Tag Archives: Holy Roman Empire

The Prague Defenestration: How Peace Went Out of the Window

May 23, 1618 was not a good day for Count von Martinitz. Neither was it for Count Slavata, nor for Councillor Fabricius. The three were assailed by an angry mob of the Bohemian Estates[1] and thrown out of a window of Prague Castle. Miraculously, all three of them survived the fall of about 20 meters. European peace, however, did not survive. The Thirty Years’ War which resulted from the attempted lynching ranks high among the bloodiest conflicts in European history. This article will take examine how this relatively small act of violence could trigger such a long and intense war and what made this war different from others before and after. All the while, games about the Thirty Years’ War will be discussed.

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Norman Sicily

Recently, there has been no hotter theme for board games than Vikings. No matter if you were looking for a light wargame, a classic economic Eurogame or an ameritrash-euro hybrid, Vikings got you covered. After all the raiding, drinking beer and worshipping pagan deities, some of these “men from the north” or “Normans” settled down in the part of modern France which was named after them Normandy. The Viking knack for conquest was however not completely lost. One Norman duke took England for himself in 1066, which did not only give him the kingdom, but also the nickname William the Conqueror.[1] Other Normans went south. One thousand years ago, in the year 1017, a band of mercenaries under the Norman noble Rainulf Drengot arrived in lower Italy to fight for Pope Benedict VIII against the Byzantines. They and their successors would go on to conquer large parts of southern Italy, rule over a multicultural kingdom, and inherit the title of Holy Roman Emperor. Continue reading

Reformation 500: Part 1

On this day 500 years ago, Oct 31, 1517, an unlikely man created a spark of history. When this spark fell on the tinder of renaissance Europe, the conflagration changed the world like few other events before or after. The man was the Augustine monk Martin Luther, and the spark he made were his “95 theses” that began the Reformation and led the fundament for the Protestant faith. Since this breathtaking event merits some broader inspection, I’ll examine it in two parts. Continue reading