"Knowledge is power.”
--Sir Francis Bacon, "Of Heresies," 1597
In the year AD 1597...
- When ambassadors from Ming Dynasty China refuse to grant Japanese warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi his demands of a Korean prince as hostage, rule over the four southern provinces of Korea, and marriage to the Ming emperor's daughter, he becomes enraged and dispatches a Second Invasion of Korea, consisting of 200 ships and 141,00 men.
- Back in Japan, Hideyoshi cracks down on Christianity, which he had officially banned in 1587, ordering the crucifixion of the 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki.
- The Second Spanish Armada, en route to invade England, is dispersed by severe storms and forced to head back to Spain.
- In the Netherlands, the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule continues, as Maurice of Nassau wins a stunning victory at the Battle of Turnhout.
- Meanwhile Spanish forces continue to make trouble for King Henry IV in France, capturing the town of Amiens, but Henry manages to retake it by the end of the year.
- Following up on their success at Cadiz the previous year, an English fleet under the Earl of Essex, Sir Thomas Howard, and Sir Walter Raleigh (newly returned from South America) raids Spanish possessions in the Azores.
- In Finland, the peasant uprising against Swedish rule known as the "War of the Clubs" is brutally supressed by troops loyal to Sweden led by Klaus Fleming and the father and son duo of Arvid and Ivar Tawast.
- Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz and his crew of 15 men have been trapped by ice in the Arctic Ocean all winter. The ice does not thaw until mid-June, but Barentz and most of his crew manage to survive by hunting artic foxes and polar bears. They finally make it back to Holland, but Barentz passes away on the return journey through the sea that now bears his name.
- Sir Anthony Shirley, England's "best-educated pirate", raids Jamaica, but a mutiny among his men forces him to return to England with only a single ship.
- English queen Elizabeth I issues an edict expelling from the country the Merchants of the Steelyard, a guild of German merchants who had enjoyed special trading privileges in England since 1157.
- Italian composer Jacopo Peri completes the first-ever opera, Dafne.
- English herbalist John Gerard publishes his Herball, a massive compendium of plants and herbs.
These people were born in 1597:
These people died in 1597:
1596 - 1597 - 1598
How they were made