The year 1492

The year 1492 was a particularly exciting one. It was not only a leap year, but significant events took place across the globe, including:

  • Christopher Columbus journeyed across the Atlantic to the Americas
  • The Jews were expelled from Spain
  • The Ensisheim meteorite, a 127 kg (280 lb) meteorite, landed in a wheat field in Alsace
  • Austria's most common brand of beer, Stiegl ("little stair" or "little step"), was established 
  • China monetized the commercial transportation of grain in the north
  • The papal conclave was first held in the Sistine Chapel and elected Pope Alexander VI
  • Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, was born
  • Casimir IV Jagiellon, King of Poland, died 
  • Some Eastern Christians believed the year marked the end of the world, corresponding to the year 7000 in the Byzantine calendar

These are just some of the noteworthy events that unfolded in the year 1492. There are many others! 

We are now planning a special issue of Medieval World: Culture & Conflict focusing attention on key events from this important year. If you have suggestions for content or would like to contribute, please contact the editor

This is the so-called Columbus Map, created in the workshop of the Lisbon mapmaker Batholomew ca. 1490, detailing the world as understood and imagined at that time. 

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