Monday, January 9, 2012

What Happened in 1012?

Benedict VIII (Wikimedia)
A thousand years ago in 1012, there was a complex succession in the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Sergius IV died after only a year in power and Theophylactus succeeded him as Pope Benedict VIII. Gregory VI attempted to claim the shoes of the fisherman but had little support and was forced to flee Rome. After spending two years in Germany as Antipope, but the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II eventually defanged him, leaving Benedict VIII, the 143rd leader of the Catholic Church at Rom, to rule until his death in 1024.The notorious Pope Benedict IX was born in 1012. He would be one of the youngest popes and the only one to sell the papacy.

Minaret of the al-Hakim mosque in Cairo. (Druze History and Culture)

In 1012, a year after the Baghdad Manifesto, Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr al-Lah (Ruler of God's Command) entered the third of his three distinct periods of rule. This period marked an end to al-Hakim's persecution of non-Muslims and an effort towards acceptance of Christians and Jews who refused to convert to Islam. He was the first Fatimid ruler to be born in Egypt.

St Alphage is asked for advice. Painting by Vincent of Beauvais (c 1400-1410)(Wikimedia)
In 1012, Vikings killed Alphage, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom they had taken hostage in 1011. He refused to allow payment of a ransom, so he was murdered by his captors.

A work of Cai Xiang (Cultural China)

Cai Xiang, Chinese calligrapher (Wikimedia)

Chinese politician Cai Xiang, the most famous calligrapher of the Song Dynasty, was born in what is now the Fujian Province in 1012. Among his accomplishments, Cai would pioneer the manufacture of an  expensive, much sought out variety of dragon tribute tea cake.

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