Footnotes: Walther von der Vogelweide
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
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.’
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.
one’s social rank
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.