1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pegnitz

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PEGNITZ, a river of Germany. It rises near Lindenhard in Upper Franconia (Bavaria) from two sources. At first it is called the Fichtenohe, but at Buchau it takes the name of the Pegnitz, and flowing in a south-westerly direction disappears below the small town of Pegnitz in a mountain cavern. It emerges through three orifices, enters Middle Franconia, and after flowing through the heart of the city of Nuremberg falls into the Regnitz at Furth.

See Specht, Das Pegnitzgebiet in Bezug auf seinen asserhaushalt (Munich, 1905).

The Pegnitz Order (Order of the society of Pegnitz shepherds), also known as “the crowned flower order on the Pegnitz,” was one of the societies founded in Germany in the course of the 17th century for the purification and improvement of the German language, especially in the domain of poetry. Georg Philipp Harsdörffer and Johann Klaj instituted the order in Nuremberg in 1644, and named it after the river. Its emblem was the passion flower with Pan's pipes, and the motto Mit Nutzen erfreulich, or Alle zu einem Ton einstimmig. The members set themselves the task of counteracting the pedantry of another school of poetry by imagination and gaiety, but lacking imagination and broad views they took refuge in allegorical subjects and puerile trifling. The result was to debase rather than to raise the standard of poetic art in Germany. At first the meetings of the order were held in private grounds, but in 1681 they were transferred to a forest near Kraftshof or Naunhof. In 1794 the order was reorganized, and it now exists merely as a literary society.

See Tittman, Die nürnberger Dichterschule (Göttingen, 1847); and the Festschrift zur 250-jährigen Jubelfeier des pegnesischen Blumenordens (Nuremberg, 1894).