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Discovering Sweden's 'First Author'

A project by: Emily Reed



from 12 donors

This project received pledges on Mon 01 Feb 2016
Funding a study trip to Aachen!

So what is this project about?

I'm basically hoping to raise travel and accommodation costs (roughly £300) in order to travel to deepest darkest Germany to view a mysterious medieval manuscript. That's right, I'm like Indiana Jones, but even nerdier and without the hat. 

The contents of this manuscript are horrendously understudied: the collection was compiled by a 13th century monk called Petrus de Dacia, who hailed from Gotland, in modern day Sweden. He is termed by some as Sweden's first author. 

But what was Petrus trying to achieve? Wasn't there enough fun to be had, fasting and praying in Gotland? It seems, not quite. Petrus like to travel about a bit, into what is now France and Germany, on some sort of perennial gap year. Not unlike many gap year travellers, he met a lovely girl in Stommeln, called Christina. Very unlike many gap year travellers, he spent the rest of his life trying to get her beatified (which was finally achieved in 1908). This effort is what led to the creation of his large body of work, which exists solely in the Codex Iuliacensis, the big book in Aachen. 
And what am I trying to achieve? Well, I think it would be great to produce an English translation of this work to bring Petrus and Christina's story to a wider audience. And believe me, it's a corker. It mainly features love, devotion and the devil stealing all of Christina's clothes. But the manuscript still has many secrets to reveal (as they all do) and to be able to see it in person (or pages) would be the best place to start. Also, I would be totally up for disseminating my research for any interested parties by way of talks with free nibbles. Do get in touch with me about that :) 

Who am I?

I go by the name of Emily, and I'm a masters student in Medieval Studies, trying to make a living out of studying dead people and their languages (ha!). I also have pink hair and like long walks on sandy beaches...

Breakdown of costs:

A Eurorail to Aachen from London costs £74.59 either way (I was surprised too!)

I plan to stay in Aachen for three days (ample time to study a manuscript!), so I factor in £40 per night for a hotel room. 40x3 makes £120.
And £10 per day for eating costs. Girl's gotta eat.

This makes a total of £299.18.  

Any last words?

The contents of this manuscript are culturally very valuable, and it would be a pleasure to disseminate them to a wider audience. You don't need to donate money to help a girl out, a share to anyone who would be interested (via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, anywhere really!). Having said that, please consider parting with some spare change to help me get this project off the ground! 

Thank you :)