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Eckhart, Meister

(1,467 words)

Author(s): Langer, Otto
[German Version] I. Life – II. Work – III. Influence (Eckhart v. Hochheim; c. 1260, Tambach – probably early 1328, Avignon) I. Life Born around 1260 in or near Tambach, south of Gotha, Eckhart entered the Dominican order in Erfurt. He began general studies in Cologne in 1280, was lector sententiarum in Paris (1293–1294) prior in Erfurt and vicarius provincialis in Thuringia (1294–1298), magister regens in Paris (1302), provincial of the newly founded province of Saxony (1303), after 1307 additionally vicar general …

Merswin, Rulman

(381 words)

Author(s): Langer, Otto
[German Version] (1307, Strasbourg – Jun 18, 1382, Strasbourg), a religious author and merchant from a wealthy family of patricians, began a vita religiosa at the age of 40, apparently under the influence of J. Tauler and Henry of Nördlingen, who established a circle of Friends of God in Strasbourg in 1347. In 1367, Merswin purchased the ruins of the monastery “Zum grünen Wörth” and transferred it to the Order of St. John (Knights of Malta) in 1371 in return for contractually guaranteed privileges: three male lay curators, including Merswin himself (who de facto presided over the instit…

Henry of Laufenberg

(240 words)

Author(s): Langer, Otto
[German Version] (c. 1390, probably Freiburg im Breisgau – Mar 31, 1460, Strasbourg). Henry of Laufenberg is mentioned several times in the documentary record: in 1421 as chaplain and vice-chaplain at the parish church in Freiburg; in 1433 and 1434 as dean of the college in Zofingen (canton of Aargau), in 1441 as dean in Freiburg; after 1445, he lived in the Johannite monastery in Strasbourg. Of his works, only his Regimen (1429), a hygenics (approx. 6,000 couplets) is transmitted in almost complete form (seven mss., one incunable). The didactic poems “Spiegel mens…


(207 words)

Author(s): Langer, Otto
[German Version] Old Saxon poetic account of the life of Jesus, c. 840. It consists of approx. 6,000 alliterative long lines, transmitted in two almost complete manuscripts (9th and 10th cents.) and three fragments. According to the praefatio of a lost manuscript transmitted in a copy by M. Flacius (1562), the sponsor was Ludouicus piissimus Augustus (Louis the Pious [814–840] or Louis the German [843–876]?). The place of origin cannot be determined, and the poet remains anonymous. His treatment of sources and knowledge of theologi…

Friends of God

(510 words)

Author(s): Langer, Otto
[German Version] Friends of God, an expression used to designate people who have a particularly close relationship to the deity. In Greek literature and philosophy, persons who stand out by virtue of their abilities and functions are thought to be particularly near to the gods and are known as ϕίλοι θεοῖς/ phíloi theoís (cf. Hom. Il. 20.347; Plato, Nom. 716d). For the Septuagint, Moses (Exod 33:1) and Abraham (2 Chr 20:7) are “friends of God.” In the New Testament, Jesus calls his disciples “friends” (Luke 12:4; John 15:14), while Abraham, according to…