Hartmann von Aue
born in 1170
died in 1210
Hartmann von Aue
Hartmann von Aue (born 1160-70, died 1210-20) was a Middle High German poet. He introduced the courtly romance into German literature and, with Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Strassburg, was one of the three great epic poets of Middle High German literature. He was also a Minnesänger, and 18 of his songs survive.
He belonged to the lower nobility of Swabia, where he was born. After receiving a monastic education, he became retainer (Dienstmann) of a nobleman whose domain, Aue, has been identified with Obernau on the River Neckar. He also took part in the Crusade of 1196-97. The date of his death is as uncertain as that of his birth; he is mentioned by Gottfried von Strassburg (c. 1210) as still alive, and in the Crône of Heinrich von dem Türlin, written about 1220, he is mourned for as dead.
Hartmann produced four narrative poems which are of importance for the evolution of the Middle High German court epic. The first of these, Erec, which may have been written as early as 1191 or 1192, and the last, Iwein, belong to the Arthurian cycle and are based on epics by Chrétien de Troyes (Erec and Enide and Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, respectively). His other two narrative poems are Gregorius, also an adaptation of a French epic, and Der arme Heinrich, which tells the story of a leper cured by a young girl who is willing to sacrifice her life for him. The source of this tale evidently came from the lore of the noble family whom Hartmann served.
Gregorius, Der arme Heinrich and Hartmann's lyrics, which are all fervidly religious in tone, imply a tendency towards asceticism, but, on the whole, Hartmann's striving seems rather to have been to reconcile the extremes of life; to establish a middle way of human conduct between the worldly pursuits of knighthood and the ascetic ideals of medieval religion.
Translations have been made into modern German of all Hartmann's poems, while Der arme Heinrich has repeatedly attracted the attention of modern poets, both English (Longfellow, Rossetti) and German (notably, Gerhart Hauptmann).
Editions and translations
- Tobin, Frank, Kim Vivian, and Richard H. Lawson, trans. Arthurian Romances, Tales, and Lyric Poetry: The Complete Works of Hartmann von Aue, Penn State Press, 2001 ISBN 0-271-02112-8
- Hartmann Von Aue, "Iwein: The Knight with the Lion", translated by J.W. Thomas, 1979, ISBN 0803273312.
- Hartmann Von Aue, "Erec," translated by J.W. Thomas, 2001, ISBN 0803273290.
- This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, a publication in the public domain.
- Roy Boggs and Kurt Gärtner: Hartmann von Aue (Knowledge Base) Portal
- 1905, "Aue, Hartmann von", New International Encyclopedia
- 1920, "Aue, Hartmann von", Encyclopedia Americana