Translating the Book of Acre from Middle High German into English

Workshop at the GHI London on March 3 2023

The EU-funded MSCA project CITYFALL at the Institute for Classical Philology at the University of Bern is working on a critical translation of the so-called Book of Acre into English, in order to make this important and unique Middle High German source accessible to non-German language audiences. The translation will be published as part of Routledge’s Crusader Texts in Translation series. 
The Book of Acre was written by the Styrian author Ottokar aus der Gaal in the 1310s, and is in many respects a unique text. It forms a part of the monumental Styrian Rhyming Chronicle, which relates the history of the Styrian and Austrian lands from c. 1250 to the early 14th century. But in the context of this larger chronicle the Book of Acre constitutes a self-contained narrative excursion to contemporaneous events in the Holy Land, in particular the conquest and sack of the city of Acre, the last and most important harbour city held by the crusaders on the Eastern Mediterranean littoral, by the Egyptian Mamluks in 1291. It is the only Middle High German text to dedicate itself to the depiction of a specific and clearly identifiable military action of the crusades and also the only Middle High German text to conceive of itself programmatically as a lament for a lost city.

The workshop at the GHI London on 3rd March 2023 will bring together researchers from various universities across the UK (Oxford, Cambridge, KCL, UCL, Royal Holloway, Manchester, Aberystwyth) who are working on German medieval literature, language, and history to consider specific issues relating to this translation project and to discuss the translation of medieval sources in more general terms. The workshop will help achieve the goal of producing a translation that will work for various audiences with diverse interests, ranging from the philological to the historical.

1-2 pm, Sandwich lunch

2-2.30 pm, Introduction of project and opening discussion 

2.30-3.15 pm, Workshop phase I (translation)

3.15-3.45 pm, Tea break

3.45-4-15 pm, Workshop phase II (revision)

4.15-5 pm, Feedback and general discussion

5-6 pm, Roundtable & closing discussion

6 pm, Drinks

Generously supported by:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101028770

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