Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Phillip II of Spain

Most potent Queen: 16th century Catherine of Medicis

The 16th century was one of the most violent of centuries: massacres, religious genocide events, perpetual wars, famine, plagues (moria)…

And yet, the 16th century was ripe with illustrious and famous personalities and characters: Da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Machiavelli, Ariosto, England Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Phillip II of Spain, Charles Quint, Savonarola, Luther, Calvin

You can say Europe in the 16th century was the Christian flip coin of current ISIS (Daesh) in extremism, cruelty and fixation in their belief systems.

Every nascent religious sect, and they were numerous (Protestants, Calvinists, Lutherans, Baptists, Anabaptists…), and they all adopted the Old Testament stories for guidance and the Ancient prophets proclamations as their guiding rod to commit massacres and try to wipe out the other sect members.

This is a typical case of counter reaction since the Catholics focused on the message of Jesus (The New Testament) and the stories of the saints while they had the Old testament on the back burner.

This trend in focus is still adopted today with both sects.

The Catholics were called the papists, the Protestant sects in France were called parpaillot, reformists, biblical and they wore the white scarf

Almost any Prince with wealth hired from the large pool of mercenaries to attack towns and villages and get the title of the vanquished prince and the razzia loot.

Katarina of Medicis lost both her parents as a child.

Her father was Laurent II of Florence and her mother was the French Madeleine de Bourbon of Auvergne.

By the age of 18, she had lost all her cousins and relatives. Italy was the scene of constant wars among the princes and town and cities changed hands very frequently.  For example her aunt, half-brother Alexander and cousin Hippolyte died by poisoning and in battles.

Catherine spent most of her childhood in prisons, monasteries, nunneries… until her great uncle Pope Clement managed to arrange her wedding to the second son of France King Francois I.

The French King and his son Henry were made prisoners by the monarch Charles Quint at the Pavia battle in Italy, and they remained incarcerated for 5 years.

Henri II and Catherine were 14 years old when they married.

At their wedding night, King Francois entered their bedroom and watched the actual intercourse and made sure to see the bloody bed sheet.

And Catherine could not get pregnant until she was 18 and she lived in perpetual fear of being divorced, but King Francois liked his Duchessina.

Her first son Francois died in childhood. And she remained pregnant every year for 15 years.

Diane de Poitier, the eternal sweet heart of King Henry until he died, wanted Catherine to be pregnant all the time so that she keep the king all to herself.

There was no competition: Diane was beautiful and tall, while Catherine was short, chubby and plain.

Henry II wore the black and white preferred colors of his beloved Diane and all the emblems had the H and D initials.

After Henry died in a Knight Fighting joust during a ceremony by the captain of his Scottish troop Montgomery, Diane met with Catherine and Diane retreated to her chateau, never to hear from her again.

Catherine gave birth a couple of times to twins who died in childbirth and many other of her progenitor.

Only 3 of her male kids survived to live to be over 3o and no more than 35 Two became kings Charles 9 and Henry 3.

The daughters who survived to get married off were 3: Elizabeth, Claude and Marguerite (Margo )

The eldest Elizabeth was betrothed to Phillip II of Spain, Claude to the Prince of Lorraine, and Marguerite (Margo ) to Henry of Navarre, who became king Henry 4, and thus the dynasty turned over from the Valois to the Bourbon.

Margo and Henry had no liking to one another and they mostly led separate life. Margo fucked every attractive person she liked and had love affairs with her brothers, particularly the future Henry III.

When Henry 4 was assassinated, Margo continued her life-style of total debauchery and refused to be detached from her Regency status even after her son Louis 13 was enthroned.

Catherine had two critical jobs to battle for:

1. Secure and maintain the French dynasty of Les Valois through her sons

2. Avoid any excuses for Spain King Phillip 2 to invade France. Phillip 2 was the most powerful and wealthiest monarch in western Europe.

Actually, Catherine denied the Spanish troops permission to cross France in order to enter and occupy Belgium and the Netherlands

Some how, her immature sons took advantage of their mother’s worries and priorities by allying with French factions against King Phillip’s Catholic policies and constituted coalitions of princes opposing Catherine policies of neutrality.

The eldest son Charles 9 was cruel, brutal and a nitwit. He was tightly linked to admiral Gaspard de Coligny (a Huguenot Protestant sect) and they were scheming to form an army and harass the Spanish troops in Belgium.

That was a red line that Coligny should have not crossed for Catherine, and she decided to assassinate de Coligny

The attempt failed and the admiral was just wounded. Catherine knew that the fingers will point to her and she hurriedly met with her son King Charles 9 for the entire night, figuring a way out of that mess to avoid a civil war.

Finally Charles gave up and screamed “Kill him, kill them all”

Her son Henry gave the job to his great friend, the catholic prince Henry de Guise who insisted on waging wars on the Huguenots. De Guise didn’t wait for the green light and attacked the Huguenot early morning.

What was supposed to decapitate the leaders of this sect, turned out a massive massacre. The genocide in Paris lasted 3 days and 4 nights and then it spread to the provinces for months. After the massacre, on the 4th day, the shopkeepers, butchers and common people returned to their jobs as if nothing happened.

The insane and cruel Charles 9 lost it completely after this tragedy and stayed in his castle blowing his horns as if going hunting and screaming from the top of his head. He died at the age of 34.

Her second son Henry was her favourite. There were negotiation of marrying Henry to Elizabeth I of England that faltered because henry believed the rumors in France circles that Elizabeth was the “whore of London”

For a brief winter, Henry was pressured to travel to Poland in order to rule this country as its monarch, but he fled with his French companions and travelled across Europe, Venice and other Italian cities.

Henry’s passion as a young man was designing clothes and appointed himself the cloth designer in all ceremonies. He even designed what his brother-in law Henry of Navarre wore during his wedding. 

When Charles 9 died, Henry became King Henry III who was unstable and frequently whipped himself all night longs for forgiveness and chastisement. He brought wild animals and imprisoned them in a deep hole. One day he decided to kill a lion in the hole and then let the wild beasts devour one another.

His old friend Henry de Guise was receiving regular amount of money from Phillip II of Spain to destabilize France and keep it in constant civil war. And he set his mind to grab the throne since he was the most popular figure in Paris. De Guise was tall, svelte, handsome, blonde and rich.

In the nick of time, Henry III decided to flee to the Castle of Chartres in order not to be kept prisoner in Paris. It is there that Henry III receive intelligence that the Spanish Armada was destroyed and the attempt to invade England failed.

Eventually, Henry drew de Guise to his Palace and assassinated him by his Pretorian guards, along with de Guise’s brother the young Cardinal of Lorraine.  Pretorian guards or spadassins of 45 in number were from Gascoigne and headed by Du Guast. Catherine was dying during this assassination in another room.

And what of Catherine’s youngest son Francois?

Francois was fragile in health and eventually died of tuberculosis at the age of 30.

The king of Scotland sent his kid daughter Marie Stuart to Paris to live and be educated in the French court. Marie is the future  Queen of Scotland whom her cousin Elizabeth I would incarcerate in a London dungeon and decapitate her 8 years later.

Marie and Francois were inseparable, played together and were in love.

When Catherine husband Henry II was seriously injured, the surgeons were experimenting with “”live subjects” in order to discover the best way to perform the surgery on the dying Henry. Catherine forced Marie to watch the bloody surgery on one of the live person so that Marie learn “what it takes to be a queen

Until Marie had to leave France at the age of 18 after her father died. Marie never returned to France.

Francois gave his mother plenty of worries and troubles. He frequently disappeared from the screen of Catherine in order to form coalitions opposing either his brother Henry III or to fight the Spanish troops in Belgium.

Francois even paid a visit to London to rally Elizabeth I to his cause. He was a frequent visitor to Elizabeth’s bedroom until she got fed up and kicked him out of her bed, room and England.

Francois spent his last year leading an army in Belgium, occupying a town one day and losing another the next day.

Catherine had to criss-cross France several times and for a couple of years each time and way into her 60’s. Many of those long trips were meant to find her sons lost from her screen of control and who were complotting and joining coalitions (Ligues).

In her old age, she had to travel across France at the demands of  her immature sons of kings who were reluctant and unable to perform much of anything of value or to negotiate any peace treaty.

And Catherine was feared, respected, and admired for her abilities, steadfastness and clear visions by all the factious princes.

Catherine relied on her “Girls” the “Flying Spies” to gather critical pieces of intelligence of the creation of inside coalitions among the princes and managed to disperse or decapitate in the bud many alliances that constituted a threat to the throne of the Valois dynasty or which could invite foreign powers to attack France..

Catherine managed to maintain the integrity of France and avoided to intervene militarily outside France.

She was the Regent, in-power or effectively for 40 years and was the doyen (Dean) of the Western European monarchies  for several decades.

If it were not for her deceiving and deceitful sons of kings and her useless daughters, France would have witnessed the best powerful Queen they ever had.

She died before she could save Henry 3 who had accumulated enemies through his reckless decisions.

Catherine was a real genius in politics and statesmanship.

Mostly, real geniuses come from the pool of early orphaned persons

Note 1: Read the French book of Michel Peyramaure 

Note 2: In these centuries, absolute monarchies agreed to sign “peace treaties” when these 3 conditions were satisfied:

1. One of the monarch is feeling the weight of age and is terribly reluctant to go out on a long adventure

2. The treasury is bankrupt

3. Civil wars about to break out if one of the sons is vying for the throne

At this junction, the monarch gets busy “selling off” to the highest bidder his daughters and sons to kings and princes.

If the negotiations do not replenish the treasury, at least temporary truces are to be expected.

Soon enough, one of the sons snatches the throne, and being too anxious for adventure, more wars are ignited and the cycle is closed.

Sure, a historian can amass plenty of other causes to explain and validate the ridiculous frequent wars and skirmishes, but the simplest overwhelming reason is related of” totally bored young monarchs” with plenty of energy to spend outside of hunting parties.

How borders changed in Europe in the last 1,000 years?

Apparently, this video of the evolution of borders change in Europe in the last 1,000 years has been removed or deleted.

Probably from many inaccuracies denounced in the comments. This post is to relate the story as I know it, since I love history and know a great deal.

At the turn of the first millennial, Poland was the richest, most cohesive and united “catholic” kingdom in the eastern part of Europe. Poland checked Russia expansion and saved Vienna from the Ottoman siege, in the nick of time.  The large Ottoman army faced one of the worst climate handicap: It was unusually cold and rained for months on: the soldiers were ill fitted and had to march in the mud.

East Germany was a collection of Teutonic tribes and eventually it formed Prussia and expanded during Frederic “The Great” in the 18th century.

West Germany of before the fall of the Berlin Wall, was mostly small states shifting allegiance to either the Hapsburg Empire (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the Netherlands) or France.

Napoleon Bonaparte was the catalyst in raising the patriotic spirit in West Germany when he forced recruits in the failed Great Army that invaded Russia in 1812, and the small states started mass uprising and used the current flag.

Bismark capitalized on this new patriotism and united all of current Germany and expanded to include Poland and the Alsace and Lorraine provinces in France and transformed Germany to become the second industrial country after the USA with the most powerful land army in Europe.

Crimea borders also changed: It is now attached to Russia.

Crimea was part of the Ottoman Empire. Catherine II of Russia expanded greatly her southern territory at the expense of Turkey.

The territory of the Tatars, called the Golden Horde, was captured by Ivan The Terrible as Tamerlane had weakened this Horde in the early 15th century and burned all their towns and cities along the Volga River (mainly current Ukraine).

Tamerlane is also the warrior who defeated the Ottoman Empire and delayed the fall of Constantinople by 50 years. In a sense, saving Renaissance Europe and permitting Russia to expand. His dynasty built the Mogul Empire in India.

Peter “The Great” of Russia finally managed to defeat the young and indomitable king of Sweden and expanded westward, annexed the 3 Baltic small States of Latvia, Lithuania… and built St. Peters-burg and expanded southward toward the Ottoman Empire but failed to retain what he captured.

France was united under Louis 11 who defeated the powerful and rich king of Burgundy Jean “Le Temeraire”. Burgundy included east of France, Belgium and part of Germany.

The English occupied the western part of France for over a century before Joan of Arc started the re-conquest in the 15th century.

Throughout the next 3 centuries, France was the dominant military power in land and had a powerful navy too. France expanded its colonies after 1870 toward West Africa and the Far East.

Cromwell of England focused his energy on building a powerful navy and annexed Scotland and Ireland. England became the main sea power until WWII and was the nemesis of Germany, which supplanted England as the major exporter oversea before WWI.

Italy was a collection of mini-states after 400 AC and was occupied, its rich cities sacked and Rome burned several times. Venice and Genoa were the main sea traders and were constantly at each other throats.

France occupied the northern part of Italy in several occasions and entered Rome. It was the devastation of Rome that permitted most of the artists, educated and architects of the Renaissance period to spread all over the other European cities and kingdoms and played the catalyst for reforms.

Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Italy before he was named First Consul in 1800 and defeated the Austrian armies in several battles and snatched Venice and part of current Croatia from the Hapsburg Empire.

England gave land concessions to Italy before WWI: England had decided to wage war against Germany (the second industrial nation after the USA) and was trying hard to rally countries against Germany.  England offered Italy to annex Albania, Libya and Ethiopia. As England allowed France to annex Morocco. Giving lands that it never had, such as Palestine to the Zionist Jews…

Prussia and Russia started to nibble on the Austrian Empire until its vanished after WWI.

Spain united in the 15th century and dislodged the last city of the “Arabic” Empire in Andalusia. The Pope of Rome divided the world into two parts for the new colonial powers of Spain and Portugal. Portugal had already colonized many regions in the Pacific Ocean and in South East Asia.

The ruin of the Spanish fleet “The Armada” in its attempt to invade England during Elizabeth I had weakened Phillip II of Spain who was the most powerful monarch in Europe in the 16th century.

It was mainly the Spanish fleet that checked and defeated the Ottoman navy that handicapped any further expansion of the Ottoman Empire into Europe.

The Ottoman Empire had already annexed all the regions around the Black Sea (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Crimea, Turkmenistan and Romania…)  and occupied Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and half of Hungary. Not counting all the Near East, Egypt, the Arabic Peninsula and the North African provinces

Watch as 1000 years of European borders change
loiter.co

Note: Vladimir Putin worked out the Crimea problem by attaching it to Russia instead of declaring Crimea an independent State.

Apparently, under Ottoman Empire treaty with Catherine the Great, if Crimea declares independence it returns to Turkey


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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