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death of a famous person

979

After the death of Otho II., his son, Otho III., was elected Emperor, and crowned by Pope Gregory V., in the year of Christ 979, and this Otho reigned twenty-four years. After that he was crowned, he went into Apulia on pilgrimage to Mount S. Angelo, and afterwards returned by way of France into Germany, leaving Italy in good and peaceful estate. But when he was returned to Germany, Crescentius, the consul and lord of Rome, drave away the said Gregory from the papacy, and set a Greek therein, which was bishop of Piacenza, and very wise; but when the Emperor Otho heard this he was very wrath, and with his army returned to Italy, and besieged in Rome the said Crescentius and his Pope in the castle of S. Angelo, for therein had they taken refuge; and he took the said castle by siege, and caused Crescentius to be beheaded, and Pope John XVI. to have his eyes put out, and his hands cut off; and he restored his Pope Gregory to his chair, which was his kinsman by race; and leaving Rome and Italy in good estate, he returned to his country of Germany, and there-70- died in prosperity. With the said Otho III. there came into Italy the Marquis Hugh; I take it this must have been the marquis of Brandenburg, forasmuch as there is no other marquisate in Germany. His sojourn in Tuscany liked him so well, and especially our city of Florence, that he caused his wife to come thither, and took up his abode in Florence, as vicar of Otho, the Emperor. It came to pass, as it pleased God, that when he was riding to the chase in the country of Bonsollazzo, he lost sight, in the wood, of all his followers, and came out, as he supposed, at a workshop where iron was wont to be wrought. Here he found men, black and deformed, who, in place of iron, seemed to be tormenting men with fire and with hammer, and he asked what this might be: and they answered and said that these were damned souls, and that to similar pains was condemned the soul of the Marquis Hugh by reason of his worldly life, unless he should repent: who, with great fear, commended himself to the Virgin Mary, and when the vision was ended, he remained so pricked in the spirit, that after his return to Florence, he sold all his patrimony in Germany, and commanded that seven monasteries should be founded: the first was the Badia of Florence, to the honour of S. Mary; the second, that of Bonsollazzo, where he beheld the vision; the third was founded at Arezzo; the fourth at Poggibonizzi; the fifth at the Verruca of Pisa; the sixth at the city of Castello; the last was the one at Settimo; and all these abbeys he richly endowed, and lived afterwards with his wife in holy life, and had no son, and died in the city of Florence, on S. Thomas' Day, in the year of Christ 1006, and was buried with great honour in the Badia of Florence. And whilst the said Hugh was-71- living, he made in Florence many knights of the family of the Giandonati, of the Pulci, of the Nerli, of the counts of Gangalandi, and of the family della Bella, which all for love of him, retained and bore his arms, barry, white and red, with divers charges.

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Source: Primary

Villani, Giovanni. Trans. by Rose E. Selfe. "Villani's Chronicle". Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd., London, 1906: pp 70-1.

1471

July 28

on Friday

492 years, 10 months, 27 days later

We had the news that Pope Pagolo was dead; he died on the 26th, Friday night, a little before dawn.

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The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1481

May 28

on Saturday

9 years, 10 months, 7 days later

We heard that the Turkish sultan was dead; but nevertheless the Christians did not yet make a move.

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The moon was a new moon that night.

1482

March 25

on Saturday

10 months, 1 day later

Madonna Lucrezia, wife of Piero, son of Cosimo de' Medici, and mother of Lorenzo, died on the day of the Annunciation. And at this time the Pope sent us an Indulgence at Santa Maria del Fiore.

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The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1482

September 10

on Sunday

5 months, 19 days later

The Count of Urbino died at Bologna.

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The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1482

September 14

on Thursday

4 days later

Roberto il Magnifico(1) died at Rome; he who had been so famous for his victory over the Duke of Calabria near Rome, when he took 300 men-at-arms. These two great captains died with a few days of each other, just when they imagined that they were at the height of their glory. What errors are made by the world! Men incur so many perils in order to slay and kill others, and to obtain a short-lived fame on this earth, not considering what it means to kill a man, and how soon they themselves will have to die and render an account.

(1) Roberto Malatesta, a captain sent by the Venetians to aid the Pope.

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The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1483

September 7

on Friday

11 months, 28 days later

Ambassadors came to Florence from the King of France, on their way to Rome to arrange peace in Italy; and whilst they were here they received the news that their king had died on the 30th May, 1483. And on the 13th September one of these ambassadors died at Santa Maria Novella, and the others set out for Rome.

During these days, for fear of hunger and of the war going on in Lombardy, many families left it, and there passed through Florence on their way into Roman territory 50 to 100 at a time, till they amounted to several thousands. Many also went to Romagna and elsewhere. It was said that there were more than 30 thousand persons altogether. It was a most pitiful sight to see these poor people pass, with a wretched little donkey, and their miserable household possessions: saucepans, frying-pans, etc. One wept to see them barefoot and ragged; and it is the cursed wars which have caused all these. No one went by without receiving some little help from us.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Lombardy was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Italy was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1488

April 16

on Monday

4 years, 7 months, 13 days later

We heard that Count Girolamo, Signore of Imola, had been stabbed to death, in the city of Forli, by some men of the place; and it proved to be true.

A number of soldiers and militia were sent from here to Piancaldoli, men of the Romagnuoli and of the Mugello; so that by the 29th we took it. The commandant of the fortress, who was from Imola, capitulated; and he was given 4 thousand florins and a house, and the right of bearing arms for life, here in Florence, where he remained.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Piancaldoli was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Forli was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Imola was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1488

July 30

on Monday

3 months, 15 days later

Madonna Clarice, wife of Lorenzo de' Medici, died.

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The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1492

April 8

on Friday

3 years, 8 months, 13 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici died on his estate at Careggi; and it was said that when he heard the news of the effects of the thunderbolt, being so ill, he asked where it had fallen, and on which side; and when he was told, he said: "Alas! I shall die, because it fell towards my house." This may not have been so, but it was commonly reported.

And they brought him to Florence the same night, at 5 in the morning (1 a.m.), and put him in the monastery at San Marco; and he remained there the whole of the next day, which was a Monday. And on the 10th April, Tuesday, he was buried at San Lorenzo at about 20 in the evening (4.pm.). Well may we consider what a transitory thing is human life! This man, in the eyes of the world, was the most illustrious, the richest, the most stately, and the most renowned among men. Everyone declared that he ruled Italy; and in very truth he was possessed of great wisdom, and all his undertakings prospered. He had succeeded in doing what no citizen had been able to do for a long time: namely, in getting his son appointed cardinal; which was not only an honour for his house, but for the whole city. In spite of all this, however, he could not live one hour longer when the end came. Then, O man, man, what hast thou to be proud of? True humility is the fit human attribute, and each time that we grow proud, and esteem ourselves above others, failing to recognise that every spiritual, corporal and temporal good comes from God, we exceed the proper limits of humanity. Everything that exceeds its limit is evil, and those things which should be good, turn to ill. The desirable quality for man is true gentleness and humility, and always to esteem God. Man is naught, if not what God has made him; to whom be praise from all creatures, as is His due. May He pardon me my sins! And may He pardon the sins of the dead man, as I trust He may pardon me and all human beings!

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Careggi was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

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