he holidays are finally over and all we have left is our hopes and dreams of the coming new year. Why should we care? Every year starts the same way with resolutions.
They include weight loss, less drinking and smoking, and of course the ever popular, “this is the year that will make the most difference in our lives.”
I’m not promoting cynicism but what makes the year 2015, different from any other year? I’ve been told the best way to understand the present is to look into the past. So, why not discover what was so great about other “15’s of times gone by.
In the year 0015, Julius Caesar Germanicus, A Roman commandant took power and decided to run the world. I don’t understand why anyone would care about this but there weren’t that many people around during the year 0015, which wasn’t interested in the art of surviving.
In the year 0115, Hadrianus hears of the death of Emperor Trajanus of Antioch. OK, I cheated a bit here because Trajanus died in 0117. 0115, seems to be a very boring and uneventful year.
In the year 0215, Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard Prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Notice I am once again using the year 2017. Maybe 2015 was a lot more boring than I thought. I am also beginning to assume the only hot topic is the death of some Roman. You would think they owned the world.
In the year 0315, St Silvester I begins his reign as Catholic Pope. Once again I am cheating a bit because St. Silvester was ordained in the year 0314. I assume this was also the year the Catholics got top billing over the Romans.
In the year 0415, Ataulf of Narbonne marries Emperor Honorius’ sister Galle Placidia. I hope they had a wonderful wedding with a lot of pigs and servants. I assume this is what you did when you were the major part of history in those days.
In the year 0515, St Hormisdas was elected Pope succeeding Pope Sympowerus. The Romans are no longer the most popular people in history. I think the Catholics are going to be around for a while.
In the year 0615, Columbanus, Irish Monastery founder/poet/saint (Poenitentiale), dies. At least we know there are other parts of the world other than Rome. I wonder if all founders of everything become saints? Will Bill Gates become a saint?
In the year 0715, Hagenfrid defeats Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne. History begins to become more interesting by adding war and suffering. Remember the victor always writes the history.
In the year 0815, Frankish Emperor Louis grants Archbishop Salzburg immunity. I didn’t know he was ever sick.
In the year 0915, Kkliment/Clemens van Ohrid, Bulgaria who was Bishop of Ohrid dies. He was also a saint. Oh no, religion wins and war and suffering loses. Or are they the same thing?
In the year 1015, lambert I with the Beard, Count of Leuven, die in battle at about 65. He lived a good long life. Actually I hope to make it to where he did. Not in battle but in life.
In the year 1115, Petrus van Amiens who was a French Crusades predictor, dies. I wonder if he predicted his own death.
In the year 1215, King John signs Magna Carta at Runnymede, England. This was obviously a big date in history. I wonder if 2015 will be the same?
In the year 1315, Enguerrand de Marigny is hanged on the public gallows at Montfaucon. I wonder what he did or didn’t do. I wonder what he was supposed to do.
In the year 1415, Jan Hus was burned for heresy by the Church at Constance, Germany. I assume they ran out of rope for hanging. I also wonder what he was supposed to believe in?
In the year 1515, Persian Gulf: Portuguese fleet occupies Ormuz. I guess this is when imperialism began. It took them long enough to learn from the Romans.
In the year 1615, Siege of Osaka Forces under the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu takes Osaka Castle in Japan. So, the Europeans were not the only ones who took advantage of the concept imperialism. Modern history, as we know it, begins to exist.
In the year 1715, Jan-Erasmus Quellinus, a Flemish painter, dies at 80. People are living longer as history is getting older. Painters become as important or more important than emperors.
In the year 1815, Andrew Jackson’s troops defeat the British at Chalmette in the Battle of New Orleans. Our history now begins with a victory. So, my basic question is how are we so different from the Romans.
In the year 1915, the first state of our nation elected Jewish governor, Moses Alexander, This occurred in Idaho. You might ask why I think this so important. What could be more important?
So, how are the future inhabitants of our world going to view 2015? Will it be the year of the powerful taking over for the less powerful? Will it be the year of the war in which nothing is gained and everything is put off to another time? Or will it be the year of the change? I just hope it changes for the better at which time we can all become proud to be a part of this New Year.
By Jim Fabiano.
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine