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Renaissance Interactive Time Line

The Days of Rebirth: Women Composers Living Through the Events and Society of the Renaissance Era (1450-1600)

1450: Battle of Formigny, Mocha in south-western Arabia becomes main port for coffee export,Vatican Library founded

see: The Hundred Years War

1451: Glasgow University founded

1452: Metal plates are used for printing


*England loses Continental possessions (excluding Calais)

*Battle of Castillon: English driven from France; Turks capture Constantinople and kill Emperor Constantine XI, end of the Byzantine Empire

(see "The Hundred Years War" link above)

ca. 1455: Gutenberg, first printed Bible

1455-1487: Wars of the Roses, England (see "The Hundred Years War" link above)

1464: Scot. Parliament decrees that "fute-ball and golfe not to be used"

1467-1477: Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgandy

1471-1528: Albrecht Dürer, German artist (see his artwork)

1474-1539: Isabella d'Este, "First Lady of the Renaissance"


*Death of Charles the Bold (last duke of Burgandy) in Battle of Nancy

*Burgandy becomes part of the Austrian Empire

*First book printed in England: William Caxton's Dicets and Sayings of the Philosophers

*Sandro Boticelli (1444-1510), Primavera

*Johannes Tinctoris, Liber de arte contrapuncti

ca. 1477-1576: Titian (painter)

1478: Ferdinand and Isabella establish Inquisition (second link)

***1479: Marriage of Ferdinand V of Aragon and Isabella of Castile

1478-1535: Sir Thomas More

***1516: Utopia published

***1536: executed (read about: the trial)

more on More

1480-1530: Margaret of Austria (granddaughter to Charles the Bold)

***1497: marries Prince John of Aragon (heir to Spanish throne);


***1501: marries Duke Philibert II of Savoy

***1504: widowed

***1508-1530: regent of the Netherlands

ca. 1480-1530: Anna von Köln


*Battle of Bosworth, death of Richard III, Wars of the Roses ends

*Henry Tudor crowned King of England (Henry VII)

ca. 1485: Botticelli, The Birth of Venus

1487: Bartholomew Diaz sails around the southern tip of Africa

1491-1492: Siege of Granada: Christian Spanish capture Granada in Spain from Muslims

1492: Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) arrives in the new world (Bahamas)


*Columbus'second journey to Caribbean

*Maximilian I becomes Austrian Emperor

1495-1498: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) paints his Last Supper in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

1497-98: Vasco da Gamba finds sea route to India

1498-1450: Columbus' third voyage to Trinidad and coast of South America

1499: Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso Hojeda sail to mouth of Amazon River

c. 1500: Italian Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1520); Botticelli (1444-1510);

Machiavelli (1468-1527)

1500: Peter Henlein invented the pocket watch (Nuremburg)

1501: Ottaviano Petrucci (1466-1539) publishes first printed book of music in Venice entitled Harmonice musices Odhecaton A

1501-1502: Amerigo Vespucci sails along coast of South America

1501-1504: Michelangelo (1475-1564) sculpts the statue David

ca. 1502: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) paints Mona Lisa

1502-1504: Columbus' fourth and final voyage to Honduras and Panama

1507: Margaret of Austria appointed Regent of the Netherlands

ca. 1507-1536: Anne Boleyn (Queen of England; English lutenist and singer)

***1514-1522: educated at the French Court

*** January 25, 1533: married Henry VIII

*** May 19, 1536: executed

1508-1512: Michelangelo paints the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

1509: Accession of Henry VIII (King of England)

1515: Battle of Marignano


*Charles V (1500-1556) becomes Emperor of Austria and Spain (greatest empire in the world)

1517: Martin Luther's Wittenberg Theses; beginning of the Reformation

1521: Martin Luther outlawed

1525-1594: Palestrina (click here for picture)

***1554: first masses published

1529: Turkish Siege of Vienna

1530: Madrigali novi, Rome: first publication to use the term "madrigal"

1532-1594: Orlando di Lasso

1533-1603: Queen Elizabeth I

***1558: accession to throne, reigned 45 years

1534: Henry VIII breaks with Rome

1534-1539: Henry VIII dissolves monasteries, sells their lands to the gentry: largest shift in ownership of property in modern history

1535-1541: Michelangelo paints the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel (also: the ceiling)

ca. 1540-ca. 1590: Maddalena Casulana

***1566: began career as composer

***1566: first published compositions (4 madrigals) in Il Desiderio I (a madrigal anthology)

1541: John Calvin (1509-1564) founds reformed church at Geneva

1542-1576: Isabella de' Medici Orsini

***1576: murdered by husband, Paolo Giordano Orsini, duke of Bracciano

1542: 1st edition of Geneva Psalter published

1542-1543: Portugese become first Europeans to visit Japan

1542-1587: Mary Queen of Scots

1543: Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) publishes On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs

1544-1595: Torquato Tasso, poet

1545-1551: First Council of Trent

***1562: begins discussions of Music

1545: beginning of Counter-Reformation

1547: Heinrich Glareanus, Dodecachordon

1549: English Book of Common Prayer

1552-1599: Edmund Spenser

***1590: The Faerie Queen published (books 1-3)/ 1596: books 1-6)

1553-1558: Mary Tudor (1516-1558), Queen of England (reign)

***1554: marries Philip of Spain

1555: Peace of Augsburg: legalized the Lutheran-Roman Catholic split in Germany

fl.1557: Gracia Baptista, Spanish nun; keyboard composition (Conditor alme) included in Libro

de Cifra Nueva para tecla, harpa, y vihuela (one of the first printed collections of Spanish

keyboard music by Luys Venegas de Henestrosa)


*Tobacco first introduced into Europe

*Sarum rite abolished

ca. 1560-1634: Leonora Orsini (daughter of Isabella de' Medici), born in Florence

***moved to Rome; with cousin (Maria de' Medici) established musical ensemble of women


***1592: marries Alessandro Sforza, count of Santa Fiora and duke of Segni

***1609 or 1621: separates from husband; following separation founded the monastery of

Santa Chiara delle Cappucine in Santa Fiora


*Pope Pius IV's Counter Reformation

*Palestrina (1525-1594) writes Pope Marcellus Mass

1562-1598: Huguenot Wars: wars of religion in France

1563: formal establishment of the Church of England

1564-1616: William Shakespeare

*** ca. 1585: begins career as actor/playwright

***1594: joins Lord Chamberlain's company of actors

***1600-1601: Hamlet

also: The Shakespeare Mystery

1564-1593: Christopher Marlowe


*St. Paul's dictum prohibits women from singing on stage and in churches

*Castration before puberty begins to emerge in Italy as a way of preserving the sound of a boy's voice.

1567-1643: Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer

***1582: first publication of music by Monteverdi

1568-1648: Dutch Wars of Independence

1571: London Stock Exchange established

1574: 1646: Vittoria Aleotti/Raffaela Aleotta

1576: Building of The Theatre, first permanent structure in England for the presentation of plays

1577-1580: Francis Drake sails around the world

1579: Union of Utrecht: establishment of Dutch Republic

1580: Luca Marenzio, first book of madrigals

1584: Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) established first English colony in Virginia

1587-ca. 1640: Francesca Caccini

more info on Francesca Caccini


*English defeat Spanish Armada, under Queen Elizabeth I

*English Madrigal School established, led by Thomas Morley (1557-1603)

1590-1662: Lucretia Vizzana


*Count Giovanni de Bardi's camerata (salon): group of intellectuals gather to discuss and experiment with music drama

*Opera is born

1597: John Dowland (1563-1626), The First Booke of Songes or Ayres, London (more info)

1598: Jacopo Peri's Dafne produced, performed in Florence; first Italian opera

1599: Lord Chamberlain's company builds the Globe Theatre

c. 1600: signals the end of the Renaissance, the Baroque period begins

1603: Accession of James I, first of the Stuart kings in England

More Time Lines

I compiled my time line from gathering information from other time lines on the web. They are worth checking out.

A Chronology of Music Events

Music Timeline

World History Chart

Composer Timeline


Johnson, Calvert. "Gracia Baptista." Women Composers-Music Through the Ages (Vol. 1). Ed. Martha Furman Schleifer and Sylvia Glickman. New York: G.K. Hall, 1996.

The following are articles from the same source:

Lerner, Ellen D. "Madalena Casulana."

Picker, Martin. "Margaret of Austria."

Smith, Candace. "Leonora Orsini."

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