Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Walther von der Vogelweide

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WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE (fō'gl-vi-de), the most eminent of the old German lyric poets of the class of Minnesingers; born about 1170. His earliest patrons were Duke Leopold VI. of Austria and his son, Frederick. Subsequently he visited, for shorter and longer periods, the courts of most German princes, who were in favor of an imperial as against a papal policy. The Emperor Frederick II. provided him with a small estate near Würzburg, where he seems to have always retired when disgusted with traveling, the courts, and intrigues. He was a politician and reformer as well as a poet, and his verses breathe a liberalism far in advance of his times; while the subjects of his favorite love songs are noble women. He died in Würzburg, about 1230.