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Tristan and the Medieval Renaissance

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Title: Tristan and the Medieval Renaissance
Author: Lewis, Michael
Abstract: Historians have identified a medieval renaissance which occurred during the twelfth century. Developing first in the ducal courts of Southern France was the new vernacular poetry of the Troubadours, which challenged Christian beliefs and advocated a refined courtly image. Contemporaries of this movement such as the Minnesingers of Germany ensured the spread of these ideals across Western Europe over the course of a century, which would become the foundations for an evolving courtly culture. There was a greater appreciation for knowledge and individuals were encouraged to attend the new Universities and obtain a higher education. The role of women becomes much more prominent as the women of the nobility take on a dominant role in both the literature of the period and in refining the culture of the courts. Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan was written at the end of the twelfth century, regarded as a masterpiece this fiction exemplifies the evolving courtly culture of the period, serving as a tool through which the values of the medieval courts of France and Germany can be assessed.
Date: 2010-12-15
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