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Konrad von Würzburg

Died 31 August 1287.

Biography

Konrad von Würzburg (died August 31, 1287) was the chief German poet of the second half of the 13th century.

As little is known of his life as that of any other epic poet of the age. By birth probably a native of Würzburg, he seems to have spent part of his life in Strassburg and his later years in Basel, where he died. Like his master, Gottfried von Strassburg, Konrad did not belong to the nobility, from which most of the poets of the time sprang. His varied and voluminous literary work is comparatively free from the degeneration which set in so rapidly in Middle High German poetry during the 13th century.

His style, although occasionally diffuse, is dignified in tone; his metre is clearly influenced by Gottfried's tendency to relieve the monotony of the epic-metre with ingenious variations, but it is always correct; his narratives—if we except Die halbe Birn, of which the authorship is doubtful—are free from coarseness, to which the popular poets at this time were prone, and, although mysticism and allegory bulk largely in his works, they were not allowed, as in so many of his contemporaries, to usurp the place of poetry.

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