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Earth map by Bernard Sylvanus 1511
Albrecht of Hohenzollern
Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach is elected Grand Master of the Teutonic Order .
Erasmus from Rotterdam
The ironic discourse In Praise of Folly by Erasmus of Rotterdam is in print.
Raphael's “The School of Athens” in the Stanza della Segnatura
Raffael completes the Stanza della Segnatura .
1511 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 959/960 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1503/04
Aztec calendar 5th rabbit - Macuilli Tochtli (until the end of January / beginning of February: 4th house - Nahui Calli )
Buddhist calendar 2054/55 (southern Buddhism); 2053/54 (alternative calculation according to Buddhas Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 70th (71st) cycle

Year of the metal sheep辛未 ( at the beginning of the year metal horse 庚午)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 873/874 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 3844/45 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 889/890
Islamic calendar 916/917 (turn of the year March 30/31)
Jewish calendar 5271/72 (September 22-23)
Coptic calendar 1227/28
Malayalam calendar 686/687
Seleucid era Babylon: 1821/22 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 1822/23 (turn of the year October)

Spanish era 1549
Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1567/68 (turn of the year April)

While in 1511 in Europe after a change of alliances the Holy League replaced the League of Cambrai , which had been dissolved in the previous year , and the Italian wars continued with different omens, Portugal and Spain were expanding their respective colonial empires in America and Asia.

Under Afonso de Albuquerque, Portugal succeeds in conquering the city of Malacca and thus gains control of the Strait of Malacca , the route to the Spice Islands. The Spaniards advance into Cuba on the West Indies and Vasco Núñez de Balboa undertakes a first inland expedition in what is now Panama.

In Rome, Raphael completed the Stanza della Segnatura commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1508 , thus creating a masterpiece of the Italian High Renaissance .


Politics and world events

Italian wars

Holy Roman Empire

On February 7th, Habsburg and the Swiss Confederation conclude the second inheritance for an indefinite period of time , a contract that includes a non-aggression clause, but, unlike the first inheritance in 1477, no longer provides for any obligation to help.

Antonio Savorgnan before Udine
Johann III. from Jülich-Berg

German medal

Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach is elected as the successor to Friedrich von Sachsen, who died on December 14 of the previous year, as the 37th Grand Master of the Teutonic Order in Prussia . The order intends to shake off the army succession entered into against the King of Poland in the Peace of Thorn in 1466 . The prerequisite for this is that the newly elected Grand Master refuses to take the feudal oath against King Sigismund I. As the son of a ruling prince of the Holy Roman Empire , Albrecht appears to the chapter of the order to be particularly suitable for the office of Grand Master. Trusting in the duty of assistance of the German master and the land master of Livonia , the new grand master actually refuses the Polish king the feudal oath.

Kingdom of England

Contemporary representation of the Westminster tournament on the occasion of the birth of Prince Henry

On January 1st , shortly after midnight, Catherine of Aragon , the wife of King Henry VIII of England , gave birth to a healthy boy. After almost two years of marriage and the premature birth of a daughter in the previous year, he is the first living child of the English royal couple and his birth gives him the traditional title of the English heir to the throne, Duke of Cornwall . On January 5 , the young prince in the decorated church will Friars Observant in Richmond in the name of Henry baptized, after its own royal household is set up for him. King Henry goes on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Walsingham between January 11th and 31st as thanks and organizes a tournament in honor of the prince on February 12th . However, ten days after the festivities in Westminster, the prince dies for reasons unknown.

Ottoman Empire

Battle between Selim (left) and his father Sultan Bayezid II (right) near Uğraşdere
Battle between Selim (right) and his older half-brother Ahmed (left)

(Miniatures from the Selīm-nāme )

In the Ottoman Empire , with the support of the Janissaries , the brothers Korkud and Selim started an uprising against their father, Sultan Bayezid II , and his crown prince Ahmed, which, however, was suppressed - for the time being. Selim is defeated by his father in the battle of Uğraşdere in Thrace and flees to the Crimea, but the Janissaries again choose him as their general. He manages to beat his brother Ahmed and to be appointed commander in chief of the armed forces .

Portuguese colonies

The spice route in the 16th century

After a first unsuccessful attack on July 25th and a siege lasting almost a month that followed, Afonso de Albuquerque , governor of Portuguese India , conquered the city of Malacca with a fleet of 16 ships on August 24th and drove Sultan Mahmud out. The city becomes an important Portuguese stronghold , as its possession brings control of the Strait of Malacca and thus the route to the Spice Islands . Fernão de Magalhães , who captured and enslaved Enrique Melaka from Sumatra, was also involved in the conquest of the city . He will accompany him on his attempt to circumnavigate the world , beginning in 1519 .

Remains of A Famosa in Malacca

To secure this important outpost, Albuquerque lays the foundation stone for the later stone fortress A Famosa and begins intensive diplomatic efforts in the area to bring the fled merchants back into the city. On the return journey to Goa on November 20th, Albuquerque got into serious distress at night, presumably due to a navigation error, lost its flagship Flor de la Mar , which ran into a reef, and barely managed to save his life. The cargo of the Flor de la Mar lost in the sinking consists of diamonds, rubies, 60 tons of gold and gem-studded statues from a raid through Malaysian principalities and is considered to be possibly the most valuable cargo of all known shipwrecks of all time .

  • The Sultanate of Al-Mahra takes possession of the islands of Socotra , which were conquered by Portugal in 1507 .
  • The Portuguese are the first Europeans to land on Tidore .
  • Bangkok is first mentioned in a document on a Portuguese map .

Spanish colonies in America

Map of the "New World" by Petrus Martyr von Anghiera , 1511
Diego Colón (Diego Columbus)

On June 5th, after years of legal dispute, the royal council in Spain recognized the majority of the claims of the late Christopher Columbus from the surrender of Santa Fe . Columbus' son Diego is appointed viceroy of Hispaniola , he receives jurisdiction over the islands, a fifth of the gold found on them and a tenth of the economic income there. On June 17th, the king restricted his rights to the extent that they only apply to the islands discovered by Columbus himself. Diego is not satisfied with this verdict and he initiated a new lawsuit. King Ferdinand II subsequently restricted his power by setting up a court day consisting of three appellate judges on Hispaniola.

Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar

On August 15th, the former lieutenant governor Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar , on behalf of Viceroy Diego Columbus, crossed with 400 men from Hispaniola to Cuba and founded the first city of Baracoa at the point where Christopher Columbus first set foot on the island . Among the expedition participants are his secretary Hernán Cortés , Bartolomé de Las Casas , Pedro de Alvarado and Cristóbal de Olid . Cuéllar immediately faces a guerrilla war with the Taíno tribe under the chief Hatuey , who had fled from Hispaniola to Cuba shortly before the Spaniards .

  • While an indictment of mutiny against him is being prepared in Spain, Vasco Núñez de Balboa , who has been governor of Darién in what is now Panama since the previous year , undertakes a first expedition into the interior of the country.

science and technology



Raphael Rooms

Stanza della Segnatura

Raphael completes the Stanza della Segnatura commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1508 in the Apostolic Palace in Rome . The determining themes of the room are the three highest principles of the human mind: the true, the good and the beautiful. These are shown in the four wall and vault frescoes, which have the Disputa del Sacramento , the School of Athens , the cardinal and divine virtues and the law as well as Parnassus as their subject. Theological truth finds its expression in the Disputa of the Most Holy Sacrament, which relates to the triumph of the Christian religion. In the Athens School , Raphael painted natural truth, philosophical reason, in the form of ancient philosophers in front of a Renaissance architecture. Raphael shows the good in the cardinal and godly virtues and the law as allegories of the cardinal virtues of bravery, prudence and temperance and the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love, which were painted on the bezels of the wall. In Parnassus , the muses subordinate to Apollo and ancient and modern poets complete the spiritual cosmos of this space. The vault summarizes in allegorical form man's abilities for philosophy, theology, poetry and justice.

The Heller Altar

Heller Altar, copy by Jobst Harrich, 17th century

Matthias Grünewald completes the Heller Altar started by Albrecht Dürer's workshop , a triptych commissioned by the patrician Jakob Heller for the Dominican Church in Frankfurt am Main . Heller entrusted Dürer, who works in Nuremberg , with the central panel, the inner wings and the first left and right outer wings . He left only four panels for the left and right second outer wing - although these, like the former, were to be made in the particularly difficult grisaille technique - to Grünewald , who was probably located in Aschaffenburg . At its final destination, the work is assembled.

Further works of fine art

Venetian Embassy in Damascus



Title woodcut by Sumarius


The ophthalmoscope

The Cologne butcher Johannes Pfefferkorn , a Jew who converted to Christianity, wrote the anti-Jewish pamphlet hand mirror against Johannes Reuchlin and his positive opinion on the Talmud . Reuchlin replied in the fall with the typeface Augenspiegel , which was printed in Thomas Anshelm's print shop and then appeared at the Frankfurt Book Fair . The dispute escalated in the next few years despite an imperial silence command, with large parts of the educated elite in Germany and beyond Germany taking sides for one of the two sides, and culminated in the so-called dark man's letters of 1515 .

Immediately after the death of Archbishop Johann III. on December 4, his previous coadjutor Christoph von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel takes over the office of Archbishop of Bremen , with which he is enfeoffed by Emperor Maximilian I the following year.

The 1511 missal

The Archbishop of Bremen Johann III. Missale secundum ritum ecclesie Bremense ordered by Rode von Wale is completed. This missal, in accordance with the customs of the Bremen Church, describes the rite for Holy Mass that was only valid in the Diocese of Bremen in the Middle Ages . It contains the fixed and changing biblical texts, prayers and chants for church services in Latin and is in use until 1532 .


After the North Sea coast in the two previous years by several severe storm surges was concerned, breaking on Jan. 16 , the Antoni tide over East Friesland in. The storm surge, also known as the flood of ice, is associated with strong ice drift and hits the dikes at a time when, after the All Saints Flood in 1510 , they could often not be repaired. Many villages and parishes have to be abandoned. There are significant land losses on the Dollard and Jade Bays . Before Sande, this affects Oldebrugge, Bordum , Bant , Ahm, Ellens, Havermonniken, Hiddens, Scheidens and Seediek, among others . Arngast becomes an island in the Jade Bay. Dollart and Jadebusen reach their greatest extent, and a breakthrough occurs between Jade and Weser .


Date of birth saved

Giorgio Vasari, self-portrait

Exact date of birth unknown

Born around 1511


First half of the year

Ludovico Gonzaga (contemporary representation by Andrea Mantegna )
Anonymous: Portrait of Nicolás de Ovando

Second half of the year

Exact date of death unknown

Portrait of Johannes Tinctoris, title page of manuscript 835, Valencia, Biblioteca universitaria

Web links

Commons : 1511  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files