Arthurian literature

Abendländische Tausend und Eine Nacht
By Johann Peter Lyser. [More]

Three works. [More]

  1. Historia Britonium - By Nennius.
  2. Historia Meriadoci - A Latin romance.
  3. Historia Regum Britanniae - By Geoffrey of Monmouth.

A thirteen-century French verse romance. [More]

Huon de Bordeaux
Thirteenth-century French romance. [More]

Middle High German romance by Hartmann von Aue. [More]

Joseph d'Arimathia
Important work by Robert de Boron. [More]

Two works. [More]

  1. King Arthur - An opera.
  2. King Arthur and King Cornwall - A ballad.

Lancelot of the Laik
An anonymous romance. [More]

Two works. [More]

  1. Le Morte d'Arthur - By Sir Thomas Malory.
  2. Le Tornoiment de l'Antichrist - A French poem.

Lestoire de Merlin
A part of the Vulgate Version. [More]

Li jus Adan
Thirteenth-century French romance. [More]

Three works. [More]

  1. Life of Saint Cadoc
  2. Life of Saint Carannog
  3. Life of Saint Kentigern

Livre d'Arthus
A French Continuation to Robert de Boron's work Merlin. [More]

Llud and Llefelys
Part of the Mabinogion. [More]

Lybius Desconus
Fourteenth-century English poem. [More]

Llyfr Taliesin
The Book of Taliesin is one of the most famous of manuscripts written in Middle Welsh. It's written in the first half of the 14th century, consisting of 56 poems, of which many originate in the 10th century. The manuscript is kept at the National Library of Wales and is known as Peniarth MS 2.

One of the most important of all Welsh and Arthurian source texts. [More]

A thirteenth-century French romance. [More]

An important twelfth-century romance by the Burgundian author Robert de Boron. [More]

Merveilles de Rigomer
A thirteenth-century French verse romance, normally simply referred to as Rigomer, by an obscure poet named Jehan. It tells the story of the adventures of Gawain and Lancelot.

Midsummer Night's Dream, A
Comedy by William Shakespeare that was first performed in 1595 or 1596. Although not directly connected with the Arthurian legends, it is of great interest because of the inclusion of characters such as Puck, Oberon and Titania.

Mort Artu
A part of the French Vulgate Version of Arthurian romance.

Morte Arthure
A Middle English Arthurian poem by Thomas Heywood (c. 1574-1641) that was written towards the close of the sixteenth century.

Mostyn MS. 117
A 13th century manuscript which is believed to be written by the same hand as the scribe who wrote Llyfr Taliesin, as well as fragments in the Mabinogion.

Mule sans Frein
A twelfth-century French poem concerning the quest of Gawain to locate a missing bridle. The author is usually given as Paien de Maisière, but this could be a pseudonym.

Ogier le Danois
Important Carolingian romance that details the life of the Danish Duke Ogier.

Orlando Furioso
Italian Carolingian romance by Ludovico Ariosto that forms a sequel to the unfinished Orlando Innamorato of Boiardo and was published in 1532. Featuring some Arthurian material, the poem describes the unrequited love of Orlande for Angelica, set against the war between the Saracens and Christians during Charlemagne's reign. It influenced Shakespeare, Byron and Milton, and is considered to be the perfect poetic expression of the Italian Renaissance.

A Welsh prose romance thought to date from the thirteenth century that is found in the Mabinogion and concerns Owain, the son of Urien.

Pa Gur
A famous Welsh poem that tells how Cei (Kay) travelled to Anglesey with a view to killing lions, especially preparing himself for an encounter with the Cath Palug, a monstrous feline creature.

An opera by Richard Wagner that is based on the legends surrounding Perceval and was first performed in 1882, just one year before the sudden death of the composer.

A thirteenth-century work by Wolfram von Eschenbach recounting Arthurian tales, particularly those conserning Sir Perceval.

Pedwar Marchog ar Hugan Llys Arthur
Important fifteenth-century, or earlier, Welsh work that gives a list of knights at Arthur's court. These knights, thought to represent a company formed before the Knights of the Round Table, are collectively known as the Twenty-Four Knights.

A fourteenth-century French romance describing the early history of Britain, including the fictitious invasion of the island by Alexander the Great.

Unfinished work by Chrétien de Troyes, probably better known as Le Conte de Graal. Written for Philip, Count of Flanders, and started c. 1180, it remained unfinished because of the author's death c 1183. Several Continuations subsequently appeared, each attempting to finish what Chrétien de Troyes had started.

A Welsh romance concerning the exploits and quests of Peredur, which has become included in the Mabinogion.

A thirteenth-century French prose romance concerning the Quest for the Holy Grail.

Petit Brut
A French chronicle of the Arthurian period by Rauf de Boun.

Preiddeu Annwn | 'The Spoils of Annwn
An early Welsh poem dating from c. 900, which was allegedly written by Taliesin. The poem, which obviously uses an earlier legend as its basis, concerns an expedition Arthur made to the Otherworld to secure a magic cauldron. The Preiddeu Annwfn is particularly important to Celtic study because it gives one of the clearest descriptions of the various realms within the Otherworld. There are the glass fort of Caer Wydyr and the paradisiacal land where the fountain runs with wine and no one ever knows old age or sickness, this region being known as either Caer Feddwidd (the Fort of Carousal) or Caer Siddi. It is thought that this story forms one of the sources for the later Grail legends.

Prophécies de Merlin
A thirteenth-century French work detailing the prophecies made by Merlin. It was allegedly written by Richard of Ireland.

Prose Lancelot
A thirteenth-century French work that forms a part of the Vulgate Version.

Prose Merlin
The name given to two medieval romances about Merlin, one English and one French.

Prose Tristan
A large thirteenth-century French work that desribes the career of Tristan.

Queste del Sainte Graal
A thirteenth-century French romance that forms a part of the Vulgate Version, and that describes the Quest for the Holy Grail. It introduces Galahad as the hero who achieved the object of the quest and is thought to have been written by a Cistercian.

Red Book of Hergest, The
A fourteenth-century manuscript that, along with the White Book of Rhydderch, contains the Mabinogion cycle.

The shortened, popularised version of Merveilles de Rigomer.

Roman de Brut
Written in French by the twelfth-century writer Wace, this work contains the first reference to the Round Table. It was quickly translated and expanded by Layamon in his Brut, which was written between 1189 and 1199.

Roman des fils du roi Constant
Medieval French romance that names the wife of Ban of Brittany as Sabe and gives him a daughter named Liban.

Saga of Tristan and Isodd
An Icelandic version of the story of Tristan and Iseult that names Blenzibly as the mother of Tristan by Kalegras.

Saga of Tristram
The title of two renditions of the story of Tristan and Iseult. One is Norwegian in origin and dates from 1266, while the other, undates, has an Icelandic provenance. These two works are generally confused with each other and are commonly simply referred to as Tristram's Saga.

Scotorum Historiae
Written by the Scottish historian Hector Boece (d. 1536), this work is interesting in that it contains Arthurian material from an anti-Arthur viewpoint.

Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle
An unfinished English romance dating from c. 1400 that relates the tale of Gawain and his dealings with the Carl of Carlisle. It was later followed in the sixteenth century by a new version, again incomplete, called the Carl of Carlisle.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Also Sir Gawayne and the Greene Knight. A famous, but anonymous, English poem dating from c. 1346 that deals with the beheading contest undertaken by Gawain, and perhaps recalling memories of an ancient fertility ritual. It was followed approximately 100 years later by The Green Knight, though this is a much inferior telling of the story.

Sir Gawayne and the Greene Knight
The original spelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Sir Perceval of Galles
A fourteenth-century English romance that tells the story of Perceval, but makes no mention of the Grail, or Perceval's part in the quest for that holy vessel.

Stanzaic Morte Arthur
An English poem, possibly dating from the fourteenth century, that, in its 3,969 lines, deals with the latter part of Arthur's career.

Suite du Merlin | Huth-Merlin

Vulgate Version
(Thirteenth century) A collection of verse consisting of the Prose Lancelot, the Queste del Sainte Graal, and its prelude, the Estoire del Sainte Graal, the Mort Artu, the Vulgate Merlin and the Vulgate Merlin Continuation.

See also
Celtic Arthurian Literature | The Legend of King Arthur