From Twisted Sifter (hat tip: Pam Wilson): an interesting animation of the construction of Prague’s Charles Bridge (built 1357-1402).
One of the delightful features of the church I currently attend is that it celebrates Reformation Sunday, the Sunday before October 31. That was the day on which Martin Luther, in 1517, nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the church door at Wittenberg, thereby inaugurating the Protestant Reformation! (Of course, there is no primary source evidence that he actually did this, although he may very well have, given that the church door functioned as the university bulletin board. What really mattered is that they were translated into German and published with the printing press, an example of an academic idea bursting out of the confines of the university and into the wider culture. This happens from time to time.)
The church bulletin yesterday did not feature Martin Luther composing, nailing, or printing his theses. Instead, the illustration was of him at the Diet of Worms of 1521, when he stood up to no one less than Emperor Charles V! (Even if he did this in April – actually, I think that Savior of All should celebrate Diet of Worms day, too. Unfortunately, there is no proof that he ever said “Here I stand; I can not do otherwise.”)
I like that the artist has rendered the double-headed Imperial eagle on a gold field. Alas, he has also simplified the coat of arms beyond recognition. Here is what Wikipedia has:
Here is another work of art featuring Luther, discovering justification by faith:
The original of this painting may be found in the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery in Greenville, South Carolina, which we visited in the spring of 2014, and which houses the most fantastic collection of late medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art. Apparently Bob Jones, Jr., son of the founder and university president for many years, had a predilection for Christian-themed art and so began acquiring it when he could. (The painting above is not representative; it is nineteenth century in origin and Protestant in theme. Most of the BJU collection is older than that and quite Catholic, which is somewhat at odds with BJU’s historic principles.) I highly recommend a visit to the Museum and Gallery should you be visiting Greenville.
A great Wikipedia nugget just discovered:
It was also at this Council [of Constance, 1415-19] that a cardinal ventured to correct [Emperor] Sigismund’s Latin (he had construed the word schisma as feminine rather than neuter). To this Sigismund replied: “I am king of the Romans and above grammar.”
This is almost as good as another quip, from Ferdinand I of Austria (r. 1835-1848), who is:
best remembered for his one coherent command, to his cook when told he could not have apricot dumplings (Marillenknödel) because apricots were out of season. He said “I am the Emperor, and I want dumplings!”