Remembering the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives

I will be offering my course, HIST 414 European Wars of Religion, 1520s-1660s, at Northern Illinois University beginning next Monday.

Just in time for the beginning of the semester, today is the anniversary of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris on 24 August 1572, one of the most shocking atrocities of the French Wars of Religion (1559-1629).

As I prepare my classes this week, I am reminded of the other major historical commemorations that intersect with my course on the European Wars of Religion. 

Last year was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s challenge to papal authority and his publication of the Ninety-Five Theses (1517). Reformation historians in Germany and around the world held numerous conferences, workshops, lectures, and services throughout 2017 in celebration or commemoration of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Scholars, clergy, and journalists published many articles and books reflecting on Martin Luther’s life and the…

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