Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Pseudo-Engelhart Von Ebrach. das Buch der Vollkommenheit

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Pseudo-Engelhart Von Ebrach. das Buch der Vollkommenheit

Article excerpt

Pseudo-Engelhart von Ebrach. Das Buch der Vollkommenheit, ed. Karin Schneider, Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters 86 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2006). lxviii + 149 pp. ISBN 3-05-004236-2. euro49.80. The Buch der Vollkommenheit is a fourteenth-century German compilation of dicta and short prose texts that, whilst preserved in a near-complete form in just six manuscripts, enjoyed a substantive transmission in excerpt: around thirty manuscripts preserve sizeable portions, and at least another seventy transmit individual texts or small groups thereof. A group of eight texts - there are 251 in total, though only the first 143 are properly the Buch der Vollkommenheit - was finally printed in 1505. The work is significant beyond its content, bodi as an example of an important form of later medieval vernacular devotional literature, and as an illustration of the extraordinary degree of textual instability that Karin Schneider shows to be characteristic for the transmission of these short religious texts. Her edition is exemplary in all respects. The discussion of the several principal and dependent recensions deserves particular comment for the judicious use of pregnant examples in illustration of the textual relationships, allowing the reader to follow a difficult issue with an unusually complex material basis comprehensibly and lucidly. The editor has gone to great trouble to identify not only the source texts on which the compiler drew, but also the manuscripts that preserve these texts in earlier collections. …

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