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Early Women Writers

Adelheid Langmann



Adelheid Langmann






Adelheid Langmann was a nun and mystic in the Dominican convent Engelthal near Nuremberg. At the age of 13, Adelheid was engaged to Gottfried Tuefel from a noble Nuremberg family. In 1330, against the will of her family, Adelheid entered cloistered Dominican Convent of Engelthal post her husband’s death. She achieved exemplarity since she received divine revelations. Visions and visionaries were common at Engelthal. They coincide in part with the visions of Christine Ebner. Langamann’s “Leben und Offenbarungen” records her visionary events, extant in three manuscript variations, written in Bavarian dialect. While the content is primarily auto-hagiographical, representing her religious experiences, there are stylistic and thematic similarities with female mystics of her time. There is a prominence of bridal imagery and the asensual nature of brautmystik (bridal mysticism) in her records. As she matures in her role of mystic and Sponsa Christi, she articulates visions where she and Christ perform roles of bride and groom, employing language and imagery reminiscent of traditions of courtly literatures. She was educated in Latin and learned to read and write in her vernacular German dialect.


Leben, Offenbarungen




Devotional, Mystical, Spiritual, Revelations

Editions and Translations

Die Offenbarungen der Adelheid Langmann (The Revelations of Adelheid Langmann, Conventwoman at Engelthal), Klosterfrau zu Engelthal. Edited by Philipp Strauch. Straßburg: Quellen und Forschungen zur Sprach- und Culturgeschichte der germanischen Völker 26, 1878; Leonard Patrick Hindsley: The Mystics of Engelthal: Writings from a Medieval Monastery . Palgrave MacMillan, New York 1998.


Feminine Figurae: Representations of Gender in Religious Texts by Medieval German Women Writers: By Rebecca L.R. Garber; Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia edited by Margaret C. Schaus;The Flowering of Mysticism Men and Women in the New Mysticism: 1200-1350 : Men and Women in the New Mysticism: 1200-1350. Bernard McGinn. 1998;
Bynum, C. W. (1984). Women mystics and eucharistie devotion in the thirteenth century. Women’s Studies, 11(1-2), 179–214;
The production and preservation of Fourteenth Century Dominican Nuns by Debra L. Stoudt;
Leonard Patrick Hindsley: The Mystic of Engelthal: Writings from a Medieval Monastery . Palgrave MacMillan, New York 1998.

Archival Holdings

Revelations: IV 86v-215v, Mgq 866, Berlin State Library, Germany; Revelations: Cod 308 (Hubl 234), Bl, 120r-168r; Schottenstift Wien, Vienna, Austria; Composite manuscript containing Revelations: Bl. 36r-173r, BSB CGM 99, Bavarian State Library, Munich, Germany.

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