Prussia was a prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership. In November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19; the Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, a state of Germany from 1918 until 1933. From 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state.
With the end of the Nazi regime, in 1945, the division of Germany into allied-occupation zones and the separation of its territories east of the Oder–Neisse line, which were incorporated into Poland and the Soviet Union, the State of Prussia ceased to exist de facto. Prussia existed de jure until its formal abolition by the Allied Control Council Enactment No. 46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians. In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk, their monastic state was Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany, and, in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, the eastern part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia, a fief of the Crown of Poland up to 1657; the union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries.
During the 18th century it had a major say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a "Lesser Germany", which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia acquired rich new territories, including the coal-rich Ruhr; the country grew in influence economically and politically, became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians; the Kingdom ended in 1918 along with other German monarchies that collapsed as a result of the German Revolution. In the Weimar Republic, the Free State of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. Subsequently, it was dismantled into Nazi German Gaue in 1935.
Some Prussian ministries were kept and Hermann Göring remained in his role as Minister President of Prussia until the end of World War II. Former eastern territories of Germany that made up a significant part of Prussia lost the majority of their German population after 1945 as the People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union both absorbed these territories and had most of its German inhabitants expelled by 1950. Prussia, deemed a bearer of militarism and reaction by the Allies, was abolished by an Allied declaration in 1947; the international status of the former eastern territories of Germany was disputed until the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany in 1990, while its return to Germany remains a topic among far right politicians, the Federation of Expellees and various political revisionists. The term Prussian has been used outside Germany, to emphasise professionalism, aggressiveness and conservatism of the Junker class of landed aristocrats in the East who dominated first Prussia and the German Empire.
The main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white national colours were used by the Teutonic Knights and by the Hohenzollern dynasty; the Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a black cross with gold insert and black imperial eagle. The combination of the black and white colours with the white and red Hanseatic colours of the free cities Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, as well as of Brandenburg, resulted in the black-white-red commercial flag of the North German Confederation, which became the flag of the German Empire in 1871. Suum cuique, the motto of the Order of the Black Eagle created by King Frederick I in 1701, was associated with the whole of Prussia; the Iron Cross, a military decoration created by King Frederick William III in 1813, was commonly associated with the country. The region populated by Baltic Old Prussians who were Christianised, became a favoured location for immigration by Germans, as well as Poles and Lithuanians along the border regions.
Before its abolition, the territory of the Kingdom of Prussia included the provinces of West Prussia.
Speyergau was a medieval county in the East Frankish stem duchy of Franconia. It was centred around the administrative centre of Speyer and covered the former Roman administrative area of Civitas Nemetum, today the south-eastern portion of the Palatinate region between the Rhine river, the Palatinate Forest range, some smaller parts of northern Alsace; the Speyergau, together with the neighbouring Wormsgau and Nahegau, was part of the major possessions held by the Salian dynasty of German kings and Holy Roman Emperors. Some renowned counts of Speyergau were: Werner V, the first definite progenitor of the Salian Dynasty count of Nahegau and Wormsgau, member of the house of Conradines. Conrad the Red, son of Werner V count of Nahegau and Niddagau, count in Franconia, duke of Lorraine, ∞ around 947 Liutgard of Saxony, daughter of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor Otto of Worms, only son of Conrad the Red count of Nahegau, Elsenzgau, Enggau and Ufgau, duke of Carinthia Conrad II the younger, grandson of Otto I count of Nahegau, duke of Carinthia Georg I. von Geroldseck, count of Veldenz, 1310/15 Otto V. von Ochsenstein, died 1327, 1291/1302 Landvogt of Ortenau, 1315/27 Landvogt of Alsace, 1318 Landvogt of Speyergau Otto VI. von Ochsenstein, Landvogt of Alsace and Speyergau, died before 1377
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg, its total length is 1,094 kilometres. The Elbe's major tributaries include the rivers Vltava, Havel, Schwarze Elster, Ohře; the Elbe river basin, comprising the Elbe and its tributaries, has a catchment area of 148,268 square kilometres, the fourth largest in Europe. The basin spans four countries, with its largest parts in the Czech Republic. Much smaller parts lie in Poland; the basin is inhabited by 24.4 million people. The Elbe rises at an elevation of about 1,400 metres in the Krkonoše on the northwest borders of the Czech Republic near Labská bouda. Of the numerous small streams whose waters compose the infant river, the most important is the Bílé Labe, or White Elbe. After plunging down the 60 metres of the Labský vodopád, or Elbe Falls, the latter stream unites with the steeply torrential Malé Labe, thereafter the united stream of the Elbe pursues a southerly course, emerging from the mountain glens at Jaroměř, where it receives Úpa and Metuje.
Here the Elbe enters the vast vale named Polabí, continues on southwards through Hradec Králové and to Pardubice, where it turns to the west. At Kolín some 43 kilometres further on, it bends towards the north-west. At the village of Káraný, a little above Brandýs nad Labem, it picks up the Jizera. At Mělník its stream is more than doubled in volume by the Vltava, or Moldau, a major river which winds northwards through Bohemia. Upstream from the confluence the Vltava is in fact much longer, has a greater discharge and a larger drainage basin. Nonetheless, for historical reasons the river retains the name Elbe because at the confluence point it is the Elbe that flows through the main, wider valley while the Vltava flows into the valley to meet the Elbe at a right angle, thus appears to be the tributary river; some distance lower down, at Litoměřice, the waters of the Elbe are tinted by the reddish Ohře. Thus augmented, swollen into a stream 140 metres wide, the Elbe carves a path through the basaltic mass of the České Středohoří, churning its way through a picturesque, deep and curved rocky gorge.
Shortly after crossing the Czech-German frontier, passing through the sandstone defiles of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, the stream assumes a north-westerly direction, which on the whole it preserves right to the North Sea. The river rolls through Dresden and beyond Meißen, enters on its long journey across the North German Plain passing along the former western border of East Germany, touching Torgau, Dessau, Magdeburg and Hamburg on the way, taking on the waters of the Mulde and Saale from the west, those of the Schwarze Elster and Elde from the east. In its northern section both banks of the Elbe are characterised by flat fertile marshlands, former flood plains of the Elbe now diked. At Magdeburg there is a viaduct, the Magdeburg Water Bridge, that carries a canal and its shipping traffic over the Elbe and its banks, allowing shipping traffic to pass under it unhindered. From the sluice of Geesthacht on downstream the Elbe is subject to the tides, the tidal Elbe section is called the Low Elbe.
Soon the Elbe reaches Hamburg. Within the city-state the Unterelbe has a number of branch streams, such as Dove Elbe, Gose Elbe, Köhlbrand, Northern Elbe, Southern Elbe; some of which have been disconnected for vessels from the main stream by dikes. In 1390 the Gose Elbe was separated from the main stream by a dike connecting the two then-islands of Kirchwerder and Neuengamme; the Dove Elbe was diked off in 1437/38 at Gammer Ort. These hydraulic engineering works were carried out to protect marshlands from inundation, to improve the water supply of the Port of Hamburg. After the heavy inundation by the North Sea flood of 1962 the western section of the Southern Elbe was separated, becoming the Old Southern Elbe, while the waters of the eastern Southern Elbe now merge into the Köhlbrand, bridged by the Köhlbrandbrücke, the last bridge over the Elbe before the North Sea; the Northern Elbe passes the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and is crossed under by the old Elbe Tunnel, both in Hamburg's city centre.
A bit more downstream the Low Elbe's two main anabranches Northern Elbe and the Köhlbrand reunite south of Altona-Altstadt, a locality of Hamburg. Right after both anabranches reunited the Low Elbe is passed under by the New Elbe Tunnel, the last structural road link crossing the river before the North Sea. At the bay Mühlenberger Loch in Hamburg at kilometre 634, the Northern Elbe and the Southern Elbe used to reunite, why the bay is seen as the starting point of the Lower Elbe. Leaving the city-state the Lower Elbe passes between Holstein and the Elbe-Weser Triangle with Stade until it flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. Near its mouth it passes the entrance to the Kiel Canal at Brunsbüttel before it debouches into the North Sea; the Elbe has been navigable by commercial ve
The Veleti or Wilzi were a group of medieval Lechitic tribes within the territory of modern northeastern Germany, related to Polabian Slavs. In common with other Slavic groups between the Elbe and Oder Rivers, they were described by Germanic sources as Wends. In the late 10th century, they were continued by the Lutici. In Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni, the Wilzi are said to refer to themselves as Welatabians; the first mention of a tribe named Veltae is founding Ptolemy's Geography where, writing in the second century, Ptolemy states in Book III, chapter V: "Back from the Ocean, near the Venedicus Bay, the Veltae dwell, above whom are the Ossi." The Bavarian Geographer's anonymous medieval document compiled in Regensburg in 830 contains a list of the tribes in Central Europe east of the Elbe. Among other tribes it lists the Uuilci, featuring 95 civitas; the Veleti did not remain a unified tribe for long. Local tribes developed, the most important being: the Kissini along the lower Warnow and Rostock, named after their capital Kessin.
The Hevelli living in the Havel area and, though more unlikely, the Rujanes of Rugia might once have been part of the Veletians. The Leitha region of Lower Austria may have been named for a tribe of Veneti, the Leithi; this political splitting of the Veleti occurred due to the size of the inhabited area, with settlements grouped around rivers and forts and separated by large strips of woodlands. The Veletian king Dragowit had been defeated and made a vassal by Charlemagne in the only expedition into Slavic territory led by Charlemagne himself, in 798, causing the central Veletian rule to collapse; the Veleti were invaded by the Franks during their continuous expeditions into Obodrite lands, with the Obodrites being allies of the Franks against the Saxons. Einhard made these a biography of Charlemagne, King of the Franks. After the 10th century, the Veleti disappeared from written records, were replaced by the Lutici who at least in part continued the Veleti tradition. Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages List of Medieval Slavic tribes Lutici Obotrites Christiansen, Erik.
The Northern Crusades. London: Penguin Books. P. 287. ISBN 0-14-026653-4. Herrmann, Joachim. Die Slawen in Deutschland. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag GmbH. Dragowit, Fürst der Wilzen
The Saxons were a Germanic people whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country near the North Sea coast of what is now Germany. Earlier, in the late Roman Empire, the name was used to refer to Germanic inhabitants of what is now England, as a word something like the "Viking", as a term for raiders. In Merovingian times, continental Saxons were associated with the coast of what became Normandy. Though sometimes described as fighting inland, coming in conflict with the Franks and Thuringians, no clear homeland can be defined. There is a single classical reference to a smaller homeland of an early Saxon tribe, but it is disputed. According to this proposal, the Saxons' earliest area of settlement is believed to have been Northern Albingia; this general area is close to the probable homeland of the Angles. In contrast, the British "Saxons", today referred to in English as Anglo-Saxons, became a single nation bringing together Germanic peoples with the Romanized populations, establishing long-lasting post-Roman kingdoms equivalent to those formed by the Franks on the continent.
Their earliest weapons and clothing south of the Thames were based on late Roman military fashions, but immigrants north of the Thames showed a stronger North German influence. The term "Anglo-Saxon" came into use by the 8th century to distinguish English Saxons from continental Saxons, but the Saxons of Britain and those of Old Saxony continued to be referred to as'Saxons' in an indiscriminate manner in the languages of Britain and Ireland. However, while the English Saxons were no longer raiders, the political history of the continental Saxons is unclear until the time of the conflict between their semi-legendary hero Widukind and the Frankish emperor Charlemagne. While the continental Saxons are no longer a distinctive ethnic group or country, their name lives on in the names of several regions and states of Germany, including Lower Saxony, as well as the two states that make up Upper Saxony, known today as Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony; the latter have their names from dynastic history, not their ethnic history.
The Saxons may have derived their name from a kind of knife for which they were known. The seax has a lasting symbolic impact in the English counties of Essex and Middlesex, both of which feature three seaxes in their ceremonial emblem, their names, along with those of Sussex and Wessex, contain a remnant of the word "Saxon". The Elizabethan era play Edmund Ironside suggests the Saxon name derives from the Latin saxa: Their names discover what their natures are, More hard than stones, yet not stones indeed. In the Celtic languages, the words designating English nationality derive from the Latin word Saxones; the most prominent example, a loanword in English, is the Scottish word Sassenach, used by Scots- or Scottish English-speakers in the 21st century as a jocular term for an English person. The Oxford English Dictionary gives 1771 as the date of the earliest written use of the word in English, it derives from the Scottish Gaelic Sasannach. The Gaelic name for England is Sasann, Sasannach means "English" in reference to people and things, though not to the English Language, Beurla.
Sasanach, the Irish word for an Englishman, has the same derivation, as do the words used in Welsh to describe the English people and the language and things English in general: Saesneg and Seisnig. Cornish terms the English Sawsnek, from the same derivation. In the 16th century Cornish-speakers used the phrase Meea navidna cowza sawzneck to feign ignorance of the English language."England" in Scottish Gaelic is Sasann. Other examples include the Welsh Saesneg, Irish Sasana, Breton saoz, Cornish Sowson and Pow Sows for'Land of Saxons'; the label "Saxons" became attached to German settlers who migrated during the 13th century to southeastern Transylvania. From Transylvania, some of these Saxons migrated to neighbouring Moldavia, as the name of the town Sas-cut shows. Sascut lies in the part of Moldavia, today part of Romania. During Georg Friederich Händel's visit to Italy, much was made of his origins in Saxony; the Finns and Estonians have changed their usage of the root Saxon over the centuries to apply now to the whole country of Germany and the Germans.
The Finnish word sakset reflects the name of the old Saxon single-edged sword - seax - from which the name "Saxon" derives. In Estonian, saks means "a nobleman" or, colloquially, "a wealthy or powerful person"; the word survives as the surnames of Saß/Sass and Sachs. The Dutch female first name, Saskia meant "A Saxon woman". Following the downfall of Henry the Lion, the subsequent splitt
A treetrunk coffin, hollowed out of a single massive log, is a feature of some prehistoric elite burials over a wide geographical range in Northern Europe and as far east as the Balts, where cremation was abandoned about the 1st century CE, as well as in central Lithuania, where elites were buried in treetrunk coffins. The practice survived Christianization into the Middle Ages; the coffin in which the body of King Arthur, said to have been discovered at Glastonbury Abbey in 1191, was described by the contemporary chronicler Giraldus Cambrensis as being of a massive oak treetrunk. For Bronze Age Britain, examples have been recorded at Wydon Eals, near Haltwhistle, at Cartington, Co. Durham, in Scotland, East Anglia. In Yorkshire, "Gristhorpe Man", a well-preserved human of the second millennium BCE, found 10 July 1834 under an ancient burial mound buried in a hollow oak tree trunk, is conserved at the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough: he was wrapped in an animal skin with a whalebone and bronze dagger and food for his journey.
At the abbey of Munsterbilzen, ten graves with massive treetrunk coffins were discovered in 2006. Because hollowed trunks suggest dugout boats, such burials are sometimes described as boat burials. In Yanjinggou Developing Zone of Chengdu such a "boat burial" in a hollowed-out treetrunk found in 2006 was dated to the Warring States Era, its burial was the most recent of eight burials in coffins hollowed out of single tree trunks one and a half meters in diameter, five meters in length, with tapered ends bow and stern. The phenomenon was not restricted to regions. In Egypt, the conservation of a 1st-century cypresswood coffin hollowed from a single log, from a burial at Touna El Gebel, has been described. "3000-Year-Old Boat Coffin Contents Suggest Owner of Prominence" 17 December 2006
Golden Hat of Schifferstadt
The Golden Hat of Schifferstadt was discovered in a field near the town of Schifferstadt in Southwest Germany in 1835. It is a Bronze Age artefact made of thin sheet gold and served as the external decoration of a head-dress of an organic material, with a brim and a chin-strap; the hat is on display in the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer. It is one of a group of four similar artifacts known as the Golden hats, all cone-shaped Bronze Age head-dresses made of sheet gold; the Schifferstadt specimen was the oldest of the group of four known Golden hats, The Schifferstadt hat was the first to be discovered. After the example from Berlin, it is the best-preserved one preserved with the exception of a small part of the brim. Three associated bronze axes and a comparison with other Late Bronze Age metalwork date the Schifferstadt Hat to circa 1,400-1,300 BC; the hat, like its counterparts, is assumed to have served as a religious insignia for the deities or priests of a sun-cult common in Bronze Age Europe.
The hats are suggested to have served calendrical functions. The Schifferstadt Hat is a 350 g gold cone, subdivided into horizontal ornamental bands, applied in the repoussé technique, it has a undecorated tip. The shaft is squat, with a distinct widening and a wide brim at the bottom; the hat has a lower diameter of about 18 cm. The brim is 4.5 cm wide. At its base the gold sheet was wound around a copper wire for extra stability. Along its whole length the hat is decorated by rows of horizontal symbols and bands. Five different stamps and a chisel or liner were used to create the horizontal bands of repeated stamped symbols, following a systematic scheme; the optical separation of the individual ornamental bands was achieved by ring ribs or bands around the whole external face of the hat. The symbols in the bands are disk and circle motifs with an internal disk or buckle, surrounded by up to six concentric circles. Striking are two bands with eye-like motifs, resembling similar symbols on the hats of Ezelsdorf and Berlin.
Unlike the other known examples, the cone's top is not decorated with a star but left unembellished. The illustration shows the scheme of the shape and composition of the hat, as well as number of ornamental zones and of the number of stamps used for each; the Golden Hat of Schifferstadt was discovered on the 29th of April 1835, during agricultural work in a field named Reuschlache, one km north of Schifferstadt. On the following day the find was handed to officials at Speyer part of the Kingdom of Bavaria; the known circumstances suggest a cult-related deposition: The hat was buried upright, about 60 cm deep. Its top reached to just below the ground surface; when found the hat stood on a slab of back-burnt clay. It was filled with an earth-ashes mixture, of which nothing remains; the clay slab, which crumbled during its recovery and is now lost, sat on a one-inch layer of sand, placed in a rectangular pit. Three bronze axes were leaning against the cone; the hat is hammered from a single piece of gold alloy of 86.37 % 13 % Ag, 0.56 % Cu and 0.07 % Sn.
Its average thickness is 0.2 to 0.25 cm, except the brim, far thinner, at 0.08 to 0-13 mm. The latter may suggest. If the amount of gold used for the hat was moulded into a square bar, it would only measure 2.5 cm square. Such a bar or lump was hammered to the thickness of a modern sheet of printing paper during its production; because of the tribological characteristics of the material, it tends to harden with increasing deformation, increasing its potential to crack. To avoid cracking, an even deformation was necessary. Additionally, the material had to be softened by heating it to a temperature of at least 750 °C. Since gold alloy has a low melting point of circa 960 °C, a careful temperature control and an isothermal heating process were required, so as to avoid melting any of the surface. For this, the Bronze Age artisans used a charcoal oven similar to those used for pottery; the temperature could only be controlled through the addition of oxygen. In the course of its further manufacture, the hat was embellished with rows of radial ornamental bands, chased into the metal.
To make this possible, it was filled with a putty or pitch based on tree resin and wax, traces of which have survived. The thin gold leaf was structured by chasing: stamp-like tools or moulds depicting the individual symbols were pressed into the exterior of the gold. Golden hats Berlin Gold Hat, circa 1,000 – 800 BC Golden Cone of Ezelsdorf-Buch, circa 1,000 – 800 BC Avanton Gold Cone, circa 1,000 – 900 BC Nebra skydisk, circa 2,100 – 1,700 BC Gold und Kult der Bronzezeit.. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg 2003. ISBN 3-926982-95-0 Wilfried Menghin: Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica. Unze, Potsdam 32.2000, S. 31-108. ISSN 0341-1184 Peter Schauer: Die Goldblechkegel der Bronzezeit – Ein Beitrag zur Kulturverbindung zwischen Orient und Mitteleuropa. Habelt, Bonn 1986. ISBN 3-7749-2238-1 Gerhard Bott: Der Goldblechkegel von Ezelsdorf.. Theiß, Stuttgart 1983. ISBN 3-8062-0390-3 Mark Schmidt: Von Hüten, Kegeln und Kalendern oder Das blendende Licht des Orients. in: Ethnographisch-Archäologische Zeitschrift.
Berlin 43.2002, p. 499-541. ISSN 0012-7477 Ernst Probst: Deutschland in der Bronzezeit. Bauern, Bronzegießer und Burgherren zwischen Nordsee und Alpen. München 1999. ISBN 3-572-01059-4 On Schifferstadt town website Historisches Museum der Pfalz