Hans Thomas von Absberg (1477 – 3 July 1531) was a Frankish knight of the Absberg family, known as a robber baron.
A robber baron or robber knight was an unscrupulous feudal landowner who imposed high taxes and tolls out of keeping with the norm without authorization by some higher authority, while protected by his fief's legal status. Some resorted to actual banditry. Medieval robber barons most often imposed high or unauthorized tolls on rivers or roads passing through their territory. Some actually robbed merchants, land travelers, and river traffic, seizing money, cargoes, entire ships, or engaged in kidnapping for ransom.
He kidnapped important travellers like royal legates or merchants from Nuremberg or Augsburg. He was supported by several Frankish knights, who helped to hide the hostages, e.g. members of the houses of Sparneck or the Guttenberg. The hostages were taken on a route with several castles far away from the point they were kidnapped. An advantage for Thomas von Absberg were the nearby borders of several principalities and sometimes he escaped to Bohemia. He was known for the cruelty of cutting off the right hand with a dussack and sending it to the family of his victims to underline his demands for ransom.
Nuremberg is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 511,628 (2016) inhabitants make it the 14th largest city in Germany. On the Pegnitz River and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it lies in the Bavarian administrative region of Middle Franconia, and is the largest city and the unofficial capital of Franconia. Nuremberg forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring cities of Fürth, Erlangen and Schwabach with a total population of 787,976 (2016), while the larger Nuremberg Metropolitan Region has approximately 3.5 million inhabitants. The city lies about 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Munich. It is the largest city in the East Franconian dialect area.
Augsburg is a city in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and regional seat of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population of 300,000 inhabitants, with 885,000 in its metropolitan area.
Guttenberg is a prominent Franconian noble family. It traces its origins back to 1149 with a Gundeloh von Blassenberg (Plassenberg), though the first mention in a document is dated 1158. The name Guttenberg is derived from Guttenberg in present-day Bavaria, and it was adopted by a Heinrich von Blassenberg around 1310.
Eventually prisoners held at the Waldsteinburg were able to escape and reveal who the supporters of Thomas von Absberg were and where their castles were. To punish the behaviour of Thomas von Absberg the Swabian League destroyed the family's castle seat in 1523, as well as all of the castles belonging to the House of Sparneck. This was documented in a series of woodcuts by Hans Wandereisen. But Thomas von Absberg was not caught and continued his robbery, until he was murdered in Alten-Sedlitz in 1531 by one of his accomplices.
The Waldsteinburg, also called the Red Castle is a ruined castle on the summit of the Großer Waldstein in the Fichtel Mountains of Germany. It is also known as the Westburg to distinguish it from the older ruins of the Ostburg.
The Swabian League was a mutual defence and peace keeping association of Imperial Estates – free Imperial cities, prelates, principalities and knights – principally in the territory of the early medieval stem duchy of Swabia, established in 1488 at the behest of Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg and supported as well by Bertold von Henneberg-Römhild, archbishop of Mainz, whose conciliar rather than monarchic view of the Reich often put him at odds with Frederick's successor Maximilian. The Swabian League cooperated towards the keeping of the imperial peace and at least in the beginning curbing the expansionist Bavarian dukes from the House of Wittelsbach and the revolutionary threat from the south in the form of the Swiss. The League held regular meetings, supported tribunals and maintained a unified force of 12,000 infantrymen and 1200 cavalry.
Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print. The block is cut along the wood grain. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.
Fugger is a German family that was historically a prominent group of European bankers, members of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century mercantile patriciate of Augsburg, international mercantile bankers, and venture capitalists. Alongside the Welser family, the Fugger family controlled much of the European economy in the sixteenth century and accumulated enormous wealth. The Fuggers held a near monopoly on the European copper market.
Hartmann von Aue, also known as Hartmann von Ouwe, was a Middle High German knight and poet. He introduced the courtly romance into German literature and, with Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Strassburg, was one of the three great epic poets of Middle High German literature. He was also a Minnesänger, and 18 of his songs survive.
Landshut is a town in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria. It is also the seat of the surrounding district, and has a population of more than 70,000. Landshut is the largest city in Lower Bavaria, followed by Passau and Straubing, and Eastern Bavaria's second biggest city.
Ulrich von Hutten was a German scholar, poet and satirist, who later became a follower of Martin Luther and a Protestant reformer.
Florian Geyer von Giebelstadt was a German nobleman, diplomat, and knight. He became widely known for leading peasants during the German Peasants' War.
Schloss Altenstein is a Schloss or palace upon a rocky hill on the south-western slope of the Thuringian Forest, not far from Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany. It was the summer residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Meiningen, and is surrounded by 160 hectares of English landscape garden, which contain, among other objects of interest, a cavern 300 metres long, through which flows a large and rapid stream.
Casimirof Brandenburg-Bayreuth was Margrave of Bayreuth or Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach from 1515 to 1527.
The Bibra family was one of the leading Uradel families in Franconia and present day Thuringia from the mid-15th century to about 1600. Later on the family rose from Reichsritter to Reichsfreiherr. After the Holy Roman Empire dissolved, they were made ‘’Freiherr’‘ (Barons) of Bavaria and Bohemia.
Brenz Castle is Renaissance castle located in the Brenz an der Brenz borough of Sontheim in Heidenheim district of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. The current castle was built in 1672 and rests on the remains of an earlier castle destroyed during the Thirty Years' War. Within the castle is a small Community Heritage Museum that is open on Sundays, Holidays or by appointment and hosts several concerts throughout the year.
Katzenstein Castle is one of the oldest remaining Hohenstaufen castles in Germany. It is located in a borough that shares its name with the castle in the Dischingen municipality of the Heidenheim district of Baden-Württemberg. The castle is open to visitors and contains several dining rooms as well as hotel rooms.
George Stanley, 9th Baron Strange, of Knockin, KG, KB (1460–1503) was an English nobleman and heir apparent of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. He was also a notable soldier in his own right and held a number of senior offices of state.
Waldburg is a princely family of Upper Swabia, founded some time previous to the 12th century; the cadet lineages are comital families.
The House of Sparneck was a local noble family in Franconia.
Absberg was a local noble family in Franconia.
The House of Kotzau was a local noble family in Franconia.
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Barbara von Absberg was abbess of Obermünster in Regensburg from 1435 to 1456.
The Franconian War broke out in 1523 when the Swabian League attacked several robber baron castles in Franconia, whose nobles were supporters of Hans Thomas of Absberg in the Absberg Feud.