Knights of the Round Table
The Knights of the Round Table were the knightly members of the legendary fellowship of the King Arthur in the literary cycle of the Matter of Britain, in which the first written record of them appears in the Roman de Brut written by the Norman poet Wace in 1155. In the legend, the Knights are an order in the service of Arthur, tasked with ensuring the peace of the kingdom and sometimes charged with leading the quest for the Holy Grail; the Round Table at which they met was created to have no head or foot, representing the equality of all the members. Different stories presented different numbers of the Knights, ranging from only 12 to as many as 150 or more, their total number and the names vary depending on the text. The first sources state 24, 36 or 72. For Robert de Boron, for whom the Round Table is a replica of the table of the Last Supper, they are fifty. In some versions, including Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory, they are 150. Bedivere and Kay are the oldest characters associated with Arthur.
Those most popular and best known today may include: There have been many others more or less obscure. For instance, Malory's account in Le Morte d'Arthur lists the following in the episode "The Healing of Sir Urry": Sir Aglovale de Galis is the eldest legitimate son of King Pellinore. Like his brothers Sir Tor, Sir Lamorak, Sir Dornar and Sir Percival, he is a Knight of the Round Table. In chivalric romances, Aglovale never cuts as impressive a figure as his brothers Lamorak and Percival, but his valor is unquestioned. According to the Post Vulgate cycle and Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, it is he who first brings Percival to Camelot to be knighted. In the Vulgate Cycle, Aglovale dies accidentally at Gawain's hand during the Quest for the Holy Grail. However, in Malory he and his brother Tor are among the knights charged with defending the execution of Guinevere and are both killed when Lancelot and his men rescue the queen. Aglovale appears prominently in the Dutch romance Morien. In a situation similar to Gahmuret's begetting of Feirefiz in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Aglovale visits Moorish lands where he meets a beautiful black Christian princess and conceives a child with her.
He returns to his own lands, thirteen years his son Morien comes to find him. After a number of adventures and son are reunited and both return to Morien's country to take back their rightful lands. In modern works, Aglovale is the eponymous protagonist of Clemence Housman's 1905 novel The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis. T. H. White's book The Once and Future King gives a endearing portrait of the knight. Sir Calogrenant, sometimes known in English as Colgrevance, is a cousin to Sir Yvain, his courtesy and eloquence were known throughout the kingdom, his character has been derived from of the Welsh mythological hero Cynon ap Clydno the lover of Owain's sister Morvydd, although in Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain Cynon is stated to be the son of Clydno connected to Clyddno Eiddin. Calogrenant first appears in the Knight of the Lion. After a good meal, Calogrenant tells a story to a group of knights and Queen Guinevere about an adventure he had in the forest of Brocéliande, he had heard of a magic spring in those woods which could create a huge storm whenever someone poured its water into a nearby basin.
With directions from a local family and a gruesomely depicted giant, Calogrenant reached the spring and summoned the storm. After the storm, a knight named Esclados attacked him for causing such havoc; the knight soundly did not kill him. Calogrenant's cousin Yvain is upset that Calogrenant never told him of this defeat, sets out to avenge him, embarking on the adventure that sets up the remainder of events in the romance. Roger Sherman Loomis and others speculated that Calogrenant was used as a foil for Sir Kay in some lost early version of the Yvain story. In Chrétien's romance he is presented as everything Kay is not: polite and well-mannered. By this theory, his name can be deconstructed to "Cai lo grenant", or "Cai the grumbler", which would represent another opposite characteristic of Kay, famous for his acid tongue. Calogrenant appears in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle as an excellent knight, though his kinship to Yvain is not as clear as in Chrétien, he dies during the Grail Quest while trying to keep Sir Lionel from killing Bors.
Bors had faced a dilemma over whom to rescue between Lionel, getting beaten with thorns by two rogue knights, a maiden who had just been abducted, chose the maiden over his brother. Lionel was not pleased by this, attacked Bors the next time he saw him. A religious hermit tried to intervene, but was killed accidentally in the process, Calogrenant stepped in. Bors would not fight his brother, Lionel slays Calogrenant and goes after Bors until God steps in and renders him immobile. Thomas Malory recounts Calogrenant's death scene in his Le Morte d'Arthur, but includes another one in the narrative. Despite dying on the Grail quest, he turns up as one of the twelve knights who help Agravaine and Mordred trap Lancelot and Guinevere together. Lancelot has no armor or weapons, but he pulls Calogrenant into the room and kills him, uses his sword to defeat the rest of the company. Prince Claudin known as Claudin the Younger or Claudine, is the son of the Frankish King Claudas, he appears in the Old French Lancelot-Grail and Thomas Malory's 15th-century Middle English work Le Morte d'Arthur, in sections based on the French cycle.
Lohengrin is a character in German Arthurian literature. The son of Parzival, he is a knight of the Holy Grail sent in a boat pulled by swans to rescue a maiden who can never ask his identity, his story, which first appears in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, is a version of the Knight of the Swan legend known from a variety of medieval sources. Wolfram's story was expanded in two romances. Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin of 1848 is based upon the legend. Lohengrin first appears as "Loherangrin", the son of Parzival and Condwiramurs in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival. Wolfram's story is a variation of the Knight of the Swan tale attached to the Crusade cycle of medieval literature. Loherangrin and his twin brother Kardeiz join their parents in Munsalväsche when Parzival becomes the Grail King. Members of this order are sent out in secret to provide lords to kingdoms that have lost their protectors and Loherangrin is called to this duty in Brabant, where the duke has died without a male heir.
His daughter Elsa fears the kingdom will be lost, but Loherangrin arrives in a boat pulled by a swan and offers to defend her, though he warns her she must never ask his name. He weds the duchess and serves Brabant for years, he explains his origin and steps back onto his swan boat. The Knight of the Swan story was known from the tales of the ancestry of Godfrey of Bouillon, the first ruler of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem; the story appears in the two versions of the tale Naissance du Chevalier au Cygne, which describes the Swan Knight Elias arriving to defend the dispossessed Duchess of Bouillon. They marry and have a daughter, who becomes the mother of Godfrey and his brothers; the Knight of the Swan is not the only altered version of a popular story Wolfram uses in his narrative. The story was picked up and expanded in the late 13th-century Lohengrin by a certain "Nouhusius" or "Nouhuwius", who changed the character's name and tied the romance's Grail and Swan Knight elements into the history of the Holy Roman Empire.
The story follows Wolfram but adds certain details – notably, Princess Elsa's questioning of her husband occurs only after prodding by an antagonist who spreads rumors that Lohengrin is not of noble blood – that extends the material into a full romance. In expanding the material, the author drew on several other medieval German literary works, including the Sächsische Weltchronik, the Jüngerer Titurel, the Wartburgkrieg. In the 15th century, the story was taken up again for the anonymous Lorengel; this version does not include the taboo against asking the protagonist about his mysterious origin and Lorengel and his princess can live ever after. In 1848, Richard Wagner, drawing on the contemporary work of Ludwig Lucas, adapted the tale into his popular opera Lohengrin, arguably the work through which Lohengrin's story is best known today. While King Henry the Fowler tries to assemble forces in Brabant to combat the Hungarian invasions, Lohengrin appears on the Scheldt River to defend Princess Elsa from the false accusation of killing her younger brother Gottfried.
According to Wagner, the Grail imbues the Knight of the Swan with mystical powers that can only be maintained if their nature is kept secret. The most famous piece from Lohengrin is the "Bridal Chorus", still played at many Western weddings. Wagner's Lohengrin was parodied in Victor Herbert's 1906 burlesque The Magic Knight, was reworked into Salvatore Sciarrino's 1982 opera Lohengrin, which reduces the narrative to a manic hallucination. Lacy, Norris J.. The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4. Wolfram von Eschenbach. T.. Parzival. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-044361-4 "Lohengrin". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921
Parsifal is an opera in three acts by German composer Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, a 13th-century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival and his quest for the Holy Grail. Wagner did not finish it until 25 years later, it was his last completed opera, in composing it he took advantage of the particular acoustics of his Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Parsifal was first produced at the second Bayreuth Festival in 1882; the Bayreuth Festival maintained a monopoly on Parsifal productions until 1903, when the opera was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Wagner described Parsifal not as Ein Bühnenweihfestspiel. At Bayreuth a tradition has arisen. Wagner's spelling of Parsifal instead of the Parzival he had used up to 1877 is informed by one of the theories about the name Percival, according to which it is of Arabic origin, Parsi Fal meaning "pure fool". Wagner read von Eschenbach's poem Parzival while taking the waters at Marienbad in 1845. After encountering Arthur Schopenhauer's writings in 1854, Wagner became interested in oriental philosophies Buddhism.
Out of this interest came Die Sieger a sketch Wagner wrote for an opera based on a story from the life of Buddha. The themes which were explored in Parsifal of self-renouncing, reincarnation and exclusive social groups were first introduced in Die Sieger. According to his autobiography Mein Leben, Wagner conceived Parsifal on Good Friday morning, April 1857, in the Asyl, the small cottage on Otto Wesendonck's estate in the Zürich suburb of Enge, which Wesendonck – a wealthy silk merchant and generous patron of the arts – had placed at Wagner's disposal, through the good offices of his wife Mathilde Wesendonck; the composer and his wife Minna had moved into the cottage on 28 April:... on Good Friday I awoke to find the sun shining brightly for the first time in this house: the little garden was radiant with green, the birds sang, at last I could sit on the roof and enjoy the long-yearned-for peace with its message of promise. Full of this sentiment, I remembered that the day was Good Friday, I called to mind the significance this omen had once assumed for me when I was reading Wolfram's Parzival.
Since the sojourn in Marienbad, where I had conceived Die Meistersinger and Lohengrin, I had never occupied myself again with that poem. However, as his second wife Cosima Wagner reported on 22 April 1879, this account had been colored by a certain amount of poetic licence: R today recalled the impression which inspired his "Good Friday Music"; the work may indeed have been conceived at Wesendonck's cottage in the last week of April 1857, but Good Friday that year fell on 10 April, when the Wagners were still living at Zeltweg 13 in Zürich. If the prose sketch which Wagner mentions in Mein Leben was dated, it could settle the issue once and for all, but it has not survived. Wagner did not resume work on Parsifal for eight years, during which time he completed Tristan und Isolde and began Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Between 27 and 30 August 1865, he took up Parsifal again and made a prose draft of the work, but once again the work was set aside for another eleven and a half years. During this time most of Wagner's creative energy was devoted to the Ring cycle, completed in 1874 and given its first full performance at Bayreuth in August 1876.
Only when this gargantuan task had been accomplished did Wagner find the time to concentrate on Parsifal. By 23 February 1877 he had completed a second and more extensive prose draft of the work, by 19 April of the same year he had transformed this into a verse libretto. In September 1877 he began the music by making two complete drafts of the score from beginning to end; the first of these was made in pencil on three staves, one for the voices and two for the instruments. The second complete draft was made in ink and on at least three, but sometimes as many as five, staves; this draft was much more detailed than the first and contained a considerable degree of instrumental elaboration. The second draft was begun on 25 September 1877, just a few days after the first; the Gesamtentwurf of act III was completed on 16 April 1879 and the Orchesterskizze on the 26th of the same month. The full score was the final stage in the compositional process
In Arthurian legend, the Fisher King known as the Wounded King or Maimed King, is the last in a long line charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Versions of the original story vary but he is always wounded in the legs or groin and incapable of standing. All he is able to do is fish in a small boat on the river near his castle and wait for some noble who might be able to heal him by asking a certain question. In versions knights travel from many lands to try to heal the Fisher King, but only the chosen can accomplish the feat; this is Percival alone in the earlier stories. Many works have two wounded "Grail Kings" who live in the same castle, a father and son; the more wounded father stays in the castle, sustained by the Grail alone, while the more active son can meet with guests and go fishing. For the purposes of clarity in the remainder of this article, where both appear, the father will be called the Wounded King, the son named the Fisher King. In the Fisher King legends, it is implied that he becomes unable to father or support a next generation to carry on after his death.
There are slight hints in the early versions that his kingdom and lands suffers as he does, 20th-century scholars have suggested his impotence affecting the fertility of the land and reducing it to a barren wasteland. The Fisher King appears first in Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail in the late 12th century, but the character's roots may lie in Celtic mythology, he may be derived less directly from the figure of Brân the Blessed in the Mabinogion. In the Second Branch, Bran has a cauldron that can resurrect the dead which he gives to the king of Ireland as a wedding gift for him and Bran's sister Branwen. Bran wages war on the Irish and is wounded in the foot or leg, the cauldron is destroyed, he asks his followers to sever his head and take it back to Britain, his head continues talking and keeps them company on their trip. The group lands on the island of Gwales, where they spend 80 years in a castle of joy and abundance, but they leave and bury Bran's head in London; this story has analogues in two other important Welsh texts: the Mabinogion tale Culhwch and Olwen, in which King Arthur's men must travel to Ireland to retrieve a magical cauldron, the poem The Spoils of Annwn, which speaks of a similar mystical cauldron sought by Arthur in the otherworldly land of Annwn.
The Welsh Romance Peredur son of Efrawg is based on Chrétien or derived from a common original, but it contains several prominent deviations and lacks a Grail. The character of the Fisher King presents Peredur with a severed head on a platter. Peredur learns that he was related to that king, that the severed head was that of his cousin, whose death he must avenge by defeating the Nine Witches; the Fisher King is a character in Chrétien's Perceval, the first of a series of stories and texts on the subject of Perceval and the Grail. He represents the Pope, or papal authority, compromised by wealth, an aristocratic lifestyle and dependency for support in his office upon those who live by the code of chivalry. Accordingly, he is unable to protect families, cultivated land, the built infrastructure and trade from the violence of knights who live by that code and, characterised as waste, his impotence in the face of chivalry and its endemic evils is represented by the wound in his thighs which has crippled him and confines his activities to fishing with a hook.
Versions of the story, e.g. the Didot Perceval, reject this critique and point to papal succession as the source of papal authority. Parzival was written in 1210 by forty years after Perceval. Although a different work, it is strikingly similar to Perceval; the story revolves around the Grail Quest and once again the main character is Percival or Parzival. To Perceval, Eschenbach kept the story line of Parzival not asking the healing question, which results in him Questing for years. Eschenbach's Parzival differs from Chrétien's Perceval in three major ways. Firstly, the Fisher King is called Anfortas. Secondly Eschenbach describes the nature of the wound; the wound is a punishment for wooing a woman, not meant for him, causing the King immense pain. Lastly Parzival comes back to cure the Fisher King. Parzival, unlike its predecessor Perceval, has a definite ending; the Fisher King's next development occurred around the end of the 13th century in Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie, the first work to connect the Grail with Jesus.
Here, the "Rich Fisher" is called Bron, a name similar enough to Bran to suggest a relationship, he is said to be the brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea, who had used the Grail to catch Christ's blood before laying him in the tomb. Joseph founds a religious community that travels to Britain and entrusts the Grail to Bron. Bron founds the line of Grail keepers that includes Perceval; the Lancelot-Grail cycle includes a more elaborate history for the Fisher King. Many in his line are wounded for their failings, the only two that survive to Arthur's day are the Wounded King, named Pellehan, the Fisher King, Pelles. Pelles engineers the birth of Galahad by tricking Lancelot into bed with his daughter Elaine, it is prophesied th
A couplet is a pair of successive lines of metre in poetry. A couplet consists of two successive lines that rhyme and have the same metre. A couplet may be run-on. In a formal couplet, each of the two lines is end-stopped, implying that there is a grammatical pause at the end of a line of verse. In a run-on couplet, the meaning of the first line continues to the second; the word "couplet" comes from the French word meaning "two pieces of iron riveted or hinged together." The term "couplet" was first used to describe successive lines of verse in Sir P. Sidney's Arcadia in 1590: "In singing some short coplets, whereto the one halfe beginning, the other halfe should answere."While couplets traditionally rhyme, not all do. Poems may use white space to mark out couplets. Couplets in iambic pentameter are called heroic couplets. John Dryden in the 17th century and Alexander Pope in the 18th century were both well known for their writing in heroic couplets; the Poetic epigram is in the couplet form. Couplets can appear as part of more complex rhyme schemes, such as sonnets.
Rhyming couplets are one of the simplest rhyme schemes in poetry. Because the rhyme comes so it tends to call attention to itself. Good rhyming couplets tend to "explode" as both the rhyme and the idea come to a quick close in two lines. Here are some examples of rhyming couplets where the sense as well as the sound "rhymes": True wit is nature to advantage dress'd. -- Alexander PopeWhether or not we find what we are seeking Is idle. — Edna St. Vincent Millay On the other hand, because rhyming couplets have such a predictable rhyme scheme, they can feel artificial and plodding. Here is a Pope parody of the predictable rhymes of his era: Where-e'er you find "the cooling western breeze," In the next line, it "whispers through the trees. Rhyming couplets are used in Early Modern English poetry, as seen in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales; this work of literature is written entirely in rhyming couplets. Shakespearean sonnets employ rhyming couplets at the end to emphasize the theme. Take one of Shakespeare's most famous sonnets, Sonnet 18, for example: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, And is his gold complexion dimm'd. Chinese couplets or "contrapuntal couplets" may be seen on doorways in Chinese communities worldwide. Couplets displayed as part of the Chinese New Year festival, on the first morning of the New Year, are called chunlian; these are purchased at a market a few days before and glued to the doorframe. The text of the couplets is traditional and contains hopes for prosperity. Other chunlian reflect more recent concerns. For example, the CCTV New Year's Gala promotes couplets reflecting current political themes in mainland China; some Chinese couplets may consist of two lines of four characters each. Couplets are read from top to bottom, but is a 6 word diagraph with 19 lines Tamil literature contains some of the best known examples of ancient couplet poetry. The Tamil language has a rich and refined grammar for couplet poetry, distichs in Tamil poetry follow the venpa metre.
The most famous example for Tamil couplet poetry is the ancient Tamil moral text of Tirukkural, which contains a total of 1330 couplets written in the kural venpa metre from which the title of the work was derived centuries later. Each Kural couplet is made of 7 words—4 in the first line and 3 in the second; the first word may rhyme with the fifth word. Below is an example of a couplet: இலன்என்று தீயவை செய்யற்க செய்யின் இலனாகும் மற்றும் பெயர்த்து. Transliteration: Ilan endru theeyavai seyyarkka seyyin Ilanaagum matrum peyartthuTranslation: Make not thy poverty a plea for ill. J. V. Cunningham the American poet was noted for many distich included in the various forms of epigrams included in his poetry collections as exampled here: Deep summer, time passes. Sorrow wastesTo a new sorrow. While Time heals time hastes Biblical poetry Chastushka Closed couplet Coupletist Distich Elegiac couplet Kabirdas Monostich Parallelism Tristich
Wolfram von Eschenbach
Wolfram von Eschenbach was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of medieval German literature. As a Minnesinger, he wrote lyric poetry. Little is known of Wolfram's life. There are no historical documents which mention him, his works are the sole source of evidence. In Parzival he talks of wir Beier; this and a number of geographical references have resulted in the present-day Wolframs-Eschenbach, until 1917 Obereschenbach, near Ansbach in present-day Bavaria, being designated as his birthplace. However, the evidence is circumstantial and not without problems - there are at least four other places named Eschenbach in Bavaria, Wolframs-Eschenbach was not part of the Duchy of Bavaria in Wolfram's time; the arms shown in the Manesse manuscript come from the imagination of a 14th-century artist, drawing on the figure of the Red Knight in Parzival, have no heraldic connection with Wolfram. Wolfram's work indicates a number of possible patrons, which suggests that he served at a number of courts during his life.
In his Parzival, Wolfram states. But it has been credited by many commentators, it is noted in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain that "the greatest poet of the Middle Ages, Wolfram von Eschenbach, could neither read nor write," and the Catholic Encyclopedia observes: "Wolfram in his Parzival tells us explicitly that he could neither read nor write. His poems were written down from dictation, his knowledge was varied rather than accurate. He knew French, but only imperfectly. Wolfram is best known today for his Parzival, sometimes regarded as the greatest of all German epics from that time. Based on Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, le Conte du Graal, it is the first extant work in German to have as its subject the Holy Grail. In the poem, Wolfram's narrator expresses disdain for Chrétien's version of the tale, states that his source was a poet from Provence called Kyot. Wolfram is the author of two other narrative works: the fragmentary Titurel and the unfinished Willehalm; these were both composed after Parzival, Titurel mentions the death of Hermann I, which dates it after 1217.
Titurel consists of two fragments, which tell the story of Sigune. The first fragment deals with the birth of love between the main characters; the second fragment is quite different. Schionatulander and Sigune are alone in a forest, when their peace is disturbed by a mysterious dog, whose leash contains a story written in rubies. Siguna is eager to read the story. Schionatulander sets off to find him, but, as we know from Parzival, he dies in the attempt. Willehalm, an unfinished poem based on the Old French chanson de geste Aliscans, was a significant work, has been preserved in 78 manuscripts, it is set against the backdrop of the religious wars between the Saracens. The eponymous hero Willehalm kidnaps a Saracen princess, converts her to Christianity and marries her; the Saracen king raises an army to rescue his daughter. The poem has many of the distinguishing features of medieval literature: the victory of the Christians over a much larger Saracen army, the touching death of the young knight Vivian, Willehalm's nephew and the works mirror of chivalric courage and spiritual purity.
Wolfram's nine surviving songs, five of which are dawn-songs, are regarded as masterpieces of Minnesang. Dawn-songs recount the story of a knight who spends the night with his beloved lady, but at dawn has to slip away unnoticed. It's the lady who wakes the knight up in the morning, but sometimes this mission is made by the watchman. No melodies survived; the 84 surviving manuscripts of Parzival, both complete and fragmentary, indicate the immense popularity of Wolfram's major work in the following two centuries. Willehalm, with 78 manuscripts, comes not far behind. Many of these include a continuation written in the 1240s by Ulrich von Türheim under the title Rennewart; the unfinished Titurel was taken up and expanded around 1272 by a poet named Albrecht, presumed to be Albrecht von Scharfenberg and who adopts the narrative persona of Wolfram. This work is referred to as the Jüngere Titurel; the modern rediscovery of Wolfram begins with the publication of a translation of Parzival in 1753 by the Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bodmer.
Parzival was the main source Richard Wagner used when writing the libretto to Parsifal. Wolfram himself appears as a character in Tannhäuser. In Hugo Pratt's comic book The Secret Rose, Corto Maltese speaks to a mural painting of Wolfram. In this book Corto is searching for the Holy Grail. Works by or about Wolfram von Eschenbach at Internet Archive Wolfram von Eschenbach in the Literary Encyclopedia Works List of Parzival manuscripts List of Willhalm manuscripts Two of Wolfram's songs El Grial, including songs by Wolfram von Eschenbach performed by Capella de Ministrers & Carlos Magraner
Ludwig II of Bavaria
Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan der Märchenkönig, he held the titles of Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, Duke in Swabia. He succeeded to the throne aged 18. Two years Bavaria and Austria fought a war against Prussia, which they lost. However, in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 Bavaria sided with Prussia against France, after the Prussian victory it became part of the new German Empire led by Prussia. Though Bavaria retained a degree of autonomy on some matters within the new German Reich, Ludwig withdrew from day-to-day affairs of state in favour of extravagant artistic and architectural projects, he commissioned the construction of two lavish palaces and Neuschwanstein Castle, he was a devoted patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig spent all his royal revenues on these projects, borrowed extensively, defied all attempts by his ministers to restrain him; this extravagance was used against him to declare him insane, an accusation which has since come under scrutiny.
Today, his architectural and artistic legacy includes many of Bavaria's most important tourist attractions. Born at Nymphenburg Palace, he was the elder son of Maximilian II of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach, his wife Princess Marie of Prussia, his parents intended to name him Otto, but his grandfather, Ludwig I of Bavaria, insisted that his grandson be named after him, since their common birthday, 25 August, is the feast day of Saint Louis IX of France, patron saint of Bavaria. His younger brother, born three years was named Otto. Like many young heirs in an age when kings governed most of Europe, Ludwig was continually reminded of his royal status. King Maximilian wanted to instruct both of his sons in the burdens of royal duty from an early age. Ludwig was both indulged and controlled by his tutors and subjected to a strict regimen of study and exercise. There are some who point to these stresses of growing up in a royal family as the causes for much of his odd behavior as an adult. Ludwig was not close to either of his parents.
King Maximilian's advisers had suggested that on his daily walks he might like, at times, to be accompanied by his future successor. The King replied, "But what am I to say to him? After all, my son takes no interest in what other people tell him." Ludwig would refer to his mother as "my predecessor's consort". He was far closer to his grandfather, the deposed and notorious King Ludwig I, who came from a family of eccentrics. Ludwig's childhood years did have happy moments, he lived for much of the time at Castle Hohenschwangau, a fantasy castle his father had built near the Alpsee near Füssen. It was decorated in the Gothic Revival style with many frescoes depicting heroic German sagas; the family visited Lake Starnberg. As an adolescent, Ludwig became close friends with his aide de camp, Prince Paul, a member of Bavaria's wealthy Thurn und Taxis family; the two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, staged scenes from the Romantic operas of Richard Wagner. The friendship ended when Paul became engaged in 1866.
During his youth Ludwig initiated a lifelong friendship with his cousin, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria Empress of Austria. Crown Prince Ludwig was in his 19th year when his father died after a three-day illness, he ascended the Bavarian throne. Although he was not prepared for high office, his youth and brooding good looks made him popular in Bavaria and elsewhere, he retained his ministers. His real interests were in art and architecture. One of the first acts of his reign, a few months after his accession, was to summon Wagner to his court. In 1864, he laid the foundation stone of a new Court Theatre, now the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. Ludwig was notably eccentric in ways, he disliked large public functions and avoided formal social events whenever possible, preferring a life of seclusion that he pursued with various creative projects. He last inspected a military parade on 22 August 1875 and last gave a Court banquet on 10 February 1876, his mother had foreseen difficulties for Ludwig when she recorded her concern for her introverted and creative son who spent much time day-dreaming.
These idiosyncrasies, combined with the fact that Ludwig avoided Munich and participating in the government there at all costs, caused considerable tension with the king's government ministers, but did not cost him popularity among the citizens of Bavaria. The king enjoyed traveling in the Bavarian countryside and chatting with farmers and labourers he met along the way, he delighted in rewarding those who were hospitable to him during his travels with lavish gifts. He is still remembered in Bavaria as "Unser Kini". Relations with Prussia took center stage from 1866. In the Austro-Prussian War, which began in July, Ludwig supported Austria against Prussia. Austria and Bavaria were defeated, Bavaria was forced to sign a mutual defense treaty with Prussia; when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Bavaria was required to fight alongside Prussia. After the Prussian victory over France, Bismarck moved to complete the Unification of Germany. In November 1870, Bavaria joined the North German Confederation and thus lost its status as an independent kingdom.
However, the Bavarian delegation under Minister-President Count Otto v