Abstracts OH 18 (2017), No. 2

Anton Schindling

  • Luther and Freedom – Religious Freedom and Religious Tolerance in the Age of Reformation

The essay deals with important and so-far relatively often discussed question of what Martin Luther meant by the term of “freedom”. This was indeed highlighted in his treatise “On the freedom of a Christian”, which belonged to his masterpieces, but careful reading leads to conclusion that the term was at this text associated rather with theology and spiritual life while the reformer strictly rejected its social and political potentialities. This was fully expressed during the German Peasants’ War when its initiators conjectured some of Luther’s theses in socio-political context and requested a total change of society. Martin Luther however condemned their views in several texts and supported the formation of land churches and rule of some imperial princes which was incidentally beneficial to him and all the reformation movement. In the confessionally divided Holy Roman Empire remained the highest freedom in its broad terms the possibility to move together with personal property.

Key words:

Martin Luther; term of freedom; German Peasants’ War; land church;Peace of Augsburg; religious tolerance in 16th century


Kateřina Pražáková

  • Conflicts between Lutheran and Catholic imperial princes in the news for Bohemian noblemen (1542-1545)

The study analyzes three unique news sources which informed Bohemian noblemen about the complex confessional and political situation in the Holy Roman Empire between years 1542-1546. The first of these is represented by a hand-written pamphlet from 1542 or 1543 whose author strived to render the situation to significant imperial princes, dukes and bishops with help of biblical quotations. The writer took the side of Lutherans to whom he predicted success, whereas the leaders of Catholic fractions were threatened and sneered upon. The second important source is represented by a comprehensive hand-written newspaper describing an attempt of Henry II, duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel to reconquer his lost domain. The reporter, who took part in fights on the side of Murice of Saxony, depicted all affairs from the first clashes until the capture of Henry II, duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and dissolution of his defeated army after the battle of Bockelom on 21st October 1545. The third source is a satirical pamphlet sharply attacking Henry II, duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Although this text had been written probably before the capture of the Duke in 1545, it was obviously delivered to Bohemia as an attachement  to the above mentioned hand-written newspaper.

Key words:

Rosenberg news service; pamphlet in 16th century; hand-written newspaper; Schmalcaldic League; Henry II, duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel


Lenka Veselá

  • Reception of Luther’s books in Bohemian and Austrian libraries of nobility during Early Modern Age (1550-1620)

The study deals with the reception of Luther’s writings in five library collections from Bohemia, Moravia and Austria different in its type as well as size dated to the turn of 16th and 17th Centuries: owned by Adam of Dietrichstein, Hieronymus Beck of Leopoldsdorf, Petr Vok of Rosenberg, Ferdinand II of Tyrol and Ferdinand Hoffmann of Grünbüchl. Within the context of analyzing the presence of Luther’s works in these libraries, the author notices that the research of such topic requires not only studying the personality of a particular owner (or owners), his or her education, interests or confessional orientation; but also the “innate history” of the family library and its functioning in the context of a concrete noble court. Therefore the definite conclusions about the reception of particular works can be formulated mostly in cases of those libraries which were of selective structure. Considerable limits concerning the researches of book reception in Pre-White-Mountain period libraries of nobility are related not only to general questions of readership in the nobility milieu, but also to narrow source bases offered there. However, it is obvious that the absence of Luther’s works in some of the mentioned libraries could stand for ignoring a specific segment of literature due to religious reasons (e.g. by Adam of Dietrichstein), or just a coincidental event or lack of interest as it was probably in the case of the court of Ferdinand II of Tyrol. 

On the contrary, a specific way of reception of Luther’s works at the court of Hieronymus Beck confirms a unique intellectual character of his library within the Central-European area. By analyzing large and universally generated collections, such as the Rosenberg’s and Hoffmann’s libraries, it was possible to gain only very general findings covering for example the thematic ordering of the Luther’s works there.

Key Words:

Libraries of nobility; Bohemian and Austrian lands; work of Martin Luther; Early Modern Age


Václav Bůžek

  • Ungnads of Sonneck – Lutheran nobility in Habsburg monarchy around the half of 16th Century

In the 1530s there were coming German-speaking followers of Lutheran reformation from Austrian lands to the South of the Kingdom of Bohemia whose life careers have not been paid attention by researchers. Also the Ungnads of Sonneck, who came from Styria and Carinthia to settle down in the South of the land before the half of the 1530s, professed to the Lutheran confession. In 1534 Ondřej Ungnad of Sonneck gained the manor of Frauenberg which was given to him from Jan of Pernštein into lien possession. In the same year Ondřej Ungnad of Sonneck married Bohunka of Pernštejn who was a daughter of Jan of Pernštejn’s youger brother Vojtěch. There were born four children of their marriage – sons Adam and David and daughters Mariana and Anna Marie. Ondřej Ungnad of Sonneck became one of significant patrons of moralistic and religious literature in the Kingdom of Bohemia during the 1530s till 1550s. At the instance of him there were translated texts by Anton Corvinus, Johann Brenz, Johann Spangenberg, Filip Melanchton and other reformers into the Czech language.

The way of the new lien owner of Frauenberg towards Lutheranism was opened to him probably by his older brother Hans Ungnad of Sonneck who in spite of spreading of reformation ideas had taken up the office of land commissioner in Styria in year 1530. Because of theological disputes with Lutheran theologists he left to Urach in 1557 where he settled down under the protection of Christoph, Duke of Württemberg who belonged to most important supporters of reformation in the Holy Roman Empire in the half of 16th Century. Hans Ungnad of Sonneck together with a Slovenian reformer Primož Truber prompted translations of the Luther’s Bible into Croatian, Italian and Slovenian languages as well as its printing and distribution in Urach.

The life of Ondřej of Ungnad of Sonneck’s sons used to be left without any attention. There has been partially researched only the career of his younger son David who studied by Filip Melanchton in Wittenberg and became famous as a diplomat and military commander in services of the Habsburgs.  Some closer events of the short life of his elder son Adam were noted by Bohemian warrior Pavel Korka of Korkyně in his memoirs. These two noblemen could have met each other during chivalric tournaments at the court of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol. Their mutual relationship was deepened after the death of his father when Adam Ungnad of Sonneck became the lien owner of Frauenberg. The possession of this manor had also been steadily attempted by Jáchym of Hradec, the chief chancellor of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

At the beginning of February 1561, Adam Ungnad of Sonneck was taken off the lien possession of Hluboká manor. A year later there was written a record in the Land tables according to which Ferdinand I of Habsburg granted the manor of Frauenberg to Jáchym of Hradec for the redemption of his financial claims into Jáchym’s hereditary possession. Some of related court meetings concerning the withdrawal of the right of lien to the manor of Frauenberg were attended by Adam Ungnad of Sonneck and Pavel Korka of Korkyně who temporarily worked in Sonneck’s services. He was very likely involved also in his marriage with Elizabeth Thurzo of Bethlenfalva, a widow after Jaroslav of Pernštejn, which took place probably on 2nd November 1561 in Freistadt an der Waag, where the bride was seated.

Allegorical wedding celebrations of Adam Ungnad of Sonneck marriage with Elizabeth Thurzo of Bethlenfalva were reflected in a Latin poem by an unknown humanistic author. Its verses praised graceful qualities of both the spouses through simple ancient and biblical motives and there was also reminded the Christian mission of their mutual life in marriage. The poet introduced the basis of Lutheran view of the God’s created bond between a man and woman which was theologically in accordance with the religious attitudes of Adam Ungnad of Sonneck. Also Elizabeth Thurzo of Bethlenfalva had been raised in Lutheran belief because her father belonged to the early followers of reformation in the Kingdom of Hungary. After the death of Adam Ungnad of Sonneck the widowed woman got married for the third time with Julius I of Salm in year 1565.

Although Ferdinand I of Habsburg was supporting transnational wedding alliances of Catholic aristocratic men and women, the marriage of Adam Ungnad of Sonneck and Elizabeth Thurzo of Bethlenfalva proved that there were without Ferdinand’s influence realized also transnational weddings of noble spouses who confessed Lutheranism in the Central-European monarchy around the half of the 16th century. The merits of such newly formed broader relationships contributed to social development because there were aroused mutual travels, cultural exchange in the Danubian area and also language education of the noble persons. These transnational relationships of aristocratic families contributed last but not least also to developing awareness of commonly shared life space in the Danubian Monarchy with its rising power center at the royal court. There were more and more common the meetings of mutually related aristocrats from different countries of the Habsburg composite state who appeared there in duty of administrative or court services without any regards to their confession.

Key words:

Habsburg monarchy; 16th century; Lutheranism spread; nobility; transnational wedding alliances


Josef Hrdlička

  • Nobility and Reformation. Moravian Estates of Lords of Boskovice in the second half of 16th Century

The study researches the role of nobility in encountering and spreading ideas of German Reformation in Bohemian lands. It deals with its conditions in Moravian estates of the Lords of Boskovice in details in the second half of 16th Century. The Lords of Boskovice sympathized with thoughts of the German Reformation and supported it on their manors and that was among others reflected in their efforts to constitute higher levels of Lutheran administration there. The support of the German Reformation by the seigniorial authorities was successful because the parish administration of all significant towns owned by the Lords of Boskovice was Lutheran after the half of 16th Century. However, this did not mean that all their subjects tended to the German Reformation. There were living also Utraquists and minorities of Catholics and also confessors of some radical reformation movements – especially the Anabaptists. The Lords of Boskovice tolerated their various confessions and did not authoritatively intervene in their mutual coexistence.

Key words:

Bohemian lands; Early Modern Age; Reformation; nobility; confessionalization


Tomáš Černušák

  • Lutheranism in Bohemia and its (non-)reflection by papal nuncios at imperial court

The reflections of Lutheranism in Bohemian lands by papal diplomats embody considerable variations in the light of their correspondence. The nuncios were concerned with the Bohemian Lutheranism only marginally in the 1530s as it resulted from the relative newness of this phenomenon. We encounter a significantly different situation researching the reports of nuncios dated to the last quarter of 16th Century and the beginning of 17th Century though. An important reflection of Lutheranism in Bohemian lands can be found in the correspondence of Giovanni Delfino from year 1575 who perceived his struggle against religious requirements of Bohemian estates as an obvious fight against the Augsburg confession. Lutheranism as an established confessional movement is further apparent also in despatches of his successors. In the turn of 16th and 17th Centuries, there was emphasized also the aspect of taking advantage of inner disagreements among the Lutherans and Calvinists in order to overall weakening of Protestantism in Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire as well.

Key words:

Nuncios; Papacy; Bohemian lands; Lutheranism


Martin Holý

  • Educational patronage and Lutheran school system in the Bohemian Lands in 16th and early 17th Centuries

The study deals with various forms of educational patronage related to Lutheran school system in Bohemia and Moravia during the Pre-White-Mountain period on the basis of analyzing official and literary sources. It observes especially two most common forms of the mentioned patronage – namely foundations and further supports of the schools itself and then also the subventions oriented to its students and possible graduates. In addition to defining the term of educational patronage in the introduction, the paper drafts a brief development of Lutheran municipal schools in Bohemian Lands (particularly in towns with majorities of German-speaking population). Then it focuses on several educational institutions of a specific character which were founded thanks to financial support of private sources such as among others Lutheran oriented grammar schools in Velké Meziříčí or at Saint Salvator in the Old Town of Prague. The study foundations are introduced mostly by the examples of towns Cheb and Jihlava. In the conclusion, the author summarizes his most important results concerning moreover the functions of researched educational patronage and refers to its other forms (donations of books or complete libraries to schooling institutions, etc.).  

Key words:

Educational patronage; School system; Lutheranism; Bohemian Lands; Early Modern Age