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Caritas Pirckheimer: A Journal of the Reformation Years, 1524-1528

Caritas Pirckheimer: A Journal of the Reformation Years, 1524-1528

Translated from the German with Introduction, Notes and Interpretive Essay Paul A. MacKenzie
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Caritas Pirckheimer: A Journal of the Reformation Years, 1524-1528
    Book Description:

    Considered by Erasmus to be one of the most learned women in Germany, Caritas Pirckheimer was also termed the German Sappho by Celtis, the Poet Laureate of Germany. Caritas had been tutored in Latin, became acquainted with Albrecht Dürer, and read the newly-discovered works of Hrotswitha von Gandersheim. She is best known for her Journal of the Reformation, which she compiled while abbess of the convent of St. Clare's as an historical record of her conflict with the Nürnberg City Council. Consisting of commentaries and letters written by her and to her in 69 chapters, the Journal also represents a defence of her convent and of her Roman Catholic faith during the advent of Lutheranism, when the City Council attempted to pressure her convent into accepting religious reforms and her nuns to renounce their vows and leave the convent. It records a unique moment in western European religious history and in her own life. Most importantly, in the history of early modern literature by women, it stands as a defence of equal rights and the individual's right to choose.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-452-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Jane Chance and Christine MacKenzie
  4. Introduction: The Life and Times of Caritas Pirckheimer of Nürnberg
    (pp. 1-9)

    When Caritas Pirckheimer, abbess of the Nürnberg cloister of St. Clare’s, died in 1532, her obituary in the cloister’sTotenbüchleinincluded the simple words “a mirror of all piety and learning and a lover of all virtues.”¹ The unique role that she played in defending her cloister and her faith during the period when the Reformation was formally accepted by the City Council of Nürnberg in 1525, however, remained largely unappreciated and unknown until the Bamberg archivist Constantin Höfler first published the manuscript of her personal account of that time in 1852, giving it the curious title ofDenkwürdig keiten...

  5. A note about the original manuscripts
    (pp. 10-10)
  6. Text: A Journal of the Reformation Years 1524–1528
    (pp. 11-172)
    Caritas Pirckheimer

    What follows are descriptions of some of the things that happened to our cloister here at Saint Clare’s in Nürnberg in those dangerous, rebellious times, along with some letters written at the same time.¹

    We all know that for a very long time it has been prophesied that in the year of our Lord 1524 a great deluge² is to occur by which everything on earth will be twisted and changed. And, although this has generally been understood as a flood, experience has taught us that the stars did not indicate water as much as misery, fear and distress, and...

  7. Interpretive Essay: The Rebellion of the Abbess of St. Clare’s
    (pp. 173-180)

    The advent of the year 2000 was cause for celebration in the Franconian city of Nürnberg. The first documented mention of the city had occurred 950 years earlier on 16 July 1050, when Kaiser Heinrich III granted personal freedom to a young female surf by the name of Sigena. Thus, the history of the city was forever linked to the concept of personal freedom in general, and to that of the woman who symbolized that freedom in particular.

    On the eve of the Reformation, Tetzel was promoting the sale of indulgences, a practice that had long been an acceptable activity....

  8. Annotated Bibliography
    (pp. 181-186)
  9. Index
    (pp. 187-190)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 191-193)