Martin Luther’s Bible Translation

In my last post on Really Old German from the book Sternstunden I remarked in closing that the chapter on Martin Luther shouldn’t bring any big surprises. Turns out I was wrong. I expected some excerpts from his famous translation of the New Testament but instead this chapter contains Luther’s comments on his translation, cited … Continue reading “Martin Luther’s Bible Translation”

Really Old German

If you’re interested highlights of historical German literature there is one very excellent book,“Sternstunden: Große Texte deutscher Sprache,” by Josef Kraus and Walter Krämer, IFB Verlag Deutsche Sprache GmbH, ISBN 978-3-942409-74-2. Most of it covers relatively modern German texts but the most interesting parts, as far as I am concerned, are the two most ancient … Continue reading “Really Old German”

The Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire: A Thousand Years of Europe’s History by Peter H. Wilson (Penguin Books 2017, ISBN 978-0-141-04747-8) is an astonishing thousand-page tome of which about 300 pages are devoted to maps, color plates, family trees, chronology, glossary, and an enormous index. I’m not aware of anyone doubting the thoroughness or scholarly quality of … Continue reading “The Holy Roman Empire”

Samurai Helmets

Munich’s Kunsthalle is currently showing selected pieces from Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller’s Samurai Collection in Dallas, Texas. The selection includes armor and weapons as well as household items, but I was most impressed by the numerous helmets. Their design is often unique and highly elaborate, much more so than in medieval Europe. So here is … Continue reading “Samurai Helmets”

Forgotten Baroque Music

Europe’s era of baroque music (ca. 1600–1750) comprises most of the oldest historical compositions still widely played today, with some notable exceptions such as medieval church chorals and renaissance lutists. Everyone at all interested in the subject knows the baroque grandmasters: Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672), Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713), Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), Georg Philipp … Continue reading “Forgotten Baroque Music”

Augsburg Impressions

Augsburg (more information in German) is among the German cities with the oldest documented history of continuous settlement. Orginally founded in 15 AD as a Roman army camp, it developed into a provincial capital called Aelia Augusta and later Augusta Vindelic[or]um. The town appears to have remained fully populated throughout the later transition from Roman … Continue reading “Augsburg Impressions”

Some Windows Histories

For some reason, this year everyone decided to publish extensive articles on the history of Microsoft Windows and related technologies. Reading all of them will probably take you a month but they are quite informative, so I wanted to collect them here in case you missed some or all of them. Doing Windows at the … Continue reading “Some Windows Histories”

Schloss Nymphenburg

Schloss Nymphenburg (more details) is a vast Wittelsbach palace and park complex in Munich. Completed in 1675, the palace was originally situated some distance from the city but today is wholly engulfed by it. I always wanted to post a gallery of it, and since I somewhat botched my first gallery with the Sony DSC-HX90 … Continue reading “Schloss Nymphenburg”

Aying: Beer & Architecture

If extinct Prussia was an army that had a state, Aying is the Bavarian equivalent: a brewery that has a village. In ascending order of importance, Aying refers to a spacious municipality to the southeast of Munich, with a total population of 5200 resulting in a density that rivals Antarctica; next, the chief village of … Continue reading “Aying: Beer & Architecture”

Andechs Abbey

The hill overlooking the small Bavarian municipality of Andechs originally held a medieval castle, razed in 1208. By that time, however, several relics had already been transferred to the site, making it a popular pilgrimage location. Consequently Duke Albert III of Bavaria turned the site into a Benedictine monastery in 1455, raised to the status … Continue reading “Andechs Abbey”