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The page of Vogelweide, Walther von der, English biography

Image of Vogelweide, Walther von der
Vogelweide, Walther von der


Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170 - c. 1230) 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 shilling for a fur coat." and the main sources of information about him are his own poems and occasional references by contemporary Minnesingers. It is also clear from the title her (Herr, Sir) these give him, that he was of noble birth; but it is equally clear from his name Vogelweide (= "bird pasture", Latin aviarium, a place were birds were caught) that he didn't belong to the higher nobility, who took their titles from castles or villages, but to the nobility of service (Dienstadel), humble retainers of the great lords, who in wealth and position were wide distant from non-noble free cultivators.

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