News | 07. May. 2024

New MGH Series Inaugurated to International Public

The MGH evening lecture „Jenseits von Regino“ (Beyond Regino), presenting the edition of Regino of Prüm’s Sendhandbuch by Wilfried Hartmann as the first volume of the new MGH series „Collectiones canonum“, was well attended with 24 guests present in the MGH reading room and 49 Zoom viewers including participants from England, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary.

The presentation began with a lecture by Roman Deutinger, who has worked for the project „Geschichtsquellen des deutschen Mittelalters“ at the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften for the past 25 years and is thus, as MGH president Martina Hartmann remarked in her opening speech, uniquely qualified to introduce the creation of a new MGH edition series. Deutinger underlined the central position of ecclesiastical legal texts within the corpus of medieval source transmission and supplied some useful tips for working with the online repertory „Geschichtsquellen“.

In his keynote lecture, the editor Wilfried Hartmann sketched the textual transmission of the Sendhandbuch and explained his editorial decisions. While the MGH already have edition series for important works of canon law, in particular the series Concilia, there was previously no suitable framework for publishing collections of ecclesiastical legal texts, although these were fundamental for the medieval reception of church law. This lacuna is now closed with the creation of the series „Collectiones canonum“. Wilfried Hartmann expressed his hope that his critical edition and German translation of one of the cornerstone texts of early medieval church law might be an inspiration for future generations of researchers and editors. As he pointed out, there remains still much to be done in the field of editing works of canon law.

In conclusion, Harald Siems, retired professor for legal history at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, and Anders Winroth from the University of Oslo congratulated the MGH on the creation of the new series and Wilfried Hartmann on the publication of his edition, reiterating its importance for all fields of medieval studies, ranging from church and legal history through to social history.

The question of where to find collections of ecclesiastical legal texts in critical edition is in any case now finally settled: in the new series with the recognisable abbreviation: „MGH Coll. can.“