Skip to content

Heinrich von Veldeke

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

A medieval German poet of knightly rank; b. near Maastricht in the Netherlands about the middle of the twelfth century. He received a learned education, knew Latin and French, and was familiar with the writings of Virgil and Ovid. His chief work is the "Eneide" (Eneit), an epic poem dealing with the love romance of Æneas and Dido. The greater part of the poem had been completed by 1175 at the court of Cleves, when the manuscript, which had been loaned to a Countess of Cleves, was carried away to Thuringia. There after nine years the poet regained possession of it, and finished his poem under the patronage of Hermann, the Count Palatine of Saxony, afterwards Landgrave of Thuringia. This happened before 1190, when Hermann became landgrave, but later than 1184, the date of the great Whitsuntide festival given by Frederick I at Mainz, at which the poet was present. The "Eneide" is based on an old French romance of unknown authorship, though it is possible that Virgil's poem was also used. The subject is treated with considerable freedom and thoroughly medievalized. Minne or love is the central theme of the poem. Its form is the short rhyming couplet used by all subsequent writers of courtly epics. Through the introduction of a strict metrical form, purity of rhyme, and the courtly style, Heinrich von Veldeke became the pioneer of the romances of chivalry in Germany. Previous to the "Eneide" he had written at the instance of a Countess of Los and epic on the legend of St. Servatius. Besides the epics he also composed lyrics, which in structure and versification show the French influence, so that in the field of the Minnesong also he was one of the first to introduce the foreign element into German literature. Editions of the "Eneide" were given by L. Ettmüller (Leipzig, 1852) and O. Behaghel (Heilbronn, 1882); the "servatius" by J. H. Bormans (Maastricht, 1858). The lyrics are found in Ettmüller's edition, also in Lachmann and Haupt's "Minnesangs Frühling", IX (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1888). Selections from all the works were edited by P. Piper in his "Höfische Epik", pt. I, 56-281 (in Kürschner's "Deutsche National Literatur", IV).

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 >

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Prayer of the Day logo
Saint of the Day logo

FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2024 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 2024 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.