Josef Fleckenstein (born February 18, 1919 in Kämmeritz near Querfurt , † November 4, 2004 in Göttingen ) was a German historian who researched the history of the early and high Middle Ages . After professorships in Frankfurt (1962–1965) and Freiburg (1965–1971), he headed the Göttingen Max Planck Institute for History from 1971 to 1987 . His two-volume work on the court orchestra of the German kings , published in 1959/66, became a standard work in medieval research. For decades he was concerned with the historical development of chivalry .
Live and act
Josef Fleckenstein graduated from high school in Mainz in 1939. He studied history in 1940/41 in Leipzig with Hermann Heimpel and in Halle with Martin Lintzel . During his studies he worked in the Reich Labor Service and in the German Air Force . In North Africa he was taken prisoner of war for several years in 1943. He was only able to resume studying history, German, art history and Latin philology in the summer semester of 1948 in Mainz and since 1949 in Freiburg . Heimpel and Gerd Tellenbach were his most important academic teachers. In Freiburg he received his doctorate in 1952 with a thesis on the educational reform of Charlemagne at Tellenbach. In the fifties he took part in the research of his teacher Tellenbach in the “Freiburg working group” on the early medieval nobility. 1958 followed in Freiburg the habilitation on "The court orchestra of the German kings". In 1960 he went to the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen as a substitute professor for a year . In 1962, Fleckenstein was offered a full professorship in Frankfurt , and in 1965 as Tellenbach's successor in Freiburg. From 1971 to 1987 he succeeded Heimpel as director of the Medieval Department of the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen, where he also held an honorary professorship at the university's philosophy faculty from 1971 to 1987 . His most important academic students were Lutz Fenske , Werner Rösener and Thomas Zotz . After his retirement in 1987, Fleckenstein taught as a visiting professor in Zurich in the winter semester of 1988/89 . After a long illness, Fleckenstein died just a few months after his wife on November 4, 2004 in Göttingen.
His main research area was the Middle Ages. He was primarily concerned with the Middle Ages as “the age of the beginning of Europe”, with the “foundation of Europe, its inner differentiation and the changeful tension that results from the coexistence and opposition of the pan-European and national forces inherent in it”. Fleckenstein's main research areas were the Carolingian period , the medieval imperial church and knighthood. In his dissertation he dealt with the Carolingian educational reform. Early work was devoted to the court of Charlemagne . The two-volume work The Court Chapel of the German Kings (1959/1966), which emerged from his habilitation and is in the tradition of Tellenbach's prosopographic research, earned him a high reputation in the professional world . The illustration examined the role of this institution in the Ottonian-Salian imperial church until 1056. Fleckenstein postulated a model of a hierarchically tiered chancellery with an arch-chancellor at the head. After Fleckenstein, the court chapel was expanded under Otto I to become the “headquarters of imperial politics” and a “center of the imperial church”. The acceptance of an Ottonian-Salian imperial church system was reinforced by the rise of numerous members from the chancellery to become bishops in the 950s. Brun , Otto the Great's brother , was seen as the “prototype of the Ottonian imperial bishop” . This research resulted in numerous more general representations. In 1982, Timothy Reuter expressed criticism of the idea of an imperial church system . The idea of an Ottonian-Salic imperial church system is judged much more critically in today's research.
His monograph on Charlemagne, published in 1962, has been translated into Dutch and Italian. His treatise Basics and the Beginning of German History (1974) also appeared in English translation. In the classic handbook of German history (the "Gebhardt") he also wrote the section on the Ottonian period in the third volume of the new edition from 1970. His presentation was still influenced by the teachings of the 19th century: All the activities of the king were in Fleckenstein's view aligned to strengthen one's own power over the nobility and the church. In Göttingen, Fleckenstein mainly devoted himself to research on chivalry. Numerous individual studies and the anthologies “Dominion and State”, “The Knightly Tournament in the Middle Ages” and “Curialitas” resulted from this occupation. Through his studies, Fleckenstein became a leading expert on knightly courtly culture and had a lasting impact on German and international research. However, he was no longer able to produce a comprehensive account of the history of chivalry in the Middle Ages. He also wrote numerous portraits of life by important historians of the 20th century.
Fleckenstein was often active in the scientific organization. From 1978 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1984 he was Vice President and from 1980 to 1982 and again from 1984 to 1986 President of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. In Konstanz working group for medieval history Fleckenstein was active from 1968 to 1971 and CEO until 1993, the board of the working group. He was a member of the Senate and Main Committee of the German Research Foundation as well as a member and temporarily chairman of the transition committee at the Ministry of Culture of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Fleckenstein was a member of the founding commission for history at the University of Rostock .
Numerous scientific memberships and various honors underline its scientific reputation in the professional world. From 1958 he was a member of the commission for historical regional studies in Baden-Württemberg and in 1965 was accepted as a member of the Konstanz working group for medieval history. He became a member of the Central Directorate of Monumenta Germaniae Historica (1968), member of the British Academy (1971), full member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen (1973), member of the Historical Commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen (1977), corresponding member of the Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (1980), corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1982) and external member of the Academy of Non-Profit Sciences in Erfurt (1995). In 1987 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic . In 1994 Fleckenstein received the Carl Friedrich Gauß Medal of the Braunschweig Scientific Society . A festschrift was dedicated to him for his 65th birthday and a collection of articles on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
A list of publications up to 1983 in: Lutz Fenske, Werner Rösener, Thomas Zotz (eds.): Institutions, culture and society in the Middle Ages. Festschrift for Josef Fleckenstein. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1984, pp. 747-752. A list of the writings up to 1988 contains: Josef Fleckenstein: Orders and Formative Forces of the Middle Ages. Selected contributions. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1989, ISBN 3-525-36221-8 , pp. 547-587.
- The educational reform of Charlemagne as a realization of the Norma rectitudinis. Josefs-Druck, Bigge-Ruhr 1953 (at the same time: Freiburg (Breisgau), university, dissertation, 1952).
The court chapel of the German kings (= writings of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Vol. 16, 1–2,
). 2 volumes. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1959–1966
- Volume 1: Foundation. The Carolingian court chapel.
- Volume 2: The court chapel as part of the Ottonian-Salian imperial church.
- Charlemagne (= personality and history. Vol. 28, ). Musterschmidt-Verlag, Göttingen et al. 1962.
- Foundations and beginning of German history (= German history. Vol. 1 = Kleine Vandenhoeck series 1397). Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1974, ISBN 3-525-33361-7 .
- Chivalry and the knightly world. With the assistance of Thomas Zotz, Siedler, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-88680-733-9 .
- Rule and status. Studies on social history in the 13th century (= publications by the Max Planck Institute for History. Vol. 51). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1977, ISBN 3-525-35364-2 .
- with Manfred Hellmann : The ecclesiastical knight orders of Europe (= Constance working group for medieval history. Lectures and research. Vol. 26). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1980, ISBN 3-7995-6626-0 .
- The knightly tournament in the Middle Ages. Contributions to a comparative history of form and behavior in chivalry (= publications by the Max Planck Institute for History. Vol. 80). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985, ISBN 3-525-35396-0 .
- Curialitas. Studies on basic questions of courtly-knightly culture (= publications of the Max Planck Institute for History. Vol. 100). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1990, ISBN 3-525-35637-4 .
- Michael Borgolte : No story without need and longing. In search of the ideals that have changed our world: On the death of the medieval historian Josef Fleckenstein. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , November 11, 2004, No. 264, p. 35.
- Joachim Ehlers : Laudation on the occasion of the awarding of the Carl Friedrich Gauß Medal to Josef Fleckenstein on June 10, 1994. In: Braunschweigische Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft. Yearbook 1994 (1995), pp. 149-155.
- Lutz Fenske, Werner Rösener , Thomas Zotz (eds.): Institutions, culture and society in the Middle Ages. Festschrift for Josef Fleckenstein on his 65th birthday. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1984, ISBN 3-7995-7024-1 .
- Josef Fleckenstein. In: Jürgen Petersohn (Ed.): Publications of the Constance Working Group for Medieval History on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary 1951–2001. Volume 2: The members and their work. A bio-bibliographical documentation. Thorbecke, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-7995-6906-5 , pp. 133-141 ( online ).
- Othmar Hageneder : Josef Fleckenstein [obituary]. In: Almanach of the Austrian Academy of Sciences 155th year (2004/2005), pp. 541–549.
- Hagen Keller : From the court of Charlemagne to the “courtly” world of chivalry. A look at the work of Josef Fleckenstein on the occasion of his 70th birthday. In: Early Medieval Studies . 24, 1990, pp. 23-35.
- Otto Gerhard Oexle : Obituary Josef Fleckenstein February 18, 1919 - November 4, 2005. In: Yearbook of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. Göttingen 2005, pp. 323-325.
- Otto Gerhard Oexle: Obituary for Josef Fleckenstein. In: Max Planck Society, Yearbook 2005, pp. 103-105.
- Otto Gerhard Oexle (ed.): Remember - Preserve - Make memory fruitful. In memory of Josef Fleckenstein. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-35808-5 ( online ).
- Otto Gerhard Oexle: double star over Göttingen. For the eightieth birthday of the historian Josef Fleckenstein. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. February 18, 1999, No. 41, p. 43.
- Rudolf Schieffer : Josef Fleckenstein [obituary]. In: German Archive for Research into the Middle Ages . 61, 2005, pp. 433-434 ( online ).
- Literature by and about Josef Fleckenstein in the catalog of the German National Library
- Publications by Josef Fleckenstein in the Opac of the Regesta Imperii
- Karl Schmid: 'The Freiburg Working Group'. Gerd Tellenbach on his 70th birthday. In: Journal for the history of the Upper Rhine. 122, 1974, pp. 331-347.
- See the review by Heinrich Appelt in: Archivalische Zeitschrift 63, 1967, pp. 217–218.
- Quoted from Otto Gerhard Oexle: Obituary for Josef Fleckenstein. In: Max Planck Society, Yearbook 2005, pp. 103–105, here: p. 104.
- Josef Fleckenstein: The court chapel of the German kings Volume 2: The court chapel as part of the Ottonian-Salian imperial church. Stuttgart 1966, p. 17.
- Timothy Reuter: The "Imperial Church System" of the Orronian and Salian Rulers. A reconsideration. In: Journal of Ecclastiastical History , 33, 1982, pp. 347-374.
- Cf. Gerd Althoff : Memoria, writing, symbolic communication. To reevaluate the 10th century. In: Christoph Dartmann, Thomas Scharff, Christoph Friedrich Weber (eds.): Between pragmatics and performance. Dimensions of medieval writing culture. Turnhout 2011, pp. 85–101, here: pp. 89 ff.
- Cf. Werner Hechberger: Nobility, Ministeriality and Knighthood in the Middle Ages. 2nd Edition. Munich 2010, p. 100.
- Joachim Ehlers: Laudation on the occasion of the award of the Carl Friedrich Gauß Medal to Josef Fleckenstein on June 10, 1994. In: Braunschweigische Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft. Yearbook 1994 (1995), pp. 149-155.
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German historian|
|DATE OF BIRTH||February 18, 1919|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Kämmeritz|
|DATE OF DEATH||November 4, 2004|
|Place of death||Goettingen|