Today In History: Second Defenestration of Prague

May 23rd: Today in 1618 a crowd of protestants pitched a couple of imperial governers and their secratary out of a window 50 feet up unto a castle courtyard. Luckily for them they fell into a pile of manure and none of them died, but thousands of other people died in the 30 Years War which followed. This wasn’t the first Defenestration of Prague oddly enough, but the second. Go figure.

10 Responses to “Today In History: Second Defenestration of Prague”

  1. Hjalti Says:

    How did they get a whole city through the window?

  2. Brett Says:

    When I was a boy we put whole continents out the windows. Kids these days have it lucky….

  3. Simon Says:

    You know, one of the things that I’ve always loved about the English language is that the vocabulary is so huge that there is a single word for throwing-people-out-of-a-window.

  4. Brett Says:

    Thats nothing, the eskimos have 37 words for stuffing someone into a refrigerator.

  5. Mirek ABC Says:

    Simon: I’m sorry, but I have to disappoint you. The word “defenestration” is not an English word. It comes from Latin, as well as many science terms.

  6. Brett Says:

    True, but isn’t that one of the nice parts of English, it will steal words from anywhere. If we stuck to words that were purely derived from “english” it would be a pretty sparse language indeed and don’t even start on where “english” starts and where the celtic/pictish/saxon/viking etc ends….

  7. Bill Says:

    That’s a myth. The eskimos only have eight words for stuffing someone in a fridge. They have 37 words to describe the frost that grows on the top of a half eaten container of ice cream in the freezer.

  8. Bill Says:

    defenestration is a science term???

    Professor Brett, please align the mass spectrometer so that we can capture the mass/charge ratios of the components of the defenestration.

  9. Carol Says:

    Of course it’s a science term. And if you want a really colorful vocabulary, you should see printing terms. I learned a whole lot of them when I got into the industry. To each its own lingo.

  10. Mirek ABC Says:

    To Bill: Well, I hope that History is a science too. A scientist doesn’t mean only a wild-hair man with white gown and test tubes. :-)

    And I don’t expect that the furious crowd shouted: “Defenestrate these people!”
    It was more like “Throw that bastards out of windows!”

    First Prague Defenestration was a lot bloodier than second one. Seven aldermen was throw out of windows on New Town Hall to a square, where a crowd had waited under windows with many weapons prepared to impale on them. No one survived. This was one of the beginnings of Hussite wars.

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