1715: Lips Tullian, outlaw and comic hero

On this date in 1715, the legendary outlaw Filip Mengstein was broken on the wheel in Dresden’s marketplace, along with four henchmen.

With the wiseguy nickname “Lips Tullian”, our cutthroat’s gangland derring-do cuts a truly timeless profile. But it happens that Lips did his cutting in the environs of Saxony and Bohemia, exploiting for many years lax domestic security in the Holy Roman Empire occasioned by the preoccupations of the Great Northern War. Legend has it that he was a former dragoon forced to take to the road around 1702 when he slew a comrade in a duel.

From wilderness haunts — there’s still a “Lips Tullian Hill” in Saxony’s Tharandt Forest — Tullian’s “Black Guard” gang sallied into towns to raid prosperous homes and churches. When caught, he had a knack for the dramatic breakout, returning again and again to his gang.

Alas, it was an unsuccessful escape attempt in 1713 that finally caused his captors of the day to realize who they had and put him to torture and, eventually, the brutal breaking-wheel execution.

Immortalized in subsequent folklore, especially in Bohemia, Lips Tullian is best noted recently as the subject of a popular 1970s Czech comic published (until Communist authorities suppressed it) by Mlady Svet. The illustrator Kaja Saudek based his Lips Tullian on the romantic 19th century interpretation of Kvidon de Felses — presenting him as a gold-hearted rogue with an impressively chiseled physique.

On this day..

2 thoughts on “1715: Lips Tullian, outlaw and comic hero

  1. Hardly anything is known about his early years, so he could have been either Filip or Elias – or did he use two names in different times and places?

  2. Whoa! Scrolling down, the body part catching my attention are not “lips”! 😉

    “the legendary outlaw Filip Mengstein…With the wiseguy nickname “Lips Tullian””


    The German article says ” The name of the leader Lips Tullian (Philip the Great) was just an added deliberately. His name was Elias Erasmus Schönknecht

    That’s quite a discrepancy.

    RIP, “Lips” & Gang. Robbing a church: Bad. Breaking on the wheel: INFINITELY worse. Kyrie eleison.

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