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Rupert Gaderer

Abstract

At the end of the 18th century, reports were made of unusual and curious legal cases in which the plaintiffs were moved by a self-destructive obsession. These excessive desires expressed themselves in the fact that these people were involved in countless lawsuits and vied in vain for their rights in court. These plaintiffs were people who studied the law obsessively, meticulously filed suit after suit, and continuously troubled civil servants with unjustified legal demands. The Prussian bureaucracy gave these plaintiffs a name: ›Querulanten‹ (from Latin: queri, to complain). This paper deals with the history of these troublemakers, and more particularly, with the goal of understanding the source, development, and the continuing existence of querulency as a connection between media, knowledge, and emotions.