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Tanhuser

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Biography

Tanhuser
Tannhäuser (Middle High German: Tanhûser; died after 1265) was a German Minnesänger and poet. He is not attested historically outside of his poetry, which is dated to between 1245 and 1265. His biography is consequently obscure. It is assumed that there is a connection to the old noble family of the Lords of Thannhausen, who are still residing in their castle in Tannhausen, near Ellwangen and Dinkelsbühl. There is a historical Tannhausen castle near Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz. He was active at the court of Frederick II of Austria, and the Codex Manesse depicts him in the habit of the Teutonic Order, which suggests he might have participated in the Fifth Crusade.
Tannhäuser’s poems are parodies of the traditional genre. His Bußlied (poem on atonement) is unusual with regard to the erotic theme of the remaining content of the Codex Manesse. Tannhäuser was a proponent of the leich (lai) style of poetry.

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