CHAPTER II. THE RELIGIOUS REVOLUTION

                    LUTHERIANISM AND ZWINGLIANISM

                     (a) In Germany.

  Janssen, op. cit. (i., a). Pastor, op. cit. (i. a). Dollinger, 
  Die Reformation, 1846-8. Hergenrother-Kirsch, op. cit. (i., b). 
  Grisar, S.J., Luther, 3 Bde, 1911-12 (Eng. Trans. 1913-14). 
  Denifle-Weiss, O.P., Luther und Luthertum in der ersten 
  Entwicklung
, 1906-9. Weiss, Lutherpsychologie als Schlussel zur 
  Lutherlegende
, 2 auf., 1906. Hausrath, Luthers Leben, 2 Bde. 
  1904. Kostlin-Kawerau, Martin Luther, Sein Leben und seine 
  schriften
, 1903. Cardauns, Zur Geschichte der Kirchlichen Unions 
   - und Reformsbestrebungen von 1538-42
, 1910. Laemmer, Monumenta 
  Vaticana historiam ecclesiasticam saeculi XVI. illustrantia
, 
  1861. Raynaldus, Annales Ecclesiastici, 1735 (tom. xx.-xxi.). 
  Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V., 1902. Cambridge Modern 
  History
, vol. ii. (The Reformation), 1903. Kidd, Documents 
  Illustrative of the Continental Reformation
, 1911. For a fairly 
  complete bibliography on this period of history, cf. Grisar's 
  Luther (Eng. Trans., vol. i., xv.-xxv.; Cambridge Modern 
  History, ii., pp. 728-64; Hergenrother-Kirsch, Bd. iii., pp. 4-8).

The religious revolt that had been foretold by many earnest ecclesiastics began in Germany in 1517. Its leader was Martin Luther, the son of a miner, born at Eisleben in 1483. As a boy he attended school at Eisenach and Magdeburg, supporting himself by singing in the streets until a kind benefactress came to his assistance in the person of Ursula Cotta. His father, having improved his position in the world, determined to send the youth to study law at the University of Erfurt, which was then one of the leading centres of Humanism on the northern side of the Alps. But though Luther was in close touch with some of the principal classical scholars of Germany and was by no means an indifferent classical scholar himself, there is no evidence of his having been influenced largely in his religious views by the Humanist movement. He turned his attention principally to the study of philosophy, and having received his degree in 1505, he began to lecture on the physics and ethics of Aristotle.

Suddenly, to the surprise of his friends, and the no small vexation of his father the young Luther, who had not been particularly remarkable for his religious fervour, abandoned his career at the university and entered the novitiate of the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt (July 1505). The motives which induced him to take this unexpected step are not clear. Some say he was led to do so by the sudden death of a student friend, others that it was in fulfilment of a vow which he had made during a frightful thunderstorm that overtook him on a journey from his father's house to Erfurt, while he himself tells us that he became a monk because he had lost confidence in himself.[1] Of his life as a student very little is known for certain. Probably he was no worse and no better than his companions in a university city, which was described by himself in later life as a "beerhouse" and a "nest of immorality."[2]