Hermann Lingg (1820-1905), son of a court lawyer, spent his childhood at Lake Constance. At his father's request he became a physician after studying medicine in Munich from 1837 and completing his doctorate in 1843. He found employment in the army, which employed him as a junior doctor in Augsburg.
The revolution of 1848, however, caused a great deal of confusion in his life: Lingg was transferred to Straubing, Passau and Lower Franconia and was drawn into the maelstrom of military reshuffling. In 1849, Lingg fought against the insurgents in Baden, until he finally had to be admitted mentally confused to a sanatorium near Cannstatt. Due to his condition, he was no longer accepted into military service and was forced to retire in 1853.
His marriage to Seraphine Lang (1817-1903), the daughter of a forest warden, led to the Lingg's psychological stabilisation; he again lived in Munich from 1852. He also received recognition as poet: through friends he met Emanuel Geibel (1815-1884), who liked his poems and arranged for them to be published by the Cotta-Verlag in Stuttgart in 1854. At the same time, King Max II of Bavaria (1811-1864) became interested in Lingg and helped him secure his financial status with a fixed annual salary. Under the association nickname "Teichkrokodil", Lingg a little later became the co-founder of "Die Krokodile".
He became an important historical poet of his time by meeting the taste of the new German Empire, which was culturally legitimised by Germanic mythology. In Munich society he proved his worth by the composition of occasional poems and festival prologues. Apart from further volumes of poetry (e.g. "Vaterländische Balladen und Gesänge", 1869), Lingg tried his hand as a dramatist (e.g. "Catilina", "Die Walkyren", both in 1864), but did not gain the desired success. Nonetheless, he celebrated his verses in octaves "Die Völkerwanderung" (1866-68) as his main work. Lingg also published novellas, e.g. "Byzantine novellas" (1881), "Von Wald und See" (1883) and "Furchen - Neue Novellen" (1889).
The celebration of his 70th birthday in 1890, when he was ennobled by Prince Regent Luitpold (1821-1912), who appointed him an honorary citizen of the city of Munich and honoured him with a festive evening in the Munich Coliseum, became the highlight of his life. Lingg dedicated his final years to the composition of his autobiography "Meine Lebensreise", published in 1899.