German

Grimms now grimmer

There are no Disney endings for the fairy tales in a newly-released translation of Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes, a professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. The original stories, written in the early 19th century, have never been directly translated into English.

3D scanning used to study medieval teeth

Researchers from around the world may benefit from a study of the molars of 22 individuals unearthed during excavation of Periplatz cemetery in Berlin. The remains, dating from between 1200 to c.1600 CE, were analyzed using "3D printing technology to complement strontium isotope analysis in order to better understand the ancient residents of Berlin."

Medieval invention still ticking

Since the early 16th century, watches have been an elegant fashion statement. David Thompson, former Curator of Horology for the British Museum, looks at the history of the watch in a feature  article on the British Museum blog. (photos)

Medieval treasures among books of auctioned library

Heywood Bright, liberal British politician, was a collector of rare books. Recently his library, including several previously unknown or incomplete medieval treasures, was auctioned by Christie's.

Remains of Henry VII of Luxembourg buried with rare silk cloth

Researchers in Italy have the rare opportunity to examine and analyze the remains of Henry VII of Luxembourg, German king and Holy Roman emperor, who died in 1313 and is buried in Pisa Cathedral. The remains were exhuned in 2013 to determine the emperor’s physical features and cause of death. (photos)

Evidence of 1st century Roman military camp found in Germany

For generations, archaeologists have been looking for evidence of a Roman presence in eastern Germany, and with the discovery of a large, first century military camp near Hachelbich in Thuringia, they have found it.

International team to search for Grunwald Battle location

For centuries, historians have debated the location of the Battle of Grunwald, fought 15 July 1410 between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights. Now members of an international team will begin looking in the Great Stream Valley in Poland.

Second oldest church "a big surprise"

Archaeologists in Mainz, Germany have discovered the second oldest church and the only surviving Carolingian cathedral in Germany. Within the walls of the city's Church of St John lie the remains of a 9th century structure whose walls "stretch from the basement to the roof."

Illegal metal detectorist tears Roman gold from ground in Germany

Investigators in Germany are untangling the case of a metal detectorist who illegally dug up more than EU€1 million worth of Roman gold in a forest in southern Rheinland-Pfalz. The perpetrator may already have sold some of the pieces on the Black Market. (photos)

Rocket cats?

Proof that gun powder technology captured the imagination of 16th century military minds can be found in a manual written by artillery master Franz Helm of Cologne, Germany who proposed strapping rockets to the backs of cats in order to "set fire to a castle or city which you can't get at otherwise." (photos)

Dream of building a medieval town comes true

Since 1967, Bert Geuten has dreamed of re-creating an authentic medieval town using period tools and techniques. Now the first step of that dream has come to pass. In the small German town of Meßkirch in Baden-Württemberg, a team of craftsmen has started construction on a small church. (photos)

It's six books in one!

Medieval bookbinders may have been the precursors of eReaders when they developed the dos-à-dos (or "back-to-back") book with two or more separate texts and multi-hinged covers. One example is the beautiful devotional dos-à-dos book owned by the National Library of Sweden which includes six works. (photos)

Who's buried in Charlemagne's tomb?

In 1988, bones were secretly removed from the tomb of the Emperor Charlemagne for study and for possible identification. Now the results show that the remains are... probably Charlemagne's. (photos)

Heidelberg Castle destroyed in digital recreation

Explosions thunder, and smoke rises, in a digital animation of the destruction of Heidelberg Castle by the French in 1693 in a new video commissioned by the Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany for its exhibition Die Wittelsbacher am Rhein. The castle was once considered the "eighth wonder of the world." (video)

German brewers demand Reinheitsgebot be recognized by UNESCO

A 16th century German law, Reinheitsgebot, laying out the purity of beer, should be included in UNESCO's list of famous traditions, according to the country's beer industry. Over 5,000 beers still carry the law's seal which requires that only water, barley, yeast and hops may be used to brew beer.

The jewels of the saints

After the Reformation, many Catholics were depressed about the loss of relics of their saints. In the 16th century thousands of skeletons were taken from the catacombs in Rome, bedecked with jewels, and distributed throughout Europe. A slideshow of jeweled saints, photographed by art historian Paul Koudounaris, is online.

Roman chainmail found in Harzhorn

German archaeologists are excited by the discovery of well-preserved Roman chainmail during excavations near Kalefeld in the Northeim district north of Göttingen, the first such armor recovered from a Roman-Germanic battlefield. (photo)

Technology traces Roman beads to Egypt

A team of scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany has analyzed glass beads found in former Rhaetian settlements in Bavaria, and concluded that the beads, dating from the 1st through 4th centuries, must have originated "somewhere near a soda lake like those in Wadi El Natrun in Egypt." (photo)

Luther pamphlets stolen from museum in Eisenach

Officials at the Lutherhaus museum in Eisenach, Germany were shocked to learn that three original 16th century printed pamphlets by Martin Luther had been stolen from the museum July 12, 2013. The pamphlets included hand-written notes by contemporaries of Luther.

Medieval Treasures From Hildesheim on display at the Met

"Smack in the middle of the Metropolitan Museum, there’s a nugget of compressed light called  Medieval Treasures From Hildesheim," begins a review of the new exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The review, by Holland Cotter, is from the Art & Design section of the New York Times.

Medieval graves discovered by a badger

An artist in North Germany watching badgers on his property discovered that they were digging up human bones. An excavation revealed eight 12th century burials, including several warriors.

The fashion of Matthaeus Schwarz

Matthaeus Schwarz was a 16th century accountant - but an accountant with fashion sense. For over 40 years, the Augsburg, Germany resident commissioned watercolor paintings of himself, documenting his wardrobe and accessories, and revealing as much about his personality and ambition as his clothing choices. (photos and video)

The history of the humble hot dog

Baseball and picnic season lead many to think of the great summer food: the hot dog. On 2013 US Independence Day, The Week reporter Carmel Lobello took a look at the history of the humble dog, which will be consumed by the billions this summer alone.

BBC series on German art begins with Cologne Cathedral

In the first of a series of videos on German art, British art historian and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at German art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Alken Bog site of human sacrifice?

Post-Roman Germania was a dangerous place, both for intenders invaders and those who found themselves on the bad side of the warlord. This was the conclusion of a team of Danish archaeologists investigating a bog in present day Denmark where the team discovered the remains of 40 men "hacked to bits and thrown into the shallows of Lake Mosso."

Cologne excavations reveal rich Jewish history

For years, archaeologists have concentrated on Roman excavations in western Germany, largely ignoring its medieval past, especially when it came to Jewish history. Now the discovery of over 250,000 artifacts in Cologne, is revealing new insights into "one of Europe's oldest and biggest Jewish communities."

Brat and brew in Old Town Nuremberg

A walk through old town Nuremberg, Germany takes visitors back in time to the Middle Ages. An 11th century castle, toy museum, the home of Albrecht Dürer and over six acres of brewing tradition make for a memorial travel location. Russ Juskalian of the New York Times Travel section has the story.

The science of discovery

Historians have long been fascinated by the creation of maps during the Age of Exploration. Of special interest are maps such as Waldseemüller and Ringmann's first map mentioning "America." The New York Times Science page looks at A Renaissance Globemaker’s Toolbox, a new book on the subject by John W. Hessler.

"Execution site archaeology" subject of German studies

Marita Genesis of Potsdam, Germany has an interesting area of study: execution site archaeology. Genesis is just one of a number of scientists and scholars interested in finding out how those executed died and how executioners, particularly in the Middle Ages, lived. Matthias Schulz of Der Spiegel has the story.

German Cooking Pots Discovered

Copper, bronze and brass cooking pots, which had been buried during the Thirty Years War, were unearthed in Guetzkow, Germany.