Images: © Wien, ÖNB, Cod. Ser. n. 2663.

Ambraser Heldenbuch:

Transcription and Scientific Dataset


Project Description

Icon Projektplakat

The project’s goal is to transcribe the Ambraser Heldenbuch (Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. Ser. nova 2663), a text from the early 16th century, in its entirety and to provide a scientific dataset online as well as offline by 2019–the 500th anniversary of Emperor Maximilian I’s death. The Ambraser Heldenbuch was commissioned by Emperor Maximilian I at the beginning of the 16th century as a luxury manuscript and written by Hans Ried, a toll writer from Bozen, in one hand on approximately 250 large-format parchment folios. In this luxury codex, twenty-five of the most important Middle High German texts can be found (e.g. Nibelungenlied, Helmbrecht, etc.), of which fifteen are unique (e.g. Erec, Moriz von Craûn, etc.) to the Ambraser Heldenbuch.

Due to the large amount of text by single writer – the Ambraser Heldenbuch and four further documents (certificate, toll record, service records) known to be by Hans Ried comprise 500,000 words – the transcription of the entire Ried autograph is well-suited to be a unique linguistic and literary corpus:

  1. From a philological standpoint regarding editions, the planned corpus offers unique possibilities for the reconstruction of unique Middle High German texts, which have been handed down only in the Ambraser Heldenbuch, as well as for editions and study of parallel traditions (e.g. Nibelungenlied).
  2. From a linguistic and dialectological point of view, the transcription of the Ambraser Heldenbuch in combination with other documents by Hans Ried makes available a large geographically liminal corpus poised at the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern, produced by a single writer.

Historical linguists and philologists standpoint regarding editions have long perceived the transcription of the entire Ambraser Heldenbuch, or rather the Ried autograph, as an important desideratum of research. Thus, the goal of the proposed ÖAW-go!digital project is an elaborate state-of-the-art transcription of the entire Ambraser Heldenbuch (in combination with some shorter texts by Ried) as well as an edition of this transcription to be a data set that is citable and accessible to the public and can serve as a reference work for a wide spectrum of research.


Image: © Wien, ÖNB, Cod. Ser. n. 2663.

Ambraser Heldenbuch Digital

Image: © Wien, ÖNB, Cod. Ser. n. 2663.

Take a look at the Ambraser Heldenbuch! Digital Library at the Austrian National Library.

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