15th century

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Christoper Columbus arrives in America by Gergio Deluci (1493).
Millennium: 2nd millennium
Centuries:
Decades: 1400s 1410s 1420s 1430s 1440s
1450s 1460s 1470s 1480s 1490s
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The 15th century was the century which spans the Julian years 1401 to 1500.

In European history, the 15th century is seen as the bridge between the Late Middle Ages, the Early Renaissance, and the Early modern period. Many technological, social and cultural developments of the 15th century can in retrospect be seen as heralding the "European miracle" of the following centuries. In religious history, the Roman Papacy was split in two parts in Europe for decades (the so-called Western Schism), until the Council of Constance. The division of the Catholic Church and the unrest associated with the Hussite movement would give rise to the Protestant Reformation in the following century.

Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, falls to emerging Ottoman Turks, forcing Western Europeans to find a new trade route. At the same time, the beginning Age of Sail allows Spanish and Portuguese explorations led to the first European sightings of the Americas (the New World) and the sea passage along Cape of Good Hope to India, in the last decade of the century. The Spanish Reconquista leads to the final fall of the Emirate of Granada by the end of the century.

In Asia, under the rule of the Yongle Emperor, who built the Forbidden City and commanded Zheng He to explore the world overseas, the Ming Dynasty's territory reached its pinnacle. Tamerlane established a major empire in the Middle East and Central Asia, in order to revive the Mongolian Empire.

In Africa, the spread of Islam leads to the destruction of the Christian kingdoms of Nubia, by the end of the century leaving only Alodia (which was to collapse in 1504). The formerly vast Mali Empire teeters on the brink of collapse, under pressure from the rising Songhai Empire.

In the Americas, both the Inca Empire and the Aztec Triple Alliance reach the peak of their influence.

15th century Hanging Houses in Cuenca, Spain from the Early Renaissance, and the Early modern period.

Events[edit]

Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl, directly influenced the result of the Hundred Years' War.
Henry the Navigator, a Portuguese Patron, important in the endorsing the Age of Discovery.

1400s

1410s

1420s

The renaissance king Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. His mercenary standing army (the Black Army) had the strongest military potential of its era.

1430s

1440s

Portrait of Scanderbeg, ca. 1648.

1450s

Modern painting of Mehmed II marching on Constantinople in 1453
Detail of The Emperor's Approach showing the Xuande Emperor's royal carriage. Ming Dynasty of China.
King Henry VII, (1457–1509), the founder of the royal house of Tudor
  • 1456: The Siege of Belgrade halts the Ottomans' advance into Europe.
  • 1456: Girindrawardhana, styled Brawijaya VI becomes ruler of Majapahit.[2]

1460s

The seventeen Kuchkabals of Yucatan after The League of Mayapan in 1461.
The Siege of Rhodes (1480). Ships of the Hospitaliers in the forefront, and Turkish camp in the background.

1470s

1480s

1490s

Significant people[edit]

Visual artists, architects, sculptors, printmakers, illustrators[edit]

See links above for Italian Renaissance painting and Renaissance sculpture.

Literature[edit]

Musicians and Composers[edit]

Exploration[edit]

Science, invention and philosophy[edit]

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[edit]

List of 15th century inventions

Important personages[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Modern interpretation of the place names recorded by Chinese chronicles can be found e.g. in Some Southeast Asian Polities Mentioned in the MSL by Geoffrey Wade
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ricklefs (1991), page 18.
  3. ^ Noorduyn, J. (2006). Three Old Sundanese poems. KITLV Press. p. 437. 
  4. ^ Mueller, Peter O. (1993) Substantiv-Derivation in Den Schriften Albrecht Durers, Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-012815-2.
  5. ^ also sometimes in contemporary documents Barthélemy de Cler, der Clers, Deick d'Ecle, d'Eilz – Harthan, John, The Book of Hours, p.93, 1977, Thomas Y Crowell Company, New York, ISBN 0-690-01654-9
  6. ^ Unterkircher, Franz (1980). King René's Book of Love (Le Cueur d'Amours Espris). New York: G. Braziller. ISBN 0-8076-0989-7. 
  7. ^ Tolley
  8. ^ Brigstocke, 2001, p. 338
  9. ^ "Hans Holbein". Catholic Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 


Tolley, Thomas (2001). "Eyck, Barthélemy d'". In Hugh Brigstocke. The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866203-3. 

Decades and years[edit]