Hartmann von Aue: Erec

(1174 words)
  • William McDonald (University of Virginia)

Around 1180, Hartmann von Aue, a knight in Southwestern Germany, composed the first German Arthurian romance, Erec in 10,000 rhymed couplets. The plot line is an amalgam of fairy tale, Mirror of Princes (Fürstenspiegel, i.e. rules for young princes and rulers, composed since classical antiquity and through the Middle Ages), and the hero journey familiar to myth – a rite of passage that involves crossing the threshold and emerging from the Realm of Death. Hartmann very freely adapted a French romance that had appeared a generation before, Erec et Enide (ca. 1170) by Chrétien de Troyes. Other literary sources, the Norwegian Erexsaga and the Welsh tale of Gereint and …

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McDonald, William . "Erec". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 October 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13997, accessed 01 December 2015.]