Friday, December 13, 2013

Totentanz (updated)

Update 18 March 2014: Link to a new facsimile added (VD16 T 1660)
Update 14 March 2014: One new edition added (VD16 Z 710). 

Update 13 December 2013: I've added links to newly available facsimiles and expanded the bibliography. It occurs to me that the Totentanz is another genre with a continuous transmission from the late Middle Ages into the modern period, and examples of the genre have quite a bit to say about the structure of society. It would be interesting to compare the pre- and post-Reformation Totentanz and observe how the text is treated over time.

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One of the works that I find very useful for teaching the later Middle Ages is the Dance of Death. The Totentanz in its various versions has a double payoff: it illustrates late medieval attitudes towards death, and it provides a graphic overview of the structure of late medieval society. In manuscript and print (not to mention a number of famous murals), the tradition lasts more than two centuries, so there are numerous possibilities for student papers. Best of all, several different versions of the Totentanz are now available online. The next time I teach the medieval to early modern course, we're going to spend some more time on the Totentanz, and I'll make it a required paper. Here's a first attempt at a bibliography.

Manuscript versions
  1. Mittelrheinischer Totentanz (2 manuscripts, one [mid 16th c.] online facsimile with text transcriptions)
  2. Westfälischer Totentanz (1 manuscript)
  3. Oberdeutscher vierzeiliger Totentanz (1 manuscript with online facsimile)
  4. Nordböhmischer Totentanz (1 manuscript)
  5. Güssinger Totentanz (1 manuscript)
Incunable editions
  1. [Heidelberg: Heinrich Knoblochtzer, um 1488/89]. GW M472551/ISTC it00408050.
  2. [Heidelberg: Heinrich Knoblochtzer, um 1488/89]. GW M47257/ISTC it00408000. Facsimile edition (1922), Heidelberg facsimile.
  3. Lübeck: [Mohnkopfdrucker (Hans van Ghetelen)], 1489. GW M47262/ISTC it00408100. Nürnberg GNM facsimile, 1876 edition.
  4. [Mainz: Jakob Meydenbach, um 1494/95]. GW M47259/ISTC it00408300. BSB facsimile.
  5. Lübeck: [Mohnkopfdrucker (Hans van Ghetelen)], 1496 (Low German). GW M47263/ISTC it00408500.
  6. Lübeck: Matthäus Brandis, 1487 (Low German). GW M47261 (not in ISTC).
  7. Italian edition: GW M47260 (not in ISTC, no imprint provided).
Sixteenth-century editions
  1. Lübeck: [Mohnkopfdruckerei], 1520. VD16 T 1656.
  2. [München: Schobser, Hans, 1520.] VD16 T 1661. BSB facsimile.
  3. Augsburg: Negker, Jobst de, 1544. VD16 T 1658. BSB facsimile.
  4. [Augsburg: n.p., 1548.] VD16 T 1659. BSB facsimile.
  5. Köln: Birckmann, Arnold d.Ä. (Erben), 1557. VD16 C 5277. BSB facsimile.
  6. Köln: Birckmann, Arnold d.Ä. (Erben), 1560. VD16 C 5278. Düsseldorf facsimile
  7. Köln: Birckmann, Arnold d.Ä. (Erben), 1573. VD16 C 5279. Regensburg facsimile
  8. [N.p.: n.p., 1580]. VD16 ZV 15005. Halle facsimile.
  9. Sankt Gallen: Straub, Leonhard, 1581.VD16 T 1660. BSB facsimile.
  10. Basel : Ostein, Leonhard, 1581. VD16 ZV 6265. (About Basel, but includes text of Basler Totentanz.) BSB facsimile.
  11. [N.p.: n.p.,] 1583. VD16 T 1662.
  12.  Basel: Ulrich Frölich, 1588. VD16 Z 710. BSB facsimile.
  13. Bremen: Wessel, Arend (Erben), 1597.VD16 T 1657.
Seventeenth-century editions
  1. [Ingolstadt]: Angermeyer, 1606. A  dramatization of the Totentanz? VD17 12:000781T.
  2. Basel: Mieg, 1621. VD17 1:084286K. BSB facsimile.
  3. Basel: Matthäus Mieg, 1625. Not in VD17. facsimile.
  4. [N.p.: n.p.,] 1644. Another dramatization? VD17 12:631260K.
  5. Franckfurt: [Merian], 1649. VD17 23:000339T.
  6. Augspurg: Schultes, [ca. 1650]. VD17 1:670847R.
  7. Frankfurt am Main: Merian, 1696. VD17 39:127366X.
  8. [Frankfurt am Main]: Auteur, 1698 (French). VD17 1:084339E.
  9. [N.p.: n.p., ca. 1700]. A versification of the Totentanz? VD17 1:679948T.
Secondary literature
  • Hammerstein, Reinhold. Tanz und Musik des Todes: Die mittelalterlichen Totentänze und ihr Nachleben. Bern: Francke, 1980.
  • Rosenfeld, Hellmut. Der mittelalterliche Totentanz: Entstehung, Entwicklung, Bedeutung. Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 3. Cologne: Böhlau, 1974.
  • Schulte, Brigitte. Die deutschsprachigen spätmittelalterlichen Totentänze: Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Inkunabel 'Des dodes dantz,' Lübeck 1489. Cologne: Böhlau, 1990. PDF online.
  • Schumacher, Meinolf: "'Ein Kranz für den Tanz und ein Strich durch die Rechnung': Zu Oswald von Wolkenstein 'Ich spür ain tier.'" Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 123 (2001): 253-73.
  • Warda, Susanne. Memento mori: Bild und Text in Totentänzen des Spätmittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit. Cologne: Böhlau, 2011 

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