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Martin Luther
Martin Luther proposes his
95 theses to the ...
Thesis door
... door of the castle church
in Wittenberg .
Thank you very much
The Theuerdank work commissioned by Emperor Maximilian I is printed in Nuremberg.
1517 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 965/966 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1509/10
Aztec calendar 11. Feuerstein - Matlactli ozce Tecpatl (until the end of January / beginning of February: 10th tubes - Matlactli Acatl )
Buddhist calendar 2060/61 (southern Buddhism); 2059/60 (alternative calculation according to Buddha's Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 70th (71st) cycle

Year of the Fire Ox丁丑 ( at the beginning of the year Fire Rat 丙子)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 879/880 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 3850/51 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 895/896
Islamic calendar 922/923 (turn of the year 23/24 January)
Jewish calendar 5277/78 (September 16-17)
Coptic calendar 1233/34
Malayalam calendar 692/693
Seleucid era Babylon: 1827/28 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 1828/29 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1573/74 (turn of the year April)

In 1517 events are set in motion that will shape religious and political events for centuries. Outraged by the sale of indulgences practiced by the Roman Catholic Church , the Augustinian monk Martin Luther sends a letter to Archbishop Albrecht of Brandenburg . To this letter he adds his 95 theses in which he speaks out against the commercial trade in letters of indulgence . The resulting church renewal movement of the Reformation leads in the medium term to a split in Western Christianity into different denominations .


Politics and world events

Ottoman Empire

Tuman Bay

Central and Eastern Europe

Margaret of Austria

Kalmar Union



North africa


Francisco Hernández de Córdoba

The Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba left Cuba on February 8th with three ships and 110 men on behalf of the local governor Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar . On March 4th he was the first European to reach Yucatán and celebrated a mass on March 22nd near what is now Campeche . On their shore leave, the expedition repeatedly gets into difficult situations with the locals. Nevertheless, she continues her journey along the coast. In another armed clash, several Spaniards are wounded, including the expedition leader de Córdoba. When two of the injured are abducted by the locals, the men decide to start their journey home and sail back to Cuba via Florida, where they arrive again around two months after the trip started after losing two thirds of the team. Francisco Hernández de Córdoba succumbs to his injuries ten days later. The expedition, which was unsuccessful in itself, brings only a few pieces of jewelry, which are, however, sufficient to further fuel the Spanish greed for gold. Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar equipped a new expedition the following year.



science and technology

Johannes Aventinus




Visual arts

L'incendio di Borgo , The Borgobrand


Woodcut for chapter 118 of Theuerdank after Hans Burgkmair

Music and theater

Probably in the period 1450-1460 around Friedberg resulting Hessian Christmas game has its first known performance in Alsfeld . Formally it is the "most scenic and liturgically least bound" game of its kind, as it consists of 870 verses. These are written in both early New High German and Latin, with the passages written in Latin consisting of stage directions and chants.




Catholic church hierarchy
Woodcut of the coats of arms of the two Augsburg bishops Heinrich von Lichtenau and Christoph von Stadion
Philip of Burgundy
Catholic reform movement
  • March 16 : The fifth Lateran Council, convened by Pope Julius II, ends in Rome . The initiated church reform comes to a halt on some theological issues due to disagreement. The council, chaired by Leo X., only issues a few decrees in which bishops, legates and cardinals are instructed in their duties and certain abuses with regard to the lax execution of assigned tasks are forbidden. It also issues regulations on curial taxation, book censorship and non-profit pawn shops and calls for a crusade against the expanding Ottoman Empire.
Albrecht von Brandenburg, painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder Ä.

On behalf of Archbishop Albrecht von Brandenburg , who needs money to repay the loan received for the acquisition of his two dioceses of Mainz and Magdeburg , the Dominican Johann Tetzel has been moving through the dioceses of Magdeburg and Halberstadt as well as other preachers of indulgence since the beginning of the year . Half of the income from the indulgence trade is used to build St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, while the archbishop and the indulgence preachers share the other half. Congregation members from Wittenberg , whose preacher and pastor is Martin Luther , stay away from confession and instead go to neighboring cities to purchase letters of indulgence .

Excerpt from the 95 theses

On October 31 sends Martin Luther , provincial vicar of the Augustinian Order , a letter to Albrecht of Brandenburg on the assumption that knew nothing about the sale of indulgences. To this letter he adds his Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum , in which he speaks out against abuses in indulgences and especially against the commercial trade in indulgence letters. Further copies go to other ecclesiastical dignitaries of the empire and one to the indulgence seller Johannes Tetzel himself, who does not, however, respond. The historicity of the posting of these 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg is controversial. A single-sheet print (folio sheet in two columns) of the Latin text was published by Hieronymus Höltzel in Nuremberg in the same year . Probably before Christmas, the Nuremberg-based Kaspar Bastel will translate Luther's 95 theses into German.

The first page of the Complutenser Polyglot


  • After the conquest of Cairo by the Ottomans, al-Mutawakkil III. , The last caliph of the Abbasid , brought to Constantinople Opel and transfers where supposedly the caliphate Sultan Selim I. According to the official Ottoman historiography is the beginning of the Ottoman Caliphate .
  • The Sherif of Mecca gives Sultan Selim I the honorary title of "Protector of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina " .


  • The plague is coming to an end in Munich . The shepherd's dance still practiced today goes back to this date.
  • The English sweat breaks out epidemically for the third time in England, Calais and Antwerp .

nature and environment


Date of birth saved

Exact date of birth unknown

Born around 1517


First half of the year

Francesco Francia
Catherine of Navarre
Mary of Spain, Queen of Portugal

Second half of the year

Tomb of Frederick IV in Baden-Baden
Tomb of Cardinal Cisneros in Alcalá de Henares
The Sikandar Lodis mausoleum

Exact date of death unknown

Died around 1517


Web links

Commons : 1517  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files