How to Cite
Der Codex Manesse und die Entdeckung der Liebe: Eine Ausstellung der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, des Instituts für Fränkisch-Pfälzische Geschichte und Landeskunde sowie des Germanistischen Seminars der Universität Heidelberg zum 625. Universitätsjubiläum
Saget mir ieman, waz ist minne? (Tell me, what is love?) This question, asked by the poet Walther von der Vogelweide inquires about the nature of love and has occupied many travelling singers, noblemen, and even clerics since the High Middle Ages. A variety of texts and images bear witness to the fact that it was no longer enough for a knight to possess the desired lady. He rather strived to win her heart. The many-voiced discovery of the topic of “Minne”, i.e. courtly love, as erotic attraction between man and woman did not just influence the relation between the sexes, it also changed the self-conception of the nobility, and the manners within the courtly society.
The songs and images in Codex Manesse capture this change. The magnificent large-format manuscript is a unique collection of works of Minnesang, offering a large variety of genres and forms, dating from the time of the Staufen dynasty to the post-classical era. The miniatures depicting the poets within courtly scenes, festivities and tournaments, have for a long time shaped the modern perception of the chivalrous Middle Ages. However, the Codex Manesse itself can be interpreted as a historical review: Its aim was to create a written compilation of fading songs which were until then passed on orally. Without this record many texts would be lost today.
By presenting Codex Manesse and other valuable manuscripts from the vaults of Heidelberg University Library, the catalogue illustrates the discovery of love during the High Middle Ages.
More information and "Virtual Exhibition"
"In einzigartiger Weise versammelt die großformatige Prachthandschrift den staufischen wie auch den nachklassischen Minnesang in seiner ganzen Gattungs- und Formenvielfalt. Am Beispiel des Codex Manesse und weiterer wertvoller Handschriften und Drucke aus den Tresoren der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg illustriert die Ausstellung die Entdeckung der Liebe im hohen Mittelalter."
A TV Report by Campus TV 01/2011