On This Day
1467 – The Second Battle of Olmedo takes places as part of a succession conflict between Henry IV of Castile and his half-brother Alfonso, Prince of Asturias.
The Second Battle of Olmedo was fought on 20 August 1467 near Olmedo in Castile (now in the province of Valladolid, Spain) as part of the War of the Castilian Succession between Henry IV of Castile and his half-brother Alfonso, Prince of Asturias.
Alfonso’s troops advanced eastwards along the valley of the Duero towards central Castile, while the troops loyal to Henry moved north from Cuéllar towards Medina del Campo to try to cut them off: the two armies met near Olmedo.
Henry’s troops comprised:
at the vanguard, Pedro de Velasco, his brothers Luis and Sancho and his cousin Juan;
in the second line, the Marquess of Santillana with his brothers Hurtado and Pedro (who was bishop of Calahorra), along with the royal guard under the command of Juan Fernández Galindo;
the rearguard under the command of Beltrán de la Cueva.
A notable absence among Henry’s troops was Juan Pacheco, who was occupied with securing the leadership of the Order of Santiago.
With Prince Alfonso fought the troops of the Archbishop of Toledo, the Archbishop of Seville, of the Counts of Luna, Plasencia and Ribadeo, as well as of the Order of Calatrava. Fernando de Fonseca, fighting for Alfonso, was killed in this battle by Beltrán de la Cueva.
The battle was considered a stand-off and thus was considered a victory for Henry. However, after the battle, Henry lost the support of Pedro Arias de Ávila and of the Count of Alba, the latter won over by favours from the Marquess of Villena and from the Archbishop of Toledo.
959 – Eraclus becomes the 25th bishop of Liège.
Eraclus, alternatively Eraclius or Evraclus, was the 25th bishop of Liège (959–971).
Educated by Rathier, Eraclus served as dean of Bonn, before being elected bishop of Liège with the support of Bruno of Cologne. He was consecrated on 21 August 959. While bishop he founded two collegiate churches, St Paul’s (which later became Liège Cathedral) and St Martin’s. He had a particular devotion to Martin of Tours, attributing to that saint a healing he had experienced.
Eraclus placed strong emphasis on the importance of scholarship, laying the foundations for Liège becoming an international centre of learning.
In 968 he accompanied Emperor Otto I to Italy, and on 22 December rallied the emperor’s panic-stricken army during an unexpected total solar eclipse.
Eraclus died on 27 or 28 October 971 and was buried in the church of St Martin that he had founded.
He was succeeded by Notker, who would establish the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.
851 – Battle of Jengland: Erispoe defeats Charles the Bald near the Breton town of Jengland.
The Battle of Jengland (also called Jengland-Beslé, Beslé, or Grand Fougeray) took place on 22 August 851, between the Frankish army of Charles the Bald and the Breton army of Erispoe, Duke of Brittany. The Bretons were victorious, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Angers in September 851 which secured Breton independence.
Born On This Day
1377 – Shahrukh Mirza, ruler of Persia and Transoxiania (d. 1447)
Shah Rukh or Shahrukh (Persian: شاهرخ, Šāhrokh)[a] (20 August 1377 – 13 March 1447) was the ruler of the Timurid Empire between 1405 and 1447.
He was the son of the Central Asian conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), who founded the Timurid dynasty in 1370. However, Shah Rukh ruled only over the eastern portion of the empire established by his father, comprising most of Persia and Transoxiana, the western territories having been lost to invaders in the aftermath of Timur’s death. In spite of this, Shah Rukh’s empire remained a cohesive dominion of considerable extent throughout his reign, as well as a dominant power in Asia.
Shah Rukh controlled the main trade routes between Asia and Europe, including the legendary Silk Road, and became immensely wealthy as a result. He chose to have his capital not in Samarqand as his father had done, but in Herat. This was to become the political centre of the Timurid empire and residence of his principal successors, though both cities benefited from the wealth and privilege of Shah Rukh’s court.
Shah Rukh was a great patron of the arts and sciences, which flourished under his rule. He spent his reign focusing on the stability of his lands, as well as maintaining political and economic relations with neighbouring kingdoms. In the view of historians Thomas W. Lentz and Glenn D. Lowry, “unlike his father, Shahrukh ruled the Timurid empire, not as a Turco-Mongol warlord-conqueror, but as an Islamic sultan. In dynastic chronicles he is exalted as a man of great piety, diplomacy, and modesty—a model Islamic ruler who repaired much of the physical and psychological damage caused by his father.”
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1481 – Jorge de Lencastre, Duke of Coimbra (d. 1550)
Jorge de Lancastre (English: George; 21 August 1481 – 22 July 1550) was a Portuguese prince, illegitimate son of King John II of Portugal and Ana de Mendonça, a lady-in-waiting to Joanna la Beltraneja. He was created the second Duke of Coimbra in 1509. He was also master of the Order of Santiago and administrator of the Order of Aviz from 1492 to 1550.
1601 – Georges de Scudéry, French author, poet, and playwright (d. 1667)
Georges de Scudéry (22 August 1601 – 14 May 1667), the elder brother of Madeleine de Scudéry, was a French novelist, dramatist and poet.
Georges de Scudéry was born in Le Havre, in Normandy, whither his father had moved from Provence. He served in the army for some time, and, though in the vein of gasconading which was almost peculiar to him he no doubt exaggerated his services, there seems little doubt that he was a stout soldier.
He conceived a fancy for literature before he was thirty, and during the whole of the middle of the century he was one of the most characteristic figures of Paris. He gained the favour of Richelieu by his opposition to Corneille. He wrote a letter to the Académie française criticizing Le Cid, and his play, L’Amour tyrannique (1640), was patronized by the cardinal in opposition to Corneille.
Possibly these circumstances had something to do with his appointment as governor of the fortress of Notre-Dame de la Garde, near Marseille in 1643, and in 1650 he was elected to the Académie. During the troubles of the Fronde he was exiled to Normandy, where he made his fortune by a rich marriage. He was an industrious dramatist, but L’Amour tyrannique is practically the only piece among his numerous tragi-comedies and pastorals that has escaped oblivion. His other most famous work was the epic of Alaric (1659). He lent his name to his sister’s first romances, but did little beyond correcting the proofs.
Scudéry’s swashbuckler affectations have been rather exaggerated by literary gossip and tradition. Although possibly not quite sane, he had some poetical power, a fervent love of literature, a high sense of honour and of friendship.
Scudéry also wrote CURIA POLITIAE, OR, THE APOLOGIES OF SEVERALL PRINCES: Justifying to the WORLD Their Most Eminent Actions”, which had been translated into English and printed by Humphrey Moseley “at the sign of the Prince’s-Arms, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard”, in 1654
Georges de Scudéry is sketched by Théophile Gautier in his Grotesques.
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