Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Synchronicity of strong monarchs: Louis XIV, Aurangzeb, Kangxi, and Peter the Great

Isaac Asimov in his Chronology of the World (1991) pointed out the remarkable simultaneous rules of the following four strong, influential, and long-reigning (lasting at least 42 years) monarchs in the late 17th century:


Louis XIV of France, reigned 14 May 1643 – 1 September 1715  (&1000000000000007200000072 years, &10000000000000110000000110 days)

Aurangzeb, Mughal emperor (of India), reigned 31 July 1658 – 3 March 1707  (&1000000000000004800000048 years, &10000000000000215000000215 days)

Kangxi Emperor (康熙) of China (Qing dynasty), reigned 5 February 1661 – 20 December 1722 (&1000000000000006100000061 years, &10000000000000318000000318 days)

Peter the Great of Russia, reigned 7 May 1682 – 8 February 1725 (&1000000000000004200000042 years, &10000000000000277000000277 days)

For almost twenty-five years, 7 May 1682 - 3 March 1707, all four were sovereigns on the world stage.

Contemporaneous with these four heavyweights is the lightweight but enduring Frederick William, the Great Elector, of Brandenburg-Prussia, who reigned 1 December 1640 – 29 April 1688 (47 years, 150 days).

Other synchronous long reigns of note that I have observed are, in order of their inception:

16th century

Henry VIII of England, reigned 21 April 1509 – 28 January 1547 (&1000000000000003700000037 years, &10000000000000282000000282 days)

Francis I of France, reigned 1 January 1515 – 31 March 1547 (&1000000000000003200000032 years, &1000000000000008900000089 days)

Charles I of Spain, reigned 23 January 1516 – 16 January 1556 (39 years, 358 days)

Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman sultan, reigned 30 September 1520 - 6/7 September 1566 (45 years, 342 days)

Ivan the Terrible of Russia, reigned  3 December 1533 – 28 March 1584 (50 years, 116 days)

Philip II of Spain, reigned 16 January 1556 – 13 September 1598 (42 years, 240 days)

Akbar the Great, Mughal emperor (of India), reigned 14 February 1556 - 27 October 1605 (49 years, 255 days)

Elizabeth I of England, reigned 17 November 1558 – 24 March 1603 (44 years, 127 days)

James VI of Scotland, James I of England, reigned (in Scotland) 24 July 1567 – 27 March 1625 (57 years, 246 days)

Wanli Emperor (万历) of China (Ming dynasty), reigned 19 July 1572 – 18 August 1620 (&1000000000000004800000048 years, &1000000000000003000000030 days)

Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire (House of Habsburg), reigned 12 October 1576 – 20 January 1612 (35 years, 100 days)

Shah Abbas the Great of Persia (Safavid dynasty), reigned 1 October 1587 - 19 January 1629 (&1000000000000004100000041 years, &10000000000000110000000110 days)

Christian IV of Denmark-Norway, reigned 4 April 1588 – 28 February 1648 (59 nyears, 329 days)


**The following long-reigning 16th century monarchs are relatively obscure:

John III of Portugal, reigned 13 December 1521—11 June 1557 (35 years, 180 days)

Gustav I of Sweden, reigned 6 June 1523 – 29 September 1560 (&1000000000000003700000037 years, &10000000000000115000000115 days)

Sigismund III Vasa of Poland-Lithuania, reigned 18 September 1587 – 19 April 1632 (44 years, 214 days)

__________________

During the period 4 April 1588 – 13 September 1598, the following were contemporaneous reigning monarchs:  Philip II of Spain, Akbar the Great, Elizabeth I of England, James VI of Scotland, Wanli Emperor, Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire, Shah Abbas the Great of Persia, Christian IV of Denmark-Norway, Sigismund III Vasa of Poland-Lithuania.


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18th century

Louis XV of France, reigned 1 September 1715 – 10 May 1774 (&1000000000000005800000058 years, &10000000000000251000000251 days)

Qianlong Emperor (乾隆) of China (Qing dynasty), reigned 8 October 1735 – 7 February 1799 (&1000000000000006300000063 years, &10000000000000122000000122 days)


Frederick the Great of Prussia, reigned 31 May 1740 – 17 August 1786 (&1000000000000004600000046 years, &1000000000000007800000078 days)

Maria Theresa, archduchess of Austria, reigned 20 October 1740 – 29 November 1780 (&1000000000000004000000040 years, &1000000000000004000000040 days)

George III of the United Kingdom, reigned 25 October 1760 – 29 January 1820 (59 years, 96 days)

Catherine the Great of Russia, reigned 9 July 1762 – 17 November 1796 (&1000000000000003400000034 years, &10000000000000131000000131 days)


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19th century

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, reigned 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901 (63 years,  216 days)

Franz Joseph I of Austria, reigned 2 December 1848 – 21 November 1916 (67 years, 355 days)

Empress Dowager Cixi (慈禧太后) of China (Qing dynasty), reigned as regent 11 November 1861 – 15 November 1908 (&1000000000000004700000047 years, &100000000000000040000004 days)

Louis XIV

Aurangzeb


Kangxi



Peter the Great



An excellent companion to Asimov's Chronology of the World is his concise The March of the Millennia: A key to looking at history (1991, co-authored with Frank White).





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