A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age - Chapter II, The Shattering (Sections 46-56) Summary & Analysis

William Manchester
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The Catholic response to Luther was to distribute the Papal Bulls condemning him, which was carried out by the papal legates Johann Eck and Hieronymus Aleandro. They meant to make Luther a pariah but their efforts had the opposite effect in Germany. Many Germans were eager to be free from Rome and Luther had many supporters. Eck and Aleandro had to move carefully, less they be assaulted by mobs. Their posters of the bull were torn down even in Catholic strongholds. Luther was content in 1520, writing in German violent condemnations of the pope and Catholic doctrines.

Humanists and Catholics had attacked vernacular writers but Luther knew that few could read their tracts, as they were in Latin. Many of the princes could not read Latin. But they all knew simple German. So Luther's works Of...

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