The year 1345 was a Julian calendar year in the 14th century, in the midst of a period in world history often referred to as the Late Middle Ages. During this year on the Asian continent, the several divisions of the old Mongol Empire were in a state of gradual decline. The Ilkhanate had already fragmented into several kingdoms struggling to place their puppet emperors over the shell of an old state. The Chagatai Khanate was in the midst of a civil war and one year from falling to rebellion. The Golden Horde to the north was besieging Genoese colonies along the coast of the Black Sea, and the Yuan Dynasty in China was seeing the first seeds of a resistance which would lead to its downfall. Southeast Asia remained free from Mongol power, with several small kingdoms struggling for survival. The Siamese dynasty in that area vanquished the Sukhothai in this year. In the Indonesian Archipelago, the Majapahit Empire was in the midst of a golden age under the leadership of Gajah Mada, who remains a famous figure in Indonesia.

England and France were engaged in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, with the Battle of Auberoche fought in Northern France in October of this year. In the Iberian Peninsula, Alfonso XI of Castile again besieged the Muslim city of Granada as part of the Reconquista, but without success. The Holy Roman Empire under Louis IV took control of Holland and the surrounding area, granting these lands to his wife in a move which angered many of his princes. Holland was also in the midst of the Friso-Hollandic Wars, engaging with the Frisians on 26 September in the Battle of Warns. Italy, which at the time was divided into several kingdoms, saw several power struggles including the Battle of Gamenario in the north, and the assassination of Andrew, Duke of Calabria in Naples. In Northern Europe, Swedes continued early stages of their emigration to Estonia, which would continue in the coming decades. Estonian rulers also managed to crush the St. George's Night Uprising in 1345 after a two-year struggle. Lithuania changed hands from Jaunutis to his brother Algirdas in a relatively bloodless shift of power, and Lithuania continued its skirmishes with its northern, Estonian neighbor.

The main forces in the Balkans in the 1345 were Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Byzantine Empire. Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia proclaimed himself Tsar of the new Serbian Empire and continued his efforts at expansion, quickly conquering Albania and other surrounding areas within the year. The Byzantines, though powerful, were in a state of decline. With the aid of Serbia, they managed to quash the rebellion of a group of Zealots in Thessalonica led by John Cantacuzenus. Turks clashed with Byzantines, Serbs, and Cypriots at sea and in the cities of Chios and Imbros. The Byzantine Empire's precarious situation at this time is evidenced by the fact that they did not have enough soldiers to protect their own borders, but hired mercenaries from the Serbs and the Ottomans.

Timeline of events

:"See the full calendar of this year.
* 1 January - Louis IV's son, Louis VI the Roman, marries Cunigunde, a Lithuanian princess.
* 17 January - Turks attack Smyrna
* March 12 - The Miracle of the Host occurs (as commemorated in Amsterdam).
* 24 March - Guy de Chauliac observes the planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars conjoined in the sky under the sign of Aquarius and a solar eclipse on the same day. This sign is interpreted as foreboding by many, and Chauliac will later blame it for the Black Plague. [pgs. 143-148 ASIN B000K6TDP2] [Horrox, Rosemary. The Black Death. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994. ISBN 0719034981 pg.104-105]
* April - Edward III offers "defiance" of Philip VI.
* April 22 - Battle of Gamenario: The Lombards defeat the Angevins in the northwest region of present-day Italy, just southeast of Turin.
* May - Turks led by Uner beg march from Asia Minor to the Balkan Peninsula and raid Bulgarian territory [Ioannes Cantacuzenus. Historiarum... 2, p.530]
* 7 July - Battle of Peritor: Bulgarian forces are defeated by the Turks. [Nicephorus Gregoras. Byzantina historia. 2, p.729]
* September - Holland, Hainaut and Zeeland are inherited by Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor and remain part of the imperial crown domain until 1347.
* September 18 - Andrew, Duke of Calabria is assassinated in Naples (d. in Aversa).
* September 26 - Battle of Warns: The Frisians defeat the forces of Holland under William IV, Count of Hainaut, in the midst of the Friso-Hollandic Wars.
* 21 October - English victory at the Battle of Auberoche in Gascony.
* December - English take Aiguillon in Gascony.


Western Asia

The country of Georgia had been struggling for independence from the Ilkhanate since the first anti-Mongol uprising started in 1259 under the leadership of King David Narin who in fact waged his war for almost thirty years. Finally, it was King George the Brilliant (1314 - 1346) who managed to play on the decline of the Ilkhanate, stopped paying tribute to the Mongols, restored the pre-1220 state borders of Georgia, and returned the Empire of Trebizond into Georgia’s sphere of influence. Thus, in 1345, Georgia was in the midst of golden age of independence, though its leader would die one year later.

Trebizond had reached its greatest wealth and influence during the long reign of Alexios II (1297–1330). Afterwards, however, it suffered a period of repeated imperial depositions and assassinations from the end of Alexios II's reign until the first years of Alexios III's, finally ending in 1355, six years into his rule. The empire, however, never fully recovered its internal cohesion, commercial supremacy or territory. Its ruler in 1345, Michael Megas Komnenos was crowned Emperor of Trebizond in 1344 after his son, John III, was deposed. He was forced to sign a document which gave the Grand Duke and his ministers almost all power in the Empire, promising to seek their counsel in all official actions. This constitutional experiment was short-lived, however, because of opposition from the people of Trebizond. They were infuriated to see the Emperor stripped of his effective authority and rose up in revolt against the oligarchy. Michael swiftly took advantage of his opportunity to regain power and arrested and imprisoned the Grand Duke in 1345. He also sent his son John to Constantinople and then Adrianople, where he was to be kept prisoner to prevent him from becoming a further focus for the discontented nobles of Trebizond.

Declining Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire had been slowly disintegrating for many years. After the death of Kublai Khan in 1294, it had been divided into four khanates: The Yuan Dynasty, the Ilkhanate, the Khanate of the Golden Horde, and the Chagatai Khanate.


The Ilkhanate had been declining rapidly since 1335, when Abu Sa'id died without an heir. Since then, various factions, including the Chobanids and the Jalayirids, had been competing for the Ilkhan throne. Hasan Kucek, a Chobanid prince, was murdered late in 1343. Surgan, son of Sati Beg, the sister of Abu Sa'id, found himself competing for control of the Chobanid lands with the late ruler's brother Malek Asraf and his uncle Yagi Basti. When he was defeated by Malek Asraf, he fled to his mother and stepfather. The three of them then formed an alliance, but when Hasan Buzurg (Jalayirid) decided to withdraw the support he promised, the plan fell apart, and they fled to Diyarbakr. Surgan was defeated again in 1345 by Malek Asraf and they fled to Anatolia. Coinage dating from that year appears in Hesn Kayfa in Sati Beg's name; this is the last trace of her. Surgan moved from Anatolia to Baghdad, where he was eventually executed by Hasan Buzurg; Sati Beg may have suffered the same fate, but this is unknown.

Golden Horde

In 1345, the Golden Horde made a second attempt to lay siege on the Genoese city of Kaffa. (An earlier attempt had failed because Kaffa was able to get provisions across the Black Sea.) The 1345 siege would fail in the following year as the Mongols were struck with the Black Plague and forced to retreat. This siegege is therefore noted as one of the key events that brought the Black Plague to Europe.

The Kingdom of Hungary saw the threat of the growing power of the Golde Horde and as such, in 1345 it began a campaign against the Tatars and the Horde, in the area what would become a few years later Moldavia. Andrew Lackfi, the voivode of Transylvania and his Szekely warriors were victorious in their campaign, decapitating the local Tatar leader, the brother-in-law of the Khan, Atlamïş and making the Tatars flee toward the coastal area. [István Vásáry, Cumans and Tatars, Cambridge University Press 2005, p. 156]

Chagatai Khanate

Amir Qazaghan (d. 1358) was the leader of the Qara'unas tribe (1345 at the latest – 1358) and the powerful de facto ruler of the Chagatai "ulus" (1346 – 1358). In 1345 he revolted against Qazan Khan, but was unsuccessful. The following year he would try again and succeed in killing the khan. With this the effective power of the Chagatai khans would come to an end; the khanate eventually devolved into a loose confederation of tribes that respected the authority of Qazaghan, although the he primarily commanded the loyalty of the tribes of the southern portion of the "ulus". He did not claim the khanship, but instead contented himself with his title of amir and conferred the title of khan on puppets of his own choosing: first Danishmendji (1346-1348) and then Bayan Quli (1348-1358). [Manz, Beatrice Forbes, "The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane". Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-34595-2.]

Yuan Dynasty

By 1345, the Yuan Dynasty in China was steadily declining. Chinese peasants, upset with the lack of support by the government when they were facing droughts, floods, and famines, were becoming rebellious. The Yellow River flooded in Jinan in 1345. The river had flooded previously in 1335 and in 1344. [ [http://www.republicanchina.org/yuan.html Mongol Yuan Dynasty - Political, Social, Cultural, Historical Analysis Of China ] ] There was also conflict between the rulers of the dynasty. Zhu Yuanzhang was about 16 years old in 1345. His parents and brothers had died of plague or famine (or both) in 1344Huang, Ray. 1988. "China: A Macro History". Armonk, New York; London: M. E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 0873324528. 149.] , and he joined a Buddhist monastery. In 1345 he left the monastery and joined a band of rebels [Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh Boulger. 1900. "A Short History of China". New York: F.P. Harper, p. 79] [Morris, Charles. 1904 "Historical Tales, the Romance of Reality: Japan and China". New York, Los Angeles: R.H. Whitten Company. p. 265] . He would lead a series of rebellions until he drove out the Mongols and became the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1368.

Japan and India

In India, Muhammad bin Tughluq was reigning as Sultan of Delhi in 1345. This year saw a revolt of Muslim military commanders in the Daulatabad area. In Bengal, on the eastern border of the Sultanate, a general named llyas captured East Bengal, and under him Bengal was again united. He established his capital at Gaur. In southern India, Harihara I had founded the Vijayanagara Empire in 1336. After the death of Hoysala Veera Ballala III during a battle against the Sultan of Madurai in 1343, the Hoysala Empire had merged with the growing Vijayanagara Empire. In these first two decades after the founding of the empire, Harihara I gained control over most of the area south of the Tungabhadra river and earned the title of "Purvapaschima Samudradhishavara" ("master of the eastern and western oceans"). The Jaffna Kingdom, which encompassed the southern tip of India and parts of Sri Lanka, was constantly in conflict with both Vijayanagara and the smaller Kotte Kingdom of southern Sri Lanka during this time.

From 1336 to 1392, two courts claimed the throne of Japan. This was known as the Nanboku-chō, or the Northern and Southern Courts period. In the Northern Court, Emperor Go-Murakami claimed the throne. In the Southern Court, Emperor Kōmyō claimed the throne.

outheast Asia

In Southeast Asia, Sukhothai changed hands to a new Siamese dynasty in 1345. [Eliot, Joshua et.al. Footprint Laos Handbook. Bath: Footprint Handbooks, 2003. ISBN 1903471397 pg. 247] A Buddhist work, the "Traibhumikatha", was composed by the King of Siam in the same year. [Nakamura, Hajime. Indian Buddhism: a Survey with Bibliographical Notes. City: Motilal Banarsidass Pub, 1999. ISBN 8120802721 pg. 120] The Sukhothai Emperor also wrote a similar Buddhist work, the "Tri Phum Phra Ruang". Both works describe Southeast Asian cosmological ideas which still exist today. Life is said in these books to be divided into 31 levels of existence separated between three worlds. [Wajuppa, Tossa. Phādāēng Nāng Ai. Lewisburg Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1990. ISBN 0838751393 pg. 26] Angkor was in a period of decline, forced to devote much of its resources to skirmishes with the Sukhothai and Siamese, which left Champa free to attack Dai Viet and opened the way for Lopburi to spring up, all of which happened right around this year. [Lieberman, Victor. Strange Parallels. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0521800862 pgs. 236-7] A Buddhist colony also existed to the west in the Mon Empire, which struggled to maintain its existence in the face of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate to the west and the Mongol Chinese to the north.The Majapahit Empire, which occupied much of the Indonesian Archipelago, was ruled by empress Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi. During Tribhuwana's rule, the Majapahit kingdom had grown much larger and became famous in the area. Gajah Mada reigned at the time along with the empress as "mahapatih" (prime minister) of Majapahit. It was during their rule in 1345 that the famous Muslim traveller Ibn Battuta visited Samudra in the Indonesian Archipelago. According to Battuta's report on his visit to Samudra, the ruler of the local area was a Muslim, and the people worshiped as Muslims in mosques and recited the Koran. Many Islamic traders and travelers had already scattered themselves along the major cities and coasts surrounding the Indian Ocean by this time. [Morgan, Kenneth. Islam- the Straight Path. City: Motilal Banarsidass Pub, 1998. ISBN 8120804031 pg. 376]

Western Europe

Hundred Years' War

By 1345, the Hundred Years' War between France and England had been going on for only about eight years. The English claimed the right to the French throne, and the French refused to be ruled by foreigners. On 21 October the French and English met in one of the many battles fought in this war, the Battle of Auberoche. Earlier in the year, the area had been taken from the French by an English cavalry. The French retaliated by besieging the castle at Auberoche, but English reinforcements arrived and caught the French off guard during their evening meal. The battle ended in an English victory. This set the stage for English dominance in the area for several years. Previous to this, the French had been having success, and the English had even offered a treaty, but with this battle along with the English Earl of Derby's overrunning of the Agenais (lost twenty years before in the War of Saint-Sardos) and Angoulême, as well as the forces in Brittany under Sir Thomas Dagworth also making gains, the tide turned somewhat in this year.

A new machine was introduced to this war in 1345 — cannon. "Ribaldis", as they were then called, are first mentioned in the English Privy Wardrobe accounts during preparations for the Battle of Crécy between 1345 and 1346.David Nicolle, "Crécy 1346: Triumph of the longbow", Osprey Publishing Paperback; June 25 2000; ISBN 9781855329669] These were believed to have shot large arrows and simplistic grapeshot, but they were so important they were directly controlled by the Royal Wardrobe.

War of Succession

A kind of side conflict to the Hundred Years' War was the Breton War of Succession, a conflict between the Houses of Blois and Montfort for control of the Duchy of Brittany. The French backed Blois and the English backed Montfort in what became a miniature of the wider conflict between the two countries. The House of Blois had laid siege to the town of Quimper in early 1344, and continued into 1345. During the summer and autumn of 1344, the Montfortist party had fallen apart. Even those who had been John of Montfort’s staunchest allies now considered it futile to continue the struggle. It therefore mattered little that in March 1345 John finally managed to escape to England. With no adherents of note of his own, he was now little more than a figurehead for English ambitions in Brittany.

Edward III decided to repudiate the truce in summer 1345, a year before it was due to run out. As part of his larger strategy, a force was dispatched to Brittany under the joint leadership of the Earl of Northampton and John of Montfort. Within a week of their landing in June, the English had their first victory when Sir Thomas Dagworth, one of Northampton’s lieutenants, raided central Brittany and defeated Charles of Blois at Cadoret near Josselin.

The follow-up was less impressive. Further operations were delayed until July when Montfort attempted the recapture of Quimper. However, news had reached the French government that Edward’s main campaign had been cancelled and they were able to send reinforcements from Normandy. With his strengthened army, Charles of Blois broke the siege. Routed, Montfort fled back to Hennebont where he fell ill and died 16 September. The heir to the Montfortist cause was his 5-year-old son, John.

During the winter, Northampton fought a long and hard winter campaign with the apparent objective of seizing a harbour on the north side of the peninsula. Edward III had probably planned to land here with his main force during summer 1346. However, the English achieved very little for their efforts. Northern Brittany was Joanna of Dreux’ home region and resistance here was stiff. The only bright spot for the English was victory at the Battle of La Roche-Derrien, where the small town was captured and a garrison installed under Richard Totesham.

Other events

Also in England in 1345, Princess Joan was betrothed to Pedro of Castile, son of Alphonso XI of Castile and Maria of Portugal. She would never marry him, however, but would die of the Black Plague on her journey to Spain to meet him. Spain, meanwhile, continued its struggle to regain Muslim territory on the Iberian Peninsula. In that same year Alfonso XI attacked Gibraltar as a part of the Reconquista, but was unable to conquer it. [O'Callaghan, Joseph. Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. ISBN 0812218892 pg. 212] In 1345 Muhammud V was made its ruler. [Ahmed, Akbar. Discovering Islam. New York: Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0415285259 pg. 102] The York Minster Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, was completed in this year as well. It remains the largest in the region to this day. England was still recovering from French occupation. Until 1345, all school instruction had been in French, rather than English. [Holliday, Carl. English Fiction from the Fifth to the Twentieth Century. City: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007. ISBN 1430471255 pgs. 53-54.]

Besides the War of Succession and the Hundred Year's War, France was in the midst of an interesting period. Several decades earlier, the Roman Papacy had moved to Avignon and would not return to Rome for another 33 years. The Avignon Papacy was then ruled by Pope Clement VI, who was aiding the French in their war against the English with Church funds. Also, in the year 1345, the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was completed after nearly two centuries of planning and construction. [Sommers, Michael. France: a Primary Source Cultural Guide. City: PowerPlus Books, 2005. ISBN 1404229094 pg. 126] On 24 March, a man named Guy de Chauliac observed a strange astronomical sign: the planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars conjoined in the sky under the sign of Aquarius. That same day the area experienced a solar eclipse. This sign was interpreted as foreboding by many, and Chauliac would later blame it for the Black Plague, which arrived less than five years later. [pgs. 143-148 ASIN B000K6TDP2] [Horrox, Rosemary. The Black Death. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994. ISBN 0719034981 pg.104-105]

Central Europe

Holy Roman Empire

On 1 January, emperor Louis IV's son Louis VI the Roman married Cunigunde, a Lithuanian Princess. Besides this move, the emperor continued his policy of expansion by conferring Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland and Friesland upon his wife Margaret of Holland after the death of William IV at the Battle of Warns. The hereditary titles to these lands owned by Margaret's sisters were ignored. This widened a divide which had already been growing between himself and the lay princes of Germany, who disliked his restless expansion policy. His actions in this year eventually led to a civil war, which was cut short by his death by stroke two years later.

On 12 March, a eucharistic miracle occurred in Amsterdam, now called the Miracle of the Host. It involved a dying man vomiting upon being given the Holy Sacrament and last rites in his home. The Host was then put in the fire, but miraculously remained intact and could be retrieved from the fire in one piece without the heat burning the hand of the person that retrieved it. This miracle was later officially recognised as such by the Roman Catholic Church, and a large pilgrimage chapel was built where the house had stood. Every year, thousands of Catholics take part in the Stille Omgang, or procession to the place of the miracle.

Holland, meanwhile, was in the midst of the Friso-Hollandic Wars, as the Counts of Holland continued their efforts to conquer nearby Friesland in the Battle of Warns. In 1345 William IV, Count of Holland, prepared a military action to conquer Middle Frisia, crossing the Zuiderzee with a large fleet and with the help of French and Flemish knights, some of whom had just returned from crusade. He set sail in Enkhuizen, together with his uncle John, Duke of Beaumont, and landed near Stavoren and Laaxum and planned to use the Sint-Odulphus monastery near Stavoren as a fortification. The Hollandic knights wore armour, but had no horses as there wasn't enough room in the ships, which were full of building materials and supplies.

William's troops set fire to the abandoned villages of Laaxum and Warns and started to advance towards Stavoren. In the countryside around Warns the Hollandic count was attacked by the local inhabitants. With their heavy armour the knights were no match for the furious Frisian farmers and fishermen. As they fled they entered a swamp where they were decisively beaten. Their commander William IV of Holland was killed, and was succeeded by his sister Margaret of Holland, wife of Louis IV. When John of Beaumont heard what had happened, he ordered a retreat back to the ships. They were pursued by the Frisians and most did not make it back. Count William's death in this battle paved the way for the Hook and Cod wars, and 26 September, the day of the battle, remains a national holiday in Friesland today.


The Battle of Gamenario, fought on 22 April, was a decisive battle of the wars between the Guelfs (Angevins) and Ghibellines (Lombards). It took place in north-west Italy in what is now part of the commune of Santena about 15 km southeast of Turin.

Reforza d'Agoult was sent in the spring of 1345 by Joan of Anjou, viceroy to northern Italy in hopes of putting an end to the war with the Margravate of Montferrat. Reforza conquered Alba and besieged Gamenario, a castle in the neighbourhood of Santena. Lombard Ghibellines formed an anti-Angevin alliance, headed by John II of Montferrat. On 22 April, he confronted Reforza d'Agoult and battle was joined. The meeting was brief and bloody. Initially uncertain, the outcome was a victory for the Ghibellines, who recovered the besieged fortress and dealt a sever blow to Angevin influence in Piedmont. To celebrate his victory, John built a new church in Asti in honour of Saint George, near whose feast day the battle was won. Saint George held a special place for the men of chivalry of the Medieval, because he was the Saint that killed the dragon and was therefor held in a warrior cult.

In the aftermath, Piedmont was partitioned between the victors. John received Alba, Acqui Terme, Ivrea, and Valenza. Luchino Visconti received Alessandria and the House of Savoy (related to the Palaiologos of Montferrat) received Chieri. The Angevins lost almost complete control of the region and many formerly French cities declared themselves independent. The defeat of the Angevins was also a defeat for Angevin-supported Manfred V of Saluzzo and the civil war in that margraviate was ended at Gamenario. [Giuseppe Cerrato: "In Atti della Società ligure di storia patria" - S. 2, vol. 17 (1885), p. 382-542] [«Studi Piemontesi»: VII (1978), 2, pp. 341-51]
Andrew, Duke of Calabria, was assassinated by conspiracy in 1345. He had been appointed joint heir with his wife, Joan I, to the throne of Naples by the Pope. This, however, sat ill with the Neapolitan people and nobles; nor was Joan content to share her sovereignty. With the approval of Pope Clement VI, Joan was crowned as sole monarch of Naples in August 1344. Fearing for his life, Andrew wrote to his mother Elizabeth that he would soon flee the kingdom. She intervened, and made a state visit; before she returned to Hungary, she bribed Pope Clement to reverse himself and permit the coronation of Andrew. She also gave a ring to Andrew, which was supposed to protect him from death by blade or poison, and returned with a false sense of security to Hungary.

Thus, in 1345, hearing of the Pope's reversal, a group of noble conspirators (probably including Queen Joan) determined to forestall Andrew's coronation. During a hunting trip at Aversa, Andrew left his room in the middle of the night and was set upon by the conspirators. A treacherous servant barred the door behind him; and as Joan cowered in their bed, a terrible struggle ensued, Andrew defending himself furiously and shrieking for aid. He was finally overpowered, strangled with a cord, and flung from a window. The horrible deed would taint the rest of Joan's reign.

Other events in Italy in 1345 include Ambrogio Lorenzetti's painting of a map of the world for the palace at Siena. The painting has since been lost, but the instruments which he used to make it still survive, giving insights into mapmaking techniques of the day. [Kupfer, M; " [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0422/is_n2_v78/ai_18486164 The lost wheel map of Ambrogio Lorenzetti] " (at FindArticles.com), "The Art Bulletin", June 1996. Retrieved 2 January 2007.] The Peruzzi family, a big banking family and precursor to the Medici family went bankrupt in 1345, and in 1345 Florence was the scene of an attempted strike by wool combers ("ciompi"). A few decades later they would rise in a full-scale revolt. In Verona, Mastino II della Scala began the construction of his Scaliger Tomb, an architectural structure still standing today.

Northern and Eastern Europe

weden and the Baltic area

In Sweden and states bordering the Baltic Sea, the oldest surviving manuscript from the first Swedish law to be put to paper is from c. 1345, although earlier versions probably existed. The law was created for the young town Stockholm's customs, but it was also used in Lödöse and probably in a few other towns, as well. No town was allowed to use the law without the formal permission by the Swedish king. Its use may have become more widespread if it had not been superseded by the new town law by King Magnus Eriksson (13161374). The term "Bjarkey Laws" was however used for a long time for Magnus Eriksson's law in various locations.

Records also exist for the emigration of Swedes to Estonia in this year. Early mentions of Swedes in Estonia came in 1341 and 1345 (when an Estonian monastery in Padise sold "the Laoküla Estate" and Suur-Pakri Island to a group of Swedes).During the 13th through 15th centuries, large numbers of Swedes arrived in coastal Estonia from Finland, which was under Swedish control (and would remain so for hundreds of years), often settling on Church-owned land.

1345 marked the end of a series of skirmishes begun in the 1343 St. George's Night Uprising. The rebellion, which was by this time limited to the island of Oesel, was stifled in 1345. After the rebellion Denmark sold its domains in Estonia to the Teutonic Order in 1346. The fighting had started as a protest by indigenous Estonians to Danish and German rule. Parts of Estonia such as the city of Valga suffered raids from the nearby Lithuanian rulers.

In Lithuania in 1345 Grand Duke Jaunutis was deposed by his brothers. Very little is known about years when Jaunutis ruled except that they were quite peaceful years, as the Teutonic Knights were led by ineffective Ludolf König.cite book | title=Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe, 1295-1345 | first=C. S. | last=Rowell | pages=280-287 | year=1994 | publisher=Cambridge University Press | series=Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series| isbn=9780521450119 ] The Bychowiec Chronicle mentions that Jaunutis was supported by Jewna, presumed wife of Gediminas and mother of his children. She died ca. 1344 and soon after Jaunutis lost his throne. If he was indeed protected by his mother, then it would be an interesting example of influence held by queen mother in pagan Lithuania. However, a concrete stimulus might have been a major "reise" planned by the Teutonic Knights in 1345.cite book | last=Kiaupa | first=Zigmantas | coauthors=Jūratė Kiaupienė, Albinas Kunevičius | title=The History of Lithuania Before 1795 | origdate= | origyear=1995 | edition=English | year=2000 | publisher=Lithuanian Institute of History | location=Vilnius | id=ISBN 9986-810-13-2 | pages=118]

Balkans and Byzantium

Balkan and Grecian areas

In 1345, Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia proclaimed himself Tsar of the new Serbian Empire and continued his efforts at expansion. The new empire quickly conquered Albania in this year. The first known line of Serbian text written in the Latin alphabet is dated to this year. Serbia was recognized as the most powerful empire in the Balkans for the next several years.

Both Bulgaria and Byzantine, which at this time covered most of Greece, were in the middle of a series of civil wars. An independent Bulgarian ruler of the Rhodope and Aegean region, by the name of Momchil [Nicephorus Gregoras. Byzantina historia. 2, p.702] took an important role in the wars. He was among the first local rulers to realize the threat of the Ottomans. Momchil plead both the Emperors of Bulgaria and Byzantium for help but received none, even though he continued the resistance in the eastern part of the Rhodope mountains. In May 1345 the Turks led by Uner beg marched from Asia Minor to the Balkan Peninsula and made a devastating raid on Bulgarian territory driving away many people and cattle. [Ioannes Cantacuzenus. Historiarum... 2, p.530] Soon after that, on 7 July the Bulgarian forces were defeated in the battle of Peritor [Nicephorus Gregoras. Byzantina historia. 2, p.729] near Momchil's seat Xanthi by superior Ottoman forces under Uner beg and Momchil perished in the battle. [Lemerle, P. L'emirat d'Aydin..., p.210, 217]

In another part of the Byzantine Empire a group of Zealots had captured the city of Thessalonica, and with the aid of allies, the Seljuk Emir Omur and Stefan Dusan of Serbia, John Cantacuzenus attempted to retake the city [The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453 By Mark C. Bartusis [http://books.google.com/books?id=rUs-hHd89xAC&pg=PA95&dq=Stefan+Du%C5%A1an+Zealots&sig=rU_mqYrmovNoM41eH61mPvJ-3SU#PPA95,M1 google book] ] but failed as the resistance was fierce. Later in 1345 there was a plot by John Apocaucus to surrender the city to Cantacuzenus. [The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century By John Van Antwerp Fine [http://books.google.com/books?id=QDFVUDmAIqIC&pg=PA308&dq=John+Apocaucus+Michael&sig=3Pm1XxFDvsVIwCbpzhEFEQwb5V4 google book] ] He had the leader of the Zealots, Michael Palaeologus, killed. But this caused even greater violence. Led by Andreas Palaeologus, the Zealots overpowered the reaction, as described by Demetrius Cydones:

...one after another the prisoners were hurled from the walls of the citadel and hacked to pieces by the mob of the Zealots assembled below. Then followed a hunt for all the members of the upper classes: they were driven through the streets like slaves, with ropes round their necks-here a servant dragged his master, there a slave his purchaser, while the peasant struck the strategus and the labourer beat the soldier (i.e. the pronoiar). [Migne, "Patrologia Graecae, 109.]
In 1345, the Greek island of Chios fell to the Genovan Giustiniani, becoming once again the territory of the Byzantines. The last Byzantine ruler of the island, Martino Zaccaria, had been beheaded by Turks in Smyrna on 15 January in a church courtyard during a mass service. He had been planning to return to the island and reconquer it. Instead, it was Simone Vignoso who succeeded his command and took the island. Genoans also sacked the city of Dvigrad in Istria in this same year. Aquileian patriarchs had for some time fought fiercely against Venitians which had already gained considerable influence on the west coast of Istria. It was during these confrontations that the town fell.

Anatolian Peninsula

In 1344, Hugh IV of Cyprus joined a league with Venice and the Knights Hospitallers which burnt a Turkish fleet in Smyrna and captured the city. In 1345 the allies defeated the Turks at Imbros by land and sea, but Hugh could see little benefit for his kingdom in these endeavors and withdrew from the league. Meanwhile, Umur Bey transformed the Beylik of Aydınoğlu into a serious naval power with base in İzmir and posed a threat particularly for Venetian possessions in the Aegean Sea. The Venetians organized an alliance uniting several European parties ("Sancta Unio"), composed notably of the Knights Templar, which organized five consecutive attacks on İzmir and the Western Anatolian coastline controlled by Turkish states. In between, it was the Turks who organized maritime raids directed at Aegean islands. [ cite web|url = http://www2.let.uu.nl/Solis/anpt/ejos/pdf/VG07.pdf Section V of "Ottoman-Venetian diplomatics, the Ahd-Names"|title = Venice and the Turcoman Begliks of Menteşe and Aydın|author=Dr. Hans Theunissen|publisher=Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1998|access date=2007-02-21|language=English ]

John XIV sparked the civil conflict when he convinced the Empress that John V's rule was threatened by the ambitions of Kantakouzenos. In September of 1341, whilst Kantakouzenos was in Thrace, Kalekas declared himself as regent and launched a vicious attack on Kantakouzenos, his supporters & family.cite book|last=Mango|first=Cyril|title=The Oxford History of Byzantium|location=New York|publisher= Oxford UP|year=2002|pages=p. 265] In October Anna ordered Kantakouzenos to resign his command.cite book|last=Mango|first=Cyril|title=The Oxford History of Byzantium|location=New York|publisher= Oxford UP|year=2002|pages=p. 266] Kantakouzenos not only refused, he declared himself Emperor at Didymoteichon, allegedly to protect John V's rule from Kalekas. Whether or not Kantakouzenos wished to be Emperor is not known, but the provocative actions of the Patriarch forced Kantakouzenos to fight to retain his power and start the civil war.

There were not nearly enough troops to defend Byzantium's borders at the time and there certainly was not enough for the two factions to split - consequently, more foreigners would flood the Empire into a state of chaos - Kantakouzenos hired Turks and Serbs - his main supply of Turkish mercenaries came from the Umur of Aydin,cite book|last=Mango|first=Cyril|title=The Oxford History of Byzantium|location=New York|publisher= Oxford UP|year=2002|pages=p. 267] a nominal ally established by Andronikos III. The Regency of John V relied on Turkish mercenaries as well. However, Kantakouzenos began to draw support from the Ottoman Sultan Orkhan, who wed Kantakouzenos' daughter in 1345. By 1347, Kantakouzenos had triumphed and entered Constantinople. However, in his hour of victory, he came to an accord with Anna and her son, John V. John V (now 15 years of age) and Kantakouzenos would rule as co-emperors, though John V would be the junior in this relationship. The unlikely peace would not last long.

The Turks attacked Smyrna on January 17 and the Ottomans annexed Qarasi in west Asia minor. [O'callaghan, Joseph. Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. ISBN 0812218892 pg. 191] Later, Pope Clement urged further attacks on the Levant. [Setton, Kenneth. The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1976. ISBN 0871691140 pg. 455]


Pope Clement IV said in 1345: "the acquisition of the kingdom of Africa belongs to us and our royal right and to no one else." [O'callaghan, Joseph. Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. ISBN 0812218892 pg. 212] Ironically, in the same year, trade was established between Italy and the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. This marked the beginning of reliable trading of spice to the Adriatic Sea. [Borthwick, Mark. Pacific Century. Boulder: Westview Press, 2007. ISBN 0813343550 pg. 65]


* March 25 - Blanche of Lancaster, wife of John of Gaunt (d. 1369)
* October 31 - King Fernando I of Portugal (died 1383)
*"date unknown"
**King Charles III of Naples, reign 1381–1386 (d. 1386)
**Eleanor Maltravers, English noblewoman (died 1405)
**Thomas de Charlton
**Sir Thomas de Neville of Hornby, knight of Hornby Castle
**Robert 4th Baron de Swynnerton
**Andrea Varni, painter of the "Procession to Calvary" introducing the fabled "Wandering Jew"
**Wartislaw VI, Duke von Pommern in Barth (d. 1394)
**John Wolflin, Saint John of Nepomuk (d. 1393)


* January 15 - Martino Zaccaria (beheaded by Turks in Smyrna during a mass service)
* March 25 - Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, English politician (b. 1281)
* April 14 - Richard Aungerville (also known as Richard De Bury, English writer and bishop (b. 1287)
* July - Michael Palaeologus, Grecian Zealot leader (murdered)
* July 24 - Jacob van Artevelde, Flemish statesman (b. 1290) (killed by mob)
* September 16 - John IV, Duke of Brittany (b. 1295)
* September 22 - Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Leicester (b. 1281)
* September 26 - William II, Count of Hainaut killed in the Battle of Warns
* November 13 - Constance of Penafiel, queen of Pedro I of Portugal (b. 1323)
*"date unknown" - Aedh mac Aedh Breifneach Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht


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