The Vagantendicht collected a Benediktbeurer manuscript (“Carmina Burana”); the most important medieval Latin sealing German poet who Archipoeta, belonged to the district Reynald of Dassel, the Chancellor of Frederick I. Barbarossa.
In the Middle High German epic, too, the theme of the power of love played a central role alongside knightly probation. As the founder of courtly epic was in the Middle Ages was born on the Lower Rhine Heinrich von Veldeke in whose “Eneit”Virgil’s epic poem “Aeneid” modeled on the French “Roman Eneas’ d'(around 1060) transformed into a gallant probation and Minne Roman is. This marked the beginning of the turn to antique and late antique materials (Herbort von Fritzlar, “Liet von Troje”, around 1210; Albrecht von Halberstadt, translation of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, around 1215). The Alemannic poet Hartmann von Aue opened access to the Arthurian saga (»Erec«, »Iwein«). His great role model was Chrétien de Troyes from the north of France, who made the various heroic figures of the Celtic Arthurian tradition the focus of exemplary epics after the middle of the 12th century. Hartmann’s legends “Der arme Heinrich” and “Gregorius” have an educational character. – The climax of the Middle High German epic is the “Parzival” Wolfram von Eschenbach, also the best surviving epic from this period.
Next to the “Parzival” stands Gottfried von Straßburg’s unfinished epic “Tristan”, a highly elaborate, rhetorically brilliant linguistic form of song about the magical power of love. Another epic highlight of the period around 1200 is the anonymously handed down “Nibelungenlied”, in which, for the first time since the “Hildebrandslied”, Germanic sagas from the time of the Great Migration are literary. Although the epic deals with motifs from courtly poetry, the older ethical norms become visible in the archaic relentlessness of the plot.
Late and late courtly times: In lyric poetry, the models of the high-pitched minstrel and the Neidhart types were further varied (including the Tannhauser, Gottfried von Neifen, Burkhart von Hohenfels, Ulrich von Winterstetten); New tones can be found in Steinmar’s autumn songs and in the songs of events by Zurich citizen J. Hadloub. The didactic element emancipated itself in the 13th century poetry (Reinmar von Zweter, der Marner, brother Wernher). Minnesian poetry and poetry were united again in the work of Heinrich von Meissen (called Frauenlob), later model for the Meistersang.
In the epic tradition of courtly romance was continued by completed the fragment remaining novels flowering: Gottfried’s “Tristan” further wrote Ulrich von Türheim and Heinrich von Freiberg, tungsten »Willehalm” consummate Ulrich from the Türlin and Ulrich von Türheim. The successor to Wolfram von Eschenbach is the strophic novel “Der Jüngere Titurel” Albrechts, which tends to be a moral demonstration. In the tradition of courtly fictional art, Rudolf von Ems, the Stricker, and Konrad von Würzburg wrote i.a. The first German prose novel (around 1230) was created with the »Lanzelot«, translated from French. The heroic epic was described in the 13th century with “Kudrun”, “Wolfdietrich” and others. Dietrichepen continued. Ulrich von Lichtenstein’s fictional autobiography »Frauendienst«, conceived as a framework for Minnelieder, already bears parodic traits.
The “Meier Helmbrecht” by Wernher dem Gartenaere, the anonymous contemporary satire “Seifried Helbling”, the knitter’s swank from the “Pfaffen Amis”, the oldest German swan collection, as well as an abundance of Kleinepik, for example. B. the “marries” of the knitter. The large form of moral and life theory is represented by “Der wälsche Gast” by Thomasin von Zirklaere (1215/16); this followed inter alia. Freidank’s collection of proverbs “Modesty”; The conclusion and highlight was the pragmatic moral compendium “Der Renner” by the Bamberg schoolmaster Hugo von Trimberg (around 1300), one of the most widespread works of the late Middle Ages. – The Teutonic Order developed its own religious and historical literature in the 13th and 14th centuries. a. in Prussia (German order seal).
General instructional works, mostly in prose (natural history: »Lucidarius«, around 1190; law: »Sachsenspiegel«, around 1224–31, »Schwabenspiegel«, around 1275/76; history: »Sächsische Weltchronik«, around 1230). – Spiritual prose originated in the context of the movement of mysticism, which was already being announced in the 12th century (Hildegard von Bingen, “Scivias”), v. a. by the Low German nun Mechthild von Magdeburg (“The flowing light of God”, 1250–80). The Dominican Master Eckhart and his pupil Heinrich Seuse trained a scientifically learned German prose language in the wake of scholasticism; The Franciscan Berthold von Regensburg shaped his own style of preaching and the Dominican Johannes Tauler.
The oldest German play, the “Easter Play by Muri”, in rhyming pairs and in courtly style is also attested to from the 13th century. This was preceded by the Latin “Ludus de Antichristo” (around 1160). These spiritual games (such as the Latin “Benediktbeurer Christmas Game” from the 13th century, the Latin-German “Benediktbeurer Easter Game”) had developed from an alternating song that had already been introduced into the Easter fair in the 10th century, following the tradition of ancient drama was completely broken off in the early Middle Ages. These beginnings then led in the late Middle Ages to a rich development of Easter and Christmas games as well as v. a. Corpus Christi and legend games.