Peter Hagendorf's Diary Analysis

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Peter Hagendorf’s diary chronicles his experiences throughout Europe as a mercenary for several different armies during the Thirty Years’ War. The diary is linear in form and records events from 1629 to 1649, excluding information from the first eleven years of the war. … This essay will discuss several passages from Peter Hagendorf’s diary and what can be discerned from it regarding the Thirty Years’ War as a conflict devoid of law and order resulting in the destruction of cities and settlements across Europe and the maltreatment of citizens by the armies involved. Hagendorf’s account of events occurring at Landshut is particularly unsettling. Following the Swedish army’s victory at Landshut Hagendorf and his fellow soldiers plundered the city where he effectively kidnapped a woman as part of his spoils of war . The taking of the woman is never explicitly referred to as an act of sexual violence but it is undoubtedly implied although Hagendorf does not treat this action as a serious offence and appears to consider the woman as nothing more than a portion of his reward for his efforts in battle. This small line of the diary reveals quite a lot about the neglect of law and order in the Thirty Years’ War and it suggests that acts of sexual violence were commonplace as the actions performed by Peter Hagendorf could not have been exclusive to him. Nothing can be said to expiate such horrendous acts but it appears that the severity and morality of the action is completely

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