Der Pauper scolaris des Volpertus (1343)

Ein Mainzer Klagelied über das Lehrerdasein und die Jagd nach der Pfründe


  • Thomas Haye



Volpertus, Pauper scolaris, prebend, Mainz, schoolmaster, Pope Clement VI


Thomas Haye: The Pauper scolaris of Volpertus (1343). A lament about being a schoolmaster and the hunt for a prebend

In his Pauper scolaris, completed in 1343, the poet Volpertus describes the ideal-typical biography of a poor schoolteacher who applies to the papal curia in forma pauperum for a benefice. The text is inspired by the Laborintus of Eberhard the German and follows the traditions of satire and didactic poetry. In addition, Volpertus apparently also incorporates his own experiences. As one can see from the text, the author received a nomination from Pope Clement VI (1342 – 1352) for the prebend of a provost at a church in Mainz. However, the fact that he, although a studied teacher, is only fourth on the list of candidates seems unfair to him and a sign of a capricious fate. Beyond its poetic value, the poem is also an important psychological source for the late medieval system of awarding benefices. On the basis of the unique source (Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs I 117), it is edited here for the first time and analysed in the light of literary history.