Dem Schwarzen Tod singend die Stirn bieten: Die bislang übersehene poetische Ader des Berner Dekans Johann Haller (1523–1575). Mit einem editorischen Anhang
Keywords:Bernese Reformation, Johann Haller (1523–1575), Wolfgang Haller, Johann Haller (1546–1596), Pestilence 1563–1566, Song Publishing, Psalm Paraphrase
In the historical reconstruction of early modern conditions, different kinds of sources such as chronicles, diaries, letters or various archival documents have always been considered to be standard fare. But more inconspicuous testimonies such as keyword-like calendar notes recorded for personal use or literary documents such as song texts, on the other hand, have usually received less attention. This article shows that the evaluation of such supposedly less relevant source material can lead to interesting new insights as well. With the example of three songs from the years 1563 to 1568, signed with the initials J. H. and kept as unique specimens in three different libraries, it is shown that they can be attributed to the well-known Bernese dean Johann Haller (1523–1575). As the publication dates already suggest, these songs are to be set against the historical background of the Black Death which struck all of Europe between 1563 and 1566. Obviously, the Bernese dean, who also had fallen ill with the plague and had been struggling with death for weeks, tried to poetically overcome his personal calamity with these songs. In the world of research, his traumatic near-death experience has not yet received the attention it deserves. For the first time now, Haller’s remarkable literary talent can be appreciated.