Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Der Heiligen Leben, Vol. II: Der Winterteil

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Der Heiligen Leben, Vol. II: Der Winterteil

Article excerpt

Der Heiligen Leben, Vol. II: Der Winterteil, ed. Margit Brand, Bettina Jung, and Werner Williams-Krapp (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 2004). xlvii + 658 pp. ISBN 3-484-36051-8. euro164.00. This second volume completes the first modern printed edition of the late fourteenth-century German prose legendary formerly known as the Prosapassional, but more properly to be referred to as Der Heiligen Leben, vol. I of which was published by Margit Brand et al. in 1996. Whereas the first volume presents the saints' lives and feast days that fall between 4 April and 28 September, the 'Winterteil' contains 125 texts, taking us from Michaelmas (29 September) to the end of March. Whereas the Elsässische Legenda aurea (edited by Ulla Williams and Werner Williams-Krapp in 3 vols, Tübingen, 1980-90) was mostly widely circulated in the south-west of Germany, and the Southern and Northern Netherlandish Legenda aurea in Holland, the Heiligen Leben, whilst initially dominant in the south-east, came to be the standard legendary almost everywhere in the course of the fifteenth century. It was printed forty-one times between 1471 and 1521. The work was put together in a Dominican context in Nuremberg in the last years of the fourteenth century, not directly on the basis of the Legenda aurea (which provided the model for the short vitae the compilers preferred), but for the most part as a prose reworking of earlier verse texts, such as the Passional. …

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