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The Wino | Der Weinschwelg

British Library MS Additional 21114 f.1 [Public Domain]

Introduction to the Text

This poem is a humorous ode to drinking alcohol which parodies medieval courtly poetry and the values of medieval court society (such as virtue, skill, loyalty and honor) by appropriating them to describe a less-than-respectable activity: drinking to excess. It was composed in the thirteenth century CE and is an example of the wave of satirical literature in German which rose to meet the previous half-century's idealising love songs and stories of romantic heroism. While Middle High German is often still thought of today as the language of the Minnesänger - highly-accomplished singers and composers whose best known subject was perfect romantic love - poems like The Wino show that medieval audiences were not only interested in skilfully-crafted romance but indeed had a taste for biting satire.


Translation by Kathryn Starkey, Björn K. Buschbeck, Robert Forke, Mae Velloso-Lyons, Mareike E. Reisch, and Kathleen SmithEncoded in TEI P5 XML by Jordan Rosen-Kaplan

Suggested citation: Anonymous. "The Wino." Trans. Kathryn Starkey, et al. Global Medieval Sourcebook. Retrieved on August 04, 2020.