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The task and goal of the Melanchthon-Forschungsstelle; is to complete a comprehensive text-critical and annotated edition of Philipp Melanchthon’s correspondence, comprising approximately 9,750 letters. By rendering these sources accessible in the form of an edition, the Melanchthon-Forschungsstelle is making a fundamental contribution to the research of early modern German and European history. For the first time, text-critical and philological scholarship as well as a strict chronology are being brought to bear upon a documentation of this substantial body of correspondence, making Melanchthon’s central position in the theology and history of Protestantism and the overriding importance of his universal humanism for the history of education in Europe all the more evident.

The Melanchthons Briefwechsel edition consists of two series:

  1. The Regesten are German abstracts of each letter, providing initial access to their content and exact dating. Letters, memoranda, prefaces, and related documents of the years 1514 to 1560 are structured and commentated. Separate index volumes list the names of places and persons mentioned in the correspondence.
  2. The critical edition proper offers the text of the letters (most of them in Latin, but also in German and a few in Greek) in a reader-friendly form and lists the manuscript and printed witnesses of each letter. The accompanying apparatuses document the historical background, the textual criticism, and the historical impact of the letters, in addition to verifying the sources of quotations and literary allusions


Host Academy
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Location and federal state
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg

Editions: Theology

Project number

Bibliographical information: Melanchthons Briefwechsel. Kritische und kommentierte Gesamtausgabe, im Auftrag der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften herausgegeben von Heinz Scheible, seit 2010 von Christine Mundhenk. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Verlag Frommann-Holzboog, 1977 ff.

Since 2010, the Regesten have also been accessible in a free online version, which is regularly updated and permits users to search the letters not only directly according to persons and timespans, but also to themes and terms such as “justification”, “Interim”, or “illness”.

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