A Chronology of Huldreich Zwingli's Life (1484 - 1531)

1484 - Born at Wildhaus, Swizerland, January 1. His education began with training in Latin by his Uncle, Bartholomew Zwingli

1498 - After attending Schools in Basle and Berne, Zwingli attended the University of Vienna

1504 - Zwingli received his Bachelor's Degree then went to Basle for his Master's Degree in 1506. During Zwingli's education, he was trained as a humanist scholar - with much training in the Classics. Lectures by Thomas Wyttenbach at Basle pointed him towards the Gospel. An accomplished musician, he could play almost any instrument.

1506 - Becomes Pastor at Glarus.

1512-16 Receiving a Papal pension, he made at least two trips to Italy accompanying Swiss mercenary soldiers as a chaplain.

1514 - Zwingli was present at the Battle of Marigano, September13 & 14, between Frances 1 of France and the Kingdom of Milan. In this 28 hour battle, thousands of close packed phalanxes of Swiss Pikemen were slaughtered by French cannon - the first modern battle whose outcome was decided by artillery.

1516 - Following a "situation" involving a barber's daughter, Zwingli became a Pastor at Einsieden - where his preaching was popular. Zwingli moved to an evangelical interpretation of the Scriptures. He engaged in a controversy over indulgences with Bernardo Sampson. Also while at Einsieden, he entered into correspondence with Erasmaus, and copied and memorized much of Erasmaus' Greek New Testament. He also began a study of Hebrew.

1519 - Zwingli became the People's Priest at The Great Minster Church in Zurich. He abandoned the liturgical calendar and started preaching through the Bible book by book. He began to challenge unscriptural practices.

1519 - Plague struck Zurich killing one quarter of the population and Zwingli stayed to minister to the sick and dying. Stricken himself, he recovered with a greater commitment to the Lord. Zwingli worked to bring the an end to the practice of hiring out Swiss soldiers as mercenaries. Zwingli was present at another defeat at Bicocca, but through his efforts, that practice was first curbed and finally stopped in Zurich (1522) and other nearby cantons.

1522 - Following the arrest of some printers for eating sausages during Lent, Zwingli rose to their defense, beginning the reforms in Zurich. Challenging also the practice of clerical celibacy, Zwingli was secretly married to Anna Meyer in 1522, and then publically in 1524, a widow with three children, who would bear him four more.

1523 - Zwingli publishes his Sixty Seven Articles on January 19th. At a disputation on the 29th, attended by over 600 people, the Papal representative Johann Faber was unable to support Celibacy and other matters from Scripture alone - the principle now adopted by the Council. Zwingli debated with John Eck in April at Baden. Two more disputations followed - bringing thorough reform to Christian practices and rejecting the authority of the Bishop in Constance.

1524 - Zurich was "cleansed" of organs, images, relics and religious houses by zealous citizens.

1525 - The yearly Mass is abolished and replaced by a quarterly communion. Baptism is also changed. Zwingli's work "True and False Religion" is published. Worship is now a Preaching and Prayer service, without music.

1526 - The City council took over Church disciplinary matters and excommunication. Zurich is now a Christian Commonwealth ruled by Magistrates. Roman Catholics are tolerated, but restricted in their activities and civic position.

1528 - As the Reformation spread in Switzerland through neighboring cantons, increasing opposition by Catholic Cantons motivates the formation of a Christian Civic League uniting Zurich, Berne, Basel, Schaffhausen, and St. Gall and the free Imperial city of Constance. Zwingli wrote the 12 Theses of Berne for this conference attended by Oecolampadius, Haller, Bucer, Kolb and Capito with some vigorous preaching by each of them. A war between the cantons was avoided as national spirit over came differences as the opposing troops made peace with a tub of butter, bread and a common meal. The Peace of Kappel encouraged the Protestants to continue evangelical efforts in the Catholic cantons, buch such efforts only increase tensions.

1529 - Zwingli attended the Colloquy at Marburg called by Philip of Hesse in an attempt to bring together the German and Swiss Reformations. Agreeing on almost every point , Martin Luther was unwilling to accept Zwingli's view on the Lord's Supper as a Memorial. Efforts at unity fail.

1530 - A confession written by Zwingli was presented to Charles the V at the Diet of Augsburg in July of 1530, but was not read and treated with contempt, the only response being a slanderous refutation by Eck.

1531 - Returning to Zurich, Zwingli set about defending the faith.. He wrote a Exposition of the Christian faith and sent the mauscript to Frances 1 of France, warning of the lies and slanders being circulated against the Protestants, it also remained unread. In October, Zwingli mustered the citizenry to prepare for defense against the Catholic Cantons. A Catholic army of 8,000 men advanced against Zurich's 1500 defenders. Zwingli accompanying the troops with a sword was slain along with 26 members of the Town council and 24 other pastors among the 500 Protestant dead. The following treaty of peace left religious boundaries as they were, but prevented any further Protestant expansion in Switzerland. Zwingli's work was continued by Bullinger.

Resources on Zwingli and the Reformation in Zurich

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