In November 1618, the city council of Augsburg ordered its deputies to root out the source of news-sheets and songs reporting on the revolt in Bohemia.1 The whole city-indeed, the whole empire-was abuzz with rumors about the Bohemians’ revolt against their new king-designate, Ferdinand of Styria. In Augsburg, the gossip was generally not kind to Ferdinand: people said he was a laughingstock as a military leader, the son of a whore, and a puppet of the Jesuits.2 Even members of the city guard were arrested for repeating the rumors. They would rather hang themselves, they said, than have Ferdinand as their emperor.3