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Liber...censualium: Digitale Edition - Introduction

Liber censualium: fol.2r with the oldest traditions (c. 1078 - 1098).Liber censualium: fol.2




1. Materials

The Codex HL Freising 6 contains different groups of documents, all of which are connected to the compilation of a cartulary (Registerbuch).  This collocation of materials is ripe for historical analysis: it shows the strategy of the Freising episcopal chancery when the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch (Liber censualium mancipiorum specialiter ad oblationem fratrum pertinentium) was assembled for the cathedral chapter toward the end of the twelfth century.

During the writing process the transactions, which were preserved on slips or single leaves, were reordered and their central statements then transferred into the cartulary.  The double leaves of the Kopialbuch were written so that a broad border at the bottom of the pages remained free for marginalia.  This margin was subsequently filled with the addition of personal names which mostly are related to the main text.

The individual documents – second issuances of donation charters, notices, and protocols – remained in the episcopal chancellery and were manifestly preserved together with the cartulary.  This outer and inner relationship between the individual documents and the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch was recognized by archivists and book binders of the modern era, who bound the single pages with the codex.  These single pages however represent only a fraction of a more extensive collection, which was broken up when the Freising administrative books were rebound in the nineteenth century.  The manner of the selection of the single leaves, which were merged with the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch of the cathedral chapter to create a codex, can no longer today be reconstructed (cf. the "Description of the Manuscript").


2. Description of the Project

In order to digitalize Codex HL Freising 6 and prepare it for presentation on the portal of the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online (BLO) as a part of the project "Freising Manuscripts" (cartularies [Traditionsbücher and Kopialbücher], manorial records, and account books), the codex –  because of the irregularity of its materials, especially the small slips of parchment – had to be unbound.  In this way the entire codex was able to be scanned and optimal images of the pages achieved. 

The project  "Freising Manuscripts" aims to make the original manuscripts digitally accessible. Cooperative work with the team of the BLO made it possible to complete a digital edition of the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch and to use the portal of the BLO's data base of place names along with its wider network of digital resources.  At its most basic, the project  "Freising Manuscripts" represents an enterprise which ought to make perceptible the intertwining of the interregional economy and the operation of the diocesan chancellery.  For the Freising administrative books offer a record of the legal preoccupations and administrative activities of the Freising bishops from their beginnings in the early middle ages up to the modern era.


3. The Edition

The irregularity of the material handed down in the manuscript HL Freising 6 required a precise analysis of diverse documents in order to establish their context.  By contrast with the approach of earlier editions, most recently by Theodor Bitterauf, the documents were not  reordered chronologically according to their given or estimated dating, rather they were edited according to their foliation to represent faithfully the original manuscript.  The arrangement of the documents in the edition according to their folios is to be understood as helpful orientation, for the foliation of the inner order of the documents is given only for the portion of the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch, the Notitia censualium mancipiorum specialiter ad oblationem fratrum pertinentium, which is handed down in the codex.  Almost all of the other documents of the codex are connected with the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch, which forms the main source.  It constitutes the basic text, which was complemented and enlarged with supplements and marginal notes.

The Zensualen-Traditionsbuch is the main source of single-page documents for understanding the Freising economic system – i.e. the registration of annual incomes and labor – which is documented in Codex HL Freising 6.  In order to make the structure of the documents accessible to users, coherent groups of texts from the codex were sorted in the present digital edition according to the different methods of their composition and edited in three separate parts: the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch as the "base text", "Marginalia" as its own self-contained section, and then "Additions and Supplements" as a third, distinct section of documents. The relationship between the basic text and the marginalia is facilitated by site links and in this way remains optimally preserved.

The section "Additions and Supplements" provides a glimpse into the transmission of  individual documents.  It is fragmentary in that the pages and notes were culled from a greater collection of single documents, which during the middle ages probably was found in a chest among the archives of the Freising diocese.  Here do not belong the single documents from the diocese's Book of Exchanges (Tauschbuch), which users of the modern period might have removed from the Book of Exchanges on the basis of their content.  It made sense to edit the documents of this part of the manuscript individually with the details of their external form and the content of the pieces, and to adopt the foliation of the manuscript for the sequence of the documents.

The texts are individually numbered for each section and so cited.  The Bible text on the cover page is a passage from the Gospel of John.

Examples of citing:
*Liber…censualium: Digital Edition – Gospel text
*Liber…censualium: Digital Edition – Base text, 1. Text
*Liber…censualium: Digital Edition – Marginalia, 1. Marginalia
*Liber…censualium: Digital Edition – Additions and Supplements, 1. Text

The general rules of transcription were followed when the texts were transcribed.  Personal names were adopted literally.  One exception is the syllable Liv-, which was reproduced as Liu -, therefore Liutpolt rather than Livpolt.  Occasionally, accent marks were not able to be typed directly over their respective letters, which however does not affect the legibility or identification of the word.  The sentence structure mostly follows the original in order to make clear the social connections of persons, families and laboring groups to different localities.  Abbreviations of personal names were rendered according to Bitterauf's conventions and are noted as such.

Conspicuous is the great number of personal names connected to place names.  This combination represents in a few instances the naming of persons of the lower aristocracy or from the ministerials.  Mostly the attachment of persons to places serves to identify laborers at the named location.  The naming clause simultaneously conveyed estimates of the annual income expected from the person at the designated location: the yearly dues of five, three or fewer pennies.  Hence in the edition the connections of persons to place names were assorted for each text.  The named localities in Bavaria have been identified with the aid of the register to Theodor Bitterauf's edition, Die Traditionen des Hochstifts Freising, vol. 2 (München 1909), rendered as their modern cognate, located within the modern administrative units of the territorial reform of 1972, and linked to the BLO's data base of places.  Through this portal users can obtain current data on the localities named in the edition.  Moreover, they will have access to the wider offerings of the BLO, including more concrete searches of the scholarly literature and access to cartographic materials, for example the images of the original pages of the Bavarian land survey from the nineteenth century.

The digital edition of the Zensualen-Traditionsbuch therefore offers users an edition of the codex HL Freising 6 according to classical critical methods as well as cross-links to the pages of the original manuscript.  In addition, the edition is linked to the most recent critical edition of the text by Theodor Bitterauf.  Access to the BLO's data base of localities offers the great advantage that current and contemporary data for all medieval Bavarian localities named in the Codex HL Freising 6 can be integrated.

The concept of this edition was developed in cooperation with the IOeG and the BSB/BLO and jointly implemented.  Participants were Sascha Bauer, Friedrich Ulf Röhrer-Ertl and Florian Sepp (BSB/BLO), Adelheid Krah and Julia Langmeier (IOeG and Department of History, University of Vienna A), and Hans Hummer (Wayne State University USA).


Adelheid Krah (IOeG, University of Vienna)
Translated by Hans Hummer (Wayne State University)


Cite reference

Adelheid Krah, Liber...censualium (1187) (BayHStA HL Freising 6), digital edition, Bayerische Landesbibliothek online;
URL: /lcde-eng