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Sächsische Weltchronik

The Sächsische Weltchronik is a universal history written in vernacular German prose between 1229 and 1277. The twenty-four surviving manuscripts are a mix of Low German (ten), High German (nine) and Central German (five). The 98-line verse prologue is always in High German. The Weltchronik is the oldest historical work in German prose. Ludwig Weiland, who made a critical edition for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in 1877, gave it the conventional title by which it is most commonly known. The first edition was prepared by Hans Ferdinand Massmann in 1857, but was based on only one manuscript. The manuscripts are classified into three recensions—A, B and C—and the oldest group (A) is entirely High German. Michael Menzel classifies a fifteenth-century manuscript from Wolfenbüttel as the Leittext.
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