Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Usually called "Frauenlob" (Woman's praise), a Middle High German lyric poet; b. at Meissen about ú d. at Mainz, 1318. He received a learned education, probably at the cathedral school of his native town. He led a wandering life, roving over the greater part of Germany. Poems in praise of different princes enable us to trace his travels after 1278 as far as Bohemis and Carinthia in the south and Denmark in the north. In 1311 he settled down at Mainz, where he is said to have founded the first school of Mastersingers. Tradition relates that he was borne to his grave by women. His tomb in the cathedral of Mainz was renovated in 1842 and is still to be seen. The surname "Frauenlob" is said to have been given to him because in a poetic contest with the poet Barthel Regenbogen he maintained that the term Frau (in the sense of "lady", "mistress") was superior to Weib (woman, as the opposite of man ). But it has been shown that he had the surname when quite young and before the poetic contest took place.

Heinrich von Meissen marks the transition from Minnesong to Mastersong; certain it is that the later Mastersingers looked to him as their model. He has written a great many lyric poems on a wide range of subjects, theological, ethical, erotic, and didactic or gnomic. Many of these poems sing the praises of women, matrimony especially being exalted. As a poet he lacks inspiration and spontaneity; his lyrics are the product of learning and reflection, and excel chiefly on the formal side. The artificiality of their form renders most of them unpalatable to modern readers, while the excessive use of far-fetched metaphors and the frequent occurrence of learned allusions tend to obscurity that at times verges on the unintelligible, as, for instance, in his poem in honour of the Blessed Virgin. He is at best in the Spruch or gnomic poem. His poems were edited by Ettmüller, "Heinrichs von Meissen des Frauenlobes Leiche, Sprüche, Streigedichte und Lieder" (Quedlinburg-Leipzig, 1843). Selections were edited by Pfaff in Kürschner's, "Deutsche National Litteratur", VIII, pt. I, pp. 234-239.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More