Berthold von Holle

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Berthold von Holle was a German poet of the 13th century .

life and work

The chronological classification is possible because von Holle mentions Duke Johann I of Braunschweig and Lüneburg as a contemporary informant . At the time in question there were two bearers of the name Berthold von Holle. Berthold I, who is mentioned in documents between 1219 and 1251 , was a knight and trustee in the service of Hildesheim Bishop Konrad II. As a poet, however, his nephew, also called Berthold von Holle, is assumed to be a ministerial like his uncle.

In addition to the about 5000 verses full, almost entirely in a handwriting from Pommersfelden (1470) obtained Crane and the Demantin under the name Berthold only a fragment of the novel in verse Darifant handed. The crane was built around 1260. Since the poet here expressly refers to himself as the author of Demantin , this work must have already existed. The timing of the Darifant is still unclear.

Unlike the authors of the classic medieval verses, Berthold does not write in Middle High German, but in a Low German dialect. His choice of words is mostly scarce, his verses rather unadorned, which often gave rise to comparisons with Wolfram von Eschenbach (for example Steinmeyer in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie ). Wolfram is also the only poet that Berthold mentions in his work - in the Demantin . A direct source for Berthold's epics , in the form of a literary model, is not known. There was also no Hungarian king Gayol, the hero of the epic Crane .


  • A prose adaptation of Crane from the Lower Rhine has come down to us from the 15th century .
  • The crane can still be found in a Lübeck carnival game Crane, Falcon and Stare from 1444.
  • For the 850th anniversary of the village of Holle in 1996, the author Petra Hartmann created a retelling of the first part of Crane , which she followed two years later with a second part, The Return of the Crane . Both narratives later appeared in her book Stories from Movenna .
  • In 2016 Petra Hartmann published two books with retellings of "Crane" and "Demantin".
  • In Holle, a memorial stone with the inscription "First poet in courtly language" has been commemorating the poet since 1996. A street in Holle is also named after him.

Text output

  • Berthold von Holle: Works . Edited by Karl Bartsch. Osnabrück, 1967. Reprint of the Nuremberg edition, 1858. (Contains Crane and Darifant fragment)
  • Demantin from Berthold von Holle . Edited by Karl Bartsch. Stuttgart, 1875.


  • Berthold von Holle: Crane. A knight epic, retold by Petra Hartmann . Verlag Monika Fuchs, Hildesheim, 2016, ISBN 978-3-940078-48-3 . (Contains an afterword to Berthold's life and work as well as a literature list.)
  • Berthold von Holle: Demantin. A knight epic, retold by Petra Hartmann . Verlag Monika Fuchs, Hildesheim, 2016, ISBN 978-3-940078-34-6 .



  • Gabriele von Malsen-Tilborch: Representation and Reduction. Structures of late court narration in Berthold von Holle . Beck, Munich 1973. (Diss. Munich, 1970)
  • Justus Fischer: The representation of the people in Berthold von Holle . Dissertation Hamburg 1921.
  • Ernst Laurenze: Berthold von Holle. Studies of the external and internal form of his works . Diss. Göttingen 1932.
  • Lydia Richter: Courtly epic in the Low German area. Studies on Berthold von Holle . (Master's thesis, University of Hanover, 1990.)
  • Alfred Schaper: Tradition and sequence of the works of Berthold von Holle . Diss. Göttingen 1921.
  • Matthias Wermke: Elements of oral composition in the knightly epic of the late 13th century. The verse novels of Berthold von Holle . Frankfurt am Main, Bern / New York / Paris 1988.


  • Elias von Steinmeyer:  Holle, Berthold v. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 12, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1880, p. 755.
  • Karl Bartsch : The language of Berthold von Holle. In: Germania. 23/1878, pp. 507f.
  • J. Bolte: To the Crane Bertholds von Holle. In: Yearbook for Low German Language Research. Jhg. 1893, XVIII, Norden / Leipzig 1893, pp. 114–119.
  • Gerhard Cordes: Berthold von Holle. In: Correspondence sheet of the Association for Low German Language Research. Jhg. 1938, H. 51/2, pp. 19-21.
  • C. Grotefend: Berthold von Holle. In: Journal of the historical association for Lower Saxony. Vol. 1864, pp. 117-135.
  • Albert Leitzmann : Investigations on Berthold von Holle. In: Contributions to the history of the German language and literature. 16, 1892, pp. 1-48.
  • Egon Perkuhn: The singer Berthold von Holle. In: EP: Under the oak from Holle. (= Contributions to local history of the community of Holle. Volume 1). Hildesheim 1986, pp. 53-61.
  • Lydia Richter: Berthold von Holle. "Wu ein getruwe truwe vant". In: Jürgen Peters , Wilhelm Heinrich Pott (Ed.): From poets princes and other poets. small history of literature in Lower Saxony. Volume 1, Hannover 1993, pp. 19-25.
  • Karl Stackmann:  Berthold von Holle. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 163 ( digitized version ).

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