Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Gottfried Hagen

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Gottfried Hagen, town clerk of Cologne, and author of the Cologne "Reimchronik" (rhymed chronicle); died 1299. He filled many influential positions, and took an active part in the public life of his native city. Subsequently to the year 1268, he is mentioned repeatedly in documents as "Magister Godefridus clericus Coloniensis", "Notarius civitatis Coloniensis", pastor ( plebanus ) of St. Martin the Lesser at Cologne, and dean of the chapter of St. George . He gives his name with the title town-clerk ( der stede schriver ) at the end of his "Book of the City of Cologne" (Dit is dat boich van der stede Colne). This "Reimchronik" is a very remarkable work of some 3000 couplets; as a chronicle it is almost complete, if based at times on unreliable traditions. At earliest, it was written in 1270 with a supplement in 1271; it cannot have appeared later than the period between 1277 and 1287. After a legendary introduction, permeated with the idea of municipal liberty, it recounts the conflicts between the city of Cologne and the Archbishops Conrad and Engelbert II, and the feuds between the patrician party and the guilds in the years 1252-71. Its arrangement is simple, its style negligent, and its artistic merit slight, although it does not lack some lively descriptions. The importance of the chronicle lies in its contents. No other German city has records so complete and so full of life for this early period. For historical purposes, however, it should be used with great caution. It is true that the strictures formerly passed upon its reliability have proved to be very exaggerated. In rehearsing facts the work is fairly accurate, but Hagen is a thorough partisan, and an enthusiastic patriot. He was an adherent of the group of patricians led by his relatives, the "Overstolzen", and he opposed bitterly both the party of the "Weisen", the despised guilds, and also the archbishops of Cologne, who, as lords of the city, were the natural enemies of the development of Cologne into a free imperial city. Nevertheless, the bishops and still more the Holy See are always treated with respect. It cannot be said that Hagen forged facts, but he modified them, and his judgment is coloured to a high degree by party spirit. His curious book is not so much a chronicle as a pamphlet written for a purpose. It was highly esteemed in Cologne as a plea for municipal liberty. Several medieval chroniclers have drawn largely upon its contents. For a critical edition of the "Reimchronik", see Cardauns and Schröder in "Chroniken der niederrheinischen Städte: Köln", I, 1-236, in "Chroniken der deutschen Städte", XII (Leipzig, 1875); cf. III, 963.

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this.

Deacon Keith Fournier Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

FREE Face Mask & Shipping on order $60+

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!