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§Famous Inventions

Welcher of Malvern creates a system of measurement for the earth using degrees, minutes, and seconds of latitude and longitude.

§Atlantic Ocean

English Channel

November 25 - Wreck of the White Ship in the English Channel. The White Ship, a 12th-century vessel, sank in the English Channel near the Normandy coast off Barfleur. Those drowned included William Adelin, the only legitimate son of King Henry I of England. William of Malmesbury wrote:

"Here also perished with William, Richard, another of the King's sons, whom a woman without rank had borne him, before his accession, a brave youth, and dear to his father from his obedience; Richard d'Avranches, second Earl of Chester, and his brother Otheur; Geoffrey Ridel; Walter of Everci; Geoffrey, archdeacon of Hereford; the Countess of Chester; the king's niece Lucia-Mahaut of Blois; and many others ... No ship ever brought so much misery to England."

Only one of those aboard survived. When it set off in the dark, its port side struck a submerged rock called Quillebœuf, and the ship quickly capsized.[4] William Adelin got into a small boat and could have escaped but turned back to try to rescue his half-sister, Matilda, when he heard her cries for help. His boat was swamped by others trying to save themselves, and William drowned along with them.[4] According to Orderic Vitalis, only two survived by clinging to the rock that night. One was Berold (Beroldus or Berout), a butcher from Rouen; the second, Godfrey, the son of Gilbert of Laigle (Godefroi de l'Aigle), eventually drowned. The chronicler further wrote that when Thomas FitzStephen came to the surface after the sinking and learned that William Adelin had not survived, he let himself drown rather than face the King.



It was about this time that Pope Callixtus II issued the Papal Bull, Sicut Judaeis ("Thus to the Jews") which provides protection for the Jews who suffered from the hands of the participants in the First Crusade.

The bull forbade, besides other things, Christians from coercing Jews to convert, or to harm them, or to take their property, or to disturb the celebration of their festivals, or to interfere with their cemeteries, on pain of excommunication.

It is evident from the need to repeated reaffirm the papal teaching that the popes influence had limited impact in the real world. The history of medieval and modern Christian-Jewish relations reveals the inability of the popes to protect Jews from mistreatment, or worse. Some later papal bulls in fact removed some rights from the Jews recognised by the original bull.

Extracts from the bull

Pope Alexander III is the author of the oldest extant version of the bull. Excerpts from the translation of the bull follows:

"[The Jews] ought to suffer no prejudice. We, out of the meekness of Christian piety, and in keeping in the footprints or Our predecessors of happy memory, the Roman Pontiffs Calixtus, Eugene, Alexander, Clement, admit their petition, and We grant them the buckler of Our protection.
For We make the law that no Christian compel them, unwilling or refusing, by violence to come to baptism. But, if any one of them should spontaneously, and for the sake of the faith, fly to the Christians, once his choice has become evident, let him be made a Christian without any calumny. Indeed, he is not considered to possess the true faith of Christianity who is not recognized to have come to Christian baptism, not spontaneously, but unwillingly.
Too, no Christian ought to injure their persons, or with violence to take their property, or to change the good customs which they have had until now in whatever region they inhabit.
Besides, in the celebration of their own festivities, no one ought disturb them in any way, with clubs or stones, nor ought any one try to require from them or to extort from them services they do not owe, except for those they have been accustomed from times past to perform.
...We decree... that no one ought to dare mutilate or diminish a Jewish cemetery, nor, in order to get money, to exhume bodies once they have been buried.
If anyone, however, shall attempt, the tenor of this degree once known, to go against it...let him be punished by the vengeance of excommunication, unless he correct his presumption by making equivalent satisfaction."

§Wales (Great Britain)

Construction begins on Llandaff Cathedral in Wales

Llandaff Cathedral was built on the site of an existing church. According to tradition, the community was established by Saint Dubricius at a ford on the River Taff, and the first church was founded by Dubricius' successor Saint Teilo. These two are regarded as the cathedral's patron saints, along with their successor Oudoceus. The original church is no longer extant, but a standing Celtic cross testifies to the presence of Christian worship at the site in pre-Norman times.

The Normans occupied Glamorgan early in the Norman Conquest, and appointed Urban their first bishop in 1107. He began construction of the cathedral in 1120 and had the remains of Saint Dyfrig transferred from Bardsey, but the work was not completed until 1290

§Middle East

§Modern Israel

January 16 - Council of Nablus in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The council was convened at Nablus by Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. It established twenty-five canons dealing with both religious and secular affairs. It was not quite a church council, but not quite a meeting of the royal court; according to Hans Mayer, due to the religious nature of many of the canons, it can be considered both a parlement and an ecclesiastical synod. The resulting agreement between the patriarch and the king was a concordat, similar to the Concordat of Worms two years later

The canons begin with the reasons for calling the council: Jerusalem had been plagued with locusts and mice for the past four years, and the Crusader states in general were suffering from repeated attacks from the Muslims. It was believed that the sins of the people needed to be corrected before Jerusalem could prosper.

Canons 1-3 deal with tithes to the church. Canon 1 is a promise by King Baldwin to surrender the appropriate tithes to the Patriarch, namely those from his own royal estates in Jerusalem, Nablus and Acre. In canon 2 Baldwin seeks forgiveness for the tithes he had previously withheld, and Warmund absolves him of this sin in canon 3. This shows that the church was able to assert its rights in the Crusader Kingdom, a victory in the Investiture Conflict still raging in Europe.

Canons 4-7 deal with adultery. Canon 4 outlines punishments for a man who is suspected of committing adultery with the wife of another man; first, he is to be forbidden from visiting the woman, and if he visits her again, he is to come before the church and be subjected to the ordeal of hot iron to prove his innocence. If he is proven to have committed adultery, canon 5 decrees that "eviretur" - he should have his penis cut off - and then he should be exiled. The punishment for the adulterous woman is mutilation of the nose, a familiar Byzantine punishment, unless her husband takes pity on her, in which case they should both be exiled. Canon 6 deals with a similar situation for clerics: if a man suspects a cleric from visiting his wife, the cleric should firstly be forbidden from visiting her; a second offense should be pointed out to a church magistrate, and a third offense will result in the deordination of the cleric. He will then be subject to the same punishments described in canon 5. Canon 7 forbids a pimp or a prostitute from "corrupting a wife with words" and causing her to become an adulterer. The punishments in canon 5 apply here as well.

Canons 8-11 establish punishments for sodomy, the first appearance of such punishments in medieval law. According to canon 8, an adult sodomite, "tam faciens quam paciens" (both the active and the passive parties), should be burned at the stake. If, however, the passive party is a child or an elderly person, canon 9 says that only the active party should be burned, and it will suffice that the passive party repent, as he is presumed to have sinned against his will. If the sodomy is against his will but he keeps it hidden for whatever reason, canon 10 says that he too will be judged as a sodomite. Canon 11 allows for a sodomite to repent and avoid punishment, but if he is found to have participated in sodomy a second time, he will be allowed to repent again but will be exiled from the kingdom.

Canons 12-15 pertain to sexual relations with Muslims, an important question in the Kingdom, where Muslims far outnumbered their Latin overlords. Canon 12 states that a man who willingly has sexual relations with a Muslim woman should be castrated, and she should have her nose mutilated. If a man rapes his own female Muslim slave, according to canon 13 she should be confiscated by the state, and he should be castrated. If he rapes another man's female Muslim slave, canon 14 says that he should be subjected to the punishment for adulterers stated in canon 5, castration. Canon 15 deals with the same subject for Christian women - if a Christian woman willingly has sexual relations with a Muslim man, they should both be subjected to the punishment for adulterers, but if she was raped, then she will not be held accountable and the Muslim will be castrated.

Canon 16 prohibits Muslims from dressing like Christians. This canon foreshadows the similar canon 68 of the Fourth Lateran Council almost one hundred years later in 1215, which would prohibit both Jews and Muslims from adopting Christian dress. Similar laws were promulgated in Spain, where Christians, Jews, and Muslims similarly intermingled.

Canons 17-19 deal with bigamy, another important subject, as many crusaders had abandoned their families in Europe. If a man takes a second wife, he should do penance until the first Sunday of Lent, but if he hides his crime and is discovered, his property should be confiscated and he should be exiled. Canon 18 allows for bigamy to go unpunished if a man or woman unknowingly marries someone who is already married, as long as they can prove their ignorance. If a man has taken a second wife and wishes to divorce her, canon 19 states that he must prove that he is already married, either by the ordeal of hot iron, or by bringing witnesses to swear for him.

Canons 20-21 deal with clerics. Canon 20 says a cleric should not be held guilty if he takes up arms in self-defense, but he cannot take up arms for any other reason nor can he act like a knight. This was an important concern for the Crusader states; clerics were generally forbidden from participating in warfare in European law, but the Crusaders needed all the manpower they could find, and only one year before, Antioch had been defended by the Patriarch following the Battle of Ager Sanguinis, one of the calamities referred to in the introduction to the canons. Canon 21 says that a monk or canon regular who apostatizes should either return to his order or go into exile.

Canon 22 simply forbids false accusations.

Canons 23-25 pertain to theft. Canon 23 says that anyone convicted of stealing property worth more than one bezant should have either a hand or foot cut off, or an eye removed. If the property was worth less than one bezant, he should be branded on the face and publicly whipped. The stolen goods should be returned, but if they are no longer in the thief's possession, the thief himself becomes the property of his victim. If the thief is caught stealing again, he should either have his other hand, foot, or eye removed, or he should be killed. If the thief was underage, canon 24 says he should be kept in custody and then sent to the royal court, but no further punishment is outlined. Canon 25 states that these punishments also do not apply to the barons, who should be subject only to the judgement of the royal court.


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