This study concerns a late medieval manuscript, the Ambraser Heldenbuch, created by Hans Ried for Emperor Maximilian I between 1504 and 1516. The recent facsimile edition makes it much easier to probe the critical question why this volume was not printed and what makes it stand out so much in the context of the early modern book market. The inclusion of the anonymous verse narrative Mauritius von Craûn (ca. 1220–1240) allows for more trenchant analyses concerning the patron and his interest in these literary works. The study takes into view the emperor’s strong concern with his afterlife, the paradoxical aspects determining that novella, and the contrast of this text copied here, very oddly, for the first time with the more popular literary works offered on the early modern book market. At a time when the printing press was increasingly conquering the book business, luxury bibliophile items continued to be produced as manuscripts. It might well be that the current book market finds a parallel in this phenomenon, with the electronic book pushing traditionally printed books aside. In fact, until today, we still resort to the manuscript in special cases, such as deeds, wills, licenses, and other documents.
The Old Norse-Icelandic literary corpus offers a rich and specific lexicon for spells, charms, magic, and other paranormal events. This article offers an etymological overview of the term atkvæði and a selection of textual occurrences in order to investigate the semantic possibilities of the term beyond the context of witchcraft. The founding hypothesis is that a careful look at atkvæði through various types of texts from different periods of time may highlight its origin in a pre-literate phase of the Old Norse-Icelandic culture where the boundaries between magic, poetry, and law-making were not as clear as the contemporary readers might reckon.
New insights into the composition date of the Early Middle High German “Pilatus” suggest that the phraseology of the work should now be reassessed in the context of the literature of Early Middle High German. A first-time complete catalogue of the alliterating word-pairs in “Pilatus” is presented with a discussion of each pair in its context and with respect to its history.
This article examines current practices of normalization of names in Norse philology and computational linguistics that to a large extent build on deductive reasoning and external authoritative sources such as grammars, dictionaries and gazetteers. Instead, a survey of manuscript evidence and quantification of name forms at several levels of abstraction is proposed as an alternative inductive principle of normalization. A case study of name-form distributions in a dataset of 6,633 spatial attestations in East Norse literature from the Norse World resource serves as a point of departure for a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the approach. The comparison between attestations linked to the five most frequent place-names in Old Swedish and Old Danish shows the existence of typical spellings. However, there are still examples of norm negotiations and competitive distributions. Thus, the first inductive step of normalization can be complemented by further processing based on correspondences between phonology and spelling. Finally, stratified normalization of place-names pioneered by Norse World is seen as more versatile compared to traditional methods; the approach has a potential to facilitate both more nuanced philological and linguistic research as well as the further development of named-entity recognition tools.
The origin of the word polder is contested. The older theories derive polder from Dutch pol (‘sod of grass, top, head, higher piece of land’, cognate with English poll(e) and Middle-Low-German pol(le)) or from Dutch poel (‘puddle, pond of still water’; cognate with German Pfuhl, English pool and Middle-Low German pōl(e)/pūl). In this article the author will review the etymological explanations and offer new support for a connection with poel. The original meaning of polder must have been ‘a land covered in puddles, wetland, marshy ground’.