The Travels of Leo of Rozmital through Germany, Flanders, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, 1465-1467

The Travels of Leo of Rozmital through Germany, Flanders, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, 1465-1467

The Travels of Leo of Rozmital through Germany, Flanders, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, 1465-1467

The Travels of Leo of Rozmital through Germany, Flanders, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, 1465-1467

Excerpt

There were two records of the travels of Leo of Rozmital, one written in Czech by Schascko, or Schaseck, who seems to have been Rozmital's armour-bearer or squire. The other was written in German by the Nuremberger, Gabriel Tetzel. His account is still preserved at Munich (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Germ. 1279). It follows a description of Rome (1452) by Nicolaus Muffel, a kinsman of Tetzel. The manuscript is bound in blue boards and measures 140 × 200 mm. Both texts are by the same scribe who wrote a legible, Gothic cursive hand of the late fifteenth century. Tetzel's description occupies ff. 128R-178V. Some marginal notes have been added in another contemporary hand. There are no illustrations.

Schaseck's original record has been lost, but a Latin translation was printed at Olmütz in 1577. Both the German text and Latin translation were published by the Stuttgart Litterarischer Verein in 1843. A new edition of the Latin text, edited by Karolus Hrdina, appeared in Prague in 1951 with a useful index of names and a gazetteer. Of the two descriptions Tetzel's is by far the most interesting and human, and I have translated this as my main text. Schaseck's account, although at times merely a record of distances from place to place, supplements Tetzel's text in various ways. For convenience I have divided Tetzel's record into chapters, and this has enabled me to add translations of Schaseck's supplementary passages at the end of the chapters to which they belong. Between them the two scribes have left us a description of Western Europe in the fifteenth century which deserves far more attention than it has hitherto received, at least in this country.

I have had many helpers. Among scholars and friends I would mention particularly Dr E. S. de Beer, always ready to be consulted and always helpful, and Mr A. R. Wagner, Richmond Herald, and Mr H. S. London, Norfolk Herald Extraordinary . . .

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