Karl Schnith

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Karl Rudolf Schnith (born August 29, 1934 in Freudenthal , Czechoslovakia ; † September 3, 1999 in Mühldorf am Inn ) was a German historian . He taught as professor for medieval history from 1972 until his retirement at the University of Munich . His main focus was on England in the Middle Ages.

life and work

The son of an administrative director attended elementary school in Neutitschein . From autumn 1944 he attended high school. A year later he moved to the Karlsschule in Bernburg and in autumn 1946 to the Oberrealschule Mühldorf ( Upper Bavaria ). In July 1952 he passed his school leaving examination in Mühldorf. From the winter semester 1952/53 to the winter semester 1957/58 he studied history, German and English at the University of Munich. His most important academic teacher was Johannes Spörl . He received his doctorate in 1958 with a thesis inspired and supervised by Spörl on the Augsburger Chronik des Burkhard Zink . In 1966 he qualified as a professor in Munich for middle and modern history with a historiographical study of Roger Wendover and Matthäus Paris . In 1968 he was one of the signatories of the Marburg Manifesto . Since 1972 he has taught as a professor for medieval history at the University of Munich. Schnith was 1973 Leverhulme Fellow at Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge elected. In 1985 he became dean of the Philosophical Faculty for History and Art Studies in Munich . Since November 1987 he was a full member of the humanities class of the Sudeten German Academy of Sciences and Arts .

With his dissertation, he took up a suggestion from Spörl from 1933 to highlight the “driving ideas of every single work of history” and to consider “the role of institutions like the state, the empire, the church, spiritual and religious movements, forms of community like new orders who play intellectual and political personality ”. He presented numerous other studies on Augsburg historiography.

Schnith dealt mainly with the history of England in the Middle Ages. With his habilitation he broke new scientific ground. Until then, the English High Middle Ages were largely unexplored at German universities. In 1991 he published an anthology on 25 medieval rulers in images of life. In the second volume of the Handbook of European History published by Ferdinand Seibt in 1987 , Schnith published the article on England from the Norman conquest to the end of the Hundred Years War 1066-1453.

In 1997 he published an anthology on women in the Middle Ages in twenty short biographies. He wrote numerous articles for the Lexicon of the Middle Ages and the Biographical-Bibliographical Church Lexicon . Schnith lived in Baldham near Munich.



  • England in a Changing World (1189–1259). Studies on Roger Wendover and Matthäus Paris (= monographs on the history of the Middle Ages. Vol. 7). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1974, ISBN 3-7772-7404-6 .
  • The Augburger Chronik of Burkhard Zink. An investigation into the history of the imperial city in the 15th century. Munich 1958.


  • Medieval women in pictures of life. Styria, Graz 1997, ISBN 3-222-12467-1 .
  • Medieval rulers in images of life. From the Carolingians to the Hohenstaufen. Styria, Graz 1990, ISBN 3-222-11973-2 .
  • with Roland Pauler: Festschrift for Eduard Hlawitschka for his 65th birthday (= Munich Historical Studies. Department of Medieval History. Vol. 5). Lassleben, Kallmünz 1993, ISBN 3-7847-4205-X .


  • Karl Schnith, historiographer of the Middle Ages. In: Mitteilungen des Sudetendeutschen Archiv , issues 74–77, 1984, p. 61.
  • Karl Schnith: The Augburger Chronik of Burkhard Zink. An investigation into the history of the imperial city in the 15th century. Munich 1958, p. 139 (curriculum vitae).
  • Schnith, Karl. In: Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar. Bio-bibliographical directory of contemporary German-speaking scientists. Volume 3; S - Z. 16th edition. De Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1992, ISBN 3-11-011754-1 , p. 3310.
  • Richard W. Eichler (editor): The University of Prague (= writings of the Sudeten German Academy of Sciences and Arts. Vol. 7). Verlagshaus Sudetenland, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-922423-21-3 , p. 204 (author entry ).

Web links


  1. See the reviews of Gian Andri Bezzola in: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte 25 (1975), pp. 578-580 ( online ); Michael Richter in: Historische Zeitschrift 221 (1975), pp. 151–153; Werner Maleczek in: Mitteilungen des Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 83 (1975), pp. 193–194.
  2. Manifesto and list of signatures in DEA - The Electronic Archive ( Memento from July 4, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Entry on the Academy's website
  4. Karl Schnith: To research the late medieval Augsburg historiography in the last fifty years. In: Zeitschrift für Bayerische Landesgeschichte Vol. 60 (1997) pp. 479–489, here: p. 481 ( online ).
  5. ^ Karl Schnith: Medieval Augsburg founding legends . In: Forgeries in the Middle Ages. International congress of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica Munich, 16. – 19. September 1986. Hannover 1988, pp. 497-517; Karl Schnith: Imperial City Consciousness in the Augsburg Chronicle of the Late Middle Ages. In: Pankraz Fried (Ed.): Festschrift for Andreas Kraus on his 60th birthday. Kallmünz 1982, pp. 79-93; Karl Schnith, Norbert Hörberg: The spiritual life. In: Gunther Gottlieb, Wolfram Baer, ​​Joseph Becker (eds.): History of the city of Augsburg. Stuttgart 1984, pp. 213-219.
  6. See the reviews by Gerd Althoff : Who is who in the Middle Ages? German rulers wanted more than to be powerful. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , May 8, 1991, p. 39; Johannes Fried in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 39 (1991), p. 262.
  7. Karl Schnith: England from the Norman conquest to the end of the Hundred Years War 1066-1453. In: Ferdinand Seibt (Ed.): Europe in the high and late Middle Ages (= Handbook of European History. Vol. 2). Stuttgart 1987, pp. 778-862.
  8. Cf. Martin Lhotzky's reviews: Do I even have a single wrinkle on my face? A look behind the veil: The Middle Ages idealized its women, today's science takes a closer look. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , February 20, 1998, No. 43, p. 43; Martina Stratmann in: German Archive for Research into the Middle Ages 54 (1998), p. 291 ( online ).