G7LDB - Gregory 7th Letter Database
Database of the Letters of Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085): Which letter is in which collection?

About the Database of the Letters of Pope Gregory VII

The dissemination of the letters of Gregory VII (pope between 1073 and 1085) during and after the so-called investiture controversy in the late 11th and the early 12th century is a complex problem. Several papal letters became quite famous and thus were circulating in various letter collections. The papal Curia produced a register of some outgoing letters and other items. But comprehensiveness was neither achieved nor intended by the papal chancellery in writing their register. So, many letters survive only in other contexts (Empfängerüberlieferung): They are called epistulae (extra)vagantes. And of course many letters are transmitted both in the register and in other collections, manuscripts, works.

Much research has already been done in this field. There are scholarly editions and studies examining the transmission of certain letters, including some hypothesis of some putative letter collections. But a general overview is still missing. Till now (as far as I know) there was no overall synopsis nor a visualisation of all letters, let alone a possibility of interactive search or selection.

This database was created to fill this gap: providing researchers in this field with a useful tool to see and select the letters of Pope Gregory VII.

By collection in this database we mean any material (or putative) context in which a letter might occur. That may be a greater work such as a chronicle, a part of a manuscript, or even hypothetical letter collections which may have existed, but are no longer extant.
See collections by categories with definitions of each collection type.

As of now, this database contains little original research. Abstracts of letters are taken (or translated) from Cowdrey's, Caspar's or Santifaller's edition, sometimes slightly modified. While all items from Cowdrey's and Caspar's edition are incorporated, from Santifaller's there are just a few pieces which might be considered as letters (cf. Hoffmann 1976).

The content is collected from already published works by Autenrieth 1957, Caspar 1923, Cowdrey 1972, Erdmann 1936, Healy 2006, Hoffmann 1976, Jaffé 1888, Lawo 2010, Robinson 1978, Robinson 1983, Santifaller 1957 et alii.

View XML source file (g7ldb_gregory_vii_letter_database.xml)

Contact information

Dr. Christian Schwaderer
g7ldb@histsem.uni-tuebingen.de or c_schwaderer@hotmail.com
Universität Tübingen
Philosophische Fakultät
Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft
Seminar für mittelalterliche Geschichte
Wilhelmstraße 36
D-72074 Tübingen


Many thanks to Uwe Grupp, Christoph Haack, Annette Grabowsky, Thomas Kohl, Bruno Wiedermann, Peter Hilsch, Charles West, Steffen Patzold and all the other colleagues at the Department of Medieval History in Tübingen, Matthias Lang and Kevin Körner from the eScience Center of the University of Tübingen, Andreas Keck and the rest of the University of Tübingen computer services, O'Neil Delpratt, Michael Key, and all other genius folks at Saxonica and the Saxon mailing list, and finally special thanks to all the helpful guys at stackoverflow and other platforms.

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