A Medieval Graffito Representing a Trébuchet in an Etruscan Tomb in Corneto-Tarquinia
Friedrich von Hausen was one of the earliest composers of crusade songs, along with Hartmann von Aue, Albrecht von Johansdorf, Heinrich von Rugge, Otto von Botenlauben and Reinmar der Alte, who were active in the period between the Third Crusade and the crusade of Emperor Henry. Most of their surviving songs expressed crusading ideas by employing the themes and motifs of Minnesang, the newly emerging Middle High German courtly love lyric which was itself based on forms and, in some cases, melodies deriving from French and Occitan models. These three songs must have been composed between the reception in Germany of Pope Gregory encyclical letter Audita tremendi, which proclaimed the Third Crusade, and the departure of the German army from Regensburg on 11 May 1189. This gathering would represent the most plausible venue for the first performance of these songs since it brought together the greatest audience of potential crusaders in Germany.