Oberlin published several manuals on archaeology and ancient geography, and made frequent excursions into different provinces of France to investigate antiquarian remains and study provincial dialects, the result appearing in Essai sur le patois Lorrain (1775); Dissertations sur les Minnesingers (1782-1789); and Observations concernant le patois et les mceurs des gens de la campagne (1791).
He was fond of the society of men of letters, and Walther von der Vogelweide and other Minnesingers were welcomed to his castle of the Wartburg.
He gave a code of municipal law to Vienna, and rights to other towns, welcomed the Minnesingers to his brilliant court, and left to his subjects an enduring memory of valour and wisdom.
The naturalism of which we have been speaking found free utterance now in the fabliaux of jongleurs, lyrics of minnesingers, tales of trouveres, romances of Arthur and his knights - compositions varied in type and tone, but in all of which sincere passion and real enjoyment of life pierce through the thin veil of chivalrous mysticism or of allegory with which they were sometimes conventionally draped.
The tales of Lancelot and Tristram, the lives of the troubadours and the Wachtlieder of the minnesingers, sufficiently prove with what sensual freedom a knight loved the lady whom custom and art made him profess to worship as a saint.