Martinus von Biberach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Magister Martinus von Biberach (German: [fɔn ˈbiːbəʀax] ( ); died 1498) was a theologian from Heilbronn, Germany. He is mostly remembered because of a priamel that has allegedly been his epitaph.

Epitaph[edit]

Ich leb und ich waiß nit, wie lang
Ich stirb und waiß nit wann
Ich far und waiß nit, wahin
Mich wundert, daß ich froelich bin.

English:

I live and don't know how long,
I'll die and don't know when,
I am going and don't know where,
I wonder that I am happy.

Reception[edit]

While the attribution of the poem is controversial, it has been cited and modified widely. Martin Luther in particular took issue with it, offering a contrary version in a sermon on John 8:46-59 for Judica Sunday: Ich lebe, so lang Gott will, / ich sterbe, wann und wie Gott will, / ich fahr und weiß gewiß, wohin, / mich wundert, daß ich traurig bin![1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ I am living as long God wants, / I'll die when and how God wants, / I am going and certainly know where,
    I wonder that I am sad.
    Martin Luther, Gesammelte Werke, hg. von Kurt Aland, Bd. 8, S. 153 = Weimarer Ausgabe Bd. 37, S. 328 f.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gerd Dicke: Mich wundert, das ich so fröhlich bin. Ein Spruch in Gebrauch, In: Kleinstformen der Literatur, hg. v. Walter Haug u. Burghart Wachinger, Tübingen 1994 (Fortuna vitrea 14), S._56-90. ISBN 3-484-15514-0 ISSN 0938-9660