The Holy Lance, known as the Holy Spear, the Spear of Destiny, or the Lance of Longinus, according to the Gospel of John, is the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross. The lance is mentioned in the Gospel of John, but not the Synoptic Gospels, the gospel states that the Romans planned to break Jesus legs, a practice known as crurifragium, which was a method of hastening death during a crucifixion. Just before they did so, they realized that Jesus was already dead, to make sure that he was dead, a Roman soldier stabbed him in the side. One of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance, and immediately came out blood. The phenomenon of blood and water was considered a miracle by Origen, the blood symbolizes his humanity, the water his divinity. In most variants of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the priest lances the host with a spear before it is divided in honor of the Trinity, the Theotokos. The deacon recites the relevant passage from the Gospel of John, the main piece becomes The Lamb, the host that is consecrated on the altar and distributed to the faithful for Holy Communion.
A form of the name Longinus occurs on a miniature in the Rabula Gospels, in the miniature, the name LOGINOS is written in Greek characters above the head of the soldier who is thrusting his lance into Christs side. This is one of the earliest records of the name, if the inscription is not a addition, there have been three or four major relics that are claimed to be the Holy Lance or parts of it. The Holy Lance in Rome is preserved beneath the dome of Saint Peters Basilica, a mention of the lance occurs in the so-called Breviarius at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The presence in Jerusalem of the relic is attested by Cassiodorus as well as by Gregory of Tours, in 615, Jerusalem and its relics were captured by the Persian forces of King Khosrau II. This point of the lance, which was now set in an icon, was acquired by the Latin Emperor, Baldwin II of Constantinople, the point of the lance was enshrined with the crown of thorns in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. During the French Revolution these relics were removed to the Bibliothèque Nationale but the point subsequently disappeared.
As for the portion of the lance, Arculpus claimed he saw it at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre around 670 in Jerusalem. Some claim that the relic had been conveyed to Constantinople in the 8th century. At this time great doubts as to its authenticity were felt at Rome, as Johann Burchard records, because of the presence of other rival lances in Paris and this relic has never since left Rome, and its resting place is at Saint Peters. The Holy Lance in Vienna is displayed in the Imperial Treasury or Weltliche Schatzkammer at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, in the tenth century, the Holy Roman Emperors came into possession of the lance, according to sources from the time of Otto I. In 1000, Otto III gave Boleslaw I of Poland a replica of the Holy Lance at the Congress of Gniezno, in 1084, Henry IV had a silver band with the inscription Nail of Our Lord added to it
House of Habsburg
The House of Habsburg, called House of Hapsburg, or House of Austria, was one of the most influential royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs between 1438 and 1740, from the sixteenth century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they maintained close relations. The House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the name as his own. The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, by 1276, Count Radbots seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg had moved the familys power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph had become King of Germany in 1273, and the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was truly entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs ruled until 1918.
A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to expand its domains to include Burgundy and its colonial empire, Hungary. In the 16th century, the separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches. The House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century, the senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon. It was succeeded by the Vaudemont branch of the House of Lorraine, the new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, although it was often referred to as simply the House of Habsburg. His grandson Radbot, Count of Habsburg founded the Habsburg Castle, the origins of the castles name, located in what is now the Swiss canton of Aargau, are uncertain. There is disagreement on whether the name is derived from the High German Habichtsburg, or from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, the first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.
The Habsburg Castle was the seat in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. The Habsburgs expanded their influence through arranged marriages and by gaining political privileges, in the 13th century, the house aimed its marriage policy at families in Upper Alsace and Swabia. They were able to high positions in the church hierarchy for their members. Territorially, they often profited from the extinction of other families such as the House of Kyburg. By the second half of the 13th century, count Rudolph IV had become one of the most influential territorial lords in the area between the Vosges Mountains and Lake Constance
An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with attention to ancient artifacts and historic sites, or historic archives. Today the term is used in a pejorative sense, to refer to an excessively narrow focus on factual historical trivia. The Kaogutu or Illustrated Catalogue of Examined Antiquity compiled by Lü Dalin is one of the oldest known catalogues to systematically describe and classify ancient artifacts which were unearthed. Interests in antiquarian studies of ancient inscriptions and artifacts waned after the Song Dynasty, Books on antiquarian topics covered such subjects as the origin of customs, religious rituals, and political institutions, genealogy and landmarks, and etymology. By contrast, antiquarian works as a form are organized by topic. Major antiquarian Latin writers with surviving works include Varro, Pliny the Elder, Aulus Gellius, the Roman emperor Claudius published antiquarian works, none of which is extant.
Some of Ciceros treatises, particularly his work on divination, show strong antiquarian interests, roman-era Greek writers dealt with antiquarian material, such as Plutarch in his Roman Questions and the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus. The aim of Latin antiquarian works is to collect a number of possible explanations. The antiquarians are often used as sources by the ancient historians, despite the importance of antiquarian writing in the literature of ancient Rome, some scholars view antiquarianism as emerging only in the Middle Ages. Antiquarianisms wider flowering is more associated with the Renaissance, and with the critical assessment. The development of genealogy as a scientific discipline went hand-in-hand with the development of antiquarianism, genealogical antiquaries recognised the evidential value for their researches of non-textual sources, including seals and church monuments. Many early modern antiquaries were chorographers, that is to say, they recorded landscapes, in England, some of the most important of these took the form of county histories.
They increasingly argued that empirical evidence could be used to refine. Antiquaries had always attracted a degree of ridicule, and since the century the term has tended to be used most commonly in negative or derogatory contexts. Nevertheless, many practising antiquaries continue to claim the title with pride, Antiquary was the usual term in English from the 16th to the mid-18th centuries to describe a person interested in antiquities. From the second half of the 18th century, antiquarian began to be used widely as a noun. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, a distinction was perceived to exist between the interests and activities of the antiquary and the historian
The Holy Grail is a vessel that serves as an important motif in Arthurian literature. Different traditions describe it as a cup, dish or stone with miraculous powers that provide happiness, a grail, wondrous but not explicitly holy, first appears in Perceval, le Conte du Graal, an unfinished romance written by Chrétien de Troyes around 1190. Here, it is a processional salver used to serve at a feast, in the late 12th century, Robert de Boron wrote in Joseph dArimathie that the Grail was Jesuss vessel from the Last Supper, which Joseph of Arimathea used to catch Christs blood at the Crucifixion. The word graal, as it is earliest spelled, comes from Old French graal or greal, cognate with Old Provençal grazal and Old Catalan gresal, meaning a cup or bowl of earth, wood, or metal. The most commonly accepted etymology derives it from Latin gradalis or gradale via a form, cratalis, a derivative of crater or cratus. Late medieval writers came up with an etymology for sangréal. In Old French, san graal or san gréal means Holy Grail, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia this is a false etymology.
After the cycle of Grail romances was well established, used this alternative etymology. Since then, Sang real is sometimes employed to lend a medievalising air in referring to the Holy Grail and this connection with royal blood bore fruit in a modern bestseller linking many historical conspiracy theories. The Grail was considered a bowl or dish when first described by Chrétien de Troyes, hélinand of Froidmont described a grail as a wide and deep saucer, other authors had their own ideas. Robert de Boron portrayed it as the vessel of the Last Supper, the Welsh romance Peredur had no Grail per se, presenting the hero instead with a platter containing his kinsmans bloody, severed head. The authors of the Vulgate Cycle used the Grail as a symbol of divine grace and the interpretation of the Grail involving him were picked up in the 15th century by Sir Thomas Malory in Le Morte dArthur and remain popular today. The Grail is first featured in Perceval, le Conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes, in this incomplete poem, dated sometime between 1180 and 1191, the object has not yet acquired the implications of holiness it would have in works.
First comes a man carrying a bleeding lance, two boys carrying candelabras. Finally, a young girl emerges bearing an elaborately decorated graal. Chrétien refers to this not as The Grail but as a grail, showing the word was used, in its earliest literary context. Perceval, who had warned against talking too much, remains silent through all of this. He learns that if he had asked the questions about what he saw, he would have healed his maimed host
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I and he was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. He has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia and his policies are now known as Josephinism. He died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Joseph was born in the midst of the early upheavals of the War of the Austrian Succession. His real education was given to him through the writings of Voltaire and the Encyclopédistes and he married Princess Isabella of Parma in October 1760, a union fashioned to bolster the 1756 defensive pact between France and Austria. Joseph loved his bride, finding her both stimulating and charming, and she sought, with care to cultivate his favor. The marriage of Joseph and Isabella resulted in the birth of a daughter, Isabella was fearful of pregnancy and early death.
Her own pregnancy proved difficult as she suffered symptoms of pain, illness. She remained bedridden for six weeks after their daughters birth, almost immediately on the back of their newfound parenthood, the couple endured two consecutive miscarriages—an ordeal particularly hard on Isabella—followed quickly by another pregnancy. Pregnancy was again provoking melancholy and dread in Isabella, progressively ill with smallpox and strained by sudden childbirth and tragedy, Isabella died the following week. This marriage proved unhappy, albeit brief, as it lasted only two years. Though Maria Josepha loved her husband, she felt timid and inferior in his company, lacking common interests or pleasures, the relationship offered little for Joseph, who confessed he felt no love for her in return. He adapted by distancing himself from his wife to the point of near total avoidance, seeing her only at meals, Maria Josepha, in turn, suffered considerable misery in finding herself locked in a cold, loveless union.
Four months after the anniversary of their wedding, Maria Josepha grew ill. Joseph neither visited her during her illness nor attended her funeral, though he expressed regret for not having shown her better kindness. One thing the union did provide him was the possibility of laying claim to a portion of Bavaria. In 1770, at the age of seven, Josephs only surviving child, Maria Theresa, became ill with pleurisy, the loss of his daughter was deeply traumatic for him and left him profoundly grief-stricken and scarred. He was made a member of the council of state
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
Stephen Bocskai or Bocskay was Prince of Transylvania and Hungary from 1605 to 1606. He was born to a Hungarian noble family and his fathers estates were located in the eastern regions of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, which developed into the Principality of Transylvania in the 1570s. He spent his youth in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor, Bocskais career started when his underage nephew, Sigismund Báthory, became the ruler of Transylvania in 1581. He became a member of the council and the royal council. After the Diet of Transylvania declared Sigismund of age in 1588, Sigismund made Bocskai captain of Várad in 1592. Bocskai signed the treaty about the membership of Transylvania in the Holy League on Sigismunds behalf in Prague on 28 January 1595 and he led the Transylvanian army to Wallachia which had been occupied by the Ottomans. The Christian troops liberated Wallachia and defeated the retreating Ottoman army in the Battle of Giurgiu on 29 September 1595, after a series of Ottoman victories, Sigismund Báthory abdicated in early 1598.
The commissioners of Maximilians successor, took possession of Transylvania, Bocskai persuaded Sigismund to return, but Sigismund again abdicated in March 1599. The new prince, Andrew Báthory, confiscated Bocskais estates in Transylvania proper, Andrew Báthory was dethroned by Michael the Brave of Wallachia. During the following period of anarchy, Bocskai was forced to stay in Prague for months and he rose up against Rudolph after his secret correspondence with the Grand Vizier, Lala Mehmed Pasha, was captured in October 1605. Bocskai hired Hajdús and defeated Rudolphs military commanders and he expanded his authority over Transylvania proper, the Partium and the nearby counties with the support of the local noblemen and burghers who had been stirred up by Rudolphs tyrannical acts. Bocskai was elected prince of Transylvania on 21 February 1605, the Ottomans supported him, but his partisans thought that the Ottomans intervention threatened the independence of Royal Hungary. To put an end to the war and Rudolphs representatives signed the Treaty of Vienna on 23 June 1606.
Rudolph acknowledged Bocskais hereditary right to rule the Principality of Transylvania, the treaty confirmed the Protestant noblemen and burghers right to freely practise their religion. In his last will, Bocskai emphasized that only the existence of the Principality of Transylvania could secure the status of Royal Hungary within the Habsburg Empire. Stephen was the sixth or seventh child of György Bocskai and Krisztina Sulyok and his father was a Hungarian nobleman whose inherited estates were located in Bihar and Zemplén Counties. Stephens mother was related to the influential Török and Héderváry families, one of her two sisters was the wife of István Dobó. Ferdinand I, King of Hungary, made Dobó Voivode of Transylvania in 1553, György Bocskai accompanied Dobó to Transylvania and received new estates in the province from Ferdinand
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Croatia, Transylvania, Milan and Galicia, by marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress. She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and spent his entire reign securing it. Upon the death of her father, Prussia, Prussia proceeded to invade the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia, sparking a nine-year conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession, and subsequently conquered it. Maria Theresa would try to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years War. Of the sixteen, ten survived to adulthood and she had eleven daughters and five sons. She criticised and disapproved of many of Josephs actions, Maria Theresa understood the importance of her public persona and was able to simultaneously evoke both esteem and affection from her subjects.
However, she refused to allow religious toleration and contemporary travelers thought her regime was bigoted and superstitious. As a young monarch who fought two wars, she believed that her cause should be the cause of her subjects. The dowager empresses, her aunt Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg and grandmother Eleonor Magdalene of the Palatinate-Neuburg, were her godmothers and her father was the only surviving male member of the House of Habsburg and hoped for a son who would prevent the extinction of his dynasty and succeed him. Thus, the birth of Maria Theresa was a disappointment to him. Charles sought the other European powers approval for disinheriting his nieces and they exacted harsh terms, in the Treaty of Vienna, Great Britain demanded that Austria abolish the Ostend Company in return for its recognition of the Pragmatic Sanction. France, Saxony-Poland and Prussia reneged, little more than a year after her birth, Maria Theresa was joined by a sister, Maria Anna, and another one, named Maria Amalia, was born in 1724.
The portraits of the family show that Maria Theresa resembled Elisabeth Christine. The Prussian ambassador noted that she had blue eyes, fair hair with a slight tinge of red, a wide mouth. Unlike many other members of the House of Habsburg, neither Maria Theresas parents nor her grandparents were closely related to each other, Maria Theresa was a serious and reserved child who enjoyed singing and archery. She was barred from riding by her father, but she would learn the basics for the sake of her Hungarian coronation ceremony. The imperial family staged opera productions, often conducted by Charles VI and her education was overseen by Jesuits
Military Order of Maria Theresa
It was specifically given for successful military acts of essential impact to a campaign that were undertaken on own initiative, and might have been omitted by an honorable officer without reproach. This gave rise to a myth that it was awarded for acting against an explicit order. It is considered to be the highest honor for a soldier in the Austrian armed services, the order had two classes, the Knights Cross and the Grand Cross. On October 15,1765, Emperor Joseph II added a Commanders Cross, a prospective awardee was considered only in regards to their military service record, their ethnicity and rank were irrelevant. Knight Cross recipients were automatically ennobled with the title of Ritter in the Austrian nobility for life, upon further petition they could claim the hereditary title of Baron. They were entitled to a pension, widows of the orders recipients were entitled to half of their spouses pension during the remainder of their lives. The Chapter processed applications until its last meeting in 1931, membership of the order has been awarded a total of 1241 times.
During World War II only one received the Knightss Cross of the Order of Maria Theresia. Major general Kornél Oszlányi commanding officer of the Royal Hungarian Armys 9th Light Infantry Division for the battles at the river Don near Voronezh, the last surviving knight of the Order was k. u. k. He received the honour in 1917 for his services as an aviator during World War I. He died in 1986, aged ninety-six, the badge of the order was a gilt, white-enameled cross. The central disc is in enamel, bearing the flag of Austria. The star of the order was a silver faceted cross of the shape as the badge. The central disc is the same as the one on the badge, the ribbon of the order was red-white-red, from the national flag of Austria. Field Marshal H. M. Franz Joseph I, Count Eduard Clam-Gallas was an Austrian General. Count Leopold Joseph von Daun, Prince of Thiano, Austrian field marshal, was born at Vienna, andrás Hadik de Futak was a Hungarian Count. He was commander of a Habsburg army corps in the Seven Years War under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, paul von Hindenburg was a German field marshal and politician, and served as the second President of Germany from 1925 to 1934.
Anton Ludwig August von Mackensen, born August Mackensen, was a German soldier and he commanded with success during the First World War and became one of the German Empires most prominent military leaders
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943
Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the style was carried to France, England and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact. Italy of the 15th century, and the city of Florence in particular, was home to the Renaissance, the scholarly approach to the architecture of the ancient coincided with the general revival of learning. A number of factors were influential in bringing this about, Italian architects had always preferred forms that were clearly defined and structural members that expressed their purpose. Many Tuscan Romanesque buildings demonstrate these characteristics, as seen in the Florence Baptistery, Italy had never fully adopted the Gothic style of architecture. In the 15th century, Florence and Naples extended their power through much of the area that surrounded them and this enabled Florence to have significant artistic influence in Milan, and through Milan, France.
Successive Popes, especially Julius II, 1503–13, sought to extend the Pope’s temporal power throughout Italy, in the early Renaissance, Venice controlled sea trade over goods from the East. Trade brought wool from England to Florence, ideally located on the river for the production of fine cloth, by dominating Pisa, Florence gained a seaport, and maintained dominance of Genoa. In this commercial climate, one family in particular turned their attention from trade to the business of money-lending. The Medici became the chief bankers to the princes of Europe, becoming virtually princes themselves as they did so, along the trade routes, and thus offered some protection by commercial interest, moved not only goods but artists and philosophers. This commenced in the mid 15th century and gained momentum in the 16th century, the construction of the Sistine Chapel with its uniquely important decorations and the entire rebuilding of St Peters, one of Christendoms most significant churches, were part of this process.
In wealthy republican Florence, the impetus for church-building was more civic than spiritual, the unfinished state of the enormous cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary did no honour to the city under her patronage. The dome inspired further religious works in Florence, through Humanism, civic pride and the promotion of civil peace and order were seen as the marks of citizenship. Some major ecclesiastical building works were commissioned, not by the church. During the Renaissance, architecture became not only a question of practice, printing played a large role in the dissemination of ideas. The first treatise on architecture was De re aedificatoria by Leon Battista Alberti in 1450 and it was to some degree dependent on Vitruviuss De architectura, a manuscript of which was discovered in 1414 in a library in Switzerland. De re aedificatoria in 1485 became the first printed book on architecture, Sebastiano Serlio produced the next important text, the first volume of which appeared in Venice in 1537, it was entitled Regole generali darchitettura.
It is known as Serlios Fourth Book since it was the fourth in Serlios original plan of a treatise in seven books, in all, five books were published