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The Deeds of Wiprecht


The Preface Begins The wise foresight of the ancients considered it fitting to commit the deeds of the most excellent men to writing for these reasons: namely, so that through the passing of time their favourable lives might not be lost to the spirits of mortals by the obliteration of old age and forgetfulness; and, preferably, so that, if they should touch on any courageous and honourable actions, the minds of their listeners might delight in them, and they might also profit from imitating them, with their continuous recollection impressed upon them. For pagans and those utterly foreign to the true faith, it was the most important of pursuits to transmit not only their own commendable deeds but also those of their predecessors to posterity in writing, for the sake of perpetual praise and edification (even though a few were invented). Why, then, should we not preferably extol the deeds of Christ’s faithful, honourable as well as fortunate, by writing and proclaiming all their praiseworthy actions? Their lives are much more commendable, the memory of their deeds is far more delightful, and the performance of their pious works shines more fruitfully. Therefore, intending to write about the foundation of the monastery of Pegau, we will open our narrative by first starting a little further back with its founder's descent from grandparents and great-grandparents. From there—having offered who was born and from whom as a brief foretaste—we will then disclose with God’s help to those wanting to know, plainly and without circumlocution: what cause provided the occasion for the establishment of this place (by divine agency, so we believe); what things its founder, namely Margrave Wiprecht, accomplished generously, vigorously, and fortunately (in the eyes of both God and the world). We relate it just as we have learned it from the truthful reports of those who either heard from others or saw and were present, many of whom we see still living.