Deutsch | English

Master Thesis

My master thesis was written in 2006 and deals with "gynaecological terminology in Early New High German". To this behalt, I edited manuscripts from the 15th century, some of them only in extracts, some completely. The manuscripts can be categorized in the following manner: 

In total, I used five manuscripts held by the University Library Leipzig, the Saxon State and University Library Dresden and the University Library Erlangen-Nuremberg.

UB Leipzig:

  • Ms. 906 ->Ortolf von Baierland: Arzneibuch
  • Rep. II 141 -> Secreta mulierum
  • Ms. 1192 -> Kindslagen

SLUB Dresden:

  • H 171 -> Secreta mulierum

UB Erlangen-Nuremberg:

  • B 33 fol. -> Manuscript about Fetal positions as part of the Secreta mulierum


The most important result was probably that there are paraprases for taboo topics like menstruation and sexual intercourse, which can be understood partly without the context; for some, though, it is not at all possible from a synchronous viewpoint.  For example "ire base geladen haben" [=to have her aunt visiting] for "menstruation". There are still similar constructions like "die Tante aus Amerika" [=having your aunt from America visiting], but why it has to be the aunt is not obvious to me at first glance.

Some of the words in my word list have not been documented in the meaning it is used in the texts, for example gickel for "hymen" or sinwel for "everything going black" in case of vertigo. There is no word for that phenomenon today, tragically. 
All in all a very interesting and exciting work, which was a lot of fun too. I would always do it again, but alas, one can only write one master thesis.

Edit Februar 2015: Meanwhile, the first volume of my master thesis can be found on GoogleBooks, however not in a full text version. I'm assuming that someone quoted it and that way, Google was made aware of it.