Around Oxford Libraries Taylor Reformation

Collaborative translation of the Juttenspiel

This article was originally posted on the Taylor Reformation blog which has now become part of the Taylor Editions website with a dedicated Reformation Pamphlets series.

Image from the Juttenspiel

We are seeking contributors for a collaborative translation of the Juttenspiel, the play which tells the legend of Pope Joan. The drama was first performed in the fifteenth century, but survives only in a 1565 print. This project is part of the Women’s Responses to the Reformation workshop on 23rd June, and will be formally launched that evening, with a performance of the first few scenes to be translated.

These scenes are:

  1. The Hellish council and Jutta’s deal with the devil
  2. Studying in Paris
  3. The expulsion of the devils, and Jutta’s decision and death

After the workshop, we hope to produce a full translation of the rest of the play.

How to participate:

  1. Download and read the Translation Guidance Notes
  2. Claim the lines you want to translate, by emailing
  3. Translate your passage, and then send it to the same address
  4. Proof-read translations will be uploaded to the website


The critical edition of the ‘Juttenspiel’, including the Reformation paratexts, is Dietrich Schernberg: Ein schön Spiel von Frau Jutten. Nach dem Eislebener Druck von 1565, edited by Manfred Lemmer. Berlin 1971 (Texte des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit 24). available in the Taylorian Library. The text of the ‘Juttenspiel’ (without the Reformation paratexts) is online in the edition Fastnachtsspiele aus dem fünfzehnten Jahrhundert, edited by Adalbert von Keller, II. Teil. Stuttgart 1853 (= BLLV 29), pp. 900–955. He based his reprint on the first modern edition of the play Des nöthigen Vorraths zur Geschichte der deutschen Dramatischen Dichtkunst, Zweyter Theil, oder Nachlese aller deutschen Trauer- Lust- und Singspiele, die vom 1450sten bis zum 1760sten Jahre im Drucke erschienen. Gesammlet und ans Licht gestellet von Johann Christoph Gottscheden. Leipzig 1765, pp. 81–142, which is also online. For an introduction to the play as podcast and for a handout with bibliographic detail, consult the weblearn page ‘Early Modern German’. We have also uploaded Professor Henrike Lähnemann’s modernisation of the scenes in question. You might also like to read Christopher Marlowe’s late-sixteenth-century Doctor Faustus for inspiration.

All translators are welcome, whatever your interests or qualifications, and all contributors will be credited.

Happy translating, from Charlotte, Edmund and Mary!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *