Christian Ludwig Benzien manuscript  ca. 1811
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Benzien manuscript is a complex document comprised of occasional poetry, hymns, and songs written largely, but apparently not exclusively, by Christian Ludwig Benzien. A Moravian minister, the son and step-son of ministers, Benzien was also a talented poet in German, and his work shows the evidence of a highly developed literary and musical aesthetic, deeply interconnected with an equally highly developed spiritual devotion.

Most of the works were written in celebration or commemoration of special days set aside throughout the year, including Christmas and New Years, birthdays, childbirths, arrivals and departures, Lord's Suppers, and Love Feasts. The volume provides insight into the Moravian religious world view, and perhaps even more into their social and familial relations through sensitive depictions of the nature of friendships between men (and women), family members, and members of church organizations -- particularly the various choirs with which Benzien was associated.

The manuscript appears to have been transcribed in about 1810-1815 by Dorothea Sophia Bötticher, and is written in two hands, entirely in old script German.

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