Through Rheinfelden’s notebooks, this volume provides access to unique and previously unknown texts that together offer a new image of the medieval University of Vienna.
Henry of Rheinfelden, a Dominican from Basel, spent the last decade of the fourteenth century at the University of Vienna studying theology. During this time he took notes on the academic activities of the first rectors of the university and deans of the Faculties of Arts and Theology. This volume explores Rheinfelden’s contribution to our understanding of the doctrinal, curricular, administrative, and prosopographical history of the early University of Vienna. Deciphering Rheinfelden’s surviving notebooks in the Universitätsbibliothek Basel sheds new light on the rise of an academic elite in Vienna. His manuscripts reveal a network of scholars sharing a passion for knowledge and supply a gallery of intellectual profiles, starting with the mentors of the group, Henry of Langenstein and Henry Totting of Oyta, and continuing with the lesser-known figures Stephen of Enzersdorf, Gerhard Vischpekch of Osnabrück, Paul (Fabri) of Geldern, Andreas of Langenstein, Rutger Dole of Roermond, Nicholas of Hönhartzkirchen, Nicholas of Dinkelsbühl, John Berwart of Villingen, John Stadel of Russbach, Peter de Treysa, Michael Suchenschatz of Hausleiten, Peter Schad of Walse, Thomas of Cleves, and Leonhard of Dorffen. The papers gathered in this volume highlight the intricate relationship between a commitment to administrative duty and an appetite for the creation of a doctrinal tradition via debating, forging arguments, defending and attacking positions, commenting on authorities, and adopting and adapting academic practices imported from Paris, since the majority of the authors in our gallery were educated in Paris and built their careers in Vienna. Through Rheinfelden’s notebooks, this volume provides access to unique and previously unknown texts that together offer a new image of the medieval University of Vienna.