Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
- Advanced Placement European
Class Activities / Simulations
The Trial of Martin
LUCAS CRANACH THE YOUNGER: Martin Luther (far left),
Philipp Melanchthon (near left), and other German reformers gather
around John Frederick I, elector of Saxony.
Due to a quirk in time, you have been transported back to the year
1520 and the city of Worms. Here, you find yourself involved in the
trial of the German Monk, Martin Luther, who has given himself up
to the authority of the Catholic Church to address the charges that
he is, in two words, a heretical revolutionary. The specific charges
are as follows:
Count 1. Development and preaching of heretical doctrines
Count 2. Inciting members of the Catholic Church to rebel against
the authority and established doctrines of the universal Church
Count 3. Willful denial of the authority of the Pope and Catholic
Roles in the Simulation:
Characters will be assigned by lottery. All character assignments
are final after the drawing.
Character Roles in the Trial Simulation:
Sir Thomas More
Witness: Leo X
Witness: Charles V
Witness: Jon Huss
1. Is the defendant in the trial.
2. Will testify in his defense before the tribunal.
3. Must be able to answer questions consistently with Luther's theological
views and be familiar with specific aspects of his life.
1. The prosecution shall consist of four attorneys.
2. The prosecution will prepare its case to prove that Martin Luther
is guilty under each of the three counts of the indictment listed
3. Each attorney for the prosecution will prepare a four minute speech
(2) introducing and (2) summarizing the prosecutions case against
4. The prosecution will be allowed to ask four primary questions and
four follow up questions as part of its examination of Luther and
three primary and follow-up questions of each of the other witnesses
(time not to exceed five minutes).
Pope Leo X
1. The defense team shall consist of four attorneys.
2. The defense team will prepare its case to prove that Martin Luther.
is not guilty of any of the charges as outlined by the general indictment
3. Each attorney for the defense will prepare a four minute speech
(2) introducing and (2) summarizing the defense team's case for Luther's
acquittal on all three counts
4. The defense will be allowed to ask four primary questions and four.
follow up questions as part of its examination of Luther and three
primary and follow-up questions of each of the other witnesses (time
not to exceed five minutes).
1. In addition to Luther's testimony, there will be other witnesses
available for questioning; they will be witnesses for the prosecution
and for the defense.
2. The prosecution witnesses will be Pope Leo X, Emperor Charles V
of the Holy Roman Empire, Sir Thomas More, Anabaptist, John Tetzel,
Ignatius Loyola, and a German commoner.
3. The defense witnesses will be Martin Luther, Jon Huss, Henry VIII,
John Calvin, Erasmus, Anne Boleyn, and a German Commoner.
4. Each witness must be familiar with the issues that would have concerned
their character and be familiar with the general ideas and issues
of the Protestant Reformation. Each witness
will be questioned by members of both the prosecution and the defense.
Martin Luther prepares to burn the papal bull.
1. There are seven judges on the Church tribunal. All are members
of the College of Cardinals. While they are devout Catholics, they
are also aware that there have been many concerns about various doctrines
and practices within the Church in the past several years. They will
have to judge Luther's case on the basis of the issues presented and
decide whether or not he should be excommunicated. One of the three
will also act as the chief justice of the court and direct the trial.
2. The Judges will:
a. preside over the trial
b. evaluate and rule on admissibility of evidence and arguments
c. maintain order and decorum in the court
d. reach verdict and impose sentence
each judge shall read one of the verdicts for a specific charge
the chief justice shall deliver the sentence that the tribunal agrees
If the verdict is not unanimous a majority and dissenting opinion
will also be presented
3. The the only sentence possible in the event of a
guilty verdict will be Luther's excommunication and the transfer of
his case to civil authorities for a civil trial and a sentence to
be administered thereafter (most likely to be burned at the stake)
1530 - Charles V, far left, discusses a point of dispute
in the Confession of Augsburg.
(The last Protestant attempt to reconcile with the Church of Rome)
1. Will observe and report on pretrial, trial, and post trial events.
2. May interview various members of the defense and prosecution teams
and speculate as to strategy and tactics and oppinon, ie. Editorials,
3. May choose either print or broadcast media.
1. Chief Justice reads the charges against Martin Luther
2. Opening statement for the Prosecution (8 minutes)
3. Opening statement for the defense (8 minutes)
4. Testimony of witnesses (prosecution and defense teams have five
minutes for examination of each witness)
5. Closing statement for the prosecution (8 minutes)
6. Closing statement for the defense (8 minutes)
7. Judges deliberate and reach/read verdict and sentence
Assignment / Grade
1. This simulation assignment will be due for presentation on (date
to be announced).
2. Because this assignment requires application of research and writing
skills as well as role-playing, the grade will be determined by the
Case briefs submitted for each attorney's primary speech and general
The written decision of the judges and their sentence and its justification
A written deposition by each witness outlining their position on the
Protestant Reformation and how well each participant plays the part
he/she has been assigned - Written articles, editorials, cartoons
No written aspect of this assignment is to be less than one nor longer
than two typed pages in length - Effective character performance may
also include the use of documents as evidence, costumes, language
4. This assignment has a total value of 100 points.
More information about the Protestant
Reformation at this site:
| The Protestant Reformation | Martin
Luther, Lutheranism |
| John Calvin, Calvinism | Anglicanism
and King Henry VIII |
| Relevant Quotes from the Reformation and
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- AP Modern European History
in Depth -
Lecture Notes and Further Reading
| Methods and Rules for a Prince: How Should
a Prince Rule? |
| Borg vs Hick: Theories on Jesus and Christianity
| Kant's Epistemological Model and Religious
| World War II - Dachau Concentration Camp
| Unanswered Questions: The Railroad Boxcars
| I Company Recollections and Quotes
| Liberating Dachau: The 42nd Division at
the Jourhaus |
| Dachau: WWII Concentration Camp
Memorial | 2 |
and Prose From the 8th - 15th Centuries | 1
| 2 |
| Marseillaise, the National Anthem
A Modern-day Controversy | Sacré
| French Culture: Historical Champagne and
Wine Trivia |
Modern European History Quotes
| Index of Quotes by Speaker / Historical
| Famous Quotes from the Dark and Middle Ages
| Quotes from England: 15th, 16th and 17th
| Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution Quotes
| Voltaire |
| Quotes from the French Revolution and Napoleon
| Modern European History Quotes from the
| Quotes from Europe and Asia - 1900s
| Winston Churchill |
| American Quotes from the Early 1900s and
World War I |
| US 20th-Century and World War II Quotes
AP Class Activities
| Play the Role of Philip II |
| Visual Interpretations - French Revolution
| "Ism" Maps of Europe and Asia
| Industrial Revolution: England's Advantage
| Marx and Tocqueville | America's
Entry Into World War I |
Trials - Simulations
| Trial of Martin Luther | Trial
of Adolf Hitler |
Helpful Information for Students
| AP Essay Writing Skills |
| Student-Developed Class Presentation Topics
| Guide: Individual Debate Position |
Debate Self Evaluation |
| Existence of God | Catherine
the Great or Frederick the Great |
| Locke - Hobbes | Voltaire
or Rousseau |
Additonal Course Info / AP Class Policy
| AP European History Syllabus: Quarter 1
| Quarter 2 | Quarter
| Writing Assignments, Exams, Critical Book
Reviews, More |
| AP Booklist and Fees |