Post-classical history

Nicolaus von Jeroschin (d. 1336/1341)

A clerical member of the Teutonic Order and author of the Kronike von Pruzinlant, a rhymed Middle High German chronicle that relates the history of the first 100 years of the order’s activity in Prussia during the Baltic Crusades.

It is probable that Jeroschin was born around 1290 and that he was in Prussia from at least 1311 onward. He is recorded as serving at Konigsberg (mod. Kaliningrad, Russia) under Gottfried von Heimberg, commander there from 1326 to 1329, and was chaplain under Heimberg’s successor, Dietrich von Altenburg. Jeroschin’s first work, Sent Adal- brechtes Leben, was a vernacular life of St. Adalbert, a devotional work which was probably intended as a supplement to the Passional, a Middle High German collection of the lives of the saints, that survives only in two short fragments.

The Kronike von Pruzinlant is a translation of the Latin Chronicon Terrae Prussiae of Peter von Dusburg, and was commissioned by Luder von Braunschweig (grand master 1331-1335), with the express purpose of making the order’s history accessible to a wider public. Jeroschin’s chronicle, for which he provided his own introduction, a short epilogue, and a short supplement, was far more widely disseminated than Dusburg’s original and is the main source for the early history of the order in Prussia. It is chiefly remarkable for its free and poetic use of language and for the introduction into the text of motives and themes taken from secular crusading literature. Jeroschin is thought to have died between 1336 and 1341.

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