A Look At One of Zwingli’s Letters

Here’s a photo of one of Zwingli’s letters, written 3 Sept., 1528.

Here’s the transcription-

Gratiam et pacem a deo.  Misissem nunc, tabellionem nactus, responsiones nostras ad Luterum, nisi nihil dubius essem ad vos dudum perlatas esse. Aliud est, quod nunc volo. Agunt privati homines Milhusani, quamvis non privata autoritate, sed eorum iussu, quorum maxime refert, ut in civitatem Tigurobernam recipiantur; id autem obscure adhuc, hoc est: caute et clam. Nos, a secretis, et ego, rem nondum retulimus, hanc potissimum ob causam, quod et vestram petitionem expectamus et nullo negocio confectam [!] iri speramus. Atque interim illis bona pollicemur, quodque ad proxima trium urbium comitia, si eis videatur, velimus referre, et quicquid e re sua putaverint fore, summa fide facturos. Hęc nolui, ut vos laterent. Rescierunt enim Milhusani, vos in hoc esse, ut in civitatem coeatis, sed non ex perfidis, verum ex fidelibus, qui sciunt, foedera urbium vestrarum, Sanctogalli et Milhusii dico, ferme esse simillima. Vos igitur, quicquid consultissimum credetis, sequamini.


Tiguri 3. die Septembris 1528. Claronensis populus in fide verbi perstat. Huldricus Zuinglius tuus. Dem ersamen, wysen etc. herren von Watt, burgermeister zuo Santgallen.

And here’s the translation, courtesy S. Jackson

GRACE AND PEACE FROM GOD. I should have already sent you our replies to Luther, since I have gotten hold of a letter carrier, if I had not been suspicious that they had been long ago delivered to you. My present business is somewhat different. Private citizens of Muthausen urge, not of their individual authority, but rather by command of those particularly concerned, that they should he received into the alliance between Zurich and Bern. But this has been done in the dark, that is, cautiously and secretly. We, the Town clerk and I, have not yet brought up the matter, chiefly for the reason that we are awaiting your petition; and we hope that it will go thro without difficulty. Meanwhile we are making good offers to them to the effect, that if it seems good to them we are willing to refer it to the next Did of the three cities and with the greatest fidelity to do anything which they believe will be to their advantage. I was unwilling that you should remain ignorant of these matters. For the Multhausers have learned that you have under consideration joining this alliance yourself, and they have heared it not from traitors but from faithful ones who know that the alliance of your cities, I mean St. Gall and Mulhausen, are almost identical. We will follow out what you consider for your best interests. Farewell.

ZURICH, September 3, 1528.

The Glareans remain faithful to the Word.

I think it would be a lot of fun, and very instructive, to have Zwingli’s handwriting subjected to ‘handwriting analysis’.

4 thoughts on “A Look At One of Zwingli’s Letters

  1. mhacleth 10 Aug 2012 at 1:17 am

    Why is his handwriting so bad?
    It’s a sign of extreme intelligence according to this: http://inniakhafullahsmedic.blogspot.com/2007/01/why-doctors-handwriting-are-so-bad.html


    • Jim 10 Aug 2012 at 4:26 am

      you think his is bad…


  2. Paul Regnier 10 Aug 2012 at 3:11 am

    The small body of the letters, compared to the much longer tops and tails are meant to be a sign of intelligence. The gentle rightward slant of the writing means mild extroversion, though conversely the backwards loop on the last letter of many of the words is a sign of caution.

    That’s about as far as my skills of handwriting analysis go!


    • Jim 10 Aug 2012 at 4:25 am

      thanks. interesting indeed and it certainly fits with what is known of the guy.


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