History of the Germans

Dirk Hoffmann-Becking

The podcast that does what it says on the tin: a narrative history of the German people that starts in the year 919 AD and hopes to get all the way to 1991. Episodes are 25-35 min long and drop on Thursday mornings. As Gregory of Tours (539-594) said: "A great many things keep happening, some good, some bad". HotGPod is now entering its 8th season. So far we have covered: Ottonian Emperors (# 1- 21) - Henry the Fowler (#1) - Otto I (#2-8) - Otto II (#9-11) - Otto II (#11-14) - Henry II (#15-17) - Germany in 1000 (#18-21) Salian Emperors(#22-42) - Konrad II (#22- 25) - Henry III (#26-29) - Henry IV/Canossa (#30-39) - Henry V (#40-42) - Concordat of Worms (#42) Early Hohenstaufen (#43-69) - Lothar III (#43-46) - Konrad III (#47-49) - Frederick Barbarossa (#50-69) Late Hohenstaufen (#70-94) - Henry VI (#70-72) - Philipp of Swabia (#73-74) - Otto IV (#74-75) - Frederick II (#75-90) - Epilogue (#91-94) Eastern Expansion (#95-108) The Hanseatic League (#109-127) The Teutonic Knights (#128-137) The Interregnum and the early Habsburgs (#138 ff - Rudolf von Habsburg (#139-141) - Adolf von Nassau (#142) - Albrecht von Habsburg (#143) - Heinrich VII (#144-148) read less
HistoryHistory
EducationEducation
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Season 8

Season 8 From the Interregnum to the Golden Bull (1250-1356): Catch-up Episode
Feb 29 2024
Season 8 From the Interregnum to the Golden Bull (1250-1356): Catch-up Episode
This episode is something I never thought I would do, it is a run through the history of the Holy Roman Empire from 919 AD to 1250, pretty much most of the periods I have covered so far.  Why do it? If  you’re one of those who have listened religiously to all 137 episodes so far and feel completely up to date with what happened in the past, this will not contain much news. However it has been a year since we last talked about the emperors and you may like a refresher about the Ottonians, Salians and Hohenstaufen. Just to get your bearings. Or if you have only recently joined the HotGPod family – welcome. These next 40 minutes or so should give you a solid rundown of “The story so far”.  And if you follow by reading the transcript on my website historyofthegermans.com, you can find links in the text that connect you to episodes that go deeper into the stories behind the short summaries you find here.Here is the link to the epsisode webpage: https://historyofthegermans.com/2024/02/29/hre-919-12150/The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 139 – The End of the Interregnum - The Election of Rudolf von Habsburg in 1273
Mar 7 2024
Ep. 139 – The End of the Interregnum - The Election of Rudolf von Habsburg in 1273
On October 1, 1273 seven princes elected a new king of the Romans. Their choice was a momentous one that set European history further down its path away from a universal empire to separate kingdoms and principalities. The pope had demanded that they come to a unanimous decision so that the empire could again participate in a crusade to stop the remains of the Kingdom of Jerusalem to be swept away for good. So why did  they chose a modest count from what is now Northern Switzerland called rudolf von Habsburg and not any of the kings, dukes and princes who had been vying for the job and who could count on support from Naples, Rome, Prague and Paris is what we will look into in this episode, the first of our new season “from the Interregnum to the Golden Bull – the Holy Roman empire 1250-1273.The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 140 – Rudolf von Habsburg and the Golden King Ottokar II of Bohemia
Mar 14 2024
Ep. 140 – Rudolf von Habsburg and the Golden King Ottokar II of Bohemia
This week we will look at what the poor count Rudolf of Habsburg does once he had been elected King of the Romans. This is not the first time the electors have chosen a man of much more modest means than themselves. William of Holland and Hermann von Salm had failed to leverage their elevated status into tangible gains. But Rudolf is different. Through a combination of charm, cunning and fecundity he managed to wrestle the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia from its current owner, the immeasurably rich and profoundly vain king Ottokar II of Bohemia. A story of political acumen, personal bravery and dishonourable tactics on the Marchfeld.The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 141 - Rudolf von Habsburg Semper Augustus - Allezeit Mehrer des Reiches
Mar 21 2024
Ep. 141 - Rudolf von Habsburg Semper Augustus - Allezeit Mehrer des Reiches
Martin Rady in his highly amusing and exceptionally well written book on the Habsburg said: “The remainder of Rudolf’s reign up to his death in 1291 was a failure. He did not manage to have himself crowned emperor by the pope and had to make do with the title of king…it was a false dawn, both for the Holy Roman empire and for the Habsburgs” I most humbly disagree. The 13 years following the battle of Durnkrut are some of the most transformative for the Empire and the fledgling concept of German and Germany. This episode will try to make the case for Rudolf I, founder of the house of Habsburg and one of the most impactful medieval rulers of the empire.The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 142 - Adolf von Nassau - A Shadow of a King
Mar 28 2024
Ep. 142 - Adolf von Nassau - A Shadow of a King
After the death of Rudolf von Habsburg the Prince Electors chose another, now truly impecunious count, Adolf von Nassau to be king. They chose him over Rudolf’s son Albrecht and over the overwhelmingly most powerful prince in the empire, King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. This cultured and competent man became known to German history as a Schattenkönig, a shadow of a king, unable to wiggle out of his ties to the overbearing Electors. Acting as mercenary in the pay of king Edward of England and failing to create his own Hausmacht in Thuringia, many history books skip over his six years on the throne.Nevertheless, the events of his election and deposition form another crossroads in the history of the German lands that set the Holy Roman empire further down the path to become neither Holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 143 – The Murder of a King - Albrecht I von Habsburg.
Apr 4 2024
Ep. 143 – The Murder of a King - Albrecht I von Habsburg.
The late 13th century was the sniper’s alley for many a powerful family. The disappearance of great dynasties, the Arpads of Hungary, the Premyslids of Bohemia, the Zaehringer, Babenbergs, the counts of Holland to name just a few wasn’t down to lack of fertility but down to violence. Murder became so common, even those who did not have swords sticking out of their chest were presumed poisoned. To save them, some were suspended from the ceiling to flush out harmful substances. Violence was not limited to temporal princes, even the pope was getting slapped down for declaring that every Christian ruler was subject to the Roman Pontiff. The fact that Albrecht I von Habsburg the new King of the Romans is murdered is therefore not the most interesting thing about him. What is astonishing is how far this man “with only one eye and a look that made you sick” got in his ambitions. Pressured from all sides, the Prince Electors, his own vassals in Austria, the Pope, the Bohemians, still he ploughed on, picking up principalities like others picking daisies. And a wrath of daisies is what did for him in the end…The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 144 - The Rise of the House of Luxembourg - The election of Emperor Henry VII
Apr 11 2024
Ep. 144 - The Rise of the House of Luxembourg - The election of Emperor Henry VII
On November 27th, 1308 the prince electors chose Henry VII, count of Luxemburg to be their new king of the Romans and future emperor. Little did they know that this decision will give rise to a dynasty that will rule the empire for as many decades as the Ottonian, the Salian and the Hohenstaufen had. A dynasty that featured such emblems of chivalric pride as the blind king John of Bohemia, builders of cities and empires like Charles IV and finally, in a faint mirror image of the height of medieval imperial power, an emperor who engineers the deposition of three popes and the appointment of a new one, whilst foreshadowing the wars of religion by murdering the reformer Jan Hus. Today’s episode explores the backstory of the house of Luxemburg who have been around since Carolingian times. They were the “Where is Wally“ of the rich tapestry of High Medieval History, always somewhere in the picture, but never really in the foreground. Two women feature highly, the empress Kunigunde, wife of emperor Henry II and Ermesinde, who successful ruled the county for 47 years. But the real step up came when Henry VII, barely 30 years old and running a county much diminished after the disastrous battle of Worringen became the only viable candidate to kingship. How that happened is what we will talk about in this episode..The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 145 - How to make Friends and Influence People – The Luxemburgs become Kings of Bohemia
Apr 18 2024
Ep. 145 - How to make Friends and Influence People – The Luxemburgs become Kings of Bohemia
Henry, the new king of the Romans, just 30 years of age, tall and blond, every inch his forebearer the great Charlemagne had a one track mind. There was one thing he wanted and that was the imperial crown. It is now 60 years since there last had been a crowned emperor. We had such an interregnum before, in the 10th century between the death of emperor Berengar of Friuli, yes, me neither, and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962. This, even shorter gap, had resulted in the transfers of the imperial honour from the Carolingians to the rulers of the German Lands. It was high time to go to Rome and be crowned emperor. Otherwise more people will ask as John of Salisbury had:  Who appointed the Germans to be judges over the peoples of the earth? Who gave these brutish, unruly people the arbitrary authority to elect a ruler over the heads of the people?But to get to Rome for a medieval imperial coronation requires more than just picking up a plane ticket. First our new Barbarossa needs to assert his position in the empire, gather followers for the journey and establish peace and justice. He needs to convince the pope to send an invitation and the king of France not to send an army to stop him. Most of all he needs to calm down the Empire sufficiently so that it does not fall into anarchy whilst he is away. And whilst he is busy making peace between the warring factions, convincing them that all he cares about is being semper Augustus, always augmenting the empire and reassuring everyone that he is not just enriching his family as his predecessors had done, that is when he walks away with the most valuable prize of them all, the kingdom of Bohemia.The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward Expansion
Ep. 146 – The Return of the King – Henry VII’s Journey to Rome
May 2 2024
Ep. 146 – The Return of the King – Henry VII’s Journey to Rome
In the winter of 1310 the emperor elect Henry VII not yet 40 years of age and every inch a king appears in Italy. An Italy torn apart by incessant violence, between and within the cities. Allegedly it is a struggle between the pro-imperial Ghibellines and the pro-papal Guelphs, but 60 years after the last emperor had set foot on Italian soil and seven years after the pope has left for Avignon, these designations have become just names without meaning, monikers hiding the naked ambitions of the powerful families.The poet Dante Aligheri projects the hopes of many desperate exiles on Henry when he prays that “we, who for so long have passed our nights in the desert, shall behold the gladness for which we have longed, for Titan shall arise pacific, and justice, which had languished without sunshine at the end of the winter's solstice, shall grow green once more”.A lot to get done for our Luxemburg count and his army of 5,000 men. Certainty of death, small chance of success, what are we waiting for?Here is the link to Syrom‘s article: https://generativeai.pub/knowledge-graph-extraction-visualization-with-local-llm-from-unstructured-text-a-history-example-94c63b366fedThe music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 148 - Imperial Swansong – the End of Henry VII’s Campaign in Italy
May 16 2024
Ep. 148 - Imperial Swansong – the End of Henry VII’s Campaign in Italy
The year is 1312 and Henry VII is finally embarking on his journey to Rome that will bring about the first imperial coronation in almost a century and hence the formal end to the Interregnum, the time without emperors. Becoming emperor is hard enough, but being emperor is even harder, as the first Luxemburger to ascend the throne of Charlemagne will find out. Hope for an end to the never ending civil wars in Italy lay buried under the rotting corpses before Brescia. Henry VII is no longer a unifying figure in Italy, just simply the leader of the Ghibelline faction. And as such he has to tackle the Guelphs led by the commune of Florence and king Robert of Naples. Doing that triggered a domino effect that not only left him dead but also reopened the ancient struggle between the pope and the emperor, now with a new “je ne sais quoi” mixed in. Sounds ominous – come along and find out..Here is the link to Dan and Spencer's excellent podcast I mentioned: Podcast | Not So Quiet On The Western Front! (battleguide.co.uk)The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 149 – The Real Ludwig of Bavaria
May 23 2024
Ep. 149 – The Real Ludwig of Bavaria
A few months after emperor Henry VII had died in the Tuscan village of Buonconvento and before a successor had been elected, a young man, Ludwig, second son of the duke of Upper Bavaria made his name defeating a much larger Habsburg force. This success could not have come at a more opportune time as it propelled him into contention for the title of King of the Romas and ultimately, emperor. His rule, constantly contested but lasting 33 years would become a major turning point in German, if not European history as it triggered the modern notion of the separation of church and state. I know that I cannot always maintain a completely unbiased position in this podcast, but I rarely succumb to my personal bugbears. But this time I will have to expose you to one of my biggest, and that is the weird romanticization of Ludwig II of Bavaria, the mentally ill recluse who built the three kitsch palaces of Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof in the deluded hope of resurrecting an absolutist regime in a kingdom he had sold to Prussia. Don’t get me wrong. The three palaces are worth visiting, if not for their somewhat morbid charm, but what irritates me is that this politically and artistically inconsequential monarch overshadows the more interesting, more complex and more consequential Bavarian rulers, chief amongst them his namesake, Ludwig IV the Bavarian. Let’s see whether HotGPod cannot right this misconception…..The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic Knights
Ep. 150 – The Last Chivalric Battles – Morgarten and Mühldorf
May 30 2024
Ep. 150 – The Last Chivalric Battles – Morgarten and Mühldorf
The 14th century is a time of fundamental change in practically all areas of social, political and economic life. It is a time when the certainties of the Middle Ages are replaced by a process of trial and error, sometimes successful, but almost always violent. We see new frameworks of how society and in particular the religious authorities should operate, how political power should be distributed and how economic growth could be preserved at a time when the climatic benefits of the medieval warming period has come to an end. Ah, and then there was the Black Death.In this episode we will talk about the political dimension of this change. First how the conflict between the three dominating houses, the Habsburgs, the Wittelsbachs and the Luxemburg pans out, though whilst the mighty lords believe it is all about marriage alliances and knights dominating the battlefield, the ground on which their mighty warhorses are galloping is shifting….The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 151 – The Kurverein zu Rhens – featuring William of Ockham
Jun 6 2024
Ep. 151 – The Kurverein zu Rhens – featuring William of Ockham
This week we look at the central intellectual debate of the 14th century, did Jesus own property? If yes, then it was right and proper that the church owned land, privileges, entire counties and duchies, yes that the pope was not just the spiritual but also the secular ruler of all of Christianity. And if not, then the pope as a successor to the apostles should rescind all worldly possessions and all political power. The follow-on question from there was even more hair raising: if indeed power does not come from the grace of god as determined by the Holy church, then where does it come from. One thinker, Marsilius of Padua goes as far as  stating the obvious, power comes from election by the people…This is what pope John XXII, Michael of Cesena, William of Ockham and the cast of Umberto Eco’s the Name of  the Rose discuss. But there was also a politician, Ludwig IV, elected emperor who took these ideas – and put them into actions….let’s find out just how radical this ruler they call “the Bavarian” really was.The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep.152 - The (not so) Ugly Duchess Margarete Maultasch
4d ago
Ep.152 - The (not so) Ugly Duchess Margarete Maultasch
“The twelve-year-old Margarete, Princess of Carinthia and Tyrol, was travelling from her seat near Meran to Innsbruck for her wedding with the ten-year old Prince Johann of Bohemia. [..]Still and serious she sat, in ceremonial pomp. Her bodice was so tight that she had had to be laced into it; her sleeves of heavy green satin, in the very extreme of fashion, fell to her feet ; she wore one of the new jeweled hair-nets which an express courier had had to bring from Flanders, where they had recently appeared. A heavy necklace sparkled on her bosom, and large rings on her fingers. So she sat, serious and perspiring, weighed down with magnificence, between the peevish, grumbling women. She looked older than her twelve years. Her thick-set body with its short limbs supported a massive misshapen head. The forehead, indeed, was clear and candid, the eyes quick and shrewd, penetrating and sagacious ; but below the small flat nose an ape-like mouth thrust forward its enormous jaws and pendulous underlip. Her copper colored hair was coarse, wiry and dull, her skin patchy and of a dull greyish pallor.”That is how the author Lion Feuchtwanger described Margarete, the countess of Tirol who is better known as Margarete Maultasch, the ugly duchess. This historic novel that became a huge bestseller in the 1920s describes how a bright and ambitious, but monstrously ugly woman is crushed by society’s habit to judge the inside of a person by its appearance. I still have a copy of this book from the 1980s when I first read it, and on its cover is the same image I used for this episode’s artwork. The picture was painted by Quentin Matsys in 1513 and according to the National Gallery’s catalogue is called a Grotesque Old Woman. It is not a portrait of Margarete Maultasch who had died 150 years earlier. The identification of the sitter as Margarete Maultasch goes back the idea of a postcard seller in Meran in the 1920s. Matsys picture also made its way into the depiction of the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland. But it is all hokum. Chroniclers who knew Margarete personally, like Johann von Viktring either do not mention her appearance at all, or call her beautiful, if not extremely beautiful. So, as much as I love Lion Feuchtwanger’s novel, which btw. is available in an English translation, its premise is simply false. The truth is much more interesting. Her actions to defend her inherited county of Tyrol were the changes that tilted the complex equilibrium between the Habsburgs, the Wittelsbachs and the House of Luxemburg out of kilter with unpredictable, violent results. So, let’s find out why and how and what…The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon:

Season 7

Season 7 The Teutonic Knights:  Ep. 128 - A Chivalric Order
Nov 30 2023
Season 7 The Teutonic Knights: Ep. 128 - A Chivalric Order
Hello and welcome to a new season of the History of the Germans, the Teutonic Knights or to give them their full title, the knights of the hospital of St. Mary of the House of the Germans in Jerusalem. Even though the state they had created in Prussia has been wiped off the map with all its cultural markers, the Teutonic Knights are not forgotten. Less shrouded in nonsense than the Templars, less devoted to social causes than the Knights of St. John  they still loom large not just in German history but even more so in Polish and Russian history. Both of these nations have placed victories over the Teutonic Knights at key junctions of their national narrative. But were the Teutonic knights these near invincible, cruel faceless war machines that Sergei Eisenstein had charging over the ice to the sound of Prokofiev brilliant score? That is what we will try to find out over the next few episodes. Expect your fair share of heroic battles, chivalric entertainment all intermingled with twisted theology and astute commercial activity. I hope you will enjoy it.Episode website with transcript is hereThe music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356Here is the link to the article by Cory Doctorow:...
Ep. 129 - Hermann von Salza - Diplomat and Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
Dec 7 2023
Ep. 129 - Hermann von Salza - Diplomat and Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
“.. the far-sighted planning of Grand Master Brother Hermann von Salza had so strengthened the Teutonic Order that it had many members and such power, riches and honour that word of its fame and good reputation had spread the length and breadth of the empire.” So describes the chronicler Nicolaus von Jeroschin the role of the fourth and arguably most influential of the grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights. His role in promoting and expanding the order is hard to exaggerate. Without his skill and energy, the Teutonic Knights would have ended up like the Order of the Knights of St. Thomas. Have you have never heard of the Knights of St. Thomas, a English chivalric military order founded as a field hospital during the siege of the city of Acre in 1191? Well, that is the difference one man can make, at least very occasionally.Episode website with transcript is hereThe music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 130 – The Conquest of Prussia (Part I) - from Konrad of Masovia's offer to the first Prussian revolts
Dec 14 2023
Ep. 130 – The Conquest of Prussia (Part I) - from Konrad of Masovia's offer to the first Prussian revolts
Last week we heard about Konrad of Masovia’s offer of the Kulmer Land to the Teutonic knight. This week we will talk about what they did once they had accepted the offer. The first knights arrived in 1226 but it would take almost 6o years before their new principality of Prussia was fully established. The Prussians, despite initially being lightly armed and disunited were no pushover. Rarely successful in open battle they disappeared into the dense forest or swampy marches before they could be routed. Again and again they rose up, reclaiming their freedom and again and again did the Teutonic Knights and the German and Polish crusaders pushed them back into submission. Do not worry, this will not be an endless litany of battles and raids, but we will look at the relative military strength, the political structure they established and as you would expect, the economic underpinnings of the effort.....Episode Website with transcript, maps and lots more: EPISODE 130 – The Conquest of Prussia (Part I) • History of the Germans PodcastFor Book recommendations, go here: Book Recommendations • History of the Germans PodcastThe translation of Nicolaus of Jeroschin is here: Jeroschin N. The Chronicle of Prussia (2016), OCR.pdfThe music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward Expansion
Ep. 131 – The Conquest of Prussia (Part II) - The second, third and n-th Prussian uprising
Dec 21 2023
Ep. 131 – The Conquest of Prussia (Part II) - The second, third and n-th Prussian uprising
Last week we left the action after the Teutonic Knights had signed the peace of Christburg in 1249 to put an end to the first Prussian revolt. The local population had risen up with the help of duke Swantopolk of Pomerelia who feared for the commercial success of his main city, the city of Danzig/Gdansk. After 7 years of war and devastation the pope had forced both sides to the negotiating table and made them sign a peace agreement intended to be a long term settlement. It constrained the Teutonic Order and gave the converted Prussians civil rights on par with the settlers who had come from the German lands. Things should therefore be calm and peaceful from here – well they weren’t. The fighting continued as the order expanded further north and inland and soon the Prussians and Pomerelains rose up again, and again…The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward ExpansionThe Hanseatic LeagueThe Teutonic KnightsThe Holy Roman Empire 1250-1356
Ep. 132 – The Battle on the Ice - Alexander Nevsky, Sergei Eisenstein and what really happened
Jan 1 2024
Ep. 132 – The Battle on the Ice - Alexander Nevsky, Sergei Eisenstein and what really happened
This week we look at the activities of the Teutonic order in Livonia during the 13th century. The situation in Livonia was profoundly different to Prussia and posed a number of new challenges for the brothers. In Livonia there were the powerful bishops of Riga to contend with who had led the crusade there since its inception in the 1180s. The Hanse merchants who have settled in Riga, Reval and Dorpat are no pushovers. Like in Prussia, the Lithuanians are a formidable force able to inflict painful defeats on the brothers as are some of the Baltic peoples who didn’t enjoy conversion at swordpoint as much as the planners back in Bremen, Marburg and Acre had hoped. And let’s not forget some new neighbors, the Danes in Northern Estonia and the great republic of Novgorod. In 1240 a great effort gets under way to forcibly convert the orthodox Rus’ian states, including Novgorod that are already under pressure from the Mongols. In their distress the boyars of Novgorod make the second son of the grand duke of Vladimir becomes their military leader, a man we know as Alexander Nevsky. On April 5, 1242 Alexander Nevsky and his men stand on the shore of Lake Peipus staring at a squadron of heavily armored cavalry thundering across the ice towards them… Whilst the riders almost certainly weren’t accompanied by Prokofief’s amazing soundtrack, they may have brought an organ, but that, like everything else about the Battle on the Ice is subject to intense debate, a debate we will examine in this episode.Epsiode website: Episode 132– The Battle on the Ice • History of the Germans PodcastThe music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.As always:Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.comFacebook: @HOTGPod Twitter: @germanshistoryInstagram: history_of_the_germansReddit: u/historyofthegermansPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofthegermansTo make it easier for you to share the podcast, I have created separate playlists for some of the seasons that are set up as individual podcasts. they have the exact same episodes as in the History of the Germans, but they may be a helpful device for those who want to concentrate on only one season. So far I have:The Ottonians Salian Emperors and Investiture ControversyFredrick Barbarossa and Early HohenstaufenFrederick II Stupor MundiSaxony and Eastward Expansion