contributor.author: Albrecht Classen

title.none: Zimmermann, ed., Thomas Ebendorfer: Historia Jerusalemitana (Albrecht Classen)

identifier.other: baj9928.0705.004 07.05.04

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona, aclassen@u.arizona.edu

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2007

identifier.citation: Ebendorfer, Thomas. Zimmermann, Harald. Thomas Ebendorfer: Historia Jerusalemitana, based on the preliminary work by Hildegard Schweigel, nee Bartelmaes. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Germ. Nova Series, 21. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2006. Pp. xxii, 171. $30.00 $3-7752-0221-8. ISBN: .

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 07.05.04

Ebendorfer, Thomas. Zimmermann, Harald. Thomas Ebendorfer: Historia Jerusalemitana, based on the preliminary work by Hildegard Schweigel, nee Bartelmaes. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Germ. Nova Series, 21. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2006. Pp. xxii, 171. $30.00 $3-7752-0221-8. ISBN: .

Reviewed by:

Albrecht Classen
University of Arizona
aclassen@u.arizona.edu

Every new edition of medieval texts, whether literary or historical, is welcome, and so is the new edition of Thomas Ebendorfer's Historia Jerusalemitana, as presented here. He was a Viennese theologian and historian and lived from 1388 to 1464, producing a large, if not stupendous, corpus of historiographical and theological writing, many of which still await their critical examination and also edition. He taught theology at the University of Vienna, honorably served as priest of the parish of Perchtoldsdorf south of Vienna, and was councilor to the Emperors and Kings Albrecht II and Frederick III of Hapsburg. He focused on imperial history, the history of Austria, he composed a treatise on the schism, a history of the diocese of Passau, and a history of the popes, to mention just some of his major works. The present edition does not constitute a history of the city of Jerusalem; instead Ebendorfer deals with the history of two crusades, the first (1095-1099) and the third (1187-1194), emphasizing, above all, Pope Urban II's call for a crusade in 1195, the early return by the English King Richard Lionheart in 1194, the crusading plans of the German Emperor Henry VI, and the battles at Damiette (Egypt) from 1217 to 1221. We do not know, as Zimmermann underscores, why the author neglected the other crusades and limited himself to a certain range of historical events, leaving out so much else.

Historia Jerusalimitana is contained, as an autograph, in the paper manuscript CVP 3423 (olim R 2072 and No. 21) in the Austrian National Library (Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek), extending from fol. 357r to fol. 383v. The abrupt ending without a proper closure indicates that Ebendorfer was interrupted in his work, yet never managed to return to it to write the final section. Zimmermann urges us, quite correctly, not to assume that the author felt disgusted about the violence and injustice of the war. On the contrary, Ebendorfer fully embraced the Christian ideology underlying the crusade politics, and this treatise might well have served as a propaganda tool for the military efforts by the Hapsburgians to fend off the threat from the Turks after their conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and to embark on a crusade against them.

The publication of Ebendorfer's work is based on a curious historical development, though not untypical of academic conditions in Austria. Originally, Hildegard Bartelmaes created an edition as her doctoral dissertation under the guidance of the highly respected historian Alphons Lhotsky (1903-1968). She submitted the manuscript in 1954, earning her doctoral degree therewith. One of her major contributions was to identify the wide range of sources used by Ebendorfer, from which Lhotsky later drew extensively for his monograph on the author (Thomas Ebendorfer: Ein oesterreichischer Geschichtsschreiber, Theologe und Diplomat des 15. Jahrhunderts, 1957). Unfortunately, Bartelmaes never published her dissertation, which now Zimmermann, also one of Lhotsky's students, has done because Bartelmaes could not carry out this task. He collated the typescript with the original manuscript and the sources used by the author one more time, and corrected, expanded, and added the commentary. In the introduction he briefly details all the essential biographical aspects and offers a careful description of the manuscript.

A bibliography follows before the actual edition of the text. The sources utilized by Ebendorfer are identified through small print in the text and references in the footnotes, but other elements in the text for which Zimmermann provides comments are also set in this small size, which makes the reading rather difficult. The apparatus at the end consists of an index for the biblical citations, one for quotations from the Corpus iuris, and one for authors and works consulted by Ebendorfer. Then follow an extensive index of names and a glossary.

Altogether, this is highly welcome edition of an important fifteenth- century Austrian chronicle, long overdue, and finally made available by a scholar who was also trained by the famous Lhotsky.