Pilgrimage Motif in the Works of the Medieval German Author Hartmann Von Aue

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Within his writings, Hartmann von Aue addresses a problem characteristic of his period, got und der werlt gevallen, by fusing the quest for secular happiness as it is presented in the heroic literatures of ancient and medieval times with the search for spiritual happiness as it is depicted by St. Augustine in his Civitas Dei. In the discussion of the quest for saelde within Hartmann's works, this study establishes the pilgrimage motif as his main tectonic principle and most significant action motif. The examination of Hartmann's tectonic principle also documents the ideologized transformation of the pilgrimage motif as a progression from the rather stark dualism of his Kreuzzugslieder to the gradualism in Gregorius and Der arme Heinrich and marks a peak of gothic style and ideology in the medieval epic tradition.


“. . . a well-written study focusing by no means exclusively on Gregorius, Der arme Heinrich, and the crusading lyric. . . The strength of the work is that it can be recommended to students as a competent summary of many ideas fundamental to the period.” – The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies

". . . penetrating and pioneering study of the pilgrimage motif. . . . Mills brings together the pertinent scholarship on the subject and builds on it judiciously. She investigates her theme from every possible angle, beginning with the history of pilgrimage literature, both religious and secular, from Moses and Job and Odysseus to the Civitas Dei of Augustine and then to Beowulf and beyond, culminating in a discussion of the philosophical structures underlying the pilgrimage theme in Hartmann. Along the way she brings to bear the theological, historical and sociological factors influencing the author." - Ralph Ley

". . . a highly readable study, a fine contribution to Hartmann research. . . . Her interpretations are well backed by the selected text material and the text arrangement described and quoted. She uses secondary materials wisely. . . . a fine study, setting Hartmann up as the ideal gothic writer, contemporary to the great architects of the latter part of the 12th century." - Josef Thanner

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