Rulers of the World

Current Year: 1480 A.D.

Europe in ca. 1500

Looking at a map of Europe in 1500, it is easy to imagine that the outlines of modern nation-states, or at least a few of them, were somehow destined to take the shapes familiar in the twenty-first century. But this impression is misleading: the idea of the nation as a kind of organism with an economy and distinctive political and legal structures was only beginning to form; the impact of central institutions on everyday life was still slight; most states were culturally and linguistically diverse; in most of Europe, zones of judicial authority rarely corresponded exactly with administrative districts or the boundaries of ecclesiastical governance. Broadly speaking, the most consolidated monarchies were situated on the Atlantic. The political landscape of Italy was dominated by wealthy, powerful, and largely independent city-states, most notably the Republic of Venice. In central Europe a vast federation—the Holy Roman Empire—was acquiring legal and political structures that would remain with it through the eighteenth century. In this map, its boundary is shown by a thick maroon line. Eastern Europe was characterized by sprawling monarchies, some of them centralized and expanding—the Ottoman Empire—others more loosely organized, such as Poland-Lithuania. Two major shifts were about to take place: the first occurred in 1519, when the Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, the Low Countries (Flanders and the Netherlands), and Austria fell to the heir of the Habsburg dynasty, Charles V (1519-1556); in 1526 the dynasty acquired Bohemia, Silesia, and Hungary as well. The second shift involved Turkish expansion: under stultans Selim I (1512-1520) and Suleiman I (1520-1566), Ottoman power enveloped Wallachia, almost all of Hungary, the Levant (Syria and Palestine), and Egypt.

Italian States:

The Republic of Venice
Current Ruler:Giovanni Mocenigo, Doge of Venice

The Papal States
Current Pontiff:Pope Sixtus IV

The Duchy of Milan
Current Ruler:Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan

The Duchy of Savoy
Current Ruler:Philibert I, Duke of Savoy

The Republic of Genoa
Current Ruler:Paolo Fregoso, Doge of Genoa

The Marquisate of Saluzzo
Current Ruler:Ludovico II, Marquess of Saluzzo

The Marquisate of Montferrat
Current Ruler:William VIII, Marquess of Monferrat

The Republic of Florence
Current Ruler:Lorenzo de’ Medici

The Kingdom of Naples
Current Ruler:Ferdinand I, King of Naples

The Kingdom of Sicily
Current Ruler:Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, Valencia and Sicily

The Republic of Siena
Current Rulers:Council of Ten Priors

The Republic of Lucca
Current Rulers:Democratic Council

The Marquisate of Mantua
Current Ruler:Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua

The Duchy of Ferrara
Current Ruler:Ercole I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara

The Duchy of Modena and Reggio
Current Ruler:Ercole I d’Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio


The Holy Roman Empire
Current Ruler: Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor

The Grand Duchy of Moscow
Current Ruler: Ivan III, Grand Prince of Moscow

The Kingdom of France
Current Ruler:Louis XI, King of France

The Kingdom of Navarre
Current Ruler:Ferdinand V, King of Aragon

The Spanish Empire
Current Rulers:Ferdinand V and Isabella I

The Kingdom of Portugal
Current Ruler:John II, King of Portugal

The Kingdom of England – Civil War
Current Ruler:Edward IV, of the House of York, King of England

The Kingdom of Scotland
Current Ruler:James III, King of Scots

The Lordship of Ireland
Current Ruler:Edward IV, King of England, represented by The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

The Principality of Wallachia
Current Ruler:Basarab cel Tlnar (Basarab the Young) Tepelus

The Kingdom of Poland
Current Ruler:Casimir IV Jagiellon, King of Poland, Royal Prussia and Grand Duke of Lithuania

The Monastic State of Teutonic Knights or Ordensstaat
Current Ruler:Martin Truchse von Wetzhausen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order

The Swiss Confederacy
Current Ruler:The Canton and City Leaders

The Kingdom of Hungary – At War
Current Ruler:Mattias Corvinus, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia

The Scandinavian Kalmar Union
Current Ruler:Christian I, King of Denmark and Normay (Sweden ruled by a regent:Sten Sture the Elder, Regent of Sweden)

The Mediterranean:

The Ottoman Empire
Current Ruler:Mehmed II the Conqueror, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt
Current Ruler:Al-Ashraf Sayf ad-Din Qa’it Bay, Burji Mamluk Sultan of Egypt

The Kingdom of Cyprus
Current Ruler:Nobil Donna Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus

Rulers of the World

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