The Heroic Life of Sir Theuerdank

Description

Among the many endeavors undertaken by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519) to further his legacy was his plan of an epic retelling of his own life story in the form of several works. Of these, only Die geuerlicheiten vnd einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen vnd hochberümbten helds vnd Ritters herr Tewrdannckhs (The heroic life of Sir Theuerdank) was finished. Johann Schönsperger, a printer in Nuremberg, did the first, very small print run in 1517, to be delivered to other princes and sovereigns after the Emperor's death. Written by Melchior Pfintzing based on material provided by Emperor Maximilian, the Theuerdank tells the adventures of Sir Theuerdank (Maximilian) who, while travelling to his bride, the beautiful Lady Ernreich (Mary of Burgundy), has to face and overcome 80 obstacles. Each of the 118 chapters is decorated by a xylograph (wood engraving). The preparatory drawings for the xylographs were created by the artists Leonhard Beck, Hans Schäufelein, and Hans Burgkmair the Elder. The black-letter type of the Theuerdank, designed by calligrapher Vinzenz Rockner, was to become very influential for the development of German typography.

Date Created

Publication Information

Johann Schönsperger, Nuremberg

Language

Title in Original Language

Die geuerlicheiten vnd einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen vnd hochberümbten helds vnd Ritters herr Tewrdannckhs

Place

Type of Item

Physical Description

290 unnumbered sheets : illustrations

Notes

  • BSB Shelfmark: Rar. 325 a

Last updated: April 10, 2013