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We examine both works of fiction and important contemporaneous works on non-fiction which set the context for early Science Fiction and Fantasy.
There are 0 hotlinks here to authors, magazines, films, or television items elsewhere in the Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide or beyond. Most recently updated: 13 Apr 2003 (48 expanded to 59 Kilobytes).
This web page draws heavily on FACTS as listed in "The Timetables of Science", by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988]. It does not copy the TEXT of that fine and recommended reference, and has value added in correlating the scientific and literary production of the century, and in hotlinking to additonal resources.
It also utilizes facts from Volume I of D.E. Smith's "History of Mathematics" [(c) 1921 by David Eugene Smith; (c) 1951 by May Luse Smith; New York: Dover, 1958]. Arguably the best book on the century is "The Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries" by J. J. Walsh [New York, 1907]. Executive Summary of the Century Major Books of the Decade 1200-1210 Major Books of the Decade 1210-1220 Major Books of the Decade 1220-1230 Major Books of the Decade 1230-1240 Major Books of the Decade 1240-1250 Major Books of the Decade 1250-1260 Major Books of the Decade 1260-1270 Major Books of the Decade 1270-1280 Major Books of the Decade 1280-1290 Major Books of the Decade 1290-1300 Other Key Dates and Stories of this Century Major Writers Born this Century Major Writers Died this Century Decade by Decade Science Background Decade by Decade Mundane Background Hotlinks to other Timeline pages of SF Chronology Where to Go for More: 51 Useful Reference Books

Executive Summary of the 13th Century

This Century marks the final flowering of Chivalry: Armored Knights on horseback, and the bloody Fourth through Eighth Crusades.... What are they to Science Fiction? The best Science Fiction novel about this era is surely: * The High Crusade, by Poul Anderson [48,500 word serial in Astounding Science Fiction, July/Aug/Sep 1960; Doubleday, 1960, hardcover 192 pages, $2.95; Toronto: Doubleday/Dolphin, 1962, $0.95; Macfadden-Bartel #50-211, 1964, 160 pages, $0.50, ed. Samuel H. Post; Macfadden-Bartel #60-399, 1968, 160 pages, $0.60, ed. Samuel H. Post; Translations: French, German, Italian] An English knight captures an alien spaceship, and leads crusaders to conquer the stars. Terrible, botched film adaptation. From a Literary Fantasy perspective, the icon of the Knight brings us: * King Arthur and the Roundtable King Arthur * The Song of Roland [and other tales of knights of Charlemagne] * Don Quixote [1605-1615] by Miguel de Cervantes * Ivanhoe [1791; 1819] by Sir Walter Scott, in Richard I's reign full text, in 44 hyperlinked chpaters: Ivanhoe * The Talisman: a Tale of the Crusaders [17xx; Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black, 1871] by Sir Walter Scott, Crusades plus Fantasy/Supernatural element full text, about 750 kilobytes: The Talisman * Amadis of Gaul [1803] Robert Southey's rewrite of 14th Century story * Palmerin of England [1804] Robert Southey * various novels, stories, poems by William Morris * The Magic Ring [1813] by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque' * Through the Looking-glass, [1871] by Lewis Carroll (the White Knight) * The White Company [1891] by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (one of the serious non-Sherlock novels he wanted to be remembered by) * Chivalry [1909] by James Branch Cabell, skeptical story collection * The Soul of Melicent [1913] by James Branch Cabell * Galahad [1926] by John Erskine * Mayday [written 1926; published 1977] by William Faulkner * Huon of the Horn [1951] by Andre Norton * The Once and Future King [1958] by T. H. White * The Non-Existent Knight [1959] Italo Calvino * The Green Knight [1975] by Vera Chapman * Parsival [1977] Richard Monaco * the entire subgenre of HEROIC FANTASY: also known as "Swords & Sorcery" In the 20th Century, it is Movies (not just books) that tell knightly tales: * Alexander Nevsky [19xx] Sergei Eisenstein * Prince Valiant [1954; remake of 1997?] * The Seventh Seal [1956] Ingmar Bergman * Lancelot and Guinevere [1962] * The Sword in the Stone [1963] Disney animation of The Once and Future King [1958] by T. H. White * Monty Python and the Holy Grail [1975] * Jabberwocky [1977] Terry Gilliam * Time Bandits [1981] Terry Gilliam * Excalibur [1981] * Knightriders [1981] George Romero, "knights" on motorcycles * Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989] * The Fisher King [1991] Terry Gilliam * various "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" films * various "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" films * various "Robin Hood" films The "Golden Age" of Medieval France [1226-1270], under Louis IX, also had strong impact on Fantasy. The 13th Century, according to D.E. Smith, "represents the real awakening of the world after a long period of intellectual torpor....a Spirit of the Times was abroad. The Far East had felt its influence, and hence the remarkable revival and development of algebra in China [before Genghis Kahn invaded]; India felt it, and hence the appreciation of the merit of [century-dead] Bhaskara; and all of intellectual Europe felt it as never before. It was not a century of great beacon lights, but it was one in which lanterns were hung in all the thoroughfares of the West, promises of the great illumination that was to come with the period of the Renaissance" [p.211-212]. The University, in modern terms, began this century. Although some earlier medieval universities grew gradually from cathedral or Church schools, we suddenly see the founding of the Universities of Paris [1200, degrees recognized by the Pope in 1283], Oxford [1214, degrees recognized by the Pope in 1296], Cambridge [1231, degrees recognized by the Pope in 1318], Padua [1222], Naples [1224], Salamanca [1230], and so forth. A new style of Higher Education was born, and there was an increasing influx of mathematics and proto-scientific thinking, which could not help but affect much of Literature. The typical European student learned Grammar from Donatus and Priscian, Logic from Aristotle, Rhetoric from Cicero, Arithmetic from Boetius, Music according to Pythagorus, Geometry from Euclid, and Astronomy from Ptolemy. By "European", I mean within the unifying culture of Christianity and the language of Latin. The great Mathematician of the Century was Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Leonardo Pisano, or Leonardo Fibonacci. The two great "wizard" mathematicans of Britain were Michael Scott and Sacrobosco. The British scholar who best applied math to Astronomy, Optics, and Physics, was Robert Grosseteste ["Greathead"]. The three mathematically deepest Germans of the century were Jordanus Nemorarius (also known as Jordanus de Saxonia); Albertus Magnus (so widely learned that they called him "Doctor Universalis"); and Witelo (or Vitello) [see 1270]. The major astronomer Alfonso X, happened to be King of Castile [Spain]. He was known as "Alfonso the Wise." The only major mathematical writer of the Byzantine Near East was Georgios Pachymeres, born in Asia Minor, but European for our purposes. He wrote "The Four Mathematical Sciences" on what were then considered intimately related: Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy. In a sense, modern Science Fiction (especially its poetry, opera, and films) tries to weld these fragments back together. Various Jewish scholar translated scientific and mathematical works from Arabic to Hebrew. These include Moses ben Tibbon (whose father and grandfather also did such translations); Jehuda ben Salomon Kohen of Toledo; Isaac ben Sid of Toledo; and Jacob ben Machir (known as "Prophatius", also of the Tibbon family) [Smith, pp.209-210] who invented a type of Quadrant, translated Euclid's "Elements" and "Data" from Arabic to Hebrew; translated the "Sphere" of Menelaus, and wrote about the almanac. Science and mysticism eventually blended into the Jewish literary culture of Science Fiction {hotlink to Counties-Israel to be done} Russia was too busy being unified by Alexander Nevsky to have much science, math, or literature that I know much about... The Mali Empire grew in Western Sudan, began to absorb Ghana, and when have you seen this as a background for Science Fiction? I haven't... Then there was Inquisition... the model of religious frenzy that destroyed freedom of scholarship. Science Fiction keeps fighting, long after the fact, the memory of this assault.

Major Books of the Decade 1200-1210

1200: Roughly now, a symbol for "zero" is first used in China 1200: Roughly this year, Alpetragius (Abu Ishaq, Nured-din al-Bitruji al-Ishbilt) who lived in Spain (most likely in Seville) wrote a mathematical theory of Astronomy. see: 1217 1200: "Fergus of Galloway", a self-pardoy chivalric romance by the pseudonymous Guillaume le Clerc [translated to English 1989] 1202: Leonardo Fibonacci (born in Pisa, ITALY, circa 1180) publishes "Liber abaci" [Book of the Abacus"], the first European book to use "0" for Zero, and including his famous series 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55.... known to us a Fibonacci's Sequence, where each number is the sum of the two previous numbers, and which he derived from a problem about the reproduction of rabbits. Fibonacci is a student of Michael Scott. Michael Scott, sometimes called "the Wizard Michael Scott" studied at Oxford, Paris, learned Arabic, did astronomy at Toledo, and was appointed Astrologer to Frederick II. Probably born in Balwearie, Scotland, circa 1175 (and died circa 1234), Scott was also called Michael Mathematicus, and was mentioned as a magician in: * Sir Walter Scott, "Lay of the Last Minstrel [II, xiii] * Dante, "Inferno" [XX] See: 1225, 1250-1260. 1204: Constantinople sacked by Crusaders, as the Fourth Crusade [1202-1204] was led by Enrico Dandalo, Doge of Venice. A Latin empire was founded, after the Byzantine territories were kicked around. 1204: King Philip II of France captured land north of the Loire from England; France became a major power in Europe. 1204: Great Jewish Philospher Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon) dies in Cairo, Egypt, 13 December 1204 1206: Start of the first Islamic kingdom in India: the Delhi Sultanate [1206-1398]. Sultan Iltutmish [1210-1253] built the wonderful minaret Qutb Minar. 1209: Saint Francis of Assisi founds the Franciscan order. His empathy with animals sets the standard for civilized relations between humans and extraterrestrials, in later Science Fiction.

Major Books of the Decade 1210-1220

1210: The works of Aristotle are banned from teaching at the University of Paris, purportedly because they threaten Christianity itself. 1210-1211: The Arab philosopher/writer Ibn al-Katib died in this period, having previously authored two works with discussions on Architecture, Arithmetic, and Geometry. 1211: Start of construction of the Rheims Cathedral. 1215: English barons force King John to sign the Magna Carta, as a minor clause, England's system of measurements is unified. The main thrust was to subject even the King to rule of law. 1217: English scholar Alexander Neckham dies, Kempsey, Worchestershire, England 1217: Michael Scott translates "Liber astronomiae" ["Book of Astronomy"] by Alpetragius (Abu Ishaq, Nured-din al-Bitruji al-Ishbilt). See: 1200. This is the first that many Europeans hear of the astronomical system of Aristotle. Michael Scott also, at roughly this time, translates other works of Aristotle, and some works of Averroes. 1217-1221: Papal Legate Pelasius leads the Fifth Crusade, which failed to conquer the Moslems of Egypt. 1218: Start of construction of the Cathedral of Amiens. 1218-1224: Mongols conquer Afghanistan, Turkestan, and Persia.

Major Books of the Decade 1220-1230

In this decade, the great Theologian Thomas Aquinas is born. See: 1274. In this decade, the Spanish chemist Arnold of Villanova is born, near Valencia. He is the first to prepare pure Ethyl Alcohol, and comes within a breath of discovering Carbon Monoxide. The first known image of a Wheelbarrow in the West is created: a Chartres Cathedral window. In this decade, Jordanus Nemorarius is the first to use letters to represent algebraic variables, as explained in his treatise, the "Arithmetica." Before this, writers simply generalized from specific numerical examples. He also wrote "Algoriismus demonstratus" ["The Algorithm Demonstrated"], and "De Numeris datis" ["On Given Numbers"], both of which collect various problem-solving rules and methods. In the same decade as the "Arithmetica", he wrote "Mechanica" -- a treatise on the Law of the Lever, and the Law of Composition of Movements. Furthermore, his work "Elementa Jordani super demonsrationem ponderis" ["Elements for the Demonstration of Weights"] gives a early version of the later Principle of Virtual Displacements, as applied in this case to the lever. 1220-1227: Genghis Khan founded his capital at Karakorum, held power over much of the Ch'in Empire (northern China), and conquered Afghanistan, Turkmenestan, Persia, and the south of Russia. 1220: Leonardo Fibonacci writes the "Practica geometriae", indirectly expanding on aspects of Euclid. We are not sure of the date of his "Flos", nor his letter to Theodorus (Philospher to Frederick II) about geometry and indeterminate analysis. [Smith, p.217] 1221: Chinese use of gunpowder, previously a distracting noisemaker, for shrapnel bombs; a breakthrough in lethality. 1221: Birth of Alfonso X of Castile, in Burgos, Spain, 23 Nov 1221 1221-1241: Ogotai Khan, son of Genghis Khan, captures Ghazni (Afghanistan). 1222: Founding, in ITALY, of the University of Padua 1222: Jordanus Nemorarius (also known as Jordanus de Saxonia), German mathematician, becomes General of the Dominican order [Smith, p.227]. 1223: Birth in Florence, ITALY, of Taddeo Alderotti. This great Physician links Greek medicine to European medicine, because he encourages the 13th Century readings of Avicenna, Galen, and Hippocrates. See: 1290-1300. 1223: Invasion of Russia by Mongols. 1224: Founding, in ITALY, of the University of Naples 1224: The first Franciscans arrive at the University of Oxford, spreading ideas from southern Europe. 1225: Leonardo Fibonacci publishes "Liber quadratorum", which handles (in modern terms) second degree Diophantine Equations. See: 1202. 1225: Roughly when Alexandre de Villedieu was born in Bretagne, France. He taught in Paris, and wrote treatises on the Spehere, ecclesiastical caclulations, and "De Arte Numerandi." But he was best known for "Carmen de algorismo", a Latin verse about arithmetic that was the best-selling way that Hindu-Rabic numerals most spread through Europe. 1226: Start of the "Golden Age" of Medieval France [1226-1270], under Louis IX, which had some impact on Fantasy. 1226: Start of the subjugation of Prussia by Teutonic Knights [1226-1270], who achieved economic power as a result. 1227: Construction begins on the Gothic Spanish Cathedral of Toledo. 1227: Death of Gengis Khan (born circa 1162). The Turk Tamerlane (1336-1405) briefly reunited Western Mongols, who had been converted to Islam by 1295 and declined from the great land empire forged by Gengis Khan, losing their distinctive nature. See 1336, 1367. 1228-1229: Frederick II leads the Sixth Crusade. The Sultan of Egypt was forced to sign the treaty that handed over Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth to Christian rule. 1229: Founding, in France, of the University of Toulouse

Major Books of the Decade 1230-1240

1230: Approximate date of founding, in Spain, of Salamanca University 1231: Founding, in England, of Cambridge University 1232: Military use of Kites by China. During a seige by Mongols, the kites are used to transport messages to behind enemy lines. 1233: Pope Gregory IX started the Inquisition... the model of religious frenzy that destroyed freedom of scholarship. Science Fiction keeps fighting, long after the fact, the memory of this assault, which technically began when the Pope gave authority to the Domenican order to investigate (in southern France) the Albigensian Heresy.. 1235: Rough date of birth of Spanish Alchemist/Physician Arnaldo de Villa Nova. 1236: Birth of Ramon Lully, Philosopher of Majorca, in Palma, SPAIN, inventor of the first digital word-processing device (satirized in "Gulliver's Travels") , and discoverer of the gas Ammonia, preached against Islam in Bougie, Africa, and in 1315 was stoned to death for heresy. The word "Ammonia" comes from "sal ammoniac", meaning "the Salt of Ammon" -- what was observed in North Africa from burning camel dung, when white crystals settled on the walls and ceiling of the Temple of Zeus-Ammon. The pungent gas Ammonia, NH3, was first purified by Joseph Priestley in 1774, though he called it "alkaline air." 1236: start of the reign [1236-1263] in Russia of Alexander Nevsky, who defeated the Teutonic Knights at frozen Lake Peipus [great scene in the Eisenstein film!], was named "Grand Prince of Russia" by the Mongols, and who unified Russia. 1237-1242: Mongol invasions led by Batu Khan, capturing Moscow (and much of Russia), Poland, and Hungary... plus some of Germany. Due to the color of their tents, they were called "The Golden Horde." I am obliged to mention the screamingly funny "The Last Hurrah of the Golden Horde" by Norman Spinrad, which takes a science fictional look at a bathetic final act of this great drama. 1238: The Moors found their last refuge in Spain, in the Kingdom of Granada, before they were finally expelled in 1492.

Major Books of the Decade 1240-1250

1240: Approximate date of birth of Petrus de Maricourt. also known as Petrus Peregrinus, he was a Medieval French scientist. He did various experiments with magnets, and his treatise "Epistola Petri Peregrini de Maricourt ad Syerum de Foucaucourt, militem, de magnete" ["Letter from Peter of Maricourt, Pilgrim, to Sygerus of Foucaucourt, Soldier"] is the first written description of the polarity of magnets. He was greatly admired by his contemporary Roger Bacon. see also: 1269 1244: Founding, in ITALY, of the University of Rome 1245: Pope Innocent IV commissions Giovanni de Carpini to explore. Giovanni de Carpini eventually moves through southern Russia, and thence to Karakorum (Mongolia), part of the Mongol Empire. 1245: Approximate date of birth of Physician Giles of Rome. See 1270-1280. 1245-1253: Mongols more-or-less conquer Armenia and Mesopotamia. 1247: Scholar Ch-in Kiu-shao, a soldier, became Governor of two provinces in China by 1244, and in 1247 wrote "The Nine Sections of Mathematics" about numerical higher equations, almost invents Horner's Method [1819], applies algebra to trigonometry, uses "O" for zero, and variously calculates Pi as 3, as 22/7, and as the square root of 10. 1247: death of Jewish Jehuda ben Salomon Kohen of Toledo, who wrote about Ptolemy's "Almagest", and a brief commentary on Euclid [Smith, pp.209-210]. 1248-1254: Louis IX of France leads the Seventh Crusade. 1249: In China, Li Yeh [1178-1265] writes "The Sea Mirror of the Circle Measurement." This Governor of Chun Chou wrote other books, but had his son burn all but this one. Kublai Khan thought highly of him. He was great at representing complicated problems as algebraic equations, but we don't know that he solved them [Smith, p.270]

Major Books of the Decade 1250-1260

In this decade, the first use of the quill (goose feather) for writing. In this decade, the Albertus Magnus treatise "On animals" explains various dissections of dead insects and animals, and their behavior when alive. see: 1280. In this decade, Willhelm von Rubruck makes his exploration of the road to Karakorum (Mongol Empire), as commissioned by Louis IX. In this decade, Leonardo Fibonacci dies. See: 1202, 1225. As early as this decade, the Islamic scholar Abenbeder (Ibn Bedr) of Seville, wrote a collection of texts on Algenra. The date of authorship is uncertain, but a poem commenting on it was written in 1311 or 1312. His full name may have been Mohammed ibn 'Omar, Abu 'Abdallah. 1250: Death of German Emperor Frederick II, in Lucera, ITALY, 13 December 1250. 1250: King Alfonso X of Castile orders the astronomical table compilation later called the Alfonsine Tables, completed in 1272, and published in 1483. 1250: The former slave-soldiers called Mamelukes start their reign over Egypt, which stopped the advance of the Mongols, and lasted until 1517. 1252: death of English scholar John of Basingstoke, who had learned Greek in Athens [1240] and brought back some classical Math and Science to England [Smith, p.222]. 1253: Founding, in Paris, France, of the Sorbonne University 1253: The Decimal System for numbers is introduced to England by Sacrobosco (John of Halifax). 1253: Death, in Buckden, Huntingdonshire, England, of Optical experimenter and scholar Robert Grosseteste 1254: Roughly this year, in Venice, ITALY, Marco Polo is born. See: 1271, 1295, 1298; he dies in Venice in 1324. 1256: Just before he died, the Jew Isaac ben Sid of Toledo edited the Alfonsine Tables of Astronomy. 1257: The treatise "Conciliator" by Pietro D'Abano, Physician of ITALY, tries to unify Arabic and Greek concepts of Medicine. He became a Professor of Medicine at Padua, and also wrote a treatise on the Astrolabe, more likely for Astrology than Astronomy [Smith, p.220]. 1258: Born roughly this year, died in Morocco circa 1339, the scholar Albanna (Ibn al-Banna, also known as al-Marrakushi) was born in Morocoo, northern Africa, his father having been of a Granada family, and was best known for the "Talchis", a treatise on Arithmetic. He also wrote about Algebra, the Astrolabe, Astronomy, Mensuration, and Proportion. 1259: Moses ben Tibbon (whose father and grandfather also did such translations) translated the Astronomy of Alpetragius [1200], and probably also the Aritmetic of al-Hassar, from Arabic to Hebrew. 1259: In Maragha, Iran, the start of building the Observatory of Nasir al-Din al Tusi. He will begin observations here, which will be completed in 1272 by Zij-i Ilkhani.

Major Books of the Decade 1260-1270

In this decade, the Scottish Philospher/Theologian Johannes Duns Scotus was born in Berwick, Scotland. He becomes the major intellectual opponent of Thomas Aquinas. His influences include Roger Bacon and William of Occam. In this decade, Johannes Campanus produces a translation of Euclid. He throws in a putative method for trisecting an angle. The method, only approximately valid (it cannot be done exactly by compass and straightedge) was probably plagiarized from Jordanus Nemorarius. In this decade, The massive translation of Aristotle from Greek to Latin is started by William of Moerbeke. He also, qround this time, translates from Greek to Latin the works of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Hero of Alexandria, Hippocrates, and Simplicius. see: 1270-1280 In this decade, Pseudo-Aristotle's "Problemata" is translated from Greek to Latin by Bartholomew of Messina. In this decade, Johannes Campanus, or Giovanni Campano, flourished as Master Campanus de Novaria. He was Chaplain to Pope Urban IV; he translated Euclid to the text used in most early printed editions (but depended in part on three previous Arabic translations). He may have ended as a Canon in Paris, but surely wrote: * Tractatus de Sphaera * Theoria Planetarum * Calendarium * De Computo Ecclesiastico * a treatise on perspective * a memoir "De Quadratura Circuli", now lost. He also computed the angles of a pentagram, a shape esteemed by astrologers. He wrestled with angle trisection, the irrationaility of what we today call the Golden Section, and the angle between a circle and a tangent. [Smith, p.218] 1260: The Mongolian dynasty of China, Yuan, is founded by Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. It was his court that Marco Polo visited. He failed to conquer Japan, Southeast Asia, or Indonesia. During his reign a sophisticated Postal system was established, many canals were dug, many roads laid; and gunpowder, spaghetti, and printing spread to Europe. Kublai Khan's dynasty lasted until 1368, but (as a strange side effect) left us the superb Fantasy poem "Xanadu" by Coleridge [see "Authors C", {hotlink to be done}] "In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree where Alph, the sacred river ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea..." 1260: Nicolo Polo and Maffeo Polo set out on their exploration to China, coming home in 1269. 1263: end of the reign [1236-1263] in Russia of Alexander Nevsky, who defeated the Teutonic Knights at frozen Lake Peipus [great scene in the Eisenstein film!], was named "Grand Prince of Russia" by the Mongols, and who unified Russia. 1265: The first true Parliament of England is summoned by Simon de Monfort. There were previous "Parliaments" consisteing only of lords. Some powers were extended to Parliament in 1340, but it did not rule as a governmental body for centuries. 1267: In this year, and in 1268, Roger Bacon writes "Opus majus". Not published until 1733, this is the first European mention of the Chinese use of gunpowder, and the first text to describe the use of spectacles for the farsighted. Roger Bacon praised someone whom he called Master Nicholas, about whom we know nothing else whatsoever. See: 1220, 1277, 1292. 1269: Nicolo Polo and Maffeo Polo return from their exploration to China, having set forth in 1260. 1269: Petrus de Maricourt [born circa 1240] writes the first Western treatise on the force between magnetic poles and the dial of a compass. It is titled: "Epistola Petri Peregrini de Maricourt ad Syerum de Foucaucourt, militem, de magnete" ["Letter from Peter of Maricourt, Pilgrim, to Sygerus of Foucaucourt, Soldier"].

Major Books of the Decade 1270-1280

In this decade, William of Moerbeke finishes translating from Greek to Latin almost the entire database of texts by Archimedes. In the same decade, he translates much of Galen from Greek to Latin. see: 1260-1270. In this decade, Giles of Rome's treatise "De formatione corporis in utero" [On the formation of the body in the uterus"] extends Aristotle to explain how both mother and father contribute to procreation and the generation of the human organism. See: 1245 In this decade, Astronomer Kuo Shou-Ching, in China, constructs the earliest known astronomical device to utilize an Equatorial Mounting: an Arab enhancement of the Armillary Sphere known (in the West) as a Torquetum. In Chinese, it is called the "simplified instrument." 1270: End of the "Golden Age" of Medieval France [1226-1270], under Louis IX, which had some impact on Fantasy. In the Eighth Crusade, Louis IX attacked Tunis, but died from Plague. 1270: Completion of the subjugation of Prussia by Teutonic Knights [1226-1270], who achieved economic power as a result. 1270: "Perspectiva" ["Perspectives"] is published by Witelo. This treatise on Optics rejects the Greek notion that rays travel from the eye to the thing seen. The work also covers geometrical optics, reflection, and refraction. Witelo, or Vitello, was either German or Polish. 1270: Roughly now, alchemist "The False Geber" is born. See: 1300-1310. 1271: This is, effectively, the end of the Crusades. For several hundred years, though, there will still be sporadic attempts to recapture the Holy Lands 1271: Marco Polo sets forth towards the Far East. He reaches as far as China and Japan, and comes home to Venice in 1295. 1272: Completion of the "Alfonsine Tables" -- the book of positions of the planets begun in 1250 and which is much used by astronomers for some 300 years. 1272: completed by Zij-i Ilkhani, in Maragha, Iran, of the observations of Nasir al-Din al Tusi, begun in 1259. 1272: St.Thomas Aquinus completes "Summa Theologica" 1272: Start of the reign of Edward I of England, who put a comprehensive organizational structure to laws and institutions, kicked the hell out of Scotland, expelled the Jews, and generally ran things his way (but see the great film "Braveheart" to see how his power ended; Braveheart). 1273: The Hapsburg Dynasty is founded by Rudolph I, and holds onto Austria until the end of World War I [1918]. 1274: Death of the great Theologian Thomas Aquinas, in Fossanuova, ITALY. See: 1220-1230. 1275: The earliest surviving French Algorism [Smith, p.225]. 1275: Birth, in ITALY, of Anatomist Mondino de'Luzzi. see: 1326. 1276: Germany was a chaos of independent cities, church lands, and petty feudal states, which the Hapsburgs had begun to consolidate in 1276 (from Austria), but were two Centuries or more from being powerful enough to stop the expansion of France. 1276: In Montefano, ITALY, an early Paper Mill is in operation. 1276: Astronomer Zhou Kung, in China, constructs a 40-foot (12 meter) Gnomon for measuring the shadow cast by the sun. 1276: Birth of Giotto (1276-1337), great artist of ITALY. 1277: Thomas Aquinas (13th Century), following Aristotle, believed that the Moon and Stars keep moving only because God continued to move them; a dogma certified in 1277 by Papal Decree. Jean Buriden and William of Occam, in the 14th Century, said that objects stay in motion because they possessed "Impetus." They avoided condemnation of the Church by ascribing Impetus to God, but they had begun to displace the Creator as the basis for Mechanics. Centuries later, Galileo found experimental evidence for Impetus, and then Isaac Newton improved the concept to the modern notion of Momentum. Jean Buriden, Philospher of FRANCE., modifies and extends the theories of Johannas Philoponus (6th Century), that a body in motion tends to remain in motion. Aristotle had thought otherwise. 1277: Imprisonment, for heresy, of Roger Bacon. See: 1220, 1267, 1292 1279: Roger Bacon's student John Peckham becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. His treatise "Prespectiva communis" was a classic for three centuries, in various editions. 1279: The "Liber continens" medical encyclopedia of Rhaze is, as ordered by the King of Sicily (Charles of Anjou), translated from Arabic to Latin by Moses Farachi.

Major Books of the Decade 1280-1290

In this decade, the statues of a guild in Speyer, Germany, constitute the earliest known image of a Spinning Wheel in the West. al-Qalasadi, the last great Moorish mathematicians of Spain, had been born in Baza (near Granada), and wrote copiously about Arithmetic, and some original notions of Number Theory. He invented a new sign for radicals, and one for equality. He suggested a system of "ascending continued fractions" [D.E. Smith, p.211] 1280: Death, in Cologne, Germany, of scholar Albertus Magnus, 15 Nov 1280. see: 1250-1260. 1281: "Nihayat al-idrak fi dirayat al-aflak", by Qutb al-Din al Shirazi, provides a non-Ptolemaic model of the Solar System, using uniform motions in a circle as much as possible. Of course, as Kepler later finds, you can't do the job without ellipses... 1284: Death, in Seville, Spain, of monarch Alfonso X of Castile, 24 April 1284. 1285: start of the reign (1285-1314) of Philip IV of FRANCE. See: 1314, 1338, 1346, 1356, 1431. 1288: First known gun constructed in China. It was a small cannon, and might well have had predecessors (currently unknown) for a decade or so.

Major Books of the Decade 1290-1300

In this decade, William of Saint-Cloud comes within 2 arc-minutes of exactly measuring the angle of the ecliptic from the position of the Sun at solstice. His value is 23 degrees, 34 minutes. See: "ecliptic" in the "Authors E" page. In this decade, deep canyons in the Andes (South America) are crossed by cable bridges. In this decade, the death in Bologna, Italy, of Physician Taddeo Alderotti. See: 1223. 1290: Start of Reign of Sultan Osman I (reigned ca.1290-1326). He and the next sultans united Anatolian Turkish warriors into a militaristic power that came to wage holy war against Byzantium and Christianity of the Balkans. 1290: Edward I expels Jews from England [see 1272]. They don't emigrate back until about 1650. 1292: Death, near Oxford, of English scholar Roger Bacon, 11 June 1292. See: 1277 1295: The last Welsh castle to be started: the Castle of Beaumaris, at the Menai Straits, Wales. Construction continues until 1320. 1295: Marco Polo returns from the Far East, where he reached as far as Japan. He left in 1271. 1297: The Italian Bartolomeo da Parma taught Mathematics at Bologna, and wrote a "Tractatus Sphaerae", as well as writing about Astrology and Geometry. [Smith, p.220] 1296: William Wallace, in winning the Battle of Stirling, ended the Age of Chivalry, by successfully -- for the first time -- defeating the English Army's Heavy Horse (armored knights on horseback) with the use of long pikes (longer than spears) raised at the last moment of cavalry charge to impale the horses from below. 1297: William Wallace loses the Battle of Lanark, leading inexorably to his execution at the start of the 14th Century, and Robert the Bruce leading Scotland to final victory and freedom in the Battle of Bannockburn. 1298: Marco Polo (see xxx) publishes a book about his travels. For the first time, there is European publication about Asbestos, Coal, and other materials used in the East. 1299: Arabic numerals are banned in Florence, Italy.

Other Key Dates and Stories of this Century

{to be done}

Major Writers Born this Century

1214: Roger Bacon, born 1214 near Ilchester, Somerset, in a family that had been wealthy but were damaged and/or exiled by King Henry III. 1221: John of Fidanza, Saint Bonaventura, Theologian of the Franciscan Order, born 1221 at Bagnarea, Italy. It was he who ordered Roger Bacon not to lecture at Oxford, but to be surveiled by by the Franciscans at Paris. (see death 1274) 1225: St.Thomas Aquinus probably born 1225 at his father's (Count Landulf) Neopolitan castle Roccasecca, his mother being Countess Theodora of Theate (who was related to the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors 1240: Approximate date of birth of scientist Petrus de Maricourt. also known as Petrus Peregrinus (see 1240, 1269). 1265: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) the great Poet of Florence whose Divine Comedy was the final great summary of the Medieval world view and also the basis of the modern Italian language.

Major Writers Died this Century

1226: St Francis of Assisi (born in Assisi, Italy, c.1182; died there 3 Oct 1226; canonized two years later by Pope Gregory IX (former cardinal-Protector of the Franciscan Order, which St. Francis founded). 1253: Robert Grosseteste, Statesman, Theologian, Bishop of Lincoln. Born c.1175 in Stradbroke, Suffolk, of humble parents, he was educated at Oxford, where he mastered Natural Sciences, Law, and Medicine. 1254: Marco Polo [1254-1323]. Merchant and explorer of Venice, with his father and uncle, was one of the first westerners to travel the Silk Road to China, where they lived for 17 years. During the Italian wars in Venice, he was captured and imprisoned. He dictated the book "Il Milione" -- a best-seller -- to Rusticello da Pisa. 1272: St.Thomas Aquinus (see birth 1225); 18 July 1323 canonized (declared a saint) by Pope John XII at Avignon 1274: John of Fidanza, Saint Bonaventura (see birth 1221) He played a key role in getting Gregory X elected Pope, who appointed John to Cardinal and Bishop of Albano, and demanded his presence at the Great Council of Lyons in 1274, at which meeting John died. 1294: Roger Bacon (see birth, 1214)

Decade by Decade Science Background

Decade by Decade Mundane Background

To non-scientists and non-fiction readers, the five big events of the 13th century (as modified from the Wikipedia): * Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Crusades of Western Europe against Islam * Fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen ruled the Holy Roman Empire 1211-1250, often warred with the Papal States, was excommunicated twice, and was declared the Anti-Christ by Pope Gregory IX. The legend spread after he died that he would have a second coming and then rule a 1000 year Reich. Frederick II was born 26 Dec 1996, became King of Sicily at age 4 (his kingdon previously held for him by Pope Innocent III). * Mongols under Genghis Khan conquer and rule most of Asia and Eastern Europe, and establish the Mongolian Dynasty (or Yuan Dynasty) in China * Marco Polo [1254-1323] and his family reach China * James I of Aragon takes control of Balearic Islands and Valencia Additionally: * James I of Aragon (or "Jaume I" in Catalan) born 2 Feb 1208; died 27 July 1276, also known as James the Conqueror, King of Aragon, and Count of barcelona (1213-1276). * King Louis IX of France (1215-1270), a member of the Capetian dynasty, was born 25 Apr 1215 at Poissy, France, son of King Louis XIII and Blanche of Castile, succeeded by his son Phillippe III. King Louis IX was a patron of the arts and architecture, thereby playing a key role in the development of the Gothic style. He went on two Crusades (1248,1270). He died near Tunis, Tunisia, 25 Aug 1270, where he is buried (except for his finger interred at St.Denis Basilica). He was the only French king to be canonized, as thus is also known as Saint Louis or San Luis Rey (and thus named after him are the city of Saint Louis, Missouri, the Lac Saint-Louis in Quebec, and California's Mission San Luis Rey. 1200: University of Paris chartered by King Philip II of France. 1202-1204: Fourth Crusade, includes Constantinople. 14 April 1205: Bulgars and Latins fight Battle of Adrianople. 1209: the Franciscans are founded (see St.Francis of Assisi). 1209-1218: Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars. 1210: Emperor Tsuchimikado of Japan's reign ends, and Emperor Juntoku begins. 1212: Battle of Navas de Tolosa. 1214: King Philip II of France defeats King Otto IV of Germany at the Battle of Bouvines. 1215: Fourth Council of the Laterans. 1215: King Otto IV of Germany deposed; Frederick II takes the throne. 1215: Yuan Dynasty begins in China, with capture of Beijing by Mongols. 1215: Magna Carta signed. 1216-1300: {to be done}

Hotlinks to other Timeline pages of SF Chronology

|Introduction: Overview and Summary |Prehistory: Ancient Precursors |Cosmic History:13 Billion BC to 3000 BC |6th Millennium BC: 6000-5000 B.C. |5th Millennium BC: 5000-4000 B.C. |4th Millennium BC: 4000-3000 B.C. |3rd Millennium BC: Gilgamesh and Cheops |2nd Millennium BC: Abraham to David |1st Millennium BC: 1000 BC-1 BC |1st Century: 1 AD-100 AD |2nd Century: 100 AD-200 AD |3rd Century: 200 AD-300 AD |4th Century: 300-400 |5th Century: 400-500 |6th Century: 500-600 |7th Century: 600-700 |8th Century: Beowulf, Charlemagne, 1001 Arabian Nights |9th Century: Gunpowder and the first printed book |10th Century: Arabs, Byzantium, China |11th Century: Khayyam, Gerbert, Alhazen |12th Century: Age of Translations |13th Century: [you are HERE] |14th Century: Dante, Marco Polo, and Clocks |15th Century: Dawn of Scientific Revolution |16th Century: Ariosto and Cyrano on the Moon |17th Century: Literary Dawn |18th Century: Literary Expansion |19th Century: Victorian Explosion |1890-1910: Into Our Century |1910-1920: The Silver Age |1920-1930: The Golden Age |1930-1940: The Aluminum Age |1940-1950: The Plutonium Age |1950-1960: The Threshold of Space |1960-1970: The New Wave |1970-1980: The Seventies |1980-1990: The Eighties |1990-2000: End of Millennium |2000-2010: This Decade |2010-2020: Next Decade |Cosmic Future: Billions, Trllions, Googols
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Where to Go for More

: 51 Useful Reference Books Beyond the World Wide Web... there is the library of old-fashioned books printed on paper. I strongly recommend that you start or follow-up your explorations of this web site by consulting any or all of these outstanding sources: ALDISS: "Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction", Brian W. Aldiss (New York: Doubleday, 1973; Schocken Paperback, 1974) ALLEN: "Science Fiction Reader's Guide", L. David Allen (Centennial Press, 1974) AMIS: "New Maps of Hell", Kingsley Amis (London: Gollancz, 1960; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960) ASH1: "Who's Who in Science Fiction", by Brian Ash (Taplinger, 1976) ASH2: "The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction", edited by Brian Ash (Harmony Books, 1977) ASHLEY: "The History of the Science Fiction Magazine" [3 volumes] (London: New English Library, 1974) ASIMOV "Asimov on Science Fiction" (New York: Avon, 1981) ATHELING: "The Issue at Hand", "William Atheling, Jr." [James Blish] (Chicago: Advent, 1964) BARRON: "Anatomy of Wonder", edited by Neil Barron (Bowker, 1976) BAXTER: "Science Fiction in the Cinema", John Baxter (London: A. Zwemmer, 1970; New York: A. S. Barnes, 1970) BERGONZI: "The Early H.G. Wells", Bernard Bergonzi (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1961) BLEILER: "The Checklist of Fantastic Literature" Everett F. Bleiler (Chicago: Shasta, 1948) BRETNOR1: "Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Future", edited by Reginald Bretnor (New York: Coward-McCann, 1953) BRETNOR2: "The Craft of Science Fiction", Reginald Bretnor (New York: Harper & Row, 1977) BRINEY: "SF Bibliographies", Robert E. Briney & Edward Wood (Chicago: Advent, 1972) CLARESON1: "SF: The Other Side of Realism", edited by Thomas D. Clareson (Gregg Press, 1978) CLARESON2: "Extrapolation, 1959-1969", edited by Thomas D. Clareson (Bowling Green, Ohio: University Popular Press, 1971) CLARKE: "The Tale of the Future", I. F. Clarke (London: The Library Association, 1961, 1972) CONTENTO: "Index to the Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections", William Contento G.K. Hall, 1978) DAY: "Index to the Science Fiction Magazine: 1926-50", Donald B. Day (Portland, Oregon: Perri Press, 1952) DeCAMP: "Science Fiction Handbook", L. Sprague DeCamp (New York: Hermitage House, 1953) ELLIK: "The Universes of E. E. Smith", Ron Ellik & Bill Evans (Chicago: Advent, 1966) EVANS: "The Index of Science Fiction Magazines", Bill Evans with Jack Speer (Denver: Robert Peterson, 1946?) FRANKLIN: "Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century", H. Bruce Franklin (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966) FREWIN: "One Hundred Years of Science Fiction Illustration", Anthony Frewin (London: Jupiter Books, 1974) GOODSTONE: "The Pulps", Tony Goodstone (New York: Chelsea House, 1970) GUNN: "Alternate Worlds", James Gunn (Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975) HARRISON: "John W. Campbell: Collected Editorials from Analog", Harry Harrison (Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1966) HOLMBERG: "Science Fiction History", John-Henri Holmberg (Vanersborg, Sweden: Askild & Karnekull, 1974) KNIGHT: "In Search of Wonder", Damon Knight (Chicago: Advent, 1956; enlarged 1967) KYLE: "A Pictorial History of Science Fiction", David Kyle (London: Hamlyn House, 1976) LOCKE: "Worlds Apart", edited by George Locke (London: Cornmarket Reprints, 1972) LUNDWALL: "Science Fiction: What It's All About", Sam J. Lundwall (New York: Ace Books, 1971) METCALF: "The Index of Science Fiction Magazines, 1951-1965", Norm Metcalf (J. Ben Stark, 1968) MILLIES: "Science Fiction Primer for Teachers", Suzanne Millies (Dayton OH: Pflaum, 1975) MOSKOWITZ#1: "The Immortal Storm", Sam Moskowitz (AFSO Press, 1954; Hyperion Press, 19??) MOSKOWITZ#2: "Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction", Sam Moskowitz (Cleveland & New York: World, 1963) MOSKOWITZ#3: "Seekers of Tomorrow", Sam Moskowitz (Cleveland & New York: World, 1963) NESFA: "Index to the Science Fiction Magazines", New England Science Fiction Association (Cambridge MA: NESFA, 1971) PERRY: "The Penguin Book of Comics", George Perry & Alan Aldridge (London: Penguin, 1971) ROGERS: "A Requiem for Astounding", Alva Rogers (Chicago: Advent, 1964) ROTTSTEINER: "The Science Fiction Book", Franz Rottsteiner (London: Thames & Hudson, 1975) SADOUL: "Hier, L'An 2000 [Illustrations from the Golden Age of Science Fiction]", Jaxques Sadoul (Paris: Editions Denoel, 1973) STRAUSS: "The MIT Science Fiction Society's Index to the SF Magazines: 1951-64" Erwin S. Strauss (Cambridge MA: MIT Science Fiction Society, 1966) TUCK: "The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2nd Edition", Donald H. Tuck (Hobart, Tasmania: Donald H. Tuck, 1959) VERSINS: "Encyclopedie des l'utopie, des voyages extraordinaires et de la science fiction", (Lausanne: L'Age d'Homme, 1972) WAGGONER: "The Hills of Faraway", Diana Waggoner (Athenaeum, 1978) WARNER: "All Our Yesterdays", Harry Warner, Jr. (Chicago: Advent, 1969) WELLS: "Fictional Accounts of Trips to the Moon", Lester G. Wells (Syracuse NY: Syracuse University Library, 1962) WILLIAMSON: "H.G. Wells: Critic of Progress", Jack Williamson (Baltimore: Mirage Press, 1973) WOLLHEIM: "The Universe Makers", Donald A. Wollheim (New York: Harper & Row, 1971)
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