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Court and Residence in the Late Medieval German Empire (1200-1600) – digital version

The Residences Commission, which worked from 1985 to 2010 respectively 2011, pursued the task of investigating “Court and Residence in the Late Medieval German Empire (1200-1600)” from the perspective of cultural, social, and economic history in a European comparison. The initial focus of interest was the emergence of sovereign residences in the later Middle Ages. These “houses of power” were, of course, not empty structures, but readable and understandable as carriers of forms and symbols that were inscribed with times and affiliations, expressions of the self-image and creative will of their former inhabitants and owners. For the courts, as the most important centres of power in ancient Europe, finally found permanent quarters there in the process of the increasing settlement of power and rule with all their administrative and organisational, but above all also representationally necessary facilities at the intersection of politics and culture, society and economy. Thus, the research project also and above all focused on (chivalric) courtly society and (chivalric) courtly culture. The research efforts found expression in numerous lectures, conferences, meetings, and symposia, in publications and a regularly published journal, see also the overview published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the project in special issue 13 of the “Mitteilungen der Residenzen-Kommission”, finally, in a seven-volume handbook series, in which the late medieval secular and ecclesiastical courts and residences themselves, the lords associated with them, the royal, princely, count and lordly dynasties and families, the corresponding terminology, the pictorial and written tradition are recorded.

Based on this series of handbooks, a portal was established by Dr. Jörg Wettlaufer through the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in cooperation with the SUB Göttingen:

Courts and Residences in the Late Medieval Empire.

The future results of the current project Residence Cities in the Holy Roman Empire (1300-1800) will in turn be integrated here according to the same technical standards.

The results collected in the above-mentioned handbooks appear as a digitally prepared network of textual, pictorial, and cartographic offerings, which can be accessed via a comprehensive search function.

The work, which comprises approx. 5000 pages and several hundred illustrations, consists of more than 1000 individual articles, which are structured dynastically, topographically, and factually and are interlinked in many ways. The topographical focus is on the courts and residences of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in the period from about 1200 to 1650. The digital handbook basically offers two access options, firstly via the central search form at the top of the page, and secondly via a map, which also provides access to the interlinked articles. Both accesses have a common index from which the results are generated in both the text and map display. If no search term is entered, all articles of the four handbook parts are displayed.

Faceting to handbook parts, authors and articles also allow the search results to be restricted to certain subsets. Texts and images are presented both via an HTML-based view and in PDF format. In addition, individual articles or groups of articles can be opened as PDFs. Abbreviations are resolved for better comprehensibility when the cursor is moved over them. Information on tradition, sources, and research literature can be unfolded and displayed if required. A citation link allows referencing to the page-identical print edition of the handbook. The search with the form is set up as a logical AND link, which allows the search results to be restricted based on the character strings entered, separated by a space. The search results are highlighted in yellow in the text display. Hits in a search query first lead to a hit list which can be expanded by clicking on “Details”. From there, you can return to the hit list and use the menu on the right to access the search form. Handbooks I and IV are equipped with cross-references in the text with jump targets within the volumes, which allow improved navigation even within the full text. In individual cases, however, the automatically generated hyperlinks here can be ambiguous or also refer to an incorrect reference or article group.