SÜSSKIND (SUEZKINT) OF TRIMBERG:
German minnesinger; flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century, or, according to Graetz, about 1200. He is called after his birthplace Trimberg, a town with a castle of the same name, in Franconia, near Würzburg. Little is known of his life; but it is supposed that he was a physician. The six poems of his which have been preserved in the Manesse collection (now at Paris, formerly in Heidelberg) show that he took high rank among the poets of his time. He sang of the worth of the virtuous woman, and portrayed for the knights the ideal nobleman: "Who acts nobly, him will I account noble."
Sharing the suffering of his oppressed brethren, he bitterly complains that the wealthy grant him scanty support, for which reason he is determined to abandon poetry and to live henceforth as a Jew. The most characteristic of his poems is the Fable of the Wolf:
"Ein Wolf viel jaemerlichen sprach:
Wâ [where] sol ich nû belîben [remain],
Sît [since] ich dur mînes lîbes nâr [for my support]
Muoz wesen in der âhte [must live in ban]?
Darzuo sô bin ich geborn, diu schult, diun ist nicht mîn [it is not my fault];
Vil manic man hât guot gemach [many a one is in pleasant circumstances],
den man siht valscheit trîben [whom one sees deal falsely]
unt guot gewinnen offenbâr [and evidently acquire wealth]
mit sündeclîher trâhte [with sinful aspirations];
der tuot wirser vil, dan ob ich naem ein genslein.
Jân [not at all] hab ich nicht, des goldes rôt
Zegebene umb mîne spîse [to give for my food],
des muoz ich rouben ûf den lip durch hungers nôt [therefore I must deprive myself and suffer hunger],
der valsch in sîner wîse ist schedelîcher, dan ich,
unt wil unschuldic sîn [the false man acts much worse than I, and yet wishes to appear innocent]."
Evidently this fable refers to the author's own circumstances or at least to those of his coreligionists.
Bodmer (1759) and Von der Hagen (1838) reprinted the poems from Manesse's collection.
- Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, xxxvii. 334-336;
- Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., vi. 233 et seq.;
- Kurz, Gesch. der Deutschen Literatur, 8th ed., i. 76;
- Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1896, p. 395.