Urban Topographies in Medieval German Troy-Literature

(Urbane Topographien in der deutschsprachigen Trojaliteratur des Mittelalters)

In the Middle Ages, the Trojan war was not only regarded as a historical fact but Troy also had high significance for the cultural and ideological self-conception of medieval European societies. Numerous European nations and dynasties constructed a genealogical origin from the Trojan nobility which was regarded as the historical cradle of European chivalry. In vernacular German literature from the 12th to the 16th century, we count more than 200 texts of different genres dealing with the Trojan war. What all texts have in common is the specific agency of Troy as an epitome of perfect urban architecture, prosperity and culturality. Troy is always highlighted in its function as a sort of ‘Urstadt’ – as the origin or at least the model for European urbanity. The aim of our project is to investigate the representation of the city within the most relevant texts of the corpus and to illustrate their specifics as well as their historical genesis. We want to discern the modes of perception and the concepts of meaning given to the city descriptions as well as their narrative structures and aesthetical functions.

Urban ROOTS
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek mgf 1 (1445): Konrad von Würzburg 'Trojanerkrieg', fol. 165r: Priamos in front of rebuilt Troy.

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Project by Margit Dahm-Kruse dahm@germsem.uni-kiel.de
and Timo Felber dekan@philfak.uni-kiel.de

 

 

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