Wolfram von Eschenbach

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Wolfram von Eschenbach

(vôl`främ fən ĕsh`ənbäkh), c.1170–c.1220, German poet. Perhaps the greatest of the German minnesingers, and one of the finest poets of medieval Europe. He was a knight who led a restless, roving life. In 1203 he was at the court of Landgrave Hermann von Thüringen. His only complete work is his famous Parzival, a poem of chivalry notable for its lyricism, humor, and depth of conception (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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). Wolfram's other works include two unfinished epic poems, Willehalm and Titurel, and lyrics. Richard Wagner's final opera Parsifal (1882) was based on his epic, and Wolfram himself was a character in the same composer's Tannhäuser (1845).


See the interpretation of Parzival by M. F. Richey (1933) and the translation by J. Weston (1894); study by J. F. Poag (1972).

Eschenbach, Wolfram von:

see Wolfram von EschenbachWolfram von Eschenbach
, c.1170–c.1220, German poet. Perhaps the greatest of the German minnesingers, and one of the finest poets of medieval Europe. He was a knight who led a restless, roving life. In 1203 he was at the court of Landgrave Hermann von Thüringen.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wolfram Von Eschenbach


Born circa 1170, in Eschenbach; died 1220. German minnesinger poet; wandering singer.

Wolfram wrote Parzival (1198-1210; published, 1783), a romance in verse that was part of the Arthurian cycle of romances. Parzival combines the glorification of knighthood with the preaching of religious atonement and renunciation. The same spirit is embodied in Wolfram’s unfinished romances Willehalm and Titurel and also in his songs of the alba genre.


[Werke,] parts 1-5. Published by A. Leitzmann, Halle an der SaaleTübingen, 1953-58.


Ivanov, K. A. Trubadury, truvery i minnezingery, 2nd ed. Petrograd, 1915.
Lowet, R. Wolfram von Eschenbachs Parzival im Wandel der Zeiten. Munich [1955].
Hohenstein, L. Die Nachte in St. Wendelin: Der Lebensroman Wolframs von Eschenbach. Rudolstadt, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wolfram von Eschenbach

died ?1220, German poet: author of the epic Parzival, incorporating the story of the Grail
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival, 803,28) [La tropa emprendio el camino de vuelta a casa.] Otro significado frecuente es el de la conversion interior de una persona de su pasada vida viciosa, o del paganismo a Dios:
The core of the Grail legend is laid out in detail in the following fourth chapter: Campbell offers a humorous yet elaborate summary and discussion of Wolfram von Eschenbach's seminal epic Romance Parzival and embeds the poem within its historical and mythical context.
Later writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chretien de Troyes, Thomas Mallory, and Wolfram von Eschenbach combined this bricolage of images and myths into more systematic stories with an overlay of Christianity.
Universita di Pisa 28-19 febbraio 1999." Among the contributors are: Elisabetta Quadrelli ("Wolfram von Eschenbach e Chretien de Troyes: un confronto sui nomi"); Bruno Porcelli ("Catone e Matelda: nominazione assente e nominazione ritardata"); Michelangelo Picone ("Onomastica e tradizione letteraria: il caso di Romeo e Giulietta"); and Giorgio Baroni ("Mitologia e altro nei nomi del Giorno di Giuseppe Parini").
Regardless, the inspiration came from Wolfram von Eschenbach's epic thirteenth-century romance Parzival, a poem that runs to nearly 25,000 lines.
The folklore tale of the dunce who goes out into the world seeking adventure and learns wisdom the hard way was raised to literary heights in Wolfram von Eschenbach's medieval epic Parzival and in Hans Grimmelshausen's picaresque tale Der Abentheurliche Simplicissimus (1669; "The Adventurous Simplicissimus").
The tide refers of course, to the medieval courtly romance of Wolfram von Eschenbach of the sam name, and offers a bridge to Richard Wagner's opera of 1877-82.
The life of Wolfram von Eschenbach, author of Parzival, spanned the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries.
Lohengrin appears at the close of Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival (c1210) and in other German romances, where he is the deliverer of Elsa, a princess of Brabant, who has been dispossessed by Telramund and Ortrud.
The earlier (pre-Malory) writers are drawn from many linguistic traditions: Latin (Gildas, Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth), French (Wace, Chretien de Troyes, Jehan Froissart), English (Layamon, the Gawain-poet, Geoffrey Chaucer), German (Hartmann von Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach), and Italian (Giovanni Boccaccio).
Although Die Krone is technically a Grail romance in the tradition of Wolfram von Eschenbach, its narrator has little interest in the Grail as a mystical vessel or even symbol and essentially relates the story of a knight (Gawein) whose triumphs owe more to his own strength at arms than to God's guiding hand.
Part I addresses the literary and historical interest Chretien de Troyes's Story of the Grail first generated in the twelfth century--which was closely followed by Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and Robert de Borons The Great History of the Grail.