Luther Reality Tour

posted Apr 9, 2010, 2:47 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Apr 9, 2010, 4:26 AM ]
Here is a map of the key places in the history of the Reformation, some of which I already mentioned.

You can see Eisleben, where Luther was born in 1483: population 4,000 at that time.  Aged 1, his family moved to Mansfield, which was even smaller (about 2,000 people).  In 1497, Luther was sent to the Cathedral school at Magdeburg....and then the following year to school at Eisenach.  In 1501, Luther began to study at the University of Erfurt.  His teaching career at the University of Wittenberg began in 1508.

Look how far Magdeburg is from Mainz: it was outrageous that Albrecht of Hohenzollern (1490-1548) wanted to be archbishop of both.

Augsburg is also on the map: in October 1518, Luther debated the great Dominican theologian Thomas Cajetan (1469-1534) there, as Emperor Maximilian I tried to destroy Luther's scholarly reputation.

In July 1519, Luther appeared at the University of Leipzig, and was forced to admit that the Council of Constance had been wrong to burn Jan Hus in 1415.  (Constance is on the map too.)  Note how close Leipzig is to Prague, and you can see why the University of Leipzig had become a refuge for anti-Hus professors.

Other places will become important in Luther's life: Worms, Wartburg Castle (near Eisenach), Trier, Marburg, and even Zurich.


Map source:
Heiko A. Oberman, Luther: Man between God and the Devil (New Haven, 1989): partially online at