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NZD Annual Lectures - Lyndal Roper: Manhood, Revolt and Emotion: The German Peasants’ War 1524-6 - Lecture 2: Band of Brothers

German Peasants War
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 5:30 pm – 7:10 pm

Pre-registration is required. Click here to register by February 25.


2020/21 Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lectures (Three Lectures, March 1-3)

Manhood, Revolt and Emotion: The German Peasants’ War 1524-6

The German Peasants' War of 1524/5 was the biggest popular uprising in Western Europe before the French Revolution. It altered the course of the Lutheran Reformation and made it far more conservative. Thousands were slain as the revolt was suppressed. Despite its importance, the Peasants’ War has largely fallen out of modern memory. The world-wide celebrations of the 500 years of the Reformation in 2017 had little to say about it, and yet, its place in historiography encapsulates the political divisions between East and West: until 1989, Thomas Müntzer remained the hero of East Germany, while the former West celebrated Luther. This is why understanding the revolt and its legacies is so important today, over a generation since the fall of the so-called Iron Curtain.

Lecture 2: Band of Brothers (March 2)

The watchword of the Peasants’ War was ‘brotherly love’. Oaths of loyalty, which only men could swear, held the movement together; and peasant activists roamed the land calling on villages to join the ‘brotherhood’. But could women be brothers? Was the peasants’ fraternal egalitarianism a male language, and what role did manhood play in the movement’s ideals and values?


Lyndal Roper was born in Melbourne, Australia and did her undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne. From there she went to Tübingen where she studied with Professor Heiko Oberman and with Dr Ingrid Bátori. She met Bob Scribner who was driving from archive to archive in his camper van and moved to London to do her doctorate under his supervision. She has worked at King’s College London; Royal Holloway, University of London; Balliol College Oxford and is now Regius Professor of History, the first woman to hold the post. She has published on the history of the Reformation and gender relations, sexuality, witchcraft, and has written a best-selling biography of Martin Luther.