Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 29, 2017

Ein enzyklopädisches Ereignis: Thomas Prischuchs ›Grundvest‹ des Konstanzer Konzils (1417/18)

Mathias Herweg


In the final stages of the Council of Constance (1414–1418), just six hundred years ago, Thomas Prischuch, a patrician from Augsburg and visitor to the Council, composed a rhymed poem on the Council, entitled the Council’s ›Grundvest‹. It is usually considered an example of political-propagandistic poetry (›politische Ereignisdichtung‹). However, the multitude of catalogues inserted, collecting and imparting knowledge, suggests a different reading, which is supported by the transmission context of the text. Prischuch’s poem establishes the Council as a generator and agent of knowledge and as a universal, encyclopedic event. It is not so much a political, as it is an encyclopedic poem. At the same time, the effort to transform the Council into a matter of encyclopedia serves to underpin the Council’s order and its decisions. Only by this the poem is also a political statement: it reflects the hope for change that Prischuch’s contemporaries attached to the Council as well as, looking ahead to the year 1517, the frustration of these very same hopes.

Online erschienen: 2017-08-29
Erschienen im Druck: 2017-08-01

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