Sunday, April 22, 2007

1100 to 1147

"The Lady of the Fountain." Anonymous. Welsh. 1100. Tale. Includes King Arthur and his court. Remarkable parallel in story of Yvain by Chretien de Troyes.

Sir Launfal. Marie de France. 1100. Poetry. Knight of King Arthur's Court. Falls in love with beautiful fairy. Receives rich gifts from her but cannot reveal the source. Guinevere challenges him to reveal. She says he has insulted her. Finally, he breaks oath to save himself. In spite of his action, the fairy rescues him.

The Tales of the Heike. Anonymous. Chinese. 1100. Epic. Rise of the Taira family, the hubristic rule and crushing defeat by a rival clan. Buddhist theme of the transience of human endeavor. Fills the place of the Homeric epic of the West.

Kulwch and Olwen. Anonymous. Welsh. 1100. Narrative. In Welsh Mabinogion. Prose. Earliest full-fledged Arthurian romance. Hero gets help from Arthur to complete tasks set by giant whose daughter, Olwen, he seeks to win.

Sic et Non. Abelard. 1100 (?) Nonfiction. Unprejudiced arguments pro and con on doctrinal questions of the Middle Ages. No attempt to draw conclusions.

Erec et Enide. Chretien de Troyes. French. 1100-1200? Romance. Earliest Arthurian romance in French. Erec retires from adventures to enjoy domestic life. His wife bemoans loss of his reputation. He sets out and takes her with him, treating her harshly. She is abducted while he is in an apparent state of death. He revives in time to save her and they are reconciled. [The gunslinger can never retire.]

1101. Gothic architecture will appear in Europe beginning in this century.

1121. The Concordat at Worms condemns French theologian-philosopher Abelard, 42, for his teachings; he is castrated by the hirelings of Fulbert, whose niece Heloise he has secretly married.

1136. The French church of St. Denis includes some pointed arches and high window that mark the beginning of Gothic architecture.

The History of the Kings of Britain. Geoffrey of Monmouth. British. 1137. Chronicle. Latin prose chronicle. Account of events in founding of the English nation. Mix of fact and fantasy. Built up the legend of Arthur. People believed it as history. Also included Hengist, Horsa, Vortigern, Ferrex, Porrex, Cybeline, Gorboduc. Introduced Merlin and Uther Pendragon.

Poema del Cid. Anonymous. Spanish. 1140. Poetry. Based on the exploits of Rodrigo, Ruy Diaz de Bivar, 1043-1099. El Cid = "Lord." Fought for and against Moors. Three parts: exile, captures Valencia and reconciles with the king, revenges the outrageous conduct of his sons-in-law.

1147. A Second Crusade assembles 500,000 men who achieve nothing; most are lost to starvation, disease, and battle wounds.

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