Fragments of a prosaic Tristan novel

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The fragments of a medieval prosaic Tristan novel is a fragment of a story by Tristan and Isolde in early New High German , which has been translated from the old French prose Tristan .

Dating and tradition

The fragment is a double sheet of paper manuscript from the 15th / 16th centuries. Century. According to A. Birlinger, it was used for the ceiling of an old baptismal register in Lautlingen near Ebingen. It bears witness to the reception of French novels in late medieval and early modern Germany, as it is a literal translation of the old French prose Tristan (13th century). The order of the episodes and the drawing correspond to the old French Tristan novel in the Viennese handwriting. To this day, nothing can be said about the time of origin or the exact size of the fragments. The wording of the fragment after Karl Bartsch is close to the Prosatristan prints published since 1489. It is believed that it is a private translation, perhaps even after one of the prints from the 15th / 16th centuries. Century, because the execution is very careful, but not expensive.

The fragments have hardly received any attention since they were published by Bartsch and after 1925 they were almost completely forgotten.


In the first fragment, Mordret, the knight with the tattered cloak, and a young lady come to Calogernants' castle. Then the plot breaks off at the point and it continues with Brangien, who brings Tristan a letter from Queen Isolde (Ysollt). In this letter Isolde laments his marriage to Fraulein Ysollt (Yselt from Blanches Mains). This is followed by a gap the size of two double sheets before the second fragment and the story about Amoral (Lamorat de Gales), a knight of the round table, continue. The medieval fragment tells of how Amoral defeated Gawan in a duel and then spent the night in an old chapel. It also tells of the arrival of a knight (meleagant) who weeps for his unfulfilled love for Arthurian queen Ginover.


  • Karl Bartsch: Fragments of a prosaic Tristan novel. In: Germania 17 (1872), pp. 416–419, digital copy on Wikimedia Commons
  • Wolfgang Golther: Tristan and Isolde in the poems of the Middle Ages and the new times. Leipzig, Hirzel 1907, pp. 128-130
  • Friedrich Ranke: Tristan and Isold. Munich, Bruckmann 1925, p. 249
  • Hans-Hugo Steinhoff: Tristan. In: The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . Second completely revised edition. Edited by Burghart Wachinger. Vol. 9. Berlin 1995. Col. 1060 f