Patriarchal Politics and Christoph Kress (1484-1535) of Nuremberg

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This book examines the impact of the patriarchy and the early Reformation upon the life, family, and career of the warrior-statesman Christoph Kress. Involved in over sixty-five diplomatic missions, he was the only Nuremberg political figure to participate in every Imperial Diet between 1518 and 1532. This first full-length study of Kress takes us inside the politics of Nuremberg and the Holy Roman Empire in the turbulent period of the German Peasants' Revolt and religious fissures of the 1520s and early 1530s. It also provides an intriguing case study of the effects of the Lutheran movement upon one of Germany's greatest cities and one of that community's most prominent merchant families, whose dynamics will be of great interest to scholars of religion, politics, psychology, and history.


". . . one of the most comprehensive English-language accounts of this period and as such recommends itself to those concerned with imperial political history." - Oxford Journals: German History

"A monograph that comes with a good working bibliography and a general index deserves a scholar's attention. . . . Zophy's descriptive analysis of the city of Nuremberg viewed through the career of one of its prominent citizens during a period of fifty-one years, 1484-1535, has several features to commend itself to the student of early modern history. For one, the author details highlights in the life of Christoph Kress, placing them within the larger context of reform activities in German-speaking territories. . . . the reader is afforded a glimpse of how one of the prominent cities in the Holy Roman Empire faced the religious and political changes that were sweeping Europe at the time. The study is further enhanced by ten illustrations scattered throughout the volume and by two appendices, one of which offers a chronological table, while the other is a copy of Christoph Kress's last will and testament." - ARC

". . . Making use of rich secondary and primary sources, Zophy has written a biography which, in the best tradition of the genre, does not second guess his subject but portrays how events looked to Kress himself. While he offers a critical perspective and interpretive remarks, these never overshadow Kress' own view of the tumultuous times through which he lived. . . . readers of Zophy's book, especially Reformation scholars who focus on the religious upheaval, will gain new appreciation for the complexity of the period. . . " - Scott Hendrix

"Zophy has set his story into the modern, structuralist understanding of the late medieval Holy Roman Empire, not just into the local past, and he thereby brings this story into tune with the latest thinking about the Empire as a multi-layered, regionally

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