led the French against the English (who held territory in what is now part of France), and was captured by the Bugundians, who turned her over to the English (in what is now France). The English ecclesiastical (Catholic) order drilled her and declared her a witch where she was burned at the stake. In 1920, she was canonized as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1438 - Incas ruled in what is now Peru.
  • The height of Itzcoatl's rule of the Aztecs and the revision of official Aztec history to align the Aztecs with the Toltec tradition. Itzcoatl and his advisors decided that their people needed a new version of history, one that was worthy of their greatness and the scale of their conquests. He ordered all books written by previous rulers to be burned. An informant of Sahagun later wrote of this event: "They preserved an account of their history,but later it was burned, during the reign of Itzcoatl. The lords of Mexico decreed it, the lords of Mexico declared: 'It is not fitting that our people should know these pictures... for these pictures are full of lies.'"
        The new history of Tenochtitlán claimed that the Aztec were descended from the Toltec nobility of Tula and like the Toltecs, the Aztecs were superb artisans, devout worshipers, and skillful tradesmen. They also superimposed one of the gods of the Toltec religion, Quetzalcoatl, onto their own religion and placed the Azted god, Huitzilopochtli, at the same level as the ancient Toltec god. (According to mythology, at some point before the city of Tula was abandoned, Quetzalcoatl departed eastward, promising that someday he would return from beyond the sea.) The new Aztec god had to be constantly fed precious food (human blood). The source of all life, the sun, would die without human blood. The practice of live sacrifice raised warfare to a mystical plane, whereby the Aztec warriors, "the people of the sun," were required to take live captives for future sacrifice. This ritual aspect of warfare with the Spaniards, who believed in war as annihilation.
        The great wealth of Tenochtitlán was largely due to Itzcoatl's conquests and strategic alliances with 2 other city-states of the Mexico Valley, Texcoco and Tlacopán. The population of the city was believe to have been at least 250,000 with thousands more in outlying settlements. The city-state had beautiful gardens, great palaces, and a vigorous social, religious, economic, and political structure. Itzcoatl's nephew, Tlacaelel, also a skillful leader, was believed to had completely recodified the judicial structure as well as the laws governing the trading class, pochtecas, or traveling merchants.
  • 1440 - Itzcoatl's death. Tlacaelel remained as royal advisor to the new Aztec king Axayacatl. The city contined to expand and Tlacaelel reorganized the judicial system, the army, and the protocol of the royal court. A large botanical garden was built in the center of the city, a garden so grand that Europeans who later saw it called it a "wonderment." Its ceremonial center boasted more than 25 major pyramids of various heights, surmounted by temples dedicated to a pantheon of deities. There were arsenals for military stores; monastaries for the priests who served in the temples; workshops for goldsmiths and feather workers; schools for the professions. Beautiful gardens of roses and tropical flowers adorned the houses of the elite; royal aviaries housed thousands of rare birds; canals laced the island.
  • 1441 - Portugal began the slave trade from West Africa. They took slaves from Africa and sold them in Spain and Lisbon, primarily to Arab buyers.
  • 1450 - Pope Nicholas V authorized the Portuguese to "attack, subject, and reduce to perpetual slavery the Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ southward from Cape Bajador ... inicluding all the coast of Guinea."
  • Florence became center of Renaissance arts and learning under the Medicis.
  • 1453 - Turks conquered Constantinople, end of the Byzantine Empire, beginning of the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1455 - Having invented printing with movable type at Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg completed first Bible (1956).
  • 1455-1485 - The Wars of the Roses, civil wars between rival noble factions, begins in England.
  • 1458 - Death of Axayacatl. Assumption of Moctezuma 1 as ruler of the Aztec Empire.
  • 1462-1505 - Ivan the Great ruled Russia as first Czar. He ended payment of tribute to Mongols.
  • 1469 - Death of Moctezuma 1.
  • 1474 - Queen Isabella succeeded to the throne of Castile in Spain. Five years later (1479) her husband Ferdinand succeeded to the thrones of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. Ferdinand and Isabella then represented the most powerful royal house in Europe. By royal decree they deprived many of their landed aristocracy and rival Barons of many of their rights, possessions, and lands.
  • 1478 - Ferdinand and Isabella instituted the Spanish Inquisition, a quasi-religious and civil court, in coordination with the Pope and the Spanish Catholic Church. Under the joint direction of Church and State, it persecuted all religious and ethnic minorities, particularly Jews and Moors, and confiscated their properties. The Crown and the Church divided their lands between them.
  • 1481 - Death of Tlacaelel. He had remained as Chief Advisor to the Aztec Kings since 1438 when his Uncle Itzacoatl brought him to power. One of the great "what if's" of history was what would have happened if a King as brilliant and visionary as Tlacaelel had held power when Cortés arrived in Mexico. After Tlacaelel's death, Aztec rulers continued the policy of constant warfare against all the other city-states around the lake, but without his parallel strategy of building alliances. The Aztec generals maintained military readiness with up to 100,000 men under arms and, as the most powerful and dominant city-state, saw little need for allies. Some of the other city-states, such as Tlescala, engaged in an almost perpetual state of war with Tenochtitlán over the capturing of its citizens as human sacrifices. Forty years later they would become Cortés indispensable allies and spies.
  • 1483 - Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor, traveled to the court of the King of Portugal to request financing for an expedition to the west to reach India. His request was turned down.
  • 1486 - The Malleus Maleficarum published in Germany by 2 Catholic Priests. It described the "step-by_step instruction on the arrest, torture, conviction and execution of witches." An inquisition for northern Europe, which unlike Spain had few Jews or Moors, it provided a religious pretext by which Church and State could take land from specific groups. The Malleus went through 28 editions between 1486 and 1600 and was accepted by both Catholics and Protestants as the authoritative source on satanism and sorcery. Over the next 2 centuries, it spread throughout all of Europe, and resulted in the eventual death of an estimated 3 million "witches", widows, midwives, healers, or women who lived alone. One theory held that as a result of the eradication of midwives' knowledge of birth control and midwifery, the 1600s and 1700s saw a population increase which far outstripped the agricultural capacity of Europe.
  • Franciscan monks presented Columbus's request for financing to the Spanish court a 2nd time. It was rejected.

Footnotes

  1. Vivian, p. 156 & Table A; Navajo Plaintiff's Exhibits 520-N & 556-A; Stokes & Smiley, 1966; Hall, 1944 & 1951. In his article "The Early Navajo and Apache", Frederick Hodge stated in 1895, that "... the appearance of the ancestors of the Navajo tribe in San Juan valley not earlier than the latter part of the fifteenth century is established beyond reasonable doubt." (Hodge, 1895, p.239)
    Explanation of symbols:
    vv = outside shows extreme erosion, last ring very variable around circumference - unknown number of rings lost;
    inc = outside ring of the specimen is incomplete in growth;
    + = either the outermost rings are very small and a ring count only could be made to the outside, or the outermost dated ring is one just preceding what is usually a small, micro or absent ring.

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