Hans Folz

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Hans Folz; Drawing by Hans Schwarz , around 1520.
A page from the plague regiment by Hans Folz (1482)

Hans Folz (* around 1435 / 1440 in Worms , † January 1513 in Nuremberg ) was a German surgeon , writers and Meistersinger .


Hans Folz, who had probably acquired his knowledge of Latin in a city school in Worms, settled in Nuremberg in 1459 after years of wandering , which took him to northern Spain and Augsburg, and became a citizen there on November 1, 1459. He was certified as a barber master there in 1486 , was also a master surgeon and knew his way around academic medicine through self-didactic knowledge acquisition, as can be seen from some of his rhyming couple sayings . In this role he obtained the office of jury master of wound medicine and the barber trade and as such represented the interests of his profession in the city, so he had an elevated position among the craftsmen. In 1493 his fortune allowed him to purchase hereditary property within the city walls. Agnes, his wife in his first marriage, died in 1499. His second wife Elsbet survived him. He is said to have later committed to the Protestant denomination.

He appeared as a poet in Meistersang , probably more of his own accord. However, parts of his work seem to have been commissioned. He is considered the reformer of the Meistersang because he broke the previous conventions and established a further 27 new tones instead of the permitted tones of the twelve "Old Masters". His 100 master songs are mainly devoted to religious questions. His work paved the way for the later master singer Hans Sachs . In addition to his master singing, Folz wrote other literature, such as rough taunts , but also fine, artistically developed plays using contemporary dramaturgy. Seven carnival games are known by name, five more are attributed to him. These games are stylistically in the tradition of Hans Rosenplüt , but are linguistically characterized by a finer, more agile language. His brutal hostility towards Jews , especially in the carnival games “The old and the new marriage” and “The Duke of Burgundy”, both of which culminated in the public humiliation and mistreatment of Jews, made him a representative of literary anti-Judaism in the Middle Ages .

He had his works printed in the form of brochures between 1479 and 1488 and devoted himself lyrically, but also in a serious and elaborate form, to economic, moral, catechetical or dogmatic questions or reports on contemporary events and personalities. In a spa medicine book, also contained in the work Tractatus de balneis naturalibus by Felix Hemmerlin , he gave a lecture on the “good teaching of all wild baths”.

Works (selection)

  • Fireworks book
  • Fortune telling berries. 1497; in the second version of 1485/86 changed to an anti-Jewish polemic.
  • Dises puchlein tells us about all pads that are naturally hot. (Bath booklet), around 1480. Edited as a facsimile and commented on by Rüdiger Krüger . helfant edition, Stuttgart 1995.
  • Household items book, around 1490
  • From King Markolfo
  • From an emperor and an abbot
  • Good lesson from all wild baths
  • From a cellation by the Emperor Maximilian in Nuremberg
  • From the brandy wine
  • Calculating the usury of the Jews
  • From confession
  • From a Greek doctor
  • From a citizen of Strasbourg who went to Rome
  • From a lazy son of a bitch who lays down on rubbish
  • The poet's war against a Jew
  • From three students who vied for a beautiful landlady
  • Poetic history of the origins of the Holy Roman Empire
  • From a poor rich man who invited a poor man on a holiday
  • How Adam and Eve lived after their expulsion from paradise
  • About the pestilence and its signs
  • The bohemian error or heresy
  • Liber collationem vel Vitas patrum to German Confect Puch
  • From a Pulen


  • Karl BartschFolz, Hans . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, pp. 151-153.
  • Johannes Janota: Folz, Hans , in: The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd Edition. Volume 2. De Gruyter, Berlin 1980, Col. 769-793
  • Hanns Fischer (Ed.): Hans Folz: The Reimpaarsprüche and Prosa. Munich 1961 (= Munich texts and studies on German literature of the Middle Ages , 1).
  • Wolfgang Wegner: Folz, Hans. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 408.

Web links

Wikisource: Hans Folz  - Sources and full texts

Individual references and comments

  1. ^ Wolfgang Wegner: Folz, Hans. 2005, p. 408.
  2. ^ William C. Crossgrove: Medical Parody and Medical Practice in Medieval German. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 14, 1996, pp. 269-277; here: pp. 273–275.
  3. ^ Rüdiger Krüger: Hans Folz
  4. ^ Christoph Petzsch:  Folz, Hans. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1961, ISBN 3-428-00186-9 , p. 288 f. ( Digitized version ).
  5. ^ A b c Johann Georg Theodor Grässer: Textbook of a general literary history of all known peoples of the world, from the oldest to the most recent times. Arnoldische Buchhandlung, Dresden Leipzig 1842. Volume 2, page 965. Digitized
  6. Frank Fürbeth : Bibliography of the German or in the German area published baths of the 15th and 16th centuries. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 13, 1995, pp. 217-252; here: p. 221 f.
  7. ^ Antonius Lux (ed.): Great men of world history. A thousand biographies in words and pictures. Sebastian Lux Verlag, Munich 1960, p. 140
  8. Erfurt / Gotha, UFB Erfurt - Gotha Research Library Chart. B 1032
  9. ^ Wolfgang Wegner: Folz, Hans. 2005, p. 408.
  10. here Latin script; also available as a scan in fracture from the University of Toronto , library