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Ulrich von Hutten

Portrait of Ulrich von Hutten

Ulrich von Hutten -- P. 98

It was for the schools and universities that reformers first sprung up in Erasmus and Reuchlin; then, almost at the same time, an Ulrich von Hutten began to call on his countrymen to feel and to assert their national unity and their ancient rights against Italian priests and Spanish mercenaries, and to reform their own lives. His vigorous appeals, expressed, not in Latin, but in clear and trenchant German, made themselves heard by all classes, and helped to pave the way for the reformation that was coming. The following 99 poem, written when he had been forced to seek an asylum in the castle of his friend Franz von Sickingen, was ere long circulated all over the country on broadsheets, and became a favourite song of the earliest adherents of the Reformation.

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