minstrel: Re: helpmeeeee

Heather Rose Jones hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Fri Jan 17 10:14:57 PST 1997


On Fri, 17 Jan 1997, Nicholson, Drew wrote:

> Hey, folks -- I gotta few questions, ones that I could probably answer at the
> library, but I need them for scrolls for court like next week & I'm working
> double shifts.
> 
> A)  Does anyone know anything about later Germanic Poetry?  I'm writing the
> scroll text for a Red Compnay (midrealm mid-level fighting award) that has
> already been awarded, and the text has been commissioned to me.  I know that
> early German is kinda like viking, but kinda not.  Any ideas?

Can you narrow down more specifically what you mean by "later" Germanic
Poetry? Any time within the Middle German period, or tending toward
Renaissance or ...? My Middle High German grammar includes a number of
poems in the text section. Here are a few relevant sections of the
introduction:

"The Verse of the Courtly Epic. These are in rimed couplets. Each line
consists of either four feet with a masculine rime or three feet with a
feminine rime. ... The rimes themselves in the best poets are almost
invariably pure ... The rhythm of the lines could be varied in different
ways: by starting with a dip ... and by the omission of intermediate dips,
so that two sterssed syllables came together, etc. The practice of
different poets varied in this respect, and while Hartmann von Aue used
such devices with deliberate artistic effect, later thirteenth-century
poets tended to prefer a strict alternation of lifts and dips. [note: I
_think_ "lift" and "dip" are referring to stressed and unstressed parts of
the foot respectively, but it isn't entirely clear.] ... The principle
known as _Reimbrechung_ was much favoured. This means that a sentence was
made to finish with the first line of  a couplet, while the second began a
fresh sentence.
	"The first few lines of _Der_Arme_Heinrich_ [12th c.] will serve
to ilustrate the principles. The main stresses are marked with acute [/],
th subordinate stresses with grave [\] accents.
	Ein rit/ter so\ geler\et was/
	daz/ er an/ den buoch/en las/
	swaz er/ dar an/ geschrib/en vant/;
	der/ was Hart/man\ genant/,
	dienst/man was/ er z(e) Ou/we.
	Er nam/ i man/ege schou/we
	an mis/lichen buoch/en, etc.

	"The Nibelungen Stanza. This consists of four long lines, each
divided by a caesura into two halves. The long lines rime in pairs. The
first half of each long line has three full beat and a weaker fourth beat
resembling a feminine ending. The second half of each long line has (lines
1-3) three beats and a masculine rime, while the eighth half-line has four
beats with a masculine rime. The rhythm is very varied owing to the
frequent omission of dips, and in the last half-line the second and third
beats normally have no dip between them. Occasionally the initial
half-lines rime together in pairs. An example is [?early 13th c.?]
	Ez wu/ohs in/ Burgon/den	ein vil e/del mag/edin\,
	daz/ in al/len land/en\		niht schoen/ers moh/te sin\,
	Kriem/hilt/ geheiz/en\:		si wart/ ein schoen/e wip\.
	dar um/be muos/en deg/ene\	wil/ verlies/en\ den lip\.

	"Lyric Poetry. It is impossible to review here the many and often
complicated strophic forms of the lyric poetry. These poems were sung to
tunes composed by their authors, and accordingly their metrical structure
is stricter than that of the epics. Each poet invented his own strophic
forms. Most lyric poems consist of one or more stanzas (liet) which are
each divided into two parts, called respectively Aufgesang and Abgesang.
The Aufgesang is further divided into two equal parts called Stollen, so
that the whole is tripartite. The sonnet is derived from this strophic
form. A single example musch suffice to illustrate this [date
unmentioned]:
	Ir/ sult sprech/en: 'will/e kom/en!'
	der/ iu maer/e bring/et, daz/ bin ich/.
	All/ez daz/ ir habt/ vernom/en,
	daz/ ist gar/ ein wint/: nu frag\et mich/.
	Ich/ wil ab/er miet/e:
	wirt/ min on\ iht guot/,
	ich/ gesag/(e) iu lit\te, daz/ iu sanf/te tuot/.
	seht/, waz man/ mir er\en biet/e."

[from "A Middle High German Primer" by Joseph Wright, Oxford at the
Clarendon Press, 1960]

> B)  Second -- I'm also writing the AoA texts for three people & I'm wondering if
> anyone knows the European places that these names would have come from?

> 	Amalia

Good question. It _could_ be a variant of "Amelia". The only place I can
find this particular spelling is in an early medieval (ca. 10th c.) French
source, but the name, in minor variants, was popular throughout Germany
and Franch and even to a much lesser extend in England, over a broad
period of time (ca. 8-9th c. to the end of period on the continent; ca.
13th c. on in Britain). There is also overlap between this name and the
Latin "Aemilia", which opens the field up to any Roman-influenced land
starting in Imperial times.

> 	Katja auf Nahe

This pretty clearly intends to be German. To my mind, the diminutive form
of the given name says "late period", but goodness knows what Katja
herself thinks.

> 	Winifred

This could be either an Anglicized version of a Welsh saint (female),
which doesn't seem to have been in common use until the 16th century; or
it would be a Middle English version of the Anglo-Saxon masculine name
"Winfrith", in which case you're talking about the 12-13th centuries.
Knowing SCA-folk, probably the best you can confidently say is "British
Isles" (and even that isn't always safe!).

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn


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