Politics and World Events
Holy Roman Empire
February 7th/17th February: Girolamo Savonarola organizes a book burning in Florence with the "bonfire of vanities". On May 13, the Dominican friar and penitentiary preacher, who has loudly denounced the abuses in the church, was arrested by Pope Alexander VI. excommunicated as a heretic, schismatic and despiser of the Holy See. Savonarola responds to the excommunication with the Epistola contra sententiam excommunicationis.
November 7: After the death of his father Philip II, Philibert II becomes Duke of Savoy.
April 3: The Spanish heir to the throne, John of Aragon and Castile, marries Margaret of Austria. He died just six months later on October 4th. Their child was born dead a few weeks later. This means that the succession to the throne in Aragón and Castile goes to Johann's sister Johanna, who has been married to the Habsburg Philip the Handsome since the previous year.
May: King Manuel I the Lucky of Portugal marries Infanta Elizabeth of Spain. The Spanish royal family only agreed to the marriage on the condition that all Jews in the country be expelled. Manuel, who cannot afford such a "bloodletting" of his country, instead carries out mass forced baptisms. At the same time, he issues an edict that these Cristãos novos may not be prosecuted for deviant religious behavior for 20 years.
August 10: Ferdinando II of Aragon is named Ferdinand III. declared king of Naples.
17 June: At the Battle of Deptford Bridge, Henry VII's royal troops defeat an army of Cornish rebels led by Thomas Flamank and Michael An Gof. The leaders will be executed on June 24th.
Northern and Eastern Europe
The Russo-Swedish War, which began in 1495, ended with the Peace of Novgorod.
Voyages of Discovery
June 24: Giovanni Caboto, together with his son Sebastiano, is the first European to reach the North American mainland on an English order, but he thinks he is in China. Where exactly he went ashore, whether in Labrador, New England or Newfoundland, is uncertain. St. John's claims to have been the first European settlement in North America to have been founded by him; it is named after John the Baptist. Caboto returns to Bristol in August.
The sea route to India
On behalf of the Portuguese ruler Manuel I, the navigator Vasco da Gama left the port of Lisbon on July 8 in search of a sea route to India. Its fleet consists of the flagship, the Nau São Gabriel, the Nau São Rafael under the command of his brother Paulo da Gama, another Nau under Nicolao Coelho as captain and a transport ship under the command of Gonçalo Nunes. A total of 150 to 170 men take part in the trip. The fleet has Portugal's best pilots, who are very familiar with the current and wind conditions, especially in the South Atlantic. Bartolomeu Diaz, who first circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, also accompanies the small fleet to the Cape Verde Islands as an advisor.
From here, Da Gama sails through the Atlantic on a course that swings far to the west and detaches itself clearly from the coast in order to avoid the well-known lulls in the Gulf of Guinea and to take advantage of better wind conditions. On November 4th he reaches Saint Helena Bay on the west coast of South Africa. Here contact is made with the locals, and the ships are also overhauled. The circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope only succeeds after several attempts on November 22nd and the fleet lands at Aguada de São Braz on November 25th, where a Padrão is set up. The flot reaches at Christmas