Chretien de Troyes

Francoise Le Saux (University of Reading)
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Chrétien de Troyes, active from the late 1160s, is generally considered one of the most influential writers in French literary history and a forefather of the novel. The surviving work by Chrétien de Troyes comprises five Arthurian romances:

Erec et Enide (Erec and Enide)






also Chevalier de la Charrette


Knight of the Cart




Chevalier au lion


Knight of the Lion

) and



Conte du Graal


The Grail romance

). Two of these are unfinished: the


- apparently handed over by Chrétien to a continuator - and the


, thought to have been interrupted by the death of the author. Two love songs have also been attributed to Chrétien, and the twelfth-century

Lay of Philomena

, a short narrative poem retelling the story found in Ovid’s

3533 words

Citation: Le Saux, Francoise. "Chretien de Troyes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 November 2019 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

5472 Chretien de Troyes 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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