1346


1346

The year 1346 (see full calendar) was a Julian calendar year in the 14th century, in the midst of a period known in European history as the Late Middle Ages. In Asia that year, the Black Plague came to the troops of the Golden Horde Khanate, a disease which also affected the Genoese Europeans they were attacking and which would spread to the rest of Europe. In Central and East Asia, there were a series of revolts after Kazan Khan was killed in an uprising and the Chagtai Khanate began to splinter and fall; several revolts in China began what would eventually lead to the overthrow of the Yuan Dynasty. The Indian kingdom of Vijayanagara won several victories over Muslim conquerors in the north in this year as well.

In Eastern Europe, Dusan Silni was proclaimed Tsar of Serbia on April 16 (Easter). In the nearby Byzantine Empire, the Turkish Prince Orchan married Byzantine Princess Theodora in hopes of an alliance between Turks and Byzantines. Civil Wars remained widespread in both Bulgaria and Byzantium as they had for several years. Denmark sold its portion of Northern Estonia to the Teutonic Knights after finally quelling the St. George's Night Uprising. In Central Europe, Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected Holy Roman Emperor on July 11. A number of banking families in Italy, including the Bardi family, faced bankruptcy in this year, and much of Italy suffered a famine. The Hundred Years' War between France and England continued in Western Europe, as Edward III of England led an invasion onto the continent and won a number of victories.

Timeline of events

* Spring 1346 - A severe Black Plague epidemic begins in the Crimea.Benedictow, Ole and Ole Benedictow. The Black Death, 1346-1353. Ipswich: Boydell Press, 2004. ISBN 0851159435 pp. 51]
*March 18 - French start defence measures along Channel coasts.
*April - French under the Duke of Normandy besiege English-held Aiguillon.
*April 16 - The Serbian Empire is proclaimed in Skopje by Dusan Silni, occupying much of South-Eastern Europe.
*May-June - English army and fleet assembles around Portsmouth.
*June 9 - Battle of St Pol de Leon: English army defeats Charles of Blois in Brittany.
*June 20 - Edward III probably decides to invade Normandy; English win small victory at La Roche-Derrien in Brittanny.
*June 24 - The leaders of Ghent, Bruges and Ypres agree to support Edward III.
*July - Edward III orders closing of English ports to stop information reaching France.
*July 3 - English fleet attempts to sail from Portsmouth to Normandy but is forced back by contrary winds.
*July 11 - Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected Holy Roman Emperor.
*July 11 - July 12 - Edward III and the English army cross the English Channel and begin an invasion of France.
*July 12 - July 18 - The English raid en burn neighbouring towns en villages in the Cotentin peninsula.
*August 26 - Battle of Crécy, in which the English defeat the French
*September 7 - English begin siege of Calais
*October 17 - Battle of Neville's Cross: English army defeats the Scots.
*October - November - Several Mongol towns in the Crimea are cleared of inhabitants due to the effects of the Black Plague

Asia

Western Asia

The Golden Horde's siege of Kaffa continued through 1346, despite a number of obstacles. They were struck with the Black Plague and forced to retreat, though not until the following year. As one Russian historian records:

In the same year [1346] , God's punishment struck the people in the eastern lands, in the town Ornach , and in Khastorokan, and in Sarai, and in Bezdezh, and in other towns in those lands; the mortality was great among the Bessermens, and among the Tartars, and among the Armenians and the Abkhazians, and among the Jews, and among the European foreigners, and among the Circassians, and among all who lived there, so that they could not bury them.Benedictow, Ole and Ole Benedictow. The Black Death, 1346-1353. Ipswich: Boydell Press, 2004. ISBN 0851159435 pg. 50]

The many areas and peoples listed here represent much of Western Asia and the Caucasus. The "European foreigners" are those fighting with the Tartars in the Mongol-led siege of Kaffa. These Europeans would return to Europe the following year, carrying the plague with them. Travellers returning from the Crimea also carried the plague to Byzantium and Arabia, according to Greek and Arab scholars of the time.

Another account of the events in the Crimea reads:

It seemed to the besieged Christians as if arrows were shot out of the sky to strike and humble the pride of the infidels who rapidly died with marks on their bodies and lumps in their joints and several part, followed by putrid fever; all advice and help of the doctors being of no avail. Whereupon the Tartars, worn out by this pestilential disease, and falling on all sides as if thuderstruck, and seeing that they were perishing hopelessly, ordered the corpses to be placed upon their engines and thrown into the city of Kaffa. Accordingly were the bodies of the dead hurled over the walls, so that the Christians were not able to hide or protect themselves from this danger, although they carried away as many dead as possible and threw them into the sea. But soon the whole air became infected, and the water poisoned, and such a pestilence grew up that scarcely one out of a thousand was able to escape. [Benedictow, Ole and Ole Benedictow. The Black Death, 1346-1353. Ipswich: Boydell Press, 2004. ISBN 0851159435 pg. 52]

Modern scholars consider this one of the earliest, and most deadly, biological attacks in world history, though in the end the Mongols were forced to retreat. [cite web
last = Wheelis
first = Mark
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Biological Warfare at the 1346 Siege of Caffa
work = Emerging Infectious Diseases
publisher = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
date = 2002 Sep
url = http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no9/01-0536.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-05

] Early sources state that the plague began its spread in the spring of 1346 at the River Don near the Black Sea, then spread throughout Russia, the Caucasus, and the Genovese provinces within the year. [Benedictow, Ole and Ole Benedictow. The Black Death, 1346-1353. Ipswich: Boydell Press, 2004. pp. 60-61 ISBN 0851159435]

Further south, in Georgia King George the Brilliant died and was succeeded by King David IX. King George V had managed to increase the Georgian realm to all of Transcaucasia. However, after his death the Kingdom began to decline, as the plague began ravaging the area soon after his death in this same year. [cite journal|author=Lang, D. M.|title=Georgia in the Reign of Giorgi the Brilliant (1314-1346)|journal=Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies|volume=17|issue=1|date=1955|pages=74-91|url=http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0041-977X%281955%2917%3A1%3C74%3AGITROG%3E2.0.CO%3B2-P&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage]

Central and East Asia

Central Asia was marked in 1346 by the continued disintegration of the Mongol's domains, as well as by Muslim expansion. Kazan Khan, emperor of the Chagatai Khanate, was killed by the forces of Qazaghan in this year, putting an end to the Chagtai Khanate's status as a unified empire. Qazghan was the leader of the group of Turkish nobles opposed to Mongol rule. Qazghan had been wounded by Kazan's forces earlier in the year, but rather than taking advantage of his opponent's weakness, Kazan retreated. Many of his troops abandoned him, opening the way to his demise. [Grousset, Rene. The Empire of the Steppes. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988. ISBN 0813513049 pg. 342]

To the east, Kashmir was conquered by Shah Mirza, the first Muslim to rule the area. [Brown, C. Coins of India. City: Laurier Books Ltd, 1988. ISBN 8120603451 pg. 83] [Ballaster, Ros. Fables of the East. City: Oxford University Press, USA, 2005. ISBN 0199267340 pg. 275] Kathmandu was also conquered in this year. [

cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Himalayan Region, 1000–1400 a.d.
work =
publisher = New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
date = 2000
url = http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/07/ssh/ht07ssh.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-05

] However, Muslim expansion did suffer some defeats in southern India. The Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara in India conquered the Hoysalas and celebrated its "festival of victory", strengthening their status as a legitimate Hindu empire in opposition to Muslim rule in the north. The leader of the Delhi Sultanate in Northern India, Muhammud bin Tughluq, had a particular disdain not only for Hinduism, but for the Deccan culture of the south. Telugu chieftains gathered in opposition to the Sultan in this year and celebrated victory. [Bierman, Irene. The Experience of Islamic Art on the Margins of Islam. London: Ithaca Press, 2005. ISBN 0863723004 pgs. 117-118, 129] [

cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Indian History Time Line
work =
publisher = Varadhi
date = 2006
url = http://gloriousindia.com/history/time_line.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-05

]

Further east, Ibn Battuta traveled from Southeast Asia to Khanbaliq (Beijing) in China. Although the Muslim leaders there extended him a warm welcome, they advised him to leave the city soon. A civil war had caused the Khan to flee the city, and riots were becoming more and more widespread. [Batuta, Ibn and Ibrahimov Ibrahimovich. The Travels of Ibn Battuta to Central Asia. London: Ithaca Press, 2000. ISBN 0863722563 pg. 32] Meanwhile, T'aigo Wangsa, a Korean Buddhist monk, traveled to China to receive training under the guidance of Buddhist leader Shih-wu. T'aigo would later found the T'aigo sect of Korean Buddhism. [Doniger, Wendy. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions; Wendy Doniger, Consulting Editor. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1999. ISBN 0877790442 pg. 1054]

Europe

Eastern and Scandinavian

In 1346 Denmark sold Northern-Estonia (Danish Estonia) to the Teutonic Knights following the end of an uprising between the pro-Danish party (bishop Olaf of Lyndanisse) and the pro-German party (captain Marquard Breide), called the St.George's Night Uprising. The Danish dominions in were sold for 10 000 marks to the Livonian Order, ignoring the promise by Christopher II in 1329 never to abandon or sell its Estonian territories. The king of Denmark even made a public statement "repenting" for breaking that promise and asked forgiveness from the Pope. [Bousfield, Jonathan. The Rough Guide to the Baltic States. City: Rough Guides Limited, 2004. ISBN 1858288401 pp. 416]

The Balkan region, on April 16 (Easter), saw Dusan Silni proclaimed Tsar of the new Serbian Empire in Skopje, which now occupie much of the South-Eastern Europe.Evans, Arthur. Ancient Illyria. London: I. B. Tauris, 2007. ISBN 1845111672 pg. iv] Also in 1346, both Bulgaria and Byzantine (which at this time covered most of Greece) were in the middle of a series of civil wars. An independent Bulgarian ruler of the Rhodope and Aegean region by the name of Momchil [Nicephorus Gregoras. Byzantina historia. Pt. 2, p.702] took an important role in the wars. He was among the first local rulers to realize the threat of the Ottomans. Momchil pled with both the Emperors of Bulgaria and Byzantium for help but received none, even though he continued the resistance against the Ottomans in the eastern part of the Rhodope mountains. The Aegean was subject to Turks who organized maritime raids directed at its islands. [ cite web|url = http://www2.let.uu.nl/Solis/anpt/ejos/pdf/VG07.pdf Section V of "Ottoman-Venetian diplomatics, the Ahd-Names"|title = Venice and the Turcoman Begliks of Menteşe and Aydın|author=Dr. Hans Theunissen|publisher=Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1998|access date=2007-2-21 ]

Orchan, the Turkish prince of Bithynia was married to Theodora, Cantacuzene's daughter. The Greek clergy believed that the marriage of a Christian princess a prominent Muslim would bring the region more power. The Prince was already married to several other women, and the woman was permitted to keep her religion, but was to live the rest of her life an Islamic harem. Cantacuzene hoped that Orchan would become his ally in any future wars, but Orchan, like his fellow Turks, became his enemy in the Genoese war. As part of the alliance, the Ottoman prince was permitted to sell the Christians he had captured at Constantinople as slaves in the public market. [

cite web
last = Gibbon
first = Edward
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
work =
publisher =
date =
url = http://www.ccel.org/ccel/gibbon/decline/files/volume2/chap64.htm#Europe
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-05

] cite book|last=Mango|first=Cyril|title=The Oxford History of Byzantium|location=New York|publisher= Oxford UP|year=2002|pages=p. 267] Elsewhere in the Empire, Apocaucus was killed by a crowd of his worst enemies whom he had gathered for imprisonment in one of the old palaces of Constantine. In particular, two of the Palaiologoi prisoners attacked and killed him, armed with sticks. They then set his head on a pole and turned their prison into a fortress. At the sight of his head, the local populace grew incensed and besieged the old palace, killing the prisoners. [

cite web
last = Gibbon
first = Edward
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
work =
publisher =
date =
url = http://www.ccel.org/ccel/gibbon/decline/files/volume2/chap63.htm#Palaeologus
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-05

]

Central

On July 11, 1346 Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In consequence of an alliance between his father and Pope Clement VI, the relentless enemy of the emperor Louis IV, Charles was chosen Roman king in opposition to Louis by some of the princes at Rhens. He had previously promised to be subservient to Clement, he confirmed the papacy in the possession of wide territories, promised to annul the acts of Louis against Clement, to take no part in Italian affairs, and to defend and protect the church.

Charles IV was at this time in a very weak position in Germany. Owing to the terms of his election, he was derisively referred to by some as a "priest's king" (Pfaffenkönig). Many bishops and nearly all of the Imperial cities remained loyal to Louis the Bavarian. Worse yet, Charles backed the wrong side in the Hundred Years' War, losing his father and many of his best knights at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, with Charles himself escaping wounded from the field.

Meanwhile in Italy a number of banks in Florence collapsed due to internal problems in Florence, contributed by King Edward III of England defaulting on some of his loans. Most notably, the Bardi family went bankrupt in this year. [Hunt, Edwin; “Dealings of the Bardi and Peruzzi” Journal of Economic History, 50, 1 (1990).] [Sumption, Jonathan. The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. ISBN 0812216555 pg. 489-490] Italy also suffered a famine, making it difficult for the Papacy to recruit troops for the attack on Smyrna. [Housley, Norman. The Avignon Papacy and the Crusades, 1305-1378. Oxford Eng.: Clarendon, 1986. ISBN 0198219571 pp. 235.] Hearder, Harry and Jonathan Morris. Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0521000726 pp. 97.] The Venetians, however, organized an alliance uniting several European parties ("Sancta Unio"), composed notably of the Knights Templar, which carried out five consecutive attacks on İzmir and the Western Anatolian coastline controlled by Turkish states. [ cite web|url = http://www2.let.uu.nl/Solis/anpt/ejos/pdf/VG07.pdf Section V of "Ottoman-Venetian diplomatics, the Ahd-Names"|title = Venice and the Turcoman Begliks of Menteşe and Aydın|author=Dr. Hans Theunissen|publisher=Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1998|access date=2007-2-21 ] In the realm of technology, firearms made their way to Northern Germany in this year in the city of Aachen, [Delbrück, Hans et.al. History of the Art of War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990. ISBN 0803265867 pp. 28.] [Nossov, Konstantin. Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons. City: The Lyons Press, 2005. ISBN 1592287107 pp. 209.] and papermaking reached Holland. [Lewis, Charlton. China. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004. ISBN 0071412794 pp. 87]

Western Europe

On or around July 7, King Edward III crossed the English Channel to Normandy with 1600 ships laden with supplies taxed from the populace. He took the ports of La Hogue and Barfleur with overwhelming force and continued inland towards Caen, taking towns along the way. The French mounted a defence at Caen, but were ultimately defeated. The French had been planning to cross the channel and invade England with a force of about 14,000 led by Jean le Franc, but Edward's attack forced them on the defensive.Knighton, Henry. Knighton's Chronicle 1337-1396. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. ISBN 0198205031 pp. 52-75]

The French King Phillippe destroyed several bridges to prevent Edward's advance, but the English took the town of Poissy in August and repaired its bridge in order to advance. The French King mounted a defence near the forest at Crécy, which ended in another English victory. Edward then proceeded to Calais, laying siege to the city beginning September 4. Meanwhile, Jean de France, King Phillippe's son, besieged the city of Aigullon, but with no success. King Phillippe also urge the Scots to continue the fight against England to the north. The Scots, believing that the English were preoccupied with Calais, marched into England toward Durham in October, but were met and defeated by an English force of knights and clergymen, and King David of Scotland was captured. The Irish also gathered a brief resistance, but were similarly defeated. Before the end of the year, Edward also captured Poiters and the towns surrounding Tonnay-Charente. [Ayton, Andrew. "The English Army and the Normandy Campaign of 1346." ISBN 1852850833 pp. 253-268]

For his role in the Battle of Crécy, Edward the Black Prince honoured the bravery of John I, Count of Luxemburg and King of Bohemia (also known as John the Blind). John was killed in the fighting, by adopting his arms and motto: "Ich Dien" or "I Serve". John's decades of fighting had already made his name widely known throughout Europe, and his death became the legendary subject of several writings, including this passage by Froissart: [ [http://www.bartleby.com/35/1/110.html "The Chronicles of Froissart"] , translated by Lord Berners, edited by G.C. Macaulay. The Harvard Classics.]

...for all that he [John I] was nigh blind, when he understood the order of the battle, he said to them about him: ... 'Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and friends in this journey: I require you bring me so far forward, that I may strike one stroke with my sword.' ... they tied all their reins of their bridles each to other and set the king before to accomplish his desire, and so they went on their enemies ... The king ... was so far forward that he strake a stroke with his sword, yea and more than four, and fought valiantly and so did his company; and they adventured themselves so forward, that they were there all slain, and the next day they were found in the place about the king, and all their horses tied each to other.

Births

*February - John I, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1390)
*July 20 - Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Pembroke, daughter of King Edward III of England (d. 1361)
*"date unknown"
**Eustache Deschamps, French poet (d. 1406)
**Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel (d. 1397)
**Philip I, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1361)
**Otto V, Duke of Bavaria (d. 1397)

Deaths

*February 10 - Blessed Clare of Rimini (b. 1282)
*March 28 - Venturino of Bergamo, Dominican preacher (b. 1304)
*August/September - Muhammad Aytimur, leader of the Sarbadars of Sabzewar
* August 26 - Killed in the Battle of Crécy:
**Charles II of Alençon (b. 1297)
**Louis I of Flanders (b. 1304)
**John I of Bohemia (b. 1296)
**Rudolph, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1320)
**(possibly) William Atte Wode, Captain of the King's Guard to King Edward III (b. c. 1300)
*October 17 - Killed in the Battle of Neville's Cross:
**Thomas Charteris of Amisfield, Scottish nobleman
**David de la Hay, Constable of Scotland (b. c. 1318)
**Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland
**John Randolph, 3rd Earl of Moray
**Maurice de Moravia, Earl of Strathearn
*November 14 - Ostasio I da Polenta, lord of Ravenna (assassinated)
*November 27 - St Gregory of Sinai (b. c. 1260)
*"date unknown"
**Eustace Folville, English outlaw
**Hélion de Villeneuve, Grand Master of the Knights of St John
**Zhou Daguan, Chinese diplomat

References


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