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Hans Holbein the Younger, Luther as German Hercules, 1523


Danielle Mead Skjelver University of Maryland University College

2 INTRODUCTION The writings of Martin Luther are among the most studied in the world. With words sublime, he gave the Christian God back to the common man, and yet Luther also spoke with shocking cruelty and vulgarity. Martin Luthers employment of vulgarity, and specifically scatological vulgarity, in his writings and speech has drawn criticism, embarrassment, and accusations of psychological instability. But there was power in this coarse language, for Martin Luthers combative use of scatology defined him as a virile male in sixteenth century Germany. Brash and full of bravado, the scatology of Martin Luther lent him the appearance of fearlessness. Scatology in many societies is associated with the locker room and the military, two bastions of virility. Even among elites in Europe of Luthers day, scatology was not unusual. This was particularly true in German speaking lands.1 In a time of rising nationalism, his combative and demeaning brand of scatology leveled against not only a spiritual but also a foreign enemy in the Papacy, secured for him the definition of virile German male. In spite of his emaciated condition from years of fasting, and later in life in spite of corpulence, and even in spite of his public proclamations that he proudly helped his wife wash diapers, Luther was ever the man in the eyes of both allies and enemies. This virility was largely the product of Luther's aggressive use of scatological language, for in demeaning his enemies, Luther diminished their virility. His adversaries, however, vilified his character in such a way that their attacks emphasized Luther's masculinity.

3 HISTORIOGRAPHICAL SURVEY Reformation era fighters of verbal and visual battles left for us evidence of a culture free with scatology, a culture where artists, writers, and theologians employed urine, feces, and flatulence as weapons to belittle their enemies. In this battle, the sheer volume of scatology coming from the Lutheran side far outweighed that coming from the Catholic side.2 It is not only the volume but the intensity and graphic nature of Lutheran scatology that has caused historians to take up the study of the vulgar side of Luthers writing and sayings. Martin Luthers coarse language combined with woodcuts appearing in his writings, including a woodcut depicting the Pope and his curia being birthed from a she-devils bowels and therefore not even human but rather the she-devils feces, jolt historians out of any illusions they may have developed in the study of Luthers more lofty works.3 Attempts to explain Luthers scatology vary widely. Some argue from a psychoanalytical view that his crudeness proves that he suffered from emotional instability and from the lasting effects of alleged child abuse; some find Luthers vulgarity repugnant and have used it as evidence of a lack of moral character. Others see his scatology as nothing more than a product of his times and national culture; within this group, historians do not agree on the degree to which Luthers language was scatological. Some claim he outdid all of his contemporaries in both the extremity and quantity of this kind of language while others claim he was merely one of many vulgar literary figures, no more and perhaps even less vulgar than his literary contemporaries. There is yet one more camp; this group of historians argues that Luthers crude language served him as a weapon against enemies both corporeal and incorporeal.

4 Premier among those arguing from a psychoanalytic viewpoint of Luthers scatology is psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson. Drawing on Luthers German works and Table Talks in the original German, secondary sources in both the German and English languages, as well as the work of Soeren Kierkegard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud among others, Erikson offers a unique look at Luthers scatology. Eriksons Young Man Luther takes the approach that Luthers scatology derives from active remnants of childhood repressions.4 Erikson examines Luther as a patient dealing with neurotic suffering who, as a young child, made mental connection between his own bowels and the fickle and dangerous bowels of the earth, which were the world of his copper mining father.5 That Luther was spanked exacerbated this obsession with bowels, for in Eriksons view, punishment aggravates the significance of this general area as a battlefield of parental and infantile wills.6 For Erikson, Luthers scatology indicates a manic-depressive response to corporal punishment and overzealous toilet training, manifesting itself in anal defiance toward the paternal figure of the Pope.7 Erikson pays close attention to Luthers constipation and kidney stones, to which Luther himself paid close attention and about which he unblushingly informed his friends. Erikson argues that these painful ailments too were linked to the psyche where he says that for Luther, the hind end has a malignant dominance.8 In Eriksons view, Luthers coarse language was a symptom of psychological struggles and corporal punishment bordering on child abuse.9 Numbering among those citing Luthers scatology as proof of low moral character are Hartmann Grisar and Heinrich Denifle. Grisar coolly quotes Luthers crude language to prove his point and acknowledges that while Luthers language was not sexual in

5 nature, and would not have disgusted people of his era to the degree it might modern readers, that Luther should have cultivated this particular sort of language so as to outstrip in it all his literary contemporaries, scarcely redounds to his credit. His readers and hearers of that day frequently expressed their disgust, and at times his language was so strong that even Catherine Bora [Luthers wife] was forced to cry halt.10 For Grisar, Luthers vulgarity betrays a lack of self-control and questionable character.11 While Grisar freely quotes Luther at his most graphic, Denifle seems to be above quoting Luthers scatology and refers to it in more delicate terms.12 According to Denifle, Luther was a shameless, immoral buffoon and rogue among other things, and his scatology simply adds to the stack of evidence Denifle cites in his works on Luther.13 Both Grisar and Denifle take full advantage of their access to the oldest sources of Luthers works, letters, and Table Talks in German. Among those who assert that Luthers scatology was nothing more than the product of his times, Roland H. Bainton and E. G. Schwiebert claim that Luthers scatology was not as prolific as suggested by Erikson, Grisar and Denifle.14 Arguing that Luther took up the prevailing scatological elements of exegetical theology of his day, Bainton contends that Luther wrote and spoke with less vulgarity than did his contemporaries.15 Likewise Schwiebert argues that Luthers scatological expressions were simply the norm for his era, going so far as to say that Luthers scatological writings comprise a small portion of his works, and Shakespeare, on the other hand, would indicate a much larger percentage.16 Both men said remarkably little about Luthers scatology; for the most part, they dismissed it. Both historians cite original German texts contemporary to Luther, and many German and English language histories of Luther.

6 In his examination of five centuries of German folklore, letters, and song, Alan Dundes takes this concept of culture and extends it to a distinctly German aspect of Luthers world, for he notes that while Thomas More of England returned excrement for excrement in a retort to Luther, More felt compelled to apologize for the necessity to respond to Luther in his own filthy language. More seems to have been truly disgusted by the necessity to use such language.17 As Alan Dundes puts forth his argument that scatology was and still is a distinct part of German culture, more so than of similar cultures, he refutes the work of Erikson and asserts that Luthers scatology was quite normal in terms of his national identity and era.18 A slightly different approach is that Luther was not only a product of his culture but a creator of it. In a larger series of works entitled Studies in European Cultural Transition appears a volume on scatology in which Josef Schmidt and Mary Simon examine Martin Luthers impact on the modern German language. Schmidt and Simon refer to Luther as a theological shit-spreader, and say further that Luther, provided the scatological with a fervor never read or heard before.19 Schmidt and Simon cite Dundes as they find German culture exceptionally free with the scatological, and argue that the Reformation era bears much responsibility for the scatological bent to modern German culture.20 The fourth theory also accepts that Luthers scatology was prolific and asserts that Luther used scatology as a weapon against his enemies. While Bernhard Lohse finds Luthers crudeness shameful, he notes that Luthers vulgarity increased according to whether or not he was under attack, and according to the ferocity of the attack.21 Also seeing scatology as a weapon is Herman Pleij. Without crediting Luther with the shift, Pleij notes that in Luthers lifetime, scatology moved from primarily a comic thing to a

7 weapon of ridicule.22 While Pleij only mentions Luther briefly in his study of scatology in elite culture, he illustrates that scatology was effectively used as a weapon against earthly and supernatural foes, and that it had the effect of exorcising fear of these enemies by diminishing their stature.23 Claude Gandelman expands on this as he demonstrates that Luthers scatology provided direct inspiration to French revolutionaries when they created their scatological iconography.24 The foundation for this approach to Luthers crude language originates in the Bakhtinian philosophy of a material bodily principal, meaning that depictions of the powerful at their most basic and vulnerable levels of consumption, defecation, copulation, and nudity degrade the powerful.25 Approaching Luthers vulgarity with this interpretation are R.W. Scribner and Heiko A. Oberman. In their thorough examination of the oldest German sources, Scribner and Oberman agree that Luther used scatology to combat the Devil and the Pope. The title of Scribners work, For the Sake of Simple Folk: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation, illustrates his view: Popular as he uses the word refers to commoners, the masses who by and large could not read.26 Beyond reducing enemies to objects of mockery and derision, Scribner says of scatology, In the popular mind it would also have served to link the pope and his followers with the demonic. In popular superstition the privy was the haunt of demons and evil spirits.27 While Oberman praises Scribners work and agrees as do most historians that fecal matter was closely linked to the Devil, he does not accept that Luthers vulgarity was designed primarily for an unlettered audience, for Luther spoke freely with scatological language to his fellow clerics and academic elites.28 Oberman draws on Scribners view that Luther employed scatology to weaken the popular view of the papal

8 enemy, but he adamantly insists that Luthers scatology was not solely or even primarily for the sake of simple folk.29 For Oberman, Luthers coarse language was not only a valid weapon, it was an acceptable and powerful way to speak in academic circles. In describing one of Luthers filthiest sermons, Oberman paraphrases Luther thusly, Get lost Satan, eat your own shit! and says further of this 1515 sermon, Immediately after the sermon, Luther was elected as the right hand of Staupitz and placed in charge of eleven monastic houses and the only two studia in Erfurt and Wittenberg the very foundation of the order.30 This proved for Oberman that Luthers scatology was not mere propaganda for commoners; for, his fellow monastic academics received it approvingly.31 Heiko Oberman accepts Luthers filthy language without blushing; he makes no attempt to explain it away as the product of an unbalanced mind, of culture, or of time. He goes so far as to say, Luthers ravings should not be suppressed out of embarrassed respect, and certainly not because they might not be considered proper today. Dealing so gingerly with him means not taking him at his word.32 The scatological writings and speech of Martin Luther together with woodcuts commissioned to appear in his work, have drawn attention from Luthers detractors and admirers alike. The responses hitherto have varied widely. Researchers have approached Luthers vulgarity as evidence of a troubled psyche; as evidence of a lack of moral fiber; as nothing more than a manifestation of his contemporary culture; and finally as a weapon in the Reformation fight and in Luthers personal war with the Devil. Each of the above views is still held by various modern students of Luther; even those views that may no longer be held by mainstream historians still hold sway in popular beliefs of Luther. More and more historians are taking the view that Luthers scatology, while perhaps

9 excessive even in his own era and certainly repugnant to any modern sense of decorum, aided him as a weapon in his battle against his enemies human and demonic. In this final approach that scatology was an acceptable weapon in general German society and not solely at the bottom of German society, there is yet to be explored the issue of gender. Did Martin Luthers scatology aid him by defining him as a virile German male? Martin Luther was not the first man to challenge the Church, but other men paid for such challenges with their lives. Luther arrived on the stage of history at a time when spiritual and nationalist hunger met. Luthers thumbing his nose at papal power was not just a rejection of papal theology and corruption in the Church; it was a rejection of foreign authority. While Luther may not have seen himself as rejecting foreign authority, his insolent vulgarity toward Rome could not help but be a rejection of both the Papacy and Rome itself. That this bold rejection was made in coarse and graphic language, unpolished, un-papal language that was comfortable and familiar to Germanspeaking people, defined him as a virile and distinctly German male.

LUTHERS WORLD Luthers world of violence, plague and famine called for men on whom people could rely to stand strong. It mattered that Luther be seen as virile, for when a nation suffers uncertainty and violence, its people cling to men who display the definitive characteristics of that nations definition of virility. From Wittenberg, in September of 1516, he wrote in a letter to the Augustinian monastery in Neustadt, The plague roars around us, and we daily expect the fate the people of Magdeburg suffer.33 In October of the same year, he wrote, Around us the plague takes at the most three or two [in a

10 day]though not yet daily. Today a son of the craftsman (a neighbor living across from us) was buried; yesterday he was still healthyand another son also suffers from the epidemic.34 In spite of the plague, Luther refused to leave.35 War too was omnipresent, if not constantly in Luthers vicinity, then in the greater German-speaking lands and the Holy Roman Empire at large.36 Luthers Catholic foe, Johannes Cochlaeus, too wrote of wars throughout the Reformation era not only in their own lands but also in the greater Holy Roman Empire and its Christian neighbors.37 As did their peers, both men wrote of the danger and uncertainty of their time. Luther in 1519, expressed the precarious nature of their world, But now in such times of dangers of war, plague, and other hazards all around, I do not want to promise it, not to speak of fulfilling [such a promise].38 War and plague were not the only hazards of the era; basic sustenance was ever in question. Security and health were fickle and fleeting as Cochlaeus recorded, famine, and a lack of all goods, such as had never been within human memory, and a certain plague, which was called the English sweat. This malady was so violent and deadly, that it would snatch the life away from a healthy man within twenty-four hours... Cochlaeus recalled, And the wine in that year was so bitter that it could not easily be drunk because of its acidity; and with time it became so vile and bad-tasting that not even vinegar could be made from it, but since it was entirely unusable, it was poured away in vain.39 The need for a leader who would not falter, and who would not walk away, was visceral in times like these. People needed leaders on whom they could rely, and these leaders were, of necessity in this paternal culture, male. While Luther did not originally seek to lead people, people followed him. For him to have been seen as a leader in this world of

11 uncertainty and danger, he needed to appear not only virile but distinctly German in his virility.

Figure 1. The Popes Threat, 154540 This was an era of rising nationalism ripe with opportunity for political protection without which Luther would have burned exactly as had Huss. Popular in this era was the untrue but widely believed story of Pope Alexander III having stepped on the neck of the German hero, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, three centuries before Luthers era.41 Luther himself used this legend more than once as imagery in his resentment of the Pope.42 The woodcut above appeared in a pamphlet devoted to this very topic.43

12 Resentment against Church corruption was strong, but equally strong was German resentment of Italian authority. In order for Luther to find refuge from Church authorities and their secular adherents, he needed to be useful enough to gain the protection of maverick secular princes looking to get out from under Romes authority. For Luther to be useful to these friendly powers, it was necessary that if they were to throw on his shoulders the mantle of national champion as well as spiritual champion, that those shoulders would not be weak or inadequate. To have any legitimacy as a national champion, his secular allies needed Luther to be viewed not only as virile but as fitting a distinctly German mold of virility.

Figure 2. Hans Schuffelein, Diaper Washer, [1536?]44

13 This need arose for him in a time when people in the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire were strengthening gender definitions. Men were trying to regain some perceived loss of authority as evidenced by the many woodcuts depicting wives beating their husbands and trying to take their husbands pants. A common battleground image depicted in woodcuts on this topic was the diaper. A man who washed diapers was no man at all, and the insult diaper washer referred to a man who did not wear the pants in his home.45 In spite of the gender definition battle going on in Luthers world or perhaps because of it, Luther preached that he washed diapers and so ought other men.46 The very task depicted here as so beneath a man, Luther proudly performed. Luther also referred to his wife as my lord Katie, and this was not only to her but about her when he wrote or spoke to others.47 In spite of these steps outside the gender boundaries of his day, the perception of Luther was always masculine. Granted, Luthers image as a man was already firmly established by the time he married, but these examples still strike the modern observer. How did Luther gain such an image? He was a monk, hardly a manly profession in those days, and yet this half-starved walking skeleton became the image of a German Hercules.


Figure 3. Hans Holbein the Younger, Luther as German Hercules, 152348 The hanged Pope dangled from a rope clenched in Luthers teeth as Luther slew the enemies of the Gospel. Luther was commonly portrayed as a saint, but images of him side by side with the knight and poet Ulrich von Hutten as co-defenders of the Gospel

15 and of German liberty were very popular.49 As in this woodcut of Luther as German Hercules and in images with Hutten, Luther was often portrayed as larger, if only slightly, than other figures in woodcuts. This illustrates that pro-Luther artists either viewed Luther as virile; or, from a desire to see him successfully champion their cause, they deliberately created a robust and manly Luther. What set of princes would rally around the image of a skeletal monk? Those who wanted Luther to win needed him to be viewed as a dominant male. Luthers enemies did not seem to understand this, for if they had grasped the need for Luther to be perceived as virile, they would have portrayed him as weak and effeminate.

Figure 4. Luther as Winesack50 Clearly, Luther was not portrayed by his enemies as the masculine ideal; here he was obese, a lecher, a heretic among heretics, and as he was often accused, a

16 drunkard.51 But even as Luther in this and similar woodcuts was no specimen of manhood, neither was he effeminate. Luthers immorality was shown here by his having taken a nun as bride, a nun married to a monk; a damned woman to a damned man; an infamous woman to an infamous man52 While certainly this was not a positive thing, it portrayed Luther as a sexual male, thereby fostering the view of him as masculine even if negatively masculine. Luther was seen as a liar by his enemies, and as a two-faced trickster who pandered to the masses and did not play by the rules.53 Some of these accusations were well-founded, for Luther often did not play by the rules as when he published a personal letter from a rare female adversary.54 This sort of thing was not unusual for Luther, and one can see how his enemies might have harbored rather nasty feelings toward him. Under the pseudonym William Ross, the Englishman Thomas More wrote, a certain rascal whose name was Luther, who because he had outstripped the very devils themselves in impiety, surpassed magpies in his garrulousness, pimps in his dishonesty, prostitutes in his obscenity, and all buffoons in his buffoonery so that he might adorn his sect with worthy emblems.55 This was representative of many complaints about Luther, and as scathing as this was, it only attacked Luthers character. Luthers masculinity remained intact. If one assumes that a soldier in Luthers day typified much of what defined masculinity in all its good and bad forms, what More said of Luther could have been said of any mercenary soldier of the era. While perhaps not necessarily given to garrulousness, soldiers were rascals, impious, sometimes dishonest, and certainly obscene. This is not to imply that these traits were distinctly masculine, for they were not, but neither were they a threat to ones identity as male. Luthers enemies seemed to have

17 missed this. They continuously portrayed Luther as a threat, often a muscular threat, and in so doing, they fed the image of Luther as a potent male.

Figure 5. Seven-Headed Luther, 152956 Commissioned for a work by Luthers enemy Cochlaeus, this woodcut depicted the many faces of Dr. Martin Luther, all of them maleficent. Note the thick neck, the brawny chest, and the musculature in the exposed chest and shoulders. The last head on the right is that of Barabbas. Next to this head is a club; another version of this woodcut is a two-headed Luther with a larger club over his heads. In both the seven-headed and

18 two-headed versions, the club was designed to portray him as a wild man. By the Lutheran side, the Pope too was portrayed as a wild man.57 This kind of imagery communicated the threat of a back-stabbing, duplicitous traitor. Coupled with the club, these images implied brute force. Negative as this was, it further reinforced the image of Luther as masculine. Other than one side depicting Luther as virile in order that he be viewed as an effective champion for its cause, and the other side depicting him as virile in order that he be viewed as a threat that must be stopped, what else might have led to this prevailing view of Martin Luther, monk, as a dominant male?

Figure 6. Lucas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther, 152058 In part, biology may have played a role. Here we see Luther as the monk who inflicted severe fasts and austerity on himself. This image of craggy features is consistent with the description by a papal nuncio who noted Luthers powerful shoulders in spite of his emaciated condition.59 Even half-starved from years of attempting to mortify the flesh through fasting, Luther appeared here quite robust. His friend Philip Melanchthon noted, He was, however, by nature something I often marveled at, neither small nor weak in body though he ate and drank little; I saw him on four consecutive days neither eat nor

19 drink a thing the entire time, yet he remained completely strong60 His physical makeup must have contributed to a virile image. Charismatic as well, Luther possessed peculiar eyes that were noted by friend and foe alike. Dark brown, sometimes appearing black, his eyes were rimmed with gold giving them a bestial appearance. Friends referred to them as being like a raptors or lions eyes while enemies considered them reptilian. In any case, his eyes were reputed to be part of his powerful effect on people whether to signify genius as his friends believed or to hypnotize hapless souls as his enemies believed.61 It is inarguable that combined with charisma, his physical features impacted the prevailing views of Luther.

Figure 7. Sebald Beham, Large Peasant Holiday, 153562 Another factor contributing to perceived virility may have been Luthers unashamed claims of peasant ancestry.63 Luther did not have to identify himself as a peasant, for he was in fact only half-peasant, and his fathers achievements by the time

20 Luther had become a priest were more than enough to remove that label of peasant if Luther had not wished to acknowledge it. His mother appears to have come from an erudite family boasting Dr. Kaspar Lindemann, the physician of Prince Frederick, as well as many other prominent Lindemanns including a mayor of Eisenach.64 Despite these ways to avoid discussing that he was of peasant stock in his classed society, Luther always claimed his paternal ancestors as they were: peasants. In Figure 7, we see something of what it meant to be a peasant. Precisely in the middle of the image is a hand that has been cut off in the brawl. Violence, unruliness, drunkenness, and gluttony were the themes in woodcuts of peasants, and while these were far from positive things, violence, unruliness, and drunkenness were arguably masculine. The image of peasantry added not only to the perception of Luther as masculine but also to the perception of Luther as distinctly German in masculinity, and illustrated the gulf between smooth Italian culture and robust, earthy German culture. In many ways, Luther typified a common German man in a time of nationalist pride. As a monk, the son of a prosperous man and a burgher mother, Luther could have claimed his maternal family's erudition to fit the Italian church's definition of masculinity, but he chose the rugged peasant. To Luthers allies, this pride in peasant ancestry would have made him humble and folksy. To his enemies, especially non-German enemies, this identification with peasant stock would have made him unpredictable, and would in some measure have set him outside the rules of civility. Adding to this was the belief that Luthers paternal family had a dangerous streak, for his uncle was a violent man, and his father was reputed to have committed murder.65 While the latter accusation was a rumor with little merit, there is evidence to suggest that Luthers paternal uncle was indeed a violent man.66 Ultimately,

21 whether or not a murder was committed may not have been as important as that some of Luthers enemies believed that his father was a murderer. This must have endowed Luther with a violent aura. Two more factors that may have contributed to the view of Luther as masculine were his temper and his courage. He was very emotional and often flew into rages.67 While this certainly did not make him look good, a mans inability to contain righteous anger was in fact a sign of his virility.68 While Cochlaeus and Luthers other enemies did not see Luthers anger as righteous, this notion of an inability to contain wrath can be added to the factors that may have contributed to a view of Luther as masculine. As to his courage, Luther refused to leave Wittenberg when plague hit.69 Yet Luther did not allow the same danger to befall others, I implore you not to let Philip stay in Wittenberg if the plague breaks out there. That head must be preserved, so that the Word, which the Lord has entrusted to him for the salvation of souls, may not perish.70 Further, one of the most dramatic moments in Reformation history occurred at the Imperial Diet of Worms in 1521, when Luther stood in his humble monks garb appearing as he did in Figure 6. Face to face with his deeply Catholic emperor, Luther was surrounded by supportive friends, but more importantly to this image of courage, he was surrounded by those who wanted him to burn for his heresy. Luther was unwilling to recant, and he spoke the words by which he is still known, Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me, Amen.71 Clearly there were many factors contributing to Martin Luthers image of virility, however scatology has not yet been explored as a possibility. Coarse language would have gone a long way in cementing the image of Luther as a sturdy German peasant, and this outrageous and bold means of belittling his enemies must also have contributed to his

22 image as gutsy and courageous. Acknowledging peasant ancestry in concert with the use of coarse language surely made his message more appealing to the common man. Cochlaeus supports this view, for he greatly preferred the judgment of the common and confused multitude to that of Doctors in the University.72 Perhaps equally important as appearing courageous in this era of nationalism, was appearing quite unlike the Roman Church, an appearance that scatology and an association with peasant heritage would have given him.


Figure 8. Hans Sebald Beham, Du Machst Es Gar zu Grob, 153773

23 The text in the banner, You really are being too coarse, is a caption of one peasant scolding the other for defecating and vomiting in public. At first glance based on an image like this, it appears that scatology might have been a liability for Luther. Scatology was clearly associated with a derogatory view of peasants, and while it met with disapproval, public defecation was not uncommon.74 Public defecation was even occasionally used to insult and threaten as in a case where townspeople went so far as to wipe their feces on the doorknob of an unwelcome priest -- this after leaving their excrement to greet him as he opened the door.75 Likewise, Luthers allies used copies of an anti-Luther pamphlet as toilet paper and then sent the pamphlets to the original writers.76 The commonness of public defecation provides context for the scatological imagery Luther used. Fecal matter was a visual part of his world, and it manifested itself verbally in nearly every area of his speech. In the winter of 1542-43, he seems to have suffered one of his many bouts of depression.77 He shared with his table guests, I am ripe shit, so is the world a great wide asshole; eventually we will part.78 Even German nobility used scatological imagery in attacking one another as when they displayed one anothers coats of arms dipped in excrement.79 Monks used scatological language and approved of it in Luther. In 1515, one of his filthiest sermons appears to have been instrumental in his election to one of the highest posts in the Reformed Augustinian order.80 Why was this? Why would these monks, these highly educated men, approve of Luthers filthy language? Perhaps it was because while certainly not all virile men engaged in scatological speech, scatology was inherently associated with men.


Figure 9. Erhard Schoen, Illustration for a Prognostic81 In a visual illustration of this, we have in woodcuts of the Landsknecht soldiery the examples of two means of striking down the Pope. First in Figure 9, a Landsknecht struck the Pope down with his traditional weapon, the sword. Mercenaries serving in the armies of various princes and nobles, as well as the emperor, Landsknecht soldiers were viewed as a necessary evil. They were dangerous, vulgar, and in many ways above the law, but they were also glorified.82 In this image full of apocalyptic symbolism, the Landsknecht defeated as he was expected to defeat. But below, he defeated in another fashion, which while perhaps not as apocalyptic was easily as blasphemous.


Figure 10. The Pope is Adored as an Earthly God, 154583 Here Landsknecht mercenaries were depicted depositing their feces into the papal tiara and defeating the Pope with a weapon other than the sword. Scatology, and particularly scatology as a weapon, was associated with men. While the weapon here is not the sword, fecal matter was a weapon nonetheless, and weapons belonged to the domain of men. These were not women, and we do not see women baring their backsides in woodcuts associated with Luther. It is worth noting that Luthers choice of words depending on the gender of his audience showed further the gender difference in scatology. Luther changed the way he spoke when men were not in the audience, for we see in letters to women that Luther was far less likely to use fecal imagery, and even when he did, he did so with less strong language.84

26 Luthers scatological language did not meet with unanimous approval particularly outside German-speaking lands. In the following, Luthers English adversary Thomas More writing under the pen name William Ross, referred not so much to Luthers theology as shit, but rather to the manner in which Luther treated his adversaries: But if he continues to act the buffoon in the same manner as he has begun, and if he continues to rage, to cast insults about, to talk nonsense in his stupidity, to rave in his insanity, to play in his buffoonery, to carry nothing in his mouth other than cesspools, sewers, latrines, shit, and dung then let others do what they will, we will take counsel at that time to consider whether we should treat him as he raves thus according to his own strengths, and paint him in his own colors, or whether we should leave this raving little brother and this idler in the latrines, with his furies and ravings, befouling and himself befouled with his shit and his dung.85 More was so utterly repulsed at the extent to which he felt forced to use coarse language to respond to Luther that he never publicly owned up to this work. That the commonness of scatology across all layers of society was distinctly German is attested to by the fact that when More felt the necessity to respond to Luther in Luthers own filthy language, he went so far to distance himself from the work as to author it under a pseudonym.86 As seen by the monks of Luthers Augustinian monastery receiving a foul sermon so approvingly, by the nobility using scatology to demean one another, by the use of feces to threaten, and as we shall see later by the unwillingness of many of Luthers enemies to stoop to his level in verbal and visual combat, it appears that there is good evidence to support the theory that scatology was a greater part of Reformation era German culture than of similar cultures in the same era.87 That Germans were not as easily offended and perhaps enjoyed scatological humor more than other cultures defined the very crude Martin Luther as all the more German. Scatology aided him by defining him not only as a virile man but as a virile German man. Bearing in mind the deep and

27 long history of German resentment against the papacy, Luthers distinctly German virility may have been as important as his virility alone.

LANGUAGE AS WEAPONRY For men, access to power required fitting within a mold of current and local definitions of masculinity; these definitions largely hinged on the mastery of a set of skills specific to ones field.88 For Luther as a monk, this meant mastery of language. Words were his weapons.89 They were access to a perception of stout, resolute German masculinity at least within his field. A man who could defeat another in academic argumentation had a means of expressing his masculinity even if he were not a soldier or miner or peasant. Luthers enemy Cochlaeus referred to books as reserve troops and used phrases like, meet him in battle.90 Regarding a disputation between Luthers enemy Eck and Luthers ally Karlstadt, Cochlaeus said that Eck, unafraid ran boldly to meet the attacker.91 Cochlaeus also mocked Luthers attempt to placate a prince, to see if perhaps by womanly flatteries he could conquer and defeat the firm mind and manly heart of that strong constancy.92 We see the use of gender here, the mockery of anothers masculinity, and Luther returned fire for fire to Cochlaeus with reference to femininity.93 Luther also belittled Cochlaeus by referring to him as Snot-Nose, a label that reduced him to a little boy.94 Unwilling to hold back no matter how it might have been viewed, Luther frequently used scatological language as a sharper sword than the weapons of clean erudite discourse. More than just a stronger weapon than solid erudition, scatology associated the target of such speech with the Devil because fecal matter was associated with the Devil.95

28 The latrine was something of a playground for the Devil.96 In Luthers discussions of his relationship with the Devil, we see how strong this association was. Shortly before Christmas, 1531, he recorded thoughts on a conversation with the Devil: Devil: You monk on the latrine, you may not read the matins here! Monk: I am cleansing my bowels and worshipping God Almighty; You deserve what descends and God what ascends.97 For Luther, God was ubiquitous and could be worshipped anywhere. In Luthers thinking, his adversary, the Devil, threw every possible argument at Luther to keep him from enjoying salvation and trusting in God. Associating the Devil with the latrine and with all things fecal, Luther quipped back to the Devil that God deserved Luthers praise anywhere and everywhere, while the Devil deserved only Luthers ordure. As darkness was much darker in Luthers world, long before the dawn of electricity, and as the Devil was as real as scent or wind or anything else one could sense but not see, Luther often had yelling matches with the Devil at night. These battles were more vehement before he had the revelation about justification by faith and not works. In the English speaking world, this revelation is known as The Experience in the Tower, but Luther made a point of saying that it happened in the latrine in the tower.98 He was sitting in the latrine and pondering Romans 1:17, For in it [the Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed which comes from faith into faith as it is written, The just shall live by their faith.99 This passage had always excluded him because he knew he was not just. And then it hit him that by faith he was justified, and not by anything he could or could not do. And it hit him in the latrine. He said later in life as he looked back on this revelation, Here I felt that I was altogether born again, and had entered Paradise itself through open gates.100 Luther made the point of this revelation having reached him in the latrine because this was

29 where the Devil was believed to loiter, so this made the revelation doubly powerful, for God had not only released him from the theology of works but had done so in the very place where the Devil ruled. Therefore God would go anywhere to reach His children.101 In his many battles with the Devil, Luthers defensive volleys were often scatological, But I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away. When he tempts me with silly sins I say, Devil, yesterday I broke wind too. Have you written it down on your list?102 That when the Devil planted guilt over silly sins, he could be run off with a little flatulence weakened his power and reduced him to a comic level.103 Luther frequently used nothing more than flatus to drive the Devil away, Almost every night when I wake up the devil is there and wants to dispute with me. I have come to this conclusion: When the argument that the Christian is without the law and above the law doesnt help, I instantly chase him away with a fart.104 The Devil was an enormous threat, far greater than the Pope, and with fecal language, Luther belittled the great and fearsome Satan. Luther clearly took the Devil seriously as we see from stronger language, Dear Devil I have shat in my pants and breeches; hang them on your neck and wipe your mouth with them.105 While the Devil in this case could not be driven away with mere flatus, the effect was the same: weakening of his power. Luther was willing to use every weapon at his disposal, and as an academic, words were his weapons. Often, Luther grew angry at the Devil, and he clearly used language as a weapon against his foe, Have you not had enough, you Devil, so have I also shat and pissed, wipe your mouth on that and take yourself a full bite!106 While this stronger language illustrated how very seriously Luther took the Devil, it also gave the hearer an

30 image of the Devil or some such creature shamed or shocked into submission by the force of Luthers anger and vulgarity. Ultimately what Luther did to the Devil, he did to all enemies; when Luthers logic did not persuade, he chased them away with unanswerable diminishment. While many like Thomas More were repulsed by Luthers choice of arms, it did not really matter what one said to Luther in return, for what response was there to name-calling and vulgar accusations? This degradation, this sweeping away of any real chance for academic debate, made Luther the victor in the eyes of his followers and allies. For them, this vulgar degradation gave the perception of power to the degrader, and so where Luther degraded his enemies, be they spiritual or earthly, he gained the perception of power. While Luther did not create the following woodcuts, many of them appeared in his writings and in the writings of the Lutheran camp; they therefore represented Luther. Certainly the language Luther used also reinforced these images.


Figure 11. The Papal Belvedere, 1545107 In this Lutheran woodcut, the top line reads, The Pope speaks. As these peasants bare their buttocks and release flatulence in answer to the Popes decree, we see reinforced Luthers frequent comments about the Pope, to whom he often referred as pope fart-ass among other things.108 Near the end of his life, Luther wrote a foul piece entitled Against the Papacy in Rome Founded by the Devil.109 Convinced by this time that the Pope was Anti-Christ, Luther attacked him as follows, But what does the Pope say? Come here, Satan! And if you had more worlds than this, I would accept them all, and not only worship you, but also lick your behind.110 Disgusted with papal power

32 over secular leaders throughout history, Luther wrote, They are temporal lords, ordained by God. Why do they tolerate such things from such a rotten paunch, crude ass-pope and fart-ass in Rome?111 Further in this work, Luther addressed the practice of indulgence sales, Similarly, the Indulgence is an utter shitting [swindle], with which the Hellish Father fooled all the world and cheated them of their money.112 In this same document, Luther mocked and warned the Pope with scatology. The warning below was specifically addressing this statement from the Pope to Emperor Charles V, And you should know that it is not your prerogative to choose who shall be in the council, for that is the prerogative of our jurisdiction.113 Luther here warned the Pope not to make such a misstep, for the consequences could be embarrassing and open for all the world to see: Gently, dear Pauli, dear donkey, dont dance around! Oh, dearest little ass-pope, dont dance arounddearest, dearest little donkey, dont do it. For the ice is very solidly frozen this year because there was no windyou might fall and break a leg. If a fart should escape you while you were falling, the whole world would laugh at you and say, Ugh, the devil! How the ass-pope has befouled himself! And that would be a great crime of lese majesty against the Holy See in Rome, which no letters of indulgence or plentitude of power could forgive. Oh, that would be dangerous! So consider your own great danger beforehand, Hellish Father.114 Luther added in quotation marks the rebuttals he expected Papal supporters would offer him in response to the above: Silence, you heretic! What comes out of our mouth must be kept! I hear it which mouth do you mean? The one from which the farts come? (You can keep that yourself!) Or the one into which the good Corsican wine flows? (Let a dog shit into that!) ... Dear one, should such bishops and emperors have done wrong and should they be damned merely because this farting ass in Rome (what else can he do?) sets up, out of his own mad head, and farts out of his stinking belly, that it is not fitting for the emperor to convoke a council or to decide or name who shall attend?115

33 Later in the same document, Luther toyed with the Pope, I was frightened and thought I was dreaming, it was such a thunderclap, such a great horrid fart did the papal ass let go here! He certainly pressed with great might to let out such a thunderous fartit is a wonder that it did not tear his hole and belly apart!116 This particular tract came at the end of Luthers life, and scatology had been part of Luthers speech from his young days as a monk.117 There was no answer to such mockery. There was no argument in it except that the Popes arguments were nothing but flatulence and feces, that his arguments were not worthy of debate. To his adversaries, this must have been seen as childish, and as Luther retreating behind a wall of offal so foul that no one would bother to come close enough to fight back. To his followers however, especially those less interested in theology than in German independence from Rome, this kind of argument must have been music to the ears. How sweet it must have sounded to hear someone putting the Pope in his place.


Figure 12. Birth and Origin of the Pope, 1545118 Here this fecal association of the Pope with the Devil was taken to its extreme, for not only were his arguments nothing more than flatulence and feces, but he himself was fecal matter. The Pope in this image has been born of a she-devils rectum, and received his nourishment and care from another she-devil. That what the Pope consumed came from the body of a she-devil implied that what was inside him was devilish, and that he was born rectally rendered him living excrement. Again, there was no possible answer to this. How could one respond? Truly, the only response available to such arguments was to fight fire with fire, but the Catholic side either did not understand the power of such

35 imagery to shape the opinions of people in many strata of German society or they simply refused to pander at this level. The disgust and frustration with Luther can be seen here again in the words of Thomas More, No buffoon was ever found who exceeded him, so stolid a bearer of blows that he will thrust filth into his own mouth which he spits out into anothers bosom. Therefore, since he is of this sort, I wonder not at all if he is now considered unworthy for anyone to dispute with him.119 When Catholics depicted Luther as the enemy, they portrayed him as a lascivious sot, a glutton, and a fool, but equally he was portrayed as a mighty threat. They did not seem to understand how to diminish Luther.

Figure 13. Thomas Murner, An Illustration From the Great Lutheran Fool, 1522120 In terms of scatology, this appears to have been the strongest Catholic attack against Luther. While Luther here was stuffed into the latrine, the latrine appeared hardly used, and Luthers buttocks remained covered in contrast to a Lutheran depiction of the Pope shown in full nudity.121 Thomas Murner allowed Luther more dignity than the

36 Lutherans offered their enemies. Below, the buttocks of Luthers enemy Cochlaeus were displayed for all the world to see, and that was a mere fraction of the humiliation the Lutherans offered him in the following woodcut. Compare figures 13 and 14. Murners answer to Lutheran scatology hardly makes a whisper compared to the appalling yawp of the depiction from Luthers camp of Luthers enemy Cochlaeus.

Figure 14. Satire on Johann Cochlaeus 122 Cochlaeus here was portrayed as consuming the feces of the devil; in fact he appeared unable to get enough. Simultaneously he relieved himself of a free flow of books of excrement. While there was some legitimate theological symbolism in this woodcut such as the choice of bestial features that would have associated Cochlaeus

37 admirers with hell, there was no answerable theological argument here.123 Any response Cochlaeus might have offered would have been laughed at by Luthers allies, for Cochlaeus had already been rendered impotent with the etching of this image in the minds of Luthers supporters. The only possible response to something like this would have been to add to the volley of excrement, for in Luthers world, scatology was best fought with scatology. Around 1525, Polish Catholics came up with a song about Luther that seems to have shut even the cleverest of mouths: Since Luther considers everyone shit compared with him, And in his filthy mouth has nothing but shit, I ask you, wouldnt you say that hes a shitty prophet? Such as a mans words are so is the man himself.124 Cochlaeus found the lack of Lutheran response to this astonishing.125 But if scatology is effective, it silences the other side, apparently it could even silence Luther. The Polish song demonstrated the power of fecal language as a weapon, for it could shut even the mouth of the very one who had introduced scatology into the argument. This kind of response to Luther was not the norm however, and so in addition to Luthers many erudite and intellectual successes with clean academic language in winning his battles, he also continued to win many verbal and visual battles by means of foul language, and thereby increased his stature as victor in his field. As victor, he was virile. That Luther succeeded in achieving an image of virility, whether consciously or not, is evidenced by the portrayals of two misbirths.


Figure 15. The Monk Calf before Pope Adrian, 1523126 Misbirths were seen as omens and oracles, and this image refers to a mutant calf born with a cowl in Saxony. As the cowl was the universal symbol of monks, this calf was used in propaganda by both sides. In the anti-Luther image above, Luther as the Monk Calf was being shown to the Pope.127 Note that this calf was far more muscular, far larger, and far more brawny than any calf could have been, certainly a mutant calf that could not long have survived; and yet Luther was not portrayed as weak and near death but as robust. Polish Catholics made up a song about this calf with clear reference to Luther, who was of Saxony: A Saxon cow produced a cowled fetus, signifying the monster which that land nourishes. Poor Saxon, be on your guard, and destroy that monster; always show that it met its end in your lands.128


Figure 16. The Papal Ass, 1523129 Purportedly discovered in the Tiber River, this misbirth was more legend than reality, but it was believed nonetheless. Reinterpreting the Monk Calf as an omen against monasticism in general and therefore not against Luther who was no longer a monk, Luther with his close ally and friend Melanchthon published a pamphlet in which the new Monk Calf appeared with this image of the Papal Ass. Replete with symbolism, this depiction of the Papal Ass portrayed the Pope as unquestionably female. The Pope was often cast as a virile threat, for he was at times a wild monster, and often was depicted

40 with a sword.130 But he was also portrayed as female on more than one occasion, and Luther portrayed the Whore of Babylon in the papal tiara in chapter seventeen of Revelation in his New Testament.131 Would German princes, German warriors, have risked their lives and their fortunes to throw their support behind a man who was so easily portrayed as female? Indeed they might have, if that man already possessed power, if he had already demonstrated himself as a leader in battle or in affairs of state. But a monk? Luther needed to be viewed as male, virile, and German, in order to achieve a following among powerful laymen. Luther may or may not have been conscious of this; he may or may not have cultivated this perception; in any event, he was ultimately viewed as virile by both sides. This was played out in his enemies attacks, for the majority of their visual and verbal imagery was virile in nature. In the Papal Bull Exsurge Domine, the Pope called Luther a wild boar, The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.132 Of all the images in Scripture, why was the boar chosen? In Luthers world, what did it mean to be a wild boar? We have Luthers own words describing the dreaded Turk as a wild boar. Luthers description of the Turk illustrates for us what the Pope added to Luthers image when he used this term, ...this wild boar and unique one, namely, the Turk, came and laid it waste again. And I believe the prophet is speaking in this sense, for the Turk is rightly the wild boar, because he is wanton and fierce at the same time; he teaches and permits wantonness, and he compels all to adopt his faith by the force of arms.133 A wild boar was a thing to be feared. Wild, brutal, wanton, and savage was the boar in imagery. The Pope in using the boar, while intending to convey the threat of Luthers heresy and wantonness, certainly achieved this among papal

41 followers, but he also lent something more to Luther, something quite useful. For as fierce and brutal, he was a distinctly masculine creature not to be taken lightly. The Pope lent this gravity to Luther, and in turn to the German people. The Pope clearly feared Luther; and as Luther through scatology had successfully identified himself as a robust, earthy German, this must have transferred some latent pride to Luthers followers. The Pope feared a German, one of their countrymen. To be feared by the very figure Luthers followers had so long resented for corruption and foreign dominance, and had feared for excommunication must have held some large satisfaction! In a perverse way, this imagery of the boar must have reinforced a sense of nationalism and pride.

CONCLUSION Many factors contributed to the image of Luther as virile: his physical structure and charisma, his connection to the peasantry, his anger and courage, anti-Luther verbal and visual imagery, and his mastery of language as a weapon in his field; but scatology set him apart from Rome and reinforced his image as distinctly German. Coarse language illustrated the gulf between smooth Italian culture and robust, earthy German culture; it allowed Luther to typify a common German man in a time of rising nationalist pride. Whether Luthers allies did not believe the accusations against his character, or whether they believed that any tactics against an enemy as great as the Pope were justified, is not the question. For, it appears that Luthers strength was more important than his fairness. Those German laymen and clerics desirous of change in the Church needed a champion, as did princes looking for justification to get out from under foreign authority. It was required of this champion that he fit their definition of masculinity, a separate and

42 German definition. Luthers coarse, insolent bravado lent him the appearance of boldness and courage; it also reinforced his image as a German peasant. This is not to say that Luthers scatology was in and of itself a positive thing, for toward the end of his life, he crossed every line of decency, and he outstripped even himself in his later years; this was when many of the above woodcuts were done. One must imagine that he no longer needed such filthy language, for he was now established as the head of one of the greatest movements in history. Although for Luther this did not seem to be the case, for the end of the world was believed to be imminent, and the anti-Christ was on his temporal throne as Pope with the Holy Roman Empire and many other nations still largely at his beck and call. Thus, while clearly Luthers scatology went beyond the rules of decorum even for his own era, it seemed to work for him; for, with scatology, he gained allies and power. We see this so strikingly in his fellow monks adulatory response to what was arguably Luthers coarsest sermon, a sermon from 1515, two years before he nailed the ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.134 For Luther to achieve a following of more than a few monks and a handful of pious people, he had to be viewed as powerful. People in this time of famine, war, and plague needed heroes; they needed a champion. Whether Luther wanted this role or not, and it is widely believed that he did not, he had to fit the German definition of masculinity. One of the ways men fit into a mold of masculinity was to master a set of skills. In fact, for others to see Luther as virile, he had to do this.135 In his field, mastery of skills meant mastery of language, of argument, and a demonstrated ability to dominate others with these skills. While often able to defeat enemies in his field with lofty words and truly towering intellect, only the educated in German society could fully comprehend

43 these battles. When he used scatology, however, he set forth in common language unanswerable insolence and dominated his enemies in a way that every German person could understand. Luther used the age-old method of demeaning adversaries: mockery. While this method may not have shut the mouths of his enemies, it rendered mute any response to the masses. Far more important to Luthers survival, than Luthers theological brilliance, was his psychological brilliance. Whether he was aware of the effect scatology had or not, whether he used it intentionally to manipulate the opinion of the masses, to defeat his enemy before the German people, he had to do it in a way that was comprehensible to all, not just to the monk, not just to the educated priest and lawyer, but to the German everyman.

ENDNOTES Alan Dundes, Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder: A Study of German National Character through Folklore (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), xvi, 8-14, 152-153. R.W. Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 229. Heiko A. Oberman, Teufelsdreck: Eschatology and Scatology in the Old Luther, Sixteenth Century Journal 19, no. 3 (Autumn, 1988): 443, 444, < EASIT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-P> (accessed February 12, 2008). Erik Erikson, Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History (London: Faber and Faber, 1958), 238.
5 6 7 4 3 2 1

Ibid., 241. Ibid. Ibid., 240-242.


8 9

Ibid., 239. Ibid., 59-60.

Hartmann Grisar, Luther, vol. 3, ed. Luigi Cappadelta, tran. E.M. Lamond (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1913), 229, <http://ia360633.> (accessed March 14, 2008).
11 12


Ibid., 234.

Heinrich Denifle, Luther and Lutherdom: From Original Sources, vol. 1, pt. 1, tran. Raymond Volz (Somerset, OH: Torch, 1917), 330.
13 14

Ibid., 139-144, 330-334, 358.

Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1978), 232-233. Roland H. Bainton, Psychiatry and History: An Examination of Eriksons Young Man Luther, in Psychohistory and Religion, ed. Roger A. Johnson (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977), 54-55. E.G. Schwiebert, Luther and His Times: The Reformation from a New Perspective (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing, 1950), 580. Alan Dundes, Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder: A Study of German National Character through Folklore (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), 60-62.
18 19 17 16 15

Ibid., 9, 61.

Joseph Schmidt with Mary Simon, Holy and Unholy Shit: The Pragmatic Context of Scatological Curses in Early German Reformation Satire, in Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art: Studies in Scatology, ed. Jeff Persels and Russell Ganim (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2004), 112.
20 21

Ibid., 109, 116.

Bernhard Lohse, Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life and Work, tran. Robert C. Schultz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), 85-86. Herman Pleij, Urban Elites in Search of a Culture: The Brussels Snow Festival of 1511, New Literary History: New Historicisms, New Histories, and Others 21, no. 3 (Spring, 1990): 639, <


6087%28199021%2921%3A3%3C629%3AUEISOA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-N> (accessed February 25, 2008).

23 24

Ibid., 635-636.

Claude Gandelman, Patri-arse: Revolution as Anality in the Scatological Caricatures of the Reformation and the French Revolution, American Imago 53, no. 1 (1996): 8, < gandelman.html> (accessed February 19, 2008). Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, tran. Hlne Iswolsky (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1984), 18-21.
26 27 28 29 25

Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 1, 13. Ibid., 84. Oberman, Teufelsdreck, 435, 448-450.

Heiko A. Oberman, Luther: Man between God and the Devil, tran. Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart (New York: Image, 1989), 107, 109.
30 31 32 33

Oberman, Teufelsdreck, 442, 443. Ibid., 449. Oberman, Luther, 108.

Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 48, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963), 23.
34 35 36 37

Ibid., 30. Ibid., 31. Ibid., 270.

Johannes Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther from the Year of the Lord 1517 to the Year 1546 Related Chronologically to All Posterity, in Luthers Lives: Two Contemporary Accounts of Martin Luther, trans. Elizabeth Vandiver and Thomas D. Frazel (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2002), 198, 213, 269, 305.

Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 48, 129.


39 40

Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 246.

The Popes Threat, 1545, in Kurt Stadtwald, Pope Alexander III's Humiliation of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa As An Episode in Sixteenth-Century German History, Sixteenth Century Journal 23, no. 4 (Winter 1992): 756, < 0361-0160%28199224%2923%3A4%3C755%3APAIHOE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1> (accessed February 22, 2008). Kurt Stadtwald, Pope Alexander III's Humiliation of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa As An Episode in Sixteenth-Century German History, Sixteenth Century Journal 23, no. 4 (Winter 1992): 755-768, < 0361-0160%28199224%2923%3A4%3C755%3APAIHOE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1> (accessed February 22, 2008). Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 43, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968), 237. Stadtwald, Pope Alexander IIIs Humiliation of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, 756. Hans Schuffelein, Diaper Washer, [1536?], in Keith Moxey, Peasants, Warriors, and Wives: Popular Imagery in the Reformation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 108. Keith Moxey, Peasants, Warriors, and Wives: Popular Imagery in the Reformation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 101-126, 106. Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 45, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1962), 40. Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 50, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), 129. Hans Holbein the Younger, Luther as German Hercules, 1523, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 33.
49 50 51 52 53 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41

Ibid., 32-35. Luther as Winesack, n.d., in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 235. Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 117. Ibid., 130. Ibid., 62-63, 68-69, 239.


Susan C. Karant-Nunn and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, trans. and eds., Luther on Women: A Sourcebook (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 224-227.
55 56 57 58


Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 119. Seven-Headed Luther, 1529, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 233. Ibid., 135-136, 233-234.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther, 1520, in Oberman, Luther, frontispiece.
59 60

Schwiebert, Luther and His Times, 573.

Philip Melanchthon, History of the Life and Acts of the Most Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, Dr. of True Theology, in Luthers Lives: Two Contemporary Accounts of Martin Luther, trans. Thomas D. Frazel (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2002), 16.
61 62

Schwiebert, Luther and His Times, 576.

Sebald Beham, Large Peasant Holiday, 1535, in Moxey, Peasants, Warriors, and Wives, 37. Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 54, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), 458.
64 65 66 63

Oberman, Luther, 85, 90-91. Erikson, Young Man Luther, 53-54.

Julius Kstlin, Life of Luther (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1883), 4, < ce=gbs_other_versions_sidebar_s&cad=7> (accessed April 8, 2008).

Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 63-64, 66, 68, 79, Ibid., 59. Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 48, 30-31. Ibid., 316.

68 69 70


Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 32, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1958), 113. This is translated in this text as I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen. It can be translated equally as the more famous translation in the text above.
72 73


Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 68.

Hans Sebald Beham, Du Machst Es Gar zu Grob, 1537, in Pleij, Urban Elites in Search of a Culture, 640. Alison Stewart, Paper Festivals and Popular Entertainment: the Kermis Woodcuts of Sebald Beham in Reformation Nuremberg, Sixteenth Century Journal 24, no. 2 (Summer, 1993): 304, <> (accessed February 20, 2008). R.W. Scribner, Religion and Culture in Germany: 1400-1800, ed. Lyndal Roper (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 2001), 157.
76 77 78 75 74

Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 83-84. Erikson, Young Man Luther, 206.

Martin Luther, D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Tischreden, vol. 5 (1919; repr. Weimar, Germany: Hermann Bhlaus Nachfolger, 2000), 222. Philip M. Soergel, The Counter-Reformation Impact on Anticlerical Propaganda, in Anticlericalism in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Peter A. Dykema, and Heiko Oberman (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 1993.), 650.
80 81 79

Oberman, Teufelsdreck, 442-443.

Erhard Schoen, Illustration for a Prognostic, n.d., in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk,126.
82 83

Moxey, Peasants, Warriors, and Wives, 67-100.

The Pope is Adored as an Earthly God, 1545, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 82.
84 85

Karant-Nunn and Wiesner-Hanks, Luther on Women, 202-226. Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 118-119.


Neelak Serawlook Tjernagel, Henry VIII and the Lutherans: A Study in AngloLutheran Relations from 1521-1547 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing, 1965), 24.
87 88


Dundes, Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder, xvi, 8-14, 152-153.

Jeffrey D. Glasco, The Seaman feels Him-self a Man, International Labor and Working-Class History, 66 (Fall 2004), 45. Carl P.E. Springer, Arms and the Theologian: Martin Luthers Adversus Armatum Virum Cochlaeum, International Journal of the Classical Tradition 10, no.1 (Summer 2003): 47, < 1&hid=112&sid=ebc03f03-4236-4517-8ed7-d28f22dca38d%40sessionmgr108> (accessed March 4, 2008).
90 91 92 93 94 89

Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 67. Ibid., 66. Ibid., 173. Springer, Arms and the Theologian, 47.

Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 41, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), 150. Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum, tran. Christopher S. Mackay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 131, 229, 251, 298, 373.
96 97 95

Oberman, Luther, 155.

Martin Luther, D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Tischreden, vol. 2 (1913; repr. Weimar, Germany: Hermann Bhlaus Nachfolger, 2000), 413. This translation comes from Oberman, Luther, 339.
98 99

Oberman, Luther, 155.

Martin Luther, tran., Biblia (1534; repr. Cologne, Germany: Taschen Verlag, 2002), Die Epistel Sanct Pauli An die Rmer: I. Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 34, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1960), 337.
101 102 100

Oberman, Luther, 154-165. Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 54, 16.


103 104 105 106

Pleij, Urban Elites in Search of a Culture, 635-636. Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 54, 78. Martin Luther, D. Martin Luthers Werke, vol. 2, 132.

Martin Luther, D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Tischreden, vol. 6 (1921; repr. Weimar, Germany: Hermann Bhlaus Nachfolger, 2000), 216.
107 108 109

The Papal Belvedere, 1545, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 84. Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 41, 344-345.

Martin Luther, Wider das Bapstum zu Rom vom Teuffel Gestifft, in Meine Bibliothek: Literatur, <,+ Martin/Traktate/Wider+das+Papsttum+zu+Rom,+vom+Teufel+gestiftet> (accessed April 11, 2008).
110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118

Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 41, 334. Ibid., 335. Luther, Wider das Bapstum zu Rom vom Teuffel Gestifft. Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 41, 280. Ibid. Ibid., 281. Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 41, 335. Oberman, Teufelsdreck, 439. Birth and Origin of the Pope, 1545, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 118.

119 120

Thomas Murner, An Illustration From the Great Lutheran Fool, 1522, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 237.

Ibid., 87.


122 123 124 125 126

Satire on Johann Cochlaeus, n.d., in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 85. Ibid., 84-85. Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 169. Ibid., 169.

The Monk Calf before Pope Adrian, 1523, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 128.
127 128 129 130 131

Ibid., 127-129. Cochlaeus, The Deeds and Writings of Dr. Martin Luther, 168-169. The Papal Ass, 1523, in Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk, 129. Ibid., 127-131, 129, 135-136, 159-161.

Martin Luther, tran., Biblia (1534; repr. Cologne, Germany: Taschen Verlag, 2002), Die Offenbarung XVII. Leo X, Exsurge Domine, in Papal Encyclicals Online <> (accessed April 10, 2008). Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 11, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann, and Hilton C. Oswald (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976), 98.
134 135 133 132

Oberman, Teufelsdreck, 442-443. Glasco, The Seaman feels Him-self a Man, 51-52.

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