Chrétien de Troyes

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Chrétien de Troyes

or

Chrestien de Troyes

(both: krātyăN` də trwä), fl. 1170, French poet, author of the first great literary treatments of the Arthurian legendArthurian legend,
the mass of legend, popular in medieval lore, concerning King Arthur of Britain and his knights. Medieval Sources

The battle of Mt. Badon—in which, according to the Annales Cambriae (c.
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. His narrative romances, composed c.1170–c.1185 in octosyllabic rhymed couplets, include Érec et Énide; Cligès; Lancelot, le chevalier de la charette; Yvain, le chevalier au lion; and Perceval, le conte del Graal, unfinished (see ParsifalParsifal
, figure of Arthurian legend also known as Sir Percivale, who is in turn a later form of a hero of Celtic myth. The name originally occurs as Pryderi, an alternative name of Gwry in Pwyll Prince of Dyved, a tale in the Mabinogion.
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). Chrétien drew on popular legend and history, and imbued his romances with the ideals of chivalry current at the 12th-century court of Marie de Champagne, to which he was attached. His other surviving works include imitations of Ovid and Guillaume d'Angleterre, a non-Arthurian narrative. Translations of the Arthurian romances are included in W. W. Comfort's edition (1913) and in R. S. and L. H. Loomis, Medieval Romances (1957).

Bibliography

See L. T. Ropsfield, Chrétien de Troyes: A Study of the Arthurian Romances (1981); J. Frappier, Chretién de Troyes: The Man and His Work (1982); N. J. Lacy et al., ed., The Legacy of Chrétien de Troyes (2 vol., 1988).

Chrétien de Troyes

 

(or Chréstien). Born circa 1130, in Troyes; died there circa 1191. French poet who wrote verse in the style of the trouvères of northern France and translated Ovid's Art of Love and Metamorphoses.

Chrétien's best works are the courtly romances Erec and Enide (c. 1162), Cliges (c. 1164), Lancelot, or the Knight of the Cart (c. 1168), Yvain, or the Knight of the Lion (c. 1172), and Perceval, or the Tale of the Grail (c. 1182). They inspired numerous imitations and adaptations. In his works Chretien used the legends about King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. But these legends are only a colorful background for depictions of real life, the amorous experiences of the main characters, and important social conflicts.

WORKS

Les Romans de Chrestien de Troyes, vols. 1–4. Paris, 1953–63.
In Russian translation:
In Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature srednikh vekov. Moscow, 1953.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury. vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 110–17.
Deks, P. Sem’ vekov romana. Moscow, 1962.
Frappier, J. Chrestien de Troyes. Paris, 1957.

A. D. MIKHAILOV

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