Gottschalk (c.804-869)

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GOTTSCHALK, ruler of the Wends, and martyr; was educated in the monastery of St. Michael at Lüneburg, but left the monks, and abandoned Christianity altogether, as soon as he heard that his father Uto, ruler of the Wends, had been killed by a Saxon. For the sake of revenge he stirred up his countrymen to a frightful war against the Saxons; and, as Christianity was one of the most conspicuous institutions planted among the Wends by the Saxons, the war began with massacring the Christians, and destroying their churches. But Gottschalk was finally defeated by Duke Bernard of Saxony, and taken prisoner, and in his captivity he returned to Christianity. After a stay of ten years at the court of Canute the Great, King of Denmark and England, he went back to Wendland, and by the aid of Canute he united (1047) Holstein, Mecklenburg, Pomerania, and the Brandenburg marches into one powerful Wendish empire. He became himself one of the most zealous missionaries Christianity ever had had in those regions. He translated the liturgical formulas into the Wendish tongue; he built schools, churches, and monasteries; and he preached himself to his subjects. But there was among the Wends an actual hatred to Christianity. It broke out once more; and JujIe 7, 1066, Gottschalk was murdered by his Pagan countrymen.

Wagenmann, "Gottschalk," Philip Schaff, ed., A Religious Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, 3rd edn, Vol. 2. Toronto, New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894. p.894.

Primary Sources

Book or monograph P. Godman, translator. Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance. Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1987. Pbk. ISBN: 0715617699. pp.228-46.

Secondary Sources

Book or monograph Tavard: Trina DeitasGeorge H. Tavard, Trina Deitas: the Controversy Between Hincmar and Gottschalk. Marquette Studies in Theology. Fordham University Press, 1997. Pbk. ISBN: 0874626366. pp.160.

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