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Who is not familiar with the story of Kriemhild, the goddess of vengeance”, who avenges the murder of her husband Siegfried? Or the Knights of the

Round Table such as Lancelot and Percival who get caught up in love entanglements? Not forgetting Agnes Bernauer, who paid the ultimate price for her unseemly love for a prince?
This volume portrays a total of 33 pairs of lovers from the Middle Ageswith each pair representing a different facet of love. The exciting yet sensitive

narratives of these love stories simultaneously convey en passant an in-depth insight into life in the Middle Ages.




Lovers in

Medieval Times


by Volker Maertens




13,6x21 cm

51/4x81/4 in.

richly illustrated


with jacket






Tristan and Isolde – Love and death

Vis and Ramin – Adulterous love in ancient Persia

Lancelot and Guinevere – When exemplary behaviour permits (almost) anything

Camillus and Emilia – Love under black skies

Flore and Blanscheflur – Love from childhood on

Layla and Majnun – Possessed by love

Elizabeth and Louis of Thuringia – Marital love among the aristocracy, too

Heloise and Abelard – Love of God?

Eleanor and Henry of England – Literature and life

Siegfried and Kriemhild – Love, death and vengeance

Sigurd and Brynhilde – The fatal love of the heroes

Tannhäuser and Venus – Love and eternal damnation

Melusine and Raymond – The love of the mermaid

Lanval and the fairy – Love in Avalon

Lohengrin and Elsa – No questions allowed

Erec and Enide – Love in society

Magelone and Peter – True love endures

Agnes Bernauer and Duke Albert – Love against the nobility

Henry and the peasant’s daughter – All are equal before God

Aeneas, Dido and Lavine – Wrong and right love?

Gahmuret and Belacane – Love conquers everything, triumph in battle is more important

Parzival and Condwiramurs – Love and/or the Grail

Gawain and Orgeluse – Experienced in love

Leufried and Angliana – Love and advancement

Ines de Castro and Pedro I of Portugal – Posthumous queen

Jaufré Rudel and Melisande of Tripoli – Fictional love

Ulrich von Liechtenstein – No fool in love

Dante and Beatrice – Poetry or a poet’s love?

Oswald and Margarethe – No poet’s love

Mai and Beaflor – Love in spite of parents

Guy de Coucy and Gabrielle de Vergy – The eaten heart

Amelia and Lasarus – Domestic happiness

Guigemar and the loveknot – The “chastity belt”

Epilogue: Under the linden tree ...




Volker Mertens, born 14 September 1937, studied German, English, anthropology and philosophy in Freiburg, Göttingen, Vienna, Munich and Würzburg; since 1977, Professor of Medieval German Literature and Language at the Free University Berlin; numerous visiting professorships, works on the medieval epic, poetry and spiritual literature, on topics of modern German literature and music (Richard Wagner in particular).