Teutoniam dudum belli (SWV 338)

by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672), Kapellmeister of the Elector Johann Georg I, Duke of Saxony.

7-part song in Latin (ATB/SS[B], 2 violins and b.c.), celebrating the flourishing of peace after a period of war’s destruction in Silesia (= area part of the history of Germany, Czechia, Poland).
Date : probably 1621 in the early years of the 30-Years War, after the Peace of Dresden/Breslau, first published 1641 in Leipzig.


In november 1621 the Peace was made, or to be more precise: was imposed upon the the rebellious Silesian Estates. Their princes pledged obedience to the Emperor Ferdinand II. At the ceremony the Emperor was represented by the Elector Prince Johann Georg I, Duke of Saxony. In the years before, the Silesian Estates had chosen the side of the protestant Winterkönig (Friedrich IV, from the Paltz – english: Palatinate) whose army was defeated at the battle of the ‘White Mountain’ (near Prague), 8 november 1620. Henrich Schütz (Kapellmeister of the Electoral Court of Saxony/Dresden) was in Breslau in october/november 1621. With the musicians of the Electoral Capella (16 people) he was responsible for the (ceremonial) music.


Two compositions of Schütz are linked to this event and have survived. This one (Teutoniam dudum belli) and Syncharma Musicum tribus Choris adornatum , which probably was the official music for the Opening Ceremony on 3 November 1621. Teutoniam dudum belli sounds more colloquial. It celebrates the pleasant effects of Peace restored: Omnibus o bona pax gaudia mille ferat, sings the refrain. Was it performed during a feast, a a dinner…. ? It was only published – in Breslau – 20 years later (see below).

The music performed by Dresden musicians, dir. H.Chr. Rademann (Carus): score and images

Text and Publication

This song was not published in 1621, but only in 1641, when Ambrosius Profe (a musician, active in Breslau) incorporated it as nr. 24 in a florilegium of ‘Italianate music’ (Geistlicher Concerten, Ander Theil). He published it with two texts, the original celebrating the ‘peace’ and the alternative celebrating ‘Easter’. The author of the text(s) is unknown.
[click to enlarge; editable text on this page ]

translation, Dick Wursten

* Budorgis = name of a city in Ptolemaeus’ Geographica (there ‘Boudoris’, or ‘Boudorigis’ – Greek), located in ‘magna Germania’. At the beginning of the new era, the Humanist elite in Silesia tried to demonstrate that they were not part of the ‘barbarian peoples’ up North (seen from Rome/Italy), but had a respectable tradition of their own. The existence of a city in that region that even the great Ptolemy had already mapped in his Geographia is then very helpful: Boudor(g)is was identified with Breslau in 1504 by a Silesian poet (NB: imagined identity for an imagined community, cf. Benedict Anderson). This identification became generally accepted, saying: ‘Behold, already at the beginning of this era we existed, and were world-famous.’ The next step in this process was identifying Silesia with Elysium (the Elysian fields, paradise, peace).1 This part of the pun Schütz includes in the first line of Syncharma Musicum addressing the Silesian ‘Estates’ : en novus Elysiis succedit sedibus hospes….

** the text clearly reads Silium”, not “filium”. All editions, including the NSA (1971, Werner Bittinger) have ‘filium’ (= son). Three voices (ATB) sing the line. None has ‘filium’: the Tenor has a lowercase ‘s’ (a so called “long s” = ſ ), causing the confusion (see below the tenor for comparison). The Altus and Bassus have Silium with a capital S. Things can’t be clearer. Case closed. And… filium doesn’t make any sense here (Silium might have a sense. I suggest a link with the topical topograhy: Silesia.) The printed evidence below. Judge for yourself:

Below : the pages of the composite 6th book, giving both the 1ste violin (left) and the second soprano/cantus (right)

NOTE: From Encyclopaedia Britannica:
Electorprince of the Holy Roman Empire who had a right to participate in the election of the emperor (the German king). Beginning around 1273 and with the confirmation of the Golden Bull of 1356, there were seven electors: the archbishops of Trier, Mainz, and Cologne; the duke of Saxony; the count palatine of the Rhine; the margrave of Brandenburg; and the king of Bohemia. Other electorates were created later for Bavaria (1623–1778), Hanover (from 1708), and Hesse-Kassel (from 1803). The fact that the house of Habsburg had established a de facto claim to the imperial crown made the electors’ basic right nugatory by the 17th century. 

  1. Cezary Lipinski (Zielona Gora), “Zwischen amor patriae und Nationalismus. Humanistische Schlesien-Projektionen im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert”, in Wolfgang Brylla/Cezary Lipinski (Eds), Im Clash der Identitäten, V&R, 2020, pp. 31-54