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The Thirty Years' War As Experience And Memory: Contemporary Perceptions Of A Macro-Historical Event

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Chapter Summary

On Monday July 22, 1650, Hieronymus Kromayer, Professor of Rhetoric in Leipzig, gave a speech on the Thirty Years' War. The term, concept, and idea of the "Thirty Years' War" as a nexus of events of armed conflict and politics with a "catastrophic" climax are by no means a mythmaking "invention" after the fact of later intellectuals and academic historians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The American historian Robert Ergang and the German-English historian Sigfrid Henry Steinberg have advanced this view, thus declaring the idea of the Thirty Years' War an unhistorical fiction lacking in historical foundation. Indeed, it has been shown that the idea and concept of the Thirty Years' War arose already from the experiences and perceptions of contemporaries and their situatedness in the discourses of the age itself. Within this contemporary context, the term, concept, and idea of the Thirty Years' War acquired their characteristic meanings.

Keywords: Hieronymus Kromayer; Robert Ergang; Sigfrid Henry Steinberg; Thirty Years' War



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