Hans Eberhard Mayer

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Hans Eberhard Mayer (born February 2, 1932 in Nuremberg ) is a German historian and diplomat .

life and work

Hans Eberhard Mayer, born in Nuremberg in 1932, spent most of his childhood in Berlin. He studied history, English and Latin at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Innsbruck . For a year he went to Wesleyan University . At the University of Innsbruck he received his doctorate in 1955 under Karl Pivec with a thesis on the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi . From 1956 to 1967 he worked for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica and focused on the history of post-Carolingian Burgundy. From 1964 he taught as a private lecturer in Innsbruck. From 1967 until his retirement he taught as professor for Middle and Modern History at the University of Kiel . Mayer has been visiting professor in the United States several times. In 1979 he became a foreign member of the American Philosophical Society . Heinrich Dormeier was his successor in Kiel in 1997 . Mayer's most important academic students and employees included Rudolf Hiestand , Gerhard Rösch and Thomas Vogtherr .

Mayer is considered a leading international expert on the Crusades . With the exception of the contributions by Carl Erdmann, German crusade research, which has been idle since the end of the First World War, has brought Mayer to a high international level since the 1960s through his contributions. Based on his dissertation, Mayer dealt with the Crusades for decades. His Bibliography of the Crusades , first published in 1960, contains 5362 titles and is considered an important resource. The bibliography was supplemented in 1969 with 296 titles. He first presented his work History of the Crusades in 1965. The illustration is now considered a classic work and has so far been published ten times in Germany. The English translation was published in 1972. Mayer was a research fellow at the Historisches Kolleg in 1993/1994 . There, too, the focus of his research was on the Crusades. The colloquium held in September 1994 was dedicated to the Crusader States as a multicultural society.

In 1993 Mayer published twelve individual studies on the history of the crusader principality of Antioch, which existed for only 170 years (1098–1268) . In 1996 Mayer published two volumes of over 1900 pages on the Chancellery of the Latin Kings of Jerusalem . In 2010 he presented his magnum opus with his four-volume work on the King's Documents of Jerusalem during the Crusade, comprising over 1,800 pages. The corpus comprises a total of 836 documents and registers of the kings, queens and rulers of Jerusalem from almost 200 years (1099–1291) in three edition volumes. The fourth volume contains the name, word and subject indexes. The French texts, which make up about 10 percent of the edition, were edited by Jean Richard . Mayer started the project in 1964 and estimated the processing time to be five years. The edition is considered a masterpiece of edition technology. At the end of the 1970s he submitted a treatise on the sealing system in the Crusader states. He was “not so much interested in the shape, appearance and size of the seal, but in historical-genetic problems or questions of legal history that are connected with the seal”. In this study he dealt with all seals of the Crusader states, not just those of the kings and queens. With the Byzantinist Claudia Sode , he published a 155-page catalog in 2014 listing a total of 109 seals of the Latin kings of Jerusalem between 1099 and 1291. The posthumously published work by Gustave Schlumberger (Sigillographie de l'orient latin, 1943) is not only replaced by this, it is far exceeded. In 2016, Mayer presented a study of the working methods and activities of the Cour des Bourgeois. He published a study of the history and structure of the Crusader rule of Maraclea and Nephin. For his research in 1982 and 2000 for his two-volume work The Chancellery of the Latin Kings of Jerusalem, he was awarded the Gustave Schlumberger Prix of the Paris Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres .

In addition to research on the crusades, Mayer edited the documents of the Burgundian Rudolfinger together with Theodor Schieffer in 1977 and has since been considered one of the leading diplomats.


A list of publications up to 1997 appeared in: Jonathan Riley-Smith, Rudolf Hiestand, Benjamin Z. Kedar (eds.): Montjoie. Studies in Crusade History in Honor of Hans Eberhard Mayer. Variorum, Aldershot et al. 1997, pp. XIII-XX, ISBN 0-86078-646-3 .

Source editions

  • The documents of the Latin kings of Jerusalem. (Diplomata regum Latinorum Hierosolymitanorum). Old French texts created by Jean Richard. 4 volumes. Hahn, Hannover 2010, ISBN 978-3-7752-2100-9 ( review ).
  • with Claudia Sode: The seals of the Latin kings of Jerusalem (= Monumenta Germaniae historica. Schriften. Vol. 66). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-447-10156-1 .


  • The Itinerarium peregrinorum. A contemporary English chronicle of the third crusade in its original form (= Monumenta Germaniae historica. Schriften. Vol. 18, ISSN  0080-6951 ). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1962 (partly at the same time: Innsbruck, university, dissertation, 1955).
  • History of the Crusades (= Urban books. Bd. 86, ZDB -ID 995319-x ). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1965 (10th, completely revised and expanded edition, ibid 2005).
  • Dioceses, monasteries and monasteries in the Kingdom of Jerusalem (= Monumenta Germaniae historica. Schriften. Vol. 26). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1977, ISBN 3-7772-7719-3 .
  • Rule and administration in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (= Writings of the Historical College. Lectures. Vol. 43). Historisches Kolleg Foundation, Munich 1996 ( digitized version ).
  • The crusader states as a multicultural society. Immigrants and minorities in the 12th and 13th centuries (= writings of the Historical College . Colloquia. Vol. 37). Oldenbourg, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-486-56257-6 ( online ).
  • From the Cour des Bourgeois to the public notary's office. The voluntary jurisdiction in the crusader states (= Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Schriften. Vol. 70). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2016, ISBN 978-3-447-10433-3 .
  • The crusader dominions of Maraclea and Nephin (= treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. New series, vol. 46). De Gruyter Academy Research, Berlin et al. 2018, ISBN 3-11-058021-7


  • Medieval research. Berlin 1981, ISBN 3-7678-0521-9 , p. 161 (author entry)
  • Jonathan Riley-Smith, Rudolf Hiestand , Benjamin Z. Kedar (Eds.): Montjoie. Studies in Crusade History in Honor of Hans Eberhard Mayer. Variorum, Aldershot et al. a. 1997, ISBN 0-86078-646-3 .

Web links


  1. Hans Eberhard Mayer: Bibliography on the history of the crusades. Hanover 1960.
  2. Historical College. Professor Dr. Hans Eberhard Mayer
  3. Reviews of Werner Maleczek in: Mitteilungen des Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 120, 2012, pp. 420–422 ( online ); Peter Herde in: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries 96 (2016), p. 582 f.
  4. ^ Hans Eberhard Mayer: The seal system in the crusader states. Munich 1978, p. 5.
  5. See the reviews of Werner Maleczek in: Mitteilungen des Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 124, 2016, pp. 541–542; Peter Herde in: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries 91 (2011), pp. 504–506 ( online ).
  6. See the reviews by Reinhard Härtel in: H-Soz-Kult , September 28, 2016, ( online ); Franz Dorn in: Journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History: German Department 135 (2018), pp. 561–563; Wolf Zöller in: Journal for Historical Research 45, 2018, pp. 333–335 ( online ); Michel Balard in: Francia-Recensio 2017–1 ( online ); Christoph T. Maier in: Mitteilungen des Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 126, 2018, pp. 181–183 ( online ).
  7. See the review by Jörg Böhme in: German Archives for Research into the Middle Ages. 75 (2019), pp. 347-348.
  8. ^ Jean Richard: Report de la commission du prix Schlumberger pour 2000. Lu dans la séance du 3 mars 2000. In: Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. 144 (2000), pp. 343-344 ( online )