Copy and paste

Spent the second afternoon in a row in the library, in the reading room of the manuscript departement to be exact, under the roof where it’s noisy from the storm: By some architectural caprice the sounds of the gusts of wind are increased; the robust constructions of the rooflights want to fight against the wind, not smooth the flow. “They want light down there in the bunker, officer.” “Aw come on sapper, cut a hole in the concrete there and bolt over what you find!” Seriously there is nothing to lament or wail about, its the best place in the whole university, no Jurists or students of Business Administrations; strictly no portables, waterbottles or people who just put a book on the table and then vanish for hours in the cafeteria. Its the place for reading. And nothing else.
I research the history of a convent in a small village. The 19th century handbooks say that nothing is to be seen there because the monastery was destroyed, first in the peasents’ rebellion of 1525 and finally in a local nobility’s feud circa 40 years later. Interestingly the monastery’s income was used by the Fürstbischof to fund the university after 1580 – at least this is stated by an 18th century writer. I followed the trail of historians back through the 19th and into the 18th century to find only that they simply cited each other and nobody ever gave a source for it. In the end I came to Lorenz Fries (via Gropp and Spangenberg), but when I get him right, he only says that the buildings were destroyed by angry peasants in 1525 – and that’s it.
So I will have to go to the archives next. Somewhere files of the “Universitäts-Receptoratamt” must have survived. And if Julius really used all the money  for his new university,  some kind of files, accounts, bills, whatever, should have survived – in the archive of the church, the state or the university.


12 thoughts on “Copy and paste

  1. Thankless basteds … The Bauernkrieg (Eng., Ger.), as all major events, was the result of a combination of factors.
    Bad harvests lead to hunger, lead to depths. The peasants had no access to money or did not understand the “new economy”, what means nothing else but business by money – that is something “townish”, what traders do. By the way, the old nobility, the knightship (Ritterschaft) especially, also had strong problems with the new system and some knights fought on the peasant’s side.
    Generally the medieval society lived from the farmer’s work: Clerus, especially the high, but lower ranks too; nobility, knights; and the new, emerging, class, the burgers, did not produce, but took from the land.
    Farmers became unfree – the peasant of the high middle ages is a personal free man in the Reich, but his successor in the beginning of the 16th century has good chances to become unfree, “leib-eigen” (I’m unsure how to translate it properly, un-free, bond).
    The reformation plays a role, especially Luther’s not too dignified, well, position: He backed out after having supported the peasants first. He took the side of the ruling nobility.
    Finally the “new” law, Roman right that is, was incorporated and accepted. The old law, what was mostly not written, the old customs, slowly but steadily fell out, were seen as irregular. But the “low” hunting, “niedere Jagd”, and other rights were taken away from the peasants, from the villages, which lost more and more of their independence and autonomy.
    Throw it all together, stirr and mix, it was a hot summer.

    The peasants were terribly conservative. They wanted the old times back, they turned to the Emperor to re-install the old law. They made a declaration (12 Punkte) and started proceedings. With different authorities, which had no real interest in changing something. Part of the people became radical. Things went out of control.
    It was not an organized push to overthrow something, it was a last try to stop an un-understood development fueled by highest NOT – and I use the German word.
    They tried to capture the fortress here. Few survived. Afterwards there was silence until 1789.

  2. Dear Mago,

    Your researching sounds facinating.
    Hope that you get a new lead soon.
    It would seem that throughout History the poor old peasants have always been revolting…

    But without them where would we be?

  3. Princess
    Without them – an interesting question. Without farming. The world would be pretty empty I think. And silent. I have to think about that.

    Exactly. Just today I read another book, by an antiquarian payed by the Count of Henneberg, a nothern neighbour of The Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. The Franconian writers in a half-sentence mention some quarrel with the count regarding the monastery in question.
    The Hennbergian writer says that the Franconians took it by violence 1564, even invading Thuringia and devastating large parts of the land.
    So this counts already for the 16th century: History is what historians write.
    Wes’ Schnaps ich sauf’, des’ Lied ich gröhl’!

    Leni Q
    Squeeze you? 🙂 By the way, Eco himself has a cameo in the Name of the Rose as frater Humbertus de Bologna – Umberto Eco was (until 2007) professor of semiotics at the university of Bologna.

    *blush* Experience has it that this feeling will vanish fast. Sorry, I have nothing more sustainable.

    YES! Reading for the sake of reading! L’art pour l’art. And a Pour le merite for me. Pour it in a large glass please.

  4. That synopsis you did for XL (Hi, XL!) sounds vaguely familiar… Oh yeah, isn’t that pretty much what’s been happening here in America?

    That’s it, I’m off to demand panem et circenses.

  5. Fat Sparrow
    Burger and TV I’d say. What happened in America and over the world was the re-discovering of leverage – something seemingly every generation has to do again and again, see Galbraith about that writing about Financial Genius … greed seems to be undestroyable. I refuse to agree when economical models are funded on the inborn greed of man. But when I have to see the visage of Herrn Ackermann again I will need a bucket …

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