Chivalry in Twelfth Century Germany: The Works of Hartmann von Aue

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'Concerned principally to situate Hartmann's works in their social and cultural historical context, Jackson's carefully constructed and lucidly written book will be required and compelling reaading at every level of interest, from undergraduate student to specialist scholar. It expounds knighthood as the major theme of Hartmann's varied oeuvre, reflected and refracted through the prism of different genres, fictional material and narrative positions. Jackson's unrivalled grasp of the historical evidence for the material, social and ideological dimensions of chivalry in the twelfth century is brought to bear on the texts in a way which never reduces these to mere functions of an extra-literary reality, but brings out the subtle and dynamic interplay of their aesthetic patterns and documentary correlatives... The book also builds up a persuasive framework for understanding Hartmann's literary production as a whole and for grasping it as an evolving reflection of and on knighthood as the key mode and model of social self-realisation for his chivalric audience.' FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES Hartmann von Aue is a major figure in medieval German literature, and his works document key features of the history of chivalry in an important phase of transition and consolidation. This book is the first full-scale enquiry undertaken of the presentation of the role of knighthood across the full range of Hartmann's works, considering the social, ideological and literary dimensions of chivalry and fruitfully combining literary, linguistic and historical approaches. The opening chapters place Hartmann's works in the broader perspective of Arthurian literature and of kingship and chivalry in western Europe, and in the context of the changing historical reality of knighthood as a military and a social order in twelfth-century Germany. Further chapters are devoted to each of his works, Erec, Gregorius, the Klage and his lyrics, Der arme Heinrich and Dwein, which are interpreted both with a historical
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A richly informative study which consistently shows the benefits to be derived from a treatment of the subject in relation to Hartmann's works in their entirety, from a thorough knowledge of the most recent scholarship on Hartmann and on the historical, legal, and cultural background, from detailed comparisons of Hartmann's texts with their known sources, and from a superbly integrated assessment of the linguistic, literary, and external evidence. The view of Hartmann's 'literary self-interpretation of knighthood' which emerges is convincing through ist meticulous demonstration of an author at pains to criticise, but not reject, his profession in a period of transition. YEAR'S WORK IN MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIESThe first book in English to cover the whole production of Hartmann von Aue (fl.1180-1203), a figure of paramount importance in the history of medieval German literature... His book is refreshing...and full of stimulating ideas. MEDIUM AEVUM This extremely perceptive analysis of the works of Hartmann von Aue in relation to the social, legal and political realities of the later twelfth century in Germany constitutes a formidable...(contd short)
Hartmann von Aue was one of the most important writers in medieval German and Arthurian literature, his position as an educated knight providing a perspectives from both the clerical and aristocratic worlds. Here is an inquiry across the full range of his poetry into his representation of knighthood and chivalric values, their social and ideological dimensions, and their historical context. Also considers the various strands of literary, linguistic, and historical influences on his work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859914314
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/12/1995
  • Series: Arthurian Studies, #34
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 0.81 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Table of Contents

1 King Arthur and the Rise of Knighthood 1
Arthur's kingship and the rise of knighthood in the twelfth century 1
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae 3
The Arthurian romances of Chretien de Troyes 9
Hartmann's adaptations of Erec and Yvain 19
King Arthur and the social context of Hartmann's works 30
2 Knighthood and Social Status in Twelfth-Century Germany and in Hartmann's Erec 37
Preliminary sketch 37
Knighthood and military function 43
Knights in lordly retinues: ritter and knehte, ritter and vrouwen 47
Knighthood and social differentiation in the twelfth century: ritters name 55
Knighthood and nobility in historical sources 63
Knighthood and nobility in Hartmann's Erec 73
3 Knighthood and the Ethics of Force in Erec 84
Peace movements, the court and the development of knightly ethics 84
The role of combats in the composition of Erec 96
Iders: combat and the restoration of order 100
The tournament and honour 103
Erec's verligen and the world of adventure 107
The robbers and the giants: robbery, captivity and ethical progress 109
Galoain and Oringles: lordship and violence 116
Guivreiz: aventiure, triuwe and proper grounds for combat 120
Mabonagrin: knighthood and the joy of the court 126
Chivalric values, aesthetic form and the historical situation of Hartmann's Erec 134
4 Gregorius: Knighthood in Perspective 147
Gregorius and the three estates 147
The view of knighthood in the debate between the abbot and Gregorius 149
The moral evaluation of chivalry in Gregorius 158
Penance, contrition and the inner life 165
5 Knighthood, Love Service and the Crusade in Hartmann's Klage and His Lyrics 167
The figure of the knight in twelfth-century Minnesang 167
Lessons in love: the Klage 174
The ethics of service and reward in Hartmann's lyrics 178
Knighthood and conversion: Hartmann's crusading songs 182
6 Der Arme Heinrich: Lord, Peasant and Lay Literacy 194
Hartmann and lay literacy 194
Knighthood and moral insight 198
Aristocracy and peasantry 202
7 Knighthood in Iwein: Voices of the Characters 210
Introduction: knighthood and narrative voice 210
Iwein's awakening: the basis of a chivalric identity 214
Gawein's advice: knighthood, marriage and lordship over lands 217
Lunete's accusation: knighthood and triuwe 227
8 Knighthood in Iwein: Social, Legal and Ethical Dimensions of the Action 235
Arthur's realm - Laudine's realm 235
The opening cycle: honour and self-assertion 237
The main cycle: justice and moral reflection 245
aventiure, trial by combat and the role of courtliness 259
Chivalric values, aesthetic form and the historical situation of Hartmann's Iwein 276
9 Conclusions 282
Bibliography 291
Index 314
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