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Götz von Berlichingen

Berlichingen, Götz von (götsˈ fən bĕrˈlĭkhĭng-ən) [key], 1480–1562, German knight and adventurer. The head of a band of free soldiers, he lost (1504) his right hand in the battle of Landshut and wore an iron one in its place. His forays against various cities earned him popular fame. He reluctantly agreed to lead the peasants of Franconia during the Peasants' War (1524–26) but deserted them before their defeat. In 1542 he served with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V against the Turks and two years later fought against the French. His memoirs inspired Goethe's drama Götz von Berlichingen (1773).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: German History: Biographies


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