Narrative of the Anabaptist Madness: The Overthrow of Münster, the Famous Metropolis of Westphalia (set 2 volumes)


This is the only accurate translation of the main contemporary historical source for the Anabaptist kingdom of Münster (1534-35). Written by Hermann von Kerssenbrock, a young Catholic eyewitness who later became a schoolmaster, the monumental Latin original was never printed during the author’s life, and circulated only in manuscript format until the editio princeps of 1899/1900; the only previous translation was an unreliable German version written in 1771. This work contains a number of documents not otherwise available, and the author’s conceptions have had a profound influence on later interpretations of the lurid events surrounding one of the most unusual occurrences of the German Reformation. The extensive introduction and notes place the text in its historical context.
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Biographical Note

Christopher S. Mackay, Ph.D. (1994) in Classical Philology from Harvard University, is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classics of the University of Alberta. He has published a general introduction to Roman history ( Ancient Rome: a Military and Political History, Cambridge University Press, 2004) and a edition with translation of the early-modern handbook on witchcraft entitled the Malleus Maleficarum (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Note on the Text and Notes
General Introduction

Title Page
1. States are Overthrown by God because of their Sins
2. Beginnings of the City of Münster
3. Location of the City and Nature of the People
4. Fortifications of the City
5. Descriptions of the City’s Churches
6. Public and Private Places and Buildings of the City, its Amenities, and a Few of its Customs
7. Dual Jurisdiction in the City
8. Division of the City’s Inhabitants into Estates
9. Omens and Prodigies that Foretold Uproars in Westphalia and the Destruction of the City of Münster
The Events of 1524-1525
The Events of 1526
The Events of 1527
The Events of 1531
The Events of 1532
The Events of 1533
The Events of 1534
The Events of 1535
The Events of 1536
The Events of 1538-1553



Those who are interested in the history of the Reformation in general and of radical religious thought and Anabaptism in particular; in millenarianism; in early modern government and warfare in Germany; in Neo-Latin.


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