Der arme Heinrich
Hartmann von Aue
Hartmann von Aue, aka Hartmann von Ouwe, (born c.1160–70, died c.1210–20) was a German knight and poet. With his works including Erec, Iwein, Gregorius, and Der arme Heinrich, he introduced the courtly romance into German literature and, with Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Strassburg, was one of the three great epic poets of Middle High German literature. Der arme Heinrich (Poor Heinrich) is a Middle High German narrative poem by him. It was probably written in the 1190s and was the second to last of his four epic works. Combining courtly and religious narrative patterns, it tells the story of a noble knight who has been stricken by God with leprosy and can be cured only by the heart’s blood of a virgin who willingly sacrifices herself for his salvation.