Theatrum Europaeum

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Title copper of the Theatrum Europaeum , attributed to Matthäus Merian .

Theatrum Europaeum is the title of a German-language historical work founded by Matthäus Merian and published in 21 quart volumes between 1633 and 1738 . The series of chronicles is of particular importance because of their contemporary descriptions of the Thirty Years' War and the reign of Louis XIV, as well as their 720 copper plates, of which around 140 were engraved by Merian himself. The volume of the volumes is between 400 and 1500 pages.

Publication history

In 1633, the engraver and publisher Matthäus Merian published a work with the title Historischer Chroniken Continuation or Warhaffte Description of all ... memorable stories that happened every now and then from 1629 to 1633 . With the word continuation (Eng. "Continuation") the work explicitly linked to the world chronicle by Johann Ludwig Gottfried (around 1584–1633), which was published by the same publisher since 1629. Merian engaged the Alsatian teacher Johann Philipp Abele (mostly: Abelin ) as the author , who had already written the last volume of the world chronicle after Gottfried's death. The gap that emerged between the end of Gottfried's Chronicle and the continuation was closed in 1635 with another volume, which for the first time bore the later title of the Theatrum Europaeum series .

Two years later, Merian had the first volume reworked by Johann Flitner (1618–1678) and justified this with the lack of diligence and the "partishness" of Abele. The renowned Merian expert Lucas Heinrich Wüthrich remarks that one gets the “impression that he was resented by his clearly expressed political position against the imperial and for the Swedes after Gustav Adolf's death and especially after the defeat at Nördlingen, which had serious consequences for the Protestants in 1634 Merian Heinrich Oraeus won the third and fourth volume and the doctor Johann Peter Lotichius (1598–1669) as authors for the fifth volume . The five volumes published up to Merian's death in 1650 were printed in a total of eleven editions, which indicates that the company was extremely successful economically.

After Merian's death, his descendants continued the work. Johann Georg Schleder was hired as the author , who initially concluded the series with the sixth volume under the title Theatri Europaei Sixth and Last Part . After an interruption of eleven years, the series was continued - apparently due to the still existing demand - with a seventh volume, also written by Schleder. Martin Meyer and Wolfgang Jacob Geiger followed Schleder as authors, the latter only writing the second part of the tenth volume. No author can be proven for volumes eleven to fifteen. Daniel Schneider is attested as the author of volumes sixteen to twenty-one. The last volume was published after the bankruptcy of the Merian publishing house in 1734 by an unknown Frankfurt publisher in 1738; thereafter the publication was discontinued.

Circulation overview

tape Period covered author Edition
I. II. III. IV. V. VI.
1. 1618-1629 Joh. Phil. Abelin 1635 1643 1662 after 1662
2. 1629-1633 Joh. Phil. Abelin and Joh. Flittner 1633 1637 1646 1679 after 1679 (after 1679)
3. 1633-1638 Huh Oraeus 1639 1644 1670 after 1670 after 1670
4th 1638-1643 IPAVM 1643 after 1643 1648 1692
5. 1643-1647 Joh. Peter Lotichius 1647 1651 1707
6th 1647-1651 Joh. Georg Schleder 1652 1663 after 1663
7th 1651-1658 Joh. Georg Schleder 1663 1685 after 1685
8th. 1658-1660 Martin Meyer 1667 1693
9. 1661-1665 Martin Meyer 1672 1699
10. 1666-1671 Martin Meyer and Wolfg. Jacob Geiger 1677 1703
11. 1672-1679 (published anonymously) 1682 probably 1707
12. 1679-1687 (published anonymously) 1691 after 1691
13. 1687-1691 (published anonymously) 1698
14th 1691-1695 (published anonymously) 1702
15th 1696-1700 (published anonymously) 1707
16. 1701-1703 Daniel Schneider (published anonymously) 1708 1717 after 1717
17th 1704-1706 Daniel Schneider 1718 1720
18th 1707-1709 Daniel Schneider 1720
19th 1710-1712 Daniel Schneider 1723 after 1723
20th 1713-1715 Daniel Schneider 1734
21st 1716-1718 Daniel Schneider and Gabriel Schweder 1738


  • Lucas Heinrich Wüthrich: Section Theatrum Europaeum. In: Lucas Heinrich Wüthrich: The graphic work of Matthaeus Merian d. Ae. Volume 3: The major book publications. Part 1: The Merian Bible, Gottfried's Chronicle, Theatrum Europaeum, De Brys Reisen, Archontologia Cosmica, Basler Totentanz, publisher's catalogs (without the topographies). Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1993, ISBN 3-455-08523-7 , pp. 113-272 (relevant work description with a list of editions, copper plates, portrait engravings and various registers).
  • Hermann Bingel: The Theatrum Europaeum. A contribution to journalism in the 17th and 18th centuries. Ebering, Berlin 1909 (dissertation of July 26, 1909, also available online as a digital version of the print template Schaan / Liechtenstein 1982 via the Augsburg University Library in PDF format ).
  • Ulrike Valeria Fuss: Matthaeus Merian the Elder. From the lovely landscape to the theater of war. Landscape as a backdrop of the 30 Years War (= European university publications. Series 28: Art History. Vol. 350). Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2000, ISBN 3-631-35558-0 , see chapter: Theatrum Europaeum: the city as a theater of war (Lützen, Koblenz, Augsburg) (at the same time: Trier, University, dissertation, 1996).

Web links

Commons : Theatrum Europaeum  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Theatrum Europaeum . Digitized version of the Augsburg University Library. The content of each volume is accessible via a register; individual pages can bedownloadedas grayscale scans in PDF format; the 95 prints contained in the first volume are available in a separate compilation .


  1. Wüthrich, Theatrum Europaeum , Introduction, pp. 113–118, here p. 115.
  2. Theatrum Europaeum, or detailed and detailed description of all and every memorable stories, so every now and then in the world for namely but in Europe and Teutschen Landen so well in religion as a prophetic being from the year Christ 1617 to the year 1629 ... described through M. Joannem Philippum Abelinum,…; continued by H. Oraeus, Jo. Pet. Lotichius…; with beautiful Lund tablets brought to Kupffer… adorned and published by Mathaeum Merian… , Franckfurt am Mayn: bey W. Hoffmann, 1635–1652.
  3. All information from Wüthrich, Theatrum Europaeum , p. 120.
  4. Not Abelin, as stated in the title, as he died on September 12, 1634.
  5. Here, too, despite the use of the initials "IPA" (for Johann Philipp Abelius), Heinrich Oraeus von Assenheim can be assumed as the author.