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Ulrich Tengler

Ulrich Tengler

*  1447 Heidenheim
† 1511

Ulrich Tengler, the author of the well known "Layenspiegel," was born between 1435 and 1445 in Heidenheim. He studied law and also worked on humanistic studies. In 1749, he received a position as head council's clerk in the imperial city of Nördlingen. He resigned his office in 1483, though his contract for the position had been extended for his lifetime. In 1485, Tengler was a tax collector in Heidenheim near Brenz. He was later assigned to the bailiwick of Höchstädt, which as a part of the dukedom of Palatinate-Neuburg, fell to the Electoral Palatinate in 1505. [He kept close contact with the scholar Jacob Locher in Ingolstadt.] During his tenure as the bailiff of Höchstädt, Tengler produced the "Layenspiegel." He wrote this to provide practical and theoretical support to those half scholars who had never received the expensive training of a scribe, lawyer, procurator, notary, or orator, who were nonetheless active in the field of law. Sebastian Brant in Strasbourg wrote a preface and published the book. His sources include above all the "Speculum judicale" by Durantis and the "Schwabenspiegel," but also Aristotle, the Bible, and common law sources. Because the "Layenspiegel" summarized all relevant writings on civil law, penal law, and public law, it soon became the most important law title next to Sebastian Brant's "Der Richterlich Clagspiegel." During only the 16th century, 14 editions were published. A revised version appeared under the title "Der neue Layenspiegel," after Tengler's death in 1511.