Till Eulenspiegel is the protagonist of a Germ…

Till Eulenspiegel is the protagonist of a German chapbook from 1515 (a first edition of circa 1510/12 is preserved fragmentarily) with a possible background in earlier Middle Low German folklore.

Eulenspiegel is a native of Braunschweig (Brunswick) whose picaresque career takes him to many places throughout the Holy Roman Empire. He plays practical jokes on his contemporaries, especially scatological in nature, exposing vices at every turn. His life is set in the first half of the 14th century, and the final chapters of the chapbook describe his death from the plague of 1350. His name translates to “owl mirror”, and the frontispiece of the 1515 chapbook, as well as his alleged tombstone in Mölln, Schleswig-Holstein, display the name in rebus writing, by an owl and a hand mirror. Retellings of the Eulenspiegel tradition have been published in modern literature, since the later 19th century. Notably, The Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak by Charles De Coster (1867) transfers the character to the context of the Protestant Reformation and the Dutch Revolt. The Ulenspiegel (modern Dutch: Tijl Uilenspiegel) from this novel became a symbol of Flemish independence. Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_Eulenspiegel

The Holy Roman Empire, circa 1000 Ein Stammhe…

The Holy Roman Empire, circa 1000

Ein Stammherzogtum (stem duchy, as in „Stamm“ for tribe in reference to the Germanic tribes of the Franks, Saxons, Bavarians & Swabians) was a constituent duchy of the Kingdom of Germany at the time of the extinction of the Carolingian dynasty (the death of Louis the Child in 911), and the transitional period leading to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century.

The Carolingians had dissolved the original tribal duchies of the Frankish Empire in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Empire declined, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as the subdivisions of the realm. The 5 stem duchies are: Bavaria, Franconia, Lotharingia, Saxony, and Swabia/Alemannia. They were retained as the major divisions of Germany under the Salian dynasty, and became increasingly obsolete during the early high medieval period under the Hohenstaufen dynasty. They were finally abolished in 1180 by Frederick Barbarossa in favour of more numerous territorial duchies.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_duchy

The Holy Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 13th century…

The Holy Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 13th century under the German Hohenstaufen dynasty (1155-1268).

The Staufer, aka House of Hohenstaufen, were a dynasty of German kings (1138–1254). They also ruled the Kingdom of Sicily. In Italy, they’re known as the Svevi (Swabians) as they were successive dukes of Swabia from 1079. Three members of the dynasty – Frederick I, Henry VI, and Frederick II – were crowned Holy Roman Emperors. The dynasty is named for their seat at Hohenstaufen Castle, which was in turn named for a conical hill of the Swabian Jura with the name Hohenstaufen in what is now Göppingen, Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany. Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenstaufen