The Theatrum Europaeum and 17th Century Print Media1
Gerhild Scholz Williams

1. Introduction
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To gauge the effect of the Theatrum Europaeum (covering events from 1618-1703, published between 1635-1738) on seventeenth-century German print media presents the researcher with a significant challenge. The Theatrum Europaeum appears to have been, if not omnipresent, then relatively widely distributed in the early modern news world. Writers like Johannes Praetorius (1630-1680) and Eberhard Werner Happel (1647-1690) mention the Theatrum Europaeum as a source. Moreover, they, like many of their contemporaries, frequently employ the Theatrum-metaphor as a global reference when talking about events of the past and the political, economic, and social movements of their days. Yet, in spite of remarkable similarities in the news collected in the Theatrum Europaeum, gathered in Praetorius’s tracts, and employed by Happel in his novels, efforts to identify whether these writers copied directly from the Theatrum Europaeum or simply adapted news from other sources available to all three are frustrated either by discrepancies in publication dates or by imprecise references.

In the following, I will attempt to gain an understanding of the varieties of relationships between the Theatrum Europaeum, Praetorius’s tracts, and Happel’s novels. After briefly reviewing the ideas shared by the authors about historical truth and the ideal neutral reader, I will proceed in two steps: First, I will assess the sparse evidence of direct references to the Theatrum Europaeum by Praetorius and Happel. In a second, much less confident step, I will turn to describing how Praetorius, Happel, and the editors of the Theatrum Europaeum employed similar, perhaps even identical, sources. To this end, I will choose several examples of items in the news that captured the interest of the reading public and thus showed up in the Theatrum Europaeum as well as in Praetorius and Happel. Among such items are the ongoing Turkish threat in Eastern Europe and the actions of the Hungarian „malcontents“ or rebels under their leader Emmerich (Imre) Töcköly. The appearance of the purported Jewish messiah, Sabbatai Sevy (1666) also generated much excitement, as did the persecution and subsequent flight (throughout the sixteen eighties) of the Protestant Waldenser (Thalleute) from France and Savoy to the Netherlands, Germany, and England. I will also, very briefly, look at a few wondrous and sensational events that filled the public imagination with foreboding and showed up in all three media. I will close with a few observations about the emergent effects of contemporary news on the seventeenth-century literary landscape.

2. The New(s) and the Reader
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Introducing Volume 1 of the Theatrum Europaeum (1618-1628; published in 1632) Matthaeus Merian declared his intent to present the THEATRVM EVROPAEVM to his readers with diligence and candor („mit allem Fleiß/ Candore vnd Auffrichtigkeit“, TE, 1. ed., vol. 1, 1635, Vorrede, unpag. [p. 2]; see Scholz Williams 2006a). Whether the reader addressed was learned or not („[den] gelehrten als den gemeinen Mann“) did not concern him as much as did the fact that he expected this reader to be a neutral judge of the information put before him („An den vnpartheyischen geneigten Leser“2; TE, 1. ed., vol. 3, 1639, Vorrede, unpag. [p. 1]); that is, the reader should not unduly and unthinkingly take sides. Merian’s manifesto – and one could call it that because it is restated throughout subsequent volumes – represents as much a commitment to accuracy in reporting as an effort to please the buyers of his volumes.

Johannes Praetorius, referring to his use of the Theatrum Europaeum in the Zodiacus of 1666, also mentions as his audience the impartial reader („unpartheyischer Mann“, Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 1). Praetorius’s literary output, his historical and contemporary Belesenheit, his skill at excerpting his materials from multiple works of many authors, and his ability to keep the materials assembled under his writerly control, are astonishing even to the modern reader.3 Unlike Happel, who alongside his popular multi-volumed novels also published the Relationes curiosae, a well received compendium of news, Praetorius stayed away from writing novels altogether except for a few short tracks that could be called fictional but are hardly novelistic (Scholz Williams 2010, also see Scholz Williams 2006b, pp. 169-219). Despite this difference in the choice of genres, however, Happel and Praetorius sought and found much of their source material in contemporary news reports and in news compendia, with the Theatrum Europaeum prominent among them. Of the two authors, Praetorius was the more straight forward, often enumerating long lists of sources employed and, importantly for us, telling his readers the specific volumes of the Theatrum Europaeum from which he drew his information. Following Merian and Praetorius, Happel, in turn, frequently declares himself a truth-telling „historico“ who writes for a reader not only „unpartheyisch“ but also fully capable of distinguishing fact from fiction, or, as Happel puts it, „eigentliche Geschichte“ from „romanische Außzierungen“ (Happel: Engelländischer Eduard, vol. 3, Vorrede). Moreover, Happel never tires of reassuring us that his commitment to historical truth must not be questioned: „[I] ich bin versichert/ daß die Wichtigkeit der Sachen/ die sich zu unserer Zeit/ da wir unter den listig- und klügesten Leuten leben/ begeben haben/ und noch zutragen werden/ einen jeden Liebhaber der Historischen Wahrheit anlocken wird“ (Happel: Italienischer Spinelli, vol. 2, Vorrede).

Happel only intermittently acknowledges the Theatrum Europaeum as a source. More frequently, the reader familiar with the Theatrum Europaeum is aware of the substantial correspondence between the news reported or commented on in the Theatrum Europaeum and in Happel’s novels, a correspondence that might point to the Theatrum Europaeum as a possible or even likely source. But the information could just as easily have been taken from any number of other widely disseminated news sources available in Happel’s home city of Hamburg. At the very least, we can state with confidence that neither Praetorius nor Happel nor the writers/compilers of the Theatrum Europaeum could or would have filled as many pages as they did had they not had access to news reports from which to draw the data for their print productions.

3. The Writers and the News
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3.1. Johannes Praetorius
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According to Praetorius’s own assessment, the experiential immediacy, the reader’s impression of getting the news delivered speedily and at first hand, accounted for the interest in and attraction of his news tracts, among them the Adunatus cometologus (1665), the annual Zodiacus Das ist: Jährige Europaeische Welt-Chronick (1666, 1667, 1668), and reports associated with wonders and portents, such as the Sacra filamenta (1665), a tract about wondrous rains. Praetorius’s way of telling was brisk and to the point, the items presented were frequently numbered and dated. Brevity and salability of the tracts were facilitated by Praetorius’s favorite organizing principles: the use of acrostics and lists, numbered and alphabetized for easy orientation. Moreover, to capture the attention of his buying public, Praetorius emphasized his volumes’ user-friendliness compared to the expensive and bulky Theatrum Europaeum (Praetorius: Adunatus Cometologus, p. 3). As proof he emphasized the modest size of the Adunatus, the Zodiacus chronicles, and the various wonder tracts which were printed in the cheaper quarto size at approximately 200 pages per volume, making them appear more like notebooks alongside the almost 1200-folio-page, luxuriously illustrated Theatrum Europaeum. In spite of the difference in size and mode of presentation, Praetorius reassured his readers that for only a modest sum of money his tracts offered as much substantive news as the larger Theatrum Europaeum tomes. He further noted that endless shelves could be filled with newsworthy items but buyers would be hard pressed to find all the desired information in the same place. And if they did, they would hardly be able to pay for it („schwerlich bezahlen können“). Should purchase be possible, the reading required to go through so many volumes would take weeks („schier etliche Wochen zum Durchlesen erfordern solten“, all at Praetorius: Adunatus, p. 3). Comparing his tracts’ smaller size, their diminutive, more readily portable format, and their moderate price with the Theatrum’s bulk suggests that the Theatrum Europaeum inspired Praetorius not only to quote it as a source but also to identify it as a counterpoint to his own publications. It must have been attractive for him to offer the Zodiacus chronicles, the Cometologus, and his shorter news tracts as the common person’s versions of the lavish and expensive Theatrum Europaeum.

Like the Theatrum Europaeum though not at all as lavish, the volumes of the Zodiacus also boast attractively printed frontispieces that clearly state what the reader is about to find, namely a „europäische Weltchronik“ (TE, 1. ed., vol. 6, 1652, p. 5). There are yet other organizational resemblances between the Theatrum Europaeum and the Zodiacus: Praetorius’s tract announces its brevity and marginal notes for reader-friendly orientation as comparable to the Theatrum Europaeum („in einem wohlverfasseten Kurtzem Begriffe“ and „deutliche Marginalien“, Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, title page), confirming that decisions about what to include were based on broadly defined public availability, interests, curiosity, and salability.

Again like the Theatrum Europaeum, the Adunatus and the Zodiacus chronicles are organized by geographic region. The list of „Anmerckungen und Beyspiele[n]“ (comments and examples) introducing the Zodiacus of 1666 serves as table of contents, reporting plan, and geographic compass to guide the reader across Europe and a good part of the globe.4 However, while the Theatrum Europaeum tended to present the political Haupt- und Staatsaktionen at the beginning of each year, moving the weird, the wondrous, and the scandalous to year’s end, Praetorius was more likely to report everything „in chronologischer Ordnung“, as he excerpted the news from „öffentlichen und Priviligirten Zeitungen“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 2, 1667, „Der Eingang“), be it political events or gossip, or reports on births, marriages, and deaths of the powerful, or wonders and portents.

In addition to the formal similarities summarized above, Praetorius refers directly to several volumes of the Theatrum Europaeum as sources for his Zodiacus chronicles. He also mentions the Theatrum Europaeum in several of his shorter tracts on wonders. A case in point is Praetorius’s description of a comet by Johann Matthias Schneuber, which is cited in the Adunatus with reference to vol. 6 of the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 1. ed., vol. 6, 1652, p. 100; Praetorius: Adunatus, p. 72). On the basis of the information in vol. 6 of the Theatrum Europaeum, Praetorius maintains that, in spite of increasing meteorological knowledge, it was God, not nature, who meted out the retribution announced by such an occurence. God he felt wanted to say „wolan/ ihr Herren/ dieses und jenes habt ihr angefangen. […] Da sehet diese Zeichen an dem Himmel/ das lasset euch verkündigen/ wie lange euer Straffe wehren/ wo sie herkommen/ und wohin sie treffen wird“ (Praetorius: Adunatus, p. 73). A few pages later, he follows with a comment taken from Volume 1 of the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 1. ed., vol. 1, 1635, p. 116) which pointed to the congruence between the appearance of comets and the „the cruel deaths“ observed in Naples, Italy (Praetorius: Adunatus, pp. 73, 77). A non-specific reference to the Theatrum Europaeum accompanies Praetorius’s comment on great events all across Europe signaling together that „wir gehen mit grossen Sachen schwanger“ (Praetorius: Adunatus, p. 89). A less dramatic but still newsy event is highlighted in another of Praetorius’s wonder tracts, the Weissenfelsische Wunder-Gesicht, in which he noted that „eine Kindbetterin in Dennemarck [hat]/ mit ihrem Kinde/ etliche Tage nach einander Blut geschwitzet/ wie in dem 6. Theil des Theatr. Europ. steht“ (Praetorius: Weissenfelsisches Wunder-Gesicht, C ij; see TE, 2. ed., vol. 6, 1663, p. 300). Furthermore, both the Theatrum Europaeum and the Zodiacus report that in 1666 a Hexenmeister was apprehended in Munich. Unlike the rather generic female witches mentioned throughout the Theatrum Europaeum and the Zodiacus, this male witch was accused of more specific (though still stereotypical) evil deeds, including desecration of the Host, poisoning of animals, and destruction by hail of food and seed grain (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 47).

Yet other issues of great interest to Praetorius and his readers were epidemics, miraculous healing, and advances in medicine. The Zodiacus of 1667 reports in detail on the spas of the little town of Ronneburg. So does the Theatrum Europaeum, which, in addition, discussed the healing waters of Hornhausen and Köttelbrink (TE, 2. ed., vol. 5, 1651, p. 1079 and TE, 1. ed., vol. 10, 1677, p. 443), both of which attracted much attention in 1666 and 1667. People came from far and wide to Ronneburg seeking to regain their breath and, in the process, filled the community’s coffers. To support physicians’ claims about the water’s efficacy, as well as to legitimize the establishment of an equitable fee structure for those in need of help, an early modern version of a consultant – a Chymicus – was brought in to render expert testimony. Recalling the discussion of the health benefits of mineral-rich waters typical for Paracelsian medicine, the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 1. ed., vol. 10, 1677, p. 443) and Zodiacus both emphasize the growing interest in the chemistry of water and soil. In case of Ronneburg, the Chymicus did indeed endorse the water’s cleansing and purging properties („macht die Leber rein und führt allen Unflat hinaus“, Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 2, 1667, p. 54). Confirming the healthful properties of the water, Praetorius and the Theatrum Europaeum present a long list of testimonials including names, the nature of the complaint, and a note indicating whether the waters had improved the patient’s health or not (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 2, 1667, p. 94ff.).5

Many more news items made significant headlines and are, therefore, reviewed in great and carefully contextualized detail in the Theatrum Europaeum and in Praetorius’s tracts. One of these was the story of the alleged Jewish Messiah Sabbatai Sevi (1625-1676, active 1665-1667) that appears as very much current news in the Zodiacus of 1666. The story was also extensively treated in the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 1. ed., vol. 10, 1677, pp. 437-441) and in numerous contemporary broadsheets. In the chapter on Rabbinische oder Jüdische Begebenheitten. Anno 1666 (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, pp. 112-126), Praetorius tells of the pan-European unrest brought about by the appearance of the purported messiah, and he voices amazement at the happiness of the Jews at Sabbatai Sevy’s impending arrival.6 In all its major points, Praetorius’s report concurs with the one in the Theatrum Europaeum down to one curious detail: that the Hungarian Jews had removed the roofs from their houses in anticipation of the messiah’s appearance (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 120).7 The excitement was said to have been especially intense in Hamburg, where the Jewish community founded a new yeshiva dedicated to the spreading of Sabbatai’s message.8

Another event comprehensively covered by Praetorius, the Theatrum Europaeum, and many other newswriters of the period was the Great Fire that all but destroyed London between September 2 and 5, 1666. The fire’s size, duration (four days), and destructiveness awed even the most war-hardened early modern observers. The statistics reported in the Theatrum Europaeum and in the Zodiacus are impressive, the sources of information clearly reasonably accurate. Praetorius speaks of 30,000 houses burned and 90 churches destroyed (historical records show 13,200 houses and 87 churches lost). It was said that as many as 80,000 people had lost their homes (Keene, p. 192). According to Praetorius, damage estimates came to over 150 million English crowns. To everyone’s amazement, only twelve persons died (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 85).

Many of the events reported in the Adunatus, the wonder tracts, and in the Zodiacus chronicles of 1666, 1667, and 1668 can be found in Volume 10 of the Theatrum Europaeum (1677), which covers the years 1665-1671. But here we are faced with a major challenge: the foreword of the Zodiacus of 1666 (published 1667) credits the Theatrum Europaeum alongside „Relationen“ and „Diariis“ as containing especially appropriate news sources for the impartial reader („unparteuischer Mann“, Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 1). However, the difference in publication dates of ten years between vol. 10 of the Theatrum Europaeum (1677) and the Zodiacus of 1666 (1667) suggests not direct copying, but common sources, most likely the Relationen and tDiariis Praetorius mentions along with the Theatris Europaeum in the Zodiacus of 1667 (published 1668).

The fact remains, however, that the chronological and factual congruence of the events reported in the Theatrum Europaeum and in Praetorius’s tracts are frequently so striking that we have to assume intense public interest in the reported materials as well as the wish to advertise the quality of the news reported in association with the Theatrum Europaeum. Which brings me to several instances where Praetorius seems to equivocate when it comes to his sources. While mentioning the Theatrum Europaeum in the introduction to the Zodiacus of 1667, he fails to provide volume and page numbers as he does elsewhere. This makes it difficult to identify with certainty direct links between the Zodiacus chronicles and the Theatrum Europaeum.

To confuse the issue of sources even further, Praetorius introduces the first Zodiacus (1666) by announcing that he relied on publicly available, widely accessible weekly and daily „Relationen oder Ordinar-Posten“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 168). He repeats this disclosure at the beginning of the Zodiacus of 1667, adding that he drew information from books, logs of daily events („Diariis“), and, once again, from „Relationen“ and „Theatris Europ“.9 However, the tone changes with the Zodiacus of 1668, when he becomes considerably less forthcoming; in fact, he significantly and unexpectedly confounds the issue of his relationship to his sources. While he claims that he relied only on publicly available materials, he now maintains that he did not even look at any „Relationes“, „Avisen“, or other public print materials including „Diariis“ and „Theatris“ – for fear of being tempted to make unauthorized use of them (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 3, 1668). His apprehension about being prevented from publishing his tracts and thus being deprived of his income had apparently made him very cautious, even paranoid.10 He notes that he voluntarily subjected his work to the scrutiny of the official censor („Academischen Censur unterworffen gehabt“, Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 3, 1669, Vorrede). Anxiously defensive, he assures his readers that his reports were being published, well after the very current news had been printed („gar spate an das Tagelicht alsdenn erst gedeyet/ wenn jene [newspapers] schon allbereit verthan seyn/ und ihren Nutzen geschaffet haben“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 3, 1669, Vorrede). Clearly, anxious cogitation about the appropriate use of news publications and his need to secure an income collided with the imperative to speedily pass exciting content on to the public. In his defense he argues – for his own work and, indirectly also for that of the Theatrum Europaeum compilers – that he published when the news was no longer available elsewhere („zu der Zeit/ davon dergleichen Materien anderswo nichts mehr vorhanden ist“, Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 3, 1669, Vorrede). This is in keeping with what Erasmus Francisci tells us about his use of the Theatrum Europaeum in his Ost- und West-Indischer […] Lustgarten (1668): „Diese Geschicht ist nicht allein/ durch damalige Advisen berichtet; sondern auch dem Theatro Europaeo einverleibt worden/ und am 1009. Bl. zu finden.“11 In other words, because the general public had consumed the news and gone on to newer and presumably more exciting information, it was all right for Francisci, and by analogy, for Praetorius, to use it in their publications.

3.2. Eberhard Werner Happel
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With his book on Happel’s Relationes curiosae (1681-1691), Flemming Schock addresses many of the salient questions concerning the relationship of news media to Happel’s writings and to the emerging new narrative form, the novel: „Wie Happel mit den Relationen in einer Form experimentierte, die im Mediesystem der Zeit noch nicht etabliert war, so war auch die poetologische Form des Romans im Barock noch nicht kanonisiert und daher offen für Mischformen von Erzähl- und Wissenskonzeptionen, die zwischen fiktionalem und ‚faktographischemʻ Anspruch changierten“ (Schock, p. 61). What follows is meant only to add to what Flemming Schock has so expertly put forward, to provide additional contextualization for the synergy between the media and the novel that was, in my opinion, a major intellectual and cultural determinant of the seventeenth-century.

Identifying direct use of the Theatrum Europaeum in Happel’s Geschicht-Romane is considerably more challenging than such already difficult determination in Praetorius’s tracts. Happel’s references to the Theatrum Europaeum, though present, are infrequent. When they do appear, they are woven into the narrative in the context of the many lengthy conversations among the novels’ characters. In the Spanische Quintana (1686), for example, one of the protagonists mentions the ubiquitous giant tooth found at Krems, Austria in 1645 (Happel: Quintana, vol. 2, 1686, p. 49). He quotes as his source „Theatrum Europ. Tom 5 (1651), p. 934“. This tooth shows up in several of Praetorius’s works as well although without any specific identification of the source. Both authors also mention the sensation created by the death of Thomas Parr (1483-1635) who died at age 152 in London; this information seems to have been taken from vol. 3, p. 587 of the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 3. Aufl., Bd. 3., 1670, p. 587-588), which includes details of Parr’s life and the fact that he was „anatomiret“ (Happel: Engelländischer Eduard, vol. 3, p. 264).

Many of Happel’s reports of contemporary events give the impression of being „deckungsgleich“ with news recounted in the Theatrum Europaeum even if Happel rarely divulges his source. Such is the case, for example, with information appearing in the Spanische Quintana (1686-87) dealing with the Catalonian War (TE, 2. Aufl., Bd. 5, 1651, pp. 100ff.), the victory of the Spanish over the French (TE, 2. Aufl., Bd. 5, 1651, p. 967), and the defeat by the Poles of the invading Tartars in Posen. The Quintana (vol. 3, 1687, p. 330) also refers to the altercations between Hamburg and Denmark that repeatedly appear in vol. 11 of the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 1. Aufl., Bd. 11, 1682, p. 1022). Moreover, there are many documents that are quoted almost verbatim in the Theatrum Europaeum as they are in Happel. One of them is a letter addressed by Imre Thököly’s wife Ilona to field marshal Caprara on Nov. 28, 1685. A copy appears in the Quintana (vol. 1, 1686, p. 109-111) as well as in vol. 12 of the Theatrum Europaeum (TE, 1. Aufl., Bd. 12, 1691, p. 842-843). In the letter, Ilona implored Caprara to lift the siege of Mongatsch that she has been holding since 1683 while her husband was trying to secure allies to support financially and militarily his struggle for Hungarian independence.

The Engelländische Eduard (1691) also recounts many of the events that make up much of the content of vol. 12 (1679-1685) of the Theatrum Europaeum (published in 1691). In fact, Happel centered most of his Geschicht-Romane on the years between 1682 and 1690. To get an idea about the closeness of the news conveyed in his novels to that in the Theatrum Europaeum, one only has to review the Register of Theatrum Europaeum, vol. 12, comparing references to two topics that appear repeatedly in the Eduard and which clearly were of special interest to Happel. One concerns the struggles of the French Waldensians, also called Reformirte or Thalleute. This preceded and followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and is described by and commented on by Happel’s characters in great detail. Living in Hamburg, Happel had ample opportunity to read reports about French brutalities toward the Protestants in the local newspapers, information that was confirmed by the influx of religious refugees who in the fifties and sixties significantly increased the city’s population (Schock, p. 35).

Another matter that continued to fascinate Happel and presumably his readers was the Hungarian story, in particular the evolving fortunes of Imre Thököly and his army of rebels or malcontents as they struggled to free themselves of the Empire and the Turks. Much of what makes up the non-fictional content of the Ungarische Kriegsroman can be found in Theatrum Europaeum, vol. 11 (published in 1682), and, in greatest detail, in volumes 12 (published in 1691) and 13 (published in 1698). Comparing the congruence of events and historical details reported, one can postulate Happel’s direct use of the Theatrum Europaeum Vols. 6 and 7. The use of Vol. 8 is less certain. The anonymous author who completed Volume 6 of the Kriegsroman could, of course, have made use of all three volumes. After reviewing the factual closeness of the information about contemporary events appearing in Happel’s novels, in Praetorius’s tracts, and in the Theatrum Europaeum we must conclude that, except for the specific mention made by Happel and Praetorius of Theatrum Europaeum materials, the factual closeness of their materials must be assigned to the collection, arrangement, and redeployment of contents gleaned from contemporary „Avisen“, „Relationen“ and „Journale“ („absonderlich Journale“, Happel: Ungarischer Kriegs-Roman, vol. 1, Vorrede).

In his study of the Relationes curiosae, Flemming Schock confirms my suspicion when he alerts us to Happels’ penchant for „Mehrfachverwertung“ and repeated self-citation of news sources. Absent unambiguous identificuation of the sources used, the reader, then as now, remains unable to tell which item of the news surfacing in any given narrative context was taken from which source. However, this potentially frustrating recognition need not unduly concern us since both Praetorius and Happel never tire of acknowledging „Avisen“, „Relationen“ and „Journale“ as important elements in their ways of telling even if specific references are withheld. In this they follow seventeenth-century news reporting practices. After all, contemporary news accounts always give the place and date of the news reported without mentioning the name of the writer or compiler. News was just that, something that today might be reproduced under the label ‚fair use´. In others words, we return to the invention of the newspaper and the rapidly changing media market as inspirations for the Theatrum Europaeum as well as for Praetorius and Happel, but are unable, for the most part, to clearly identify direct connections.

4. Conclusion
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Without wishing to belabor the obvious but, at the same time, feeling compelled at least to state it, I offer in closing the following thoughts:

1. It is clear that newspapers („Avisen“, „Relationen“, „Journale“) significantly influenced all manner of seventeenth-century print production, tracts, secondary news reports, novels, and theatre productions (which I did not consider here). The great generic variety to which news reports contributed is represented by the writers reviewed, by many other authors worthy of further exploration, as well as by news collections such as the Theatrum Europaeum.

2. It appears that mention of the Theatrum Europaeum is frequently made for reasons of success by associations: reference to the Theatrum Europaeum signaled the quality in writing and reporting to which the authors aspired.

3. Which leads us to concede that, for the most part, we are unable to point to direct dependence on the Theatrum Europaeum. Rather, we have to postulate that the works of the two writers reviewed here as well as the multi-authored Theatrum Europaeum itself are secondary, derivative phenomena, all of which owe their existence and further development to the evolution of newsprint. As these forms of information gain in independence, authorial authority, and social stature, their unimpeded writerly use would become increasingly restricted, which in turn would lead to new forms of literary production. Such production may still be based on news items (Werther comes to mind, and more recently the many news phenomena on the internet), but they will take on different forms of verisimilitude and authenticity.

5. Bibliographische Nachweise und Forschungsliteratur
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5.1. Quellen
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  • Eberhard Werner Happel: Der Bayrische Max Oder So Genannter Europaeischer Geschicht-Roman Auf Das 1691. Jahr. Ulm 1692. [vd17] [opac]
  • Eberhard Werner Happel: Der Italienische Spinelli Oder so Genannter Europaeischer Geschicht-Roman Auff Das 1685. Jahr. Ulm 1685. [vd17] [opac]
  • Eberhard Werner Happel: Der Spanische Quintana Oder Sogenannter Europaeischer Geschicht-Romann Auf das 1686. Jahr. Ulm 1686-1687. [vd17] [opac]
  • Eberhard Werner Happel: Der Ungarische Kriegs-Roman. 6 Bde., Ulm 1685-1697. [vd17] [opac]
  • Eberhard Werner Happel: Des Engelländischen Eduards/ Oder So Genanten Europäischen Geschicht-Romans, Auf Das 1690. Jahr. 4 vols., Ulm 1690. [vd17] [opac]
  • Johannes Praetorius: Adunatus Cometologus; Oder Ein Geographischer Cometen Extrakt. Leipzig 1665. [vd17] [gbv]
  • Johannes Praetorius: M. Dc. Lxvi Zodiacus Mercurialis: Das Ist Jaehrige Europaeische Welt-Chronik. Nuernberg 1667. [vd17] [opac]
  • Johannes Praetorius: M. Dc. Lxviii. Zodiacus Mercurialis: Das Ist: Eine Europaeische Welt-Chronik. Jena 1669. [vd17] [opac]
  • Johannes Praetorius: Weissenfelsisches Wunder-Gesicht. Nebenst Einer Erzehlung Vielfaltiger Blut-zeichen […] Sammt Ihrer Eigentlichen Deutunge […]. Deutschlandes/ neue Wunder-Chronik. Leipzig 1678. [vd17] [opac]
  • Matthaeus Merian: Theatrum Europaeum. 21 Bde., Frankfurt a.M. 1633-1738 (ausführliches Siglenverzeichnis). [opac]

5.2. Forschungsliteratur
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  • Lisa Jardine: Ingenious Pursuits. Building the Scientific Revolution. New York [u.a.] 1999. [gbv]
  • Derek Keene: Fire in London: Destruction and Reconstruction, A.D. 982-1676, in: Martin Körner (Hg.): Stadtzerstörung und Wiederaufbau. Zerstörungen durch Erdbeben, Feuer und Wasser. Bern 1999, S. 187-213. [opac]
  • Flemming Schock: Die Text-Kunstkammer. Populäre Wissenssammlungen des Barock am Beispiel der Relationes Curiosae von E.W. Happel. Köln 2011. [opac]
  • Gerhild Scholz Williams: Formen der Aufrichtigkeit: Zeitgeschehen in Wort und Bild im Theatrum Europaeum (1618-1718), in: Claudia Benthien und Steffen Martus (Hg.): Die Kunst der Aufrichtigkeit im 17. Jahrhundert. Tübingen 2006, S. 443-473 (2006a). [opac]
  • dies.: Mothering Baby. On Being a Woman in Early Moderne Germany. Johannes Praetorius’ Apocalypsis Cybeles. Das Ist Eine Schnakische Wochen-Comedie (1662). Tempe 2010. [opac]
  • dies.: Ways of Knowing in Early Modern Germany. Johannes Praetorius as a Witness to his Time, Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity. Aldershot 2006 (2006b). [opac]

1I am grateful to Albert Gelver for his work on my behalf at the Institut für Deutsche Presseforschung, Bremen University in Germany.
2The spelling diversifies several times.
3For a more detailed discussion about several of Praetorius’s works see Scholz Williams 2006b.
4„Nemlich/ da wirst du sehr nutzliche Anmerckungen und Beyspiele finden von Ergernissen/ und Ketzereyen: Belohnungen der Tugend und Straffungen der Laster: Contracten: denckwürdigen Erfindungen: Ergiessungen: Feuerbrunsten/ Gewächsen: Heurathen: Itinerationen: Kriegen: Lufftzeichen: Mißgeburten: Nahrungen: Oberherrl. Wahlen: Pacificationen: ReichsStifftungen: Seuchen und Kranckheiten: Todesfällen und Anzahl der Verstorbenen durch unterschiedliche Städte: Veränderungen der Oerter: Wohlfeil/ und theure Zeit: Zins und Schatzunge/ etc. und zwar/ wie dergleichen Zufälle sich begeben haben/ nicht an einem Theile der Welt/ sondern umb den gantze Erdkugel; zo viel uns nur vor Augen und Ohren gebracht worden“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, Vorrede).
5Ever up on new developments, but regrettably short on further detail, the Zodiacus also tells of experiments with blood transfusions from animals to humans, reportedly undertaken in Paris during the second half of the seventeenth century. „[N]emlich da man krancke Leute genommen/ ihnen eine gewisse Ader geöffnet/ ein gewisses Gewicht Blut heraus gelassen: Aber dagegen wieder so viel gesundes/ aus einem Schaf/ oder andern Thier/ in eben dasselbe Loch alsbald gesencket hat“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 2, 1667, p. 58). Thinking had advanced on blood circulation; blood transfusion was being debated among English anatomists like Harvey and Wren, see Jardine, p. 118f.
6„[D]er Jüden ihr närrisches Frolocken [...] wegen ihres vermutheten Königs: als wäre seinetwegen das rothe Meer schon lange stille gestanden“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 1).
7„Davon vile schreibens in den Zeitungen gewesen“, see Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 1, 1666, p. 120; TE, 1. Aufl., Bd. 10, 1677, pp. 437-441: „Grosser Rumor und Schwärmerey der Juden von ihrem neu vermeynten Messia […] so ist es in Warheit der noch heut zu Tag verstockten Juden Schwarm/ oder Traum/ den sich ihnen von einem neuen Messia/ oder Könige/ schon im vorigen Jahr träumen lassen/ der sie auß der langwürigen Verachtung/ Bedrückung und Gefangnüs (wie sie ihre heutige umbschränckte Freyheit unter Christlicher Obrigkeit zu nennen pflegen) befreyen.“
8Many in this community were descendants of Portugese Jews (Marranen), mostly wealthy and well- connected merchants who had emigrated from Portugal during the last decades of the 16th century to settle in Hamburg.
9„[A]us denen öffentlichen und Privilegirten Zeitungen/ wie auch denen darnaben passirenden Tractaten/ Gerüchten/ Erfahrungen, etc. […] Zu mahln weil ein jeglicher unparteuischer Mann/ auch aus diesem Grunde/ meinen besonderen Fleiß/ vor denen übrigen so genanten Relationes, Diariis, Theatris Europ. ? c. schliessen und abnehmen werden können/ so er wil“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 2, 1667, Der Eingang). In the Zodiacus vol. 3 he says that he has not made up any of the information („weder aus seinem Urtheil/ noch Erdichtung entsprungen“), but rather that he has gleaned it from „privilegirten öffentlichen (und also einem iedern zum Gebrauch frey/ stehenden) Zeitungen/ das ist/ solchen Originaln, als man von Orten selbsten bekömmt/ gezogen/ und nur nach einer besondern Art/ in diese Ordnung/ vorgebracht“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 3, 1668, p. 3).
10He is anxious about being hurt (burned) („mit dem verirrenden Phaetone im Zodiaco nicht verbrenne/ oder iemandem zu nahe komme“) and he explains,„Womit er also weder Relationen (denn er lässet sie füwahr nicht für die Augen kommen; um desto bessere Vorgewisserung zu thun/ daß er sie nicht gebraucht noch abgesehen habe) noch Diariis, noch Theatris, etc. […]. Doch würde ein anders/ aus verrichteter Zeit und der Erfahrung/ handgreiflich behauptet/ so müste er nachgeben“ (Praetorius: Zodiacus, vol. 3, 1669, Vorrede).
11I thank Flemming Schock for his note of January 1, 2011: Francisci führt das TE schon im „Register der Authorum“, das dem eigentlichen Text voransteht, als Quelle an. Hier das Zitat mit Beleg: „Theatrum Europaeum, Johanis Georgii Schlederi“, Bl. 3v. Dann weist er das TE erwartungsgemäß auch im Anmerkungsapparat des Fließtextes als Quelle aus. Ein schönes Beispiel: Im Text findet sich die „Seltsame Ost-Indische Geschicht zwischen einem paar Seeländischer Eheleute“ (Marginalie, S. 97) und in der Fußnote folgender Vermerk: „(a) Diese Geschicht ist nicht allein/ durch damalige Advisen berichtet; sondern auch dem Theatro Europaeo einverleibt worden/ und am 1009. Bl. zu finden“.