The periods of Medieval German Literature span two or three centuries, those of Early modern German literature span one century, and those of Modern German literature each span one or two decades.
German literature begins in the Carolingian period, first in Latin and then in Old High German. The most famous work in OHG is the Hildebrandslied, a short piece of Germanic alliterative heroic verse. The Old High German period is reckoned to run until about the mid-11th century, though the boundary to Early Middle High German (second half of the 11th century) is not clear-cut. The most impressive example of EMHG literature is the Annolied.
The term Old High German(OHG, German: Althochdeutsch) refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of Old High German proper to 750 for this reason.
Middle High German (MHG, German Mittelhochdeutsch) is the term used for the period in the history of the German language between 1050 and 1350. It is preceded by Old High German and followed by Early New High German. In some older scholarship, the term covers a longer period, going up to 1500.
The Late Middle Ages is a term used by historians to describe European history in the period of the 14th and 15th centuries (1300–1500 CE). The Late Middle Ages were preceded by the High Middle Ages, and followed by the Early Modern era (Renaissance).
The early modern period is a term used by historians to refer to the period in Western Europe and its first colonies which spans the time between the Middle Ages and the Industrial Revolution that has created modern society. The early modern period is characterized by the rise to importance of science and increasingly rapid technological progress, secularized civic politics and the nation state. As such early modern period represents the diminution and abolition of Christian theocracy, feudalism, and serfdom.
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