13th Century

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1204 Death of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Fourth Crusade, stops to conquer “ally” Constantinople.
1206 Florence: foundation of Arte del Cambio (Bankers Union). Beginning of power of the Guilds (new middle class).
1208 Formal chartering of University of Paris by King. University of Bologna already established.
1215 Magna Carta signed by King John (son of Eleanor). Cornerstone of English legal protections for indiv.
1216 Buondlemonte Murder on Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Event brings international Guelf Ghibelline divisions to Florence.
1220 Both Dominic and Francis out preaching in vernacular in streets. Soon church for each in Florence: Santa Maria Novella & Santa Croce. A revolutionary Christian movement; papacy scared.
1221 Death of Dominic. (Order of Dominicans) (b. 1170)
1226 Death of Francis of Assisi. (Order of Franciscans) (b. 1182)
1226 Succession of baby King Louis IX (St. Louis) in France. Louis dominates whole century in France, reigns almost 50 years.
1228 Canonization of Francis (extraordinary speed). Papacy immediately begins to build great basilica in Assisi. Contradicts essence of whole Franciscan clerical poverty.
1230 King Ferdinand of Leon unites Leon & Castile. beginning of new united Spain.
1237 All streets paved in central Florence. sign of prosperity, not true in Rome or Paris.
1240 England: the Great Council comes to be called Parliament. Important moment in the evolution of most important legislative body in the West, Marks the change from a royal advisory council to real democratic representative institution.
1250 Death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick the Great (II) in Apuglia, Italy. The last of the great medieval emperors with the real possibility of uniting all the lands of the empire (Germany, Italy, Sicily) into one political unit.
1252 Florence: city mints the first gold Florin; prosperous Florence on the march.
1256 Wool industry comes to Florence from Lombardy. Now Florence joins wool industry to Florentine banking; Secret of Florentine success.
1260 Battle of Montaperti (near Siena) Florence versus Siena. Imperialists with Siena (Ghibellines win). Villain: Bocca d’Abbati.
1260 Pisa: revolution in sculpture at Pisa. Nicola Pisano, new humanism, like painting of Giotto.
1265 Birth of Dante. (d. 1321 in Ravenna).
1265 English Parliament: send 2 knights, 2 burgesses to Parliament. This is the real beginning of representative government in England. The first time ever that a large government solves problem of representation. (not Greece, not Rome)
1267 Birth of Giotto in the Mugello, Mountain valley north of Florence (Medici from there too).
1270 University of Paris supreme: Aquinas, Bonaventura etc.
1274 Little Dante meets 8 yr old Beatrice. May day party in Palazzo Portinari, Via del Corso (still there)..
1283 Begin gov of the Priors in Flo (freely elected). Building across from Dante’s house. Dante soon is elected to the governing council.
1290 Death of Beatrice, age 24. (b. 1266)
1290 Rome: important innovation in painting: Pietro Cavallini, who influences Giotto.
1293 Giano della Bella leading new government of Priors in Florence. Government issues Ordinances of Justice, Middle Class gov. & constitution. Similar democratic movements in Eng, France, Spain.
1294 Florence: begin build the new Cathedral of Florence (Duomo=Domus Dei).
1294 Florence: finish new Church of Ognissanti (All Saints).
1295 Florence: begin build Santa Croce. (Franciscan church).
1299 Florence: begin build the Palazzo dei Priori. (the current Palazzo Vecchio) biggest in Italy. Florence now most dynamic city in all Italy.