On This Day
1454 – The papal bull Romanus Pontifex awards the Kingdom of Portugal exclusive trade and colonization rights to all of Africa south of Cape Bojador.
Romanus Pontifex, Latin for “The Roman Pontiff”, is a papal bull written in 1454 by Pope Nicholas V to King Afonso V of Portugal. As a follow-up to the Dum Diversas, it confirmed to the Crown of Portugal dominion over all lands south of Cape Bojador in Africa. Along with encouraging the seizure of the lands of Saracen Turks and non-Christians, it repeated the earlier bull’s permission for the enslavement of such peoples. The bull’s primary purpose was to forbid other Christian nations from infringing the King of Portugal’s rights of trade and colonisation in these regions, particularly amid the Portuguese and Castilian competition for ascendancy over new lands discovered.
This bull should not be confused with a September 21, 1451 bull by the same name, also written by Nicholas V, relieving the dukes of Austria from any potential ecclesiastical censure for permitting Jews to dwell there.
Born On This Day
1037 – Su Dongpo, Chinese calligrapher and poet (d. 1101)
Su Shi (simplified Chinese: 苏轼; traditional Chinese: 蘇軾) (8 January 1037 – 24 August 1101), courtesy name Zizhan, (Chinese: 子瞻), art name Dongpo (simplified Chinese: 东坡; traditional Chinese: 東坡), was a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of the Song dynasty. A major personality of the Song era, Su was an important figure in Song Dynasty politics, aligning himself with Sima Guang and others, against the New Policy party led by Wang Anshi.
Su Shi is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished figures in classical Chinese literature, having produced some of the most well-known poems, lyrics, prose, and essays. Su Shi was famed as an essayist, and his prose writings lucidly contribute to the understanding of topics such as 11th-century Chinese travel literature or detailed information on the contemporary Chinese iron industry. His poetry has a long history of popularity and influence in China, Japan, and other areas in the near vicinity and is well known in the English-speaking parts of the world through the translations by Arthur Waley, among others. In terms of the arts, Su Shi has some claim to being “the pre-eminent personality of the eleventh century.” Dongpo pork, a prominent dish in Hangzhou cuisine, is named in his honor.
Bernice Resnick Sandler, “Bunny” (March 3, 1928 – January 5, 2019) was an American women’s rights activist from New York. Sandler is best known for being instrumental in the creation of Title IX, a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, in conjunction with Representatives Edith Green (D-OR) and Patsy Mink (D-HI) and Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN) in the 1970s. She has been called “the Godmother of Title IX” by The New York Times.
Sandler wrote extensively about sexual and peer harassment towards women on campus, coining the terms “gang rape” and “the chilly campus climate”.
She received numerous awards and honors for her work on women’s rights and was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. Some of her papers are currently held in the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
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