German Language/mediaeval German


I have a 19th century copy of a fifteenth century tapestry in the museum in Basel, Switzerland. It has a picture of King Arthur and a caption in Old German that includes some words that I cannot translate into English There are 2 pictures--one of King Arthur and the other of Charlemagne. The caption around Arthur  reads:
"Konig Artus min macht und min minifen (or minifell) das ich alle ( I cannot read the next word, but it looks like it may be¨camt¨ or ¨lant¨) erfreit."

Next to Arthur is a picture of Charemagne (Karl der Grosse) with a caption that reads:
Kaiser Karolus welri( I cannot read that word--either it´s "welri" or "welli") ich recher (again, I can´t read this word, it could be "rever") han ich gefliech und
die befreiter in gefcrier."

The tapestry I have is only part of the one in Basel. The full tapestry shows pictures of the "9 worthies"--a fairly common theme of the times. The worthy include Arthur,Charlemagne; Alexander the Great; Julius Caesar; Hector of Troy, King David and 3 others  I cannot recall.
I would appreciate any help in translating this since my german is rather limited. Bob M.

Hello Bob,

I wish I could help! Letters in the old writing style are not easy to identify and the language itself has changed, so could you maybe take pictures of the tapestry, specifically of the words of course, and mail them to me at

Best regards,

German Language

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Cornelia Neumann


I can answer questions regarding grammar and style, as well as many questions about German culture, history, and literature.


I am native speaker with a German degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and German. I lived and worked in the USA for seven years (taught high school and all college levels) and spent three years as a high school teacher of German and EFL at an international school in Mexico. In 2006 I returned to Germany, where I am currently working as a teacher in Hamburg.

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