Sources for the Investiture Controversy

Version 1.0 (9/2017)

compiled by J. R. Webb
St-Omer 698

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Date compiler Name


MS/MSS (link)

miscellaneous comments

ca. 1088 Bernhard of Hildesheim? Hildesheim letter collection

ed. C. Erdmann, MGH Briefe 5: 15–106 (link)

    Hannover, GWLB, XI 671, fol. 160r-245r (saec. xvi)

These sixty letters comprise the first section of what Erdmann identifies as Codex III of the Hannover letter collection.

ca. 1090–1100   Regensburg rhetorical letters

ed. N. Fickermann, MGH Briefe 5: 274–382 (link

    München, BSB, clm 14596 (saec. xiiin) (link

only a few letters from this collection deal directly with the Investiture Controversy: Epist. nos. 8 (300–312), 10 (320–329), and 5* (375–380); they all seem to date to 1084–1085.

1095–1105   Hannover letter collection: Codex I

partially ed. C. Erdmann, MGH Briefe 5: 253–258 (three letters); list of letters ibid.: 249–252 (link)

    Hannover, NLB, XI 671, fol. 1-90 (saec. xvi)

This collection of 35 letters comprises the first 90 folios in the seventeenth-century paper manuscript containing several distinct letter collections.  This collection, known as Codex I of the Hannover letter collection, likely comes from Bamberg, ca. 1095. It has many letters in common with the Codex Udalrici. See Erdmann 1936.

1116–1125   Wolfenbüttel letter collection

partially ed. C. Erdmann, MGH Dt. MA 1: 22–23, 52–58 (link)

    Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Helmstedt 1024, fol. 29r-61r (saec. xii)

Compiled ca. 1116–1125, possibly at Mainz.  The Wolfenbüttel MS might be an abbreviation of the original collection.  Erdmann 1936, 18-20, provides a list of the 40 letters.  This seems to be an earlier letter collection that Ulrich of Bamberg incorporated in toto.

1125–1138 Ulrich of Bamberg Codex Udalrici

ed. J. Eccard, Corpus historicum medii aevi 2 (1723): 1–374 (link)
ed. P. Jaffé, Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum 5 (1869): 17–469 (link)

four MSS (all from saec. xii)
    München, BSB, clm 4594, fol. 30-47v (partial) (link)
    Wien, ÖNB, Cod. 398 (1154–1159)
    Wien, ÖNB, Cod. 611 (partial)
    Zwettl, Stiftsbibliothek, 283

283 letters and documents compiled by the Bamberg scholar Ulrich, dedicated to the bishop of Würzburg in 1125, though with some later additions in the 1130s.  It is the largest of the letter collections, with material dating from the early middle ages; it also includes materials of a non-epistolary nature, such as poetry and charters.

1140–1160 Annalista Saxo Epistolae ex chronico Annalistae Saxonis

partially ed. Martène and Durand, Veterum scriptorum...collectio 1 (Paris, 1724): 520–753 (link)
partially ed. P. Jaffé, Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum 3 (Berlin, 1866): 381 et seq. (link)
partially ed. P. Jaffé, Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum 5  (Berlin, 1869): 503 et seq. (link)
*ed. K. Nass, MGH SS 37 (2006) (link)

    Paris, BnF, lat. 11851, fol. 188v-233v (saec. xii) (link)

Thirty letters written between 1098 and 1135, the majority of which relate to the Investiture Controversy, are reproduced by the Saxon annalist (writing between 1140 and 1160).  They are included in the edition of Nass; most were edited separately by Jaffé.  Five letters are also in the Codex Udalrici, but many survive only in this chronicle.  Nass 1996: 331–337, proposes a lost Halberstadt letter collection, among other potential sources.