Sigmund von Birken

BIRKEN, Sigmund von. b. Wildstein, Bohemia (now Skalná, Czech Republic), 5 May 1626; d. 1681 (buried 16 June). His Protestant family was forced to leave Wildstein in 1629 during the re-Catholicising of Bohemia following the Battle of the White Mountain (1620). The family fled to Nürnberg, where Birken was at school before attending the University of Jena for two years (1643-45). As a young man he came to know the Nürnberg theologian Johann Michael Dilherr, with consequences for his later life; and he became a member of the circle of poets at Nürnberg called the ‘Hirten- und Blumenorden an der Pegnitz’ (the ‘Pegnitz Shepherd and Flower Order’). Its president, Georg Philipp Harsdörffer,...

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