Savonarola I

Lead: In the Renaissance capital of Florence, Italy, the terrible and powerful voice of Fra Girolimo Savonarola was raised against corruption in both church and state. He also raised powerful enemies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having helped create and nurture European civilization in the long centuries since the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church of Rome by 1500 was the single unifying institution on the continent. Millions, high and low, saw in the Church the path to eternal salvation, worshipped in her precincts, contributed to her their treasure, and sought solace from a life that Thomas Hobbes would later describe as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Despite the devotion of countless numbers, there was trouble in Zion. With clear justification, many considered the Church to be set at rot, absorbed by worldly obsessions, ensnared by political and military ambitions, hopelessly and morally bankrupt.

Suppression of Galileo II

Lead: Condemned in 1632, the Italian scientist was not given reprieve until 1993.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Galileo, the Italian mathematician and astronomer, believed along with the Polish scholar Copernicus' that the earth revolved around the sun. The Roman Catholic Church disagreed. It taught that the earth was the center of the universe and in 1616 told Galileo to cease and disist his teachings on the subject. In 1624 there was a new pope, he was a long time friend and protector of Galileo and the scientist thought that perhaps a personal appeal would bring him some relief. He felt that it was dangerous for the church to champion a position so vulnerable to scientific evidence, that if people found themselves convinced by proof of something that it was made a sin to believe, they would reject the church's teachings in other areas and perhaps even attracted to the new Protestant ideas coming from Martin Luther in northern Germany.

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Suppression of Galileo I

Lead: Few early scientists contributed as much to the understanding of the way the universe works as Galileo but in his lifetime he was not popular.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Galileo Galilei was the son of a poor nobleman and destined for a medical career. Yet, while at the University of Pisa in northern Italy, he became fascinated with mathematics and by 1589 was teaching at the University level. Fairly early in his career, he came to believe the theory taught by the Polish mathematician Copernicus that the planets revolve around the sun, but was hesitant to teach this openly because of the almost universal acceptance of the older theory which placed the earth of the center of the universe.

 

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The Dancing Stallions of Lipizza II

Lead: Bred as royal horses of the Austrian emperors, the beautiful and graceful Lipizzaner stallions were the subject of a spectacular rescue at the end of World War II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Hapsburg emperors bred the Lipizzaners for their strength and intelligence. With the end of World War I, the empire was no more but the white stallions, in their home at Vienna's Spanish Riding School, continued the tradition of the precision riding originally developed as battlefield maneuvers against enemy soldiers.

The Dancing Stallions of Lipizza I

Lead: The graceful and elegant stallions of Vienna's Spanish Riding School have a long and fascinating history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is hard for those living in the late twentieth century to imagine a time in which motorized transport was nonexistent and the horse in its various breeds was the indispensable provider of locomotion and carriage for goods and people. Today, expensive to maintain and relatively rare, the horse has largely become a diversion and source of entertainment for the well-to-do. There was a time, however, when one had a horse or walked, when goods were mostly conveyed by horse power or by humans, when the fate of nations was decided by the quality of horse bred and fought in their service.

The Knights Templar II

Lead: Beginning in 1307, jealousy, envy, desire to appropriate its vast assets and the waning purpose for its existence, brought arrest, torture, trial and eventual dissolution to the Knights Templar.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Born of crisis in the years following the First Crusade, the Knights Templar was also known as the Temple. It was an order of warrior monks assigned to defend the Holy Land from Muslim forces. To finance its military and charitable mission, the Temple took donations of cash and real estate from all over Catholic Europe and the Mediterranean. The Templars even developed a rudimentary form of banking which permitted east-bound pilgrims to deposit funds in, say, Spain and to carry a letter of credit which they could cash when they reached the Holy Land. All this was making the Templars very very rich.

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Sir Francis Drake III

Lead: His voyage around the world behind him, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth's Golden Admiral, intensified his campaign to make miserable the life of the King of Spain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Returning from the East in 1581, Drake made Plymouth his home and was elected mayor of the town. He served with distinction, revamping the municipal water system with such care that his improvements lasted for decades. Ever restless, he returned to the sea which was both the love of his life and source of his fortune. In 1585 Elizabeth sent Drake back to the Caribbean where, over a period of months, he renewed his reputation as the scourge of Spain. His occasionally brutal capture and sacking of Cartagena in Columbia, St. Augustine in Florida, and Santo Domingo, combined with attacks on the Cape Verde Islands, were not as successful or lucrative as previous forays, but caused enormous financial distress to the Spanish and confirmed their hatred for el draque or the dragon, as he was coming to be known. This campaign and other conflicts with England so incensed Spanish King Philip II that he made the fateful decision to assemble a huge naval Armada to invade the island kingdom.

Sir Francis Drake II

Lead: Commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to forage and loot the lands of the Spanish King, Francis Drake embarked on a voyage that took him around the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1572, after a lengthy apprenticeship, Drake took two tiny ships on a cruise into the Caribbean. His vessels may have been small but his ambition was hefty. He attacked the town of Nombre de Dios in Panama and though not completely successful since he was wounded in the attempt, the foray netted substantial plunder and made him a rich man. Ever the adventurer, he and a small group of his men crossed the Isthmus of Panama and from a high western ridge vowed that he would someday explore the vast Pacific Ocean that lay before him. Elizabeth was engaged in one of her occasional diplomatic flirtations with the Spanish government and, while privately pleased at Drake’s success, could not acknowledge him publicly. For several years, he dropped out of the public eye, quietly helping to suppress a rebellion in Ireland.