THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY OPENS WITH A BANG

ImageGutenberg’s printing press put a whole new cast to how things were transmitted to people across the globe. It was now possible to spread ideas by something more than word of mouth. The bibles created by Gutenberg and those that followed led directly to a revolution in the Catholic Church, as well as the establishment of the Protestant denominations.

Luther had no idea when he posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church that he would be starting a revolution. He was just dissatisfied with how the church was handling certain things, as well as the dispensing of “indulgences” (tickets) to heaven if you donated to the church. It appears that Zanzibar Cardoza was one of the first to notice that this printing thing could have worldwide (Europe in his mind) implications.

We hear of him through many reformers and establishers of Protestant movements. During John Calvin’s lifetime, in Geneva and Strasbourg, it appears that Cardoza was his body guard and defender of the faith. It is certain that Cardoza started off as a practicing Roman Catholic, but not a great church attender or follower of many of the church’s precepts. In a polemic written by Calvin, he uses Cardoza as an example of the kind of religiosity that pre-Renaissance people practiced.

Calvin (Cauvin) was constantly in danger for his life. Cardoza spent most of Calvin’s later life arranging for protection. Since Calvin was really French, he was not accepted in some parts of Switzerland. He would commute, in his lifetime, between Strasbourg and Geneva, depending on who was in charge. It is probable that Cardoza went with him each time Calvin moved. In this scenario, Cardoza must have spoken both French and the Swiss version of German, as well as Spanish and Basque.

Cardoza was also involved with the Huguenots, the Protestant French, who were eventually done away with by the armies of the King of France.

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