Ulm sister book

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The Ulm Sisters' Book, or rather Gotteszeller Sisters' Book , was most likely created in the Dominican convent Gotteszell near Schwäbisch Gmünd , probably after 1330. It focuses on the nuns' mystical experiences .

The focus of the sister book is on the biography of the nobility of Hiltegarthausen. It is supplemented by the vita of Adelheits Aunt Irmendraut and ten short vitae of virtuous sisters. Only nobility vita is in the tradition of the so-called grace vites , which describe extraordinary mystical privileges. Otherwise the representation of monastic virtues dominates. Siegfried Ringler rates the Gotteszeller sister book as the “least profiled” in comparison to other sister books. In narrative form, the work served both the monastic instruction and the self-affirmation of the monastic community.

Tradition and editions

The text has survived in two manuscripts from the 15th century, that of the Martinus Library in Mainz, Cod. 43, 28r – 59r and that of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Scots in Vienna, Cod. 308, 18v – 44r.

The Ulm Sisters' Book is documented as an independent work in the Engelthaler monastery catalog from 1447, identifiable by the location Ulm: A puchlein from eim kloster daz ligt in Ulem in Swaben from a blessed person .

The edition by FWE Roth is based on the Mainz handwriting; Siegfried Ringler contains the most important readings of the Viennese manuscript.

Place of origin

Ulm, the place of origin mentioned in the closing verses, seems unlikely, as there was no Dominican convent in the immediate vicinity of Ulm. Siegfried Ringler recognized the independence of the text, which had previously been considered part of the Kirchberg Sister Book, and suggested the Ulm Sister Book as a makeshift provisional title . In 1977/78 , in the Rottenburg magazine “Der Sülchgau”, Hans Peter Müller presented a proposal for identifying the monastery: Gotteszell Monastery near Schwäbisch Gmünd . In 1984 Klaus Graf was able to confirm this by finding Margaretha von Rosenstein, who, according to the sisters' book, belonged to the monastery in question, as a nun from Gotteszell in 1330 (but only attested to in a rather cloudy spring from the 19th century). Since then, Gotteszell has generally been accepted as the place of origin in research on the sister books.

Text sample

“There was a very respectable sister in the same closter called Leugart, and what thirty years priorin or suppriorin. And held the medal so sterling that all those in the closter from their pilde names, and nymer word they spoke at rotten and times Even when the dormitory was on fire, when everyone called loudly for the keys, she did not speak. She said Ave Maria every day, and she also said a psalter every day because of the work. And one time, when she spins, when she comes from the werckhaus nymmer an not, there comes the most beautiful lemlein that has ever been seen, and what of all things in the pilde with the vannen and with the creücz, as one paints it dutifully . And so I shot, and the lemlin nam his paw, and sluck her on the hand and the vaden, which she spun at the same hour right in the way that we wanted to make the lemlein chürzveil and joyful, and drift it as long, piss you hinder yourself in a window vil, and so lay long because in divine straight, as ir vil and thick geschach "

- Roth : p. 137f.

Individual evidence

  1. Ringler, author's lexicon (see below: literature), column 1235
  2. Ibid
  3. See Ringler, Viten- und Offenbarungsliteratur (see below: Literature), p. 96. The catalog is printed by: Johanna Thali: Praying - Writing - Reading - Literary Life and Marian Spirituality in Engelthal Monastery , Tübingen, Basel 2003 (Bibliotheca Germanica 42), Pp. 329-331
  4. Ringler, Viten- und Offenbarungsliteratur, pp. 99-104
  5. Ibid. Pp. 95f .; 107


Edition: FWE (Ferdinand Wilhelm Emil) Roth: Notes on the mystical life of the nuns from Kirchberg bei Sulz Preacher Order during the XIV. And XV. Century . In: Alemannia 21 (1893), pp. 103–148, here pp. 123–148 (based on the Mainz manuscript)

  • Klaus Graf: Nuns from Gotteszell Monastery near Schwäbisch Gmünd. To the place of origin of the so-called "Ulmer sister book" . In: Rottenburger Jahrbuch für Kirchengeschichte 3 (1984), pp. 191–195 ( online )
  • Siegfried Ringler: Life and revelation literature in women's monasteries in the Middle Ages. Sources and Studies. Artemis, Munich 1980 (Munich texts and studies on German literature in the Middle Ages 72), pp. 95f., 107 u. ö. (see register: "Ulmer" sister book )
  • Siegfried Ringler: Ulmer sister book . In: Author's Lexicon . 2nd Edition, Vol. 9 (1995), Col. 1233-1236

Web links

Wikisource: Ulmer Schwesternbuch  - Sources and full texts