Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A German minnesinger of the twelfth century, surnamed in the manuscripts der Alte (the old) to distinguish him from later poets of that name. He is undoubtedly identical with the Reinmar referred to by Gottfried von Strasburg in his "Tristan" as the nightingale of Hagenau, the leader of the choir of nightingales, whose voice had just been hushed by death and who was to be succeeded by Walther von der Vogelweide. From this it may be inferred that the poet or his family came from Hagenau in Alsace (though there is also a place of that name in Austria ), and that he died shortly before 1210, when Gottfried's "Tristan" was written. Otherwise we know nothing of Reinmar's life except what may be gathered from his verses. He certainly was in Vienna in 1195 at the Austrian court; he also participated in a crusade, presumably that undertaken by Duke Leopold in 1190. It seems that he lived for a long time at the Austrian court, where he enjoyed a high reputation and was much admired, even by the greatest of all minnesingers, Walther von der Vogelweide, who acknowledges himself as Reinmar's pupil, though this must not be taken in a literal sense. Reinmar's lyrics show the Romance influence that had been predominant since Veldeke and Hausen. They are perfect in form and thoroughly "courtly" in sentiment. Passion and natural feeling are repressed, maze , correctness and propriety, reign supreme. General reflections are common, concrete images and situations few. When, however, Reinmar breaks through the bounds of convention and allows his heart to speak, as in the lament for the death of the duke, which is put into the mouth of the duchess herself, he shows lyric gifts of a high order. But this does not often happen, and most of Reinmar's poems show more elegance of form than beauty of sentiment. In a society, however, where form was valued more than contents, such poetry was bound to meet with favour. Reinmar's poems are edited in Lachmann and Haupt, "Minnesangs Fruhling", XX (4th edition, Leipzig, 1888).


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 16th, 2014 Image

St. Bernadette
April 16: On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter