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Symbolics of a banner of T. Myuntser

 © 2005 Yu. Magakov


The events of spring of 1525 in Thuringia closely connected with a name of Thomas Myuntser in a domestic historiography of the 20th century were considered as "culmination of all Peasant war" in Germany. Sources of this tradition go back to F. Engels's work, classical for Marxist historical science, "Peasant war in Germany" written in 1850 in connection with defeat of the German revolution of 1848 - 1849 in a genre of the historical and publicistic essay. Creation by F. Engels in this work of an image of T. Myuntser as "the most majestic... figures" Peasant war [1, page 356] was caused by a possibility of interpretation of his religious and social beliefs as gleams of "the communistic ideas" [1, page 364]. And if, by F. Engels's definition, the religious philosophy of Myuntse-r approached atheism, and its political program was close to communism, then in practical activities of the leader of country and plebeian revolutionary party of the first quarter of the 16th century to one of leaders of revolutionary working class of the middle of the 19th century the ingenious anticipation of the conditions of release which were hardly beginning to develop then seemed "... proletarian elements" [1, page 371].

As one of founders of materialistic understanding of history, the militant atheist and the anti-clerical F. Engels proceeded from idea that "at the time of so-called religious wars of the XVI century it was talked first of all of very material class interests;... If this class fight proceeded then under the sign of religion if interests, needs and requirements of separate classes disappeared under a religious cover, then it... easily is explained by time conditions" [1, page 360]. F. Engels considered that teo-logo-philosophical doctrines of T. Myuntser "were directed against all main doctrines not only Catholicism, but also Christianity in general. In a Christian form he preached pantheism... in places, adjoining even to atheism" [1, page 370]. In this regard in Engels's description the young doctor of divinity possessing deep knowledge of theology and the chaplain of convent in Hull T. Myuntser at the very beginning of the independent activity "shows already the greatest contempt for church doctrines and ceremonies" [1, page 368-369], and further "preached the views. covering them with .hristiansky phraseology" [1, page 371]. Through imbued with religious mysticism, overflowed with straight lines and the mediated references to the Scripture, as well as bible images, works by Myuntser in perception Engels were not what other as soon as the address to the believing people "on only then language of a religious prophecy clear to masses" while among devoted Myuntser, allegedly, "could, openly speak about the final aspirations" [1, page 375] and, probably, on absolutely other

language. According to Engels, the revolutionary Myuntser who outstripped the time could not but feel "the deep abyss separating his theories from the reality which was directly surrounding it, an abyss which that could remain it unnoticed less than his ingenious views in the undeveloped heads of mass of his adherents were distorted more" [1, page 424]. And therefore on the eve of the decisive events of spring of 1525 in Thuringia quite consciously Myuntser ".ves turned into the prophet of revolution; he constantly incites hatred to ruling classes, awakens the most rough passions, uses only those mighty turns of speech which religious and national ecstasy put in lips of antiquated prophets. The style which it had to develop for itself(himself) now clearly shows the level of development of that audience which it was designed to influence" [1, page 424].

Thus, according to Engels, the religious form for Myuntser mattered the "theological packing", no more than habitual for mass perception, intended for giving to its qualitatively new ideological product of "consumer properties", standard for the first quarter of the 16th century. And if it so, then it is necessary to recognize that, judging by the volume of religious plots in works by the leader of so-called national reformation, he paid to this question extremely much attention.

Following this logic, it is possible to assume that not the smaller value for Myuntser would have to have creation of certain emblematic attributes which elements in the concentrated view and with the maximum presentation would express the main ideas and the purposes of that social movement which he so sought to excite and head. The need for them would have to increase to spring of 1525 when there was obvious Myuntser's intention on the basis of a militia of citizens of Myulhausen and peasants of the next rural the district of this imperial city to create a kernel of future military organization needing the corresponding emblematika not only proceeding from advocacy reasons but also for the organizational and disciplinary reasons. However similar Engels's work does not contain any mentions of anything. The last circumstance cannot but be surprising as it is well-known that "for Engels the book by the German historian democrat V. Zimmerman & #34 was the main source for statement of the actual party of events; The History of Peasant war in Germanii"", for the first time published in Stuttgart in 1841 - 1843 [1, page 601, a comment 204] in which it is mentioned Myuntser's banner and partly his symbolics [2, page 332] and consequently, this fact should be unknown to Engels who nevertheless for some reason ignored it.

As a result representatives being in process of formation domestic Marxist mediye-

vistik of the first half of the 20th century fell into very awkward position. On the one hand, it was impossible to ignore completely the fact of existence of a banner with the image of a rainbow at Myuntser as it was known for consecrated with the authority of Engels to the book by Zimmerman and for pre-revolutionary editions of books of the German historian F. Betsold [3, page 514] and the eminent person of the German social democracy A. Bebel [4, page 390]. On the other hand, default about this fact in the work by Engels, classical for Marxist historical science, generated a situation of ideological uncertainty which in the conditions of continuously following repressive campaigns of the Stalin mode could turn back at any time without any exaggeration danger of death against that historian who would risk the research of symbolics of Myuntse-rov of a banner to add work of one of founders of revolutionary Marxism.

In these conditions, having faced need of the description of events of Peasant war in general and in the Saky-sonsko-Thuringian region of Germany in particular, E.A. Razin in such special edition as "The history of military art", went on a way of retelling of appropriate sections of "Peasant war in Germany", ideologically absolutely safe and so fruitless from the scientific point of view, is extremely close to Engels's text [5, page 205-208; 6, page 532-534; 7, page 240. Sravn.: 1, page 422, 424, 425-426].

A little differently this problem in the aspect interesting us was solved by the winner of the Stalin award of 1948 M.M. Smirin. In the basic research devoted to ideology of the so-called "national" direction in the reformational movement he not only mentions an iridescent banner of Myuntser, but also uses the fact of its presence at myulhausensky group on April 28, 1525 under Mr. Langenzaltsa's walls and also the impression made by it on one of witnesses of events on May 15, 1525 near Frankenhausen [8, page 515-516, 523], as arguments among other, confirming a thesis about ideological and organizational leadership of T. Myuntser in events of Peasant war both in Thuringia, and in Franconia. And nevertheless neither a little detailed description of a banner, nor the slightest attempt to analyze its symbolics that could be useful in terms of a research of a system of ideological values of Myuntser and his supporters, contains in Smirin's work, classical for the Soviet historical science.

Such approach to a question of Myuntser's banner became traditional for all subsequent domestic historiography of problems of Peasant war in Germany; it is fully reflected in the belletrizirovanny biography of Myuntser written to A.E. Shtekley [9] in Article A. To Aina and V.E. Vladykina devoted to fight at Frankenhausena [10], at last, in chapter devoted to the Reformation and Peasant war in Germany, the academic publication "the History of Europe" [11].

Already one this circumstance: accidental or osoz-

the nanny refusal of analytical work on iridescent symbolics of Myuntserov of a banner characteristic of a domestic historiography of the 20th century is rather strong reason for awakening of research interest in this, at first sight, very private question. However it is not necessary to lose sight of that indisputable fact that Myuntser's assessment which is going back to Engels and canonized in the Soviet historical science as the outstanding philosopher who outstripped the time - "almost the materialist" and the conscious expert revolutionary, the indisputable leader of the so-called "national direction" in the reformational movement and the leader of Peasant war in Germany, is reasoned it was challenged by the West German researchers [12, page 61-62]. And, therefore, the problem of definition of a historical role, the place and value of the uncommon identity of Myuntser created by it exercises and the movement headed by it is still far from the objective scientific decision. It is impossible to ignore also the fact of awakening of new interest in this to "wrongly cut out, but strong sewed" a figure [1, page 345] the German history of the first quarter of the 16th century in the Russian historical journalism of our time [13-15]. And, therefore, in modern Russian society of the beginning of the 21st century there is a need for ideologically impartial assessment of the ideas and practical activities of the person living and fighting in Germany 480 years ago. The solution of the designated both especially scientific, and socially significant tasks is impossible without all set of established facts (what insignificant at first sight they would not seem) in their historically correct interpretation.

In classical fund of the major historical sources forming the basis of the researches devoted to events of Peasant war in Thuringia reports of an amtman of Mr. Langenzaltsa and the captain (commandant) of the local lock who traditionally can be called Sittich von Berlepsch [8, page 516, 518 are high; 10, page 216; 16, page 101; 17, page 344, lump. 29; 18, page 146]. Actually in the first quarter of the 16th century more or less visible role in Central Germany was played by at least three representatives of knightly clan von Berlepscha: cousins Caspar, Heinz, Philip and, it seems, each of them as the second bore the name Sittich, probably, in honor of their general grandfather. Only the fact that he for some reason used protection of dukes Braunschweig-Lyuneburgsky is known of Caspar. Age-mates of Heinz (apprx. 1480 - 1533) and Philip (1480 - 1564), having got university education, from twenty-year age did successful administrative career on service to Saxon princes of a dynasty Vettingov [19].

The religiouspolitical split which shook Germany from the beginning of the reformational movement in the knightly environment was complicated by the communications and presence of sharp di remaining steady vassal lennymi -

* Amtman (from it. Amt is the lowest administrative and territorial unit) - a title of the deputy, the person exercising control of the administrative center and district.

nastichesky contradictions among princes. So, accepted "evangelic religion" amtman and the captain of Vartburg of Heinz Sittich von Berlepsch Ernestinov of a dynasty Vettingov of the Elector of Saxony Frederick III Mudry (on January 17 1463 - 1486 - on May 5, 1525) [20, page 485] on the organization saving for Martin Luther "stealing and disappearances" on the road from Worms to Wittenberg became history of the German Reformation brilliant performance of a confidential and responsible mission of the head of the senior branch (on May 4, 1521 - on March 1, 1522). At the same time Philipp Sittich von Bør-lepsh, amtman and the captain Langenzaltsy serving to the head of a younger branch Albertinov of the same dynasty Vettingov - to the Catholic duke Saxon George Borodaty (on August 27 1471 - 1500 - 17 April, 1539) [20, page 485], - is known as "the severe opponent of the risen peasants" [19] and at the same time has to become known under the full name as the author of the most valuable complex of the historical sources covering the Thuringian revolt of spring of 1525

F.S. von Berlepsch throughout quite long time and successfully resisted to purposeful attempts to subordinate the population entrusted to its city department of ideology of the so-called national reformation which triumphed in Myulhausena than caused rage of Myuntser demanding after the victory of a revolt of the supporters in Langenzaltsa at the end of April, 1525 physical violence over this "tyrant" and "a bloody dog" [8, page 518]. Amtman Langenzaltsa proved not only as the skilled administrator, but also as well informed and vigilant observer: its messages about events in uncontrollable by the princely power of Myulhausene differed in completeness and reliability. On April 17, 1525 he informed the duke George: "Alshtedtts (i.e. Myuntser) has a white flag made of thirty elbows of rough silk on which the rainbow with words is represented: Veibum Domini Manet in Eternum..." [16, page 109]. Let's interrupt for convenience of statement the description of a banner here and we will pay attention to what in the domestic publications mentioning Myuntser's banner takes place or simple statement of the fact of the image of a rainbow [8, page 515; 9, page 244, 277], her understanding "as Myuntserov's symbol of the union... on its banner" [11, page 361], or at best extremely general and, it seems, purely emotional interpretation of a rainbow as "a creed and joyful hope, as good omen" [10, page 215] that eventually can speak resistant tradition of "ateization" of an image of Myuntser, character -

it is connected with good signs as its emergence after a bad weather, as a rule, foretells good weather. According to E. Bloch, conceptual couple "a bad weather - a rainbow" along with oppositions it seems "darkness - light", "night - day" or "cold - heat" is among the most ancient dialectic archetypes of natural and natural origin which strongly entered a mythical Gestalt [21, page 349]. However at this optical effect and a mythological image

there is also actually Christian symbolical contents. In bible texts the rainbow appears in the Genesises, the prophet Ezechiel and is twice mentioned in John the Evangelist's Revelation [22, Life. 9, 13-14, 16; Iyez. 1, 28. Otkr. 4, 3; 10, 1]. Quite definitely pointed to it (and, perhaps, owing to the religious unambiguity it was persistently ignored by the Soviet authors) the Latin motto of a banner which in Russian sounds as "The word Lord's will be for ever and ever".

Myuntserov's motto of a banner represents the hidden bible quote. Faithful provisions contain both in antiquated, and in new treasured texts. In the book by the antiquated prophet Isaiah it is told: "The grass dries up, color withers, and the word of our God will be eternally" [22, Is. 40, 8]. Myuntser in 1520, polemizing with Catholic orthodoxes on a problem of a ratio of "a dead letter" and "live spirit", wrote in "The Prague appeal": "If they were right, then God could seem silly or the madman because he told that the word him will not come for ever and ever. And unless it could stay if the Lord ceased to speak? If you have brains in the head, ponder upon the text: & #34; The Sky and the earth will come, and my word will be вовеки"" [17, page 334].

Jesus's phrase quoted by Myuntser in the Russian initial text of the New Testament is stated in a bit different edition: "The sky and the earth will come, but my words will not come" and literally repeats in the Gospels of Matthew [22, Mf. 24, 35], Mark [22, Mk. 13, 31] and Luka [22, Lx. 21, 33] in the apocalyptic fragment describing the future coming of the Messiah. At the same time that circumstance that in the Gospels of Matthew and from Mark to the description of awful disasters of "the last days" the reference to predictions of the antiquated prophet Daniil who was especially honored Myuntser [22 precedes, to Mf attracts attention. 24, 15; Mk. 13, 14]. The main thing for our plot is that in Matfey's text of a word, become Myuntserov's motto of a banner, are directly accompanied by the antiquated legend on Noye and a flood: "The sky and the earth will come, but my words will not come. About day that and hour nobody knows, Angela heavenly but only the Father my one; But, as was in days of Nov, so will be also in coming of the Son Chelovechesky: Because as in days before a fir-tree flood, saw, married and married, till that day as entered Ache in an ark, And did not think, the flood did not come yet and did not exterminate all, - so there will be also a coming of the Son Chelovechesky;" [22, Mf. 24, 35-39].

In religious and symbolical consciousness of quite certain communication between the motto of new treasured origin and the emblematic image of a rainbow on Myuntser's banner it is possible to make sure of a possibility of existence easily at attentive reading of a final part of the antiquated legend on Noye and a flood stated in the first book by Moisey Life. Its Chapter 9 narrates about the conclusion of an eternal precept between God and spiritually updated mankind acting through Nov and its posterity: "Also God told: here a sign of a precept which I will put between Me both between you and between

any living soul which is with you, in childbirth forever: I believe my rainbow in a cloud that it was a precept sign between Me and between the earth. Also will be when I guide a cloud at the earth, the rainbow in a cloud will be; And I will remember my precept which between Me both between you and between any living soul in any flesh; also more water a flood on destruction of any flesh" [22, Life will not be. 9, 13-15]. It is obviously possible to assume that the value of a rainbow as "signs of an eternal precept" is reflected in texts of the prophet Ezechiel and the apostle John the Evangelist where it is presented as attribute of the God [22, Iyez. 1, 28; Otkr. 4, 3].

It is well-known that Myuntser was under strong ideological influence of the hiliastichesky doctrine created in the 12th century by the mystic Joachim (Gioacchino) Florscy or Calabrian [1, page 369; 8, page 105-170; 21, page 340, 351; 23, page 194-196; 24, page 112-113]. Idea that the mankind believing in true triune God is fated to pass through three main eras in the development is its cornerstone. An era of God Otts there corresponds the slave humility of laymen to married clergy on the basis of carnal Moiseyev of the law representing knowledge. Approach of blossoming of an era of God Syn which is characteristic filial obedience of believers to clergymen according to the hand-written law stated in the Gospel containing only partial wisdom contacted coming to the Earth of Jesus Christ. Society has to reach the highest blossoming with the entry into the Holy era of the Spirit when to replace humility for fear and to obedience on belief of the previous times, on the basis of sincere and comprehensive love the natural and full spiritual and intellectual unification of the believing mankind conducted by monks with the idea of absolute good and full wisdom expressed in God comes. Of course, development it and within separate eras, and, especially, upon transition to another had to come from one of them is not frictionless at all. According to ioakhimit, society passes a train from six crises in each of three eras - "confusions" which could correspond mystically with six days of divine creation of the world (weekdays of week), to six seals of the Apocalypse [25, page 309-311; 26, page 634-635] or maybe - and with three figures "six" in "number of an animal", or with "six blowing angels" [22, Otkr. 8, 6-13; 9, 1-14; 13, 18].

Special and, perhaps, the most mysterious role in twilight and indistinct and contradictory and ambiguous predictions of the Revelation of John the Evangelist which, no doubt, took the extremely important place in hiliastichesky creation of ioakhimit belongs to "the seventh angel". This apocalyptic character can be understood as the herald of approach of time of God's court, terrible for guilty mankind, at the same time - the highest and last stage in development of Christianity - the Holy eras of the Spirit which will be marked by perception of righteous persons by thousand-year community of "the eternal Gospel" [22, Otkr. 14, 6], and eventually - soshe-

a stviye "from God from the sky" the new sacred city of Jerusalem, as "God's tabernacle from cheloveka" where "God will wipe any tear from eyes them, and death will not be already; neither crying, nor a cry, nor a disease will be any more because former passed" [22, Otkr. 21, 2-4]. That circumstance that attribute of "the seventh angel" along with "the book opened" [22, Otkr attracts attention. 10, 2] which can be understood as a symbol until the "eternal Gospel" hidden from mankind, was an iridescent nimbus ("over the head it was a rainbow") [22, Otkr. 10, 1] which can be interpreted as the "sign of an eternal precept" which was lighting up all way of a just part of mankind since the time of Noyev about days of the last in guilty terrestrial history.

M.M. Smirin in the researches devoted to ideology of national reformation [27-29] emphasized the active beginning which is actively resisting to imperfection of the real world in the theological concept of Myuntser. According to him, "Myuntser's doctrine about active belief expresses the idea about the boundless strength of the person in active achievement of the highest moral perfection" which leads to his religious righteousness or "chosenness". In socio-political aspect the religious and moral chosenness on-myuntserovski the believing people consisted in their separation from angry atheists which Myuntser considered business of the elected people [29, with. 131], and, therefore, first of all - in their self-organization on the basis of religious and ideological unity. From this point of view the slogan, according to F.S. von Berlepsch, being available on Myuntser's banner is of undoubted interest.

In F. fon Gessa's publication this fragment of the letter of von Berlepsch of April 17, 1525 is given in the following look: "... dis ist das zeychen des ewigen bund gotes, alle, die bey dem bunde stehen wollen, sellen darundertreten, malen lassen...." [1b, page 109]. It is obvious that Myuntser called for association around the emblem represented on a banner, however its semantic filling at the modern reader can generate understanding inadequate to vocabulary of the first quarter of the 16th century. Really German noun of "Bund" having basic value for perception of author's interpretation of a slogan can be understood first of all as "union", "association" or "league" now [30, with. 299]. It is quite possible that such translation caused interpretation of a rainbow "as Myuntserov's symbol of the union", presented in a domestic historiography [11, with. 3b1], or the English-language text of the quoted fragment of the letter of F.S. von Berlepsch which transfers German "Bund" as "League" in T. Scott and B. Skribner's edition [18, page 14b], i.e. "league" or "union" [31, with. 78b]. However it is it is unlikely possible to agree with it.

The fact is that medieval bible texts since Latin translation of Jerome Blazhenny known as the Vulgate, used for designation of the special relations between God and the believing people the Latin word "testamentum" which literal value is in Russian transferred as "will", and in church vocabulary - "precept" [32, with. 7b8]. However uglub-

lenny philological researches of the European humanists of XV - the beginnings of the 16th centuries in the conditions of rapid development of "the second information revolution" could not but have a significant impact on religious vocabulary of very educated figures of the reformational movement. Over time in theological circles it became rather widely known that Latin "testamentum" is the translation of the Greek word "diatheke" which approximately in 250 years prior to Christmas in the Middle East (perhaps, it is not really successful in terms of classical philology) began to ask on the letter the antiquated "berith" Jewish to speak meaning even not so much "the union, the contract", how many "the agreement of the parties based on observance of the stipulated obligations", and not "the last will and the will" at all [33, page 214]. Anyway, but already Martin Luther, accenting value of the Gospel as a source of the religious truth, in the translations of bible texts into German since the beginning of the 20th of the 16th century quite consistently used "Bund" in relation to the Old Testament and "Testament" in relation to the New Testament [34, page 531-540]. It is unlikely it is possible to assume seriously that the Myuntser who was proud of the theological knowledge [17, page 333], vividly watching book novelties of the time [29, page 113-114], created, at last, "the German evangelic mass" [11, page 351], remained away from terminological innovations in reformational theology and used for a slogan on the, sated with bible symbolics banner the word "Bund" out of modern to it a religious context. Also the fact that the author of the considered document F.S. von Berlepsch, well educated and experienced official, could allow terminological inaccuracy rough for those times in the report is improbable. And if all this so, then taking into account vocabulary, traditional for the Russian Orthodoxy [35, page 264-265; 36, the slogan on Myuntser's banner can be in Russian transferred to page 312] in the following look: "It is the sign of an eternal God's precept: give all who wish to join a precept, we will gather under it". It is represented that such translation fully on form and content will correspond to both the Latin motto, and the emblematic image on Myuntser's banner.

Thus, apocalyptic hiliasticheskoye the maintenance of symbolics of a banner of Myuntser does not raise doubts: its motto obviously expressed the idea of inevitability of approach of "the last days" of the existing vicious world; its emblem in the form of a rainbow - a symbol of the eternal precept interfaced to the terrible disaster which was already taking place in bible history - had to inspire hope for rescue in the coming thousand-year kingdom absolute (owing to divine origin) in justice according to a slogan, the gathered "electee".

F.S. von Berlepsch's message about Myuntser's banner comes to the end with a phrase: "He placed this banner behind department of the preacher in church St Mary [of Myulhausen] and informed that he will be the first who will incur it in the field..." [16, page 109]. Really under "a white flag with from -

fermentation of a rainbow" Myuntser according to "the Myulhausensky chronicle" took on April 26, 1525 military muster of the supporters in the neighborhood of the city [18, page 146]; "at a white banner with the image of a rainbow", according to the report of magistrate of Langenzaltsy of April 28, the group of myulhausenets numbering about 600 people appeared in the neighborhood of the city [8, page 515]; under the same banner after devastating for many Thuringian monasteries, estates and locks of raid [8, page 519] Myuntser arrived as a part of group from 300 myul-hausenets in Frankenhausen 11 [10, page 217] or on May 12 [11, page 361] 1525

Of course, the vast majority of those whom Myuntser addressed hardly without assistance could read a slogan on its banner or understand contents of its Latin motto. That big semantic loading in these conditions was born by the emblematic image of a rainbow on a banner. The motive of the cleaning flood which is closely connected with an iridescent symbol in domestic publications of texts of Myuntser is present only at a final part of his letter to the tax collector I. Tseyssu of July 22, 1524 where it is about "storming waves which will be closed over the head of the world which is still living in the dreams" [17, page 338]. Nevertheless this idea, apparently, got special force a response in feelings and thoughts of contemporaries. The fact is that in the 20th of the 16th century in Germany predictions for the future apocalyptic disasters became widespread. The "New almanac" of I. Shtefler which left in Venice editions 1513 and 1518 of and become known even in Russia and Ya. Pflaum predicting a Flood in 1524 [37, page 70] was their probable source. In folklore expression these predictions were summarized by a saying: "Who in the twenty third year will not die, will not roll in the twenty fourth, and in the twenty fifth will not be killed, that will tell that to it there was a miracle" [11, page 353]. The firmness of preservation in mass consciousness of Germans of the "once mystical numbers" connected with "approach of a new century" indirectly is demonstrated by the fact that E. Bloch as those in 1963 called also year 1524, apart from even necessary to give to the readers any explanations concerning this date [21, page 162].

Thus, the religious symbolics of a banner of Myuntser (regardless of its possible socio-political filling) was obviously in consonance to the apocalyptic expectations which quite took roots to spring of 1525 in mass consciousness of the German commoners. And this coincidence as it is represented, considerably predetermined succession of events at the crucial moment of the armed revolt in the Saxon and Thuringian district of Peasant war in Germany.

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On February 14, 2005

Haupt Helge
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