World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Black Company

Article Id: WHEBN0000703928
Reproduction Date:

Title: Black Company  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1525 establishments, Mercenary units and formations, Super Bock Super Rock, The Vulture (short story), 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Black Company

Stitch ostensibly portraying Black Company leader Florian Geyer

The Black Company or the Black Troops (German: Schwarze Haufen) was a unit of Franconia farmers and knights that fought on the side of the peasants during the Peasants' Revolt in the 1520s, during the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

Contents

  • Name 1
  • Formation 2
  • History 3
  • Legacy 4

Name

The original German name of the Black Company was Schwarzer Haufen. The term Schwarz (black) pointed out the ideological distance of the company from the large peasant army at that time, which called itself the Heller Haufen (Hell meaning "light-colored"). The German word Haufen was how peasants called their armies.

It was never used again for an army, possibly because the word Haufen means "heap" in German.

Formation

The Black Company was formed in 1525 in Rothenburg, out of local, home guard farmers - maybe 600 men - and a company of mercenary knights.

The leader of the Black Company, at least nominally, was nobleman Florian Geyer.

Geyer managed to shape the Black Company into something like a company of real soldiers, instead of just an armed mob. Some of the knights were probably his vassals.

History

After the Company took over the area around Rothenburg, it proceeded to Swabia to destroy fortified monasteries and castles and prevent their becoming strongholds of the Swabian League. Those who didn't attack the Black Company were left unharmed during these actions. But in Sweinsburg, Swabia, another company, led by peasant leader Jaecklein Rohrbach, executed about 50 local knights after they had opened fire on two negotiators. Geyer disapproved of this slaughtering and moved his troops back to Franconia to continue the fight. But Rohrbach's action had sealed the fate of captured peasants and of Geyer's men. From that time on, the Truchsess ("Steward") of Waldburg, commander of the Swabian League, showed little mercy to the Black Company and hunted them down ruthlessly throughout Swabia. Rohrbach himself was burned alive when he was captured in 1525.

In the Battle of Ingolstadt, in May, 1525, the Black Company found itself alone against the forces of the Swabian League after its allies had been destroyed. The Black Company fought its way back to Ingolstadt and occupied the ruins of the castle, the main buildings of which the members of the Company had themselves burned down some months before. The troops of the League encircled the castle and started their attack. The castle's occupants fought off two assaults but during the third attack, and after the League's heavy artillery breached the massive walls, they were killed off.

Geyer himself wasn't there during the last battle. He waited for an escort in Rothenburg, but was banned from the city before it arrived. Geyer traveled North and was robbed and killed by two servants of his brother-in-law Wilhelm von Grumbach in the night of June 9–10 in the forest near Rimpar.

Legacy

The Black Company remained very popular to the present day, although Swabian rulers did everything to nullify its fame in the years after the

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.