International convention on the military commander and politician Wallenstein

Mensch. Mythos. Memoria

Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein (1583–1634) is considered to be one of the most important figures in the Thirty Years’ War. The Bohemian general and politician, who studied at the former Altdorf Academy from 1599 to 1600, is no stranger to the citizens of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region. Academia and the general public find him equally fascinating. Around 30 Wallenstein researchers from Germany and abroad will follow an invitation from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) to convene in the Marble Hall of the Nuremberg Academy at Gewerbemuseumsplatz from 6 to 9 April 2017, where they will exchange opinions of this multifaceted personality from the viewpoint of different academic disciplines. The event organisers are Prof. Dr. Dirk Niefanger and Prof. Dr. Georg Seiderer (FAU) and Prof. Dr. Birgit Emich (Goethe University Frankfurt).

The first part of the event ‘Mensch. Mythos. Memoria’, which roughly translates as ‘Man.Myth.Memory’, will look at the Thirty Years’ War as the stage on which Albrecht von Wallenstein appeared: the day to day of war, the strategies of the armed forces, the financing and equipping of troops. Wallenstein himself will, of course, also be the subject of consideration: firstly the myth that surrounded the figure of the generalissimo even as he lived and which was spread far and wide in pamphlets, paintings, songs, chronicles and poetry. Talk will also turn to the man Wallenstein, who appeared as a brilliant general and organiser and who, despite his otherwise rational outlook, sought refuge in the stars and despaired of his illnesses. A third aspect is the memory of the general that has been cultivated and envisioned over the centuries through international historiography, the arts, museums and historical events.

Attractive support programme

The event will open with a concert at 5 p.m. on 6 April, with a performance of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s ‘Battalia’, played by the Nuremberg Bach Orchestra. A lecture titled “The search for Wallenstein – Mensch or Myth” given by Prof. Dr. Geoff Mortimer (Early Modern Military History, University of Oxford) will introduce the topic of the convention. Wallenstein Festspielverein Altdorf will then perform the Capuchin Act from Schiller’s play ‘Wallenstein’s Lager’.

The support programme is as varied as the convention itself: In her lecture titled “Wallenstein in Film. From silent movie to TV series”, which will be held on 7 April at 8 p.m. at CineCittà Nuremberg, Dr. Victoria Gutsche (Modern German Literature, FAU) will analyse the seven elaborate film productions made to date on the subject. A fragment of the silent movie “Wallenstein” made in 1925 will be shown once again alongside the legendary ‘most colourful post-war TV spectacular’ from Peter Wirth (from the 60s to the 80s). A guided tour of the town and the former university of Altdorf with a reception and theatre production at the Wichernhaus will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. on 8 April and will include an address by mayor Erich Odörfer and evening dinner in the prayer room.

Culinary delights from the Thirty Years’ War

To mark the end of the convention on 9 April, Prof. Dr. Josef Matzerath (Saxon Regional History, TU Dresden) will serve culinary delights from the Thirty Years’ War. The tasters based on recipes from the last German cook book to be published prior to the Thirty Years’ War will be classified in accordance with nutritional history. The armies of the Thirty Years’ War ate whatever was available in their respective environments, so that servings at the table of the simple soldier were sometimes rich and sometimes poor. Senior officers, on the other hand, cultivated an exquisite dining culture even during campaigns. The convention and support programme are open to everyone interested subsequent to registration (dominik.sauerer@fau.de).

The results will be presented in 2018, which marks the 400th anniversary of the start of the Thirty Years’ War, at the Wallensteinfestspiele in Altdorf. The main sponsor of the event is Nuremberg insurance group NÜRNBERGER Versicherungsgruppe; it is further supported by festival organiser Wallenstein Festspielverein Altdorf e.V., the city of Altdorf, the German Research Foundation, the Institute of History/Czech Academy of Science, the department of Arts and Culture of the City of Nuremberg, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, the Deutsch-Tschechischen Zukunftsfonds, the Kost-Pocher Foundation, Müller Media, CineCittà Nürnberg, Merz Premium Reisen Gnadenberg and the InterCity Hotel Nuremberg.

More information:

wallensteinsymposium.de

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Georg Seiderer
Phone: +49 911 85 22789
georg.seiderer[at]fau.de