Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is an informal, varying code of conduct developed between 1170 and 1220, but never decided on or summarized in a single document. It was associated with the medieval Christian institution of knighthood; the ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the Matter of Britain and Matter of France, the former based on Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written in the 1130s, which introduced the legend of King Arthur. All of these were taken as accurate until the beginnings of modern scholarship in the 19th century; the code of chivalry that developed in medieval Europe had its roots in earlier centuries. It arose in the Holy Roman Empire from the idealisation of the cavalryman—involving military bravery, individual training, service to others—especially in Francia, among horse soldiers in Charlemagne's cavalry; the term "chivalry" derives from the Old French term chevalerie, which can be translated as "horse soldiery". The term referred only to horse-mounted men, from the French word for horse, but it became associated with knightly ideals.
Over time, its meaning in Europe has been refined to emphasise more general social and moral virtues. The code of chivalry, as it stood by the Late Middle Ages, was a moral system which combined a warrior ethos, knightly piety, courtly manners, all combining to establish a notion of honour and nobility. In origin, the term chivalry means "horsemanship", formed in Old French, in the 11th century, from chevalier, from Medieval Latin caballārius; the French word chevalier meant "a man of aristocratic standing, of noble ancestry, capable, if called upon, of equipping himself with a war horse and the arms of heavy cavalryman and, through certain rituals that make him what he is". In English, the term appears from 1292; the meaning of the term evolved over time because in the Middle Ages the meaning of chevalier changed from the original concrete military meaning "status or fee associated with a military follower owning a war horse" or "a group of mounted knights" to the ideal of the Christian warrior ethos propagated in the romance genre, becoming popular during the 12th century, the ideal of courtly love propagated in the contemporary Minnesang and related genres.
The ideas of chivalry are summarized in three medieval works: the anonymous poem Ordene de Chevalerie, which tells the story of how Hugh II of Tiberias was captured and released upon his agreement to show Saladin the ritual of Christian knighthood. None of the authors of these three texts knew the other two texts, the three combine to depict a general concept of chivalry, not in harmony with any of them. To different degrees and with different details, they speak of chivalry as a way of life in which the military, the nobility, religion combine; the "code of chivalry" is thus a product of the Late Middle Ages, evolving after the end of the crusades from an idealization of the historical knights fighting in the Holy Land and from ideals of courtly love. Gautier's Ten Commandments of chivalry, set out in the 19th century, hundreds of years after the time of medieval chivalry, are: Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and thou shalt observe all its directions. Thou shalt defend the Church.
Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, shalt constitute thyself the defender of them. Thou shalt love the country. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy. Thou shalt make war against the infidel without mercy. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties. Thou shalt never lie, shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word. Thou shalt be generous, give largesse to everyone. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. There is no reference to women, quests, or travel; this list would serve a soldier, or a clergyman. This "code" was created by Léon Gautier, a literary scholar, in 1883. No medieval knight came close to carrying out all of these "commandments" all of the time. Literary knights, being fictitious, did better, but not every "commandment" was followed or considered by every knight. Chivalry is to some extent a subjective term. Fans of chivalry have assumed since the late medieval period that there was a time in the past when chivalry was a living institution, when men acted chivalrically, when chivalry was alive and not dead, the imitation of which period would much improve the present.
This is the mad mission of Don Quixote, protagonist of the most chivalric novel of all time and inspirer of the chivalry of Sir Walter Scott and of the U. S. South:: to restore the age of chivalry, thereby improve his country, it is a version of the myth of the Golden Age. With the birth of modern historical and literary research, scholars have found that however far back in time "The Age of Chivalry" is searched for, it is always further in the past back to the Roman Empire. From Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi: We must not confound chivalry with the feudal system; the feudal system may be called the real life of the period of which we are treating, possessing its advantages and inconveniences, its virtues and its vice
Marie of France, Countess of Champagne
Marie of France was a French princess and Countess consort of Champagne. She was regent of the county of Champagne in 1179-1181, in 1190-1197, she was the elder daughter of Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her parents' marriage was annulled in 1152, custody of Marie and her sister, was awarded to their father. Both Louis and Eleanor remarried with Eleanor becoming Queen of England as the spouse of King Henry II. Marie had numerous half-siblings, including kings Philip II of France and John and Richard I of England. In 1160, when Louis married Adele of Champagne, he betrothed Alix to Adele's brothers. After her betrothal, Marie was sent to the abbey of Avenay in Champagne for her education. In 1164, Marie married Henry Count of Champagne, they had four children: Henry II of Champagne Scholastique of Champagne, married William IV of Macon Marie of Champagne, married Baldwin I of Constantinople Theobald III of Champagne Marie was left as regent for Champagne when Henry I went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 1179 until 1181.
While her husband was away, Marie's father died and her half-brother, became king. He confiscated his mother's dower lands and married Isabelle of Hainaut, betrothed to Marie's eldest son; this prompted Marie to join a party of disgruntled nobles—including Queen Adele and the archbishop of Reims—in plotting against Philip. Relations between Marie and her royal brother improved, her husband died soon after his return from the Holy Land. Now a widow with four young children, Marie considered marrying Philip of Flanders, but the engagement was broken off for unknown reasons. Marie resumed regency when her son went on Crusade, governing Champagne from 1190 to Henry's death in 1197. Marie retired to the nunnery of Châuteau de Fontaines-les-Nonnes near Meaux, died there in 1198, she was buried in Meaux Cathedral. On 25 June 1562, the Huguenots took over the town of Meaux and devastated many edifices, including the Cathedral. Backed up by Parisian refugees, the Huguenots of the Meaux region called a meeting in the market district and chose a leader, Louis de Meaux, seigneur de la Ramée.
They took the keys to the town, put guards at the gates, made for the Cathedral. They attacked the sculpted stone decorations and liturgical furniture, it is on this occasion that the tomb of Marie de Champagne, in the choir, was destroyed. Marie was a patron of literature, including Andreas Capellanus, who served in her court, Chrétien de Troyes, she maintained her own library. A deep affection existed between Marie and her half-brother King Richard, his celebrated poem J'a nuns hons pris, lamenting his captivity in Austria, was dedicated to her. Wheeler, Bonnie. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, 2002 Evergates, Theodore. Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, 1999
Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature; the Imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists. He enjoyed enormous popularity, but, in one of the mysteries of literary history, was sent by Augustus into exile in a remote province on the Black Sea, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile to carmen et error, "a poem and a mistake", but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars; the first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria and Fasti. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, influenced Western art and literature.
The Metamorphoses remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology. Ovid talks more about his own life than most other Roman poets. Information about his biography is drawn from his poetry Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca the Quintilian. Ovid was born in Sulmo, in an Apennine valley east of Rome, to an important equestrian family, on 20 March, 43 BC; that was a significant year in Roman politics. He was educated in rhetoric in Rome under the teachers Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro with his brother who excelled at oratory, his father wanted him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor, Sicily, he held minor public posts, as one of the tresviri capitales, as a member of the Centumviral court and as one of the decemviri litibus iudicandis, but resigned to pursue poetry around 29–25 BC, a decision his father disapproved of.
Ovid's first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC. He was part of the circle centered on the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas. In Trist. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Horace and Bassus. He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old, he had one daughter, who bore him grandchildren. His last wife was connected in some way to the influential gens Fabia and would help him during his exile in Tomis; the first 25 years of Ovid's literary career were spent writing poetry in elegiac meter with erotic themes. The chronology of these early works is not secure, his earliest extant work is thought to be the Heroides, letters of mythological heroines to their absent lovers, which may have been published in 19 BC, although the date is uncertain as it depends on a notice in Am. 2.18.19–26 that seems to describe the collection as an early published work. The authenticity of some of these poems has been challenged, but this first edition contained the first 14 poems of the collection.
The first five-book collection of the Amores, a series of erotic poems addressed to a lover, Corinna, is thought to have been published in 16–15 BC. 8–3 BC. Between the publications of the two editions of the Amores can be dated the premiere of his tragedy Medea, admired in antiquity but is no longer extant. Ovid's next poem, the Medicamina Faciei, a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the Ars Amatoria, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, dated to AD 2. Ovid may identify this work in his exile poetry as the carmen, or song, one cause of his banishment; the Ars Amatoria was followed by the Remedia Amoris in the same year. This corpus of elegiac, erotic poetry earned Ovid a place among the chief Roman elegists Gallus and Propertius, of whom he saw himself as the fourth member. By AD 8, he had completed his most ambitious work, the Metamorphoses, a hexameter epic poem in 15 books; the work encyclopedically catalogues transformations in Greek and Roman mythology, from the emergence of the cosmos to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.
The stories follow each other in the telling of human beings transformed to new bodies: trees, animals, constellations etc. At the same time, he worked on the Fasti, a six-book poem in elegiac couplets on the theme of the calendar of Roman festivals and astronomy; the composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, it is thought that Ovid abandoned work on the piece in Tomis. It is in this period, if they are indeed by Ovid, that the double letters in the Heroides were composed. In AD 8, Ovid was banished to Tomis, on the Black Sea, by the exclusive intervention of the Emperor Augustus, without any participation of the Senate or of any Roman judge; this event shaped all his following poetry. Ovid wrote that the reason for his exile was carmen et error – "a poem and a mistake", claiming that his crime was
A novel is a long work of narrative fiction written in prose form, and, published as a book. The entire genre has been seen as having "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in classical Greece and Rome, in medieval and early modern romance, in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella. Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji has been described as the world's first novel. Spread of printed books in China led to the appearance of classical Chinese novels by the Ming dynasty. Parallel European developments occurred after the invention of the printing press. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, is cited as the first significant European novelist of the modern era. Ian Watt, in The Rise of the Novel, suggested that the modern novel was born in the early 18th century. Walter Scott made a distinction between the novel, in which "events are accommodated to the ordinary train of human events and the modern state of society" and the romance, which he defined as "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse.
However, many such romances, including the historical romances of Scott, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, are frequently called novels, Scott describes romance as a "kindred term". This sort of romance is in turn different from the genre fiction love romance novel. Other European languages do not distinguish between romance and novel: "a novel is le roman, der Roman, il romanzo, en roman." A novel is a fictional narrative which describes intimate human experiences. The novel in the modern era makes use of a literary prose style; the development of the prose novel at this time was encouraged by innovations in printing, the introduction of cheap paper in the 15th century. The present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian novella for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself from the Latin novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning "new". Most European languages use the word "romance" for extended narratives.
A fictional narrativeFictionality is most cited as distinguishing novels from historiography. However this can be a problematic criterion. Throughout the early modern period authors of historical narratives would include inventions rooted in traditional beliefs in order to embellish a passage of text or add credibility to an opinion. Historians would invent and compose speeches for didactic purposes. Novels can, on the other hand, depict the social and personal realities of a place and period with clarity and detail not found in works of history. Literary proseWhile prose rather than verse became the standard of the modern novel, the ancestors of the modern European novel include verse epics in the Romance language of southern France those by Chrétien de Troyes, in Middle English. In the 19th century, fictional narratives in verse, such as Lord Byron's Don Juan, Alexander Pushkin's Yevgeniy Onegin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh, competed with prose novels. Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate, composed of 590 Onegin stanzas, is a more recent example of the verse novel.
Content: intimate experienceBoth in 12th-century Japan and 15th-century Europe, prose fiction created intimate reading situations. On the other hand, verse epics, including the Odyssey and Aeneid, had been recited to a select audiences, though this was a more intimate experience than the performance of plays in theaters. A new world of individualistic fashion, personal views, intimate feelings, secret anxieties, "conduct", "gallantry" spread with novels and the associated prose-romance. LengthThe novel is today the longest genre of narrative prose fiction, followed by the novella. However, in the 17th century, critics saw the romance as of epic length and the novel as its short rival. A precise definition of the differences in length between these types of fiction, is, not possible; the requirement of length has been traditionally connected with the notion that a novel should encompass the "totality of life." Although early forms of the novel are to be found in a number of places, including classical Rome, 10th– and 11th-century Japan, Elizabethan England, the European novel is said to have begun with Don Quixote in 1605.
Early works of extended fictional prose, or novels, include works in Latin like the Satyricon by Petronius, The Golden Ass by Apuleius, works in Ancient Greek such as Daphnis and Chloe by Longus, works in Sanskrit such as the 4th or 5th century Vasavadatta by Subandhu, 6th– or 7th-century Daśakumāracarita and Avantisundarīkathā by Daṇḍin, in the 7th-century Kadambari by Banabhatta, Murasaki Shikibu's 11th-century Japanese work The Tale of Genji, the 12th-century Hayy ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn Tufail, who wrote in Arabic, the 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus by Ibn al-Nafis, another Arabic novelist, Blanquerna, written in Catalan by Ramon Llull, the 14th-century Chinese Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Gua
Yvain, the Knight of the Lion
Yvain, the Knight of the Lion is an Arthurian romance by French poet Chrétien de Troyes. It was written c. 1180 with Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, includes several references to the narrative of that poem. It is a story of knight-errantry, in which the protagonist Yvain is first rejected by his lady for breaking a promise, subsequently performs a number of heroic deeds in order to regain her favor; the poem has been adapted into several other medieval works, including Iwein and Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain. In the narrative, Yvain seeks to avenge his cousin, defeated by an otherworldly knight Esclados beside a magical storm-making stone in the forest of Brocéliande. Yvain defeats falls in love with his widow Laudine. With the aid of Laudine's servant Lunete, Yvain wins his lady and marries her, but Gawain convinces him to leave Laudine behind to embark on chivalric adventure. Laudine demands he return after one year. Yvain becomes so enthralled in his knightly exploits that he forgets to return to his wife within the allotted time, so she rejects him.
Yvain goes mad with grief, is cured by a noblewoman, decides to rediscover himself and find a way to win back Laudine. A lion he rescues from a dragon proves to be a loyal companion and a symbol of knightly virtue, helps him defeat both a mighty giant, three fierce knights, two demons. After Yvain rescues Lunete from being burned at the stake, she helps Yvain win back his wife, who allows him to return, along with his lion. Yvain, the Knight of the Lion was written by Chrétien de Troyes in Old French with his Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, between 1177 and 1181, it survives in two fragments. It comprises 6,808 octosyllables in rhymed couplets. Two manuscripts are illustrated, Paris BnF MS fr. 1433 and Princeton University Library Garrett MS 125, the former incomplete with seven remaining miniatures and the latter with ten. Hindman discusses these illustrations as reflecting the development of the role of the knight, or the youthful knight-errant, during the transitional period from the high to the late medieval period.
The first modern edition was published in 1887 by Wendelin Förster. Chrétien's source for the poem is unknown, but the story bears a number of similarities to the hagiographical Life of Saint Mungo, which claims Owain mab Urien as the father of the saint by Denw, daughter of Lot of Lothian; the Life was written by Jocelyn of Furness in c. 1185, is thus younger than Chrétien's text, but not influenced by it. Jocelyn states that he rewrote the'life' from an earlier Glasgow legend and an old Gaelic document, so that some elements of the story may originate in a British tradition; the name of the main character Yvain, at least harks back to the name of the historical Owain mab Urien. Yvain had a huge impact on the literary world. German poet Hartmann von Aue used it as the basis for his masterpiece Iwein, the author of Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain, one of the Welsh Romances included in the Mabinogion, recast the work back into its Welsh setting; the poem was translated into a number including the Middle English Ywain and Gawain.
The Valþjófsstaður door in Iceland, c. 1200, depicts a version of the Yvain story with a carving of a knight slaying a dragon that threatens a lion. Chrétien de Troyes. Arthurian Romances. New York: Everyman's Library. ISBN 0-460-87389-X. Chrétien de Troyes. Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03837-2. Lacy, Norris J.. "Chrétien de Troyes". In Norris J. Lacy, The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, pp. 88–91. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4. Four Arthurian Romances by Chrétien de Troyes' at Project Gutenberg Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Princeton University Library Yvain, the Knight of the Lion in a freely-distributable PDF document Yvain, or the Knight with the Lion public domain audiobook at LibriVox
Iwein is a Middle High German verse romance by the poet Hartmann von Aue, written around 1203. An Arthurian tale adapted from Chrétien de Troyes' Old French Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, it tells the story of Iwein, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, it was written after Hartmann's Erec, may have been his last work. Hartmann von Aue, because of his romance Erec, written around 1180, is considered the founder of German Arthurian Legend. Like all Hartmann's works and courtly epics in general, Iwein is written in four-footed rhyming couplets. Iwein is his second courtly romance. Between Erec and Iwein he created his two legendary stories Der arme Heinrich. Iwein must have been produced by 1205, as Wolfram von Eschenbach makes mention of it in his Parzival; the earliest possible creation date is taken to be the year 1190. Linguistic investigations seem to suggest that Iwein was begun shortly after Erec, but that Hartmann's work on it was interrupted after 1000 verses, it is possible. According to this theory, Hartmann only finished the poem at a date.
It is not known who commissioned Iwein, but the Zähringer, the Staufer and the Welfen have all been considered as possible patrons. Hartmann's immediate source was the Old French epic Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion by Chrétien de Troyes, created either around 1177 or between 1185 and 1188. In contrast to his rather free version of Erec, Hartmann's translation of Iwein remains much closer to the French original; as the themes of the courtly epic had in the meantime become common knowledge for his German listeners, he was able to avoid lengthy explanatory digressions. The subject matter of King Arthur belongs to the Matter of Britain orally transmitted Celtic materials, which found entry to European literature through Chrétiens' reworkings; as is normal for medieval epics, Hartmann begins the tale with a Prologue - This contains a reference to the literary genre of Arthurian epics and programmatic statements about the morality of the poetry. Arthur is praised as an example of chivalry. Hartmann adds a self-proclamation, written in much the same way as in Der arme Heinrich: The novel begins with a Whitsun celebration at the court of Arthur, the epitome of courtly festivities.
While there, Iwein hears the story of the Knight Kalogrenant, structured by Hartmann as a sort of novel in the novel. The misbegotten adventure of the Arthurian knight Kalogrenant gives the court of Arthur a legitimate challenge - that of avenging the dishonour. Iwein, who as a relation of Kalogrenant's is doubly hit by the scandal, rides ahead of a procession of the entire court and heads secretly into the Well-Kingdom; the adventure with deadly consequences for Askalon. Iwein chases the mortally wounded; the falling portcullis cuts Iwein's horse in two. Only with the help of Lunete, the confidante of the mistress of the castle, does Iwein succeed in escaping the castle guards. Out of thankfulness for earlier assistance at the court of Arthur he receives from Lunete a ring which makes him invisible; the dead Askalon is mourned by his beautiful wife Laudine. Iwein becomes inflamed with love for her; the wounds of the dead man begin to bleed again, due to the presence of the killer, thus a burlesque search for the invisible man begins.
Once again Lunete solves the paradoxical situation and convinces Laudine that the victor over Askalon would be a worthy successor as husband, Lord of the land and protector of the fountain. In a comedic enactment Iwein and Laudine come together under the mediation of Lunete. Soon thereafter the wedding is celebrated; the court of Arthur arrives at the source, Iwein must try out his role as fountain-protector for the first time. This succeeds against the exemplarily resentful knight of the court of Arthur; the entire court now celebrate the marriage of Laudine. Thereby the plot arrives at a temporary ending - as well as the êre of victory Iwein has, unlooked for, achieved a wife and Lordship. On the urging of his friend Gawain, who uses the verligen of Erec as an example, Iwein leaves Laudine shortly after the wedding, goes in search of Tournaments and âventiure. Laudine extracts from Iwein a promise to return after a day; this timeframe implies a effective deadline after which his claims against possible usurpers would have lapsed..
The painful parting of the lovers is characterised by Minneharmonie. In a dialogue between the narrator and Lady Love it is stated that Iwein and Laudine have swapped their hearts, which will lead to momentous consequences. Iwein gives himself up to the excitement of tournaments and notices only too late that he had missed the pre-appointed deadline by six weeks. Lunete takes the ring from him. All his honor is lost in Arthur's court and Laudine breaks off all connections with him, thus Iwein loses his identity. Gripped by madness he becomes a wild man in the woods, his only social attachment is a silent exchange agreement with a hermit. Only through the help of the Lady of Narison and her companion, who treat his madness with a
Erec is a Middle High German poem written in rhyming couplets by Hartmann von Aue. It is thought to be the earliest of Hartmann's narrative works and dates from around 1185. An adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes' Erec et Enide, it is the first Arthurian Romance in German. Erec tells the story of how Erec, a knight at King Arthur's court, wins the hand of the beautiful Enite, but through excessive devotion to his wife, neglects his duties as a knight and lord. Realising his error, he sets out from the court on a series of challenging adventures in which he tests Enite's loyalty and gains insight into the purpose of knighthood. Unlike Hartmann's romance Iwein, which survives in 16 complete manuscripts, Erec is preserved in only a single, much manuscript, the Ambraser Heldenbuch, a few small fragments. In spite of this poor survival and references show that the work was influential. Establishing a text for Erec is problematic; the main manuscript, the Ambraser Heldenbuch, has no text matching the first 80 lines of Chrétien's poem, indeed starts in mid-sentence.
In addition, the text of the Wolfenbüttel fragments indicates that MS A has a gap of 78 lines in the poem, while non-rhyming lines indicate several individual incomplete couplets. The MS was written some 330 years after the work was created and though the scribe, Hans Ried, seems to have based his text on a good source, its language shows many features which could not have been part of a 12th century version. Conversely, syntactical features that were common in MHG but would have been archaic in the 16th century have been more or less modernised. In MS A the text which corresponds to Chrétien's poem is preceded without a break by a separate Arthurian episode, now called Der Mantel, which involves a chastity test with a magic cloak — of all the ladies in the court, Enite comes closest to winning; this episode is introduced in the manuscript by a single heading which treats Der Mantel and Erec as constituting a single work. Der Mantel has its source not in Chrétien but in the Old French fabliau Du manteau mautaillié.
In the 19th century Der Mantel was ascribed to Heinrich von dem Türlin, whose Diu Crône was thought to contain a reference to a lost Lancelot romance of his which included this motif of the chastity-testing cloak. This attribution is now discounted and the work regarded as anonymous; the most recent editors of the Ambraser text make a case for accepting the manuscript compiler's view that Der Mantel is part of Erec, a preface, with the main story showing how Enite came to be deserving winner of the cloak. However if the dating of the German version is uncertain, the dating of the Old French original to the last decade of the 12th century or appears to disqualify the German adaptation as an original part of Hartmann's work. Nonetheless one specific change made to the French tale by the author of the Der Mantel links it with Erec: in the original the cloak is won by Briebriz, the wife of Caradoc, while the German author awards it to Enite, wife of Erec. Whether this change was undertaken in order to make it a suitable preface to Erec, or whether it was made independently and is the reason for two texts becoming associated, is impossible to determine, as is the date of their combination into the single work that Hans Ried used as a source.
The "new" Wolfenbüttel fragments and the Zwettl fragments adhere much more to Chrétien's original than the text of Erec represented in the other manuscripts. A number of characteristics set these most discovered fragments apart from the established text of Erec: more accurate, sometimes word-for-word translation of the Old French, a much greater prevalence of French loanwords in the German text, a number of triplet rhymes. For these reasons, the fragments are taken to provide evidence of a distinct German version of Chrétien's poem, called, on the basis of their dialect, the "Central German Erec", or the "Second Erec" With the "old" Wolfenbüttel fragments matching Hartmann's text and the "new" representing a different version, it is unclear why the scribe of this manuscript switched source in the middle of the text, the relation between this version of Erec and Hartmann's remains a matter of debate. After a prologue, the narrative opens with a Pentecost celebration at the court of King Arthur, where a large number of noble guests have gathered.
On the third day of the feast, everyone is waiting after morning Mass to start the meal. However, Arthur refuses his guests food. On behalf of his anonymous mistress from the fairy kingdom, who hates all the ladies of the Arthurian Court, a young messenger brings a magical cloak to the court, which will fit only a woman, faithful to her man. All the ladies of the court fail the virtue test miserably, to the consternation of the men. Erec's wife Enite puts on the cloak and it fits her except for a few missing inches on the lower hem, which shows that Enite is perfectly virtuous. Riding with the two ladies, the young, untried knight Erec, son of King Lac, is dishonoured by the dwarf of a wandering knight before the eyes of Queen Guinevere. Being without armour, Erec cannot imme