Resources for investigating the early history of Switzerland as a political entity

The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland



external image 200px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Switzerland.svg.png"The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland is an encyclopedia on the history of Switzerland that aims to take into account the results of modern historical research in a manner accessible to a broader audience.The encyclopedia is published by a foundation under the patronage of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW/ASSH) and the Swiss Historical Society (SGG-SHH) and is financed by national research grants. Besides a staff of 35 at the central offices, the contributors include 100 academic advisors, 2500 historians and 100 translators." (Read more here) The online edition has been available since 1998. It makes accessible, for free, all articles ready for publication in print, but no illustrations. It also lists all 40,000 topics that are to be covered. The print edition is available in most Swiss public libraries. It is published in both formats in French, German and Italian.
(If your French, German, or Italian are weak, you might want to open the page with an online translating service, such as Google Translate. Translations are not always perfect, but you will get the main ideas.) To start, read the (original) entry for Grand-Saconnex and the translated page.



The Charter of 1291
The Charter of 1291


Medieval Movements and the Origins of Switzerland

Medieval Movements and the Origins of Switzerland by Greg Bryant. RAIN Magazine, Vol XIV, Number 1, Winter 1991
"Today’s Swiss politics dimly reflects a very odd birth seven centuries ago, in 1291. The beginnings of the radical Swiss Confederation are impossible to unravel, without being struck by the political impact made on Europe by this poor, tiny alliance."


History of Switzerland

History of Switzerland

"Switzerland is a small country situated in the heart of Central Europe and shares a lot of it's history and of it's culture (four national languages spoken in different regions) with it's neighbours Germany, France, Italy and Austria. When does the history of Switzerland begin? The answer depends on the interpretation of the term Switzerland:" See Middle Ages, and The Old Swiss Confederacy This web page is an overview of the topic.


Medieval History

A very detailed overview of Medieval History, fromMedieval Times.info Read the pages on 13th-15th Century Switzerland


History of Switzerland: Primary Documents

This page from EuroDocs contains links to selected transcriptions,facsimiles and translations of primary resources. Examples are Foedus Pactum -- Pact Between Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden(August 1291; transcription of Latin original), and Extension de la Confédération de 1370 à 1393(1332-1353; French translation and maps)

The History of Switzerland

The Wikipedia page gives a brief overview of Swiss history, with many links out for further clarification.


Le Pont du Diable sur le Mont St-Gotthardt dans le Canton d'Ury, Lafond, Simon Daniel (1763-1831), Dessinateur
Le Pont du Diable sur le Mont St-Gotthardt dans le Canton d'Ury, Lafond, Simon Daniel (1763-1831), Dessinateur

Du sel africain dans l’étable de Guillaume Tell

Article in LeTemps newspaper, under the rubric IL ÉTAIT UNE FOIS Samedi16 octobre 2010 (in French. Use Google Translate if you need help.) "Pourquoi fut construit au début du XIIIe siècle un pont au-dessus de la Reuss dans le plus inhospitalier des paysages alpins? Comment fut-il construit ? Par qui et avec quel argent ? Les réponses de Jean-François Bergier, dans son livre, Guillaume Tell. Par Joëlle Kuntz" ("Why was a bridge over the River Reuss constructed in the early thirteenth century, in the most inhospitable alpine landscapes? How was it built? By whom and who paid for it ? Interview with Jean-Francois Bergier, in his book, William Tell. By Joel Kuntz")
Here's the article in pdf form:














See also this painting