| Max-Weber-Kolleg, Philosophische Fakultät, SPF Wissen. Räume. Medien., Forschung, Personalia

Julia Seeberger received the Romanesque Research Award

The historian Julia Seeberger from Erfurt has been awarded the Romanesque Research Award by the European Romanesque Center in Merseburg. The jury thus honoured her dissertation on "Olfaktorik und Entgrenzung - die Visionen der Wienerin Agnes Blannbekin (died 1315)".

award of the prize to Julia Seeberger
photo: Europäisches Romanik Zentrum e.V.

The prize is endowed with 2,000 euros and has been awarded to young researchers since 2011. And so it was to be awarded again in 2019 to Julia Seeberger, research assistant at the Professorship for Medieval History at the University of Erfurt. Due to Corona, however, the award ceremony could not take place at first. But now, belatedly, it was presented.

In her study, which will soon be published as a book in the series Nova Mediaevalia. Sources and Studies on the European Middle Ages by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Unipress, Julia Seeberger devotes herself to a text corpus of visionary records, which she is able to reinterpret with the help of olfaction, the analysis of smell and olfactory perceptions in the visionary texts. This enables a broader understanding of the written mystical experiences of a young Viennese woman of the late 13th and early 14th century in a Franciscan milieu. Until now, the name "Agnes Blannbeckin" has been attributed to her, but this is not verifiable, as Seeberger notes. This finding has not been changed by the discovery of new manuscripts containing the vision texts. Seeberger has made a weighty contribution to mystical research, and she enriches the innovative field of research into the history of the senses with a historical olfaction that has yet to be brought to light.

In his laudation, Jörg Ulrich from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg praised her extraordinarily innovative research achievements. Her dissertation is a sensory-historical look at the life story and visions of Agnes Blannbekin, who is less well-known than other mystics such as Hildegard von Bingen, said the Centre.


The European Romanesque Center in Merseburg is concerned with researching and communicating the Romanesque cultural heritage. It concentrates on scientific questions of architecture, art, archaeology, theology, history and legal history of the Middle Ages.