Thursday, January 16, 2014

What happened in Hamlin that June in 1284?

The Aarhus University Library at Emdrupborg is a national resource center when it comes to educational theory and practice, education systems, educational psychology as well as child and youth psychology, child and youth literature and literature on children's reading.

The astonishing collection of child and youth literature has to be read. And I am just doing that!

What happened in Hamlin?

We all enjoyed the Pied Piper that rid Hamlet of the rat plague, but it seems like only knew the edited version of what really happened. 

Scientists Gloria Skurzynski researched the plagues of the Middle Ages and came across documented evidence that this character actually existed. She wrote What happened in Hamlin in 1979 to tell her theory in historical fiction format. The original legend pointed to a bizarre mystery. 

The stranger, with a pipe flute and a brightly coloured outfit, arrived in Hamlin on 5 June 1254. 
Twenty two days later 130 children followed this stranger never to been seen again. Child kidnappers or slave-traders might have been involved. 

The author pinpointed dates, names and incidents from historical records of the city of Hamlin in Germany, as well as from other sources she came across during her research of the plagues.

The oldest picture of Pied Piper copied from the glass window of Marktkirche in Goslar.
This church dates back to the Middle Ages.

The Lueneburg manuscript (c. 1440–50) gives an early German account of the event:

Anno 1284 am Tag Johannis et Pauli war der 26. juni
Dorch einen piper mit allerlei farve bekledet
gewesen CXXX kinder verledet binnen Hamelen gebo[re]n
to calvarie bi den koppen verloren

In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul on June 26
By a piper, clothed in many kinds of colours,
130 children born in Hamelin were seduced,
and lost at the place of execution near the koppen.