Remember those happy acorn-feasting swine from November? I’m sad to say that their time is up. According to medieval calendars, December is the time to slaughter your swine and to make your sausage with their innards.
- December 1st, 1167 — The Lombard League is founded, uniting the city-states of northern Italy against Frederick I.
- December 4th, 771 — King Carloman dies, his Austrasian kingdom passing to some “Charlemagne” character.
- December 5th, 1484 — Pope Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes, kicking off the German Inquistion, which the Pythons failed to write a sketch about, but which did ultimately produce the Malleus Maleficarum.
- December 11th, 1282 — Llywelyn the Last, the last native Prince of Wales, is killed. A tragedy, surely, but when you name your son Llywelyn the Last, what do you expect?
- December 12th, 1098 — The Massacre of Ma’arrat al-Numan. Crusaders kill 20,000 and, reportedly, eat a few of them when food runs low.
- December 18th, 1271 — Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan,” though probably not from a stately pleasure-dome. In related news, honey-dew and Paradise milk futures shoot through the roof.
- December 25th is a good day for being crowned: Charlemagne is crowned the Holy Roman Emperor in 800; Stephen I, King of Hungary in 1000; William the Bastard, King of England in 1066; Baldwin of Boulogne, King of Jerusalem in 1100; and Roger of Sicily, King of Siciliy in 1130.
- December 28th, 1065 — Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
- December 29th, 1170 — Thomas Becket, the turbulent priest, assassinated.