Archaeologists Unveil Secrets of Luther's Life





Brother Martin, a stout man, was sitting on the toilet in the Wittenberg Monastery, wearing the black robe of the Augustinian Order, when he was suddenly struck with the fundamental concept of his reformist body of thought.

Martin Luther himself noted, in two after-dinner speeches (Nos. 1681 and 3232b), that Protestantism was born in the sewer: "The spiritus sanctus imparted this creation to me on dis cloaca."

Nevertheless, historians have warmed to Luther's own admission, arguing that while the word "cloaca" could be interpreted as "lavatory," perhaps it was a more general term for "this world."

But the truth is truly as distasteful as the master once stated. Excavations in the Wittenberg Monastery have uncovered not only the remains of Luther's old study, but "a small pit latrine with a lid" in the cellar below, as archeologist Mirko Gutjahr reports.

This latest finding is the result of a major archeological dig that began in 2003 and ended a few weeks ago with a final analysis of the site. Architectural historians, ceramics specialists and zoologists have discovered the kitchen waste of the man whose theories changed the world, and who proudly referred to himself as the "doctor above all doctors in the entire papacy."


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