Talk:Pope Adrian VI

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Cleaning up the introduction[edit]

If he somehow could read wikipedia, Adrian VI, who appears to have been a rather admirable figure amongst some dubious contemporaries, would be pleased to be wanted to be both German and Dutch. He’d probably have favored to be called a world-citizen, just like his contemporary fellowman Erasmus, having grown up in the Low Countries, taught in French and Latin, and served in Spain and Italy. As it is, the introduction contains several inaccuracies that appear to be purposefully maintained to emphasize the perceived German-ness of Adrian. As wikipedia articles are copied like wildfire over the internet, these errors may come to be regarded as the truth (“hey, I googled it and…”), so we better fix it.

  • “Utrecht ... Low German-speaking part of”
As can be learned from reading either the Low Germanic languages, Low German, or German entries, Low German is officially equivalent to “Low Saxon”, which never was spoken in the city of Utrecht. The Utrecht’s dialect is very close to the Hollandic dialect and to later standardized Dutch, all classified as Low Franconian, which is a separate Low Germanic group of languages exclusively spoken in the Low Countries. While “Dutch-speaking part of” would therefore be a quite accurate description, that appears to be offensive to some.
  • “part … of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”
Changing this to “part … of the Holy Roman Empire” results in immediate reverts, though the Holy Roman Empire article itself starts out saying that it was not named “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” until the 16th century, at which point the bishopric of Utrecht had been sold to the Habsburgs and Utrecht was in the middle of the union of the Seventeen Provinces.
  • “His ancestors were from present-day Germany.”
I replaced this completely unsupported statement, in place for almost half a year, with “His paternal ancestors, named d'Edel (Dutch for "the Noble"), had lived in Utrecht from at least the mid-14th century [1].” The link is to a genealogy constructed by a third party, unknown to me, which can be found on several genealogy sites as well (e.g. geneanet). Though I therefore can’t stand for its accuracy, it looks plausible and the amount (=lack) of detail is consistent with a professional job. It’s surprising that as much as this could be found out, perhaps indicating that Adrian wasn’t from all that modest origin after all, though the lack of a link to nobility and (almost by default) to Charlemagne, suggests that this is not an “honorary genealogy” either, so often put together for people of stature. Two of his great-great-uncles were aldermen of Utrecht, and one great-great-great-uncle was vicar of the Utrecht cathedral in 1380 .
My edit was instantly reverted, mysteriously deemed to be “original research”. I thought that quoting your sources actually is the opposite of what defines original research in wikipedia. Though I’m happy to see that the editor did eventually remove the truly “original research” statement about the ancestors from present-day Germany, isn't Adrian's publicly available genealogy encyclopedic and interesting enough to link to from wikipedia?
  • “(whose inhabitants considered themselves to be part of the German nation) … It was therefore self-evident that he considered himself (Low) German.”
Besides being repetitive, these apparently nationalistic statements seem as untenable as my guess that Adrian would be pleased to be battled over. This heavily debated subject may originate from a confusion (of non-native speakers?) between the use of Germanic and German in the English language. It appears that the English called both people in the Low Countries and (at least) the northern part of Germany “Dutch” (from Dietsch, Deutsch, Diets, Duuts, Duits, or what you have) (see eg here). The word “German” wasn’t apparently used until 1530 (e.g. [2], 7 years after Adrian’s death) and then only for people in the German nation, which excluded the Low Countries already. In other words, people from Utrecht have never been called German. In fact, saying that Adrian considered himself German seems less accurate than saying that Luther considered himself Dutch, which you don’t hear too often. I think the word we’re looking for is “Germanic”, which is both true and should be inoffensive to either Dutch or Germans.

Afasmit 00:10, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Discrepancy: Adrian Dedel or Adrian Florensz?[edit]

This article lists Pope Adrian VI's birth name as Adrian Dedel.

Wikipedia:List of encyclopedia topics/Biographies A lists his birth name as Adrian Florensz.

Both names currently redirect to Pope Adrian VI.

Are both correct?

Kevyn 10:39, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Adrian Florensz. Dedel (not d'Edel as some joker had made it) means Adrian, son of Florens (Florenszoon) Dedel. The text "he was, however, too weak and confiding to cope with abuses that Jimenes had been able in some degree to check" transmits no useful information beyond a general denigration. I moved it here until we can get a succinct report on Adrian as Inquisitor General. --Wetman 05:46, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The dutch 'Dedel' family tried, in the past, to include the only dutch pope into their family, giving him their surname. However, they have no rightful claim to do so. Adrian was born as the child of Floris Boudewijnszoon ('son of boudewijn' sometimes written as Boeyen = 'Boeyenszoon') and Gertrude, to whom occasionally is attributed the surname of d'Edel or Dedel. Not having a familyname of their own, little Adriaan, who had two brothers; Klaas and Jan, was simply called, 'son of Floris' = Floriszoon, which in dutch would have been abbreviated to Florisz. ADrian was born on the 2nd of march 1459, in a house on the 'Oude Gracht' in Utrecht. Take a look at; Ludwig Freiherr von Pastor, Geschichte der Paepste (Freiburg im Breisgau 1928) J. Bijloos, Adrianus VI, De Nederlandse Paus (Bussum 1980) J. C. van Slee,Adrianus VI, de eenigste Nederlandse Paus in; Populair Wetenschappelijk Nederland No. 13 (Amsterdam 1914)

Tim Smit

German, Dutch, or German and Dutch?[edit]

See current discussion at

  • That discussion about Adrian VI on the Benedict XVI talk page has been moved to its archives. I'd love to see it continue, but it would be much more appropriate for it to continue here. -Eisnel 03:59, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the netherlands was part of the holy roman empire in 1523. I believe the netherlands were ruled by the dukes of burgundy at this time.

Either way, it's obvious from his name that Adrian's ancestry was Dutch, not German (in the sense of the High German language - what is called German today and has been so since 1870). It is important not to think that the Holy Roman Empire = Germany. That was never the case. Even if it was a part of the Empire, which I believe it was, that does not make Utrecht "part of Germany." Nor does it make Adrian "of German descent" any more than it would make a Pole living in Russian-occupied Poland "of Russian descent".

--Carlos G.

I agree completely with Carlos' analysis of depicting Adrian as German, with the awareness, though, that there was no "Germany" at the time, as we think of it. I think Latin America is a more current model to think of who could be considered "German, since, at that time, they too were a people who were linked by language and culture in a way they were not by any legal structure.

--David the Monk

The Netherlands was part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1522, but most of it was under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy. In 1522, the Duke of Burgundy happened to also be Holy Roman Emperor (Charles V). At the time of Adrian's birth, this was not the case, though. However, Utrecht was not part of the dominions of the Dukes of Burgundy. It was an independent ecclesiastical principality under the prince-bishop of Utrecht. That said, Utrecht was very much under the influence of Burgundy, and at the time of Adrian's birth, it's bishop was the bastard son of the Duke of Burgundy. At any rate, the Netherlands' status as "German" seems to me to be up in the air. At any rate, I think that this is sort of a barren question - it all depends on definitions. He is considered to be both a German pope and a Dutch pope. I think we should simply note the ambiguity, and move on. john k 04:03, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree that this dual status should be noted, since people, especially the Dutch and the Germans, are unlikely to agree about this. And I certainly don't want to see people get angry at each other over this debate. I'm finding this whole argument about whether Adrian VI can be identified as German to be immensely fascinating. I've been reading various Wikipedia articles about this, but what I'm finding seems to give mixed messages about whether or not a person of modest birth from Utrecht in 1459 would be considered "German". The History of Germany article states that the Holy Roman Empire is considered the first German Reich, and the predecessor to Germany. Adrian's hometown of Utrecht was part of the Low Countries, which were part of that Empire, but also the predecessors of the modern Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The History of the Netherlands article notes that the Holy Roman Empire in Adrian's time had no political unity and "little sense of obligation to the emperor who governed over large parts of the nation in name only." Utrecht was part of the Seventeen Provinces, which were released from both the Holy Roman Empire and France 90 years after Adrian's birth (26 years after his death). According to that article, those provinces had "...largely nominal and by then anachronistic ties to both realms." The article on Germans says: "the 'German' Holy Roman Empire was not in any way exclusively German." Charles V was raised in the Low Countries, but according to his article "he was not German." It seems like family ties and language might better determine if someone from the Low Countries at that time was German. I wish I could see sources that indicate where Adrian's family/bloodline was from. People on this talk page have suggested that he was raised speaking Low German, which may be evidence enough to consider him German, although others here have pointed out that Low German is a predecessor of Dutch, whereas High German is a predecessor of the modern German language, and those two languages were seperated by the Second Germanic sound shift around 700 years before Adrian was born. Then I looked at Pope Leo IX and Pope Stephen IX, both from regions that are now in France, yet both clearly regarded as Germans. However, their birthplaces (Alsace and Lorraine) still to this day have populations that consider themselves ethnic Germans. I wonder, did non-aristocratic people from the Low Countries in Adrian's time identify themselves culturally and ethnically with people from places that we consider to be undeniably "German", or did they already consider themselves distinct? Did the cardinals that elected him think of Adrian as "that guy from the Holy Roman Empire" or "that guy from the Low Countries?" Hmmm... after all this reading, I wasn't able to figure out anything! I still don't know what constitutes a "German" in the Low Countries in the 15th and 16th centuries. Any sources (especially non-Wikipedia ones) and corrections would be appreciated. This is a new subject for me, and I'm hooked! -Eisnel 04:18, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    To complicate matters further, during Adrian's life, the Low Countries and the Seventeen Provinces were not a political union either. Adrian was born in the Prince-Bishopric of Utrecht (see Archbishop of Utrecht#History) which would only become part of the Habsburg dominions 4 years after Adrian's death. During his papacy, Utrecht was part of the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle. Then again, Adrian was employed by Burgundy (who were succeeded by the Habsburg), an example that the border between the Westphalian Circle and the Burgundian Circle wasn't a "national" border like current borders. Erik Warmelink (talk) 13:55, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

The issue of Leo IX is distinct, I think - Alsace was as German as any place can be until the 17th century. Lorraine is different - it has always been largely French-speaking, and I think the case for Stephen IX as German is about as awkward as that for Adrian VI. john k 04:23, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As to Charles V, he did grow up in the Low Countries, but in the south, and his first language was French. john k 04:24, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Since Charles' mother was French and his native language was French, it seems to suggest that a Low Countries resident's status as German or not is better determined by their family tree and native tongue than by their place of birth. This is why I wonder what language Adrian spoke and where his family was from. -Eisnel 04:40, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Adrian was from Utrecht, and his name is Low German. I assume he spoke Low German (aka Dutch). No idea of his family background. People from the southern Netherlands often spoke French, especially elites, but someone of a poor background from Utrecht would certainly not have spoken French. john k 04:44, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Today's Swiss (neutral :-) ) newspapers agree on Adrian VI as the last German pope. E.g. the well-known "Tages-Anzeiger" from Zürich on the front page: "Der letzte Deutsche auf dem Stuhl Petri war Hadrian VI. (1522-1523)". Gestumblindi 10:50, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

consequently, with the rise of nationalism some modern Germans have liked to claim this pope from a Dutch culture as also German - this addition is entirely inappropriate, especially in the light of the above and archived discussion. The Dutch culture was a German culture like e.g. the Saxon or Bavarian culture. We discussed whether Adrian VI was considered German at his time and whether this means we can still call him a German - which is what German-language newspapers usually do, including Swiss ones. Myself I'm Swiss; I don't "claim" Adrian VI as German out of "nationalism" for a country where I'm not from ;-) - I simply think that Adrian should be considered German like any from the German language and culture area of his time, regardless of modern country boundaries. Gestumblindi 11:03, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think we all agree that neither Germany nor the Netherlands as we know them existed at the time of Adrian VI. I think it would be more correct to refer him according to whatever political boundary he or his ancesters were subjected, be they Burgundian, Bavarian, Saxon, or whatever. --Kvasir 11:25, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This debate is nonsense. A separate Dutch nation or language did certainly not exist in Adrian's lifetime. He was simply a Low German, and as German as any other German, both politically, culturally and linguistically. In a 16th century context, the word "German" does not have anything to do with present-day Germany or High German language, The German Wikipedia states: "Die Niederlande gehörten zu dieser Zeit zum Heiligen Römischen Reich Deutscher Nation und sahen sich – im Gegensatz etwa zu Oberitalien, das größtenteils ebenfalls dem Reich angehörte – auch kulturell als einen Teil der Deutschen Nation (Niederdeutsche). Es war daher selbstverständlich, dass er sich als Niederländer und auch als Deutschen bezeichnete." -- 83

Would a 16th century Hainaulter or a Lorrainer also be a German, then? john k 20:23, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As you yourself stated, many people in Lorraine spoke French. This is an important difference. People in what is now the Netherlands spoke German, or more specifically, Low German, just like people did in what is now Northern Germany. If you told Adrian you did not consider him a German, he would probably had considered it an insult, much like if I told you you are not an American. --83

Well, the Germans considered Charles V a German, since he was from Flanders, even though French was his first language. He quickly disabused them of that. Utrecht, and the Netherlands in general, were already quite distinct from the rest of the Empire by the end of the 15th century. If you'd read all my postings on this subject, you'll note that I've not taken one side on this issue at all - I've generally argued against everyone. I think the question of nationality is simply too complicated for us to either say that Adrian VI was or was not German. Certainly, in the view of the time, he was a "German" pope, in that these things were not felt to be all that precise. But he was also a Netherlander, and calling him a Dutch pope would also be correct, because, essentially, "Dutch" (or, more accurately, "Netherlander") was at that time a (relatively distinct) subset of "German," which has since become a separate thing. If that makes sense. john k 02:50, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree he should also be called a Dutch or "Netherlander". --83 13:10, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Citing the German article on the current Pope: "Benedikt XVI. ist der erste Deutsche als Papst seit Hadrian VI. vor 482 Jahren. Hadrian wurde in Utrecht in den heutigen Niederlanden geboren, das zu seinen Lebzeiten Teil des Heiligen Römischen Reiches Deutscher Nation war und sich auch kulturell als Teil der "Deutschen Nation" (Niederdeutsche) betrachtete. Dies ist auch der Grund für die Beisetzung Hadrians in der deutschen Nationalkirche in Rom. Vor und nach Hadrian VI. kamen zahlreiche weitere Päpste beispielsweise aus den italienischen Gebieten des Heiligen Römischen Reiches (u. A. Toskana), die dennoch nie als "deutsche" Päpste bezeichnet wurden."

Eastern Churches[edit]

Why is the link to the Eastern churches mentioned specifically in this entry - does it not also apply in other cases? Was he the first/did he modify the relationship?

Jackiespeel 16:52, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


Just a short note: Pope Adrian VI was actually not crowned "in" St. Peter's Basilica. By the time he arrived in Rome, the basilica was still under construction and Adrian was crowned outside, on the steps of the curch on a specially build stage. --Tim

Dutch nationalism[edit]

[3] Listen, I know we are all sensitive about our countries and we're all experts in history when it comes to our identity, but in real history terms change in meaning and the change is quite innocent. It just wasn't possible to distinguish 'Dutch' and 'Germans' in Adrian's day since there was no way of splitting the two. English terms such as 'Pennsylvania Dutch' and 'Dutch courage' come from such a time when 'Dutch' just meant German, and people in the Netherlands (and in northern Germany) spoke 'Low Dutch' as opposed to the 'High Dutch' of the south. The little note is factually incorrect. The Federal Republic of Germany didn't exist then, but Diutsch/Dietsch/Deutch, Teutonicus and Germanus did, and the random territory that ended up in modern Netherlands were included therein. It's not offensive and it doesn't mean Berlin owns you, it's just a fact of historical semantics. He's a 'German pope' not because of the Holy Roman Empire (Prussians were German too, even though they lived outside it), but because the ancestors of Dutch people were in the 16th century, and for a century or so more, regarded as 'German' and thought of themselves that way. There wasn't some sort of group of proto-Dutch getting offended by the term, rather it was embraced because that term helped them identify themselves in a European context. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:28, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I think you're right that it is a semantic issue and the issue is that "Dutch" never meant "German" but meant "Dutch and German" and concurrent (see below) Dutch people never were called "German". As I mentioned in 2006, its first use seems to have been in 1530, postdating Adrian and specifically indicating people in the German Empire, which excluded the Dutch by then. Indeed, as you say, before that time the English didn't make much distinction and called everyone Dutch. You seem to make the argument again that Dürer and Luther could be considered a Dutch painter and theologist, respectively, or, more to the point, that Adrian VI could be considered the 7th Dutch pope, with the added support that the previous 6 German popes may have been called "Dutch" in English texts. I doubt you'll find much support for introducing those changes though.
I suggested above that besides Dutch "Germanic" may be an appropriate term. On the German disambiguation page, one definition for "German" is "Obsoletely, in a historical context, the Germanic peoples". So, perhaps pre-WWI, people may have used the term "German people" to indicate the historical people we now call "Germanic people", but not anymore.
By the way, you've twice written "He is the only person from an area now thought of as Dutchman to have ever become pope.". Afasmit (talk) 01:45, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Dutch and German were a semantic unity, and meant the same thing, let's put it that way. Yes, largely obsolete now, but like 'Spanish' many historians retain its 'obsolete' usage to transmit contemporary ideas.
'Germanic' is problematic because it refers to English and Scandinavians too, and that's not what is needed. Because the switch from German (with proto-Dutch people) to German (without) is so relatively recent, we've not come up with another term, though as was commented on another talk page recently, this fact is putting pressure on the term 'Germanic' (a recent neologism itself) to narrow its meaning in turn. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 02:14, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure why we "need" a more restrictive term. And from a linguistic point of view "Germanic" may even be more accurate than any term grouping Dutch and German. Adrian quite likely had (some) Frisian ancestry, the Anglo-Frisian people previously occupying most of current-day Holland above the rivers, while he grew up speaking Low Franconian (later he may have babbled in Latin mostly). You may blame Dutch nationalism for causing these subdivisions of the West Germanic languages to be considered separate from Low German and High German (so that, from a linguistic point of view, it has always been possible to distinguish the people), while others may blame German nationalism for the term Germanic to exist in the first place. In the meantime, the sensitivity is real, similar to Scottish people disliking being called English (assuming that your deep interest in Scottish history is inborn). As you suggest that "German" is used, though incorrect and obsolete, because there isn't anything better to describe the pre-16th-century culture continuum, perhaps we could write:
"He is the only Dutchman to have ever become pope. He is often called a 'German pope' because in the 15th century the Dutch and German culture formed a continuum". This assuming that outside the German-speaking countries he is indeed often called a German pope. Otherwise, which I find quite likely, it would be more accurate to say "In German speaking countries he is often...".
PS Naming this section "Dutch nationalism" was unnecessarily aggressive. Afasmit (talk) 08:54, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
English-speakers in Scotland were called 'English' until at least the 13th century. Same thing. Doesn't bother me, I'm a historian and I know that's the way things work. I would be more sympathetic if Ruud Gullit was called German, as he is a modern day Dutch-man and today the concepts are separate. Frisians were considered German too btw ... the supposed closer relationship of Frisian and English is to do with obscure points of relative chronology. The concepts West Germanic and Low Franconian are modern inventions too, and have no bearing on 15th or 16th century terminology.
I'm guessing there is no disagreement now about the correction? The obsolete nature/historical context of the terminology is indicated clearly? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:46, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Euhm correction? You now have included the strong statement "He is often called a 'German pope' because this cultural region was thought of as 'German' in this era." The first part (He is often called a German pope) is easily verified, but the second bit (after because) is not, for that I need a good reference that explicitly states it was indeed the case that the Netherlands were generally thought of as German at that time. As far as I know the Netherlands were never considered part of the larger German Empire between 1384 (when Philip the Bold added it to the Burgundian empire and 1940 (when a certain German nationalist government made it part of the 3rd German Empire). Without such reference the so-called correction is merely your opinion and not verifiable and hence cannot be considered a correction at all. Arnoutf (talk) 20:00, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
So, you're seriously telling me that you doubt people in the Netherlands-space were called and thought of as Germans in the 16th-century? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:23, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes I do. First of all, I have no idea who was considered German in that time (obviously using the modern meaning of that word, since we are writing in 21st century English and not 15th century English). Secondly, I am not convinced the Dutch were considered part of that specific German nation.
Simply put it is partially a semantic issue as Afasmit mentions above. If is all about the question whehter the Dutch were actually and literally called "German" in normal use in the 15th century? And yes we need the exact phrase "German" here, as all kinds of shared forms of Diets (or similar) would make the case that all German were considered Dutch at that time. Arnoutf (talk) 20:46, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I've checked how often Adrian VI is mentioned as a [4][5]German pope on google books and it seems far less than him mentioned as a [6][7]Dutch pope. Encyclopedia Britannica also calls him "the only Dutch pope". It's true that he was and sometimes still is mentioned as a German pope, particularely by Germans. The only explanation I encountered on Google Books was that because Utrecht was part of the empire. Moreover notable Netherlandish figures from the same time period such as Erasmus are never mentioned as German. Did he see himself as Dutch? Who knows, Perhaps Saladin didn't see himself as a Kurd but nowadays he is mentioned as Kurdish. It's true the Dutch identity wasn't firmly established (Adrian VI lived not long before the Dutch revolt), but to speak of a firmly established German identity at the time is bizarre. I suggest we can call him a Dutch pope without problems, and perhaps add some info on how he was sometimes considered German. Grey Fox (talk) 00:17, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

He's 'Dutch' in that the Netherlands is the modern state within whose borders he was born , and 'German' because people therein were regarded as 'German' at that the time. The article already clearly indicates that he is Dutch in the modern sense, and explains why he is often called 'German' despite the fact that he's not German in a modern sense. All your edit did was attempt to conceal from the read the fact that he was called "the German pope". Mentioning this and explaining why he is called this, as the article does, prevents readers from believing that he was in some way 'German' in the modern sense. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:51, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't mind at all to include that he is sometimes mentioned as a German pope, but I do mind the inaccurate explanation as to why this is. It says He is often called a 'German pope', a usage deriving from this era when areas of modern Germany and the Germanic Low Countries were not distinguished.. Adrian was born and lived in the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands which became more and more distinct from the rest of Holy Roman Empire. To cite a number of examples, already in 1473 Charles the Bold almost succesfully raised the Burgundian Netherlands to a Kingdom of Frisia, independent of the Holy Roman Empire and the French Kingdom. And in 1519 the Author Reinier Snoy named the Habsburg Netherlands Belgium and considered this Belgium to be his homeland. During Adrian's lifetime the low countries were already referred to by a large variety of names, most often as Pardecà and Flandria as well as a wild variety of low countries itself. The States-General existed since 1464, the Court of Audit existed since 1386, and the Great Council of Mechelen since 1473, and by the time of the Treaty of Augsburg (1548) the Low Countries became an almost completely independent state. I think we can easily conclude here that the unsourced notion how the Low Countries and the HRE were "not distinguished" is false. Grey Fox (talk) 16:17, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
And as for your notion that people therein were regarded as German at that the time, outsiders more often had trouble to differentiate between nations and identities, but the inhabitants of the Low Countries were quite often referred to as Burgundian. More important is how its inhabitants identified themselves, for which they had a large amount of names such as Netherlandish, Burgundian, Belgae, Flemish, Nederduysch or Batavian. As an example Erasmus referred to his homeland (the low countries) with a wide variety of names. "Because of where he was born" he did not know whether to call himself "Gallus" or "Germanus" and referred to himself as both. He would further identify himself with names such as Hollandice, Batavice and Flandrice. As for Adrian VI, Erasmus considered the Bishopric of Utrecht to be part of his homeland as you can read in his letters to Adrian, but I can't find any information on how Adrian referred to his homeland. Perhaps a scholar is yet to explore this. But it's not up to us to explain why some authors refer to him as a German pope. Someone would have to study the entire historiography surrounding Adrian and find out what the motives of the authors are. It's not up to us as to explain this, certainly not with controversial and often inaccurate interpretations. It would be best to refer to Adrian as Dutch like the large majority of reliable sources do, and if you want to include how he is sometimes considered German this can only go without explanation, or at least not one based on original research. Grey Fox (talk) 16:17, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
None of this is relevant and accurate at the same time. Stop wasting people's time. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:33, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me? Grey Fox (talk) 17:44, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, Grey Fox challenges the part of the line "this era when areas of modern Germany and the Germanic Low Countries were not distinguished" by introducing arguments that at the time of Adrian the Low Countries (Burgundian) were indeed distinguished from the rest of Germany. Since this statement is now challenged, it should go or be supported by a reliable source. The burden of providing such a source lies with the editor who wants the statement in the article (here Deacon of Pndapetzim) not with the editor wanting to remove it (Grey Fox). Arnoutf (talk) 17:49, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Just see the similarity between the English term 'Dutch' and the German term for Germans (Deutsche). Dutch was the term, which English people used for their southern neighbours, according to the term, they used for themselves. And the Dutch from the Netherlands were those of these southern neighbours, who lived close to England. No wonder that this term remained, after the Netherlands had seperated from Germany, but then especially for this neighbour area, where the people were known under this name for centuries. Btw., Bendedict XVI was born and grew up in Bavaria. Let's assume, some day Bavaria would separate. Should Benedict in this case be considered as a Bavarian or a German pope? (Both would be correct.) Views often change with the centuries. Henrig (talk) 19:04, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
How is that different from, let's say, calling Martin Luther Dutch, because all germans were referred to as Dutch at the time? Grey Fox (talk) 19:35, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
And anyway your comparison with current pope makes no sense as the current pope was born in Germany, while the Netherlands became separated from a German state at the collapse of Lower Lorraine in 1190, which became final when the Netherlands became part of the Burgundian empire in 1385. All this happened way before the birth of Adrian in 1459. Calling him German following Henrigs argument makes as much sense as calling someone who is born in the Czech Republic today an Austrian (after all Czechia was part of Austria-Hungary less than 100 years ago - a similar time as between the inclusion of the Netherlands in Burgundy empire and the birth of Adrian). Arnoutf (talk) 20:01, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Burgundy empire? It never existed. Burgundy was an important pre-step on the way to a future Netherland nation, when it applied a closer administration to the different parts of the future Netherlands, than the counts were able before. This way they advanced an united economic area. Burgundy was also an important part of the Habsburg family empire and Adrian VI was also a tutor of the Habsburg emperor Charles V in the latter's younger days. The main reasons for the establishment of the Netherland nation became later the religion (Calvinism), the combined delimitation and the advanced economic success of the area.Henrig (talk) 19:40, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
To add to this, The English used to refer to themselves as a variant of Dutch (Theodisce) and so did the Goths, and both aren't seen as German. I also checked to whom the English referred to as "Dutch" in the 16th century and it seems to have been used for inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire indiscriminately since walloons (french speakers from the low countries) were also referred to as Dutch. Grey Fox (talk) 21:21, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Note that Deacon has now provided a reference to the assertion that "modern Germany and the Germanic Low Countries were not distinguished". I checked the reference and it only relates to the Dutch and German languages, not at all to the inhabitants of the low countries, which can only remind me of primordialism (the nation was synonymous with language group). I also have a lot of reliable sources that do see a clear distinction between inhabitants of the Low Countries, Germans and the French in the 16th century, many of them going in-depth on identities in the low countries (such as Duke, Van Sas and Tilmans). Grey Fox (talk) 21:36, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh dear, it seems the old language equals identity issue strikes again. Well, we don't distinguish between English (US) and English (UK) as separate languages either, so we can jusitifiably refer to the UK as the 51st state then???? Arnoutf (talk) 19:16, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

The old version read:
He is often called a 'German pope'.[1] Prior to the 16th-century there was no distinction between 'Dutch' and 'German'.[2]
While the letter of this maybe supported by the source, there is nevertheless a serious problem with this section. In the first line the phrase "German" refers to identity/background/nationality/ethnicity (or whatever contemporary phrase is most suited). In the second line, the reference provided by Deacon links the word "German" to the language. By placing these lines together the implicit inference is the German language=German identity. This is (as GeryFox noted Primordialism) some kind of synthesis, some sort of original research. Hence the second sentence has to go. Arnoutf (talk) 18:22, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Apparently it has to stay in now with as rationale by Deacon "rv; this is a misunderstanding ... the language comes from the nation, not the other way around (that's what the reference is saying)" which is problematic as (a) it is in direct opposition of Grey Fox's interpretation of the source (I have no access to this particular source), but (b) more seriously, it brings the concept of nation into play, which is a concept that was only perceived as relevant to identity from the 18th/19th century. Nations are simply not relevant in a 15th/16rh century context which makes Deacon revert summary highly dubious. Arnoutf (talk) 20:07, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Hey, I should have realised the term 'nation' would confuse and distract you. I meant 'nation' of course as 'political community' rather than 'descent group'. I.e. the concept of 'Dutch language' is a side-effect of political developments after the death of Charles V, namely, the formation of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. No primordialism ... the opposite in fact! These political developments, the politics alone, create a political community we know as "the Netherlands" or "the Dutch". Obviously if neither the community nor language existed it follows "Dutch people" (as opposed to German people) is a totally non-existent idea; it's not that they existed and people didn't realise it: all ethnic groups are cultural products invented by human beings and so, if no-one has invented a concept, it simply isn't in the universe. Hence why Adrian VI is called German, even by himself in his own letters, without meaning he is more closely related to modern Germans than modern Dutch. I realise you're having trouble grasping this, but if you think about it is is very obvious and totally non-offensive. It's fine to say Adrian is Dutch in the modern sense. That is accurate ... he is from the territory of the Netherlands and spoke a dialect ancestral to a modern Dutch dialect. It is not accurate however to portray the fact that he is/was called "German" as a mistake in historical context, nor is it good behaviour to try to conceal the fact (even by deleting references!) that the Dutch-German distinction did not exist at the time. The latter is rather sinister in fact. This is an encyclopedia! Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I must applaud how you finally decided to use the talk page since last time you called all our arguments a "waste of time". When you say "Hence why Adrian VI is called German" you completely ignore how Adrian is more often referred to as Dutch, but that aside. What are your sources that Adrian VI called himself German? I can't find anything about it. In fact I can't find anything about Adrian referring to his Patria, a bummer but it shouldn't really matter in this dispute, since this dispute isn't really about what Adrian IV should be considered as, but the assertion that "there was no distinction between Dutch and German" which you keep inserting in the lead section. This sentence (next to Adrian's alleged German identity) implicates the assertion that Dutch and German people used to be united under a single ethnic group called German, and that all the Germanic-speaking people living in the Burgundian-Habsburg Low Countries in this era (including Flemish and Frisians) are to be considered Germans in history. THIS is primordialism. It's the same as claiming that it's correct to refer to the Walloons from the same Low Countries as French people (in history) because they spoke a French dialect, though they have never lived in France! You don't add "Prior to the 16th-century there was no distinction between Walloon and French" either. I'm sure some Walloon editors would try to correct you out on this and calling them "nationalists" would be just as uncivil as calling us nationalists.
As for your source which you keep using as a legitimate reason to remove even neutrality tags (Arnoutf you can view it here[8] p. 131), it refers only to the distinction between the Dutch and Low German language and does not at all proof that Dutch and German people were the same in the early 16th century. That and you seem to ignore pretty much all other reliable sources I've cited, such as one (based on primary sources) that clearly state how in the early 16th century Dutch and Low German weren't mutually intelligible, and that Low German in the Low Countries was also referred to as a distinct language by its inhabitants. Seems to be a case of only using the sources you like. The same goes for other sources I've cited which show how several authors from the Low Countries identified themselves with the Low Countries. Grey Fox (talk) 00:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've now purchased a book by several authors titled "Vaderland", Dutch for fatherland, (by Van Sas, Amsterdam 1999) which details the conceptual history on this term in the Northern Low Countries. It's full of primary sources of authors beginning with the 15th century, detailing what they considered their Patria. I'm still reading it but I can already tell you that people from that time already identified themselves with their county, several counties of the low countries or all counties of the low countries. It includes terms such as patria, nation, country, common descent and more which looks like an early form of nationalism, and in some cases the authors clearly differntiate between their country and that of germany, france and england. I've not yet encountered an author who identified with all contintental west-germanic speaking peoples but I'm sure I will (because some even identified them with the french). I think this is sufficient to remove the assertion that "Dutch people used to be Germans" along with its reference only detailing dutch and low german language. Grey Fox (talk) 00:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
You'd think it would worry you that I'm a historian, but I understand that that doesn't matter to you we all have access to books, right? Because I know where you're coming from ideologically, I already know from experience of similar users that you will forward any excuse to keep certain material in or out no matter what is said or what references are provided. And as I know that, any convo here is basically a farcical waste of time. You're an SPA here to forward a position, not collaborate or learn or encyclopedia-build, and in fact by wasting my time (which you do not respect) you are damaging the 'Pedia too ... a net loss.
The reference details Low German (of which proto-Dutch was part) and High German and both together, as you would know if you read it properly. You're making a lot of assertions and are trying using sources to advance your position, the trouble is that you need more historical skill to use them. For instance, you think that say, a Zeelander calling Zeeland a patria is evidence that Zeelanders aren't German. Actually, patria has the same range of meanings homeland and polity have in modern English. Likewise, natio is a place where someone is born or a thing someone is born into: a community like Zeeland could be one, as could a university society, a kingroup, or indeed a large ethno-political contruct like Duutsland. But at this stage 'German' identity is not important in day-to-day lives outside borderlands. The 'German' identity of a Zeelander was utterly irrelevant to a Zeelander's life unless he went to England or Poland or met some other foreigner (and so on). Even though it was an existing concept, it was an unimportant concept. It's only an issue here because the aritcle's about a Pope who, being a pope, acted in an international context and is called 'German' in documents, leading the inter-era confusion that provokes the patriotic ire of yourself and Arnoutf. I don't want to be uncivil, but most of the relevant stuff you two are posting consists of historical mistakes and misunderstandings and, frankly, it's just me continuously giving free history lessons. And that's just a waste of my time. I'm only interested in keeping the encyclopedia accurate and expanding it.
Life's too short. Please go add content to this encyclopedia! Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:22, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
If it pleases you to know I've studied history as well, I just don't feel like bragging about it all the time. I'm not an SPA, I used to edit completely different subjects and at the moment I'm preparing several new articles. you will forward any excuse to keep certain material in or out no matter what is said or what references are provided pretty much applies to what you've been doing. You've continuously refrained from using the talk page and edit warring over even the exclusion of neutrality tags. It's pretty easy to disqualify other editors as nationalists. I know nationalists can be quite annoying on wikipedia (believe me I've dealt with them) but you seem to describe everyone who disagrees with you as nationalist. People could easily call you nationalist when you're disputing something on the British Isles, but is it correct? And I find your assertion that "we're a waste of time" uncivil and disrespectful, but let's move forward shall we?
I'm familiar with the meaning of Patria, and as I said a lot more terms are used to describe the identity of peoples in the Low Countries. The works of the authors in this book (as well as others) don't just limit themselves to local identites, they discuss worldly identities as well. I do not think a Zeelander, Hollander, or Frisian who refers to his county (or a union of these counties) as his patria (or others terms) is evidence that the inhabitants aren't German. I do however think that the absentism or highly limited use of a larger German / French or other identity by these authors shows that their identity was limited to that of their respective counties or the low countries. You simply assume that French speakers from the low countries identified themselves as French and Germanic speakers identified themselves as German since antiquity. That means you're using linguistics as a guideline to identity. The West-Frisians for example, who have been violently independent throughout history, never identified themselves as Dutch, German or anything greater than Frisian or Christian, yet in your self-made charts on medieval identity they've magically turned into "germans".
Now as for your source by Howell that you keep showing as evidence, you seem to misunderstand it. You keep quoting "the clear terminological difference between Dutch and German did not exist", but you exclude the start of the sentence that reads "prior to the onset of the standardization process for both languages in the sixteenth century" which shows how the author speaks of language-designations and not identity (and I agree with him). The other quote deals with how nederduuts referred to all dialects from Dunkirk to Riga. This only refers to Dutch and Low German, not Dutch and German as you keep saying (there's a difference between German and Low-German). I partially agree with him, but as A. Duke has shown inhabitants were aware that Dutch (Low Franconion) and Low Saxon aren't mutual intelligible and did differentiate between them (low saxon referred to as the Guelders language). This is equally important, and wikipedia works so that all view points are shown, not just the ones we like. But again all of this only refers to language, not identity. I think we can safely conclude that Howell's work does not say, or prove, that Dutch people before the 17th century are best to be referred to as "Germans". Grey Fox (talk) 16:45, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
It's really obvious when someone isn't a historian ... even if it isn't to you. Anyway, I perfectly well understand Howell, thanks. :) You're making an assumption that "high German" is more "German" than "Low German". That is anachronistic (i.e. based on how things panned out later); it's your failure to properly expunge anachronisms from your own thought patterns that are causing you problems here. You should understand "German" as referring to a dialect continuum, Low German and High German--roughly--to standardized varieties not actually so much spoken in one form but written down as a standard. So Gelders "German" or "Dutch" wasn't any less "German" or "Dutch" than Hannover "Dutch" (or indeed Vilnius Yiddish). Categories like "low Saxon" and "low Franconian" are modern concoctions designed to make isoglosses and diachronic patterns comprehensible (often to suit modern nationalisms); they weren't actual languages anyone in the past recognized. Incidentally, we both agree that being "German" wasn't very relevant to most people, just like being Wallisch or Romana wasn't much of a big deal to Frenchies or Italians. So how about we stop arguing this? ;) The matter is only at issue here because the aritcle's about a Pope who, being a pope, acted in an international context and is called 'German' in documents, leading [to] inter-era confusion nationalist ire and Procrustean mutilations of historical 'evidence'. And no, I do not assume that French speakers from the low countries identified themselves as French and Germanic speakers identified themselves as German since antiquity. I have said no such thing. I recommend you confine your opinions of what I say to what I actually say. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:32, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't really care if you don't believe what I've studied, I'm not going to scan a university card for you. You kept using "German" to refer to "Low German" even though in modern terms "German" refers to "High German". You seem to misunderstand the west-germanic Dialect Continuum too, you can't just lump all dialects of the continuum together and say they are (or used to be) "German". Perhaps you would understand by the fact that English is sometimes included in the continuum, which makes sense because Frisian and English are closely related. Hell you might as well connect the North and West Germanic continuum when you realize that Frisian and Danish are close. But indeed, this article shouldn't have anything to do with linguistics, so we move forward.
I'm glad we both seem to agree that it's best to treat Adrian's identity outside the lead section and just refer to him as a "non-italian pope" there. I'm fine with leaving the article as it is if you are too. We could expand it with information on identity in Utrecht / the low countries but since there's so many books and information on it there might as well be a page called Early identities in the Low Countries. The only small detail I would like to change is 'often' into 'sometimes' because it's more neutral. I hope we can solve our disputes easier next time. Grey Fox (talk) 19:07, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Alright, you're going back into nonsenseland. Thought I could make progress for a bit. Please go find something else to do. Not wasting any more time with you. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:50, 10 May 2011 (UTC)


Ya'll realize it took over 2 yrs, before somebody (namely me) realized someone had changed Pope to Bishop of Rome? GoodDay (talk) 14:45, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Paragraph, where to put this?[edit]

From Historia della Riviera di Salo 'Bongiani Grattarolo of 1599 (published by Ateneo of Salo, May 1978) is indicated as the place of birth Renzano, fraction of Salò on Lake Garda. Renzano is a testimony Latin engraving on the portal of the small church dedicated to San Nazario. According to the legend handed down by some historians of the time was Louis Rampini son of Giambone of Rampini , family whose coat of arms appears similar to the pope, who has considerable intellectual abilities starting from Renzano continued his studies following a path that took him to Holland and just in Utrecht. The full text is visible on the website 'Archives of Garda' in. Pdf [1] is the specific part of the original numbering on page 81. Book Two, page 134, or in modern numbering,%20Grattarolo.pdf
This was added by an anon IP in the reference section, I have placed it here for discussion and possible addition to article. Thoughts? --Kansas Bear (talk) 17:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

The 16th-century Italian of the main page gives google translate a bit of a hard time, so I'm not always getting the drift. The second (modern) footnote on the subject (footnote 9, page 134) says: "In reality it is a legend credited by many historians to the end of the 19th-century", so it is interesting to see that it had started much earlier. Rewritten, it would make for a nice paragraph, even if few have heard of the legend. It kind of emphasizes how unacceptable the idea of a non-Italian bishop of Rome was. Afasmit (talk) 23:00, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Not Dutch or German by nationality, Dutch by ethnicity[edit]

  1. The Holy Roman Empire is not equal to Germany. > Therefore the standard demonymn of a subject or inhabitant of this loose confederation, cannot be German either.
  2. The statement "He is often called a 'German pope', because prior to the 16th-century national identity in the Low Countries was fledgling" is highly doubtfull. > Even when assuming its true that the 16th century Netherlands lacked a national identity (eventhough the Netherlands are considered one of the first nation states, the concept itself generally associated with the 19th century) it makes no logical sense to assume any of its inhabitants would consider themselves Germans instead.
  3. With no Germany untill 1871, let alone any evidence that there was a concept of a defined German nation in the 16th century, it is impossible to even consider Adrian VI as belonging to the German nation.
  4. The only existing identities at this time would have been ethnic, religious or civic identities. For examply, he would have spoken Dutch and would have grown up among Dutch culture, or he could have seen himself als a Catholic first, or, (but unlikely) he could have seen himself as merely a burgher of Utrecht.
  5. The statement "'Dutch' and 'German' were not yet distinct concepts." is therefore a logical fallacy. If anything, these concepts would not have existed in the first place, and history shows that of these two distinct concept it was the Dutch identity that would form way before the German equivalent.
  1. Categorizing persons of importance based on nationality prior to at least the 18th century is the subject of the historiography of the 19th century. Meant to install pride in the contemporaries of its day. > Ethnic markers should be used (if, for some reason, this is considered desirable) not national identies which are anachronistic.

With regards, (talk) 19:50, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Hadrian or Adrian[edit]

The following text : Speech of Pope Francis is from the Vatican web site and uses Hadrian VI instead of Adrian VI. Hektor (talk) 23:28, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Frey, Fundamentalism, p. 370; Mandell, History of the Papacy, vol. 6 p. 260; Schlabach, Unlearning Protestantism, chapter 1, n. 15
  2. ^ Howell, "The Low Countries", p. 131