The wild doctrines of Thomas Miinzer and the Zwickau prophets, merging eventually into the excesses of the Peasants' War and the doings of the Anabaptists in Minster, first roused Luther to the dangerous possibilities of mysticism as a disintegrating force.
It is formed by the confluence, just below Kolditz, of the Zwickauer Mulde, which rising in the Vogtland of Saxony passes Zwickau, Glauchau and Rochlitz, and the Freiberger Mulde, which, rising in the Bohemian Erzgebirge, touches Freiberg, Dobeln and Leisnig.
In the other chief industrial region of Germany, in Saxony, Zwickau and Lugau, are important mining centres.
At this time three prophets arrived from Zwickau, eager to hasten the movement of emancipation.
These measures, and the excitement which followed the arrival of the radicals from Zwickau, led Luther to return to Wittenberg in March 1522, where he preached a series of sermons attacking the impatience of the radical party, and setting forth clearly his own views of what the progress of the Reformation should be.
The following table shows the area and population of the whole kingdom and of each of the five chief governmental districts, or Kreishauptmannschaften, into which it is divided The chief towns are Dresden (pop. 1905, 514,283), Leipzig (502,570), Chemnitz (244,405),(244,405), Plauen (105,182), Zwickau (68,225), Zittau (34, 6 79), Meissen (32,175),(32,175), Freiberg (30,869), Bautzen (29,372), Meerane (24,994), Glauchau (24,556), Reichenbach (24,911),(24,911), Crimmitzschau (23,340), Werdau (19,476), Pirna (19,200).
The coal is found principally in two fields - one near Zwickau, and the other in the governmental district of Dresden.
The chief seats of the manufacture are Zwickau, Chemnitz, Glauchau, Meerane, Hohenstein, Kamenz, Pulsnitz and Bischofswerda.
Stoneware and earthenware are made at Chemnitz, Zwickau, Bautzen and Meissen, porcelain (" Dresden china ")") at Meissen, chemicals in and near Leipzig.
The cities of Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Plauen and Zwickau, form departments by themselves.
WERDAU, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Saxony, on the Pleisse, in the industrial district of Zwickau, and 40 m.
Around Zwickau there are productive coal-fields, and milling for metals is carried on near Freiberg.
The population is thickest in upper Silesia around Beuthen (coal-fields), around Ratibor, Neisse and Waldenburg (coal-fields), around Zittau (kingdom of Saxony), in the Elbe valley around Dresden, in the districts of Zwickau and Leipzig as far as the Saale, on the northern slopes of the Harz and around Bielefeld in Westphalia.
Coal-mining appears to have been first practised in the I4thcentur at Zwickau (Saxony) and on the Ruhr.
Cotton spinning and weaving are not confined to one district, but 60 are prosecuted in upper Alsace (MUihausen, Gebweiler, 25, 0 Colmar), in Saxony (Zwickau, Chemnitz, Annaberg), in 35,700 Silesia (Breslau, Liegnitz), in the Rhine province (Dssel 44,700 dorf, Mflnster, Cologne), in Erfurt and Hanover, in 50,900 Wrttember~ (Reutlingen, Cannstatt), in Baden, Bavaria 52, 00 - (Augsburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth) and in the Palatinate.
The chief seats of the stocking manufacture are Chemnitz and Zwickau in Saxony, and Apolda in Thuringia.
2 With the arrival of the Anabaptist enthusiasts of Zwickau, he had a more difficult task, and appears to have been irresolute.
On the 27th of December 1521 three " prophets " appeared in Wittenberg from Zwickau, Thomas Munzer, Nicolas Storch and Mark Thomas Stubner.
On the 6th of March Luther returned, interviewed the prophets, scorned their " spirits," forbade them the city, and had their adherents ejected from Zwickau and Erfurt.
Compelled to leave Zwickau, Munzer visited Bohemia, resided two years at Alltstedt in Thuringia, and in 1524 spent some time in Switzerland.
The excitement of the people was increased by the arrival of three men known in history as the Zwickau prophets.
Saxony established a penitentiary at Zwickau in 1850 and in its earlier management exhibited exaggerated kindness to its inmates.
Communication with the Erzgebirge is provided by numerous lines of railway, some, such as that from Freiberg to Briix, that from Chemnitz to Komotau, and that from Zwickau to Carlsbad, crossing the range, while various local lines serve the higher valleys.
One of the most notable of these radical anti-ecclesiastical movements was that of the Zwickau prophets, (Marcus Stiibner, Nikolaus Storch and Thomas Munzer): the most vigorous and notorious that of the Munster Anabaptists.
Although they have been called the "harbingers" of the Anabaptists, the characteristic teaching of the Zwickau prophets was not Anabaptism.
The characteristic teaching of the Zwickau movement, so closely linked with the peasant rising, was the great emphasis laid upon the "inner word."
It is this daring faith in divine illumination that brings the Zwickau teachers most nearly into touch with the Anabaptists.
In all this the Anabaptists had maintained one central article of faith that linked them to the Zwickau prophets, belief in conscience, religious feeling, or inner light, as the sole true beginning or ground of religion; and one other article, held with equal vigour and sincerity, that true Christians are like sheep among wolves, and must on no account defend themselves from their enemies or take vengeance for wrong done.