Sunday, January 13, 2013
Historical Enigmas #2 The Fuggers
The Fuggers were a family of historically prominent European bankers, members of the fifteenth and sixteenth-century mercantile patriciate of Augsburg, venture capitalists. They replaced the Medicis as strategical lenders of European aristocrats during the Renaissance. Fuggers took over the Medicis' assets, political power and influence. They bankrolled Hapsburgs, Vatican, etc. during late middle ages and renaissance. They were part of a chain of financial king-makers that resulted in the modern Bilderberg and Carlyle groups.
The Fuggers reached their zenith during the administration of Jakob (1459 –1525), nicknamed "de rijken", or "the rich" Fugger. He was criticized by Martin Luther for urging the Pope to rescind prohibition on the sale of indulgences. Imperial authorities in Nuremberg brought action against him to halt his monopolistic tendencies, which is all very interesting but now I'm thinking about Luther.
I really admire Martin Luther from two things I learned as a teenager. First, he smuggled his future wife out of a convent by hiding her in a beer barrel and wheeling it away on a hand truck. The second was this unforgettable quote: "Wenn ich in Wittenberg furzen sie riechen es in Rom." ["When I fart in Wittenberg, they smell it in Rome."]
I shall leave off here and continue this series of historical enigmas another time, but wish to dedicate it especially to those several subscribers to this blog who have had some sadness lately. What I've written here is mainly factual and accurate, and has by its own strangeness beaten a doorstep to my path --which is eccentric. I hope it furnishes some small relief.