XIV, 2018, 2

The Manuscript of the Moldavian-German Chronicle of 1502: A Paleographic Analysis | p. 277–296

chronicle, Hartmann Schedel, humanism, Moldavia, paleography, Stephen the Great


This study resumes older investigations into the Moldavian-German Chronicle (1502), a particularly important narrative source for the reign of Stephen the Great, Voivode of Moldavia (1457–1504). The novelty of the present analysis is the paleographic perspective it proposes. Following the studying of the script of the historiographical text – which is both an analytical and comparative approach – the author-copyist of the chronicle now kept at the Bavarian State Library in Munich (Clm. 952) can be identified without any hesitation as being Hartmann Schedel, a physician and scholar from Nürnberg (1440–1514). The interest of this polymath with a strong humanistic orientation for the Moldavian voivode can be explained in the context of his broader gathering of information about the realm which we nowadays call Romanian. The main consequence of identifying Schedel’s autographic participation in the written transposition of the Moldavian-German chronicle opens the prospect of finding in the vast library of the German humanist, a so far little-researched “cultural space,” the prototype, be it Latin, German, or Italian, which could have inspired the historiographical synthesis transmitted through the manuscript kept today in Bavaria.