Hugo of Montfort

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Hugo von Montfort's coat of arms at the end of the manuscript cpg 329, fol. 54v
Author's signature and motto of Hugos von Montfort at the end of the manuscript cpg 329, fol. 53v
Fantasy portrait of Hugo von Montfort at a fountain in the Bregenz Upper Town
This fresco depicts the minstrel Hugo von Montfort, it is located at the Tabor in Frohnleiten.

Hugo XII. Count of Montfort , VIII. From the line of Montfort (-Tettnang) -Bregenz (also Haug , * 1357 ; † April 4, 1423 in Bruck an der Mur ) was a follower of the Dukes of Austria and author of lyrical and didactic poems.

Live and act

Hugo XII, Count of Montfort-Bregenz and related to the Habsburgs through his mother Ursula von Pfirt , held numerous high administrative offices as a respected politician. He made a political career in the service of the House of Habsburg: as commander-in-chief of the ducal Austrian troops in Italy, as court master of Duke Leopold IV , as governor of Styria 1413–1415, as bailiff in Thurgau , Aargau and the Black Forest . In 1399 he acquired the Festenburg in Eastern Styria .

In contrast to other authors of the late Middle Ages, a lot is known about Hugo's life. Numerous documents and mentions in chronicles, but especially also the poems handed down under his name, are sources of his biography.

As the second eldest son, Hugo was taught with the greatest care and raised for a spiritual career, which explains how he was able to draw on theological knowledge in his work. He was also given a secular education, as evidenced by the many references in his works to contemporary and high medieval poetry. At the age of 16, in 1372 or 1373, he was married to Cilli's young widow, Hereditary Countess Margarete von Pfannberg , who brought extensive alliodal estates in Styria, Austria and Carinthia into the marriage. With this, Hugo founded the Styrian branch of the Montfort family and vastly expanded the dominion of the House of Montfort: He became heir to the castle and county of Pfannberg in the Styrian Murtal and other Pfannberg possessions. A son Ulrich comes from this connection. When Hugo's father died in 1378, the two brothers, Konrad and Hugo, shared the paternal inheritance.

After the death of his first wife, who died in 1389, he married Clementia von Toggenburg in 1395/96, who died in 1399. Shortly afterwards in 1402 a double wedding followed: Hugo married the widowed Anna von Neuhaus , his son Ulrich married their daughter Guta. In the years 1401/1402 Hugo had a final collection of his poetic oeuvre made, finally in 1414 in a second order a splendid codex for his entire collection of works. In the years 1416–1422 there is not much to be found about the count in public sources, which suggests that he spent these years on his own behalf. He died on April 5, 1423 and was buried in the Minorite monastery in Bruck an der Mur, where a memorial plaque with verses from his work reminds of him to this day: I hán do it like that when I have to do something, win :> what that hertz begerend, the mouth túts dikch say <. (35, vv. 135-138)

Hugo von Montfort is the most famous personality of his gender. His fame is not based primarily on his poetry, but on his outstanding reputation as an important politician.

Hugo of Montfort was in 1398 at the Holy grave to Jerusalem for the Knights of the Holy grave beaten, along with Oswald von Wolkenstein and Albrecht IV. Of Austria .

Acquisitions by the Montforters around Hugo

Through four successive generations, the Montfort father and son married mother and (hereditary) daughter from other (dying) families:

  • Wilhelm II.
    ∞ Ursula von Pfirt (sister Johannas )
    • William III.
      ∞ Ursula von Hohenberg , daughter of Ursula von Pfirt
      ∞ Margarete von Schaunberg ad. von Pfannberg , the elder
      • Hugo
        ∞ Margarete von Pfannberg the younger, daughter of the elder
        ∞ Anna von Neuhaus used . from Stadeck
        • Ulrich
          ∞ Guta von Stadeck, daughter of Anna

In the last few cases in particular, the result was a huge gain in territory, but this soon melted away under Ulrich's heirs.


Research on the poet Hugo von Montfort is in a vigorous controversy. People began to be more interested in the poet's oeuvre when the German philologists rediscovered Oswald von Wolkenstein and thus brought his contemporaries into focus. Even then, Hugo stood in the shadow of his South Tyrolean contemporary for a long time and received almost only negative reviews of his work. The greater interest was more in his life as a politician than in his work itself.

A total of 40 poems by Hugo von Montfort have come down to us in an authorized splendid manuscript, the last two poems being regarded as inauthentic, apart from one minor opinion, which sees them as a supplement to the splendor code. The poems can be assigned to typical mediaeval genres. Hugo wrote songs , poetic love letters as well as political and didactic speeches . Alongside Oswald von Wolkenstein, the noble occasional poet is considered to be one of the last representatives of German minnesong.

Hugo divides his work into the three genres "Speech, Letter and Song" (Text 38), which are already present in the poetry of the high Middle Ages. The letters 3, 19, 20, 23, 24 and 25 are counted among the letters. The speeches include the speeches with appeal to the noble doctrine of virtue 14 and 26, the miner speeches 1, 2, 16, 17 and 21 and the spiritual speeches 4, 15, 27 and 30. In addition there are the reflections on love and poetry in speeches 5, 18 and 28. Wachinger counts primarily the melodies provided with texts 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 22, 29 and also the melody-free texts 6, 7 and 9.


  • All white with anevang / is ze brúfen at the exit. Files from the symposium on the 650th birthday of Hugo von Montfort. Edited by Klaus Amann and Elisabeth De Felip-Jaud. Innsbruck 2010 (= Innsbruck contributions to cultural studies. Germanistic series 76).
  • Andreas Arzet: Montfortic ceder or family tree: origin and tradition, stories and deeds, country and people of the Counts of Montfort . Arranged by Julian Schulz. Edited by Stefan Feucht, Elmar L. Kuhn and Alois Niederstätter. Eggingen 2018 (= Documenta suevica 26), ISBN 3-86142-605-6 , pp. 685-691.
  • Wernfried Hofmeister: Hugo von Montfort. The poetic work . De Gruyter, Berlin et al. 2005, ISBN 3-11-017604-1 .
  • Hugo of Montfort. Introduction to the facsimile of the Codex Palatinus Germanicus 329 of the Heidelberg University Library. With contributions by Franz Viktor Spechtler, Vera Trost, Ewald M. Vetter, Lorenz Welker and Wilfried Werner. The texts of the manuscript in full translation by Franz Viktor Spechtler. Wiesbaden 1988. (= Facsimilia Heidelbergensia 5).
  • Fritz Peter Knapp: The literature of the late Middle Ages in Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol from 1273 to 1439. The literature in the time of the early Habsburgs until the death of Albrecht II in 1358. Graz 1999. (= History of literature in Austria from the beginning to the present 2.1).
  • Anke Sophie Meyer: Hugo von Montfort. Author role and representation activity . Kümmerle, Göppingen 1995, ISBN 3-87452-855-3
  • Gustav Moczygemba: Hugo von Montfort. Fürstenfeld 1967.
  • Ulrich Müller: Hugo von Montfort , in: Lexikon des Mittelalters , Vol. V (1991), Col. 173.
  • Walter Salmer:  Hugo VIII Count of Montfort. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5 , p. 18 ( digitized version ).
  • Franz Viktor Spechtler: The tradition of the poems of Hugo von Montfort , in: Hugo von Montfort. Vol. I: The Heidelberg Manuscript cpg. 329 and the entire litter tradition. In figure. Edited by Eugen Thurnher et al. Göppingen 1978. (= Göppinger contributions to text history 56), pp. 12-20.
  • Burghart Wachinger: Hugo von Montfort , in: The German Literature of the Middle Ages (²VL), Vol. IV (1983), Col. 243-251.
  • Joseph Eduard Wackernell (ed.): Hugo von Montfort. With treatises on the history of German literature, language and metrics in the XIV. And XV. Century . Innsbruck 1881 ( digitized version )

Sound carrier

  • "Happy world, ir sint húpsch and schón". The songs of Hugo von Montfort . Eberhard Kummer , singing and lap harp / hurdy-gurdy. 2 CDs and bonus DVD with a portrait of the artist. ORF Edition Alte Musik 2007 (complete recording of melodies that Burk Mangolt from Bregenz composed for the poet in the early 15th century)

Web links

Commons : Hugo von Montfort  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Elmar Bordfeld: “History of the Order of Knights from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem”, p. 126 (PDF; 8.0 MB), accessed on February 19, 2012
  2. Valmar Cramer: The order of knights of the Holy Grave from the Crusades to the present. , JP Bachem, Cologne 1952, p. 20
  3. link to the ORF shop ( Memento of the original from February 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /