Linus Ubl

Linus Ubl, B.A., M.A., St.Ex. (KU Eichstätt), M.St. (Oxon)


After finishing my B.A. in German and History at the Catholic University of Eichstätt (2014), I completed an M.St. in Modern Languages at Oxford (2015). Afterwards, I went back to Eichstätt to finish both my M.A. and a teaching diploma (‘Bayerisches Staatsexamen’) in German and History (2016). In October 2016, I returned to Oxford for my D.Phil. which is funded by the AHRC and the Cusanuswerk.


The Liber specialis gratiae by Mechthild of Hackeborn is considered to be one of the most widely read mystical texts in the Middle Ages, influencing well known mystics such as Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross. More than 300 manuscripts are known that transmit at least excerpts of the Liber (among them translations into English, Italian, Swedish, Hungarian and others) and around 200 of these are written in German. About 60 can be attributed to the Upper German area. Therefore, compared to other mystical texts, which are transmitted in much fewer manuscripts, one can actually ask - and try to answer - the question on how a specific mystical text was read in the Middle Ages and which perception the readership possessed of the text and its author. The aim of my thesis is to explore how the Liber specialis gratiae oscillates between a veneration on the one hand as can be seen by the vast transmission, and oblivion on the other hand as Mechthild is not seen as a particular figure to remember – which ultimately has lead to the lack of interest in her by modern scholarship.

Coming from studying German and History very broadly, I am generally interested in any kind of intertwining between both disciplines, particularly in the Middle Ages. This includes historiography, the history of Christianity, cultural history as well as palaeography, but also reception studies and the question of how history is told in the present, i.e. books, movies and popular culture.



Paper III (Medieval Poetry)

Paper VI (Bridal quest narratives: Herzog Ernst, König Rother; History and Fiction: Annolied, Kaiserchronik)

Paper IX (Morungen, Nibelungenlied, Parzival, Osterspiele)

Paper XII (Gregorius)



mBook. Geschichte denken statt pauken, ed. by Benjamin Bräuer, Johannes Grapentin, Michael Günther, Benjamin Heinz, Lukas Kneser, Stephan Lina, Florian Sochatzy, Linus Ubl and Marcus Ventzke, Eichstätt 2014.


Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 367. Von Kupferstichen und Einbänden — Die Excerpta Chronicarum, in: Oxford German Studies 46 (2017), pp. 241-247.

Die politische Mission des Abtes Deocar, in: Zeitreisen. Geschichten von heute, gestern und davor aus Herrieden, Aurach und Umgebung, vol. 21 (2015), pp. 8-18.


Strategisches Vermitteln von Geschichte(n). Meta-chronikales Erzählen am Beispiel der Nürnberger ›Excerpta Chronicarum‹ (XXV. Anglo-German Colloquium), Manchester, 6.-10.9.2017.

The Chaos of Materiality. Ordering Mechthild’s Medieval Mystical Manuscripts (MML Graduate Conference), Oxford, 19.6.2017.

Der oberdeutsche Liber specialis gratiae – kulturelle Annäherungen an ein Überlieferungsparadoxon (XIV. Internationales Graduiertentreffen Deutsche Mediävistik. Oxford – Freiburg i. Br. – Fribourg – Genève), Freiburg 4.-7.5.2017.

On copper engravings and bindings. Ms. Douce 367 in the Bodleian (Colloquium ‘German Manuscripts in Oxford’ in Honour of Professor Nigel F. Palmer), Oxford, 29.10.2016.

Mechthild von Hackeborn: Der deutsche Liber specialis gratiae am Beispiel des Cod. Lichtenthal 67 (XII. Internationales Graduiertentreffen Deutsche Mediävistik. Oxford – Freiburg i. Br. – Fribourg – Genève), Oxford, 29.4-2.5.2015.

Individualität und Gesellschaft im Prosaroman Fortunatus (1509) (57th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies), London, 19-20.3.2015.

Reisen als Grenzüberschreitung? Rites de passage im ‚Fortunatus‘ (Figurationen des Anderen in mittelalterlicher Literatur, Bonn-Oxford-Exchange), Bonn, 9.-10.2.2015.

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