UNDER CONSTRUCTION…This is a draft post, started on Jan. 31, punk superstar John Lydon’s birthday (born 1956). Is it a coincidence that Menno Simons also died on Jan. 31? Weird, right? What could be weirder? Answer: The fact that Menno Simons shaped his career as a religious reformer around his reaction against the legacy and memory of Jan van Leiden (aka John of Leyden)!
Joseph Sattler, _Die Wiedertäufer_ (1895): The Complete Illustrations
This post shares images from a famous 19th-century German printmaker that depict Anabaptist rule at Münster in the 1530s. It also outlines how these images have been confused repeatedly as 16th-century images.
UPDATED: 1 Jan. 2023
The Blasphemy of Jan of Leiden: A research plan
ORIGINAL POST (May 2017): The Blasphemy of Jan of Leiden is the oldest text by Menno Simons, and it indicates that he was an early opponent of the Anabaptists of Münster. This, at least, has long been the consensus view about early Mennonite history. A challenge for researchers, however, is that the oldest copy of The Blasphemy is from 1627. This post introduces a project to find out more about this 1627 text.
UPDATE (Sept 2019): The transcription project is still in planning. Brookelnn Cooper has completed her MA research paper (“Identifying the Anonymous Printer of Menno Simons’ The Blasphemy of Jan van Leiden : A Typographical Analysis”) and her degree at Brock U, and she has begun doctoral studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, where she’s working with Jeffrey Collins.
Photos of Ana/Baptist Münster (2015)
Update planned, Jan. 2023
Münster / Monster: A Twitter Essay
Since 25 June is the anniversary of the fall of Münster to siege forces, I have brought this post from June 2015 to the top of the blog, and I have updated the post in a few places.
Executed today: 4 June 1535
Inspired by the Twitter hashtags #executedtoday and #onthisday, I have been looking through the Global Anabaptist-Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (gameo.org) from time to time. Today I came across this note in the GAMEO article by Irwin Horst on “England”:
The first Anabaptists in England, according to various polemical treatments written in the 17th century and later, came from Holland subsequent to the seditious uprising at Amsterdam on 10 May 1535 (A Short History of the Anabaptists, 1642, 48). The source of this information is Lambertus Hortensius, a Dutch ecclesiastic and chronicler, who lived contemporary with the events and whose Tumultuum Anabaptisticarum was first printed at Basel in 1548, but he nowhere holds that these Anabaptists were the original ones in England. The 25 Dutch Anabaptists arrested and brought to trial at St. Paul’s on 25 May 1535, 14 of whom were condemned and burned at London and other English towns on 4 June 1535, may have been members of the party mentioned by Hortensius.
I am noting Horst’s work here so I can find it again on a rainy day and look into this further. Please let me know if you know anything more about the early history of English “Anabaptism”.
The Anabaptist Attack on Amsterdam’s City Hall
The siege of Oldeklooster, 1535: A turning-point in Mennonite history
(Click the images for more details.)