Contact: Dr. Heinrich C. Kuhn
Document created: 2008-02-13
Last update: 2008-02-14
Loehr, Johanna (ed.)
Scheible, Heinz (coed.)
Texte 859-1109 (1530)
Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt [Frommann-holzboog] 2007
2 volumes, 796 pp. ISBN: 978-3-7728-2021-2
Price: € 558
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This title was reviewed by: Manuela Kahle of "Seminar für Geistesgeschichte und Philosophie der Renaissance, LMU Munich"
Item arrived at GGREN on: 2007-12-19
Review was finished on: 2008-02-13
Melanchthons Briefwechsel of the year 1530 is published in two volumes: Band T 4/1: Texte 859-1003a) and Band T 4/2: Texte 1004-1109. It contains letters and documents from, or very close connected to Melanchthon during the year. In volume 4/1 are worked out the months January until July, in volume 4/2 August until December. There are edited letters from and to Melanchthon as well as several documents, for example his prefaces (Vorreden) to several books, expert opinions (Gutachten), translations and reports (Berichte).
An interesting part is the documentation of the correspondence between Melanchthon and Luther during this year, especially during the Augsburg Imperial Diet (Augsburger Reichstag) the so-called "Coburg-Briefwechsel". A further notable section within the documents is the collection of expert opinions that have been developed in preparation of the Diet.
The Augsburg Imperial Diet and the defensiveness of the reformatory arrangements before the Emperor Charles V affected the year 1530 for Melanchthon as a protestant and close companion of Martin Luther.
Electoral Prince John of Saxony commissioned an expert opinion, which Melanchthon and his companions Martin Luther, Justus Jonas and Johannes Bugenhagen presented at the Diet to Charles V - opponent of the new religious confession. This expert opinion was finished at the end of March 1530 in Torgau termed "Torgauer Artikel". These articles are the results of the previous achievements to the Diet and they found there way into the Confessio augustana, a synopsis of the doctrine of the Lutheran Reformation.
Martin Luther could not participate personally at the Diet. For his protection he had to stay ad the Coburg fortress. During the different phases of the Augsburg Imperial Diet Luther and Melanchthon discussed the upcoming problems and questions in their correspondence. They expressed their emotions about the processes and results and give a good view of the hair-trigger situation at the Diet, but also of the private position of Melanchthon as well as the anger of Luther about his forced idleness.
As every volume of "Texte", Band T 4 provides the following structure:
The edition of the documents provide for each of them:
The indices involve the following registers:
The abundance of material created in prospect and during the Augsburg Imperial Diet is, as Scheible mentioned in the preface, a main problem of the publication. Not only the material itself is comprehensive but also the reception of it during the centuries is enormous.
Testimonies of these problems are the details to manuscripts and editions in the Vorspann to each text and the critical apparatus. The apparatus is initially divided into different sections, such as versions of the origin (Entstehungsvarianten), details of the tradition (Überlieferung, Wirkungsgeschichte) and sources. The Vorspann provides information to manuscripts of a text, previous editions and further more different translations of the text. One often can find two or more versions of the text, for example a German original with a Latin translation as well as a second German translation from the Latin text. For all of them the manuscripts with the different versions (Varianten) and previous editions are listed.
The texts (Urtext) of the edition are given in full length and original languages. These Languages are at volume T 4 Latin, German and Greek.
In addition to this the edition provides information about locations, shelf-mark and other bibliographic information concerning the manuscripts and prints they used for their edition.
There are no further comments or information on the context of the documents.
It is necessary to view the complete edition as a project, to show the context in which volume T 4 finds place. This consideration shows furthermore how to work with the edition in general and with this volume T 4 in particular. The critical edition Melanchthons Briefwechsel covers (respectively will cover by the time it will be completed) nearly 10,000 letters and documents from Melanchthon himself or very closely connected to him. A big part of these documents, especially the private letters of Melanchthon, have, as the editor Heinz Scheible mentioned, no declaration of date or place. To publish the documents in chronological order, as the concept of the edition claims, it is necessary to examine, analyse, and order each document before publishing the text. The results of this examination are published in the volumes "Regesten". Provided are:
This volume T 4 like the other volumes has no reference to the corresponding Regesten volume.
The detailed apparatus of these two volumes is impressive, absolutely useful and necessary for the research on Melanchthon. Unfortunately the Melanchthon-Commission of the critical edition decided to shorten the elaborate apparatus for the next volumes. From volume T 5 onwards the versions of the texts are selected. The reader then has to be more careful by examining the versions, because he can't be sure that all known versions of them are quoted.
The critical edition of the Melanchthon Briefwechsel volume Texte 4 is a fine, absolutely useful and indispensable work for every person dealing with Philip Melanchthon. Further more it is essential as a complement for the research on Martin Luther, Lutheran Reformation as well as the Augsburg Imperial Diet in 1530.
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Author1: Melanchthon, Philipp Author2: Loehr, Johanna (ed.) Author3: Scheible, Heinz (coed.) main Title: Band T4 subtitle: Texte 859-1109 (1530) edition: series: Melanchthons Briefwechsel place of publ.: Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt publisher: Frommann-holzboog year: 2007 no of pages etc.: 2 volumes, 796 pp. ISBN: 978-3-7728-2021-2 currency: EUR price: 558