Der Schwabenspiegel

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek


The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) preserves by far the greatest collection of Schwabenspiegel-manuscripts. The manuscript presented here, made at the beginning of the fourteenth century possesses a "different from the norm, very rich division into articles" (Karl August Eckhardt). Under "Schwabenspiegel" one understands an imperial estate and feudal law that was developed after 1275 in Augsburg, likely in a Minorite monastery; the title "Schwaben-" only appeared in the seventeenth century. The foundation are next to Bavarian sources the elder German (Leges Alamannorum and Baiuvariorum, Capitularies) and Roman law. The text was compiled with an edition of the "Augsburger Sachsenspiegel" and had a similarly great effect to this one. The number of the complete manuscripts and fragments reaches over 400; in addition, there are over a dozen printed editions. The work was translated into several languages, including Low German, Latin, French and Czech. The importance of the "Schwabenspiegel" is to be sought in particular in the further development of German law, in the introduction of canonistic and Old Testamentarian thought as well as in the enrichment of the mediaeval German language. With the declaration of Roman law as the source of law for the Hofgericht (manorial court) in 1458, its dissemination came to an end. Datum: 2016


Peter Czoik

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