Walth von der Vogelweide

Biography

Born: 1170   Died: circa 1230  
Walther is considered to be the most famous German poet of the Middle Ages in the finest tradition of the Minnesinger. He composed over one hundred and forty Spruch (poems) and numerous lieder and `ton's. These works were sung on a number of different occasions perhaps adding to their familiarity and popularity among the various courts. Much of the content of his works contends with political commentaries and events during his travels. Though he Read more served in the courts of Otto IV and Friedrich of Sicily during his later years, he had spent twenty years as an itinerant poet serving in various courts throughout Europe on an ad hoc basis. The songs which he composed yield valuable insights into the persons and politics of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. In one of his songs Walther claims to have learned to sing and to write in Austria. Other than that piece of information, little is known about his early life. Combined with the literature that he left his legacy also includes a new type of love poem, the "Madchenlied" which extolled the virtues of a simple, genuine and mutually experienced love in contrast to the thematic idiom of the time, love demonstrated through self-denial. Read less
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