The legend dates back to the Middle Ages , the earliest references describing a piper, dressed in multicolored " pied " clothing, who was a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away  with his magic pipe.
When the citizens refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by using his instrument's magical power on their children, leading them away as he had the rats. This version of the story spread as folklore and has appeared in the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , the Brothers Grimm , and Robert Browning , among others. There are many contradictory theories about the Pied Piper. Some suggest he was a symbol of hope to the people of Hamelin, which had been attacked by plague; he drove the rats from Hamelin, saving the people from the epidemic.
The earliest known record of this story is from the town of Hamelin itself, depicted in a stained glass window created for the church of Hamelin, which dates to around Although the church was destroyed in , several written accounts of the tale have survived. In , while the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation, a piper dressed in multicolored "pied" clothing appeared, claiming to be a rat-catcher.
He promised the mayor a solution to their problem with the rats. The mayor , in turn, promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. According to some versions of the story, the promised sum was guilders. The piper accepted and played his pipe to lure the rats into the Weser River , where all but one, which was deaf, drowned. Despite the piper's success, the mayor reneged on his promise and refused to pay him the full sum reputedly reduced to a sum of 50 guilders even going so far as to blame the piper for bringing the rats himself in an extortion attempt.
Enraged, the piper stormed out of the town, vowing to return later to take revenge. On Saint John and Paul 's day, while the adults were in church, the piper returned dressed in green like a hunter playing his pipe. In so doing, he attracted the town's children. Depending on the version, at most three children remained behind: These three informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out from church. Other versions relate that the Pied Piper led the children to the top of Koppelberg Hill, where he took them to a beautiful land,  or a place called Koppenberg Mountain,  or Transylvania, or that he made them walk into the Weser as he did with the rats, and they all drowned.
Some versions state that the Piper returned the children after payment, or that he returned the children after the villagers paid several times the original amount of gold.
The earliest mention of the story seems to have been on a stained-glass window placed in the Church of Hamelin c. The window was described in several accounts between the 14th and 17th centuries. Based on the surviving descriptions, a modern reconstruction of the window has been created by historian Hans Dobbertin.
It features the colorful figure of the Pied Piper and several figures of children dressed in white. This window is generally considered to have been created in memory of a tragic historical event for the town. Also, Hamelin town records start with this event. The earliest written record is from the town chronicles in an entry from which states: Although research has been conducted for centuries, no explanation for the historical event is universally accepted as true.
In any case, the rats were first added to the story in a version from c. A number of theories suggest that children died of some natural causes such as disease or starvation  and that the Piper was a symbolic figure of Death. Analogous themes which are associated with this theory include the Dance of Death , Totentanz or Danse Macabre , a common medieval trope.
Some of the scenarios that have been suggested as fitting this theory include that the children drowned in the river Weser, were killed in a landslide or contracted some disease during an epidemic. Added speculation on the migration is based on the idea that by the 13th century the area had too many people resulting in the oldest son owning all the land and power majorat , leaving the rest as serfs.
In her essay "Pied Piper Revisited", Sheila Harty states that surnames from the region settled are similar to those from Hamelin and that selling off illegitimate children, orphans or other children the town could not support is the more likely explanation. She states further that this may account for the lack of records of the event in the town chronicles. A Handbook , Wolfgang Mieder states that historical documents exist showing that people from the area including Hamelin did help settle parts of Transylvania.
In the version of the legend posted on the official website for the town of Hamelin, another aspect of the emigration theory is presented:. Among the various interpretations, reference to the colonization of East Europe starting from Low Germany is the most plausible one: The "Children of Hameln" would have been in those days citizens willing to emigrate being recruited by landowners to settle in Moravia, East Prussia, Pomerania or in the Teutonic Land.
It is assumed that in past times all people of a town were referred to as "children of the town" or "town children" as is frequently done today. The "Legend of the children's Exodus" was later connected to the "Legend of expelling the rats". This most certainly refers to the rat plagues being a great threat in the medieval milling town and the more or less successful professional rat catchers. Thousands of young adults from Lower Saxony and Westphalia headed east. Description This collection of classic tales will delight both children and adults.
The accessible adaptations, colorful illustrations, and die-cut shapes make for hours of reading, fun, and bonding. Las adaptaciones accesibles, ilustraciones vibrantes y formas troqueladas proveeran horas de lectura, divertimiento y vinculacion.
People who bought this also bought. El Soldadito de Plomo Angelina Gatell. Ricitos de Oro Enriqueta Capellades. El Patito Feo Isabel Diaz. Los Tres Cerditos Enriqueta Capellades. Hansel y Gretel Angelina Gatell. El Ratoncito Perez Enriqueta Capellades. La Bella Durmiente Isabel Diaz.
Share your thoughts with other customers. Among the various interpretations, reference to the colonization of East Europe starting from Low Germany is the most plausible one: There's a problem loading this menu right now. If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? English Choose a language for shopping. Caro Spetter rated it it was ok Jan 10,
La Vendedora de Fosforos Combel Editorial. Juan Sin Miedo Margarita Ruiz. El Sastrecillo Valiente Margarita Ruiz.
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. El Flautista de Hamelin 3. Hardcover , 48 pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about El Flautista de Hamelin , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about El Flautista de Hamelin. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.
Jan 05, Luis Dovasquez rated it it was ok. A mis chicos les fascinaron. Dec 15, Atenea rated it it was amazing Shelves: Path Granger rated it really liked it Mar 24,