skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Mr. Christoph Joseph Pretzer


Corpus Christi



Dr. Mark Chinca


Corpus Christi maintenance grant 2014-17

Tiarks Scholarship 2014-17

AHRC project studentship 2014-17

DAAD postgraduate scholarship 2012


I am interested in the concepts of history and historiography in 12th-century German texts, mainly the Kaiserchronik, which has claim to being the oldest European vernacular chronicle. Regarded as a chronicle from a modern perspective the text is a colossal frustration, as it gets many things wrong, conflates, distorts and amalgamates events and figures, misses out important and adds entirely fictitious ones. Yet it was a tremendous success in its time: over 50 manuscript witnesses attest an ongoing fascination with the chronicle from the late 12th to the late16th century. I am focussing on how both the manifold textual traditions which inform the composition of the Kaiserchronik and the presumed target audience’s cultural expectations shaped the text. Based on preceding scholarship I critically evaluate the different monolithic approaches which have been brought forward to make sense of the Kaiserchronik’s idiosyncratic account of history and develop a multi-pronged perspective of the different layers of religious, rhetorical, and political concepts, which overlap and interact in the text. My main focus in on the relationship of qualitative change and quantitative visualisation of historical time. To translate this into meaningful literary analysis I apply theories from Mikhail Bakhtin, Hayden White, Richard Newald, and Hans-Joachim Gehrke. 


Undergraduate Supervision Ge1


Book review: Alastair Matthews, The Kaiserchronik, a medieval narrative. Oxford 2012. In: Medium Aevum 84.2, Oxford 2016, pp. 352 ff.. 

Conference papers:

  • “Der Fall Akkons 1291 in der Reimchronik Ottokars von Steiermark”, 1. Congress of the Joint-Degree-Masterstudiengangs Bamberg/Halle/Graz, Graz, Austria, 26. April 2013.
  • “Monarchy in the Making - the becoming of the Bohemian Crown in the High Middle Ages”, Young Researchers Symposium “Blurred Boundaries” of the Universities Bamberg and Toronto in Bamberg, Germany, 23. June 2013.
  • “‘unser spiegelglas, Akers, diu werde stat’: Literarische Darstellung und narrative Funktion Akkons in Ottokars aus der Geul Buch von Akkon aus der Steirischen Reimchronik”, Joint Medieval Research Seminar of the Universities Bamberg, Bayreuth, Gießen, Chemnitz, Karlsruhe “Interaktionsraum Stadt”, Chemnitz, Germany, 31. January - 01. February 2014
  • “Das Bild der heiden in Ottokars aus der Gaal Buch von Akkon Zwischen literarischer Referentialität und narrativer Funktionalität”, Prager Germanistische Studententagung, Prague, Czech Republic, 21.-22. March 2014.
  • “Pagan meta-images in Ottokar aus der Gaal’s Buch von Akkon (Book of Acre)”, Imbas Conference “East – West and the Middle Ages”, Galway, Ireland, 28.-30. November 2014
  • “The problem of salvation history in the Kaiserchronik”, German Graduate Research Seminar, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 9. February 2015.
  • Kaiserchronik und Heilsgeschichte”, Prager Germanistische Studententagung, Prague, Czech Republic, 20.-21, March 2015.
  • “Caesar, Daniel und die Deutschen - Geschichtsrezeption in der Kaiserchronik”, Conference “Alte Helden – Neue Zeiten. Die Formierung europäischer Identitäten im Spiegel der Rezeption des Mittelalters ” Bamberg, Germany ,9.-11. April 2015.
  • “The Path of the Righteous Text: the Problem of Salvation History in the Kaiserchronik” International Medieval Congress, Leeds, United Kingdom, 6.-9. July 2015.
  • “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff: Interactions and Interrelations of setting and plot in the 12th-century Middle High German Kaiserchronik”, Imbas Conference “Perspectives of the World in the Late Antique & Medieval Period”, Galway, Ireland, 20.-22. November 2015.
  • The Orthodox Heretic: Simon Magus in the 12th-century Middle High German Kaiserchronik”, AMPRAW “Orthodoxy and Dissent”, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 14.-15. December 2015.
  • “Semantisierung und Sichtbarmachung von Raum und Zeit in der Kaiserchronik”, Germanistisches Oberseminar, Lehrstuhl für Ältere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Germany, 13. January 2016.
  • “Between soteriological damnation and virtual equivalence: Jews and Judaism in the 12th-century Middle High German Kaiserchronik”, Centre for Medieval Studies Conference “Dialogue and Difference in the Middle Ages”, Bristol, United Kingdom, 25.-26. February 2016.
  • “From Obscurity to Visibility: The Miraculous Narrative of the Middle High German Kaiserchronik”, Medium Aevum Conference “Wonder”, Oxford, United Kingdom, 8.-9. April 2016.
  • “A Tale of Two Towers - Crescentia in the Kaiserchronik: Conceptualisation and Modulation of Openness and Secrecy in Pre/Early Courtly Middle High German Literature”, German History Society Conference “Openness and Secrecy in Medieval Germany”, Durham, United Kingdom, 18.-19. April 2016.
  • “How the Germans became German - German ethnogenesis between the 9th and the 12th century or: What Pegida could learn from the Middle Ages”, DAAD Conference “German Pasts - German Futures”, Leeds, United Kingdom, 4.-7. May 2016.
  • “Intentionale Historiographie: Dimensionen historischen Erzählens in der Kaiserchronik”, CUSO Colloquium in Bern, Switzerland, 20.-22. June 2016.
  • “Living in the Middle of Times: The Conceptualisation of the Middle Ages from the Beginning of Modernity to the End of Antiquity.”, AHRC Conference “Time & Temporality”, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 14.-16. September 2016.
  • “Concepts of History in the 12th-century Middle High German Kaiserchronik” 60th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies, Coventry, United Kingdom, 4. November 2016. 

Further information:

PhD-Candidate at the Kaiserchronik-project​

MCR Secretary Corpus Christi College

Chapel Clerk Corpus Christi College

Editorial Assistant Cambridge Humanities Review