05 Brief: Reading Note

I ran across a neat little article the other day. It was not found by accident, I was keyword searching stuff from my reading of Shaman of Oberstdorf. The good news, upon finishing it I actually remembered to post about it.

The article in question, “Witch Trials” by Peter T. Leeson and Jacob W. Russ. It was interesting, but honestly not overly so. I am not sure if it’d be an easy read for those uninterested in the topic. There are a great many more article out there that might be a better suited and an easier read for a more casual reader.

This is not the first time I have ran across an article by Leeson (ex. Ordeals, 2012 and Trial by Battle, 2011). I hope he continues to find things to write about that overlap in our venn diagram of interests.

I have a fair (at least more than I realized) amount of cool Late Medieval and Early Modern reading material on Witch related history, Alchemy, Christian Mysticism, Reformer ‘cults’, and folklore books – I will have to review some of them in the future. Which reminds me, I must thank my friend Greg Melee of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, for sending me an Encyclopedia entry for Heinrich Khunrath (1560 – 1605).

L0050107 Portrait. Cropped. Heinrich Khunrath Published: 1609. CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

My first exposure to Alchemy, well any real thought provoking exposure, was from what I learnt about via Carl Jung and his Collective Unconsciousness about a decade ago . But after getting a touch of Jungian Alchemy, I fell into the works of Adam McLean which led be back to his primary source materials. I make mention of this because I am sure to wax about Alchemy in the future with little need or prompting.

The burning interest in the Great Work and the process, has faded for me, but will always be there in my unconscious mind consuming and refining itself.

04 Brief: Reading Notes

Women and Family Life in Early Modern German Literature is another book on the bedside pile mentioned in the previous update. I picked this one up in hopes of collecting more data about interpersonal interactions of the 16th century. I am always trying to create a more detailed living picture in my mind of the Early Modern Period and the cities of Straßburg and Augsburg in particular (which is why I’m pretty excited to read A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Augsburg ( when it gets published in 2020) that and I am a Fan of the author.

I believe the more well you can understand the period in scope, the better you’ll comprehend specific 16th century authors’ written intent. I have read the Introduction and the first chapter on Schwanksammlungen (think Johannes Pauli‘s Schimpf und Ernst (Thann, 1522)).

As an aside, here is a cool little article from 1994 entitled “Johannes Pauli and the Strasbourg Dancers” by Arlene Epp Pearsall my saved bookmarks on Straßburg. I believe Kevin Maurer turned me on to this particular article, think I’ll reRead this one.
Pearsall, the author, also wrote “Johannes Pauli (1450-1520) on the Church and Clergy” (Lewiston, NY, 1994) which may never make it to the bedside table to be read, unless someone recommends it to me. That said I have read and enjoyed almost all of the 101 irreverent stories collected from the works of Johannes Pauli.

Anyhow, so far I’m enjoying this book and its tone. I am loving the footnotes, they are great leads to further research.

However no matter how enjoyable, I just had to skip ahead to preview the fourth chapter on some Straßburg city council policing ordinances (from the in Series R (Mandats et Reglements) from the BNU Straßburg).

I’ll happily review this and what treasure I find as an update after I complete the book. The data so far is very tasty, and I can recommend this book now. Researchers and students of the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods should read this at least, if they do not have it in their personal library. Not a bad call, not a waste of one’s time or money on the purchase.

03 Brief: Reading Notes

Last night just before bedding down for the night a little memory sparked briefly. I’ll go back through and add hyperlinks like I always do.

I remembered reading an NPR book review some long while back. I remembered it had to do with “The Turnip Princess” a folktale. But a tale spun originally by whom? A Russian? maybe, sounds like a Russia one to be sure.

The author, unfortunately was someone I could also not recall the name of. I did however remembered that the story was not from the well know Grimm brothers, Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm. Touching loosely on the Brothers Grimm the other day must have shook and blinked an old, ragged brain cell awake.

With those memories flickering, or rather blinking like a busted light, this morning I searched about the internet determined to solve this mystery caused by my spotty memory. I surfed the search, as a wave of knowledge upon the depths of a churning world wide web. I searched and searched util I floated ashore- with the answer. The name I needed to remember, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth.

I am going to buy some collection of his collected fairy tales and put that book on the bedside table when a spot opens or maybe I’ll jump bump “Women and Family Life in Early Modern German Literature” or “Fear is the Mind Killer: How to Build a Training Culture that Fosters Strength and Resilience” from the three book rotation.


Schutzhalter​ ​ [ʃʊt͡s ˈhaltɐ]

  • schutz​ (lit. shoot, 1836, p421))
  • halter​ (lit. “​to look after, or keep​” (Dasypodius 1535, 99v2), ‘​keep’​, as in housekeeper (Golius, 1579, 211)

The term ​Schutzhalter​ was often used liken to“​schirmer/ ”​ (guardian) as seen throughout Fortunatus Hueber’s (1686) history of the Franciscans, “Dreyfache von Orden S. Francisci”.

For Historical Fencing researchers, references of the term in the ​Fechtschulen​ are in several places. The Ordinances of the City of Breslau (9 September 1606) for one place, and note the several mentions ’ found in ​Wöchentliche Nachrichten für Freunde Geschichte​ (Büsching, 1817, p313).

I think of the term as, the “action keeper/ or guard”.

This is an excerpt found in Part One of The Forerunners of the Fechtschule: Antiquity. Available from:
Research Gate.

02 Brief: Reading Notes

So if I am sharing some of my research readings why not over-share bit? Why not include the books I am also reading? It might just motivate me to write brief reviews on Amazon or the like.

So, I guess I’d better list and speak about the current pile of books on the bedside table prior to posting any related Internet researches spawned from these readings. I normally keep two or three books at the ready and switch between them. Both of the 16th century books came to my collection from their relationship of Augsburg and the areas culture. I am writing a story about an alchemist’s apprentice from Augsburg. Which may explain why I love B. Ann Tlusty’s books and articles I had mentioned in the previous post.

current books from the top

So far, so good. “Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night” by Wolfgang Behringer is a very, very fun book. I am reading the English edition that comes in at a little light of a 200 page count. This book benefits from it’s fantastic translation by late and brilliant Professor H. C. Erik Midelfort (a fellow I have a few books from in the old reference library).

The story is centered on a factual situation based on church reports, civil court transcriptions, and city council documents from the 16th century. It seems that one night after a bit too much wine had been liberated from the bottle, the head Horse Wrangler of Obersdorf, a man named Chonrad Stoeckhlin (1549-1587) and his friend Jacob Walch a local Ox herder made themselves a little deal. This agreement ended up in the form a contract, which held that whomever of two friends should die before the other shall return to the land of the living and tell the other what is to come in the realm of the great thereafter. An intriguing topic, which happened more often than one might think- this was not even the first I had heard of such agreements between people of the Early Modern Period.

The interest thing is that Jacob dies some eight days after agreeing to the contract and then on February 20th, 1578, according to Stoeckhlin, Jacob comes back for the first of several visits to his old pal Chonrad.

Chonrad was not too shy or fearful enough to not talk about his contact with a spirit and later an angel. These visitations shape and redefine how his faith was and what his worship looked like (so far, it doesn’t look like anything warranting a burning at the stake about- but we shall see). These experiences or stories of Chonrad also seems to have placed him on a path of direct collision with either the Catholic and/ or the Reformer(s) leadership with their religious ‘justice’ …..which of course included torture and execution (this whole tale is set during the deadly Witch hunt craze in late 16th to the early 17th centuries).

I am only at the beginning of this book. I am reading it aloud to my partner Heidi as a (very German and sleep inducing) bedtime story for her and a cool read for me. I was turned on to this book due to my interest in and exposure to the period Italian folktales given by Carlo Ginzburg in his work “The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the 16th & 17th century“.

I sure hope this book is what I thought it might me when I first read the back of the cover:

A narrative of the related events, as laid out by primary sources (the reports and documents from the interviews and interrogations). It could be like B. Ann Tlusty‘s book “Augsburg During the Reformation Era” with all of the surround data and context given while following the “actors” along.

As a head’s up, reading this book aloud will take quite a lot of time to complete compared to other items. But I’ll be sure finish this review up later in another Update post after I finish reading it to Heidi.

The next book on the current pile, “Women and Family Life in Early Modern Literature” by Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre will be entered in a separate update.
I want to keep these notes brief. They should short, sweet, and on topic. If it is a book review you’re after, and the date this Reading Note was posted was a long time ago, go to Amazon, I will post a review there as soon as I finish the book.

01 The First Brief Reading Notes

This morning as I finished a cool little article published earlier this year I thought, “I should share this thing with the universe, its good stuff“. At a glance it is an informational piece about a Christian form Asceticism in the Medieval Period. If that is something you might enjoy follow the linked text below. If not go back to the index of topics or click a

Anchoress: a True Tale of Medieval and Mystical: Women Entombed for Life” by Nell Rose. I enjoyed it, but, as I often do I quickly rounded up a few other articles to read, to help the paint a more complete picture of the topics I look into, no matter how obscure. Then I thought to myself, “I wonder if other people would like a peek and my crazed research readings and how everything ends up connecting“. ..why not? What could possibly go wrong beside wasting my own damned time?

So since we are sharing, here are some interesting articles I found for more of than a light review of the topic: “The Life of the Anchoress” by Mary Wellesley was helpful as Megan J. Hall‘s blog article “Buried Alive” was also found to be.
Both were not as interesting as Aspen ‘Amanda’ Hougen’s Through the veiled window: feminine autonomy, masculine authority, and discursive tension in anchoritic writings.

Currently I have put the reading of an article on Ancrene Wisse on hold until I had read an article that seemed more important to read first: “Ancrene Wisse vs. Ancren Riwle” by Francis P. Magoun, Jr.

The Connection Francis P. Magoun, Jr. (who happens to be the translator of “The Grimms’ German folk tales”, a book I have on my shelf.

If this topic randomly resurfaces in my research readings I will get a hold of Reading Medieval Anchoritism: Ideology and Spiritual Practices by Mari HughesEdwards and give it a review on Amazon.

B. Ann Tlusty’s Fanboy

Professor and renowned author B. Ann Tlusty, a social and cultural historian of the first caliber is one of my most favorite researchers. I believe her works are important linchpins of topical knowledge regarding the study of the period and many of the details in the periphery needed to form clearer mental images of the 16th century.

For those readers interested in more, as you should be, please enjoy the following list. I include it here because I realized my personal list of her works was larger than what easily available via an internet search. I have not read all of these yet, nor do I own a copies for the old reference library, yet.

If I find more, or decide to add her written reviews of academic articles, I will edit and add the here.

3rd Annual Madtown Fechtschul

This year we will be honored to host Adam Fanti workshop, “Secrets on Display – Public Fencing in the 16th Century” on Saturday the 5th of October 2019 at the Goodman Community Center gymnasium in Madison, Wisconsin-

Workshop Class
A Viennese Freifechter named Andre Paurnfeindt wrote a short treatise in which he re-wrote Johannes Liechtenauer’s zedel to appeal to “Beginning fencers.” The change from what were meant as secret, elite techniques to something that was publicly available is part of a culture change from the 15th to the 16th centuries that saw an increased emphasis on martial efficacy as a crucial aspect of public masculinity.

The Fechtschule, a public fencing competition between guilds of citizen tradesmen, embody many of these changes. While the Fechtschulen were meant to be non-lethal, they were also, paradoxically, meant to prepare citizens to bear arms in the defense of their cities, and had overt military purposes, as well as social.

The class will teach techniques and concepts new to or articulated by 16th century masters such as Paurnfeindt, Sollinger, and Meyer, and intended for use by citizen tradesmen of the Holy Roman Empire.

The class is aimed at intermediate (or above) fencers of any tradition Necessary equipment: Longsword trainer (steel preferable), Mask with back-of-the-head protection, Heavy gloves, forearm, and wrist protection are highly encouraged.

Date : Saturday, 05 OCT 2019
Location: Goodman Center Gymnasium, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI 53704

11:30 – Sign In
12:00 – Introduction to Fechtschule: Rules and Demo
12:30 – Secrets on Display Workshop
2:30 – Break
2:45 – Longsword Fechtschule
Prior to 6pm – Awards, Accolades, and farewells
6:30 – After Event Party (Barbecue Style, BYOB)

Ticket Type

Our Friend Mike Cartier

Helen Zachariades-Cartier and several others asked me to post Mike’s eulogy:

Good afternoon I’ll start by saying Mike Cartier was a star. My name is Chris VanSlambrouck, Helen asked me to say a few words in eulogy of Mike.
Thank you, I am honored and eternally grateful for the opportunity to do so

I’m recently and happily retired from 20 years military service with a few combat tours. And my friend, instructor, and mentor Mike was my brother – as close to my heart as, ….no closer than any one I’ve ever served with.

I say that knowing full well some of those men and women I’ve served with are the very definition of what people call heroes.

There are a great deal of things that can and should be said about my brother Mike and I can only hope to list of few of them…

For those of us who had the privilege to know and love him, we know he lived a storied life one that was rich and full. Full of adventure and misadventure , of Love & loss, and with a fair amount of what some would call hijinks, but also it was a life full of love , compassion , Grace and a servitude to his family

it was certainly a life lived and not squandered.

It was also unfortunately a life-cut far too short as is often the case with the lives of great men and great teachers.

To me and to many warriors the only real commodity that we have on this Earth is time , our time and how we choose to spend it And with whom we wish to spend it with.

Mike loved his family fiercely. Helen we spoke of you and of his children, often – his love was deep…cavernus. Martial arts were his life’s path, but his family was his true passion.

Mike really understood me and that was one of the wonderful things about Mike.
he had a gift . He was able to perceive where people were at in their walk of life and then meet them there as a friend and equal or as a mentor, whatever they needed of him, he would be for them… If they would only let him

Mike had that sort of gravity about him

Like a Napoleon or rather like an Alexander

If one fell into his orbit even briefly then he affected that life… normally for the better , especially so with martial or philosophical instruction

And his reach well his orbit , was fantastically large. He touched, or rather impacted many many people’s lives to their betterment…
I am but one of those lives but I assure you I am voicing the opinion of hundreds , or thousands.

It has been and will always be one of the greatest honors to have known shared time , that most precious of commodities, with this brother of mine.

I know Mike called for a celebration and he wouldn’t have wanted any wailing or nashing of teeth. So if this is a celebration I have precious little to give. Aside from my voice. Mike was a star, and I don’t have a gold or silver star but I do have a bronze one– and it now rests with him eternally. Thank you.


Pritsch​/ prɪtʃ

(lit. Board) was the name of the miniaturized ​brotschießel​ like rod with one end being thin and flat serving as its ‘striking’ surface, described further as ‘often preposterously large of leather or of split clacking wood and sometimes gilded…’ (Freytag, 1863, p1​52​).

The ​Pritsch​ was held and employed by the master of ceremonies (Pritschenmeister​) of ​Schützenfest​ and ​Fechtschule​. They were part announcer, jester, entertainer, and disciplinarian for these events.

For more look to the ​Nouveau Dictionnaire Allemand-François ​entry on​ ‘Pritchmeister​’ ​(1762, p451), and the entry entitled ‘Pritschenmeister’ in ​Reallexikon Der Deutschen Altertümer Götzinger (1885, p812); review the biographies in ​Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie​ of XVI century Pritschenmeister Lienhard Flexel (vol. 7, 1878, p119) and Heinrich Wirrich (vol. 55, 1910, p385-387).

For descriptions of the ​Pritschenmeister​ role in the ​Schützenfest​ of the era see the ​Pritschenmeister​ for Archduke of Austria Ferdinand II in the work entitled ‘Ordentliche gründliche Beschreibung des großen Schießen Stahloder Armbrust Zwickaw den 25 Augusti​’ (Siber, 1574) and chapter three of Georgiana Malcolm’s translation of Gustav Freytag’s ‘​Pictures of German Life in the XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries​’ (1863, pp1​34–186​).