Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

9/1/2004 - 8/31/2005

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Frauenlob's "Marienleich": A Goddess-Hymn from Medieval Germany

FAIN: FA-50152-04

Barbara Newman
Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)

My project is a poetic translation, with introduction and commentary, of the Marienleich by the German poet-composer Frauenlob, also known as Heinrich von Meissen (d. 1318). It is to be published, by prior agreement, with a musical recording of the hour-long piece by the ensemble Sequentia. The Marienleich, regarded as the masterpiece of this late minnesinger, is a formally and philosophically daring poem composed in twenty strophic pairs, employing a complex musical/poetic form modeled on the Latin sequence. It celebrates the Virgin Mary in boldly erotic and esoteric fashion: she is not only the mother of God, the bride of the Song of Songs, and the Woman clothed with the sun, but also a cosmic creator-goddess who subsumes features of the goddess Natura celebrated by twelfth-century Latin poets. Since Frauenlob is virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, I mean to introduce him into the current medieval canon by producing an accessibly priced paperback suitable for classroom use.

Media Coverage

13 book reviews and 4 blog postings (Media Coverage)
Author(s): various
Publication: Times Literary Supplement, Spiritus, Speculum, Zeitschrift fur deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur, etc.
Date: 12/21/2011

Associated Products

Frauenlob's Song of Songs: A Medieval German Poet and His Masterpiece (Book)
Title: Frauenlob's Song of Songs: A Medieval German Poet and His Masterpiece
Author: Barbara Newman
Editor: Karl Stackmann (editor of German text)
Abstract: An edition and facing-page verse translation of the "Marienleich" or "Song of Songs" by the German poet-composer Heinrich von Meissen, called Frauenlob (c. 1260-1318), accompanied by a critical study of the work, its context, and its reception, along with a musical performance on CD by the ensemble Sequentia.
Year: 2006
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Type: Single author monograph
Type: Translation
Type: Scholarly Edition
ISBN: 0-271-02925-0
Translator: Barbara Newman