Right down to the text
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Der Arme Heinrich

Hartmann von Aue's Der Arme Heinrich, written towards the end of the 12th century, tells the legendary story of the miraculous healing of a man suffering from leprosy. The short story (ca. 1500 verses) is included in several collections, but – in contrast to his Arthur novels - does not seem to be one of Hartmann’s more famous works at the time.

Only in three manuscripts is the text handed down in full. Of these one (A) was burnt during the Strasbourg bombing in 1870, although it is well-known thanks to earlier copies and prints. Of the other two manuscripts one (Bb; Cologny-Genf, Bibl. Bodmeriana, Cod. Bodm. 72) is an exact copy of the other (Ba; Heidelberg, UB, Cod. Pal. germ. 341). Additionally there are three small fragments, comprising 61 (C; Berlin, SBB-PK, mgf 923 Nr. 7a), 117 (D; München, BSB, Cgm 5249/29a + Cgm 5249/30a) and 177 (E; München, BSB, Cgm 5249/29b) mostly incomplete verses, as well as a quill test of 5 verses. Although there are relatively few sources, the tradition shows a high degree of variation within the individual texts, including many differences in verse order, cuts, additions and changes.

The aim of the electronic edition of Der Arme Heinrich project is to illustrate these variants by collecting and recording all text sources, editing them separately and uniting them within a virtual library. The project will run for three years and is headed by Prof. Victor Millet of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Department of English and German Philology).

Manuscript Ba (Cod. Pal. germ. 341, fol. 249ra-258va) is part of the Bibliotheca Palatina and is kept at Heidelberg University Library. Within the collaboration, Heidelberg University Library assumes the development of the virtual library as well as the presentation of the digital edition.