Questions tagged [16th-century]

The 16th century was the century which lasted from January 1, 1501 to December 31, 1600 in the Gregorian calendar.

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Is the story of Peter Niers brutal execution authentic?

Okay, so I asked a similar question to this on the Medical Stack Exchange. It's not doing too well (2 downvotes), and I can kind of get it. Medical professionals want nothing to do with the harm of ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Were people of different body types (height/weight/shape) able to have field armour adjusted to them?

Take this field armour of King Henry the VIIIth or armour from this time period (~1500s). How much give or excess room would there be for a person who was taller/shorter or fatter/slimmer that wore ...
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10 votes
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In the coat of arms of Georg von Frundsberg, where does the ostrich come from?

Georg von Frundsberg (24 September 1473 – 20 August 1528) and all his successors had a dual coat of arms - one part with a black mountain, the other with a white or silver ostrich. Some heraldry ...
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Did Johann Tetzel really claim to be able to give indulgences even for the sin of violating the Mother of God?

Johann Tetzel was a Saxon Dominican friar and preacher who (in)famously granted indulgences on behalf of the Catholic Church in exchange for money, which were claimed to allow a remission of temporal ...
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17 votes
4 answers
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Why does the amount of days in an year on average of the Gregorian calendar only have 4 decimal places (365.2425)?

Alfonsine tables available at the time of the Gregorian reform provided enough information (however inaccurate) for the calendar to have been designed such that it expressed more precision regarding ...
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34 votes
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Why did life expectancy decline sharply in 16th century England?

I was checking historical life expectancy and found the chart shown below in Roser, Ortiz-Ospina, Ritchie, 2013. What was the reason for such a dramatic decline in life expectancy in England in the ...
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Were beaches red with lobsters upon arrival of Columbus?

I remember reading somewhere that upon arrival in Hispaniola, Columbus found beaches that were so plentiful with lobsters that they appeared red. It is possible I read this in a book by Bill Bryson, ...
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What happened where in 1541? (Portuguese in the Horn of Africa)

Was trying to check the following description from the introduction to a board game: In 1541, Portuguese soldiers [...] slipped into the port of Massawa [and] join[ed] the Christian forces. At the ...
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What does "Quivira" refer to? [closed]

I've found this term "Quivira", both here and in an old journal by some explorer published in the 1500s. What I'm confused about if is "Quivira" is a term that was applied to the ...
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What was Shakespeare's motive to make Richard III seem like a villain? [closed]

Richard III was made to look like a villain by Shakespeare, mainly by increasing the hump on his right shoulder and other nasty characteristics. However, what was his motive for this? Was it just ...
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Who or what were the Nassadista?

I have encountered several references to Nassadista in a 16th century Latin manuscript. As far as I can tell the noun is masculine, first declension (nominative plural Nassadistæ). Context implies ...
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Who are these red flag worshipers from these early maps?

While doing some research into maps over the last month or so, I came across an interesting item which I found recurring on two different sources. I first encountered this scene on a copy of the ...
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How was the 4th Duke of Norfolk executed? [closed]

I am in the process of writing an historic novel and would like to know as much detail about the 4th Duke of Norfolk's execution as possible. In particular who was the executioner, how much did the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Why are there shields present on the sides of Henry VIII ships, did they serve any function or was it pure decoration?

reading about the Field of the cloth of gold, I came across some paintings commissioned by Henry VIII himself. This painting of Henry VIII embarking at Dover to meet with Francis I caught my eye as ...
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Is there a historical example or a manuscript about troop formation or fighting stance on a boat?

Is there a historical example or a manuscript about troop formation or fighting stance on any sort of boat or ship? Especially during colonialism or the golden age of piracy, no specific location so ...
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Why were Elizabethan English concerned about vagabonds?

I have an assessment soon, and part of my revision is on poverty in Elizabethan England. This includes Explaining why Elizabethans were worried about Vagabonds. I am unsure on this topic, but I have ...
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How did Jean Parisot de Valette, 49th Grand Master of the Order of Malta, die?

I've just finished reading Sword and Scimitar by Simon Scarrow and wanted to know more about the non-fictional characters in the Siege of Malta. Jean Parisot de La Valette was the Grand Master and he ...
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When were differing hemispheric seasons first understood?

When did people - scientists or philosophers - first realise/discover/understand that the seasons in the southern hemisphere were the opposite to those in the northern hemisphere? Additionally, when ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How much leisure time was enjoyed by English peasants in the 16th century?

It seems like technological advances like seed drills, the cotton gin, reapers (grain harvesters), John Deere tractors, nitrogen fixation, steam engines, the internal combustion engine, cars, aircraft,...
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What is the origin of the name Fallopian tubes?

I read that the Fallopian tubes were described by the Italian anatomist Gabrielle Fallopio, somewhere in the 16th century. The Wikipedia describes that the structure reminded the musical instrument, ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Did Spanish priests fight in South America?

I have been reading up (vi Wikipedia) on El Dorado and the Spanish and English expeditions through South America. It seems pretty clear that there were Priests and Scholars who would accompany ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Do we have any authentic Native American flute music from the 18th century or earlier?

Just wondering if any actual music from Native Americans was recorded (written record, transcribed to some kind of sheet music) by Europeans, in the 18th century or earlier. I'm especially interested ...
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3 votes
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Did German Princes during the Protestant Reformation often live in castles?

I'm writing a short story based on Snow White. My research tells me the story took place during the late 16th century. The timeline of my story coincides with the Protestant Reformation. I am ...
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34 votes
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Why would graphite have been confused with lead?

I was reading the wikipedia page for pencil, and came across an interesting fact: Prior to 1565 (some sources say as early as 1500), a large deposit of graphite was discovered on the approach to ...
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Inter-ethnic conflicts in Switzerland in the 16th century

I have come across this description in Paddy Ashdown's (excellent) autobiography A Fortunate Life: I have often been struck by the similarities between those countries whose fortune (or ...
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5 votes
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What is this griffin-like creature labelling a lunar mansion in the Zubdat al-Tawarikh?

While looking for astronomy-related things I found out about this Turkish history manuscript from 1583 called the Zubdat al-Tawarikh or "History of the World". One of the first things in it is an ...
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What was the heaviest example of horse armor (barding) from 16th and 17th centuries?

I would like to ask what the heaviest known example of armor for war horses is. Specifically, I'm asking about horse-armor in the 16th and 17th centuries (European, primarily, but I will accept other ...
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3 votes
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Is More's 'Utopia' intended to depict an ideal city?

On the surface 'Utopia' (1516) describes an ideal community : natural law, religion, and reason are its guiding principles. But I come across frequent references to its satirical nature. Does it ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Was Transylvania autonomous within Hungary before 1526?

Transylvania is presented in Romanian historiography in parallel with the other two "Principalities" with which it ended up united in the 20th century - Wallachia and Moldavia. These two had been ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Why was the War of the League of Cambrai such a hot mess?

The War of the League of Cambrai was fought from 1508-1516 by...basically everyone who had any interest in Italy at the time (which was most of Europe). It was a mess: It's been described by one ...
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Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ever called “Wolfi” or “Wolfie” by his wife?

In the 1984 film Amadeus based on Wolfgang Mozart's life, Wolfgang is commonly referred to as "Wolfi", especially by his wife (as spelled in the scripts I could find online). Amadeus also takes ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How did the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth become official?

I believe that they were good allies but were they also at some point became one nation. But it seemed like an unusually long "courtship" that lasted decades, or even centuries. That's why am kinda ...
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1 answer
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Did Taíno natives ever work Spanish galleons?

Did Taíno natives work as slaves or sailors on 16th-century Spanish ships in early to mid-sixteenth century?
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10 votes
2 answers
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What was a "Qua" in a "Subsidy of Armour" in 1590?

The Archbishop of Canterbury decreed in 1590 that clergy should provide men and armour for the defence of the realm against the King of Spain. Clergy in the diocese of Lincoln had a "Subsidy of Armour"...
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14 votes
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How much authority did a traveling lord have in England in the late 16th century?

How much authority did a Lord, traveling, like from a hunting trip (as in the beginning of The Taming of the Shrew), have over the surrounding peasants while outside his domains in Elizabethan England?...
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6 votes
3 answers
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How was silver/gold mining done in colonial Americas?

I've heard a lot about the vast amounts of silver and gold that Spain brought back from the Americas. I imagine that they looted the Aztecs and other peoples at first, but silver/gold exports ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Were people happy under Ivan the terrible?

I do know that the Russian nobility faced great terror under Ivan IV. The movie by Sergei Eisenstein, "Ivan the terrible" shows him as a benevolent ruler as far as people are concerned. I wish to know ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What was the fate of Gülbahar, the chief consort of Sultan Suleyman of 16th century?

Could someone outline the basic timeline of Gulbahar's history with respect to her exile from the old palace harem and death in line with her son's execution? I'm writing a tragic-comedy stageplay on ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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How was the Spanish Armada coordinated?

We know that the Spanish Armada was composed of over 200 ships. How did the Duke of Medina exercise any sort of control over a fleet this big with only 16th century technology? Do we know how the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are the various theories behind why Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered Sen no Rikyu to commit suicide?

From wikipedia: Although Rikyū had been one of Hideyoshi's closest confidants, because of crucial differences of opinion and other reasons which remain uncertain, Hideyoshi ordered him to commit ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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What was the name of the Ottoman-Spanish truce in 1580?

As I'm reading the history of the Western Mediterranean about this period, I found many references to a truce between the Ottomans and Habsburg Spain in 1580. For example, Wikipedia - Habsburg Spain: ...
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3 votes
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What does this symbol in the title page illustration of the "Margarita Philosophica" mean?

The Margarita Philosophica appeared around the year 1500 CE, written by Gregor Reisch of Freiburg. The title page of the manuscript contains the fascinating image below, in which the seven primary ...
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8 votes
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Why was the capital of Poland moved from Krakow to Warsaw in 1595?

This question is a follow-up to the question Why did Poland keep Warsaw as its capital instead of returning it to Krakow in the 20th century? In particular: Now as for Warsaw becoming the capital. ...
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17 votes
3 answers
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Why did the French nobility adopt Calvinism?

The Wikipedia article on the French Wars of Religion says that the Calvinist form of Protestantism, in particular, spread into the nobility. Now, I'd like to know why is that, and not Lutheranism for ...
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7 votes
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When and where was the first naval gunnery school/college established?

While I have found that the first naval battle including ship mounted cannon occurred in 1338. It would seem that the use of such weapons did not turn the tide of the battle. Further reading brought ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Westernmost and easternmost locations that Charles V visited in his empire?

Charles V (1500 – 1558) famously was ruler over an "empire on which the sun never set". It included large parts of Europe and also colonies in the new world. Charles V was born in the Low Countries ...
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13 votes
6 answers
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Why did Hideyoshi invade Korea?

Hideyoshi launched the invasion of Korea in 1592, with the aim of conquering Korea first and using it as a base for eventual conquest of China. As things turned out, although the superior Japanese ...
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9 votes
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Inflation rates in Spain and Portugal during the 16th century

What were the monthly or yearly inflation rates in Spain and Portugal during the 16th century? Is there data for the amount of silver or gold possessed by the crowns during that period? How much did ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Duchy and Electorate of Saxony during the Schmalkaldic War

The Wikipedia page for the Schmalkaldic War list the Duchy of Saxony and the Electorate of Saxony as opposing sides of the war, each with their own monarch (Maurice is the Duke of Saxony, John ...
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5 votes
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How did an input of resources in 16th century Spain contribute to inflation?

My history book claims that the flow of Silver from the New World to Spain in the 16th century contributed to an inflation. However, that seems very unintuitive. How could gaining resources lead to a ...
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