This article argues that the literary reception of Classical historians through Philipp Melanchthon and his students made a decisive contribution to the pluralization and secularization of early Lutheran scholarly culture. It focuses on Georg Major’s hitherto unexplored edition of Justin’s Epitoma, which was printed in Hagenau in 1526, with a second, extended edition appearing in Magdeburg in 1537. Major’s first edition of 1526 is here scrutinized in the broader context of the emergence of Protestant universal history and the forming of Melanchthon’s understanding of the Four Kingdoms of Daniel, which is traditionally seen by scholars as the starting point of the distinction between secular and sacred history. The second edition (1537) includes a general instruction for the study of histories. Based as it is on Cicero’s historical-methodological principles of consilia, acta, and eventus, laid out in De Oratore, this handbook for Protestant Latin-school pupils is rooted in the historical thought of Italian humanists.
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Georg Majors Edition des Justinus (1526/37) und die Chronica Carionis (1532)
Angelus Silesius describes the mystical deification of the human soul as its inclusion in the Trinity. He uses traditional comparisons and metaphors, as formed on biblical basis by the Fathers to illustrate the inner Trinitarian relations, but also geometric and naturalistic analogies to lead the soul in three ways into God. These are always figurative appellations which, paradoxically, according to negative theology, can also be negated for the very essence of God, which remains unnameable. In this mystical unity, which in the teaching of the church can only happen by grace, but not in a pantheistic fashion by nature, man preserves the creaturely difference to the Creator. Even in the earliest epigrams, Scheffler’s Catholic point of view is that God cannot resist this union of love, and that therefore only man, with his free will, is responsible for its success. The model of the saints and the ethical demand for the keeping of the commandments and the doing of the good works, which confirm the authenticity of this mysticism as well as their conformity with the ecclesiastical tradition, also fit in with this result.
Die Reformationsschauspiele von Martin Rinckart und die Reformpoetik von Martin Opitz
The essay focuses on the drama-pieces planned by Martin Rinckart to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Reformation in 1617. They are concentrated around Martin Luther as a “hero” for the protestant confession, like in Der Eißlebische Christliche Ritter where Luther figures as a warrior of true belief. Special attention is paid first to the relation between text and music with regard to the performances of the pieces; and second to the question why Rinckart has obviously realized only three of the seven planned pieces about the reformation and Luther. For answering, the essay argues that the reform in poetics and poetry initiated by Martin Opitz has challenged the poetical concept of Rinckart’s pieces in such a way that he was unable to continue them. Ironically, his most famous religious poem Nun danket alle Gott has been rescued out of the wreckage of his ambitious plan of a Luther-Heptalogy.
Martin Opitz’ Ratispona in libertatem vindicata (1633)
Martin Opitz combines elements of the panegyric and the heroic epic in his Ratispona in libertatem vindicata, an epic poem published in 1633. By means of a narration that adapts and variates the genre tradition, he creates a future-oriented perspective of historical meaning and presents an interpretation of the historical events constituting the war that later came to be known as the Thirty Years War. In so doing, he emphatically raises the claim that the carmen heroicum’s interpretation of history is a proclamation of truth.
The present article analyzes the depiction of the Thirty Years War in the texts by the scholars of the Reval (today Tallinn) gymnasium and focusses on the occasional poems of professors (e.g. Timotheus Polus, Reiner Brockmann, David Cunitz) composed in the 1630s as well as on the autobiography of the cantor David Gallus (probably written in the early 1650s). As a result, it will be shown that in the poems the war is regarded as a topos and the concrete events of war are represented on an abstract level. The autobiography of Gallus, on the other hand, describes the war from the distant perspective of a survivor and reflects how the war was felt and experienced by a “private” person.
Konfessionsbedingte Dispositive der Kriegsdarstellung
Franz M. Eybl
Two Jesuits accompanied duke Maximilian’s campaign from Munich to Prague in 1620 in their courtly functions and recorded in Latin diaries the advance through Upper and Lower Austria and Bohemia as eyewitnesses. Johann Buslidius was the prince’s archivist, Jeremias Drexel his court preacher, one of the most important and successful religious writers of the epoch. This essay attempts to describe the conditions for recording and publishing war depictions in the context of Upper German Catholic denominational culture. Discussed are the differences between incident and recording (on the basis of different diary entries concerning a mutiny in Linz, Upper Austria), the thematization of war in Drexel’s religious writings, the differences between recording and printing in official publications about the war campaign (journal, pamphlet, panegyric, sermon) as well as the denominational differences in the evaluation and historical classification of the Thirty Years War.
Zeitungsberichterstattung als Erste Rohfassung der Geschichtsschreibung
This study considers print media produced during the Thirty Years War, focusing on the fact – largely unknown by most historians of the war - that this was the first war in human history to be accompanied by newspapers printed on a regular weekly basis. It assesses the effectiveness of newspaper coverage of political, diplomatic and military affairs and the characteristics of war reporting. Little of what, in historiography, is generally counted among the arcana imperii remained hidden from the readers. A history of the war could be written on the basis of the newspaper reports alone. With very few exceptions, every battle and siege was covered in great detail. No other media shadowed the events of the war as closely as the newspapers, which present a unique narrative of the war and revealing insights into these historical events. They represent an indispensable historiographical source, constituting an initial draft historical narrative from a contemporary perspective.
Der Tod Herzog Ulrichs von Holstein und der Untergang der Stadt Schweidnitz (1633)
In 1633 the armies of Wallenstein and the united armies of Saxony, Brandenburg and Sweden met in front of the city of Schweidnitz. Instead of fighting a battle, a truce was agreed on August 22. On this day, one of the Protestants’ hopes, Prince Ulrich of Denmark, fell victim to an attack. And in the enclosed city hunger and plague raged for weeks. How these two events were treated or even ignored in contemporary newsletters, and how poets interpreted the events, is presented here. Analyzed texts stem from Daniel Czepko and the Lutheran preacher Friedrich Scholtz, who wrote an epic poem in honor of Schweidnitz.