Gleanings concerning Robert Baldaufdeutsch english español français
Gleanings concerning Robert Baldauf
Robert Baldauf, who was completely forgotten for a long time and was only rediscovered a few years ago in the context of the so-called chronological review, was born on April 22nd, 1881 in Waldenburg, Switzerland. There has been much speculation about his life and academic training, but little is known of reliable facts.
He studied- according to his publications- Classical philology at the University of Basel, until the winter semester 1901/1902, but seems to have been enrolled there only for two semesters. The legend also persisted in various publications that Robert Baldauf was a Swiss, but possibly also a German philologist and private lecturer at the University of Basel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries- about whose life nothing else is known. In any case, as has been unfortunately incorrectly reported in relevant forums, he was definitely neither a private lecturer at the university nor even a “Basel professor and linguist”.  Such allegations, widely rumored, cannot be substantiated, because the name Baldauf does not appear anywhere in the university's lists of lecturers.  There seems to be no evidence of a degree, especially not for a doctorate  nor evidence of teacher training by any candidate named Baldauf. 
However, this much can now be considered certain: In 1904 Baldauf became one of two permanent feature editors of the renowned Frankfurter Zeitung (today FAZ).  This career path should not have been entirely surprising, as a quote from the German magazine “Bühne und Welt” in his book about the monks from St Gallen, shows that he seemed already interested in the ‘features section’ (his later field of work, at the time the book was written regarding St. Gallen, see Vol. I).  Robert Baldauf died at the age of 37 on May 26, 1918. Nothing is known about the cause of his early death. Perhaps he succumbed to the Spanish flu that raged in Frankfurt during this time. 
In 1902 and 1903 Baldauf published two of the- according to his own statements- four planned volumes, under the general title HISTORIE UND KRITIK (Some Critical Remarks). First came the fourth (!) and only a year later the first volume. According to his own statements clearly more were planned in the series.  More, however, never seem to have appeared, including none of his “essays” that were not yet ready for publication that he mentions in the foreword to Volume IV.
In Volume I of his criticism, subtitled “The Monk of St. Gallen”, published in Leipzig in 1903, Baldauf tries to provide evidence, with critical analyses and comparisons of selected text passages, that the incompletely preserved work “Monachus Sangallensis de gestis Karoli Magni” (1494), which belonged to the St Gallen monk Notker Balbulus (the Stammerer) is not from the Carolingian period, but was written in the 11th century by the St. Gallen monk Ekkehard IV- the only one who reports about it. The page-long, only occasionally commented upon juxtapositions of Latin quotations or selected passages make up at best a third of the volume. The book, which begins and ends abruptly and is anything but clearly structured, looks like an only-occasionally commented upon collection of material.
It reads like a diligent march through the extensively reproduced specialist historical writings of that time. For the most part, Baldauf only provides summaries or quotations from the relevant secondary literature or the basic works on Notker and Ekkehart.  In two places in the book he also refers to oral statements by the historian Walter Baumgartner, whose lecture Baldauf apparently attended.  The motley enumeration of the abundance of exaggerations and talkativeness, frivolous stories about what goes on in public baths and the depravity of the clergy is not uninteresting and does not fail to have an effect on today's reader- even if the quotations are strung together relatively unsystematically, as is the case here.
But Baldauf took most of these stories, including the exposing comments, from secondary literature. This also applies to the comparative comparisons of text passages by the authors with passages from the Old and New Testament, which make it clear that the "writing of history" by Notker and Ekkeharts is largely based on narratives in the Bible.  These correspondences had already been noticed by the editors of their writings consulted by Baldauf, so that it is not then clear where Baldauf is merely referring to others and where he actually shows independent scientific scrutiny. 
In his view, the works of Notker and Ekkehard, which he uses as a theme in Volume IV, though chronologically separated by two centuries, show such similarities that he - also here inspired by secondary literature - suggests that they are works by the same author- or at least from the same period. A good half of Volume I also consists of longer or shorter comparative text quotations - mostly in Latin - intended to prove that “there is a very strong correspondence between Notker and Ekkehart in their preference for striking rhyming prose with all sorts of linguistic and stylistic peculiarities, such as alliterations, assonances, cacophonies, anaphors, equal sounds, polysyndeta etc.", as well the "ancient (n) rhythm of the hexameter" can be recognized. 
The book breaks off abruptly after 168 pages, as if unfinished, with the sentence: “I believe that I can now pronounce the identity of the gesta and casus authors: the Monachus Sangallensis is Ekkehart IV. - the gesta Caroli are a work of the 11th and not the 9th century.” The relevant secondary literature has already established that for other works of the named because of the strong agreement in content, style and rhyme forms.  This would perhaps sum up a collection of material for a thesis paper, but not a scientific work - especially not from that time. There is - by the way in both volumes - no table of contents, not even the literature used is listed separately and otherwise only very inadequately documented. In addition, in contrast to the previously published volume IV, Volume I is tightly printed, so that the impression arises that the author had it printed in a hurry at his own expense. Of course, in the best case scenario, one can only speculate about the reasons. Possibly he needed proof of qualification for his future job at the Frankfurter Zeitung, since he apparently could not have proven his aptitude by completing a degree.
In Volume IV (landscape format), which is only 99 pages long, Baldauf is devoted to the sensational finds of books and manuscripts in the St. Gallen monastery at the beginning of the 15th century. However, he reports serious doubts about the descriptions of the Italian humanists about their finds in German monastery libraries. But these passages in Vol. IV also essentially consist of a summary of the literature used.  Baldauf had dealt intensively with the history of the famous Swiss Benedictine monastery of St. Gallen, which at the time is said to have housed one of the largest and oldest libraries in the world. In fact, in the Renaissance period it was more of a completely shabby abbey in which the entire convent consisted only of two poorly educated men of the nobility, the abbot Heinrich von Gundelfingen and the provost Georg von Enne.  During his research, Baldauf came across the traces of a possible book theft by one of the most colourful figures of Italian humanism, the Renaissance scholar Gianfrancesco Poggio Bracciolini , together with Cencio de Rustici and Bartolomeo De Monte Politiano - all three highly educated and well-connected servants of the Roman Curia.
In the winter of 1415 they are said to have stolen or even copied manuscripts and books from the library of this monastery, which - to put it mildly: - were considered ancient then just as now. What exactly happened back then is not known because even the number of works in the reports, as Franz Weidmann knows to report, varies widely. Poggio himself speaks of books by three authors; in a letter from his Venetian patron Francesco Barbaro, there is much more talk, and a contemporary periodical wants to know about up to “two wagons” full of books or manuscripts.  As the only one of the three Roman visitors, however, later only Poggio spoke of the “most crowded amount of books” in a “hideous and dark dungeon, namely on the floor of a tower where not even those condemned to death should be expelled”, with which he meant the monasterie's tower that only he wanted to have entered.  “It is well known that humanist letters are a separate type of letter. but it is precisely this 'peculiarity' that stands out," commented Baldauf dryly on the opaque events.  Because a contemporary “Chronicle of the Gotzhaus St. Gallen” has nothing to say about a large library and any book treasures, only about Abbot Heinrich, who was relieved of his office two years after the visit from Rome: “The gentleman is ignorant and dissolute Gesin”, it says,“who was deposed in the consilium zuo Constentz”. 
But the St. Gallen abbots of previous centuries were no better, as only the nobility were allowed to preside over the monastery. Heinrich's predecessors such as the "stupid Hildebold († 1328)" or his direct predecessor, "the immoral Cuno von Stoffeln († 1411)" were typical of an ancestral line of uneducated feudal canons who viewed their monastery merely as benefices with which to fill their own pockets. “They were so ignorant that in the year 1291 the whole chapter could not write with his abbot, on the other hand they lived their rough life in horse stables, on the hunt, at banquets and on military campaigns and in the end bore no trace of any spiritual life itself." So much for the excursion to St. Gallen Monastery.
The rest, and thus the major part of Volume IV (78 of 99 pages) consists of long Latin- occasionally also Greek- quotations from ancient authors (Horace, Ovid, Lucretius, Martial, Cicero, Caesar and Homer) with only cursory comments. Baldauf's study on "Metrik und Prose" aims to show, among other things, that some ancient poets used meter and rhymes that are more similar to those of the medieval troubadours.  In contrast to Jean Hardouin , he is convinced that the verses of Horace are of medieval origin and points to German (stave rhyme) and Italian influences in expression and meter. For this purpose, Baldauf arbitrarily rearranged the lines of verse in order to reveal the underlying rhyme schemes he suspected. Experts might like to judge whether this procedure is admissible at all. In addition, according to Baldauf, there are such pronounced parallels between the poetry of Horace and Ovid (although they presumably knew nothing of the existence of each other) that he came to believe that the works of both were written by some third - apparently much later author. This notion classical philology explains by the fact that Roman literature was strongly influenced by Greek models, especially writings of Homer, and the motifs used in the Iliad and the Odyssey shaped all of Western literature even to this day.
Soon, however, he draws the conclusion that these works are mostly forgeries from more recent times. In doing so, he did not hesitate to take a position contrary to the prevailing doctrinal opinion of his time, but apart from plausibility claims and assumptions, he is unable to cite any further evidence. He points to significant parallels between the historical books of the Old Testament and works of medieval romanticism, as well as Homer's Iliad, which lead him to believe that the text of the Iliad that has come down to us is really from the late Middle Ages rather than ancient times. If one disregards the largely text-analytical “evidence”, one seeks in vain for reliable facts backing this far-reaching judgment. Instead, one finds rather interspersed statements: some of the expressions characteristic of Romance languages, which one finds in the manuscripts examined by him, would not match either of the two alleged dates (one comes from the ninth, the other from the eleventh century).
With a combination of purely philological methods and the far-reaching conclusions derived from them, Baldauf achieved results similar to those of the French Jesuit Jean Hardouin more than 200 years before him and states in his peculiar orthography with almost consistent minuskels: "The period of humanism was not a receptive time of learned collecting zeal, but a world of the most original, most productive, most immense intellectual activity".  But like Hardouin, he in no way questions the calculation of time itself, which is what so-called ‘chronology critics’ do - as in Germany Herbert Illig or, in Russia, Anatoli Fomenko- and so this does not prevent numerous ‘adepts’ from seeing in him, as in the Jesuit Hardouin, a kindred spirit or ancestor. Baldauf makes it clear that he was not interested in reorganizing the chronology, but rather in re-dating supposedly ancient or medieval writings: "Until the end of the 13th century, the Christian turn only existed in tradition, in the tradition that was deeply influenced by the world of Germanic belief in gods, and from this Christian tradition, interspersed with pagan-Germanic elements, the Italian bible writers drew." [28 ]
He sums up his research results in the following words: “Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Pindar, Aristotle are to be moved a little closer together. they are probably all children of a century. Your home is certainly not the old Hellas, but the Italy of the 14th / 15th centuries. Century. Our Romans and Hellenes were the Italian humanists. (...) once again: “the history of the Greeks and Romans written on papyrus and parchment is consistently, the one written on ore, stone, etc. for the most part an ingenious forgery of Italian humanism."
Baldauf only dealt cursorily with Aeschylus, Sophocles, Pindar and Aristotle, at least in his printed work, and Homer also serves more as evidence that Notker Balbulus and his work is an invention from a later century.  The two books remain remarkable and unjustifiably forgotten fragmentary hard work, which, however, only insufficiently substantiate the far-reaching conclusions that the author draws from them. After all, he made no secret of the fact that his publications could not close the gap between his falsification thesis and the evidence presented: “These claims sound adventurous, more than strange,” he wrote in his closing remarks, “but they can be proven. Some of the evidence is here. Others will follow. They will follow until humanism is recognized in its innermost being.”
But nothing of the sort followed! It may be that Robert Baldauf really was a "brilliant philologist", but his sparse evidence does not allow any such far-reaching conclusions- in my opinion. Therefore, only those for whom the preconceived notion has so obscured any unprejudiced analytical view, seem to rave about the fact that his "exposure of the alleged ancient literature as a humanistic creation (...) cannot be refuted" ; they may do not want to know exactly- nor have even read the scriptures to which they refer. It is true that it does not speak against Baldauf that his views were rejected by contemporary historians.  because what he published does not appear to me to be methodologically “exemplary”, “really ingenious” nor at all “revolutionary”. 
Although he does not succeed in substantiating his claims in a methodically clean and sufficient manner, at least he was humble enough to introduce this volume with the words: “The remarks made here about the sources of ancient history (...) don't want to be more than what they claim to be - some critical remarks. But let the criticism turn to you alone - the conclusions belong to me, because there are conclusions not only from these, but from some other, no less surprising evidence."
Both books were extremely rare for a long time and could hardly be found in any library. Baldauf was certainly not a gifted stylist, argued more impulsively than systematically, and the unusual lower case (with the exception of a few nouns) disrupts reading flow, as does the fact that several pages are by no means readable without prior knowledge and so represent more of a treasure trove for specialists in Latin and Greek. It may be doubted whether his unusual approach of converting catalectic meter measures into younger metrics (Vol. IV) will be popular with ancient language experts. In any case, the small number of copies during his lifetime prevented Baldauf's publications from being even noticed by contemporary critics. In addition to the online editions of his books, facsimile reprints that have been published by an Indian publisher have only been available for a few years. 
Archival material from the Basel State Archives (researched and documented by Andreas Volkart)
Baldauf, Robert: History and Criticism Vol IV. Das Altertum C. Metrik und Prosa Basel: Universitätsdruckerei Friedrich Reinhardt 1902. Facsimile reprint Delhi: Isha Books (= Gyan Books) 2013
Baldauf, Robert: History And Criticism Vol I. The Monk of St Gallen Leipzig: Dyksche Buchhandlung 1903. Facsimile reprint Delhi: Isha Books (= Gyan Books) 2013
Baldauf, Robert: The Alsatian problem on stage: World premiere of René Schickele's play "Hans im Schnakenloch" in the New Theater in Frankfurt. In: Frankfurter Zeitung No. 351 (December 19, 1916)
History of the Frankfurter Zeitung 1856–1906, Frankfurt: Frankfurter Sozietätsdruckerei 1906
Greenblatt, Stephen: The turning point. How the Renaissance began [Berlin: Siedler Vlg. (Now: Pantheon) 2013]
Hardouin, Jean: Joannis Harduini Jesuitae ad censuram scriptorum veterum prolegomena. Iuxta autographum. Published by Paul Vaillant, London 1766
Hardouin, Jean: Prolegomena to a Critique of the Ancient Writings. Translated and commented by Rainer Schmidt. Norderstedt: BoD 2021
Institute for Urban History (Ffm): Frankfurter Stadtchronik 1918
Jansen, Max and Schmitz-Kallenberg, Ludwig: Historiography and sources of German history up to 1500. Bremen: European university publisher 2011
Church Lexicon or Encyclopedia of Catholic Theology and its Auxiliary Sciences, Volume 4. Freiburg 1850
Lehnerdt, Max: Cencio and Agapito de ‘Rustici. New contributions to the history of humanism in Italy. In: Journal for Comparative Literature History. NF XIV (1901), pp. 289-310
Martin, Paul C .: What did people read in the Carolingian era? Part II. In: Zeitensprünge 4 (2000), pp. 639-661
Meyer von Knonau, Gerold: Ekkeharti (IV.) Casus sancti Galli (= St. Gallic historical sources. Vol. 3 = Communications on patriotic history. Vol. 15/16), St. Gallen 1877
Rühle, Günther: Theater for the Republic. In the mirror of criticism. Volume 1: 1917-1925, Frankfurt: S. Fischer 1988
Wattenbach, Wilhelm: Notker Balbulus (the regular). The monk of Sanct Gallen on the deeds of Charlemagne. Translated by Wilhelm Wattenbach. 3rd probably edition Leipzig: Dyksche Verlagbuchhandlung 1890
Weidmann, Franz: History of the library of St. Gallen since its foundation around the year 830 up to 1841. Edited from the sources on the thousand-year jubilee. St. Gallen 1841
 I owe this and other information from Swiss archives to Andreas Volkart, who did excellent research on Baldauf's footsteps in Basel. Cf. Sign. F.12.4 Basel-Stadt State Archives: Student Control SS 1897 - WS 1901/02; Staatsarchiv Basel: Universitätsarchiv Basel inventory AA3, student personnel directory 1859–1904. Here a Robert Baldauf is only performed for one year - WS 1901/02, p. 13; ibid. SS 1902
 To be read, for example, from Paul C. Martin: What did people read in the Carolingian era? Part II. In: Zeitensprünge 4 (2000), p. 639
 Sign. F 6.2 Basel University Archives in the Basel State Archives. Files from 1820 to 1963 about lecturers (researched and documented by Andreas Volkart)
 Sign. XI 4a Basel University Archives in the Basel State Archives. Receipts for philosophical doctoral exams from 1900–1904. Philosophical Faculty (researched and documented by Andreas Volkart)
 Sign. XI 5 Basel University Archives in the Basel State Archives. Examinations for candidate teachers from 1881 to 1920 at the University of Basel. Philosophical Faculty (researched and documented by Andreas Volkart)
 “The second features editors worked for a longer or shorter period of time: Karl Hirsch, Emil Ney, Dr. Most recently, since 1898 Rudolf Geck (born on June 8th, 1868 in Elberfeld), who from then to this day in association with Robert Baldauf (born on April 22nd, 1881 in Waldenburg, Switzerland) on the so much demanding editorial work with the same self-denial. "(History of the Frankfurter Zeitung 1856–1906, Frankfurt: Frankfurter Sozietätsdruckerei 1906, p. 919f) From this time only a few printed articles are known to be by Baldauf, all of them feature articles in the Frankfurter Zeitung, which he signed with his abbreviation ‘rb’, such as an article about Arthur Schnitzler (November 14, 1911); a Frank Wedekind production at the Frankfurter Schauspielhaus (January 10, 1916), a new play of the same with his wife Tilly in the lead role (November 28, 1914); about August Strindberg's play “Believer” (9/26/1916) or “The Alsatian Problem on Stage: World Premiere of René Schickele's play“ Hans im Schnakenloch ”in the New Theater in Frankfurt”. (December 19, 1916), about the successful war drama of the Alsatian Schickele, which was criticized by German nationalists like General Ludendorff as a “nuisance in the fatherland sense”. Baldauf wrote: “To be German is a proud certainty or a joyful promise- to be an Alsatian German, a fate, if a band of genuine sympathy for France was worn under German rock. So the war, with its compulsion to come to a clear decision, had to come almost as liberation, even as redemption (...) In those stormy days of national upswing, not everyone in the Reich may have become fully aware of the contractions out of which this new spirit of our Westmark is being born ...”
(quoted from Günther Rühle: Theater for the Republic. In the Mirror of Criticism. Volume 1 : 1917-1925, Frankfurt: S. Fischer 1988, p. 48)
 Because it was quite unusual for a Basel student of ancient history to read the new magazine for theatre, literature and music (published 1899-1910) by Georg Wilhelm Elsner in Berlin. Baldauf writes in vol. I, p. 134: “a modern anecdote [stage and world I. 3] reports that an author in the new German metropolis, who was put on in the open air by the director of a theatre, rehearsing his play, is supposed to have literally lamented: “What, they want to separate me from my child? I carried it under my heart; it is flesh from my flesh, blood from my blood, and now ..."
(from: Bühne und Welt. Vol. I, 1st edition (1898-99, p. 133))
 On July 3, 1918, just a few weeks after Baldauf's death, the Frankfurter Zeitung reported that the Spanish flu “has been taking epidemic forms in Frankfurt for about six days [...] too. The number of diseases is growing every day. In some companies a third to half of the workforce is missing. "(Quoted from: Frankfurter Stadtchronik 1918)
 “the comments made here about the“ monk of St. Gallen ”open up a series of essays, the overall result of which is drawn in“ history and criticism ”. IV. Das Altertum, F. Reinhardt, Basel 1902. "(quoted from: History and Criticism, Vol I. The Monk of St Gallen. Leipzig: Dyksche Buchhandlung 1903, foreword)
Apart from a few essays mainly the works of three authors: 1) [Ernst Christian Wilhelm Wattenbach (1819-1897)] Notker Balbulus (the regular): The monk of Sanct Gallen on the deeds of Charlemagne. Translated by Wilhelm Wattenbach. 3rd probably edition Leipzig: Dyksche Verlagbuchhandlung 1890; 2) Gerold Meyer von Knonau (Swiss historian, 1843-1931): Ekkeharti (IV.) Casus sancti Galli (= St. Gallic historical sources. Vol. 3 = Communications on patriotic history. Vol. 15/16), St. Gallen 1877 ; 3) Franz Weidmann (Benedictine priest and librarian of the St. Gallen Abbey, 1774-1843): History of the St. Gallen library from its foundation around 830 to 1841. Edited from the sources on the thousand-year jubilee celebration. St. Gallen 1841
 On page 105 (below p. 125) in vol. I he refers to a “message from prof. Baumgartner-Basel ”. Apparently Walter Baumgartner is meant, who had been Professor of Ancient History at the University of Basel since 1891 as the successor to Carl-Jacob Burkhardt.
 So the comparison of selected passages of the Gospel of Matthew and Notker’s Gesta Caroli, Baldauf Vol. I, op. Cit., Pp. 100-103 and the corresponding for the OT from p. 93
 The assessment is largely taken from the secondary literature, for example Baldauf quotes long pages (p. 95ff) from Gerold Meyer von Knonau's book (see note 10) on the unreliability of Ekkehard's writing
 Baldauf, Vol. I, p. 167
 loc. Cit., P. 168
 Essentially, there are two works: the aforementioned history of the St. Gallen Library by Franz Weidmann and an article by Max Lehnerdt about the humanists Cencio and Agapito de Rustici, friends and colleagues of Poggio Bracciolini. In the case of the latter author, Baldauf does not even seem to know the correct spelling of the name (he persistently writes: Lehnert) and does not correctly state the place where it was found (vol. IV, p. 11), since Lehnerdt's treatise did not appear in 1900, but in 1901 is, namely in: Zeitschrift f. compare literary history. NF XIV (1901), pp. 289-310, here especially pages 294-298, which speak of the find in St. Gallen.
 more on this in Vol. IV, pp. 6-19
 Often ‘clammy’ because of his lavish lifestyle, Poggio was the scribe of eight popes and famous for his perfect mastery of very different handwriting styles. The name Poggio Bracciolini which often appears in the most fantastic, not to say dubious discoveries of ancient writings, whether Lucretius' De rerum natura, be it writings of Plautus, Flaccus or Qunitilian or the Annales of Tacitus, still waits be written.
Certainly not in such an affirmative way as the American literary historian Stephen Greenblatt did in his book Die Wende, which was as rich in material as it was almost suggestive. How the Renaissance began [Berlin: Siedler Vlg. (Now: Pantheon) 2013] did.
 see Baldauf, vol. IV, p. 16f as well as the detailed description in Franz Weidmann: History of the library of St. Gallen since its foundation around 830 up to 1841. St. Gallen 1842, p. 38-43
 quoted in Weidmann, op. Cit., P. 40
 Baldauf, Vol. IV, ibid.
 quoted in the book on p. 14 after O Lorenz: St. Gallener Mitteilungen II, 1863
 Church Lexicon or Encyclopedia of Catholic Theology and its auxiliary sciences, Volume 4. Freiburg 1850, p. 285
 A few verses, he writes, would remind him of Walther von der Vogelweide. See Baldauf, Vol. I, pp. 166f
 Joannis Harduini Jesuitae ad censuram scriptorum veterum prolegomena. Iuxta autographum. Published by Paul Vaillant, London 1766, chap. XV, section 21 (p. 251 of the German translation)
 see my introduction to the prolegomena I translated and commented on to a criticism of the ancient writings of Jean Hardouin. Norderstedt 2021
 Vol. IV, p. 98
 loc. Cit., P. 97
 loc. Cit., P. 99
 Christoph Pfister: The matrix of ancient history. An introduction to the criticism of chronology. Norderstedt: BoD 2013, p. 27
 see Max Jansen & Ludwig Schmitz-Kallenberg: Historiography and sources of German history up to 1500. Bremen: Europäische Hochschulverlag 2011, pp. 28f
 Pfister, ibid.
 Baldauf, loc. Cit., Foreword (p. 3)
 Robert Baldauf: History and Criticism Vol 4. Das Altertum C. Metrik und Prosa 1902. Facsimile reprint Delhi: Isha Books (= Gyan Books) 2013 [ISBN: 978-9333-1637-36]; ders .: History and Criticism, Vol 1. Der Mönch Von St Gallen 1903. Facsimile reprint Delhi: Isha Books (= Gyan Books) 2013 [ISBN: 978-9333-1506-06]
Rainer Schmidt: https://occammeetspooh.wordpress.com/?s=robert+baldauf
Translation from the German text by Nick Weech (October 16th, 2021)
I would like to write a comment to this text: