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Gotha Library Talk with Dr Dietrich Hakelberg and Dr Markus Meumann

„Kriegsbeute der Ernestiner. Bücher sammeln im Dreißigjährigen Krieg“ (Spoils of war of the Ernestines. Collecting books in the Thirty Years' War) is the title of the next event in the "Gotha Library Talks" series, to which the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt cordially invites all interested parties on Wednesday, 3 July. The speakers on this evening will be Dr Dietrich Hakelberg (Gotha Research Library) and Dr Markus Meumann (Gotha Research Centre). The event begins at 6.15 pm in the Herzog-Ernst-Kabinett at Friedenstein Castle. Admission is free.

Marienberg, Würzburg
view of the Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg

The three brothers Wilhelm IV (1598–1662), Ernst I (the Pious, 1601–1675) and Bernhard (1604–1639) from the House of Saxe-Weimar fought in the Thirty Years' War as officers and commanders on the side of the Swedes. During the Swedish military operations in southern and western Germany between 1631 and 1635, they not only had their money's worth politically, but also as collectors. Their share of the Swedish spoils of war consisted of works of art, exquisite books and manuscripts from prominent collections of the enemy, such as the Kunstkammer and the court library of the Bavarian Elector in Munich, the prince-bishop's court library at Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg and the cathedral library in Mainz. After Bernhard's death in 1639 and the division of the land in 1640, the general's book estate was also distributed. In this way, captured books and manuscripts travelled from Weimar to Gotha and into the newly founded ducal library on the Friedenstein.

The Gotha Library Talk not only aims to show spectacular books and manuscripts, but also to place the spoils of war in their historical context. Who was involved in the confiscations and what was the legal background? Which route did the looted books take through which collections? Was there a loot scheme and what was the function and symbolic significance of the spoils of war?

Following the discussion, the Friends of the Gotha Research Library invite you to a small reception.

Due to limited capacity, please register by 1 July at veranstaltungen.fb@uni-erfurt.de or call 0361/737-5530.