German Courtly Romance

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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The twelfth century experienced dramatic changes throughout Europe which resulted in the so-called “Renaissance (or Reformation) of the Twelfth Century” that affected almost every aspect of medieval society. During this century we also witness the emergence of courtly literature. Between 1160 and 1191 Chrétien de Troyes introduced, under the patronage of Countess Marie de Champagne, the genre of the Arthurian romance, publishing his

Erec et Enide




Yvain ou Le Chevalier au lion


Lancelot ou Le Chevalier de la charrette



(also known as

Le Conte du Graal

), for which he drew much inspiration from British-Celtic sources such as Geoffrey of Monmouth’s chronicle

Historia Regum Britanniae

(between 1136 and 1139) and Robert Wace’s

Roman du Brut

(1155). Chrétien in…

2760 words

Citation: Classen, Albrecht. "German Courtly Romance". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2003 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

1279 German Courtly Romance 2 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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