Hugo von Lüttich: Peregrinarius


Editor: Unterkircher
This work is a description by the priest Hugh of Liège of his experiences on a pilgrimage in a work which he calls Peregrinarius Hugonis. Taken partly from real life and partly fantasized, it is entirely written in Latin couplets.
The final destination of this pilgrimage is never mentioned, but it might have been Rome. On his journey, the Muses appear to Hugh and demand that he write letters to the Kings of England and France, and to the Pope. The letters lead to a grand Peace Conference and an end to the 100-Years War which had recently begun (1342). The work contains countless cameos, interspersed between the letters, from the author's private life and fantasy world, and together they present the author with the chance to air all his knowledge of theology, natural science and medicine.
The Peregrinarius is a colourful representation of the manners of its time. It shows how power politics was viewed by a man of the people, and what cures he had to offer against its evils. All in all, an entertaining book in a Latin, which if not exactly classical, is any event well-composed and easy to follow.

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Franz Unterkircher †, born in Austria in 1904, received his D. Theol. in 1932 from the University of Innsbruck, and his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna (1942). From 1951-1969 he was Director of the Manuscript and Incunabula Collection of the Austrian National Library, and was still involved in his retirement. Since 1958 he was a member of the "Comité International de Paléographie Latine".
'Eine bisher unbekannte, recht qualitätvolle Dichtung, die eine Bereicherung unseres Bildes von der Lateinischen Literatur der ausgehenden Mittelalters darstellt, ist hier in kompetenter Weise erschlossen.'
Peter Stotz, Archivum Latinitatis medii aevi, 1992/1993.
'...kommt dem Editor Unterkircher und dem Herausgeber Schmidt das Verdienst zu, einen Baustein zur Literaturgeschichte der ersten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts geliefert zu haben, die nach wie vor in weiten Teilen eine terra incognita darstellt.'
Angelika Strauß, Mitteilungen der Institut für Osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, 1997.
students and scholars of medieval Latin.