Front Page Titles (by Subject) 66.: German Culture Around 1555 - Judgments on History and Historians
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66.: German Culture Around 1555 - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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German Culture Around 1555
The Reformation had an extremely strong effect even on the areas which stayed rather aloof from it.
There had not been much to spoil in poetry as far as is discernible in literature before 1517. And now there at least was the Protestant church hymn, and the language had been refined by Luther. But earlier there had been Catholic church hymns as well. Moreover, in all of literature in general, the intercourse, the cohesion of all German lands was extraordinarily heightened; everything, including poetry, was now much less provincial than before.
The great sacrifice had to be made by sculpture and painting. With the fall of Catholicism both had lost nine-tenths of their occupation at a high point of their development, even before they had been able to take the step from achieved truth to life to perfect beauty. Now they were reduced to portraits, allegories, medallions, coats of arms, and the like. They were also too weak to achieve a live inward transformation of the Italian influence. No longer fructified by the best Italian art, they vacillate between affectation and unlovely realism, no longer capable of expressing with their own means the highest idealism of the nation.
Only secular architecture was in a better state now. It displays an original transformation of the Italian Renaissance, an application to ideas which are still basically medieval, similar to what was done in France (Heidelberg, Offenbach, Mainz, Stuttgart, Bamberg, and other cities; after 1600, the castle at Munich, Aschaffenburg, and other things).
Beside the theological squabbles within Protestantism, which were now raging insufferably, science, which was mainly in secular hands, manifested itself as one of the highest fruits of the intellect which had been awakened by the Reformation even more than by the Renaissance.
There appeared a great and important interest in philology, with personalities like Joachim Camerarius, Hieronymus Wolf, and others, at whose disposal the Basel editions and publishers placed themselves. The study of Roman law was represented by, e.g., Gregor Haloander, medicine was advanced by Paracelsus and Vesalius, natural history by Conrad Gessner, and astronomy by Copernicus (1473–1543). In historical research and presentation there are Sleidan and the Magdeburg Centuriators in Germany, and in Switzerland, Tschudi, Stumpf, Anselm, and Pantaleon of Basel as translators and authors of historical works. In cosmography there are active such men as Sebastian Münster and Gerhard Mercator.