On This Day
1724 – Tumult of Thorn: Religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.
The Tumult of Thorn (Toruń), or Blood-Bath of Thorn (Polish: Tumult toruński, German: Thorner Blutgericht, literally Bloody court of Thorn) refers to executions ordered in 1724 by the Polish supreme court under Augustus II the Strong of Saxony. During a religious conflict between Protestant townsfolk represented by mayor Johann Gottfried Rösner, and the Roman Catholic students of the Jesuit college in the city of Thorn (Toruń) in Royal Prussia, the college had been vandalised by a crowd of German Protestants. The mayor and nine other Lutheran officials were blamed for neglect of duty, sentenced to death, and executed on 7 December 1724.
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1504 – Ahmad ibn Abi Jum’ah writes his Oran fatwa, arguing for the relaxation of Islamic law requirements for the forcibly converted Muslims in Spain.
The Oran fatwa was a responsum fatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile (in Spain) were forced to convert to Christianity in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia (Islamic law) requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine.
The fatwa enjoyed wide currency among Muslims and Moriscos (Muslims nominally converted to Christianity and their descendants) in Spain, and one of the surviving aljamiado translations was dated at 1564, 60 years after the original fatwa. The fatwa has been described as the “key theological document” to understand the practice of Spanish Muslims following the Reconquista up to the expulsion of the Moriscos. The author of the fatwa (mufti) was Ahmad ibn Abi Jum’ah, a North African scholar of Islamic law of the Maliki school. The fatwa was termed the “Oran fatwa” by modern scholars, due to the word “Al-Wahrani” (“of Oran”) that appears in the text as part of the author’s name.
The influence of the fatwa was limited to Spain. Outside the Iberian Peninsula, the predominant opinion upheld the requirements of Islamic law and required Muslims to emigrate, or even choose martyrdom, when the orthodox observance of the religion became impossible.
Born On This Day
1878 – Akiko Yosano, Japanese author, poet, pioneering feminist, pacifist, and social reformer (d. 1942)
Yosano Akiko (Shinjitai: 与謝野 晶子, seiji: 與謝野 晶子; 7 December 1878 – 29 May 1942) was the pen-name of a Japanese author, poet, pioneering feminist, pacifist, and social reformer, active in the late Meiji period as well as the Taishō and early Shōwa periods of Japan. Her name at birth was Shō Hō (鳳 志やう, Hō Shō). She is one of the most noted, and most controversial, post-classical woman poets of Japan.
1864 – Camille Claudel, French illustrator and sculptor (d. 1943)
Camille Rosalie Claudel (French pronunciation: [kamij klodɛl] (About this soundlisten); 8 December 1864 – 19 October 1943) was a French sculptor known for her figurative works in bronze and marble. She died in relative obscurity, but later gained recognition for the originality and quality of her work. The subject of several biographies and films, Claudel is well known for her sculptures including The Waltz and The Mature Age.
The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017. Claudel was a longtime associate of sculptor Auguste Rodin, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to her works.
Sculptures created by Claudel are also held in the collections of several major museums including the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
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