This volume is a guide to medieval German literature from its beginnings in the eighth century to the fourteenth century. It will escort the motivated student and colleague with interest in the European Middle Ages but no expertise in older German languages. The chapter authors, all internationally-known scholars, were given the freedom to arrange their chapters as they felt most appropriate, including the question of the terminus ad quem. Chapters deal either with a chronological period, e.g. 13th century, or with specific genres, eg. drama. In addition, chapters both on the historical epoch and on the development of the German language in the medieval period have been included. In general, historical and cultural topics play an important role in each chapter.