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Re: Jakob Bartsch / Bartschius / Barschius
Sagan and Lauban/Luban are small towns in Silesia (presently part of Germany),
almost due north of Prague. Lauban is just north of the border,
close to Görlitz, due west of Breslau; and Sagan is a bit further
to the north.
The Bartsch is a river in Silesia that joins the Oder not far from
Sagan and Luban. So it is not surprising that many "Bartsch" hits,
including Jakob, are connected to that area.
Why should we care about JB? Two reasons:
(1) So far we have been looking for Georgius Barschius under the
assumption that his non-latinized name was Baresch/Baresh/Bares.
But now we know that Barschius may have meant Bartsch too, and
there were plenty of Bartsches very close to Prague. So we
should go back and look again for a Georg (Jiri?) Bartsh
(2) Admitted, JB was hired only after Kepler moved to Sagan,
and I still have no evidence that he ever set foot in Prague.
However, it is quite possible he did. Where else would JB have
studied astronomy? Note that when Kepler needed an assistant
astronomer, he must have thought of calling someone he already
knew from Prague.
If JB did live in Prague before joining JK at Sagan, then we
have two people called Barschius living in Prague at the same
time, both learned men, both interested in medicine. The
possibility that they were related cannot be easily dismissed.
Thus we should be looking for Georg Barschius/Bartsch in Luban too...
To close off, here are some, er, curious references to Luban:
Vampiri Europeana: Folklore
48.Böhm, Martin. Chronik von Lauban a. a., 1567.
nonfiction / folklore
49.Böhm, Martin. "Vom Schmätzen im Grabe," in Die drei grossen
Landtplagen: 23 Predigten erkleret durch Martinum Bohemum
Laubanensum, predigern daselbst, by: Böhm, Martin. Wittenberg,
Germany: 1601. nonfiction / religion / folklore
(I recall seeing in the Carteggio Kircheriano several mentions to a
Konrad Böhm at Prague. By the way, is there any relation between
the names "Böhm" and "Bohemia"?)
The Hand from the Grave
folk legends from Germany, Poland, and Switzerland
The Cursed Hand
In the year 1572, on January 22, a mother murderer from Gersdorf
was punished with red-hot pincers, first at the marketplace in
Lauban, and then at every cross street. Afterward his right hand
was cut off, then his heart was pulled from his body, and finally
he was quartered and the four parts of his body were hung on four
posts near the gallows. The cut-off hand was nailed up as well.
Although the birds pulled the other pieces apart and ate them,
they did not touch the hand. Still entirely uninjured, it was
taken down and buried in the year 1577 before the arrival of
Emperor Rudolph II.
Source: Karl Haupt, Sagenbuch der Lausitz (Leipzig: Verlag von
Wilhelm Engelmann, 1862), no. 332, p. 261.
Haupt's source: Roch's Chronika, p. 399.
("Gallows" and "Emperor Rudolf II"! Somebody turn that darn
improbability amplifier off, please? 8-)
All the best,