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Book/Printed Material Mirror of the Saxons. Sachsenspiegel

About this Item


  • Mirror of the Saxons.

Other Title

  • Sachsenspiegel


  • More than 400 manuscripts of the Sachsenspiegel (Mirror of the Saxons) survive, attesting to the wide dissemination and influence on the whole of Europe of this first law book in German. The most beautiful copies are the four illuminated manuscripts, all produced between 1295 and 1371, and now held in Heidelberg, Oldenburg, Dresden, and Wolfenbüttel. The most artistically valuable of these documents is the Dresden manuscript, preserved in the Saxon State and University Library. Its 924 image sequences on 92 pages are the most extensive of those in the four illuminated manuscripts, and depict approximately 4,000 persons in total. Each page is arranged in separate columns for image and text, which enhance and clarify each other, and which are linked by decorated initials. The Sachsenspiegel was written around 1220 as a compilation, in Latin, of Saxon customary law. The Saxon knight and administrator Eike von Repgow (circa 1180--circa 1233) translated the work into Middle Low German around 1220--33. The Latin original has not survived. The work is the first large legal document in German and had a profound effect on the development of the law not only in Germany but in many countries of Eastern Europe. It is in three parts: the preambles, the section detailing common law, and that defining feudal law. The preface mentions that the source of this legal code is divine order: God is himself the Law. The author requests the support of "righteous people" in the case of his having overlooked any legal questions, asking them to settle such matters in accordance with their "insight" to the best of their abilities. The Dresden manuscript was copied between 1295 and 1363, in the area of Meissen, Germany. It was severely damaged by water after the bombing of Dresden in February and March of 1945 but was restored in the 1990s.


  • Eike, von Repgow, approximately 1180-approximately 1233 Translator.

Created / Published

  • Meissen, Germany : [publisher not identified], [1295 to 1363]


  • -  Germany
  • -  1220
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Law, Medieval


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "Shelfmark: Mscr.Dresd.M.32"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 92 pages : parchment ; 33.5 x 26 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Saxon State and University Library, Dresden.
  • -  Content in Middle Low German.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Illuminated Manuscripts from Europe

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667916

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Eike, Von Repgow, Approximately Approximately 1233 Translator. Mirror of the Saxons. [Meissen, Germany: publisher not identified, to 1363, 1295] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Eike, V. R. (1295) Mirror of the Saxons. [Meissen, Germany: publisher not identified, to 1363] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Eike, Von Repgow, Approximately Approximately 1233 Translator. Mirror of the Saxons. [Meissen, Germany: publisher not identified, to 1363, 1295] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.