skip to content

Current Research Project on Urban Historiography

[This content is not available in "Englisch" yet] WLB, Cod. hist. fol. 679, fol. 103v.

In my postdoctoral thesis, submitted to the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cologne in March 2021, I am examining urban chronicles from the 15th and 16th centuries written by craftsmen. The chronicle manuscripts are understood as artifacts of urban culture and as written texts and are examined both in terms of their materiality and their content. Thus I combine a literary historical research of the texts with a codicological study of the manuscripts. In addition, I conduct comparative historical research on the chroniclers.

Using the example of craftsmen writing history and histories, I show how historiography functioned in the city on the threshold of the early modern era. I examine what information was collected, selected, ordered and interpreted in the manuscripts and how. In addition, I clarify what skills and abilities a writer in the 15th and 16th centuries had to have in order to become a producer of a chronicle and thus be able to participate in the cultural practices of his time. Furthermore, I examine what qualities a chronicle had to possess and thus make an important contribution to questions of the conventions of genre. Last but not least, the analysis will show that manuscripts for current research questions always need to be examined as well.