Hartmann von Aue, Poor Heinrich

In the 90s of 12th century Hartmann wrote his work, poor Heinrich.

Heinrich, a knight whom destiny had given everything what a knight can wish, a pleasant appearance, goods, wealth, strength and honour had been infested with the leprosy.

He went through a crisis. He recognised that now the nice life was over and there would be no healing for him. He visited the doctors of his time. He went to Montpellier and to Salerno nobody reassured him him heart that he could ever be cured again.

Except, so he got to know in Salerno, if he would find a virgin, purely and untouched who wanted to die voluntarily for him. With the fresh heart blood he could be cured of the leprosy. Heinrich knows this would no woman voluntary do and thus he submits to his illness and disappears from the public.

Poor Heinrich moves to a farm family. They have an eight-year-old daughter. Three years later she offers out of love for Heinrich that she would be glad to let herself be killed in order to see him cured. She asserts herself with good rhetoric against her parents and, besides, she talked not like a child, but like a man of 12th century. E.g. when she stated among other things that she would never get in danger to be ruined by the impure lust of the flesh if she would die young. As a virgin she would not know the lust of the flesh at all. However, thus only men think and not children.

Well, everybody wants to talk the child out of being allowed to be killed, but the little one was firmly decided, because she thought that the life of her Lord was more valuable, than hers. Thus Heinrich travelled with her to Salerno.

The doctor took the virging into a separate room where he tied her nude on a table and sharpened a long knife to cut out her heart.

Poor Heinrich spotted through a hole in the wall the naked beauty and then he was not any more able to allow that this beauty should be extinguished. He broke off the procedure and travelled back home. The girl was infuriated and called the doctor as well as poor Heinrich a coward.

However, God liked the behaviour of poor Heinrich and thus he got cured of the leprosy. Then he persuaded his relatives to approve his marriage with the farm daughter and his life became nicer than ever before.

I find it fascinating in poor Heinrich to see the unvarnished representation that men expect from women victims.

And there was the thinking in the western culture in the Middle Ages, virgins would have healing forces.

An idea that means in Africa for example for many virgins the coitus with AIDS sick men who believes a virgin would heal them of AIDS.

I do not believe personally in the strength of the virginity and believe firmly, that women who may live a free sexuality, and from whom we do not expect that they should continuously sacrifice themselves for men, are the true strength in our all life.

Indeed, poor Heinrich is a story which still warms up even today the heart of many men....


Jena Isle said...

This post aroused one question in my mind. Is there such a virgin mind? Does virginity involves only the physical? She is a virgin physically but her mind is full of wanton desires fulfilled in the deepest recesses of her soul and mind...lol...

But I agree that although virginity is no longer a issue for a number of men, it would still be sweet to offer the man you're going to marry -your virginity .

A post worthy of perusal. All the best.

Dolly's Diary said...

Great Post, It makes you think,
Take Care.
Janet :)

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Anonymous said...

Dear Tarot cards,

Thank you for writting this. I have just visit your website and watch the video about Tarot reading.

I knew nothing about that but find it very interesting. The other day (maybe a month ago or so but I´m not sure), while I was walking with my dog, I saw something on the floor that seemed to be a card from the Tarot. Of course I didn´t know the meaning of the drawing in it so I took a picture hoping to show it sometime to someone who understand about that and perhaps could tell me.

But now, after watching the video on your website, I could recognise it was what you called "five of pentacles" (the card I found that day while going for a walk is the same to the left one on the screen. That drawing is the one that I saw)

While seeing the video, I have recognised drawings that I have seen before (on a blog) and I had absolutely no idea where they came from. I always wanted to Know, but never asked, if I remember well. These ones were taken from the right ones that appears on your website.

So thanks for your words and website. I´d like to visit again,


Anonymous said...

"The other day (maybe a month ago or so but I´m not sure)"

Oppps ...

It was a couple of weeks ago, 28th of January (I was feeling not willing to look for the camera last night to check it)