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James H.





Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: know any good Knight legends         Reply with quote

I have heard of Saint Gorge and the dragon, King Arthur's Knight of the Round Table, The Black Knight and Green Knight but not really any other tales of adventures concerning mythological Knights of Legends. Does any one one know of any other tales of Knights that are not real accounts of history or modern creations. The kinds that would have been told as stories around a fire on cold winter nights, kind of like Beowulf (I know he was a Viking and not a knight).
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Tim May




Location: Annapolis, MD
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You'll probably want to look at period literature for stories such as these. The French Romances, Mallory's Morte D'Arthur, Chaucer, and Spencer's Fairy Queen are all good places to start, and if you are interested in the Viking side be sure to check out the Icelandic Sagas.
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its often a fuzzy line between myth, folklore and history but I second the nomination of the Sagas of the Icelanders. The penguin edition at 21 bucks is an over the top bargain.

Since you mention the Arthurian legends, if you are interested in gael mythology and folklore there are lots of choices (Penguin edition of Irish mythology and folklore and Jacob's Celtic Fairy Tales are classics) but there are almost too many choices and you have to be careful because a lot of "celtic mythology" published in the last 10 years or so is, well, a bit "ad hoc-revisionist-new agey" Worried (sorry for the bad description but you get the gist I trust). However, a great place to start (in English) would be the recently published Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore by Monaghan. Its not narrative, its limited to brief summary entries, there are a few minor academic squabbles over some of the entries (as can be expected in something of this nature) but it contains the best reference list I have seen and covers gaelic folklore from the Orkneys to the mountains of Wales to the Isle of Mann to the coast of Galway, so is not limited to just Ireland and covers a larger scope than any of the previous attempts at the same. It makes for a great road map for further explorations. Sometimes my kids and I just do a random page and read up on a few things using that book. If you have read Mallory and Tolkien, you will see how the threads of much of their work lie within the old, pre-roman, mythology. tr
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Dave W.




Location: Chicago, IL
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: Not so much a legend...         Reply with quote

If your looking for one great story about a knight read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. It is one of the best books I've ever read. Its got the tournaments, the battles, the fair ladies, etc., but the best part is the writing. Make sure you get some kind of addition with the notes.

Dave



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James H.





Joined: 03 Aug 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, lots of great suggestion here to add to my reading lists. I actually have a few books of Norse Myths but have never read the Icelandic Sagas except of a few experts from it, I'll be sure to check this one out. I agree about Celtic myths though, with popular culture it is not easy to find Celtic stories that has not been watered down or completely changed by the New Age/ Yuppie/ Wicca/ and Fantasy cultures. I've just hear or read so little about Knights in legends and tales that were not published after the Renaissance that I wanted to delve a little more in to the role they played popular culture of their own times, (kind of like the myths of the cowboys and other western pioneers that developed even as the westward movement was still in it's infancy i.e. Danial Boone, David Crockett, Wild Bill, and William Bonnie. All who had larger then life stories about them before they were even dead.)
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Not so much a legend...         Reply with quote

Dave W. wrote:
If your looking for one great story about a knight read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. It is one of the best books I've ever read. Its got the tournaments, the battles, the fair ladies, etc., but the best part is the writing.


Yeesh. Ivanhoe? The prose style is nice, but I can't quite get over its many anachronisms and the big spanking deus ex machina Scott used to get the desired resolution to the story. Sure, it might be worth reading when accompanied by good critical notes, but I wouldn't recommend it as a tale of medieval knights. It's best read as a source for understanding 19th-century ideas about (what they thought was) the Middle Ages.


Going back to the original topic: one set of legends that was vastly popular in the Middle Ages is the tales of the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne. It's not as popular today as the Arthurian legends, probably because the things that get passed down to us by the 19th-century revival of interest in the Middle Ages are mostly focused on English legends. Like the Arthurian legends, there's no single definite collection of the tales of the Twelve Peers (the list of Twelve Peers itself can vary from legend to legend and--interestingly enough--doesn't always include twelve people), but the Bulfinch edition is a good place to start, especially because it's quite accessible to the modern reader and it's available for free from Project Gutenberg:

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/4927
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Sep, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For classic "high fantasy" accounts, I'd also recommend the works of Lord Dunsany and William Morris. Great stuff. If you wish a bit of historical background--a knight's manifesto, if you will--you might enjoy Ramon Lull's Book of Knighthood and Chivalry, available from Chivalry Bookshelf.

Other obvious choices would be The Song of Roland, Orlando Furioso, etc.

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Michael Eging




Location: Ashburn, VA
Joined: 24 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Sep, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My favorite has to be the full frontal assault of Song of Roland.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/roland-ohag.html
http://omacl.org/Roland/
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/roland/index.htm

As others have noted other ones. Geoffrey of Monmouth has terrific chronicles prior to Mallory which include Arthurian elements as well.

Mike Cool

M. Eging
Hamilton, VA
www.silverhornechoes.com
Member of the HEMA Alliance
http://hemaalliance.com/
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Song of Roland is part of the legends of the Peers of Charlemagne--note that Roland, Orlando, Hroudland, or whatever you choose to call him was one of the Peers and the Great King Charles himself practically always appears in the Roland legends along with a varying number of his household knights (i.e. the Peers).
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Bram Verbeek





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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Decamerone stories are also great fun. Mostly not very moralistic, but good fun nonetheless.
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Oliver Wiegand




Location: Germany
Joined: 07 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 1:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The "NIBELUNGENLIED" :
An epic poem. It tells the story of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, his murder, and of his wife Kriemhild's revenge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibelungenlied
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William C Champlin




Location: San Antonio,Texas USA
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: know any good knight legends         Reply with quote

Don't forget The Story of The Champions of the Round Table written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. He mixes his arms and armor a little era-wise but good heroic fiction and pictures. I know that Pyle has other books but this is the one I have in my library. W
tweetchris
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Clyde Scott





Joined: 18 Sep 2008

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James H. wrote:
I've just hear or read so little about Knights in legends and tales that were not published after the Renaissance that I wanted to delve a little more in to the role they played popular culture of their own times, (kind of like the myths of the cowboys and other western pioneers that developed even as the westward movement was still in it's infancy i.e. Danial Boone, David Crockett, Wild Bill, and William Bonnie. All who had larger then life stories about them before they were even dead.)


Try the Chanson de Geste, it covers a wide range of knightly heroes; that is, if you are interested in heroes during their own time or a little after. The Chanson de Roland is also very good. There are many tales of Charles the Great, and I think he is often considered the father of chivalry.

That said, there is also the Cid. El Cantar de Mio Cid: Cid basically saves infants, women, and honor. He is sort of like the Commando of the medieval ballad.

You could also try the Knight's Tale, which is found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

I'm sure that many other knights had quite a following and inspired lyrical ballads. I'm sure that not all were recorded. The written word seemed to dwell on clerical matters for much of the period we are discussing.

I saw Scott and Tolkien mentioned earlier. I'll just say this, I think that Tolkien was far more interested in Teutonic than Celtic literature, and not only because he says so in his letters. His work seems more about tribal heroes than actual knights living in the age of chivalry. I mean, they have feudal titles, yes, but other than a warrior's code, Tolkien's characters do not adhere to any strict code of proper chivalry. Scott is kind of misunderstood. Ivanhoe is not quite what it seems, and the Saxons and Normans in the book, might be looked at as more of Scots and Englishmen during Sir Walter's own day; the book was somewhat political; at least, that's what I was taught at University. I just happen to think the intentions of these two authors and their subjects, might not be what you are looking for. I could be wrong.

I forgot, although he is not a knight, strictly sspeaking, you might want to look at the Geste of Robin Hood. It might be called, A litte Geste of Robin Hood. It's not strictly medieval, but it seems to take place in the medieval era; therefore, it might have a much longer lineage. Robin Hood sort of seems like a serial killer in it, but it's interesting.
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James H.





Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, those are a lot of good sources there, and I’m still reading them. Here’s one I found concerning the history of Robin Hood , I did not realize his legend had change so much. I suppose it all depended on who was telling the story and for what purpose. http://www.boldoutlaw.com/robages/index.html
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Clyde Scott





Joined: 18 Sep 2008

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought of a few more, as I have time to kill:

Beavis of Hampton (insane, just insane), Fulk Fitzwaren, Guy of Warwick, Barbour's Bruce , Tom of Lincoln, and you could also check out the Frauendienst.
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