Colloque – Minerva-Gentner Symposium: Burchard of Mount Sion’s Descriptio Terre Sancte

For historians studying the medieval Holy Land, Burchard of Mount Sion’s Descriptio Terre Sancte, dated to the 1280s, hardly needs an introduction. Burchard’s detailed and systematic description of a great number of sites, as well as his treatment of topics like the populations that inhabit this territory, make it an invaluable source for scholars working in a wide range of fields. The workshop is meant to study unexplored questions related to the Descriptio and its development and reception.

Minerva-Gentner Symposium: Burchard of Mount Sion’s Descriptio Terre Sancte: Toward a Critical Edition and Beyond. An Interdisciplinary Workshop in Cooperation between the University of Kassel and Bar-Ilan University

Despite its significance, the precise content and scope of Burchard’s Descriptio remain unclear. This is because that our current knowledge of Burchard’s composition is completely dependent on editions based on only a handful of manuscripts arbitrarily selected from more than a hundred extant witnesses. Using these existing critical editions, we rely on versions of the text whose relationship to Burchard’s own work is not clear. A team from the University of Kassel and Bar Ilan University is currently working to fill this gap and to establish a text as close as possible to Burchard’s original. Other aims are to produce a complete list of the sources Burchard used and to explore how he utilized them, as well as to analyse the considerations which led later scribes and editors to rework the Descriptio by changing phrases, inserting paragraphs and even omitting whole sections. The workshop is meant to study unexplored questions related to the Descriptio and its development and reception. It will focus on the Descriptio’s manuscript tradition and publication format, on its written sources and on Burchard’s intellectual world.

Programme :

November, 28th

Opening Remarks and Presentation of the Project
Jonathan Rubin (Bar-Ilan University)
Ingrid Baumgärtner (University of Kassel)
Susanna Fischer (University of Kassel)

Collating and Editing Medieval Texts in a Digital Age
Jonathan Schler (Bar-Ilan University)


Remarks on the Stemma codicum and the Descriptio’s Tradition
Paolo Trovato (University of Ferrara)
Descriptions of Sites and Monuments in the different versions of Burchard’s Descriptio Terre Sancte
Denys Pringle (Cardiff University)
Matarea and Eingeddi in the Descriptio’s different versions
Iris Shagrir (The Open University of Israel)

The Descriptio’s Reception: some test cases
Phillip Landgrebe (University of Kassel)
Mor Hajbi (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

November, 29th

The Use and the Presentation of the Descriptio: Maps of the Holy Land
Susanna Fischer (University of Kassel)
Presenting a Medieval Text in a Digital Age
Sinai Rusinek (University of Haifa)

Dominican Manuscripts and Burchard’s intellectual World
Cornelia Linde (University of Greifswald)
Julia Burkhardt (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)


Digital Editing Practices. Experiences from the ‘Burchards Dekret Digital‘ Project
Michael Schonhardt (University of Kassel)
Daniel Gneckow (University of Kassel)

Working Groups: Text Constitution

Conference Dinner

November, 30th

Excursion to Acre
only for speakers

December, 1st

Presentation of the Database of the ISF funded Project ‘Reception of the Accounts of the Holy Land (12th-13th centuries)’
Jose Maria Andres Porras (University of Oxford)

Working Groups: Commentary

Concluding Discussion and Remarks


Informations pratiques :

Ramat Gan (Israel)
28.11.2022 – 01.12.2022

Bar-Ilan University (RA)
Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology
Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Prof. Jonathan Rubin

University of Kassel
Medieval History / FB 05
Nora-Platiel-Straße 1
34127 Kassel

Source : H-Soz-Kult

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