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II The long sixteenth century

The first curiosity-driven wordlists: Rotwelsch

In medieval and early modern Europe, before efficient bureaucracies could ensure the maintenance in good condition of a network of major roads, a long journey overland was a matter of days or weeks. There were many travellers: pilgrims, journeymen, soldiers and discharged soldiers, pedlars, tinkers, seasonal workers, students, mendicant friars—and people leaving trouble behind them, people leaving their real names behind them, vagabonds and beggars. Some of these travellers had their own secret language varieties, or cryptolects. From the point of view of itinerant people, carrying few possessions and enjoying few opportunities for privacy, a cryptolect was a possession which could be carried everywhere without fear of its being stolen or confiscated. Its use made it possible to keep legal or illegal business secret, and to maintain a sense of shared identity in communities which were marginalized, scattered, and always on the move.1

As we shall see, medieval and early modern cryptolects normally appeared in the form of scattered words in sentences in the normal local language. This is, in fact, just how modern cryptolects are used. The linguist and Romani activist Ian Hancock writes of the modern varieties Irish Traveller Cant, Scottish Traveller Cant, and American Angloromani that

[e]ssentially . . . each is a set of non-English lexemes in the framework of English. The proportion of these in any given utterance differs according to circumstance, but in normal speech it is fairly low. . . . If the dialects are ever spoken with a high incidence of non-English lexicon, it is usually in situations where it is consciously the intention to do so. Individuals are admired for the extent of their vocabularies . . .2

In many cases, words in a given cryptolect were adaptations from the normal local language. In the Rotwelsch of German-speaking Europe, for instance, a goose was a breitfufi, ‘broad-foot’; in the cant of England, a duck was ‘a quakinge chete [chete was a noun used in a number of similar formations] or a red shanke’.3 This practice of making everyday language stranger helps to explain why cryptolects appealed to creative writers

  • 1 For a sympathetic account, see Binchy, ‘Travellers’ language’ 136-44.
  • 2 Hancock, ‘Cryptolectal speech’ 213.
  • 3 Kluge, Rotwelsch 15; Harman, Caveat sig. G4r.

Small Dictionaries and Curiosity. First edition. John Considine.

© John Considine 2017. First published 2017 by Oxford University Press.

and their readership: they were not only transgressive but sometimes intrinsically poetic. The speakers of cryptolects might also distort words from the normal languages spoken around them, or adopt little-used archaisms or regionalisms, or borrow from other languages such as Yiddish and Romani.[1]

Cryptolects were not only important to their speakers. From the point of view of settled people, who saw all sorts of strangers come along the road every day for good or for evil, discriminating among those strangers was a practical matter. A wandering thief who stole a goose might leave a family hungry; a fraudulent beggar might divert charity from people who were truly helpless and starving. Words might play a part in the making of this discrimination; the people who used a cryptolect associated with beggars and vagabonds might be objects of strong suspicion.

This is why cryptolects were first recorded, a process which began in Germanspeaking parts of Europe before others. An entry of 1342 in the Achtbuch, or register of banished persons, of the free imperial city of Augsburg identifies certain classes of prohibited beggars: ‘the first hurlentzern, who claim to be converted Jews, and then clainniern, who are the [ostensible] pilgrims who lie before the churches’, and so on.[2] These imposters could be named and revealed in what appears to have been a terminology of their own: hurlentzer and clainnier were words which needed to be explained as soon as they were set down, but they were worth setting down all the same. Command of a few words of the language variety of these exploitative persons was being used as a first step towards command of the persons themselves. The catalogue of kinds of vagabond, with each cryptolectal name followed by a description, was to become an enduring genre in and beyond German-speaking Europe, although the precision and elaborateness of these catalogues, which evidently appealed to readers’ imaginations, were doubtless at odds with ‘the improvisational, hand-to-mouth subsistence of real vagrants’.[3] The beginnings of the genre, however, were modest. Only two other fourteenth-century lists of this sort are noted in Friedrich Kluge’s Rotwelsch, which is still the standard modern edition of the primary texts: a second from the Augsburg Achtbuch, and one from a book compiled by Dithmar von Meckebach, chancellor of the Duchy of Breslau (now Wroclaw), which became part of the Breslau city archives.7

An exceptionally important example is preserved in three fifteenth-century manuscripts from Basel, the oldest probably written between 1430 and 1444. Their text begins ‘Dis ist die betrugnisse’ (‘This is the trickery’), and Kluge calls them the ‘Basler Betrugnisse’, a convenient title, which I will use below. The catalogue itself is rather elaborate, and it is followed by lexical material. This material begins with a paragraph in which a number of the words used by vagabonds are incorporated into the text and then explained: ‘when they come together into the pose, that is into the inn, they call for a breitfufi, that is a goose, andflughart, which are hens’ and so on.8 If it is an accurate report of actual language use, this brief passage is a reminder that cryptolects might sometimes be used ostentatiously, for display rather than concealment. The discursive paragraph is followed by a vocabulary of fourteen words, overlapping with those which have just been used and explained in context, with the heading ‘This is their Rotwelsch’: it begins ‘lem is bread. joham is wine. bofihart is meat’.9 The word Rotwelsch had been used as early as the thirteenth century with reference to words not generally understood, but here it develops its more specific application to the cryptolect of vagabonds and the world of crime in Germanspeaking Europe.10

The oldest of the three Basel manuscripts which preserve the first Rotwelsch- German wordlist is from a collection of civic ordinances: here, as was certainly the case in the Augsburg Achtbuch and probably in that of the book of Dithmar von Meckebach, there is a connection between the recording of information about vagabonds and their language, and the social control of the same vagabonds. The latest of the Basel manuscripts, from the end of the fifteenth century, is also associated with civic ordinances.11 But the second oldest is part of a chronicle of the city of Basel, the Diarium of Johannes Knebel, in which the Rotwelsch material is entered at the year 1479, and this is striking: here, the lexicography of Rotwelsch is starting to be detached from the business of social control. (To be sure, the word starting is important, for a fifteenth-century city chronicle was in its way a contribution to the running of the city.) Nor was the text in Knebel’s chronicle unoriginal, for it added a new specimen sentence and ten new lexical items, including three equivalents for schisfihus ‘shithouse’: arfiposse, arsblis, and sevelbofi.12

A different Rotwelsch-German glossary is preserved in a later fifteenth-century manuscript, and here the context is even further removed from civic affairs, for the manuscript, copied by the chronicler and city counsellor Gerold Edlibach of Zurich, is a miscellany: it offers a text of the Schachzabelbuch of Konrad von Ammenhausen, which is an early contribution to the literature of chess, together with a German version of the improving story of Melibeus and Prudentia (Edlibach dated his copy of this story 1488), a short astrological text, and a Rotwelsch glossary of sixty-six words.13 The glossary has been damaged, and has lost some material; Kluge estimated that the original might have registered between 100 and 150 words. Edlibach surely copied it, [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

perhaps from a civic or judicial document, simply because it excited his curiosity. One further piece of evidence for the very early reading of Rotwelsch wordlists in a spirit of curiosity is the apparent imitation of the ‘Basler Betrugnisse’ in an Italian text composed before 1486 and apparently inspired by reading which took place in the course of a journey to Basel in 1473 or the return journey at an uncertain date thereafter; we shall return to this text.

In the first decade of the sixteenth century, a Rotwelsch-German glossary of 219 items was compiled, almost certainly by Matthias Hutlin, master of the spital house at Pforzheim.[10] The origin of Hutlin’s interest in Rotwelsch is clear: a variety of vagrants came to the spital house seeking food and shelter, and he realized that some of them used words which were used by no other group of people. He must have compiled his list by speaking to users of Rotwelsch words, and given his position, he may well have done so with some view to its practical usefulness, whether in discriminating the generally unrespectable users of Rotwelsch from the more deserving poor, or in understanding what they were saying when they talked among themselves. From about 1509 Hutlin’s list would be disseminated widely, for it was printed in the very popular Liber vagatorum, ‘The Book of Vagabonds’. The layout of the Liber vagatorum was a development of that of the ‘Basler Betrugnisse’: the first two parts (perhaps not by Hutlin) were a catalogue of kinds of vagabond, with some Rotwelsch words in its text, and an appendix of additions; the third part was the glossary. Notwithstanding the Latin title, the original language of the book was High German. The Liber vagatorum was small and cheap: a couple of typical early printings, of 1510 and 1512, have fourteen and twelve leaves respectively, with the Rotwelsch vocabulary starting halfway down the antepenultimate leaf. As a catalogue of erring persons, it had an affinity with Sebastian Brant’s Narrenschiff, of which the first edition had been published in Basel in 1494, and which had influenced another catalogue, Robert de Balsac’s Droit chemin de Ihopital of 1502, which lists the people whose way of life brings them to the spital house. The Narrenschiff, indeed, has a section on beggars in which some Rotwelsch appears.[11]

The place of origin of the Liber vagatorum suggests how slowly the Rotwelsch lexicographical tradition had moved, in geographical terms, over the course of sixty years. Beginning in Basel, it had extended to Zurich fifty miles away, and to Pforzheim a hundred miles away—Basel is on the Rhine, to which Pforzheim is connected by navigable rivers, the Enz and the Neckar—but no further. As we shall see in Chapter Six, the influence of the ‘Basler Betrugnisse’ was carried further, to Dijon and Urbino, by the end of the fifteenth century, but there, it was applied to other cryptolects. As soon as it entered popular print, however, the wordlist from Pforzheim was disseminated far and fast. Four editions of the Liber vagatorum appear to have been printed in 1509, the first in Pforzheim, and then two in Basel (one of them by Johann Bergmann de Olpe, the first printer of the Narrenschiff) and one far down the Rhine in Koln, this last in a language variety on the Low German-Dutch continuum.[12] Then no fewer than fourteen were printed around 1510, many with no imprint, though four of them can be localized, to Basel, Pforzheim, Nurnberg, and Braunschweig respectively. The last of these was in Low German, and offered a fuller vocabulary, running to 280 words: someone else was doing some original data collection to supplement Hutlin’s.[13] Nearly twenty more editions appeared in the sixteenth century. Some retained the title Liber vagatorum, but from 1528 a number appeared as Von der falschen Betler Buberey (‘On the Deceitful Deeds of Beggars’), with a foreword by Martin Luther; from about 1540 others appeared with the misleading title Die Rotwelsch Grammatic; and in 1580, a reprint of Von der falschen Betler Buberey was called Ein Buchlein von den Bettlern genant Expertus in truphis (‘A Little Book about Beggars, or, Expert in Frauds’).[14] Perhaps half a dozen more editions appeared in the seventeenth century, and at least two in the eighteenth.[15] The ‘Rottwelsche Grammatik’ among the manuscripts of the Bohemian Jesuit Jin Barthold Pontan, who died in 1614, begins ‘Adone Gott. Acheln essen’, showing that it is copied from one of the printed editions of that name, and thus suggesting that numerous as they were, the printed books were not always easy to come by—and that their content might fascinate readers enough to justify the labour of copying it by hand.[16] A crudely illustrated Dutch version, Der fielen, rabauwen, oft der schalcken vocabulaer (‘The Vocabulary of Rogues, Scoundrels, or Villains’), which begins with a 187-entry adaptation of the Liber vagatorum vocabulary and includes a Dutch adaptation of Balsac’s Droit chemin de lhopital, is known from extant editions of 1563 and 1613, but has an imprimatur of 1547, and was referred to as more than fifty years old in a text of1597, suggesting that an edition of 1547 has been lost.[17]

Whereas some of the fifteenth-century Rotwelsch wordlists appear to have been copied out of curiosity, these sixteenth-century and later printed pamphlets claimed to present practical information to everyone in a position to give alms. The taxonomy of beggars in the first part of the Liber vagatorum began with a chapter on the deserving destitute, which ended with the encouraging remark—not in the ‘Basler Betrugnisse, and suggestive of Hutlins own role in the dispensing ofcharity—that giving money to them was a good thing to do.[18] Later chapters suggested to whom one should not give. Luther’s foreword to Von der falschen Betler Buberey made it clear that ‘the true warning ofthis little book’ was that everyone, including those in authority, should be canny in dealing with beggars, and added with engaging frankness that ‘I have myself, these last few years, been screwed [beschissen: cf. English shit on ‘treat with contempt, insult’] and ripped off by such vagabonds and swindlers more than I care to acknowledge.[19] A didactic function is likewise suggested by the issue of the edition of 1580 called Expertus in truphis with the Drey Predigten (‘Three Sermons’) of the Lutheran preacher and professor Nicolaus Selneccer.[20]

These clues as to editorial intention are supplemented by at least one early record of reading a book in the Liber vagatorum tradition: a reader of the copy of the 1528 Von der falschen Betler Buberey now in the Stadtbibliothek at Worms glossed some of the Rotwelsch words which appear in the text of the first part with interlinear and marginal notes derived from the third part, so that a passage in which beggars bring ‘kro- nerin vn[d] gatzam’ with them on their travels has eheweib ‘wife’ written above kronerin, and kindt ‘child’ above gatzam.[21] The glosses become less frequent after the first pages, which is a common distribution of handwritten annotations in early printed books.[22] The fact that they appear at all suggests a serious approach to the text by someone who wanted to understand it. Did that desire for understanding originate in fear of beggars, or in curiosity about them, or in uncertainty as to who should receive the reader’s alms? Of course, these possibilities are not mutually exclusive: the motives for reading are often mixed. So it is that the preface to a 1668 edition of the Liber vaga- torum, published as Expertus in truphis, invokes the names of Luther and of Selneccer, enjoins charity to the poor, but also describes the volume as ‘this entertaining and historically curious little book.[23] The historical and even ethnographical anecdotes about beggars which follow the original text in this edition—‘about the extraordinary and impudent beggars in China’, for instance, taken from a recent travel narrative—were surely meant simply to entertain the reader.[24] Meant for the simple satisfaction of curiosity, without any eleemosynary overtones, was the two-way vocabulary of 269 items of soldier’s slang, most of which was actually Rotwelsch and much of which derived from the Liber vagatorum, which appeared in 1644 as part of Johann Michael Moscherosch’s narrative of the Thirty Years’ War, the Gesichte Philanders von Sittewalt (‘Visions of Philander von Sittewalt’).[25] The same was true of the ‘Gielers Vocabulaer’ (‘Vocabulary of beggars’), drawn from Der fielen, rabauwen, oft der schalcken vocabulaer, which appears in Adriaen van de Venne’s Tafereel van de belacchende werelt (‘Scene of the laughable world’) of 1635. This work ‘offers an extensive and caleido- scopic view of the lowest reaches of seventeenth-century society’, and appears to do so principally for its readers’ amusement, even though Van de Venne introduces it as a text which will help good burghers to dispense alms only to the deserving.[26] Indeed, the reader of the Worms copy of the 1528 Von der falschen BetlerBuberey already seems to have appreciated a good story, annotating the account of the beggar of Pforzheim who claimed that she had given birth to a live toad, which now lived at the shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Einsiedeln and had to be fed a pound of flesh every day, with a brief marginal summary of the sort which so often indicates an early modern reader’s enjoyment of a curious fact or anecdote.[27]

A publication of 1555 shows new and old approaches to the Liber vagatorum word- list. This was Mithridates, by Conrad Gessner (Gesner) of Zurich, which was a pioneering comparative discussion of the languages of the world, supported by ample linguistic data.[28] Gessner’s most striking single body of data comprised texts of the Lord’s Prayer in twenty-two language varieties, living and dead, including two dialects of Dutch and two of Sardic, the number being chosen to match the number of languages in which Mithridates VI of Pontus had, according to Pliny, been fluent.[29] These texts were presented in the main text and, for purposes of comparison, together on a fold-out. Other data presented in the book included a number of short wordlists—for instance, the account of the ‘Aethiopica lingua’ reproduces a comparative wordlist of Geez and Aramaic by Sebastian Munster, which shows the affinity between those languages.[30]

The main text of Mithridates is an alphabetical encyclopedia of languages of the Old World, followed by a separate alphabetical sequence of brief notes on languages of central and eastern Asia and of the New World, and then by a final section ‘On certain invented languages and words.[31] This begins with an account of the Zigari or Ciani, in other words the Roma, to whom and to whose language we shall return in Chapter Seven. They were, according to Gessner, ‘an extraordinary horde of people, expert in all languages. They have indeed made up for themselves a certain language of their own, which the Germans call Rotwelsch’; he goes on to cite a ‘little book published in German at Basel by Rudolph Dekk the printer’ as a source for their knaveries, and this is an edition of the Liber vagatorum of around 1545, published as Liber vagatorum: Der Betler orden: Die Rothwelsch Grammatick unnd barlen der Wanderschaffi?[32] Gessner can hardly have read it very attentively, or he would have seen that it is about all sorts of beggars, many or most of whom are clearly not Roma. Some notes on recherche word-formation in ancient Greek and on the language spoken by the people of Utopia in Thomas More’s narrative follow, and then Gessner reproduces the Rotwelsch vocabulary of the Liber vagatorum, calling it first ‘Glossary of the invented language of the Zigari and beggars, from the little book which we mentioned above’, and then, taking over the misleading reference to grammar from the title of his source, ‘The primer and vocabulary of the Rotwelsch grammar and speech.[33] After the wordlist, a one-page epilogue brings the volume to a close. Both as the longest wordlist in Mithridates and as the last body of linguistic data in the book, the Rotwelsch vocabulary calls attention to itself. Gessner did not need to adduce lexicographical evidence at such length, and in so far as the master narrative of the book is one of the organic divergence of other languages from the ancient purity and integrity of Hebrew, presenting a purely artificial language variety was irrelevant anyway. He presumably added the Rotwelsch vocabulary not because it was directly relevant to the argument of the book, but because he thought it was an interesting curiosity.[34]

In 1597, the Netherlandish humanist Bonaventura Vulcanius published a contribution to the comparative study of languages with the misleadingly modest title De literis et lingua

Getarum sive Gothorum (‘On the Alphabet and Language of the Getae or Goths’). The material in this book largely bore on the history of the Germanic languages.[35] When it went to press, what would otherwise have been blank space at the end of the book was filled with a Romani wordlist, which will be discussed in Chapter Seven, and a Rotwelsch wordlist abridged from the version ofthe Liber vagatorum wordlist which had appeared in Der fielen, rabauwen, oft der schalcken vocabulaer of 1547.[36] So, for Gessner and Vulcanius alike, Rotwelsch appeared at the end of, and outside the main intellectual scheme of, a book largely devoted to other languages: for both of them, it appealed as a curiosity.

An abridgement of the Rotwelsch wordlist in Mithridates was appended to a discussion of the composition of poetry in invented languages in Johann Heinrich Alsted’s famous Encyclopaedia of 1630, and another Rotwelsch wordlist deriving from Mithridates appeared in Justus Georg Schottelius’ Ausfuhrliche Arbeit von der Teutschen Haupt-Sprache in 1663.[37] However, the tradition of Rotwelsch lexicography did not degenerate into a merely writerly one in the century of Alsted and Schottelius. It was refreshed, for instance, by the publication in 1687 of an account of the crimes of one Andreas Hempel and his thieving companions. This was a tract of fifteen folio leaves, ending with a German-Rotwelsch vocabulary of 199 items, in no particular order, which had purportedly been extracted from Hempel during his interrogation. The 199-item version probably did not circulate widely: only one printed copy is known, together with one early manuscript apograph.[38] But an enlargement running to 216 items, including some Romani, was printed in 1726 as part of an expanded edition of an account of the new and imposing institution, a combined workhouse, orphanage, and poorhouse, which had been built at Waldheim in Saxony, in very much the area ofHempel’s operations.[39] (It survives, still imposing, as the Justizvollzugsanstalt Waldheim.) This is not a rare book; nor, to cut a long story short, are other eighteenth- century wordlists of Rotwelsch which draw to a greater or lesser extent on direct observation.

  • [1] For distortion, see Sainean, Largot ancien 45-59 and Binchy, ‘Travellers’ language’ 134-6; for archaisms and regionalisms, see Sainean, Largot ancien 163-248; for borrowings, see e.g. Wexler, ‘Languages incontact’ 117.
  • [2] In Kluge, Rotwelsch 1, ‘des ersten hurlentzern, die gand fur tauffert juden.—darnach clainnieren, dazsint die pilgrim, die vor den circhen ligent’.
  • [3] Woodbridge, Vagrancy 6. 7 Kluge, Rotwelsch 2.
  • [4] In Kluge, Rotwelsch 15, ‘wenn die zesammen koment in die pose, daz ist in die herberg, so wellent sihaben ein breitfufi, das ist ein gans, und flughart, das sint hunre’.
  • [5] In Kluge, Rotwelsch 15, ‘Dis ist ir rottwelsche. Item lem ist brott. joham ist win. bofihart ist fleisch.’
  • [6] For the thirteenth-century instance see Kluge, Rotwelsch 1.
  • [7] For all three manuscripts, see Kluge, Rotwelsch 9.
  • [8] In Kluge, Rotwelsch 16, ‘Arfiposse ist ein schisfihus [sic]; efi heiset ein arsblis oder ein sevelbofi.’
  • [9] Kluge, Rotwelsch 19-20. For the other contents of the manuscript (now Zurich: Staatsarchiv, W I3.21), see Barack, Handschriften der furstlich-Furstenbergischen Hojbibliothek 93-4.
  • [10] For the evidence, see Assion, ‘Matthias Hutlin’ 78, 88-91.
  • [11] Kluge, Rotwelsch 28.
  • [12] Claes, Bibliographisches Verzeichnis, items 182-5; item 182, printed in Basel by Johann Bergmann deOlpe and known to Claes only from a report in a nineteenth-century study, is doubtless to be identified with the copy printed with woodcut page borders associated with Bergmann which is Hertzberger, Catalogue 226 item 103—but whereas Hertzberger suggests that this is the first edition, a book compiled inPforzheim is surely likelier to have been printed in Pforzheim and then in Basel than the reverse. The version of the vocabulary printed at Koln is at Kluge, Rotwelsch 78-80.
  • [13] Claes, Bibliographisches Verzeichnis, items 189-202. The Low German version of the vocabulary is atKluge, Rotwelsch 75-8.
  • [14] Claes, Bibliographisches Verzeichnis, as follows. Liber vagatorum: items 215-17 (all c. 1512-16), 244(c. 1515), 283 (1520?), 406 (c. 1545). Von der falschen Betler Buberey: items 306-8 (all 1528), 311 (1529),319 (1531), 483-4 (1560). Die Rotwelsch Grammatic: items 380-1 (c.1540), 383 (c. 1540-1547), 657 (1583),664 (1584), 744 (1590). Expertus in truphis: item 630 (1580).
  • [15] W. J. Jones, German Lexicography records editions of Die Rotwelsche Grammatic from 1601 and thelate seventeenth century (items 79, 742); Bericht von der falschen Betler Buberei from 1616 and 1617, notingthat editions of 1626 and 1634 appear in other bibliographies (items 1-2); and Expertus in truphis from1668 (item 85); the Rotwelsche Grammatica published as by Wendel Humm in 1704 and mentioned byJones in his notes on item 742 is said by a source of Kluge’s (quoted in his Rotwelsch 175) to be based on theLiber vagatorum; a Rotwellsche Grammatik was published at Frankfurt in 1755.
  • [16] R. Evans, Rudolf II and his World 160; for the opening entries of Pontan’s wordlist, see Patera andPodlaha, Soupis 2: 357.
  • [17] Der fielen, rabauwen, oft der schalcken vocabulaer (1563): vocabulary sigs. A3r-A5r (it is reproducedfrom the 1613 edition in Kluge, Rotwelsch 92-5), imprimatur sig. E7r; cf. Vulcanius, De literis et linguaGetarum 106, ‘libellus Teutonica lingua ante annos quinquaginta conscriptus’ and Kluge, Rotwelsch 114.For the adaptation of Balsac, see Van Vaeck and Verberkmoes, ‘Who do beggars deceive?’ 271.
  • [18] In Kluge, Rotwelsch 38, ‘denen betlern ist wol zu geben wann es ist wol angeleit’; discussion in Assion,‘Matthias HUtlin’ 84.
  • [19] Von der falschen Betler Buberey (1528) sig. A1v, ‘die trewe warnung dieses buchlins ist freylich diese /das Fursten / Herrn / Rethe ynn Stedten / vnd yderman solle klug sein / vnd auff die bettler sehen’ and A2r,‘Ich bin selbs dise iar her also beschissen und versucht von solchen landstreichern vnd zungendresschern /mehr denn ich bekennen wil.’
  • [20] Claes, Bibliographisches Verzeichnis, item 630, notes that not all copies of the Drey Predigten have theExpertus in truphis.
  • [21] Worms, Stadtbibliothek Mag LB 248 (Von der falschen Betler Buberey [1528]), sig. A2r.
  • [22] Cf. Rosenthal, Rosenthal Collection, items 97 (‘first three texts’), 99 (‘intensively annotated as far asBook 9 [of 15] . . . only very sporadically after that’), 103 ‘Book 1 [35 of 65 leaves] . . . is heavily annotated’),104 (‘Only the first two pages . . . are annotated’), etc.
  • [23] Expertus in truphis (1668) sig. A5r, ‘dis lustige und antiquitatische Buchlein.
  • [24] Expertus in truphis (1668) 140, ‘Von den seltzamen und frechen Bettlern in Sina oder China, citingJohan Neuhoff (i.e. Nieuhof), ‘Gesandtschaft der Ost. Ind. Compagnie’ as source: that is, the 1666 Germantranslation of Nieuhof’s Gezandtschap der Neerlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie, aan den grootenTartarischen Cham of the previous year.
  • [25] W. J. Jones, German Lexicography item 863.
  • [26] Van Vaeck and Verberkmoes, ‘Who do beggars deceive?’ 270-4.
  • [27] Worms, Stadtbibliothek Mag LB 248 (Von der falschen Betler Buberey [1528]), sig. B4r.
  • [28] For Mithridates, see Peters, ‘Einleitung’; a sketch in English is Considine, Dictionaries in Early ModernEurope 128-30 (the treatment of Rotwelsch and the Liber vagatorum ibid. 129 is inaccurate); biographicalcontext is in Wellisch, Conrad Gessner 12, 80.
  • [29] Pliny, HN vii. 24.
  • [30] Gessner, Mithridates (1555) fo. 7v, reproducing MUnster, Grammatica Chaldaica 17 (with the Aramaictranscribed into the Roman alphabet); for MUnster’s table, see also Smitskamp, Philologia orientalis 20-1,and for a similar one by Guillaume Postel, ibid. 245.
  • [31] Gessner, Mithridates (1555) fo. 71v, ‘De linguis quibusdam et uocabulis fictitiis.
  • [32] Gessner, Mithridates (1555) fo. 71v, ‘colluuies hominum mirabilis, omniu[m] perita linguarum.Confinxerunt quidem sibi propriam quandam linguam, quam Germani uocant Rotwelsch’ (original initalic type with Rotwelsch in Fraktur); fo. 72r, ‘libellum Germanice publicatum, Basileae apud RudolphumDekk typographum’, presumably Claes, Bibliographisches Verzeichnis item 406.
  • [33] Gessner, Mithridates (1555) fo. 73r, ‘Vocabvla lingvae fictitiae Zigarorum et mendicorum, exlibello cuius paulo ante mentionem fecimus’; fo. 74r, ‘Das Elemental vn[d] Vocabulari der RotwelschenGrammatic vnd spraach’; wordlist fos. 74r-77r.
  • [34] There was in fact a technical reason to add some material right at the end of Mithridates: the book isan octavo, and the section on artificial languages ends at K3r, in other words on the recto of the third leafof a gathering of eight leaves, leaving the problem of what to do with the rest of the gathering. Adding theRotwelsch wordlist provided text as far as the end of the verso of the seventh leaf, after which the recto ofthe eighth received a short epilogue, and its verso was left blank. But K could have been made a half-sheetgathering of four octavo leaves, of which the antepenultimate and last (K3v and K4v) would be blank, andthe penultimate (K4r) would have the epilogue, so the addition of the Rotwelsch material was a consideredchoice, not a desperate one.
  • [35] Van Hal, ‘Vulcanius and his network’ 388-91.
  • [36] Vulcanius, De literis et lingua Getarum 105-9. The fit of the text to the octavo gatherings of printedpages presented a similar problem to the one which Gessner encountered in the printing of Mithridates: asection of Old English material ended at signature f3v, leaving leaves f4 to f8 to fill. Vulcanius added twopages of Persian, a language whose occasional lexical resemblance to German was at the time a topic ofinterest, to fill leaf f4, and then filled up the rest of the gathering with material on Basque, to which we shallreturn in Chapter Nine. He then found a text of the Lord’s Prayer in Frisian, which was highly relevant tothe original scheme of the book, the whole of which had indeed been dedicated to the Estates of Friesland.He therefore printed his new text on the first leaf of a new gathering, g1, and filled up the rest of the gathering with a couple of other versions of the Lord’s Prayer, one in Welsh and one in Icelandic, and then theRomani and Rotwelsch material.
  • [37] Alsted, Encyclopaedia lib. X sect. iv cap. vi (iii) = 1: 569-70; for the wordlist in Schottelius, see Kluge,Rotwelsch 160.
  • [38] W. J. Jones, German Lexicography item 706, identifying a printed copy at Halle; Kluge, Rotwelsch 166reports the apograph in the Hauptarchiv at Dresden.
  • [39] Kluge, Rotwelsch 185-91. The first edition was apparently published serially from 1717 onwards; theissue in book form of this edition, Beschreibung des Chur-Sachsischen allgemeinen Zucht-, Waysen- undArmen-Hauses (1721), does not have the glossary.
 
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