July 8, 2014

The Merry Wives Of Weinsberg

Copper engraving by Zacharias Dolendo, 16th c.
During the High Middle-Ages, in 1140 CE to be more precise, wars and battles abounded in Europe. But today I'm bringing you to Germany and its first king of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, Conrad III. And, zooming in a little closer, to his defeat of the Duke of Welf and the king's subsequent siege of Weinsberg.

This siege wasn't anything particular, as sieges go, except for the way its surrender was negotiated. For it was done so by the wives. The king granted them the right to leave with whatever they could carry on their shoulders.

So each woman hoisted her own husband onto her back, and proceeded to carry him out. The king laughed at the sight, and allowed the wives to leave--along with their respective burdens--unharmed. For "[a] king should always stand by his word."
The Carry Me costume
'cause it's a thing now...
(at a carnival)
The Women of Weinsberg and Other Legends of Aarne-Thompson-Uther
Wikipedia - Conrad III
Wikipedia - Weinsberg


  1. Fascinating story! BTW, I remember in my youth reading a series of novels about wars of the twelfth century in Europe. I liked the books a lot, but do not remember the author or the title. Any ideas? There were like four or five books in the series and they were serious (pun intended) yet interesting.

  2. Hmm... unfortunately that doesn't tell me much. Were they originally written in English or another language? Actually, now that I think about it, I don't remember reading much that happens during the Middle Ages, except for Arthurian mythology (which is at the early end of it), or Ivanhoe and Robin Hood stories :) So not such serious stuff, after all...

    1. I read the books in Polish translation; I think they were either English or French in the original. Yeah, Arthurian stuff is pretty early; the books I am thinking of are from the 1100-1200 period and based on historically documented events. Oh well, the mysteries of life...I will keep googling (Google blogger marks "googling" as misspelled - how fun is it)

    2. Please let me know once you find out, you've piqued my curiosity! :)

      PS: I've checked, and my dictionary of choice (thefreedictionary.com) has googling in it, so Google has no excuse!