Time and Space
in the Ludus de Antichristo
MOST OF THE critical discussion of the Tegernsee Ludus de Antichristo has been devoted either to its position in relation to the large number of medieval and Renaissance Antichrist plays or to its treatment of the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa. 1 Although he is never mentioned by name, it is clear that the portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor given in the play is influenced by his reputation and by the concentrated propaganda put out by contemporary apologists in support of his efforts to unify the secular dominions of the emperor and to extend his power over the spiritual lives of his subjects. 2 Interesting though they are, these references to imperial ambition are only a small part of the play. It was not written to provide a framework for one more piece of imperial selfjustification. Quite the contrary. The Tegernsee Antichrist is a very wellorganized dramatization of one of the most important episodes in the whole history of Christian salvation, 3 and it is designed to throw light not only on the behavior of politically organized Christendom but on the way in which God proposes the ultimate merging of all peoples into a unified Christianitas and the conversion of those parts of the world which are not Christian. It would be impossible to study all these themes in the course of one essay, but a study of the way in which space and time are used in the play will throw a great deal of light on its unity and on the purposes of the author.
It is clear from the scheme which is provided in the manuscript that the author was interested in the question of space. The distribution of the thrones is, in fact, a division of the world according to traditional