For some decades, the authenticity of the German inscriptions of the castle Wildenberg in the Odenwald was rejected repeatedly. If they were created around 1200, they would be among the oldest known inscriptions written in German. This study attempts to verify the widely accepted assumption, that the inscriptions were ›forgeries‹ of the 19th century, based on epigraphic and linguistic criteria. It becomes apparent that evidence for ›forgery‹ cannot be provided based on the forms of the letters. A comparison of the preserved word and name forms shows, however, that the doubts concerning the authenticity of the inscriptions at the gate tower of the castle can be substantiated linguistically, whereas the inscriptions of the palas fit into the tradition of Middle High German texts.
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