Archaeologists digging under the medieval theologian Martin Luther’s home have found his toilet, Germany’s Bild reported this week. Luther, who launched the Protestant Reformation in 1517 by nailing his 95 theses of dissent against Catholicism to the Wittenberg castle church door, often said he composed his work while “in cloaca”—literally, “on the toilet.” The phrase was often used at the time to mean “in a state of deep humility.” Dr. Stefan Rhein, director of the Luther museum, said the new find was significant because “now we know what the great reformer really meant.” The stone toilet, which has a drain leading to a separate cesspit, was advanced for its day.
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