Walther von der Vogelweide

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Walther von der Vogelweide

c. 1170–c. 1230


A Famous Minnesinger.

Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170–c. 1230) was one of the most famous of the minnesingers. Most of what is known about him comes from his own songs where he describes himself as having come from a minor aristocratic family in the area near Vienna. He worked for a number of different dukes, and for three emperors, including Frederick II. Most of his songs are on the usual topics that were popular in all courtly circles—love, politics, and nature—but he also wrote about proper behavior and etiquette. Near the end of his life he composed an elegy in which he looks back over his life, wondering where all the years had vanished and thinking that it was perhaps all a dream. He was immortalized in a manuscript miniature that depicts him as a poet deep in thought.


Ronald J. Taylor, The Art of the Minnesinger: Songs of the Thirteenth Century Transcribed and Edited with Textual and Musical Commentaries (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1968).

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Walther von der Vogelweide

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