Jacob Ruff's Adam und Heva (1550) : a critical edition with introduction and notes
Jacob Ruff's Adam und Heva, written in 1550 by the Zurich town surgeon with the dual purpose of entertaining and instructing Zurich's citizens in the new Protestant faith, is important for the way in which Ruff, a follower of the Swiss reformer, Zwingli, was intent on using images from the Old Testament to dramatise the Reformation tenets of sola scriptura, sola fide and sola gratia on the open-air stage of the Miinsterhof in Zurich. The original Froschauer print of 1550, of which there are four copies still extant in libraries in Zurich, St. Gallen, Munich and Berlin, has, until more recent years, been neglected by scholarship, and the last major study of the drama, which takes place over two days and involves a cast of one hundred and six, was the 1848 edition by the German literary historian, Hermann Marcus Kottinger. In the present study, I provide a critical edition which seeks to make the Adam und Heva more accessible to the modern reader, and also a commentary, in which I undertake a detailed analysis of the way in which Ruff pursues a more medieval syncretism by fusing various dramatic elements of the Middle Ages with what is nevertheless a Reformation theology, thereby incoporporating medieval and contemporary thought in a medieval and modern framework, and creating some of the most innovative scenes in the long tradition of medieval creation literature. In addition, by comparing the Adam una Heva to the works of contemporaries of Ruff, namely the Swiss Reformation dramatists Hans von Rote and Jos Murer, and the Germans, Valten Voith and Hans Sachs, I study how elements of the drama of the Middle Ages could exist alongside the external and contemporary influences of the Swiss and German literary traditions, and how Swiss drama, largely neglected by the literary historian, may be placed firmly within the German evangelical dramatic tradition.