"I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him."

- Spanish mystic Saint Teresa of Ávila,
from her autobiography The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1565)

"Tell the King, that whole cities are in open revolt against the prosecutions, and that it is impossible to enforce the decrees here. As for myself, I shall continue to hold by the Catholic faith; but I will never give any colour to the tyrannical claim of kings to dictate to the consciences of their people, and to prescribe the form of religion that they choose to impose."

- Dutch nobleman William the Silent, instructing his compatriot
the Count of Egmont what to say to Spanish king Phillip II.

"Christopher Columbus was dining with many Spanish nobles when one of them said: 'Sir Christopher, even if your lordship had not discovered the Indies, there would have been, here in Spain which is a country abundant with great men knowledgeable in cosmography and literature, one who would have started a similar adventure with the same result.' Columbus did not respond to these words but asked for a whole egg to be brought to him. He placed it on the table and said: 'My lords, I will lay a wager with any of you that you are unable to make this egg stand on its end like I will do without any kind of help or aid.' They all tried without success and when the egg returned to Columbus, he tapped it gently on the table breaking it slightly and, with this, the egg stood on its end. All those present were confounded and understood what he meant: that once the feat has been done, anyone knows how to do it."

- Italian historian Girolamo Benzoni, relating the apocryphal story
of the "Egg of Columbus" in his History of the New World (1565)

In the year AD 1565...

  • Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible begins his brutal reign of terror known as the "Oprichnina," which will last until 1672 and see numerous Russian aristocrats publicly executed and others have their lands and property confiscated.
  • The Ottoman Siege of Malta fails when the brilliant Ottoman commander Dragut is killed by splinters from the impact of a stray cannonball.
  • The Vijayanagara Empire in southern India suffers a devastating defeat in the Battle of Talikota at the hands of the Deccan Sultanates, a defeat from which it will never fully recover. The battle turns when two Muslim Vijayanagara generals betray over to the side of the Sultanates, beheading the Vijayanagara general Aliya Rama Raya and carrying his head over to the enemy. Thereafter, the Sultanate armies sack the magnificent Vijayanagara capital at Hampi, leaving it in a ruinous state in which it remains to this day.
  • Dutch nobleman Lamoral, Count of Egmont travels to Spain on his own dime as part of a last-ditch effort to convince King Philip II of Spain to allow religious toleration in the Spanish Netherlands. He is kept waiting six weeks in Madrid before finally receiving a non-committal non-response. Having tried and failed to resolve the religious problem with diplomacy, the Dutch nobles are now pushed even further toward the rebellion which will become the Dutch Revolt.
  • In the Battle of Fukuda Bay Japanese samurai warriors from the Matsuura clan fail to capture a Portuguese trading carrack, in what is remembered as the first naval battle between Japanese and Europeans.
  • Portuguese soldier Estácio de Sá establishes the city of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro in what is now Brazil, naming it in honor of St. Sebastian, the namesake and patron saint of Portuguese king Sebastião. The city is known today simply as Rio de Janeiro.
  • Spanish conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés establishes St. Augustine, Florida, which remains to this day the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the contiguous United States.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, to the dismay of much of her court.
  • Florentine inventor, engineer, artist and all-around Renaissance man Bernardo Buontalenti is said to have invented the first modern gelato to serve at a banquet hosted by Grand Duke Cosimo I de’Medici.
  • The earliest known mention of the writing utensil now known as the pencil appears in writings by the Swiss physician and naturalist Conrad Gessner, who noted that it was already in widespread use in England.

These people were born in 1565...

These people died in 1565...

1564 - 1565 - 1566

16th century

How they were made

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