Monday, November 15, 2010

The utraquist reverse sacramental martyrdom

The UB Halle delivered a new miracle this morning in the form of Andreas Engel's 1597 Kurtzer / Jedoch gewisser vnd gruendtlicher Bericht / von Johan Hilten / vnd seinen Weissagungen (VD16 ZV 5013). I've come across Hilten's name before, but the works in question were too late to be relevant to Printing and Prophecy, so I hadn't taken a close look at him yet.

There's a lot of great material here, including a note that Johann Hilten (died ca. 1500, here transformed into Luther's teacher) died of hunger in prison because he refused to take only the sacramental wafer - apparently living saints can sustain themselves from the eucharist alone, but Reformation martyrs would rather die than partake of the eucharist in diminished form.

And Engel's note about his reading prophetic pamphlets as school assignments, and translating them into Latin as an exercise in style, has a ton of implications for how popular literature was disseminated.

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