Skip to content

Shop Catholic - Support Catholic - FREE Shipping $60+

Walther von der Vogelweide

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Minnesinger and old poet, born about 1170; died in 1228. Only one old document mentions the name of the poet and an unimportant event of his life; in the record of the travelling expenses of Wolfger von Ellenbrechtskirchen, Bishop of Passau, there is an entry under 12 November, 1203, which says that five solidi for a fur coat were given as a present to the singer Walther von der Vogelweide. The only authorities for anything more than a conjectural decision as to his place of birth are his poems, especially two in imperfect rhyme. As he was in other cases very exact as to rhyme, this faultiness can only be explained on the theory that they are in the Bavarian-Austrian dialect. Austria, therefore, is probably his birth-place. On one occasion also Walther speaks of Duke Leopold VI as the ruler of his native country, and proclaims the fact that he learned to read and sing in Austria, and that he always feels himself drawn to go to Vienna. The Tyrolese, however, claim him as a countryman, as do also the Bohemians, and both have erected monuments to his memory. It is not possible to arrange his songs in chronological order with any certainty ; consequently they cannot be interpreted with reference to the poet's life. All that is certain is that Walther developed artistically the knightly Minne poetry, and introduced the real love song into the artistic court poetry, and this is his particular merit as a minnesinger.

To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this.

Deacon Keith Fournier Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. Help Now >

Walther's didactic poetry, a form of the poetic art that generally belonged to the wandering scholar, stands on the same high level as his love lyrics. Ruler and people listened attentively to his earnest words of exhortation. Unfortunately, in this era of violent struggle the volatile poet allowed himself to be carried away by his passions. He was especially severe against the pope, and frequently unjust to his policy. Otherwise, these apothegms give an animated picture of the tumultuous era of the unhappy struggle over the imperial election. In this way Walther's didactic poetry is of value both for the history of his times and for that of civilization. He composed also a number of didactic apothegms that might be styled gnomic poetry, which show many sides of the poet's character. Dr. A. Schönbach, Walther's latest biographer and the best critic of Middle-High-German literature , devotes a special section of his work to "Walther's religion". This is necessary to confute the Protestant conception and account of Walther, but for the scholar without prejudice it is needless because entirely self-evident. The great singer probably did not live to see the Crusade of Frederick II, for which he had written so devout a song. At least he ceases to sing in the year 1228. Where he died and where he was buried are as little known as the place of his birth.

Never Miss any Updates!

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

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!