Johannes Butzbach

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Johannes Butzbach (1477-1516) was a monastic writer and prior of Laach Abbey (today in Germany and called Maria Laach Abbey).

In his autobiography Odeporicon, written in Latin in 1505, he gives an account of his life from childhood until he entered Laach Abbey. This book permits a detailed insight into early post-medieval life and convent schooling.

He tells of a harsh whipping he received as a boy at school. His mother had dragged him to school. She reported that he had been truant and asked that the boy be punished properly. The Locatus (lower teacher) got furious. He ordered the boy to be undressed and tied to a column. Then he had him birched "with the hardest rods" and joined himself into the brutal whipping. His mother, having reached a short distance from the house, heard Johannes's loud cries and turned around, demanding that the chastisement be stopped. The teacher ignored her until she broke open the door. When she saw her son tied to the column, his body covered with blood, she fainted.

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