Vagant seal

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The vagante poetry (also called goliard poetry ) is the secular Latin poetry and proverb of the Middle Ages , especially the 12th and 13th centuries.


Vagantist poetry is differentiated from courtly poetry by language and subject matter. The poems of the simultaneous minstrels and trobadors are written in the respective vernacular (for example Middle High German or Occitan ) and reflect a courtly life in the subject matter, on the other hand the vagante poetry is Latin (although vernacular sprinkles occur) and the subject matter is popular. In contrast to the Middle Latin scholarly poetry , which was based on the quantitative ancient models, the vagante poetry was accentuating and rhyming . The vagante poetry was common all over Europe. Important representatives of the vagante poetry are Hugo Primate of Orléans , Hilarius of Orléans , Walter of Châtillon , Petrus of Blois and the Archipoeta .


The Vaganten (from Latin vagari "wander around ", in France also called Goliards ) were traveling (that is, wandering) scholars , i.e. clerics without employment, students between study sites, runaway monks and other learned bohemians. Vagante poetry, however, was not necessarily written by "vagantes". It is argued that a large part of the Vagant's poetry was written by monks, while others are known to be close to the university or court (for example the close connection between Archipoeta and Rainald von Dassel ). A more recent research approach sees the important historical context of goliard poetry in the cathedral schools of northern France and defines it as follows: "Based on the handwritten attribution of Middle Latin poems with Golias and goliardus, the high and late Middle Ages understood" goliard poetry "to mean the rhymed secular Latin poetry of the High Middle Ages, whose relevant intention comedy and produces this comedy by theme and plot, but especially on poetological meta-levels of language Interntext and semantics. It originated in the period between about 1115 and about 1255 in the "school system" of the secular clergy between the Loire and the Somme and mainly at the cathedral schools there and their cosmos, but was received over larger temporal, geographical and institutional spaces.It became a hedonistic-revolutionary scandal poetry by early modern archivists and finally by research from the middle of the 19th century Hundreds of transfigured, who misunderstood their themes as the experiential poetry of socially inferior clerical vagants, instead of seeing in their omnipresent comedy a role poem enriched with moralizing and educational-didactic moments. "


The themes of vagante poetry are simple and everyday things, the joy of life and sensual enjoyment, drinking, play, love and lust. What is striking is the tendency to parody, ridicule and satire, which can lead to harsh criticism of the authorities, above all of the church and its institutions. In spite of the thematic proximity to the life of ordinary people, the scholar's scholarly scholarship continues to resonate in classical allusions and quotations. Ancient models are Virgil , Horace , the Roman Elegics and above all Ovid .


A typical meter of vagant poetry is the pair-rhymed ( trochaic ) septary with diheresis after the fourth accentuation, from which the German vagant line later developed.

Important collections


Web links

Wiktionary: vagante poetry  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bryan Gillingham: The social background to secular medieval Latin song. Institute of Mediaeval Music, Ottawa 1998, ISBN 1-896926-11-8 .
  2. Marian Weiß: The Middle Latin goliard poetry and its historical context: comedy in the cosmos of the cathedral schools of northern France. 2018, p. 385 , accessed on July 16, 2018 .