1345 (The People's Chronology)
The Hundred Years' War that began in 1337 continues; having just succeeded to his father's earldoms of Lancaster and Leicester, feudal lord Henry of Grosmont, earl of Derby (later 1st duke of Lancaster), gains a victory over superior French forces at Aubroche in Périgord in October (see 1340). Now 45, he becomes Edward III's lieutenant and captain in southwestern France (see 1346).
The Ottoman Turks make their first crossing into Europe in response to a call for support by the self-styled emperor John VI Cantacuzenus as civil war continues in the Byzantine Empire (see 1343; 1347).
András of Hungary, husband of Joanna of Naples, is murdered September 15, probably by assassins in the employ of Luigi (Louis) di Taranto, 25, although many accuse Joanna herself of being party to the crime (see 1343; 1347).
Florence has her first social revolution as the rising industrial proletariat attempts to overthrow the ruling business oligarchy (see 1344; Strozzi, 1347).
Florentines complete a bridge that will come to be called the Ponte Vecchio across the Arno at Florence to replace a 13th century span that was swept away by a flood in 1333.
The pestilence that will later be called the Black Death takes a heavy toll on the lower Volga River (see 1343). Some blame it on a conjunction March 20 of the planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; by next year it will be in the Caucasus and the Crimea (see 1347).
The monastery of Vadstena founded by Swedish visionary Birgit Gudmarsson will give rise to the new Augustinian order of Birgittines (date approximate) (see 1344; 1349).
Poetry: De Vita Solitaria by Italian poet-scholar-theologian Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca), 41. The most prominent man of letters in this century, Petrarch will promote the recovery and transcription of classical texts, advancing the humanistic view that classical learning and Christian spirituality are quite compatible and even mutually fulfilling.
Architecture, Real Estate
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame on the Ile de la Cité in the Seine at Paris is completed in Gothic style after 182 years of construction (see 1189). An apse with large clerestory windows was added in the last century, supported by single-arch flying buttresses.