Footnotes: Walther von der Vogelweide

1The crown itself can still be seen at the Imperial Treasury in the Hofburg in Vienna, although the stone itself was replaced sometime during the fourteenth century.
2A reference to the precarious state of law and order following the collapse of central power after the sudden death of Henry VI.  Henry VI was a charismatic leader;  when he died anarchy and confusion ensued.  The times were so bad that the Chronica regia Coloniensis records that people turned into ‘rapacious wolves’ (“tamquam lupi rapaces”).
3The reference is to Frederick II, who had been elected king while still an infant in 1196, and Philip II.
4Innocent III was 38 when he ascended to the papacy.
5There is a certain irony in this allusion since part of Hermann’s means certainly stemmed from his habit of changing allegiances.  Thus, in 1198 he sided with Philip’s opponent Otto IV in return for a sizeable ‘retainer fee,’ and in 1199 he once again changed sides, this time back to Philip for which he obtained some imperial property.
6mülin:  grind like mills
7The original “gement” suggests ‘being hitched to the collection box like some draft animal.’
8Frederick II.
9Buhmann:  whipping boy.  It is interesting to note that a ‘whipping boy’ originally  meant a boy who was brought up and educated together with a young prince and was required to take the punishment for the misdeeds of the latter.
10unstandesgemäß:  below one’s social rank
11lässig: nonchalant, here:  indifferently
12“Ungute Briefe” refers to the bull of excommunication issued against Frederick II by Pope Gregory IX in 1227 because of Frederick’s failure to carry out a promised crusade.  It is to this crusade that Walther is alluding when he expresses his wish to go on the “segensreiche Reise.”  Only such dedication, he believes, can restore the moral fiber of the nation.
13“Söldner” may simply refer to any soldier on a holy quest or it may refer specifically to the centurion, traditionally called Longinus, who pierced Christ’s side with a spear and, according to some legends, was thereby miraculously cured of his physical ailments and his spiritual blindness.