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Simonswald History

Simonswald History

Andreas Schindler cross

     The Neolithic, co-called New Stone Age, is last part of the stone age. The name was invented for the period starting with farming and ended when metal tools became widespread in the Iron Age. Thus Neolithic does not describe a chronological term, but refers instead to the earliest phases of communities and farming in a region. The Neolithic Revolution is the switch from nomadic, hunter-oriented behaviour to a settled, agrarian way of life. A key factor in this change was that global temperatures had risen, making more plants grow.

     Living in one spot means personal possessions and owing land; people were able to stockpile food to survive lean times and trade with others. Once food supply were established, populations were to grow along with forming of social organisation in order to work efficiently. It is likely that populations which had such organisation, perhaps because of religion, were better prepared and more successful. During this time property and land became increasingly important to all people, and subsequently leading to a process in which the first cities were built.

     The name Neolithic is associated with growing of crops and making use of tame animals. From about 10000 to 8000 BC this was limited to simple crops and the keeping of sheep and goats, but by about 7000 BC it included domestic cows, pigs, permanently or semi-permanently inhabited settlements and the use of pottery; the uptake of these skills was not uniform and varied from region to region.

     In Simonswald, the coming of farming began a great shift in people's lives, giving rise to towns, and later cities and states. Instead of wandering around as Nomads from one place to another looking for food, people dwelt in one place. Changes associated with the Neolithic age have traditionally been called the Neolithic Revolution.

     Neolithic peoples were skilled farmers, manufacturing a range of tools necessary for the tending, harvesting and processing of crops such as sickle blades and grinding stones, like one found by Dr. Schnarrenberger while walking along the Hornkopf. Also food production changed by using pottery and bone implements. People were also skilled manufactures of a range of other types of stone tool and ornaments, including beads, and statuettes and utilising mud-brick to construct houses and villages. It is also known, that Tombs for the dead were built in Simonswald. It is important to realise that technological advancement does not necessarily correlate with social complexity. A glance at such cultures as the Maya civilisation in South America, and the Maori in New Zealand shows that a culture may be highly socially and politically sophisticated in many ways without knowledge of metalworking. Having said that, the Simonswald inhabitants were on the technological advanced side of the planet but unfortunatley nothing is knows about their social system.

     Simonswald first written mention dates back to 5. August 1178 when Pope Alexander III, confirmed "Sigmanswald" as property of Monestry St Margarethen (Waldkirch). From 1178 to the 16th century Simonswald was called Sigmanswalt.

     About Alexander III (Pope from 1159 to 1181):

     He was born in Siena and made his mark as teacher of canon law at the University of Bologna, where he composed the Summa Magistri Rolandi. In October 1150 Pope Eugene III appointed him cardinal deacon of Cosmae and Damiani; later he became cardinal priest of St Mark's Church. In 1153 he became papal chancellor, and was the leader of a group of cardinals opposed to Friedrich Barbarossa.

     In 1159 he was chosen the successor of Pope Adrian IV, but a minority of the cardinals elected an antipope, the cardinal priest Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV; he and his successors Paschal III (1164 - 1168) and Callixtus III (1168 - 1178), had Barbarossa?s support, but after the defeat of Legnano, Barbarossa finally, in 1177, recognised Alexander as Pope. On 12th of March 1178 Alexander returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice, from 1162 until 1165, and in 1167. Immediately after his return to Rome in 1178, he gave "Sigmannswald" (Simonswald) to the Monestry of St Margarethen.

     One year later, in 1179 Alexander held the Third Council of the Lateran, an assemblage, regarded by Catholic Church as the Eleventh Ecumenical Council; its acts embodied several of the pope's suggestions such as requiring that no-one may be elected pope without the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals, a rule, still in place. This synod marked the high point of Alexander's power. Besides checkmating King F. Barbarossa, he had humbled Henry II of England in the affair of Thomas Becket, he had confirmed the right of Alphonso I of Portugal to the crown, and even as fugitive he had enjoyed the favour and protection of French King Louis VII. Soon after the close of the synod in September 1179 however, the Church forced him to leave the city, which he never re-entered. During his reign, Alexander excommunicated William the Lion of Scotland and put the kingdom under an interdict. Alexander died at Civita Castellana on the 3rd of August 1181 two years after putting Simonswald on the map and signing responsible for its name.

     Today, Simonswald is part of Baden, a territory in the southwest of what later became unified Germany. It came into existence in the 12th century as the Margravate of Baden split into different lines, which were unified in 1771.

     Baden was a state in the southwest of Germany, primarily consisting of territory along the right bank of the Rhine opposite Alsace and the Palatinate. The territory came into existence as a margravate in the 11th century as a fairly small state. For most of the early modern period, the Baden lands were divided into two parts, one ruled by the Catholic Margraves of Baden-Baden, and the other by the Protestant Margraves of Baden-Durlach. In 1771, the Baden-Baden line became extinct, and all of the Baden lands came under the rule of Baden-Durlach. In the imperial reorganisation of 1803, Baden gained a great deal of additional territory, and its rulers were made Electors of the Holy Roman Empire. This status lasted only for three years, until the end of the empire in 1806. In that year, the Margraves took on the title of Grand Duke of Baden, and gained additional territory. The Grand Duchy, within approximately the borders of 1806, continued to exist until the fall of the German monarchies in 1918, when it became a republic.

     Baden was bounded to the north by the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt - to the west and practically throughout its whole length by the River Rhine, which separated it from the Rhenish Palatinate and the Alsace; to the south by Switzerland, and to the east by the Kingdom of Württemberg.

     After World War II, in 1945 the French military government created the State of Baden with Freiburg im Breisgau as capital out of the southern half of the former Baden. The northern half combined with northern Württemberg was part of the American military zone and formed the Bundesland Württemberg-Baden. In 1952 Baden was merged with Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern to form Baden-Württemberg.

     There exists a traditional rivalry between the populations of Baden and Württemberg, people living in Baden are called Badner or Badener; "Badenser" or Yellow Socks "Gelbfuessler" (Baden's military had worn yellow socks) however is considered as being offensive. It is interesting to note that the dislike is one-way, coming from Baden against Württemberg and not vice versa, jokes about Schwaben are common in Baden, but nothing corresponding exists in Schwabenland. Accordingly there was a strong opposition in Baden against the unification of the two initially independent States.

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