Thursday, September 21, 2017

History Trivia

Today in History

If you're a history lover like me, and share my fondness for those interesting Tudors and their era, here is a bit of trivia. On September 21, 1558, four hundred and sixty-nine years ago, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V expired in a Spanish monastery. Known as Karl, Carlo, and Carlos, he was the most powerful man in his era. Ruler of the Spanish empire, which included American and Asian colonies, the Roman Empire, as well as the lands of the former Duchy of Burgundy.  In fact, the quote "the empire on which the sun never sets" was used to describe the extensive Spanish empire of the 16th and 17th century. In the 19th century, the phrase was passed on the Britsh Empire.

Side note—the German philologist, Georg B├╝chmann, "traces the idea to a speech in Herodotus' Histories", made by the Persian emperor, Xerxes before invading Greece—cue in the Thermopylae "Hot" gates and King Leonidas. But that is a different era altogether.

The map below shows his European kingdoms in red. Hated and admired throughout Europe and the Levante, he was a pain in the aristocratic behind of England, France, and the Ottoman Empire.

One of his most famous quotes is clear evidence of his extensive domains:

"I speak Spanish to God. French to men. Italian to women, and German to my horse." - Emperor Carlos V 
More trivia: Charles V was buried in the chapel of the Monastery of Yuste. He left his son Philip instructions to establish a new religious foundation, where could be buried with his wife Isabella. The result is the stunning San Lorenzo del Escorial built on the outskirts of Madrid. The Monastery, filled with works of El Greco, is a de rigueur day trip. In other words, go see it.

Interior photo of El Escorial

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