Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen by Richard Wunderli

By Richard Wunderli

"... energetic and intellectually stimulating... " —Speculum

"Wunderli... has lucidly reconstructed a arguable clash in 15th-century south-central Germany.... this attractive narrative takes to the air from Hans Behem—the peasant who claimed to determine the Virgin and won fans till overwhelmed through the confirmed church—to discover better forces at paintings in Germany at the eve of the Reformation... Wunderli additionally makes an attempt to deal with the violent clash that ensued and Hans's next trial. His scrupulousness and sensitivity make for a small yet useful book." —Publishers Weekly

"Fascinating and good written, this is often hugely steered for tutorial and bigger public libraries." —Library Journal

"Richard Wunderli... deftly tells the tale in Peasant Fires, discovering in it a foreshadowing of peasant uprisings within the sixteenth century." —New York instances publication Review

"... a stimulating read... an attractive synthesis." —Central eu History

In 1476, an illiterate German highway musician had a imaginative and prescient of the Virgin Mary and commenced to evangelise a thorough social message that attracted hundreds of thousands of followers—and antagonized the church. The drummer was once burned on the stake. This quickly relocating narrative of his upward push and fall paints a brilliant portrait of 15th-century German society because it increases very important questions on the craft of history.

"A gem of a book.... It has a plot, sturdy men and undesirable buys, it opens up a 'strange' international, and it truly is incredibly good written." —Thomas W. Robisheaux

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Additional resources for Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

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Capistrano is especially important to my story of Hans Behem, because at least one chronicler was struck by the resemblance of Hans' preaching to Capistrano's. When John Capistrano left his native Italy in 1451, he crossed the Alps to preach against the remnants of the H ussite heresy throughout Germany and central Europe. He was a fiery old man, sixty-five years old, austerely ascetic as was expected of one of the leaders of the observant Franciscans, and aggressively virtuous. A chronicler from Niirnberg remembered him as tt a small man .

But medieval Europe was largely poverly-stricken anyway. Thus, the cult of Poverty, as it was taught in sermons beyond the cloister, had great community value: it justified the poor in their labor and want, that is, it lifted from the poor (theoretically, at least) the stigma of their poverty. It also encouraged the giving of alms from the rich to the poor, as a way of lifting from the rich the curse of their prosperity. 17 It was thus in part for the rich, the French historian Jacques Ie Goff has argued, that purgatory as a place for punishment of sin was invented at the end of the twelfth century.

The scribe swung his inkpot, cracking people on the head. Lawyers flung their bills about and bounced off each other. And the stepmother's bum gave many a fart, pppflfffttt, perfuming all the mirth. 7' only if the judge promised to set him free and do him no harm and not allow his stepmother or Friar Tobias to do him wrong. The judge immediately promised to protect him from all his foes. Hansel stopped piping. All stood still, exhausted, some laughing with tears in their eyes, some raging as if they were mad.

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