German Literature

German Literature
  • German authors
  • Literature in the Middle Ages
  • 16th, 17th and 18th century literature
  • Enlightenment literature
  • Romantic literature
  • Naturalist and Expressionist literature
  • 20th century literature
  • German war and post-war literature
  • Contemporary literature

The Middle Ages

It was during the earliest part of the Middle Ages that epic poetry emerged, telling of the virtues and courageous deeds of heroes. Popular secular literature also evolved but was not put into writing until the 14th Century.

Some time later, in the 12th Century epic poetry recited by the Spielleute or wandering minstrels began to take on importance. Court epic was also an important style of the time, a style which included animals such as Reineke, a fox in one of Heinrich der Glichezaere's poems. In the 12th and 13th Centuries the Minnesang or courtly, lyric poetry developed; one of its most significant exponents is Walter von der Vogelweide.