Summer Reading
For your summer reading the Wizard suggests the following:


One night in 1476 in the small German town of Niklashausen, an illiterate shephard and a street musician by the name of Hans Behem had a vision of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin told him to burn his drum in a bonfire of the vanities and preach the virtues of a life of poverty and devotion to God.

In a short time great crowds came from all of Germany to hear the Drummer preach. Authorities were alarmed, Hans was arrested and burned.

This incident has become emblematic of the conflicts between wealthy rulers, both Church and state, and the peasants and common people of Europe and has been portrayed as a precursor of the massive peasant revolts of the next century.

This reading will help us set the stage for our course and provide an understanding of the lives of the "folk" who made up the bulk of the population and struggled to survive in a world they did not understand and a world that did not even recognize their existence.


Read this work this summer and come to class on the first day prepared to explain in writing the lives, dreams and problems of the common man on the eve of Modern Europe.