Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland is an encyclopedia on the history of Switzerland that aims to take into account the results of modern historical research in a manner accessible to a broader audience. The encyclopedia is published by a foundation under the patronage of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Swiss Historical Society and is financed by national research grants. Besides a staff of 35 at the central offices, the contributors include 100 academic advisors, 2500 historians and 100 translators; the encyclopedia is being edited in three national languages of Switzerland: German and Italian. The first of 13 volumes was published in 2002; the last volume was published in 2014. The 36,000 headings are grouped in: Biographies Articles on families and genealogy Articles on places Subject articles The on-line edition has been available since 1998, it makes accessible, for free, but no illustrations. It lists all 36,000 topics that are to be covered. Lexicon Istoric Retic is a two volume version with a selection of articles published in Romansh.
It includes articles not available in the other languages. The first volume was published in 2010, the second in 2012. An on-line version is available. Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, Schwabe AG, Basel, ISBN 3-7965-1900-8 Dictionnaire historique de la Suisse, Editions Gilles Attinger, Hauterive, ISBN 2-88256-133-4 Dizionario storico della Svizzera, Armando Dadò editore, Locarno, ISBN 88-8281-100-X Lexicon Istoric Retic, Kommissionsverlag Desertina, Chur, ISBN 978-3-85637-390-0, ISBN 978-3-85637-391-7 Media related to Historical Dictionary of Switzerland at Wikimedia Commons DHS/HLS/DSS online edition in German and Italian Lexicon Istoric Retic online edition in Romansh
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
St. Peter, Zürich
St. Peter is one of the four main churches of the old town of Zürich, besides Grossmünster, Fraumünster and Predigerkirche. Located next to the Lindenhof hill, site of the former Roman castle, it was built on the site of a temple to Jupiter. An early church of 10 by 7 metres is archaeologically attested for the 9th century; this building was replaced by an early Romanesque church around AD 1000, in turn replaced in 1230 by a late romanesque structure, parts of which survive. Rudolf Brun, first independent mayor of the town, was buried here in 1360; the nave was rebuilt in 1460 in Gothic style. Prior to the Reformation, St. Peter was the only parish church of the town, the rest being part of monasteries; the first reformed pastor, Leo Jud, was a friend of Zwingli and contributed to the first translation of the Bible in Zurich. Johann Kaspar Lavater was pastor from 1778-1801, his gravestone can be seen in the church wall. Theologian Adolf Keller served as pastor 1909 -1924; the current building was consecrated in 1706 as the first church built under Protestant rule.
Its congregation forms part of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich. Until 1911, the steeple was manned by a fire watch. Restoration work was carried out in 1970 to 1975; the steeple's clock face has a diameter of 8.7 m, the largest church clock face in Europe. The bells date to 1880. Peculiarly, the church's steeple is owned by the city of Zürich, while the nave is owned by the St. Peter parish of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich; the church tower and the nave of St. Peter do not have the same owner: Until the French Revolution the tower belonged to the former city republic of Zürich, since 1803 to the city of Zürich. Belfry and bells belong to the Reformed Church of the canton of Zürich, as well as the staircase leading to the tower; the church tower was used for fire police duties, 1340 AD the first fire guard was set in duty. In the pre- and early Romanesque area, St. Peter had no church tower, i.e. the first massive three-storey tower was built in early 13th century AD.
The first floor with Romanesque ribbed vault dates back to that period. In 1450 the tower was increased to 64 metres and a pitched roof was attached; that 24 metres high part of the tower was in 1996 re-covered with 42,000 larch shingles from the Engadine valley, since being the only wooden roof in Zürich. Towards the end of the 13th century a mechanical church clock was installed. In 1366 it was renewed and got one only dial, directed towards the Limmat and only displayed the hours. Around 1460, the sense of time has been refined by half on the quarter-hour strike, in 1538 the striking clock was replaced, all four facades got dials. Replacements of the clock mechanism followed in 1593/94 and 1675 and 1826. In 1844 a new movement with quarter-hour strike was installed. In 1972 the balance was replaced by a automatic master clock in the clock room of the St. Peter's tower, in 1996 the electrified mechanical movement of 1844 was shut down and replaced by a central computer system; the clock tower of St. Peter was for centuries Zürich's'official local time', all public city clocks had to conform to it.
The church clock of St. Peter has the largest tower clock face in Europe, the outer diameter of each of the four church clocks measures 8.64 metres, the minute hand 5.73 metres, the hour hand 5.07 metres, the minute crack of the large pointer measures 0.455 metres. The pipe organ was installed in 1974 by Mühleisen Manufacture d´orgues from Strasbourg, it was revised in 1992, 1994 and 1997. The slider chests instrument has 52 registers on 32 pedals. Around the 1st century BC La Tène culture, archaeologists excavated individual and aerial finds of the Celtic-Helvetii oppidum Lindenhof, whose remains were discovered in archaeological campaigns in the years 1989, 1997, 2004 and 2007 on Lindenhof, Münsterhof and Rennweg-Augustinergasse, in the 1900s, but the finds mistakenly were identified as Roman objects. Not yet archaeological proven but suggested by the historians, as well for the first construction of the today's Münsterbrücke Limmat crossing, the present Weinplatz square was the former civilian harbour of the Celtic-Roman Turicum.
Assumed to be the oldest parish church of Zürich, St. Peterhofstatt is St. Peter's adjoint plaza, analogously meaning the royal court at St. Peter. Peter Ziegler: St. Peter in Zürich. Von den Ursprüngen bis zur heutigen Kirchgemeinde. Buchverlag NZZ, Zürich 2006 Media related to St. Peter Church in Zürich at Wikimedia Commons
The Fraumünster Church in Zürich is built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women, founded in 853 by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard. He endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich and the Albis forest, granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority. Today, it belongs to the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich and is one of the four main churches of Zürich, the others being the Grossmünster, Prediger and St. Peter's churches. In 1045, King Henry III granted the convent the right to hold markets, collect tolls, mint coins, thus made the abbess the ruler of the city. Emperor Frederick II granted the abbey Reichsunmittelbarkeit in 1218, thus making it territorially independent of all authority save that of the Emperor himself, increasing the political power of the abbess; the abbess assigned the mayor, she delegated the minting of coins to citizens of the city. A famous abbess during this time of great power was Elisabeth of Wetzikon.
However, the political power of the convent waned in the fourteenth century, beginning with the establishment of the Zunftordnung in 1336 by Rudolf Brun, who became the first independent mayor, i.e. not assigned by the abbess. The abbey was dissolved on 30 November 1524 in the course of the reformation of Huldrych Zwingli, supported by the last abbess, Katharina von Zimmern; the monastery buildings were destroyed in 1898 to make room for the new Stadthaus. The church building today serves as the parish church for one of the city's 34 reformed parishes. Münsterhof the main square and marketplace of the medieval city, is named for the abbey. Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster cultivates the traditions of the former nunnery convent; the choir of the abbey includes 5 large stained glass windows designed by artist Marc Chagall and installed in 1970. Each of the 5 depicts a Biblical story. From left to right, the 5 works are: Prophets, depicting Elijah's ascent to heaven Jacob, displaying his combat, dreams of heaven Christ, illustrating various scenes of Christ's life Zion, showing an angel trumpeting the end of the world Law, with Moses looking down upon the suffering of his peopleEqually impressive is the 9m tall stained glass of the North transept, created by Augusto Giacometti in 1940.
Since the last renovation in 1900, the crypt under the choir of the Fraumünster abbey was sealed, has made public since 19 June 2016. The oldest part of the church preserved the abbey's Holy Relics until the Reformation in Zürich banned the Roman Catholic adoration of saints; the foundations of the crypt date back to the 9th century. The crypt comprises an exhibition on the history of the Reformation in Zürich, on the architecture and local history, assisted by a multimedia information system that illustrates the foundation fragments of the crypt, how the church was rebuilt from the original Romanesque construction phase to its present Gothic appearance, on occasion of its establishment guided by Dölf Wild, the archaeologist in charge. For the around 500,000 visitors every year a new developed visitor management started in June 2016. Visitors groups up to 60 persons are admitted from June 20 only by appointment and only in defined time windows. Guided tours are allowed only in a "whisper" modus, by accredited tour guides, from 10 am to 4 pm in winter, to 5 pm and 6 pm in spring summer.
Hildegard, first abbess of Fraumünster Abbey Katharina von Zimmern, last abbess of the Abbey In the Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance the Fraumünster is listed as a Class A object of national importance. Peter Vogelsanger: Zürich und sein Fraumünster. Eine elfhundertjährige Geschichte. NZZ Libro, Zürich 1994, ISBN 3-85823-515-6 Grossmünster Wasserkirche Official website
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was a loose confederation of independent small states within the Holy Roman Empire. It is the precursor of the modern state of Switzerland, it formed during the 14th century, from a nucleus in what is now Central Switzerland, expanding to include the cities of Zürich and Berne by the middle of the century. This formed a rare union of rural and urban communes, all of which enjoyed imperial immediacy in the Holy Roman Empire; this confederation of eight cantons was politically and militarily successful for more than a century, culminating in the Burgundy Wars of the 1470s which established it as a power in the complicated political landscape dominated by France and the Habsburgs. Its success resulted in the addition of more confederates, increasing the number of cantons to thirteen by 1513; the confederacy pledged neutrality in 1647, although many Swiss served as mercenaries in the Italian Wars and during the Early Modern period. After the Swabian War of 1499 the confederacy was a de facto independent state throughout the early modern period, although still nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire until 1648 when the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years' War.
The Swiss Reformation divided the confederates into Reformed and Catholic parties, resulting in internal conflict from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The Swiss Confederacy fell to invasion by the French Revolutionary Army in 1798, after which it became the short-lived Helvetic Republic; the adjective "old" was introduced after the Napoleonic era with Ancien Régime, retronyms distinguishing the pre-Napoleonic from the restored confederation. During its existence the confederacy was known as Eidgenossenschaft or Eydtgnoschafft, in reference to treaties among cantons. Territories of the confederacy came to be known collectively as Schweiz or Schweizerland, with the English Switzerland beginning during the mid-16th century. From that time the Confederacy was seen as a single state known as the Swiss Republic after the fashion of calling individual urban cantons republics; the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy was an alliance among the valley communities of the central Alps to facilitate management of common interests and ensure peace along trade routes through the mountains.
The foundation of the Confederacy is marked by the 1315 Pact of Brunnen. Since 1889, the Federal Charter of 1291 among the rural communes of Uri and Unterwalden has been considered the founding document of the confederacy; the initial pact was augmented by pacts with the cities of Lucerne, Zürich, Berne. This union of rural and urban communes, which enjoyed the status of imperial immediacy within the Holy Roman Empire, was engendered by pressure from Habsburg dukes and kings who had ruled much of the land. In several battles with Habsburg armies, the Swiss were victorious. From 1353 to 1481, the federation of eight cantons—known in German as the Acht Orte —consolidated its position; the members enlarged their territory at the expense of local counts—primarily by buying judicial rights, but sometimes by force. The Eidgenossenschaft, as a whole, expanded through military conquest: the Aargau was conquered in 1415 and the Thurgau in 1460. In both cases, the Swiss profited from weakness in the Habsburg dukes.
In the south, Uri led a military territorial expansion that would by 1515 lead to the conquest of the Ticino. None of these territories became members of the confederacy. At this time, the eight cantons increased their influence on neighbouring cities and regions through additional alliances. Individual cantons concluded pacts with Fribourg, Schaffhausen, the abbot and the city of St. Gallen, Rottweil and others; these allies became associated with the confederacy, but were not accepted as full members. The Burgundy Wars prompted a further enlargement of the confederacy. In the Swabian War against Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, the Swiss were victorious and exempted from imperial legislation; the associated cities of Basel and Schaffhausen joined the confederacy as a result of that conflict, Appenzell followed suit in 1513 as the thirteenth member. The federation of thirteen cantons constituted the Old Swiss Confederacy until its demise in 1798; the expansion of the confederacy was stopped by the Swiss defeat in the 1515 Battle of Marignano.
Only Berne and Fribourg were still able to conquer the Vaud in 1536. The Reformation in Switzerland led to doctrinal division amongst the cantons. Zürich, Basel and associates Biel, Neuchâtel and the city of St. Gallen became Protestant. In Glarus, Appenzell, in the Grisons and in mo
House of Rapperswil
The House of Rapperswil Counts of Rapperswil ruled the upper Zürichsee and Seedamm region around Rapperswil and parts of, as of today, Swiss cantons of St. Gallen, Glarus, Zürich and Graubünden when their influence was most extensive around the 1200s until the 1290s, they acted as Vogt of the most influential Einsiedeln Abbey in the 12th and 13th century, at least three abbots of Einsiedeln were members of Rapperswil family. In 697 legends mentions a knight called Raprecht in connection with the Grynau Castle; the former seat of the Vogt in Altendorf was first mentioned as "Rahprehteswilare" in a document of emperor Otto II, in which goods of the Einsiedeln abbey were confirmed on 14 August 972. The fourth Abbot of Einsiedeln, Wirunt, or Wirendus, Wem, Verendus, was according to 15th-century chronists a Graf von Wandelburg of the Rapperswil family. Wandelburg may be another name of the Grynau Castle at the Buechberg hill on Obersee lake shore. According to the abbey's archives there are no reliable sources about Wirunt's origin.
Other unreliable sources mention. Ulrich I von Rapperswil became the 14th abbot of Einsiedeln. In 1099 first mentioned, the donation of the St. Andreas Church was given by the House of Rapperswil as a spacious three-naved country church; the assumably legal connection with the church situated above the Uster Castle, due to the archaeological investigations of 1982 so far is not proven, but the pastoral rights were sold by Elisabeth von Rapperswil not earlier than 1300. Some fortifications, among them in Greifensee and Alt-Rapperswil were built in the early 12th century by members of the family; the Vogts of Rapperswil were persons of influence in the so-called Marchenstreit between the people of Schwyz and the Einsiedeln abbey beginning around 1100. Around 1180 the lords of Rapperswil inherit the parish rights of Weisslingen and free float in Russikon, Luckhausen, Moosburg and in Kempthal, as well as the castles Greifenberg and Bernegg, the bailiwick of Kempten in the area around the Töss Valley in Eastern Switzerland.
Assumably in compensation of claims related to the Alt-Rapperswil lands and rights, a change of goods occurred to establish the Bubikon Commandry, given by the Counts of Toggenburg and by the Counts of Rapperswil between 1191 and 1198. Although in concurrency to the neighbouring Rüti Abbey, founded in 1206, the commandery's lands and goods grew with donations by local noble families during the 13th and 14th centuries; the house of Rapperswil was first mentioned before 1192 in a large numbers of documents, for the last time around 1206 related to the abbot Rudolf of -Rapperswil, since 1233 as Grafen of Rapprechtswilare. As between 1192 and 1220 documentary mentions of the family are missing, the modern research assumes that the original lineage is extinct and subsequently a dispute over inheritance may be broken. Therefore, the historians use Neu-Rapperswil, it is assumed that there were strong family ties with the houses of Regensberg and Toggenburg, that may have been involved in the dispute over the inheritance.
Around 1200 the Rapperswil Castle and the fortifications of the former locus Endingen were built by Rudolf II and his son Rudolf III of Rapperswil. In 1229, the town of Rapperswil was founded when the nobility of Rapperswil moved from Altendorf across the lake to Rapperswil, a wave of foundations is documented: Wettingen Abbey in 1227, the Mariazell-Wurmsbach Abbey in 1259. On 28 August 1232 a document confirms an exchange of goods between members of the noble families of Kyburg and Rapperswil in the villages of Oberwesin and Niderwesin that were in the possession of Kyburg to 1264 of Rapperwil to 1283, the nucleus of the monastic community "in den Wyden", a community of lay women or beguines, Count Rudolf IV von Rapperswil donated certain duties, lands "in den Widen" to establish the Dominikanerinnenkloster Maria Zuflucht in 1259; the community was supported by Predigerkloster Zürich because its close relationship to the House of Rapperswil. On the peninsula at Oberbollingen, the St. Nicholas Chapel is mentioned, where around 1229 a small Cistercian monastery was established.
St. Martin Busskirch is one of the oldest churches around the Lake Zürich and was until 1229 the parish church of the family. There the citizens of Rapperswil had to attend services, until Count Rudolf II of Rapperswil built the Stadtpfarrkirche on Herrenberg next to the Rapperswil castle on the Lindenhof hill. At that time, the House of Rapperswil had possessions in what is now Eastern and Central Switzerland, they bore the title of count as a partisan of the Staufer kings. Besides the Urseren valley in 1240, since the 13th centuries, Lützelau island has belonged to the family to the community of Rapperswil; the house of Rapperswil became extinct again in 1283, with the death of the 18-year-old Count Rudolf V, after which emperor Rudolf I acquired their fiefs, the family had to sold large parts of the former bailiwick. Great parts of the remaining property of the Herrschaft Rapperswil passed to the house of Homberg, represented by Count Ludwig by first marriage of Elisabeth von Rapperswil and their son, Wernher von Homb
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC