Who is Ludolf von Sudheim??

Dec 2019

I need your help. For my essay about the Fall of Acre, i used a writing of Ludolf von Sudheim as my main source. Although the source gives clear information, i'm running in a problem. About von Sudheim is little known, except that he's a German priest who travelled to the Holy land. If you know more about Ludolf von Sudheim, please contact me.
Nov 2016
If you know more about Ludolf von Sudheim, please contact me.

(translated with DeepL)

Ludolf von Sudheim (* in Osnabrück, attested 1336-1341) was a German oriental pilgrim and clergyman. Ludolf, who possibly came from the Osnabrück family Schilder, was the pastor of the parish village Sudheim near Lichtenau (Westphalia), which no longer exists today. From 1336 to 1341 he undertook an extensive pilgrimage to the Orient. His Latin travelogue, handed down in numerous manuscripts, exists in two versions. Manuscripts also provide a Low German and a High German translation.

Here is a long text in old-fashioned German about him. I translated it with DeepL and made quickly some linguistic corrections.

Ludolf von Suchen - this is how the author's name used to be read on the title and in the entrance to a famous 14th century pilgrim's book. "Ludolf" is still to be kept, but in spite of this, the oldest High German translations of the book strangely contain "Peter". But Suchen oder Suchem is misread instead of Suthem, Sutheim. According to the wording of the text, it should designate a place of the Paderborn diocese in which L. was a priest (rector ecclesiae parochialis). Now one searches in vain for a parish village of this name in Paderborn, but in the Middle Ages there was a village Suthem (Sudhem) a quarter of an hour away from Lichtenau (southeast of Paderborn), the centre of a small free county, in ecclesiastical relation to the archidiaconate of the provost in Busdorf. This was without doubt the parish which L. held when he wrote his book around 1350 and dedicated it to the Paderborn bishop Balduin of Steinfurt (reigning 1340-1361). At the time of his journey he seems to have been Caplan in the service of a German knight. The book itself is not both a description of the pilgrimage he made, but rather a counselor and guide for pilgrims. At first, it teaches them about the different paths one can take to the Holy Land. About this we do not learn which L. himself made. But it is quite certain that he passed at least on the way to the south of France. He also shows acquaintance with this country in other ways - he often visited the region of Beziers and Narbonne - and certainly he himself observed what he recommended to others, the obtaining of permission to make a pilgrimage from the Pope (at that time in Avignon). The journey to the sea led him to Constantinople and Ephesus. While in the latter city L. already had all opportunity to observe the advance of Islam on ancient Christian soil by encountering it transformed from a Greek into a Turkish one, he found in Palestine the rule of the Sultans of Egypt fully fortified for decades, so that Cyprus henceforth formed the outmost outpost of Christianity. As one of the first Germans to visit the Holy Land under the new reign, he was able to collect from a few westerners who had remained behind in the Orient some news, unfortunately clouded by anachronisms and exaggerations, about the causes and course of events of Accon's fall and about the appearance of the city under Crusader rule, but on the other hand he was also allowed to convince himself that the sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, etc., which had become more and more dear to Christianity had been left by the Saracens in a state of reasonable preservation, even partly in the care of Western clergy and monks. In any case, the Muslim regiment did not prevent the L. from travelling through Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, Palestine and Syria (Damascus) und undisturbed and from staying in these regions for five years (1336-1341). To determine his route in detail is no longer possible by L. being so strongly influenced by the travel description of Wilhelm of Boldensele (see vol. III, p. 96), who had committed the same countries only a few years before, that he enumerates the places in his Periegese in the order in which Boldensele had wandered through them. Also in the description of the place itself the dependence on this predecessor is often betrayed to the extent that Ludolf's text is nothing but a badly veiled paraphrase of Boldensele's. But what L. then adds from his own observation as well as as as a result of many-sided inquiries, is rich and interesting enough to justify it, if one instructs this liber de itinere terrae sanctae in the pilgrimage literature of the Middle Ages one of the foremost places. Legends and legends are, of course, not missing here either, and the biblical study of the spiritual author often shows itself in a rather alarming light. The many translations of the Latin original into High German, Lower Rhine and Lower Saxon prove the great success of the book with contemporaries and long after, as the printing press first reproduced it among all pilgrim scriptures.
For Ludolf's life the only source is his book De itinere terrae sanctae. Both are discussed in more detail by Ferd. Deycks, Ueber ältere Pilgerfahrten nach Jerusalem (Münster 1848) and by Evelt in the Zeitschrift für Vaterländ. (Westfälische) Geschichte und Alterthumskunde. N. F. Vol. 10 (1859). p. 1-22 The best edition of the original text so far has been delivered by Deycks in the 25th volume of the Library of the Suffering.
The best edition of the original text so far has delivered Deycks in the 25th volume of the library of the suffered. Verein in Stuttgart (1851); then J. G. L. Kosegarten, L. v. S. Reisebuch ins heilige [390] Land in niederdeutscher Mundart (Greifswald 1861); Deycks publishes samples of a Lower Rhine version in the first-mentioned book pp. 28 ff. About the different manuscripts and prints see besides the mentioned authors Tobler, Bibl. geogr. Palaestinae p. 39 ff. and the additions to Röhricht and Meißner, Deutsche Pilgerreisen, p. 564 ff. A later written German book of Ludolf is lost; he had almost completely taken up the first one again (of course with quite some changes and omissions) and added a description of the Holy Land according to its natural state and its inhabitants. Only the Latin work of a compiler, which is based on Ludolf's German book, has survived and will be published in the Archives de l'Orient latin II, 2. p. 305-377 von Neumann in Vienna.
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