Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Kaiser, Kaufmann Und Die Macht Des Geldes: Gerhard Unmaze Von Koln Als Finanzier der Reichspolitik Und der 'Gute Gerhard' Des Rudolf Von Ems

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Kaiser, Kaufmann Und Die Macht Des Geldes: Gerhard Unmaze Von Koln Als Finanzier der Reichspolitik Und der 'Gute Gerhard' Des Rudolf Von Ems

Article excerpt

Sonja Zoller, Kaiser, Kaufmann und die Macht des Geldes. Gerhard Unmaze von Koln als Finanzier der Reichspolitik und der `Gute Gerhard' des Rudolf von Ems, Forschungen zur Geschichte der alteren deutschen Literatur 16 (Munich: Fink, 1993). 396 pp. ISBN 3-7705-z85o-6. DM 78. Sonja Zoller's book offers a detailed investigation of a set of possible circumstances surrounding the composition of Rudolf von Ems's first work, Der guote Gerhart. She argues that this work is a striking reflection of tumultuous contemporary events: the protracted struggles between Philip of Swabia and Otto IV for the imperial crown in the two decades following the death of Emperor Henry VI (I 197). According to Zoller, the patronage of Rudolf of Steinach, and the realization and performance of the work, are best envisaged at the court of the bishop of Constance, a centre of loyal, if critical, support for Otto IV, from c. i 1210/11 to 1215. This thesis rests on a reading of the text as a poetic discussion of the career of Otto IV in the form of a religious exemplum, for which Rudolf had recourse to the ideal imperial figure of Otto I and the topical material of the life of the almost legendary' Gerhard Unmaze (d. 1198), a leading citizen of the anti-Hohenstaufen city of Cologne. Zoller is concerned to counter the widespread critical opinion, prevalent since Brackert (1968), that, by contrast to Rudolf's later works, Der guote Gerhart displays only a small degree of interest in history and could hardly have been conceived of as a Furstenlehre. …

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