Project presentation report now online

On 18.5.2021, the digital project presentation on Burchards Dekret Digital took place, which generally attracted great interest. Thereby, the project team presented the envisaged project phases, the methodological approaches, the practical experiences with the work and the first interim results. You can find the report at:

Book Presentation Mantics and Law


On 19.1.2021 the anthology »Medieval Legal Texts and Mantic Practices« was presented together with the handbook 'Prognostication in the Medieval World' ( A welcome by Klaus Herbers was followed by two greetings from the publishers: Robert Forke spoke on behalf of the publisher (DeGruyter) and Kristin Doepner for Böhlau-Verlag. Agostino Paravicini Bagliani introduced the two-volume handbook on prognostics, emphasising the broad perspective of the contributions, which not only examine Western Christianity and its relationship to mantics and prognostics, but also look at Byzantine, Islamic and Jewish attitudes to it. Ingrid Baumgärtner presented the volume ›Medieval Legal Texts and Mantic Practices‹, which impressively shows the dynamics of canon law. A focus of the Akadmie project ›Burchard's Decree Digital‹, from whose members most of the contributions came. Dr. Hans-Christian Lehner's words of thanks concluded the successful event.

New Publication: Medieval Legal Texts and Mantic Practices

Klaus Herbers, Hans-Christian Lehner (eds.) Mittelalterliche Rechtstexte und mantische Praktiken (Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 94), Cologne, Weimar, Vienna, Böhlau Verlag 2021; ISBN: 9783412520496

Prognostics, divination, mantics and fortune-telling are frequently present in medieval law. But does the presence of these topics in legal sources justify an inference about practice? Did the individual texts really respond to contemporary practices, or was it perhaps only older traditions that were perpetuated for systematic legal reasons? The answer to this question also determines the status of prognostic practices in the world of life. In this volume, renowned scholars - among them the staff of the Burchard's Decree Digital project - not only analyse the variance and continuity in which the topic of prognostics appears in legal texts of the early and high Middle Ages, but also ask about tradition and its place in life. Of course, the decree of Burchard of Worms is also among the collections examined.

New publication: Birgit Kynast, Tradition and Innovation in Ecclesiastical Law: The Penitential Book in the Decree of Bishop Burchard of Worms

Birgit Kynast, Tradition und Innovation im kirchlichen Recht. Das Bußbuch im Dekret des Bischofs Burchard von Worms, Ostfildern, Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2020. ISBN: 978-3-7995-6090-0.

Birgit Kynast's dissertation on the 19th book of the decree of Bishop Burchard of Worms (1000-1025) is now available as a book. The study shows that a differentiated and reflective approach to the canonical tradition was already possible a century before the decree of Magister Gratian and decades before the rise of early scholasticism. In her work, Birgit Kynast investigates and analyses the specific methods Burchard used, especially in compiling the penitential section in the 19th book of his collection: This part of the decree combines tradition and innovation of canon law with regard to the instrument of penance. With the decree, and in particular with its question section, Burchard attempted to make traditional ecclesiastical law applicable. The results will be incorporated into the project work and individual aspects will be examined in greater depth and taken further.