Wolfram von Eschenbach

WEMSK38:Medieval German Literature

                              WEMSK38 -- German Literature

1. Introductory bibliographies:

a. Johannes Hansel, Buecherkunde f?r Germanisten, 9th ed. by Lydia
Tschakert (Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 1991). An old standard
standby.  When I taught Bibliography and Methods, I used this one.
Get the latest edition.

b. Hansjuergen Blinn, Informationshandbuch deutsche
Literaturwissenschaft, 3d ed. Fischer Informationshandbuecher
(Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuchverlag, 1994). Good, sound. Well-
constructed entries.

c. Paul Raabe, Einfuehrung in die Buecherkunde zur deutschen
Literaturwissenschaft. Sammlung Metzler 1, 10th ed. (Stuttgart:
Metzler, 1984).  Nice charts.

2. The standard yearly bibliography is: Bibliographie der deutschen
Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1948-).
Usually calle "Eppelsheimer-Koettelwesch" from two of its early
editors.  Appears yearly, but also occasionally in collected
versions.  Now available on CD-ROM, which is the only way to go.
Vols. 1-8 covered literature only.

3. Histories of Literature [With Ehrismann and the
Verfasserlexikon, you have a fairly up-to-date report on work done.
With those two, you will not need to consult the bibliographies. I
would recommend sticking with them.]:

a. Georg Baesecke, Vor- und Fruehgeschichte des deutschen
Schrifttums, Erster Band. Vorgeschichte (Halle: Niemeyer, 1940). A
splendid book, but Baesecke was given to enthusiasms.  One of its
grandest features is its foldout, called "Zeittafel," after p. 464.
You can xerox this off in parts and glue them together andd have an
outstanding guide to "Proto-Germanic" literature.  Vol 2, Lieferung
1, is on "Fruegeschichte," and that is as far as it got.

b. Gustav Ehrismann, Geschichte der deutschen Literatur bis zum
Ausgang des Mittelalters, 2 vols. in 4. Handbuch des deutschen
Unterrichts 6 (Munich: Beck, 1918-35).  Has been reprinted, 1959.
First port of call. THE history of OHG and MHG.

c. Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Verfasserlexikon, 2d
ed., ed. Burchart Wachinger et al. 10 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter,
1977-99).  Although it is now finally complete, you must expect at
least one supplementary (Nachtrag) volume and possibly an index.
Splendid achievement which goes far beyond German borders. Also
treats Latin literature of Germany.

d. Helmut A. W. de Boor and Richard Newald, eds., Geschichte der
deutschen Literatur von den Anfaengen bis zur Gegenwart (Munich:
Beck, 1949-).  Vols. 1-4 cover our period.  Spotty.

e. Geschichte der deutschen Literatur, ed. Klaus Gysi et al.
(Berlin: Volk und Wissen, 1960-). Often referred to as
"Kollektivgeschichte." This is sort of accompanied by the
Internationale Bibliographie zur Geschichte der deutschen
Literatur, ed. Guenter Albrecht and Guenter Dahlke, 4 vols.
(Berlin: Aufbau, 1969-77), useful for its information on works from
beyond the Curtain.

f. If you absolutely need one in English: J. Knight Bostock, A
Handbook on OHG Literature, 2d ed., Kenneth C. King and D. R.
McLintock (Oxford: OUP, 1976). Thin.

g. Brian O. Murdoch, Old High German Literature. Twayne's World
Authors Series 688 (Boston: Twayne, 1983). Also on their CD-ROM. By
an authority, but also thin.

4. Short guides:

a. Herbert A. and Elisabeth Frenzel, Daten deutscher Dichtung, 2
vols., 26th ed. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 3101-3102 (Munich:
Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1991.  An old standby, but you won't
know much if you memorize it.

b. If you like outline histories and schemes: Fritz Schmitt and
Gerhard Fricke, Deutsche Literaturgeschichte in Tabellen, vol. 1,
(Frankfurt: Athenaeum, 1949) is good. You can use it kind of as a
list of the corpus. Has an excellent scheme for OHG literature and
a great set of foldouts with stemmata for themes and works.  Great
for studying for prelims.  If you are not in the German field and
just want to know a little about it, look at Schmitt-Fricke. It
comes in three volumes, but vol. 1 will get you to 1450. There is
an abbreviated version of this: Fritz Schmitt and Joern Goeres,
Abriss der deutschen Literaturgeschichte in Tabellen, 3d ed.
(Frankfurt: Athenaeum, 1965), but I would not bother with it; it
treats our period in 34 pages; the larger edition is short enough.

c. For familiarization purposes: Hermann Ammon, Deutsche
Literaturgeschichte in Frage und Antwort, 7th ed., 2 vols. (Munich:
Duemmler, 1968). Any edition will do. Kind of a Pauker's manual,
but not so bad as one might think.

5. Encyclopedic treatments:

a. Deutsche Philologie im Aufriss, 2d ed., 3 vols., ed. Wolfgang
Stammler et al. (Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1957-62).

b. Reallexikon der deutschen Literaturgeschichte, 2d. ed. by W.
Kohlschmidt and W. Mohr (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1958-). Often called
"Merker-Stammler" from its first two editors. Contributions here
often reappear as Sammlung Metzler volumes.

6. Forschungsberichte:

a. Wege der Forschung is a series of reprints of articles,
bibliographies, etc., published by the Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft in Darmstadt.  An example: Wolfram von Eschenbach,
ed. Heinz Rupp. Wege der Forschung 57 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft, 1966).

                         Old High German

1. Corpus. Ehrismann and the Verfasserlexikon, of course, list the
corpus.  For a short and useful list: Rudolf Schuetzeichel,
Althochdeutsches Woerterbuch, 3d ed. (Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 1981).
Marchand's listing of the corpus is in the Medtextl archives.

2. Chrestomathies.

a. The standard chrestomathy, with good bibliographies, etc. is
Braune's, of which there are various reworkings. I am looking at
Wilhelm Braune and Karl Helm, Althochdeutsches Lesebuch, 13th ed.
(Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 1958).  There is a newer one by Ernst G.

b. Still good for their notes particularly (in vol. 2): Karl
Muellenhoff and Wilhelm Scherer, Denkmaeler deutscher Poesie und
Prosa aus dem VIII-XII Jahrhundert, 2 vols., 3d ed. (Berlin:
Weidmann, 1898; repr. 1964).

c. Elias von Steinmeyer, Die kleineren althochdeutschen
Sprachdenkmaeler (Berlin: Weidmann, 1916; repr. 1963), is a handy
collection, made even handier by R.-M. S. Heffner, A Word-Index to
the Texts of Steinmeyer, Die kleineren althochdeutschen Denkmaeler
(Madison, 1961). You might also like to look at: Gerhard Kobler,
Verzeichnis der Uebersetzungsgleichungen der kleineren
althochdeutschen Sprachdenkmaeler. Goettinger Studien zur
Rechtsgeschichte, Sonderband 7 (Goettingen: Musterschmidt, 1971.

d. Charles C. Barber, An Old High German Reader (Oxford: OUP,
1951).  Mostly follows Braune.  Not many notes, but it _is_ in

e. Well worth looking at for its remarks as well as its selection
is Hans Naumann and Werner Betz, Althochdeutsches Elementarbuch.
Sammlung Goeschen, 1111 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1954).  Except for the
small print, it makes a good semester text for an OHG class.

4. Facsimiles:

1. Erich Petzet and Otto Glauning, Deutsche Schrifttafeln des IX.
bis XVI. Jhs., 5 vols. (Munich: Kuhn; Leipzig: Hiersemann,

2. Magda Enneccerus, Die aeltesten deutschen Sprachdenkmaeler
(Frankfurt: F. Enneccerus, 1897).

3. G. Koennecke, Bilderatlas zur Geschiche der deutschen
National-Litteratur, 2d ed. (Marburg: Elwert, 1912).

4. By assiduously plying the xerox machine, you can collect
pictures out of histories of literature, especially Vogt and Koch,
Nadler, Sulzer, Koenig, etc. of most OHG manuscripts.  A quite poor
collection designed to accompany the Braune reader is Schrifttafeln
zum althochdeutschen Lesebuch, ed. Hanns Fischer (Tuebingen:
Niemeyer, 1966).  Of course, there are facsimiles of all the larger
manuscripts, such as those by Georg Baesecke, Der Vocabularius St.
Galli in der angelsaechsischen Mission (Halle: Niemeyer, 1933) and
his Der deutsche Abrogans und die Anfaenge des deutschen
Schrifttums (Halle: Niemeyer, 1930) and Paul Piper, Otfrid und die
anderen Weissenburger Schreiber des 9. Jhs., etc. etc.  I always
start off the Old High German class reading a facsimile and playing
Jacob Grimm with them.  A really poor book, occasionally even
misleading (his "picture" of the Codex Argenteus is really a
reproduction of a poorly made facsimile from Koenig), is: G. Eis,
Altdeutsche Handschriften (Munich, 1949), though it is often cited.

5. Paleography and codicology:

a. Bernhard Bischoff, Palaeographie des roemischen Altertums und
des abendlaendischen Mittelalters. Grundlagen der Germanistik 24
(Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1979).  Began its life as a contribution to
Stammler's Aufriss. Everybody's favorite. There is an English

b. Joachim Kirchner, Germanistische Handschriftenpraxis (Munich:
Beck, 1950). A fine introduction "fuer die Studierenden der
deutschen Philologie" by a master of the subject.

c. There are numerous guides to help you out. Let me just mention:
Ernst Krous and Joachim Kirchner, Die gotischen Schriftarten
(Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1928). Mostly devoted to Germany.
Numerous plates. Scriptura latina libraria, ed. Joachim Kirchner
(Munich: Oldenbourg, 1955). If you can't get this book, xerox off
for yourself his "Formae litterarym in tabulis huius libri
repertae," at the end of the book. Outstanding!

6. The glosses are all gathered together by Elias von Steinmeyer
and Eduard Sievers, Die althochdeutschen Glossen, 5 vols. (Berlin:
Weidmann 1879-1922; repr. Dublin, 1968-69)).  For a supplement, see
Hartwig Mayer, Althochdeutsche Glossen: Nachtraege (Toronto:
UTPress, nd); see also Rolf Bergmann, Verzeichnis der
althochdeutschen und altsaechsischen Glossenhandschriften. Arbeiten
zur Fruehmittelalterforschung, 6 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1973).
Starck and Wells (see under dictionaries) also have lists of
manuscripts containing glosses.

7. For Latin literature in OHG times, see Manitius and the

                  Middle High German Literature

1. Gentle guide:

A very good book to start Middle High German with, if you know a
little Modern German, is Martin Joos and Frederick Whitesell,
Middle High German Courtly Reader (University of Wisconsin Press,
1958).  It is out of print, so fuss at them.  You're almost better
off if you don't know Modern German, but that is true of most
traditions, even Old Icelandic, where Modern Icelandic will lead
you astray.  If you do have false friend problems, look at Franz
Saran and Bert Nagel, Das Uebersetzen aus dem Mittelhochdeutschen,
3d ed. (Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 1957).

2. Cribs.  The Deutsche Classiker des Mittelalters series has good
editions with footnotes telling you everything you might ever want
to know.  The spelling "Classiker" tells you all you need to know
about the series, though it gets changed.  Solid, but fuddy-duddy.
E. g. Parzival und Titurel, ed. Karl Bartsch, 4th ed. by Marti
Marti, 3 vols. Deutsche Klassiker des Mittelalters 9 (Leipzig:
Brockhaus, 1932-35).

3. Good introductions can be found in the series Sammlung Metzler
(Stuttgart: Metzler), e.g. Joachim Bumke, Wolfram von Eschenbach,
6th ed. Sammlung Metzler Realien zur Literatur 36 (Stuttgart:
Metzler, 1991).

4. Bibliographies:

a. You can do well with just Ehrismann and the Verfasserlexikon.

b. The series, Bibliographien zur deutschen Literatur des
Mittelalters (Berlin: Schmitt, 1950-), is usually quite good, e.g.
Ulrich Pretzel and W. Bachofer, Bibliographie zu Wolfram von
Eschenbach, 2d ed. (1968).

5. Series:

a. Altdeutsche Textbibliothek:

b. Texte des Mittelalters.

c. Do not forget Reclam Universalbibliothek.

6. Chrestomathy: Die religioesen Dichtungen des 11. und 12.
Jahrhunderts, ed. Friedrich Maurer, 3 vols. (Tuebingen: Niemeyer,
1964-70). Occasionally obscured by overuse of Maurer's metrical
theories, but for the most part a `diplomatic' edition of the
manuscript is also included. Bibliography and notes. Good!
Following the tips above, you might like to look at: Cornelis
Soeteman, Deutsche geistliche Dichtung des 11. und 12.
Jahrhunderts. Sammlung Metzler M 33 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1963).
Francis G. Gentry, Bibliographie zur fruehmittelhochdeutschen
geistlichen Dichtung. Bibliographie zur deutschen Literatur des
Mittelalters 11 (Berlin: Schmidt, 1992). A little scrambled, but
good. With these three, you could conduct a good course on Early
MHG poetry.


1. If you are interested in history, WEMSK will have a section on
that, but for the moment:

a. Bruno Gebhardt, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte, 8th ed.
(Stuttgart: Ernst Klett, 1988).  The Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag,
Munich, brings this out in paperback volumes, e. g. Ernst Wahle,
Ur- und Fruehgeschichte im mitteleuropaeischen Raum, 8th ed.
(Munich: DTV,  1988); Heinz Loewe, Deutschland im fraenkischen
Reich, 9th ed. (DTV, 1987).

b. Buecherverzeichnis zur deutschen Geschichte, ed. Winfried
Baumgart, 7th ed. (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1988).

2. If you are visually oriented: Gerhart Luedtke, Deutscher
Kulturatlas, 5 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1928-1938).  Often in a
clasp binder; remember to put them back in order.  Over 500 maps,
including timetables, artefacts in reproduction, etc.  Only the
first two volumes interest us.

3. Culture:

a. Alwin Schultz, Das hoefische Leben zur Zeit der Minnesinger, 2d
ed., 2 vols. (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1889.  Still your best port of call.

b. Joachim Bumke, Hoefische Kultur, 2 vols. DTV 4442 (Munich:
Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986). Good, solid, good
bibliographies, with German translation of original sources.  Also
available in English translation: Courtly Culture (Berkeley: UCalP,

c. Ehrismann got something started way back when (1919) when he
wrote on the system of virtues he thought MHG writers followed,
being contradicted by none other than Curtius (1943), who really
didd not like Ehrismann (he said that Ehrismann's
Literaturgeschichte was no Literaturgeschichte).  For a group of
articles surveying the problem: Ritterliches Tugendsystem, ed.
Guenter Eifler. Wege der Forschung 56 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft, 1970).

4. Motifs:

a. Franz A. Schmitt, Stoff- und Motivgeschichte der deutschen
Literatur. Eine Bibliographie, 2d. ed. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1965).

b. Elisabeth Frenzel, Stoffe der Weltliteratur. Kroeners
Taschenausgabe 300 (Stuttgart: Kroener, 1962). Naturally leans
towards the German, but great in general.