Episode 30 is Live!

Emperor Henry III is dead. The realm is now in the hands of his widow, Agnes of Poitou who rules on behalf of the six-year-old king Henry IV. Agnes is no Theophanu and no Adelheid. Not that she is incompetent, she just isn’t absolutely brilliant, and absolutely brilliant is the baseline necessary to manage this fragile situation.


Hohentwiel, one of the oldest castles in Germany was in the 10th century the seat of Hadwig, duchess of Swabia by marriage. Hadwig played an important role in the rebellions of her brother, Henry the Quarrelsom. She held the impregnable fortress against imperial forces and remained in control of parts of Swabia long after the rebellions had been crushed. Hadwig is also famous for her relationship with the monk Eckehard recounted by Victor von Scheffel in his 1855 bestseller “Eckehard”.

Karl Joseph Wirth

#Onthisday, September 6th, 1879, Karl Joseph Wirth, the youngest German Chancellor to date, was born in Freiburg i.B. He was on the left wing of the Zentrum (=Catholic) party When he became chancellor in May 1921, he pursued a policy of compliance with the demands for the allied reparations after World War I.

Rüdiger Manesse and his Codex

On this day, September 5th, 1304 Rüdiger Manesse, Elderman of Zurich and collector of German medieval Minnelieder died at home. He is most famous for collecting the texts of medieval German Minnelieder (literally “songs of courtly love”), the romances sung in high German at the courts of the high Middle Ages. These formed the basis of the famous Codex MAnesse, the most beautiful German medieval book


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About Me

I am Dirk, a history geek with a love for books and stories. I do this for fun and my personal self-aggrandisement.

I have been born, raised and educated in Germany but live in the UK for now over 20 years with my wife and two children. My professional background is in law, management consulting and banking. History has always been a hobby as are sailing, travelling, art, skiing and exercise (go BMF!).

My view of history is best summarised by Gregory of Tours (539-594): “A great many things keep happening, some good, some bad”. History has no beginning and no end and more importantly, it has no logic, no pattern and no purpose . But that does not mean there isn’t progress and sometimes we humans realise that doing the same thing again and again hoping for a different outcome is indeed madness. The great moments in history are those where we realise that we cannot go on as we were and things need to change. German history – as you will hopefully see – is full of these turning points, some good, some bad!

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