Maximilian I (r. 1493-1519) utilized various forms of artistic and literary media throughout his reign to control his public image after his death. This thesis focuses on a manuscript project that has historically received little scholarly attention. The Ambraser Heldenbuch, produced between 1504 and 1517, preserves German heroic epics, many of which would otherwise be lost today. The manuscript has been highly valued for its literary and linguistic significance, but this thesis argues that the entire project sheds light on Maximilian’s plan to immortalize not only his own reputation, but also that of his family. This thesis focuses on the manuscript’s historical background, production, textual contents, artwork, and provenance, and situates the project alongside Maximilian’s ongoing artistic program. In doing so, it demonstrates that the Ambraser Heldenbuch was a unique and complex project that preserved not just literature, but the values Maximilian felt were necessary for his descendants uphold.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Michael A. Ryan
Third Committee Member
Maximilian I, Ambraser Heldenbuch, Manuscripts, Habsburg
Cochran, Jessica. "Immodest Immortality: Emperor Maximilian I's Artistic Program and the Ambraser Heldenbuch, 1504-1519." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hist_etds/330