The Name “Solivagus”

When I founded this publishing house, I was looking for a good brand name. I could have named it after myself – following the example of Thorbeke, Steiner, Hiersemann and others. However, I wanted the name of the publishing house to signify more than „just“ my name. So I remembered a source I came across while writing my PhD thesis: The Visio Godeschalci, the account of a religious vision encountered by a peasant written in 1189/90. The free peasant Gottschalk from Holstein during the siege of Segeberg encountered a vision of the afterlife which was recorded by a monk from Neumünster. Gottschalk told him about his vision in which he as a part of a group of people who went through different stages of purgatory to paradise, accompagnied by angels. Apart from his group went a solitary person, called „Solivagus“, who suffered the same torments and ordeals but who lacked the comfort and consolation of being part of a group. Scholars have not yet been able to identify the person of the anonymous „Solivagus“ in the manuscript, they agree, however, that he must have been a special person.
When I remembered this source, I had finally found the name for my publishing house. The name „Solivagus“ now signifies the Middle Ages, Schleswig-Holstein, and the lenghty efforts and troubles I had to go through to establish a successful publishing house in an almost saturated market, making the conscious choice of being different than the others, of finding my own way, of going the extra mile.