Re: Weird Old German Book and Card Game (1671)

Bertrand wrote:Hello,
hoo wrote:Now, these works of Praetorius are not, strictly speaking, Tarot decks. I quess they should be considered 'Oracle" decks.
Don't they look like "standard" german card decks adapted to divination ? so isn't it fortune telling superimposed on a regular playing deck ? It looks quite unlike what is called nowadays oracle or earlier fortune telling books or cards, doesn't it ?

... for the moment we know of 4 decks, possibly there were more and possibly some, which will never will found. Praetorius was very productive (50 books), lived in Leipzig (a Mekka for books and printing), still or again having a book fair (though smaller than that in Frankfurt) and used various pseudonyms (Petrus Hilarius, Steffen Läusepelz, Johannes Petrus de Memel), it's even not clear, if all of them have appeared on the surface. Also Praetorius was a pseudonym, in reality he was born not very spectacular as "Hans Schulze" (very common), not really a good name for an author. So it might have been a conscious decision to take "Johannes Praetorius", as this was the name of a famous earlier mathematician and astronomer ... ... stronom%29
... who himself was born as Johann Richter. Perhaps it helped to sell his books, and he himself worked about astronomy.

2 (? 3) of the decks somehow refer to esoteric content, one of them (that about Chiromantc) connected to divination. They are surely not standard decks, but more decks in the tradition of Murner, Ringmann and the early experiments with divination (Mainzer Losbuch 1505) and of the a little earlier produced teaching decks for the very young Louis XIV (which were also 4 variants, as far I got it). Likely Praetorius got his inspiration from this direction, teaching decks are called to became rather common in 17th century. Compare Lenthall in England a little bit later ..

... a version of 1712 is called a divination deck.


Re: Weird Old German Book and Card Game (1671)

The Beinecke Library offers a book and pictures of this project:

Title : Astronomische kartenspiel; das ist: kunstrichtige abbildung aller Gestirne am Himmel, ober und unter der Erden, zu behuf der lehrgierigen jugend, gleich den geographischen und historischen spielkarten verfasset, ludendo sisce-re Stellas. Quis vetat?

Author: Harsdoerffer, Georg Philipp, 1607-1658

Place of origin: Nürnberg

Publisher: In Verlegung Wolfgang Mortiz Endters und Johann Andreas Seel. Erben.

Date : 1674

Physical Description: 1 bound booklet + 52 playing cards, illustrations
10.4 x 5.4 cm.

For the moment it's here, but ... Beinecke often changes the addresses ... :-(, so if it doesn''t work , it's destiny and you have to find it by the search catalog. ... &curpage=3


This are just the usual star-pictures, the 12 zodiac-signs present the courts and the number the others.

As I found out, this production had been (at least) a second edition. I found a note about an older deck from 1655 (or 56):

The printer Endter is presented also in our Playing Card Museum with 4 decks ...
... this also teaching games (at least partly copies of the decks made for Louis XIV in 1644.

Es might be, that these cards preceded the astronomical game. Preceding geographical and historical decks are noted in the title of the astronomical deck ("geographischen und historischen spielkarten").

Harsdörfer had been similar to Praetorius a rather active poet with much attachment for games. He became famous especially for the "Nürnberger Trichter" ...


... the basic idea was easy learning, for instance by informative playing cards. But Harsdörfer had also other game-ideas, anything aiming to promote teaching ... and good poetry. ... rg_Philipp

He had also a rather specific interest in heraldic ... in France appeared around this time teaching decks for heraldic.

Erasmus Finx or Erasmus Francisci had been 20 years younger than Harsdörfer, but he also developed some literary career, also worked with the printer Endter and also is said to have made teaching playing card games. Likely he learned a few things from Harsdörfer. Unluckily I haven't found an example of his production ... till now.

Re: Weird Old German Book and Card Game (1671)

William Lilye (c. 1468 – 25 February 1522)

Author of an grammar book, which 1677 served as basis for a playing card deck.

Title: Grammatical cards ...

Place of origin: London

Publisher: Printed for S. Mearn, and A. Clark, and are to be sold by J. Seller at the Hermitage-Stairs in Wapping, and J. Hill in Exchange-Alley

Date: 1677

at Beinecke
Search key: Grammatical cards ... htype=ITEM

This are 52 cards, the courts have relative simple persons, the number cards only text.
The image shows a court cards, the text to the right explains, that they had also made a geography deck.


Re: Weird Old German Book and Card Game (1671)

Wow Huck !!! I am still on page one with all this. Mein Gott.
Bertrand wrote:Hello,
hoo wrote:Now, these works of Praetorius are not, strictly speaking, Tarot decks. I quess they should be considered 'Oracle" decks.
Don't they look like "standard" german card decks adapted to divination ? so isn't it fortune telling superimposed on a regular playing deck ? It looks quite unlike what is called nowadays oracle or earlier fortune telling books or cards, doesn't it ?
Thanx for the input Bertrand. I quess Huck already addressed this better than I could. However, see directly below
Huck wrote:hi hoo,
maybe we should change the title to "Collection teaching decks 17th century" ?
What do you think?
Well, It is a real 'grab bag' of items, isn't it ? The original card/book in the thread is not really educational. And as you pointed out, another is identified as a 'divination' deck. Besides, you are moving so fast who knows what you'll uncover next ! So how about modifying the original title to -
Weird Old German Book and Karte-Spiel Wunderkammer
With all your incredible work, and who knows what else, this thread is turning out to be a real "wirbelwind", "windhose ober wasserhose"
of rare and wonderful things !
- As for Bertrand's comment, how about a new term (If one doesn't already exist) for this vast category of card decks. wunderkarten or wunderkarte-spiel
(How about renaming this thread "Weird Old German Book and Wunderkarte Wasserhose")
Image ... rmd%3Divns
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Weird Old German Book and 17th Century Teaching Card Games

Huck - I said "I am still on page one with all this". So I would like to back up to one of your early posts on this thread, where you explained the meaning and history of the old German court cards.
Researching the 'Fluch Book' for my opening post, I learned that the 3rd court card, the 'Unter' is also called the 'Bauer', which an online translator I used defined as 'Farmer'. Then, reading you're in depth explanation makes it clear to me that the farmer was actually a soldier.
Huck wrote:The Kölsche Bauern played an important role in the battle of Worringen (1288), when the citizens had a great victory against the party of the Cologne arch bishop. Cologne became a free city then, only responsible to the emperor, not towards the arch bishop.
The illustration you provide in this post shows a man carrying a scythe and another tool over his shoulder which I believe was also used to thrash grain. It looks very much like the Nunchaku of Okinawa.
- Over the last couple years, I have been reading about central asia, and the area all around the Black Sea and the Caspian, from ancient Greece to modern times. I constantly read about the farmers and peasants who were conscripted to fight. Often having only their farm implements for weapons. Sometimes an invading army would round up farmers and put them in the front lines and force them, with swords at their backs, to fight their own kings and military ( I believe Genghis Kahn is said to have done this). Sometimes, It has been said, the kings and military rounded up their own farmers and forced them to fight in the front lines, with their knights swords at the farmers backs. The occasional mention of this in old histories colors the plight of the peasant and the 'common people' throughout history.
- Of course, farmers and peasants also took up their farm implements in heroic acts self defense. It is interesting that farm implements seem to have played a role as weapons around the world. Many items in the military arsenal began as farm implements. This is true of many of the devices of East asian martial arts as well. The nunchuk of Okinawa is a case in point. It's said to have been developed from a tool for thrashing grain, as well.
- So this image of the farmer/soldier has a deep historical poignance for me, as it represents so much of the story of humanity, and the trial and tribulations of the 'commoner' (If you read the bloody stories preserved in old books).
It makes an important and meaningful court card. I think it should be upgraded to a trump in the major arcana. If I ever design my own deck I think I will incorporate this scheme with the 'Unter'/'Bauer', and do just that.
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Weird Old German Book and 17th Century Teaching Card Games

Huck - Another thing I have wanted to post, since your initial volley in this thread, is about the author of this 'Fluch Book', Johann Praetorius. You have an incredible amount of information on him. He himself is a very interesting guy.
Huck wrote:Also he wrote about witches in a manner, that he believed in them and their bad habits. He researched the Blocksberg, where the story exists, that witches collected at this place (He relates this to the Terminus "Bock" and somehow to the Bockspyl (a sort of old Poker), I assume.
Totally he wrote about 50 books.

I wonder (since I can't read German), looking through the work of his that I have located so far, how serious he really was about all the occult subjects he addressed in his many, many books. The books I've found look to be serious, but so did the 'Fluch Book', which i understand to be more of a light-hearted moralization. As for the rest of these books, was he a believer or a bull-shit artist? Could any of them be considered more scholarly investigations ?
Following your link to Herzog August Bibliotek, I found 23 books (by my count) that have been digitized and posted online. I looked through every page on all but the very long ones). None of them had cards. In fact, there were very few pictures at all, besides the occasional frontispiece.
One thing of interest I discovered is this book- which appears to be entirely about Divination with Chickens !
chickensign1.jpg chickensign1.jpg Viewed 15638 times 14.22 KiB
I would really like to see a translation of this book for one reason. I spent over 15 years reading ehtnographies and travel books and taking notes. I believe I was able to read about nearly every major tribe of pre-urban people on earth. I read books by most of the famous travelers, anthropologists and ethnographers, and many relatively unknown. I paid particular attention to things like magic and religion (Well, actually, this is because the writers paid particular attention to it. Had I been there I would have been more interested in things like their knots, their musical instruments, survival-lore, and child- rearing.).
One of the most common rituals around the world is divination with a chicken. (One of the most common performances is taking a chicken and cutting it's head off and tossing it in a sack and then pulling out a live chicken.)
And I have read in depth descriptions and examinations of many, many arcane practices from every point on the globe. I even read an entire book about the philosophy, practice, and technique of the shrinking of human heads by the Jivaro of the Amazon. But, even with it's popularity and ubiquity, I have never ever once seen even a chapter, let alone an entire book, on Divination with Chickens !
chickensign2.jpg chickensign2.jpg Viewed 15638 times 15.74 KiB
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Weird Old German Book and 17th Century Teaching Card Games

Hi, hoo
this is a sort of answer to your "farmer question"

The picture shows the socalled Quaterionen-Adler (the state is of late 15th century, the whole idea can be traced back to a poem in 1423, which differed in structure ... less figures or shields, but also in a system based on a multiplication of "4" like the card-decks):

Big version: ... Negker.jpg

A first explanation ... where is Cologne and where are the "farmers" (= "baurn")? They are in the upper right corner ...

... and there is "Cöln" (= Cologne) in the upper right corner of this picture, and there are the "iiii baurn" (= 4 farmers) at the left side. All 4 cities (Cöln= Köln, Regensburg, Costnitz = Konstanz, Salzburg) had been relative important in the given time.

The eagle presents the Empire or the Emperor
The 8 shields next to the eagle-head are the 7 electors (Kurfürsten; with the function to elect the Roman king). These are parted in a left group and a right group, each with 4 members:
Left: 3 arch bishops + a papal element (so "religious leaders") ... that's Cologne, Trier and Mainz and Rome (this has to be understood as region, not as cities)
Right: 4 worldly Kurfürsten - Bohemia, Pfalz, Sachsen, Brandenburg

Below follow 4x12 other shields - if you wish to number them from left to right, they should look like this:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - Ober or Unter (?) - Ober or Unter (?) - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

The biggest regions (beside the already mentioned Kurfürsten-states) are at the (assumed) Unter-Ober-Positions:

Left middle: iiii Seill = 4 ?
Braunschweig = duke of Braunschweig
Bairn = duke of Bavaria
Swaben = duke of Swabia
Lutting = duke of Lothringen

Left right: iiii Vicari = 4 surrogates
Brabandt = Brabant
n. Sachssen = Niedersachsen
Westerreich = Westrich (some regions from the earlier Burgund or at the Western border; a lost name)
Schlessi = Schlesien

The other are these

iiii Baurn = 4 peasants
Cöln = Köln (Cologne)
Regenspurg = Regensburg
Costnitz = Konstanz
Saltzburg = Salzburg

iiii Stett = 4 cities
Augspurg = Augsburg
Metz = Metz
Ach = Aachen
Lubeck = Lübeck

iiii Seper freien = 4 free peers
Lintpurg = Schenken von Limpurg (not: Limburg!!!)
Westerburg = count of Westerburg-Leiningen
Thussis = ?
Alwalden = ?

iiii Burgrauen = 4 burgraves
Nürnberg = burgraves of Nuremberg
Maidburg = burgraves of Magdeburg
Reinegk = burgraves of Rheineck
Stramberg = burgraves of Stromberg

iiii Marggrauen = 4 margraves
Merchern = margraves of Mähren
Brandenburg = margraves of Brandenburg
Meichssen = margraves of Meißen
Baden = margraves of Baden

MIDDLE see above

iiii Lantgrauen = 4 landgraves
Düring = Thüringen
Edelsass = Elsaß
Hessen = Hessen
Leuchtenberg = Leuchtenberg

iiii Graven = 4 counts
Cleue = Kleve
Saphoy = Savoyen
Schwartzburg = Schwarzburg
Zilli = Cilli

iiii Ritter = 4 knights
Anndelaw = Andlau
Weissenbach = Weissenbach
Frawnberg = Fraunberg
Strundeck = Strundeck?

dörfer = 4 villages
Bamberg = Bamberg
Ulm = Ulm
Hagenaw = Haguenau
Slerstat = Schlettstadt

birg = 4 castles (or "Bürger" ?)
Magdaburg = Magdeburg
Lützelburg = Luxemburg oder Lutzelbourg?
Rottenburg = Rothenburg
Aldenburg = Altenburg


If we interpret the whole composition as a card-game, then there is the playing card tradition, that "Ace" (= 1) and "Banners" (= 10) are important positions. And we also find this on the Quaterionen-Adler.

IIII Baurn = 4 peasants
Cöln = Köln (Cologne)
Regenspurg = Regensburg
Costnitz = Konstanz
Saltzburg = Salzburg

birg = 4 castles (or "Bürger" ?)
Magdaburg = Magdeburg
Lützelburg = Luxemburg oder Lutzelbourg?
Rottenburg = Rothenburg
Aldenburg = Altenburg

It seems, that the arrangement intended to build a contrast between baurn and Bürger (Burgers or citizen) ... actually the word "Bürger" has developed from "Burgbewohner" (= castle inhabitants). Naturally some cities developed from the building of a Burg, in contrast to other cities, which had an older founding from Roman times, as for instance Cologne (CCAA Roman city since 50 AD), Regensburg (Castra Regina 179 AD), Konstanz (c. 50 AD, Constantia) and Salzburg (c. 15 AD as Juvanum) ... cities of group 1.
In contrast are the cities of Nr. 10 Magdeburg (not Roman region), Alteburg (not Roman region), Luxembourg (a fort in 963) and Rothenburg (mentioned 950 AD) founded later, but in medieval time promising locations, all with some connection to emperors ... cities of group 10.

Isn't it nice ... let's drink on it:


This version is from 1615. The big colored picture (made by Jost de Nedger) goes back to a woodcut representation of Hans Burgmair in 1510.

In 1502 Thomas Murner used a Quaternionen-system for 120 + 1 playing cards in 10x12 structure with one herold (unluckily I don't have enough informations and know only a few pictures).

In 1493 Hartmann Schedel presented a Quaternionen-System in his world chronic.

In 1469/1470 Heinrich van Beeck in his "Agrippina" (chronic of Cologne) used this picture (the Cologne shield is the highest at the right border):


In 1433 this eagle appeared (also in Cologne and already shown in this thread) ...


Large version: ... 3%B6ln.jpg

... and it has 12 text fields around the central figure with Kölsche Bur and I don't know, what's in the texts, but, as far I can decipher it, it are NOT Quaternionen, but they relate likely to privileges, which the city earlier received. So I can decipher in the left corner an "Agrippa" and at other places a Keyser Otto, Keyser Karl etc.
In 1433, when this picture was made, the new emperor Sigismondo adopted the double eagle as heraldic device ... so there's the reason for this painting.

In 1422 now we have ... ... Jahre_1422
... the poem of an anonymous called "Spruch vom Römischen Reich". This is assumed to be the first known appearance of the Quaternionen system. This is the relevant passage:
Myt denn kurfursten heb ich ann,
Der siebend (= 7) sindt, die ich kenne.
Drey ertzpischoff, die ich nenne:
Meintz (1)(, cölen (2) vnd darzu Trier (3),
Als keyser karell das geuiell,
Die gewalt sullenn habnn in der cantzley
(Ir teutschen, merckt diese krey),
Doch vglicher in seyner prouintz.
Noch sind mer redlicher printz,
Die macht nach keyserlichen stat:
Sachsen (4) das marschalckamptte in hat,
Der truckseß ist pfaltzgraue pey Rein (5),
Der von brandenburgk (6)soll kamerer sein.
Denn vierdenn nennen ich euch sueß:
Kunig pinterna boheymus (7).

Welenn ein den man kronen soll,
Wer inn darzu tut geuallen wol:
Das heyst ein kunig der Romisch kronn (Emperor),
Den sollen wir pillich haltten schonn
Mit aller vnnser gehorsame.
Altzeit Augustus ist sein name;
Doch das er sey teutscher zungen,
Sust menigklich ist der wal verdrungen.
Er soll sein streng, gerecht vnd frum,
an geuerde gleicher schirmung,
Vnd setzen die cristenheyt in frydt.
Des sullenn ym geholffenn sein seyne gleder,
Die dem reich do sind gewant,
Die myr ertzeygent sindt bekant,
Darauff des reichs grund ist gesetzt,
Die sehen wie man ytzundt letzt
Das reich der heyligenn cristenheyt.
Das solt von denn haben gelayt,
Wann teutsche zunge ist dartzu gestifft,
Das die andern zungenn vbertrift
Myt fursten grauen freyen,
Die ich altzeyt will bekreyen
Vnd hie ertzelen wer die sint:

Pfaltzgraue pey reyn (1) eins fursten kindt,
Luttringen (2) vnd dartzu braunstzweyg (3),
Swaben (4) nach Ritterlicher eyle
Das sind des reichs vier hertzogen.

Vier marggraue vnbetrogen:
Brandenburg (1) vnd auch meychsen (2),
Merhern (3) sich man auch gleyssenn;
Der wirdt marggraue von lottringen (4).

Nu sicht man her dringenn
Wier lantgrauen myt grosser wirdt:
Von doringen (1), hessen (2) myt gezirde,
Der uon leuchttenberg (3)mit erschein
Vnd der in elsaß zu eßeßheym (4).
Also sint ir noch woll vier

Vnnd vier burggrauenn nennt man myr:
Meydburgk (1) vnd nureinbergk (2),
Reyneck (3) vnd dortzu strumbergk (4).

Noch sindt vier grauen bey dem reich:
Von kleff vnd Swartzpurck (1) bede gleich,
Von lunpurck vnd von Tusiß (2),
Westerburg (3) ich dartzu myß,
Der wierdt ist vonn allewalden (4).

Vier Ritter thut man haltten:
Der ein ist von andlan (1),
Von strundeck (2) den ken ich schon,
Der drit ist von meldingen (3),
Frawenburg (4) sicht man dringen.

Vier stet: der erst heyst Cesaris,
(1) nennt man sie ytzunt gewiß,
Mentz (2), ach (3), lübegk (4).

Vier dorffer banner ich auff steck:
Bambergk (1) vnd sletstat (2),
Vlme (3), hagenaw (4)dartzu wat.

Mer vier des reichs gepauwern:
Cölnn (1), Regenßpurgk an trauren (2),
Constantz (3) vnd Saltzpurg (4)ich auff mytz,

Das sindt vier mechtig paurn myt witz;
Der grunt soll das reich auch haltten.
I've interpreted the text, which I don't understand completely myself - some of the city or region names are a riddle to me.


Actually your question about the use of the term "Bauer" is rather interesting, but also "rather difficult".

For instance: Luther uses "Bauer" rather rarely, instead he prefers usually "Ackermann"" .. according Grimm's wordbook, which is a sort of authority for old German language - but very difficult in his system.

Meister Ingold 1432 in his special card deck with 8 professions uses ...
Nun sind auf dem kartenspil fier küng mit iren wauppen, und hat ieglicher under im XIII karten, das macht an ainer sum LII, und hat ieglichü das zaychen irs küngs. Etlich kartenspil hat dar zu fier küngin und fier junkfrawen, etlich haben den ackerman, den edelman, den wuchrer, den pfaffen, die toypel, den riffian, den wirt; und gewint ie ains dem andern ab: dem edelman der wuchrer, dem wuchrer der pfaff, dem pfaffen das täppelweib, dem täppelweib der riffian, dem riffian der wirt, dem wirt der weinman, dem weinman wider umb der pauman der den wein pauwen sol, der nimpt das gelt wider von dem wirt.
Ingold presents the row twice, once with 7 figures (the first row, with typo), then with 8 figures (the second row, correct). Surely "just an error".
But once the use is "ackerman", and in the second row it's "der pauman der den wein pauwen sol". In the interpretation of old German language one needs some fantasy to interpret the words. Naturally one recognizes "Pauman" as "Bauer" and the "wein pauwen" as "Wein anbauen", both common modern German expressions, but this is naturally not always correct and for each historical appearance the right explanation. So "pauman" might have been used also for the modern term "Bauarbeiter", a man, who creates buildings for instance (usually in low function, mostly not as architect).
Generally it seems, that "Bauer" had more respect than "ackermann".

Let's go to the term "meier" or "meyer". Pipin II, father of Karl Martell, had been a meyer, and this meant actually the second man in the state. In other later forms "Major" as an military rank and "Mayor" as installed ruler of a city developed. In the Westphalian farmer hierarchy "Meier" became the expression for a farmer with c. 40-80 Morgen, so ruling about 100.000 - 200.000 square meters. Farmers with less ground were called "Kötter", other land workers, who just were hired for land work, were called "Heuerlinge". Other hierarchical systems used "Vollbauer" (full-farmer) and "Halbbauer" (half-farmer).

Another common term for Bauer had been "Colon", just referring to the Latin "colonus". I know for sure, that my ancestors were addressed in this manner in church book entries, but Wikipedia even don't know the word - that's indeed amusing. It was quite common, a lot of ancestor researchers stumble about the word and are puzzled.

Well, "Bauer" is also chess terminus for "pawn" - in Germany. Meister Ingold (1432) uses "wenden" ... that's unbelievable, Grimm doesn't know it.
In Ripuarisch (that's Kölsch dialect) Fanten are clearly used for "Jungen" in teenager age (boys). It's easy to recognize that's this the Italian "Fante", a common name for the Italian "Unter".

In Italian chess explanation to "pawn" = "Pedone" ...
Nel gioco degli scacchi il pedone (♙, ♟) è uno dei pezzi a disposizione dei giocatori. È il pezzo più presente sulla scacchiera, essendone presenti 8 per giocatore e può essere paragonato alla fanteria di uno schieramento militare. Tradizionalmente i pedoni vengono considerati come una categoria distinta da quella degli altri pezzi, addirittura non venivano nemmeno considerati "pezzi" a tutti gli effetti ed i loro movimenti non venivano chiamati "mosse", ma "spinte".
... at least the "Fanteria" is noted ..

... and that's an expression for Foot soldiers. In the usual North European knight system we've a "Ritter" and a "Knappen" and that's knight and knave. Ingold's Wenden is this Italian "Fante", and as these knights surely started once as foot soldier (if they didn't start as nobility), the knaves, fante or wenden surely were younger than the knights - usually. So the "Bauer" (in chess and in card game in German) and "Junge" (I only know it for Unter cards in German, not for chess pawns) is obviously running all the same line.

In the Bavarian (Southern German) decks the Unter is addressed also as "Wenzel", well, that's the same, "Wenden" and "Wenzel".

Well, all this doesn't explain, when "Bauer" started to be used as a usual name for "Unter" (and chess pawn) was in German language. That's a dissertation question ... :-) ...

Well, the battle of Worringen:

Loser: Siegfried von Westerburg, Erzbischof von Köln

* Graf Reinald I. von Geldern
* Graf Heinrich VI. von Luxemburg † (his son became emperor in 1308)
* Walram von Luxemburg, Herr von Ligny †
* Graf Adolf von Nassau (he became German king in 1292 - 1298 (abdicated))
* Herren von Plettenberg
* Herr Walram von Valkenburg
* Dietrich „Luf“ von Kleve
* Walram von Jülich, Herr von Bergheim
* Dietrich III. von Moers
* Graf Dietrich von Altena-Isenberg

Winner: Johann I. von Brabant, Herzog von Brabant

* Graf Adolf V. von Berg
* Graf Eberhard I. von der Mark
* Bürger der Stadt Köln ... assumed to have be 1500 foot soldiers, 60 on horse
* Bergische und Märkische Bauern ... assumed to have been 500 foot foot soldiers

* Graf Walram von Jülich
* Graf Arnold von Loon
* Graf Otto IV. von Tecklenburg
* Graf Otto I. von Waldeck
* Graf Gottfried VI. von Ziegenhain
* Graf Gottfried I. von Vianden

Modern evaluations speak of

Loser: totally 4.200
* 2.800 Knights on horse
* 1.400 foot soldiers

Winner: totally 4.800
* 2.300 Knights on horse
* 2.500 Mann Foot soldiers

The conflict, which started in Limburg (Belgium), already had a proud age.
The Cologne team had attacked the castle of Worringen. This belonged to the Cologne arch bishop and controlled the traffic on the Rhine river. A 5-days-siege took place. Enemies and helpers were approaching to help or to defend and all this met at 5th of June 1288 in Worringen.


The first possible big mistake might have been, that the arch bishop team had to approach 12 km till Worringen. Most of these soldiers had horses, but anyway, there were also 1/3 foot soldiers. 12 km ... that's a problem, if you had to carry a few things.
The arch bishop decided to focus his attack at the foot soldiers with his cavallery ... well, perhaps he had some personal reason, that especially the Cologne citizens should suffer in this war. The foot soldiers at the Cologne side are said to haven't delivered a good show in the morning of this day, but a whole dynasty of the Luxembourg party rulers was dead (totally 4 members of the family) already in the beginning.
Later the Cologne foot soldiers turned rather aggressive, and decided the battle, perhaps cause they didn't know the knightly rules, according which it was interesting to make prisoners to get ransom later. As they didn't know too much of heraldic, they had difficulties to distinguish between friends and foes and even did attack the own forces. It's said that many at the opposite side decided to give up to avoid to be killed by the vandalized "Bauern".

Later in the military development, during the last half of 15th century, the Switzerland soldiers (somehow also farmer sons) became "unbeatable", cause they used a were long spear (occasionally about 6 meters long) ...


... which was difficult to attack by the cavalry. In the battle of Marignano (1515) this fighting technique was overcome by improvement of the cannons.

The key to victory in Worringen might have been the longer flail, in German "Dresch-Flegel", commonly build in this way:


It was also used in Asia fighting art.


But a variated long flail might have been also interesting, especially against cavalry, if the knighthood on horse at the other side wasn't used to it.


Modern evaluations of the battle reduced the numbers of participating fighters of earlier reports considerably, earlier reports have reported 6000 dead persons. In Cologne there should have been 700 widows.

Nonetheless it's said, that it was one of the greatest battles of its time and that it's issue changed radically the run of medieval politics in all Northern Europe.

For the evaluation of Cologne in this time one has to see, that there were four cities, which were allowed a Sancta in its name: Jerusalem, Constantinople, Rome - and Cologne. The city wall of Cologne, made around 1200, is said to have been more extended than that of Paris.
Emperor Fredrick II (reigned - 1250) had taken the center of the Empire to Italy. After Fredrick II the Interregnum occurred (1272). The arch bishop of Cologne had then a deciding role in the empire and its reconstruction, always influencing strongly the elections of the next king. The new king were controlled by the Kurfürsten, and the first of the Kurfürsten was the arch bishop of Cologne. The battle of Worringen showed his limitations.

After Worringen the French king Philip IV of France (- 1314), the fair, became the strong man north of the Alps, who controlled and occasionally killed popes, took them to Avignon, influenced the elections in German Empire and diminished the might of the Templars.

As the irony of history has it, the suffering arch bishop Siegfried of Westerburg, having been one year prisoner after the battle, started to develop Bonn with the promise to the Cologne citizens, that Bonn in 25 km Southern distance would become victorious against the city of Cologne. Indeed, in 20th century, this realized, when Bonn become German capital after WWII ... :-)