Walther v. d. Vogelweide (1170-1230)
Last updated: 23.11.21
According to the Internet source given below, Walther von der Vogelweide is the most celebrated of the Middle High German lyric poets.
For all his fame, Walther's name is not found in contemporary records, with the exception of a solitary mention in the travelling accounts of Bishop Wolfger of Erla of the Passau diocese: Walthero cantori de Vogelweide pro pellicio v solidos longos--"To Walther the singer of the Vogelweide five shillings for a fur coat." The main sources of information about him are his own poems and occasional references by contemporary Minnesingers. He was a knight, but probably not a wealthy or landed one. His whole name (in English "Sir Walter of the Bird-Field") suggests that he didn't have a grant of land, since "bird-field" is a general geographic surname like "forest", "hill" or "rivers", not the name of a specific place. He probably was knighted for military bravery and, like a Knight Bachelor of England or samurai in Japan, was initially a retainer in a wealthy, noble household and had rooms in that castle before beginning his travels.
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