The Monumenta Germaniae Historica
(frequently abbreviated MGH
in bibliographies and lists of sources) is a comprehensive series of carefully edited and published sources for the study of German history
The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul , which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the...
(broadly conceived) from the end of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....
The society sponsoring the series was established by the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...
n reformer Heinrich Friedrich Karl Freiherr vom Stein in 1819 and the first volumes appeared in 1826 and following years. The editor from 1826 until 1874 was Georg Heinrich Pertz
thumb|Georg Heinrich PertzGeorg Heinrich Pertz , was a German historian born at Hanover.From 1813 to 1818 he studied at the University of Göttingen, chiefly under A. H. L. Heeren...
, who was succeeded by Georg Waitz
Georg Waitz was a German historian and politician.He was born at Flensburg, in the duchy of Schleswig and educated at the Flensburg gymnasium and the universities of Kiel and Berlin...
. Many eminent medievalists from Germany and, eventually, other countries, joined in the project of searching out and comparing manuscripts and producing scholarly editions. The motto chosen by Klein, Sanctus amor patriae dat animum
("Holy love for the fatherland gives the spirit") is explained as linking Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...
with professional scholarship.
The collection consists of five main areas, Antiquitates
as well as Necrologia
. Many subsidiary series have also been established, including a series of more compact volumes for school use (Scriptores in usum scholarum
) and special studies (MGH Schriften
The project, a major effort of historical scholarship, continues in the 21st century. In 2004, the MGH, with the support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is an important German research funding organization and the largest such organization in Europe.-Function:...
, made all of its publications in print for more than five years available online, in photo-digital reproduction, via a link on the MGH homepage.
The institute "Monumenta Germaniae Historica" has been located in Munich since 1949 and possesses a large specialized library on the medieval history of Germany and Europe, including church history, alongside 130,000 monographs and approximately 150,000 dependent writings.