Cunning can be considered a virtue
The type of cunning hero in Middle High German epic literature from King Rother to Stricker's Pfaffe Amis
Table of Contents
2 Heroism and the classic hero image
2.2 The ideal of the warrior hero and change in the 12th century
2.3 The hero of the folk tale
2.4 The literary hero
3 virtue and wisdom
3.1.1 Rulership virtue
3.1.2 Knightly virtue
3.2 Intelligence, wisdom, cunning
II. Cunning heroes
4 The roots of the cunning hero
4.1 Mythical precursors: the trickster and the ruse of the gods
4.2 Literary precursors from antiquity: Odysseus and Alexander
4.3 Literary and popular precursors: Unibos
4.4 Cunning antagonists
5 General definition of the cunning hero. To select the texts
III. Cunning heroes of epic literature of the 12th / 13th centuries Jhs
6 King Rother NB. On the genre of "minstrel sepic"
6.1 To the work
6.2 Rother, the ideal king
7 Salmân and Môrolf
7.1 About the work
7.2 Môrolf, the dark hero
8 The Tristan Gottfried of Strasbourg
8.1 About the author and work
8.2 Tristan, the artist
9 The knitter: Daniel of the Blooming Valley
9.1 About the author
9.2 To the work
9.3 Daniel, the perfect Arthurian knight
10 The knitter: The Pfaffe Amis
10.1 About the work
10.2 Americans, or: the immorality of the intellect
11 Later cunning heroes
11.1 Philipp Frankfurter's "Story of the Pastor from Kalenberg"
11.2 Neithart Fuchs
IV. Typology and characteristics of the cunning hero
12 traits of the cunning hero
12.1 Motivation for using lists
12.2 Description of the cunning hero
12.3 Worldliness and blindness to reality
13 Basic elements of the list application
13.1 The lie
13.2 Cladding and adjustment
13.3 Combat List
13.4 Magic and trick objects
V. The walk of the crafty hero
14 From king to rascal
15 The phenomenon of the cunning hero
15.1 Cunning as the violence of the new age: the bourgeois hero?
15.2 Prudentia and Wisdom in the Philosophical Discussion of the 13th Century
15.3 From the folk tale to the folk book: the path of the cunning hero through the genres. ...
VI. Conclusion and summary
Figure not included in this excerpt
When looking at the mhd. Epic literature of the late 12th and 13th centuries, it is easy to see the numerous innovations and innovations that this epoch brought with it. New genres were invented, others were translated into German from foreign, mostly French, sources. Certainly it was the external, historical circumstances of this epoch of the “post-classical” that brought about such changes and made them necessary. The previously established, "God-willed" class system of nurses, soldiers and teachers began to lose its validity. The fourth class of the urban bourgeoisie, made up of merchants and craftsmen, and with them the growing capital, pushed the nobility back in influence and power, while the nobility and chivalry became less and less glamorous and courtly through ministerialization and impoverishment.
This time of upheaval and political, intellectual and social insecurity consequently also contributed to the reorientation and transformation of literature and the arts as a whole; the public and the patrons of the writers may not have changed as quickly as the taste of the day and the preferences for certain subjects. One of the innovations of the late 12th and 13th centuries. was, among other things, the increased appearance of another type of hero figure, who at the beginning was still a “hero” in the traditional sense, but can still be defined by other modes of action, characteristics and ultimately also moral motives: the type of the cunning or "intellectual" hero. The occurrence of this type is not limited to just one genus; If the cunning hero appears in epic literature first in the “minstrel sepic”, then in the course of the 13th century he is also found in quite upscale courtly poetry, and later with the Pfaffen Amis des Strickers to constitute the new genre of the German swan roman.
The aim of this investigation should be, not this new invented, but probably again found To define and characterize the type of literary hero on the basis of selected works from this epoch; At the beginning, therefore, a more precise definition of the meaning of heroism, cunning and the "classic" hero of epic literature, heroic poetry and folk tales should also be given[] to be undertaken. On the basis of the characteristics that distinguish this type from that of the cunning hero, the “special form” of the cunning protagonist in the epic literature of the 13th century will then have to be defined more precisely.
Furthermore, it will be examined how this type has changed and developed after its introduction. The King Rother the minstrel epic, one of the earliest manifestations of the cunning hero in German literature, or even the Tristan Gottfrieds von Straßburg certainly still meet the requirements that make a classic hero; the Pfaffe Americans des Strickers, who can perhaps be regarded as the “most cunning” of the characters treated, has far less in common with the classic type of heroic poetry.[] In connection with this, the question should also be asked to what extent the degree of cunning influences or perhaps impairs that of heroism. Subsequently, the question arises as to the path that the figure and the motif of the cunning hero have taken through the literary genres.
The subject of this work is therefore the investigation of a type of figure that appears to appear suddenly in German epic literature of the 13th century; further a search for possible explanations for this appearance; and ultimately the attempt to define the roots, the further development and the continued existence of this type.
2 Heroism and the classic hero image
What is a hero anyway? Perhaps a valid definition is the C.M. Bowras: The heroes (of the hero poetry) are
"[..] people with outstanding skills ... [..] people who are taller than other people .. [..]. A hero differs from other people in the level of his ability. In most heroic poems, these are specifically human in nature, even if they go beyond normal human limitations. [..] He arouses admiration primarily because he possesses a lavish abundance of gifts that other people have only to a very limited extent. "[]
Heroes are therefore people who are mainly characterized by excess human Make virtues stand out from those around you. This definition can be applied excellently to most of the heroes of the Middle High German epic, but it ignores the fact that especially in the archaic heroes of mythology and fairy tales there is still a great affinity for the supernatural and thus "superhuman" These heroes are either of divine descent themselves (such as Herakles, Achilles or CuChullain), or they use superhuman means such as magic to subdue their opponents are generally encompassed by this definition; however, the “cunning hero” also has a certain special position here. Although it is indeed human qualities that he possesses in excess - namely, cleverness and the boldness to use them unconventionally - so some lists, such as his astonishing disguises or aids, remind of magic.[]
A generally valid definition of the mythical and popular literary hero encounters fundamental problems; every type of hero (apart from the distinction between "cunning heroes" and conventionally classical heroes, which is particularly relevant for this work), are fundamentally different, especially in folklore
Hero typologies have been developed[] ) has historically and socially changeable functions, even if "its respective shape shows anthropologically constant traits"[]. Every epoch, every society has its own concept of the hero. Its origin is therefore not so much bound by aesthetic as it is by sociological and ethical ideals. The epic hero is the idealized representative of the group and is therefore subject to all changes that affect the producing society; an important point of view that also explains the sudden appearance of other new types of heroes.
2.2 The ideal of the warrior hero and change in the 12th century
The original ideal of the hero was the warlike of the heroic saga - "to be strong and brave, to overcome all opponents and thus to earn the praise of the following generations."[] This "already marks the specifics of the feudal concept of heroism: it is about the proof of the highest fighting qualities in armed forces."[] This ideal of the warrior underwent some significant changes in literature in the 12th and 13th centuries, which are not limited to the emergence of the type of the cunning hero. Rather, the ancient ideal of the warrior hero, which was also associated with the style will of a “Romanesque” spirit, was subject to major changes as early as the 12th century. The heroic ideal of earlier poetry - such as the Roland's song - is another emphatically martial one; Excessive courage to fight, paired with heroic recklessness and unconditional obedience to the warlord are in no way tempered by softer emotions such as compassion and mercy. Lamprechts too Alexander gains in social feeling only in the processing of the continuation around 1170, the mercy towards the weak (widows and orphans, poor and prisoners and also inferior enemies of the war) has already been elevated to the virtue of the heroic ideal.
This change of expanding the warrior hero through social ethos can also be found in the King Rother and in Heinrichs von Veldeke Envy in the underworld scene: Eneas feels pity for the agony of the suicides (92,2ff) and the children who died immediately after the birth (99,18f.). The older French source reports nothing of such gentle impulses; the old ideal of the warrior hero can still be felt here.
With Hartmann von Aue, this new social ethos of the hero is raised to a previously unattainable importance: Mercy and compassion become the decisive driving forces of the hero, for example when Erec undertakes the difficult adventure on Brandigan out of pity for the eighty grieving women. [] I-wein also corresponds entirely to this new ideal of the pitiful epic hero, of all wernden vrouwen for the sake of one serving. Schwietering brings this change in the heroic ideal into connection with the lay movements that arose as a result of the Gregorian reform. This piety, which is urgent for active activity, also has an inner connection with the later mendicant orders, and is “far more important for the knowledge of the zeitgeist than the [...] reform movement of the aristocratically bound, those who care for their own salvation Medal."[] The religious ideals of the Church that have been propagated by the Church since the 10th century military christThose who move to the Holy Land to “serve God with a pure heart” have also found their expression in literature as an important factor.
Now that Hartmann has assigned such a prominent role in the heroic ideal of his epoch to social sentiment, the logical continuation of the chosen path now creates the poetry “which makes the question of mercy a pivotal point and affirms misconduct against innate human compassion as grave guilt. This poetry is that Parzival.“[] In Wolfram's Heroes the most consistent representative of the merciful knight ideal can now be seen; the subject of pity that was prepared at Hartmann is in Parzival Wolframs consistently laid out as the center of history and morality. The old hero ideal of the warrior finds its way into all these hero types - Erec, Iwein and especially Parzival are all excellent warriors and loyal vassals of their masters - but the focus shifts to other accents. The warrior spirit changed, and with it the image of the ideal type of hero.
The classic, courtly hero type of the Middle High German epic, which is in turn expanded and changed by the appearance of the cunning hero, is a hero of the ruling feudal class, for whom he was also conceived. Of course, the heroes of the crusade poetry and especially the heroes of the Arthurian poetry constitute - through their purification and "perfecting" in the course of the double cursus - an exemplary type. This classic hero is characterized by knightly virtues such as strength, bravery and loyalty (to the feudal lord), mercy towards the weak, belief in God as well mâze and staete out[] - the hero is the idealized knight who is committed to the canon of virtues of the military caste that ultimately produced him. Most of the “cunning heroes” to be examined here are still in the tradition of this idealized courtly knight hero, but they add characteristic nuances that ultimately remove him more and more from that ideal.
2.3 The hero of the folk tale
Another heroic image that is in some ways closer to that of the cunning hero is that of folk poetry, especially fairy tales. Although it is based on tradition[] It may be problematic to classify the fairy tale or even a certain type of fairy tale hero in terms of time, but there is much to be said for assuming their existence already in the treated epoch. Many motifs in the fairy tales of the European peoples reflect old beliefs and customs, which supports the thesis that fairy tales had already emerged before the Middle Ages. In Europe, the Middle Ages seem to have been an epoch that produced a particularly large number of fairy tales; Especially the swank fairy tales, which are young compared to the magic fairy tale, can be dated to this epoch.[]
Due to the abundance of folk tales, it naturally seems more difficult to create a concrete typology of the fairy tale hero. In general, its character corresponds to an ideal view that seldom goes beyond the limits of the typical. Most fairy tale heroes are so naturally attributed with wisdom, courage and bravery that they are not to be regarded as special traits; Depending on the fairy tale, certain of these properties are weakened or emphasized. Nevertheless, unlike the heroic epic, the fairy tale makes no claim that all of its heroes are so distinguished by virtue; Curiosity, disobedience, boastfulness and unscrupulousness towards the antagonist are seldom viewed as moral defects. Fairytale heroes can be strong warriors, and often they are also the famous sons of the king; the heroic ideal, however, is neither a warlike nor a courtly one. The hero of the fairy tale appears less idealized than the almost superhuman ideal heroes of heroic sagas and courtly literature. He is the representative of the people, the peasants and artisans who are often without rights and pennies, and is therefore less oriented towards the demands of class virtue.
In most fairy tales, as mentioned, cleverness is one virtue among others, another attribute of an ideal hero figure. In numerous other fairy tales, however, the prudence is increased to a cunning and cunning, and the "climax" of the story coincides with the overcoming of the counterpart by a trick. This type, who concentrates on the proving of mental abilities, can be found most frequently in the Schwankmärchen, which also fit best in the context of this work in terms of time. []
Either the cunning fairy tale hero overcomes his human opponents - like the peasant in KHM 61 or the master thief in KHM 192 - or he defeats overhuman and also overpowering opponents such as giants, witches or monsters through his superior intellect - such as Thäumling (KHM 37) and the brave little tailor (KHM 20, 114). In folk tales, and especially in the swank tale type, there is accordingly also an ideal of the cunning hero; How this is to be connected with the cunning hero of epic literature will be examined later.
2.4 The literary hero
One last definition of the word “hero”, which is informative for this work, should not, however, be disregarded, namely the “hero as literary hero”, i.e. as the main protagonist of a work of literature.“Hero, the man who forms the center of an event, an action, initially in the language of the poet. This meaning must go back to that literary epoch in which the main character of a drama or epic had to be a hero. "[] In fact, it is precisely that period of time from which the works to be treated originate, in which for the first time the usual agreement between the two definitions of "hero" can be called into question - "the warrior who is outstanding for his bravery and combat agility"[] on the one hand and the qualitatively indeterminate figure who, as a literary hero, is the focus of the work, on the other.
The “heroism” that is inherent in the traditional meaning of the word is actually completely omitted in the definition of the literary hero. Without question, most of the heroes of medieval literature are "heroes" by definition, not only in the literary but also in the real sense. With the appearance of the cunning hero, however, the question of moral ambivalence arises more and more, which, according to this definition, make the priest Amis only a literary hero.
The classic areas of meaning of the word “hero” refer again to a value concept, whereby this is always a person who stands out positively or impressively from his fellow men due to “extraordinary boldness, determination, steadfastness or greatness of soul”. It is noticeable that the virtue of prudence is not reflected in these special definitions of terms. Originally called a hero, the person who was originally referred to as a hero did not acquire his name or heroic fame through evidence of his intellect, but through strength, bravery and honorable disposition - all qualities that, as already mentioned, are traditionally considered virtues of a warrior caste or a feudal class. In the definition of the literary hero, however, the idea of determining values based on ideas of virtue has been abandoned. The word “hero” therefore simply describes a position within the literary world that the author builds up in front of the audience. The hero here is the individual who occupies the center of the work.[]
There is no doubt that this gradation of terms is of great importance when dealing with such a complex hero type as the "cunning hero"; how far can the list application be operated before it turns into dishonorable and therefore no longer heroic fraud? Does this mean that the cunning hero is only a literary hero? The cunning hero does not necessarily have to meet the conditions of “heroism”; In the examples discussed, the "cunning heroes" are, as mentioned, for the most part still heroes in the former sense of the word.
Rother, Môrolf, Tristan and Daniel are undoubtedly intended by the authors to be powerful, brave and praiseworthy warriors who also have the decisive quality of cunning.[] This concept of hero only becomes problematic with Neidhart Fuchs, the priest Amis, the priest from Kahlenberg and of course especially with the effective heirs and last manifestations of the cunning hero, the rascals and fools of later centuries.
The "cunning hero" of this investigation thus again assumes an intermediate position. Although there are absolutely unique abilities and "virtues" (albeit those that are sometimes less important for the classic hero) that enable him to perform acts of fame beyond the norm, it is actually only as a "literary" hero that he has the full and unrestricted claim, to be referred to as such.
Presumably, it is ultimately another definition C.M. Bowras, who can do justice to all aspects of heroism:
"Heroes are the models of human ambition and striving to overcome the depressing limits of human weakness and for a fuller, livelier life, for the fullest possible realization of a more perfect human nature, which refuses to admit that something is too difficult for them and which finds sufficient even in failure - provided that every effort has been made. "[]
3 virtue and wisdom
The classic hero - that is, the warlike hero of the heroic epic, who later became a court hero - is defined by the virtue and value system of the society that produced him. At this point, a definition of the concept of virtue and the changing meaning and applicability of this concept in the 12th and 13th centuries should be undertaken, followed by a closer examination of the meaning of prudence in this virtue system.
3.1.1 Rulership virtue
The concept of virtue is as central as it is complex, as it describes a historically changing series of properties that are to be contrasted with the respective vices as virtues. The new high German word Virtue (mhd. virtuous, ahd. tugund (i), germ. * dugunÞi-) is "since time immemorial good connected, which probably influenced the development of meaning. Originally the word is probably derived from in anord. dyggr ("Upright, reliable") present adjective, so that from germ. * duwnÞi- is to go out; the origin of the Nordic adjective is unclear. " [] The mhd. Word virtuous denotes efficiency, strength, suitability, usefulness and also fine decency.
The original Platonic definition of virtue lacked religious accents. The classic four virtues of Plato were wisdom, bravery, prudence / moderation and justice. Only in Plotinus, and especially in Christian scholasticism, do the three “theological” virtues of faith, hope and love appear.[] These seven virtues are now taken up by Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century and expanded to ten virtues in a complex system of virtues. He differentiates between the three intellectual (or dianoetic) virtues wisdom, science and knowledge, the four cardinal moral virtues of justice, prudence, moderation and courage, and the theological virtues faith, love and hope.[]
These philosophical-theological traditions, which find an important representative in Thomas Aquinas, naturally also shaped the traditional Christian ideal of rulers. This ideal is documented in many literary ways: in the Latin historiography of the Middle Ages as well as in the coronation ordines of emperors and kings, in rulers 'acclamations and liturgical prayers, in warning letters from popes and bishops, in panegyric poetry and above all in the princes' mirrors. The latter mostly arose from the practical requirements of the upbringing of princes and were intended to instruct the future regent about his duties and obligations; after first works of this kind at the Carolingian court of the 9th century. the genre gained new importance in the 12th century without knowing its forerunners. [] While on the one hand these prince mirrors document the change in the ideal of rulers from the early Middle Ages to modern times, certain aspects of the image of the ruler were passed on almost unchanged.
The most important demands on the ruler were that his rule should be just, that he punish the criminals and exalt the worthy, that he protect the weak, give gifts to the poor, defend the church, be brave in battle and judge, good ones Order counselors and trust in God. This core set of demands that the Rex iustus from Rex iniquus distinction remained valid for many centuries; the basis of the courtly image of rulers was the just and peacemaking king. Another ruling virtue was generosity (libera-litas, largitas), which outwardly underlined his virtue and his majesty, be it through alms and church donations or lavish hospitality and gifts to his vassals and guests.
The prince mirrors are aimed almost exclusively at members of royal families; in the 12th century, however, these traditional attributes of royal exemplary character were increasingly carried over to secular princes. Due to the factual shift in the balance of power in favor of the princes, they were able to claim more and more royal sovereignty for themselves.[] So it is hardly surprising that the courtly poets endow their princely patrons and patrons with the most exquisite rulership virtues and, in literary terms, almost equate their princes with kings. In Arthurian epic, this new idea of equality between prince and king has achieved even greater significance: the round table of the Arthurian knights emphasizes the equality of all, regardless of royal or princely descent. The royal virtues of rulership have become general virtues of nobility.
3.1.2 Knightly virtue
Court society of the 12th and 13th centuries, for which the works relevant here were written, most often find their heroic ideal in the figure of the noble knight. The heroes of the courtly epic are probably great princes or even kings themselves, but it is usually the service of a king that sets the action in motion. It should be admitted that the virtues discussed above, which had now passed from the ruler to the prince, cannot simply be assigned to the concept of knight. The concept of the knight did not originally refer to the aristocrat, but simply to the soldier or warrior, who was primarily characterized by his commitment to his master. The word rîter or Knight[] is not to be found in the ahd. and mhd. literature before 1060, rather it is words like recke, wigant, sword, warrior or striterthat denote the fighting, warlike hero. The sober, by no means heroic use of the word rîter describes up to the end of the 12th Jhs. both men of war on horseback as well as the infantry and was even used as a term for a defensible servant at the court of a gentleman, when it was disconnected from military service. A break from the mere military meaning is first for the adjective ritual to be observed, which is to be found as early as 1170 in the meaning "stately, beautiful, magnificent".[] It was not until the reception of the epics of Chretiens de Troyes that the courtly concept of knight was changed in German literature, and since Hartmann's works every prince and every king of whom court poetry tells was , “The very most important man who won the rîters name.“ [] The phenomenon of aristocratic chivalry is therefore not so much a socio-historical one, but rather an ideological one.
From 1180 to 1250, Joachim Bumke counts more than six thousand mentions of the word in German epic literature in his work on the term knight of the 12th / 13th century rîter or its compounds![] This study impressively demonstrates the change that the term knight underwent at this time: “The striking popularity that the word knight gained between 1180 and 1250 can only be achieved through a change in the emotional value as a result of a completely new social one
Assessment of the knighthood to be explained. A word that initially only soberly meant “soldier” took on the emotional value of everything that was brave, noble, noble and courtly, and from then on was used to designate kings and nobles. "[]
The word rîter, originally a value-neutral military term, in the late Middle Ages it became a title of nobility.[] This clear change is also connected with the moral justification of the use of weapons on the part of the church - as milites Christi in crusades or in the God's peace movement. [] “Only when the moral justification of the use of secular weapons began, did the aristocratic“ warrior ”become a“ knight ”."[] This change in the theological view of the craft of war also affects the discussed change in the image of the hero in the 12th century. The ideal of the warrior hero changes to the image of the knight, who also cares about mercy and social sentiment, and changes at the same time the name of this hero. During this epoch there was obviously not only a change in the meaning of the word, in the sense that a constant topos - a praiseworthy hero - is referred to as a "knight" with a new, previously value-neutral word; rather, the ideal image of the hero type itself changed, which had previously remained relatively constant as a warlike ideal for centuries.[]
So one stands at the examination of the hero concept and its virtues of the 12th and 13th centuries. before some challenges before the further change to the cunning hero can be examined. Despite all the complexity, it can be concluded that it was probably the knightly virtues that most likely made the heroes of epic literature of the late 12th and 13th centuries. can define. Almost without exception, the heroes of the epic literature of this era are "knights", as mentioned mostly princes themselves, but far removed from the static ideal of rulers like King Arthur. The "hero king"[]who, after past heroic deeds and the conquest of his empire, represents the starting point and point of reference for the adventures of the “young hero” or even a selected “royal hero” as a dormant pole with his court, is also only suitable to a limited extent as an acting main person narrating Heroic epic. The early one King Rother is an exception to the treated works because of its time of origin and the genre of the “minstrel epic”; it should also be mentioned that King Arthur was also in the Daniel of the knitter as a later representative in his activity does not at all correspond to the traditional motif of the static king. The Pfaffe Americans des Strickers, of course, also has a special position here, but at least the work can be described as an "anti-knight novel"[] at least be included as a counterfactor to this genre.
The phenomenon of the appearance of the “knight” in the epic can of course be explained by the increase in importance that the lower nobility and ministerialism experienced in the period around 1200; Not only do more and more members of these groups appear as patrons and sponsors of literature, but in some cases it is even members of this social class who appear as authors. One thinks of Hartmann von Aue and Wolfram von Eschenbach, who confidently call themselves knights and write for an appropriate audience.
The canon of virtues that a knight should follow is therefore largely defined by the theological concept of miles Christi. Above all, mercy and the protection of the weak, the proverbial widows and orphans, are among the most important requirements. In the German-speaking world, Thomasin von Zirklaere is one of the most important authors of a late doctrine of virtues: " The Waelsche guest “, Written around 1215. Like the crusade preachers before him, he paints a gloomy picture of the status quo the knighthood: laziness, ostentatiousness and senseless feuds characterized the knight who had forgotten his duties as a knight:
"Will a rîter phlegen wol
des he from rehte phlegen sol, sôsol he tac unde is near working after sîner maht
through churches and through poor liute. The rîter is vil lützel hiute
The daz tuon: whizzes daz,
black not entuot, ez would be baz that he would be a fee, he would be got not sôunmære. Ir sult daz for wâr wizzen, in the inn sîn rîterschaft versizzen, swer sîn rîterschaft sôhas daz he never gît help unde rât. He is also worried about what is being done to him. Dâbîmuget ir wizzen wol Waz ouch that should happen the same unrotated do:
I would like to see him still. (V.7801-7820)[]
Put simply, it is the foundation of charity and Christian commandments that is the basis of the chivalric virtue system. Appropriate to the status of the knight as a servant, humility was the highest knightly virtue, which also included mercy and compassion. At the same time, it is the associated one triuwe, the loyalty and bond to the feudal lord, which characterizes the service of the knight to his fellow man in general and to his master in particular.
The triuwe referred to the honesty and firmness of the bonds between people in general, the observance of moral obligations and rules - a point that the type of the cunning hero will question more and more. Furthermore, it was the moral virtues of the cuddle (not chastity, but purity of moral behavior) and the general concepts of the mâze and staete - temperantia and constantia - which should represent important cornerstones of honest behavior for the knight. It goes without saying that, in addition to these religious virtues, there are also the demands that have always been made of the warrior caste. The “religious” chivalric duties should be as closely as possible with courtly and secular motifs of chivalry such as women's service and clever generally be reconciled; Even if this was difficult in reality, this noble goal is realized in the ideal heroes of court poetry. “The character of the courtly knight's image becomes particularly clear in the connection between demands for virtue and rules of social behavior. The knight should not only have wisdom, justice, temperance and bravery, he should not only be distinguished, beautiful and skilled in arms, but should also master the fine morals of the court, the rules of propriety and etiquette, the correct manners, good manners, especially towards women. The poets have the courtly doctrine of propriety with the terms closes and vuoge circumscribed. "[]
From these concepts of propriety, from obeying all these precepts of virtue, the result êre, a central term in courtly literature, which can be temporarily translated as "social reputation". In the world of court heroes it requires êrethat the knight must live up to both the commandments of the Christian religion and the expectations of society. So it is usually a specific virtue defect of the respective epic hero that is responsible for the restoration of the lost êre demands, for which the form of the double cursus presents the corresponding literary scheme - the hero is guilty of a violation of the knightly virtue, his êre is corrupted in the course of the âventiure he wins the claim again êre and returns as a better man, as the ideal type of the court knight. This system works in the world of the classical court hero; the cunning hero takes one in terms of the concept of êre a more problematic position, since with it a virtue is incorporated into the system that does not take into account the classic heroic ideal in such a central way: cleverness.
3.2 Intelligence, wisdom, cunning
“Cleverness stands between insight (understanding, knowledge of what is right and appropriate) and wisdom. [..] It is not as theoretical as insight, but also not as clarified as wisdom. "[] Thomas Aquinas, in whom prudence (prudentia) occupies a special position, even says: "Every virtue is necessarily wise." Cleverness, from mhd. cleverness, cleverness of kluoc (<12th century, taken from mndd. kl O k, oral. cloec, it is to be assumed that germ. * kl O ka-, the end * klokka- could be simplified[] ) in the actual meaning "fine", "tender", from Wolfram v. Eschenbach already interpreted as "agile", "agile", "cunning", "clever"[], is generally “... the natural talent to recognize and use the appropriate means to achieve a purpose. [..] Cleverness is not the same as education, but one of its prerequisites. "[]
Wisdom has been a clear structural element of philosophy since Aristotle, insofar as the good is the clever; from Augustine up to the High Middle Ages, the “supernatural” character of prudence was emphasized.[] In the High Middle Ages, Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas played decisive roles in the study of the virtue of prudence. While Bonaventure sees the decisive task of prudence in the contemplation of the divine things in their light and in the orientation of all thought to the divine alone, Thomas Aquinas refers more to areas of the concrete reality of human activity. Accordingly, it is a foresighted ability which “seeks to carefully consider the uncertainties and questions in life that are yet to come or come. [..] Accordingly, man can also be described as clever, who " bene ordinat actos suos ad finem ". [..] The most important element of virtue is the ability to foresee, insofar as the future possibilities and contingent actions are related to the human goal in life. "[]
Cleverness has always been a widespread theme and motif in popular and didactic storytelling; In some genres, the texts themselves serve as a vehicle for conveying wisdom, for example in proverbs and fables - an example should help the reader or listener gain wisdom. In the folk tales, in the Schwank and Schwankmärchen, in the animal fairy tale and also in the joke, however, the depiction of wise action also has a compensatory character; usually the clever is the otherwise inferior, the weaker, who overcomes the strong and powerful through his cleverness. The most graphic is this idea of compensatory justice, the correction of unjust conditions in the figure of Thumbnail and its modifications[] pronounced. The hero is actually a physical nothingness here, only his superior cleverness allows him to win in the end. The inferiority of the socially weaker is made particularly clear in the folk tale by the height of the protagonist; As is well known, it is accordingly mostly the giants and fiends who, despite their strength and stupidity, are defeated by the hero. Often it is also women and children, who are weak in their families and socially also within peasant and bourgeois society, who stand out for their cleverness.
In the popular genres of fairy tale and swank, the wisdom of the weaker is a widespread and popular theme; the audience of this message, the people far from the royal court or property, also saw themselves in the situation of the socially and politically weaker. The encouraging message of these stories was logically that cleverness is independent of class and that he who is clever can also overcome the strong and powerful - not in the sense of social revolution, but in the context of everyday life. So it is also the proverbial “peasant cunning” of a Markolf, whose crude everyday cleverness in dialogue with the high-spirited wisdom of Salomon has the laughs on their side.[]
Wisdom takes on an ethically higher rank than prudence, but it has to put up with the accusation of a certain unworldly and serenity, not only in the case of the mentioned dialogue between Salmân and Markolf. In contrast to prudence, wisdom is the basic human attitude, which is based on a general life experience and a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the origin, meaning and goal of the world and of life. He who has wisdom must therefore be wise and ethically educated; the wise, on the other hand, can very well benefit from his talent without these ethical barriers, but without them he does not become wise. This divergence between wisdom and ethics, or more specifically: list and êreIt is also that later in the quirky and picaresque novel sometimes even leads to an immorality of the higher intellect.
In this ambivalent area, according to Max Weber's definition, the difference between value-rational and purpose-rational action opens up:
„ Value rational is who, regardless of the foreseeable consequences, acts in the service of his conviction of what duty, dignity, beauty, religious instruction, piety or the importance of a “thing”, no matter what kind, seems to be at his command. Value-rational action is always an action according to “commandments” or according to “demands” that the agent believes to have been made. [..] Purpose-rational acts who orients his actions according to end, means and side effects and thereby rationally weighs both the means against the ends and the ends against the side effects  against each other. The decision between competing and colliding purposes and consequences can for its part be value-rational: then it is action only in its means purposeful. Or the agent can simply bring the competing and colliding purposes without a value-rational orientation to “commandments” and “demands” as a given subjective regulation of needs in a scale of their consciously weighed urgency and then orient his action in such a way that they are satisfied in this order as far as possible. "[]
In the case of the cunning heroes of the epic literature of the 12th / 13th centuries to be examined. Jhs. We now find both types of purposeful acting; the unconditional requirement of value-rational action in the service of êre is differentiated. Therefore, for example, the Daniel the knitter also Parzival in the fight with the old man because, following the knightly concept of honor, he wants to try his luck in a duel, instead of recognizing the specific weaknesses of his opponent like Daniel and acting accordingly - the knitter thus demonstrates the superiority of the cunning hero over the classic hero of courtly literature par excellence. To simplify matters, one could say: the end justifies the means. Because mostly they are noble, honest purposes, but the ethical ambivalence of the cunning hero is intensifying more and more in the literature up to the picaresque novel. Cunning, and this term is used to outline that purposeful action, also had a negative connotation from an early stage - it allows operations to be carried out without direct violence, but under certain circumstances it has a far more devastating effect. "The broad side of violence is attacked by the top of the cunning."[] It differs from cleverness that with it the "joy in evil"[] degenerates into ruthlessness and fraud; With a simplifying formula it can be stated that prudence is a prerequisite for wisdom as well as cunning, but with the opposite ethical sign. Of course, this classification can only be demonstrated gradually in the cunning heroes to be examined in the following; after all, the figures to be examined are still heroes in general, to whom cunning was intended as a further virtue. []
The New High German word List can by no means be used as a synonym for mhd. list put; Today “cunning” denotes a “quality which consists in the use of skillful deception in order to realize plans and intentions”, or a “skillfully elaborated plan with which a certain goal is to be achieved by deceiving another person”.[] A consultation of the German dictionary of the Brothers Grimm shows that today's meaning has been narrowed down:
“Cunning what one can do, knowing a thing and using it; Identical with ancient art, and especially used in the meaning of modern science. [..]
Cunning, in a narrower sense, the individual trick, clever attack, the clever measure [..]
Cunning, prudence, wisdom itself, also the divine [..]
but more often the cunning, the sneaky calculating in favor of one's own advantage, a meaning that is already gaining ground in the ancient language [..] "
“The word“ cunning ”is an education for the strong verb got. Leisan, to experience and means first of all generally to experience, to know or to know; But if, as was suspected, that verb leisan had the original meaning of following, feeling, then List, Gothic lists, in the development of its meaning proceeded like the Greek methodos, which also came from the concept of following and tracking came to research, art, and finally cunning and deception. "[]
The masculine will also be used by 1200 list synonymous with art used and it thus generally includes the knowledge learned, for example also on technology, warfare and cult and magic. At the same time there was also the meaning that is assigned to the word list today, but from 1200 onwards the positive meaning level more and more of art is collected. In the works to be treated the word becomes list and its word field is used for the most part in meaningless, mostly even positive accentuation, whereby the aspect of the intent to deceive in many cases the synonymity art already questioned.[] Wolfgang Jupé bases his investigation of the list motif in Tristan on the definition in Meyer's Konversations-Lexikon from 1896:
"List. The skill to achieve one's ends through carefully hidden means is justifiable if it achieves a permitted end through permitted means, but by no means if it achieves a permitted purpose through illicit means (deceit), or an illicit purpose through illicit means Seeks to bring about (malice). "[]
This further subdivision of the term also excellently shows the ethically ambivalent character of the basic word, which in its ambiguity will also prove to be significant in the works to be treated. In most cases, however, it should be noted that such a separation into “permitted” and “prohibited” purposes or means in the works will turn out to be quite complex; The question of the ethical assessment of the list act is too heterogeneous in the individual works to allow a generally valid basic view of the legal or unlawful use of the list. An attempt should be made to show the change in the basic ethical attitude towards matters of prudence and cunning in epic literature around 1200 using the selected figures.
List, the definition relevant to this work, is the judicious use of cleverness and deception to achieve an intention. Clever planning and foresight enables intended reactions to be anticipated, from which the cunning person will gain an advantage. The tricked person is brought into a situation by the cunning hero through manipulation and deception, which the hero can calculate in advance and therefore control.
II. Cunning heroes
4 The roots of the cunning hero
The joy of creating action models and figures that are defined by cunning is a matter of course and, as already mentioned, not an invention of the 12th or 13th century, cunning figures are probably as old as the narration itself. In the following we will refer to typological predecessors and models of the cunning hero are entered into.
4.1 Mythical precursors: the trickster and the ruse of the gods
Even in the oldest layers of tradition, the myths, there are protagonists who, in contrast to the more common types of the warlike heroic ideal, are of great importance to cleverness, cunning and also cunning and cunning. The myths, legends and fairy tales of all peoples know in one form or another the type of trickster, a "supernatural cunning being and personification of an unpredictable, mischievous and often insidious power .."[] The figure of the trickster, as defined by the American anthropologist Paul Radin in his investigation of the myths of North American Indians also validly for other complexes of myths,[] is less a deity than an elemental being, which is only partially integrated into human society.
Although Radin's conclusions refer mainly to the myths of the Winnebago Indians of North America, they can be applied to trickster characters of all mythologies: “Obviously we are here before a figure and a theme or themes that have a special and lasting appeal and have had an unusual attraction for people since the dawn of civilization. In the form that has been preserved among the North American Indians and which must be regarded as its earliest and most archaic appearance, the rogue is both creator and destroyer at one and the same time [...]. Yet he never consciously strives for anything. At any time he is forced by impulses that he is unable to control to behave as he does. He knows neither good nor bad, but is responsible for both. He knows neither moral nor social values, is at the mercy of his desires and passions, and yet all values are brought to life through his actions. "[] The trickster violates the most sacred taboos of society in a way that is usually not even considered in myth. In his almost anarchist carelessness he acts as a destroyer, occasionally even a murderer, and yet his alert mind, his quick perception, makes him act as a culture bringer towards his fellow men: he shows them how to use the flint or how to build accommodations. The trickster appears on the one hand as a benefactor who brings culture, but on the other hand also as a cunning buffoon whose jokes, regardless of human ethics, also bring harm and ridicule at his victims. In the mythological figure of the Indian trickster, a being is described who is not exactly divine, but nonetheless superhuman and supernatural - “the trickster is the image of the person who individually and together with others takes up the fragments of his experiences and in discovers an order for them that is sacred precisely because of their wholeness. "[]
In spite of all the complexity that separates the worlds of gods in European antiquity, which is more familiar to us, from the myths of North America, this ancient figure of the trickster has been preserved in the aspects of some gods. Trickster deities are ambivalent characters who are notorious for their cunning. What distinguishes them from the other gods is their cunning, which is also often used to sow discord among the gods or often to play cruel tricks on mortals. The Germanic and most prominent trickster god is Loki, a deity of a thoroughly ambivalent character: “... he had a beautiful figure, but a bad heart and was full of glee. Cunning and cunning set him apart from all others. He often embarrassed the sir, but his slyness was often useful to them. [] But Odin, the supreme deity of the Nordic pantheon, is also known for his cunning, which, however, is less destructive than Loki because of his divine wisdom. After all, Odin was considered a master of disguise and puzzles, whom the ravens Huginn and Muninn, the most cunning birds per se, serve as messengers and scouts.[] The trickster of the Hellenic Pantheon is Hermes, god of merchants and travelers, but also of rascals and thieves; the role of culture bringer is transferred to Heracles and Prometheus in the more complex Greek mythology.[] C.G. Jung already pointed out the remarkable analogies of the trickster figure to the Roman Mercury, which come even closer to the primitive trickster figure than is the case with the Greek god Hermes: his affinity for shape change, his dual nature ( half animal, half God) and his role as savior, as redeemer.[]
In Christianity, whose world order actually leaves little room for a figure like the divine rogue of the trickster, aspects of the trickster can be found in the image of the devil, who is portrayed in folk tales as a cunning tempter, but who is of course overcome by cunning or firm belief can. It seems as if the figure of the trickster is a "psychologist", an arch-typical psychic structure of the highest age,[] which is invented and used again and again in the most varied of manifestations to a greater or lesser extent.
4.2 Literary precursors from antiquity: Odysseus and Alexander
In addition to the mythical forerunners of the cunning hero of literature around 1200, there are of course literary models that influence the image of the intellectual hero. The most prominent cunning hero in world literature is undoubtedly Odysseus, the divine sufferer of the Homeric epics. Odysseus, the inventive and cunning, is similar in many respects to the mythical trickster figure. “Among the heroes famous for their resourcefulness and presence of mind, Odysseus is the most perfect. He, too, is a great warrior and leader who uses lists to evade difficulties into which his stubborn penchant for adventure has led him. The classic example of his resourcefulness is his behavior with the Cyclops. The one-eyed giant who keeps Odysseus imprisoned in his cave and finally decides to consume him is an opponent against whom every trick seems justified. But Odysseus dire situation is only the fruit of his insatiable curiosity and thirst for new experiences. There was absolutely no need to enter the cave, but Odysseus would like to know who lives on this deserted island, and he is hoping for a gift from the owner. Once trapped, he pulls out all the stops of his talents, and his escape is a masterpiece of imaginative improvisation. "[] Although his deeds in the fight do not match those of the great heroes of the Iliad, Achilles and Hector, it is the ruse of the Trojan horse that ends the war for Troy, and his journey home to Ithaca, which is described in the Odyssey, would be without them the hero's proverbial cunning cannot be mastered.
Odysseus, the prototype of the clever man in epic literature and "the ultimate example of cunning in ancient mythology"[], wrote the authors of the 2nd to 5th centuries. inspired to the literary genre of the travel novel, although the cunning advisor was often given the cunning role of the ancient hero as the protagonist's helper, while the main character was only made into a suffering, noble hero. One of these works is particularly the "Aithiopika" Heliodors[] significant, in which the hero is given the cunning Kalasiris as a secondary character, as well as the “Kallirhoe” Charitons and Achilleus Tatios ‘“ Leukippe and Kleitophon ”.[] Interestingly, however, these travel stories and also Odysseus remain relatively insignificant as direct models for the cunning heroes of Middle High German literature. Only the Apollonius material is translated into Middle High German (also relatively late, written by Heinrich von Neustadt around 1300) and there are also clear indications of the novel's popularity in the Middle Ages in terms of content and motifs, for example in Orendel. The great figure of Odysseus himself, however, clearly loses importance in the transfers of the ancient material.[] Perseus and Prometheus, two other ancient heroic figures who were ascribed great cleverness and cunning, remained largely insignificant for the medieval epic; only Daniel des Strickers takes over parts of the Perseus saga. []
On the other hand, Alexander of Macedonia gained great importance in the Middle Ages as an exemplary ruler figure, in which cleverness was particularly emphasized - the famous episode of the Gordian knot at least shows exemplary purposeful rational behavior. Alexander the Great, "one of the most diverse and frequent reference figures in all of medieval thought",[] is the first pagan secular hero in both French and German epics; from Germany alone there are around a dozen Alexander poems up to the 15th century. The oldest of these is that Alexander song of Pfaff Lamprecht around 1150, which in two later works, the Strasbourgers (around 1160) and the Basel Alexander (preserved in a manuscript from the 15th century) was taken up again and expanded. The great development of the subject by Rudolf von Ems is also significant, as is the Great Alexander of the 14th century and the prose versions, the popularity of which lasted for centuries. The Alexander seals endow the ruler, portrayed as exemplary, in a conspicuous way curiosity, A thirst for research, an alert mind and great political cleverness, but ultimately let him fail because of his hubris to reach paradise and heaven - after his inglorious death by poison he has no more land than his 7 foot long grave. Next to the vanitas Motif the mediaeval listener was particularly enthusiastic about the subject, probably because of the portrayal of the ideal ruler, the homo universalis, the researcher who paces and explores the world with tireless curiosity. Especially in the Strasbourg Alexander the wisdom and cunning of the Macedonian are highlighted. The description of the exemplary upbringing of the young Alexander, whose teacher was Aristotle after all, also takes up a great deal of space, a motif that probably still resonates in the description of Tristan’s upbringing.[]
4.3 Literary and popular precursors: Unibos
A cunning hero, who is less heroic, but all the more vacillating, is the farmer Einochs, who, due to the fortunate circumstance of the written tradition, should be named as an example of the forerunner of the cunning hero in the otherwise largely non-traditional oral narrative tradition. In the Schwanknovelle by “Unibos”, handed down in a single manuscript[], it is a Middle Latin work of 216 verses; the manuscript in which the work has come down to us comes from the 11th century, but the work itself can probably be dated to the 10th century. The work presumably originated in the Dutch-Flemish area, the author is likely to have been a clergyman or a spiritual educated man. The fable of the cunning single-ox farmer, who is derisively called Unibos because of his poverty, is to be presumed in numerous variations as a swanky tale orally in the Dutch and Low German regions; The merit of the author lies in the fact that he raised and expanded the fairy tale from the form of the oral tradition into the book-literary one. The features of the fairy tale preforms were epically carved out and given strong anti-clerical undertones as a whole, a feature that is also found in the animal taunts, which were also written by clergy.
In the work, four taunts are told by the farmer Einochs, in which, through his peasant cunning and cunning, his envious people, especially the village heads in the form of the bailiff (prepositus), the Meiers (ville maior) and the pastor (templi sa-cerdos), can defend. Because the poor farmer arouses the envy of those around him by finding a silver treasure, he resorted to ruse: he received the large sum for the sale of his only ox skin in the neighboring village. Of course, his disapproving fellow human beings want to do the same; Because of their outrageous demands, however, they only get scolding and punishment in the neighboring village and have to go home without money or furs. When they start thinking about murder because of this, Unibos distracts them by making his wife pretend to be dead and by blowing a wondrous flute to resurrect her more beautifully than ever before. The three village directors buy the supposedly magic flute from the farmer for a lot of money and kill their wives - but of course they can no longer bring them to life. When they again seek the deceiver's life, he presents them with a mare who rejects silver coins - again, blind with greed, they allow the supposed miracle animal to be sold for a large amount. After this last blow, the farmer should finally be killed; he himself agrees to the death penalty, but asks himself to determine his own manner of death. Enclosed in a barrel, they throw the peasant into the sea; he still persuades her to go to the tavern for the last of his money, and knows how to persuade a passing swineherd to swap it with him. He agrees, drowns, and Unibos moves back home with the herd of pigs. There he explains to the astonished three enemies that he had received the pigs at the bottom of the sea in a Paradisian empire - whereupon they throw themselves into the sea and soak them.
The folk fairy tale on which the Middle Latin work is based enjoyed great popularity as early as the 10th century and even later, a circumstance that was also reflected in the partial inclusion and expansion of the material in the Grimm Brothers' children's and house tales as No. 61, “Das Bürle “seems to have been proven. With the figure of the Unibo, a cunning hero of the type of an American or Môrolf, who emerged from the typical fairy-tale situation of the weak and oppressed solely through his cunning and his knowledge of the predictability of his opponents, presents himself to us as an example of a considerable time before the epic cunning heroes remains successful. It can be assumed with certainty that numerous other cunning swank heroes enjoyed similar popularity at the same time in folk tales and in popular oral storytelling.
4.4 Cunning antagonists
In summary, it can be stated in advance that the cunning heroes of the period to be treated around 1200 can look back on numerous mythical, literary and popular forerunners. It seems as if the social and historical situation around 1200 was particularly suited to attracting more attention as a novelty to the well-known type of cunning hero, prefigured in the figures just mentioned, also in the Middle High German epic.
Much more frequently than the model of the cunning hero, which always requires explanation, appears the image of the cunning villain, who is contrasted with the hero in fairy tales and epic with insidious cunning and deceit. The cunning approach is always seen as a flaw, as a malicious circumvention of the rules set by honor and ethos, mostly in contrast to the classic heroic behavior of the protagonist of the warrior ideal - just think of the cunning, but nevertheless diabolical genelun of the Roland song of the priest Konrad. While the hero is usually portrayed as an honorable warrior without falsehood, whose strict system of virtues of course forbids the use of cunning, it is precisely this application of cunning that reinforces the negative image of the antagonist: cunning as the equalizer, the natural Insidiously makes up for the inferiority of evil. The meaning of the mhd. Word also falls here list as magic and magic again weight, since the antagonists, who as listec are often described as magicians or magicians - think of the fairy-tale characters of the evil wizard and the witch, who can be conquered with courage and a “pure heart”.[] The magically gifted villains in folk tales and heroic epics may not be considered “cunning” across the board, but their actions are typologically not dissimilar to that of cunning heroes. This close connection between magic and cunning is found partly on the protagonists' side, especially in the figure of Môrolf, who has demonic and magical traits; But also in the courtly Tristan there is a reflex of the effect that cunning can have on others when Queen Isolde, when her daughter explains the anagram Tantris - Tristan, shies away and even calls on God in the face of this cunning.[] Every trickery application has the appearance of the supernatural, the miraculous to those who are being outwitted; the word meaning of list as magic, this connotation shows most clearly.
At the beginning of the work the question arose whether the prominent figures of Siegfried and Hagen of the Nibelungenlied should be included in the list of cunning heroes discussed. Siegfried makes use of some - ultimately more fatal, see the problem of the own one - Complex! - Lists to help Gunther with the advertising, and even the dark Hagen shows thoroughly foresighted and also cunning behaviors. Yet neither is particularly defined by this cunning; Cleverness is just one of the eminent virtues attributed to the heroes. Basically, the heroes of the Nibelungenlied are shaped by heroic fatalism, an attitude that is alien to the character of the cunning hero. That “belief in fate”, the grim approach to one's own downfall, weighs more heavily than the purposeful rational decisions, which after all can never avoid the inevitable catastrophe or even just want to. The figure of Hagen von Tronje as well as Siegfried - due also to the genre of the hero song - is clearly more closely related to the older martial hero ideal than to the ethical knightly image of Arthurian poetry or the ideal of the cunning hero like Môrolf or Tristan.[] The cunning heroes of the animal spades, especially Heinrichs Reinhart Fuchs from the end of the 12th century, should also be left aside for reasons of space.
5 General definition of the cunning hero. To select the texts
Before examining the text sources and their protagonists in more detail, we should only try a first definition of what will be examined in detail later: the cunning hero. On the basis of this first definition, the selection of the selected texts will also be justified, which of course cannot claim to be exclusive or complete. In my opinion, the cunning heroes of this work represent the most characteristic and important representatives of the “cunning hero” type in epic literature around 1200. The texts are arranged in chronological order, which at the same time also shows the change in the hero type from the earliest representative, the King Rother, up to the latest cunning hero dealt with, that Pfaffen Amisshould make it apparent. In some cases, the chapters on the most important representatives should also refer to thematically and typologically related texts. In the following, the relevant works will be briefly presented in terms of genre, author and content.
The criterion that was applied to the types of hero in the present texts is basically that of prudence and purposeful action as a decisive or structural element. Although prudence has always been positively assessed as one of the cardinal and ruler's virtues, it still plays a relatively modest role as a means of resolving conflicts in most of the poems that tell of heroes.As already described, for the hero ideal it is about the Ro-lands song originally much more important, strong, brave, victorious in battle and thus a venerable role model for the following generations. The hero is by no means accused of stupidity, but cleverness is simply not addressed in these texts in relation to the protagonist, it is entirely the ethos of the warrior that is expressed in this picture. At most, the antagonists, such as Genelun, are described as “clever” in the sense of “deliberate and deceitful planning”. Even the discussed “new” ideal of the merciful hero does not necessarily include the commandment of foresighted, wise action, rather it is the call to act wisely by fulfilling the Christian ethical duties of mercy and charity - i.e. a value-rational action shaped by the knightly virtues to show.
The cunning hero is defined by pragmatic action that emphasizes a new, flexible attitude towards general problems. Cleverness and cunning can thus be understood as the ability to interpret and act in a situation-specific and thus “realistic” manner. Cunning behavior of other epic heroes in individual cases does not meet the requirement for the cunning hero (or the work) to be essentially described and defined by this cunning act. Although such a demarcation is naturally difficult and certainly also depends on subjective interpretation, the figures of King Rother, Môrolf, Tristan, Daniel and the priest Amis are certainly those in which the description as "cunning hero" is restriction is appropriate.
In summary, it can be said that the hero characters mentioned meet two important requirements:
- Their nature is largely determined by rational, deliberate and purposeful behavior, i.e. cunning is not only used occasionally, but regularly and systematically as a manifestation of the character of the hero. The action is consciously coordinated with a desirable solution to be achieved.
- The characters are the undisputed main characters of the work who, as protagonists, are the focus of interest. []
III. Cunning heroes of epic literature of the 12th / 13th centuries Jhs.
In the following chapters, after a brief general overview of the work and content, the respective heroes will be examined in more detail and described with regard to their specific characteristics of the "cunning hero" type. On the basis of these, a general and more systematic typology of the "cunning hero" will then be attempted.
6 King Rother
NB. On the genre of "minstrel sepic"
The works, which are commonly assigned to the “minstrel sepic”, find their place between the courtly novel and the sacred epic; the problematic canon of works includes the epics King Rother, Duke Ernst, Salmân and Môrolf, Oswald and Orendel; [] the first two can be described as historical-political, the latter three as legendary poems. For stylistic reasons, the latter can be dated to the 12th century; however, the written transmission does not begin until 15./16. Century King Rother and Duke Ernst are secured by manuscripts as early as the 12th century. In all of these works there is a great affinity for acts of deception and for emphasizing also cunning acts; Oswald's wondrous and clever raven must very well be mentioned as a cunning figure in this context, although the actual hero of the epic, King Oswald, cannot be characterized primarily by cunning himself.[]
As stated above, however, it is above all King Rother and Môrolf who are to be discussed as cunning heroes par excellence in the context of the so-called “minstrel sepic”.
A fundamental problem of the genre arises from the name, and Curschmann even complains that "nothing has hindered research into this group of epics as much as its name."[] Because the designation of the anonymous author as a minstrel is so vague, general and misleading that it is actually unsuitable as a professional title. Ever since Hans Naumann's “Attempt to Restrict the Romantic Concept of Spielmannsdichtung” (1924), research has sought to unite the heterogeneous group of epics under a new genre, or even to question this genre.[] "Under " spilman “(After lat. ioculator formed) and a whole rat's tail of alternately used terms such as “Mimus”, “scurra”, “histrio”, “cantor”, “sprecher”, “videler “Etc. [...], is meant by all means different and heterogeneous, whereby the only common denominator is the term secular professional entertainer remains."[] With this unclear and unfortunate naturalized name, the older literary history meant the third poetical class next to the clergy and the nobility, which was regarded as indispensable for the emergence of a restricted canon of “minstrel sepen”. The canonization of some works on the basis of (supposed?) Stylistic similarities - such as the inclination towards the fantastic and burlesque, the important role that minstrels often play in them, and the characteristic focus on the listener - is made possible by the heterogeneity and the "interdisciplinary" character of the Spielmann phenomenon called into question. On the other hand, of course, the legitimate question arises as to what purpose the “singability” of Salmân and Môrolf, for example, should fulfill if the actual performance and lecture has not taken place - willy-nilly by a musician.
Thus the genre and the term “minstrel sepic” presents itself to us as a research problem; it is basically narrative literature based on oral tradition[], or need individual works, for example Salmân and Môrolf but are more likely to be associated with the legendary novels? It seems as if it were also, and especially, the association of these five heterogeneous epics under the unfortunate term of the “minstrel sepic”, which was established by older research, which also led to their isolation in literary history and made other positioning of the individual works difficult. It seems as though, in the absence of alternatives, research has decided to continue using the term “minstrel sepic”, despite its long-recognized inadequacy - although it is generally used in quotation marks.
Possibly two genetically two roots flow together in the nebulous “minstrel”, on the one hand the “lower” people of the mimes, who would have spread in Europe after the fall of the Roman theater, and on the other hand the originally aristocratic Germanic court singers who were the creators and Presenters of hero poetry would be seen. In addition to these mixed types, "marginal figures such as stray students and clerics or impoverished knights"[] joined. More recent research, however, suspects that most minstrel sepen are spiritual authors, only the Duke Ernst in its original version is regarded as the work of a vague hero singer. Nevertheless, it was most likely minstrels who brought the adventurous epics to musical performance; this is also indicated by the aforementioned attitudes towards the public.
Thus the minstrel as a creative “stand”, as the author of the “minstrel sepic” can only be accepted to a very limited extent; the dissemination and presumably at least partially purely oral transmission of the works until they were written down will nevertheless have been done by those minstrels. As is customary with oral tradition, the question arises as to the creative or purely reproductive part of the singer in the work; the anonymity of the poet, however, is explained by the generic phenomenon of anonymous tradition.[]
6.1 To the work
The tradition of the King Rother (5197 verses) is with the Heidelberg manuscript H from the end of the 12th century. and some fragments from the same and later period relatively cheap. The language of the work is a conglomerate of Middle Franconian and Bavarian; this presumably second revision of the around the middle of the 12th Jhs. Poetry written in the Rhineland suggests a Bavarian audience. Did the apparent inconsistency of the text give rise to speculation that the text was the work of several different authors?[] modern literary studies are now generally of the opinion that we are dealing with only one author.[]
While the older research mainly noted the disparity and apparent incoherence of the text, further investigations, on the contrary, showed a thoroughly reflected structure of the structure, as well as the arrangement of events, spaces and figures; Overall, the work is now said to have "the qualities of speedy, action-oriented, emotionally and tension-arousing storytelling", "which is also not lacking in humor, comedy and drama."[]
First, a brief summary of the content should be given.
The content of the work consists of two bridal wrestling episodes followed by an appendix. The first bridal ring, RI (1-2942) for short, begins with the decision of King Rothers, the Roman emperor with residence in Bari, to hold the hand of the princess of Constantinople. Rother, to whom 72 kings are subordinate, sends 12 counts with 12 knights each to the court of the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine, who, however, has all recruits executed as usual. Constantine imprisons Rother's cautiously inquiring messengers, and so Rother sets off with an army to Constantinople to free his followers and to win the hand of the princess himself. This is where the first application of the list begins: Before Constantine, he pretends to be Dietrich, who had been driven out by King Ro- ther. Rothers / Dietrich's entourage also includes a crowd of giants who, with their leader Asprian, Grimme and the bereaved Witold, cause a stir in Constantinople. Konstantin takes in the supposed refugee who can soon make himself popular in Konstantinopel with generous gifts to the population and knighthood, among others with Count Arnolt and his followers. Konstantin distrusts Dietrich and at the same time begins to regret his decision to imprison Rother's messengers. If Rother had the power to drive out the powerful and rich Dietrich, then the rejection of his courtship would be a dangerous matter, as Konstantin's wife also criticized (1060ff).
The princess, having become curious, invites Dietrich into her room, which he refuses, but has a gold and silver shoe sent to her, which both fit on the same foot. The princess has the two missing shoes sent for, and Rother brings them and puts them on her. While doing so, trusting and cocky[] When he puts his foot in his lap, he discovers that she is really Rother.[] She is happy to hear of the identity of Dietrich and Rother, since she already felt affection for both, and promises to help Rother to free his messengers; they are also the only ones who can prove Rother's identity beyond any doubt. The princess uses a ruse to get the imprisoned messengers released for three days and at the personal responsibility of Rothers / Dietrich. To do this, she disguises herself as a pilgrim and pretends to have heard of her impending journey to hell in a dream; only a pilgrimage or Christian hospitality for the imprisoned messengers could save them.
Rother secretly identifies himself to his people by means of three melodies that they had agreed upon as a distinguishing feature before they left.
At this point the pagan king Ymelot of desert Babylon invades the land of Constantine with a large army. Rother asks Constantine for the captured messengers who are supposed to go into battle at his side against the Heath, and rides with his army together with Constantine and his forces to meet the attacker. Instead of attacking frontally, however, Rother and his supporters rode around the enemy camp unnoticed by Konstantin and approached from the rear. He pretends to be Ymelot's belated comrade, who now wants to join the army with his troops, and so arrives with his followers at the tent of the heathen king. In one stroke they take Ymelot prisoner and fight their way back to the unsuspectingly sleeping men of Constantine with him. Thus Ymelot's army is leaderless and fought without a field battle, and Konstantin, delighted, asks Dietrich / Rother to deliver the news to his queen and princess. Dietrich / Rother rides back to Constantinople with his entourage and announces there that Ymelot's forces had killed Constantine and most of his army; they alone had escaped and now wanted to flee the approaching heathen across the sea. The queen and princess ask to be allowed to join Dietrich; However, as soon as the princess is on board, the latter lifts the anchor and reveals the whole truth to the queen who remains on the bank.
Then Rother drives back to Bari with his bride and his entourage.
The second bridal ring, RII for short (2493-4995), becomes necessary when Constantine succeeds in using a trick to get the princess back to Constantinople. A minstrel lands in a merchant's ship in Bari and claims to be able to cure the paralyzed with magical pebbles; to do this, however, the queen would have to lay the stone herself on the diseased areas.
When the queen, with good intentions, enters the merchant's ship, the playful minstrel lets the sails set and returns to Constantinople. When Rother hears of the kidnapping, he again proves to be an exemplary king, in that he in no way punishes the desperate citizens and Count Lupold, who fear his anger, and does not hold them responsible for the misfortune. Rother prepares again for a trip to Constantinople and embarks with his army.
There the escaped Ymelot presses Constantine again, and the latter has to undertake to give his daughter Basilistius, the son of Ymelot, in marriage. Rother leaves his army hidden in a forest and wanders, disguised as a pilgrim, with Lupold and advisor Berchter to Constantinople. There he uses cunning to advance to the table of Constantine, where the wedding is about to be celebrated, and hides under the table with his companions. He secretly gives his wife a ring as a sign of his presence; Her laughter at the good news, however, makes Ymelot suspicious, and finally Rother and his companions have to identify themselves. Rother asks to be hanged in the woods in front of Constantinople; On the way to the place of execution, the loyal Count Arnolt attacks the superior army of the pagans and manages to free Rother. With his horn he calls the hidden host with the terrifying giants, and in a great battle Rother defeats the heathen. In his leniency, Rother decides to let Ymelot go and spare Constantinople and the traitorous Constantine. Count Arnolt receives Greece as a fief from Rother's hand, and Rother victoriously makes his way back to Bari with his army. The princess gives birth to Rother a son, who is baptized Pippin, and who will later be the father of Charlemagne.[]
The appendix (V.4990-5197) reports on Rother's further life; at Pippins Schwertleite in Aachen, 24 years after the events of the 2nd Constantinople voyage, Rother hands over rule to his son. Rother and his wife go to a monastery to end their lives in a godly way. Pippin is a fair ruler, from whose marriage to Bertha Charlemagne and St. Gertrud von Nivelles emerge.
The first bridal ring, RI, has a very precise correspondence in the O-sanctrix story of the Vilkinga saga. In the middle of the 13th Jhs. compiled Þidreks saga, In which the Osanctrix version is found, however, decisive differences can be noted, especially with regard to the cunning of the protagonist: King Osanctrix advertises, according to the Rother plot, for the daughter of King Melias of Hunaland. The messengers are imprisoned and Osanctrix goes under a false name in huge company to Melias R Hof and makes many friends through his generosity. When Melias does not accept Osanctrix as a vassal, a battle breaks out, which is won with the help of the giants. Melias flees and the princess surrenders to the hero when he puts a gold and silver shoe on her in a similar shoe scene. He reveals himself, is reconciled with Melias and leads Princess Oda to his homeland. The daughter Erka, who later became the wife of Attila, emerges from the marriage.[]
One can see that the Osanctrix story is structured much more simply than the corresponding passages by King Rother. "A ruler enforces his desire for marriage with the help of the power of his army against a malicious opponent."[] Osanctrix also makes use of the ruse of appearing at Melias' court under a strange name, but because this ruse does not lead to the desired goal - namely the goal of gaining the trust of the unwilling father-in-law - it turns into a military one Exchange of blows in which Osanctrix remains the stronger. In the case of King Rother, on the other hand, it is this successful use of ruse that enables the whole enterprise of the first bridal wrestling to get by without great brute force against the father-in-law. It is enough to demonstrate the power of Dietrich and thus Rother - be it through the generosity and magnificence of Dietrich, be it through the terrifying giants that even frighten Constantine.[] The power of Rother, present at the court of Constantine through the powerful “expellees” Dietrich and his people, remains “a power in potentia “[] ; the court festival to which Constantine invites his vassals under threat of punishment is merely the reaction to the presence of the splendid strangers. The consistent application of the ruse also shifts the use of military force to another front: the heathen king Ymelot is introduced. The greatest difference that arises as a result of the consistent development of the cunning motif in King Rother is the conclusion of RI: Constantine is not defeated, but outwitted, but at the same time certain that Rother is superior to him does not intend to usurp its power.[] Nevertheless, it corresponds to Constantine's consistently drawn “character” not to draw any lesson from this insight; rather, he now decides to use ruse against Rother in RII as well.
The historical roots, from the legendary processing of which both the Osanctrix saga and RI must have arisen, can either be of Norman or Lombard origin. The Lombard prince Authari (584-590) courted the Bavarian princess Theudelinde, the daughter of King Garibald. The advertising is received favorably, but Authari nevertheless travels incognito to Garibald's court to see his bride unrecognized. Unnoticed by the court, he strokes her face and hand, which Theudelinde's wet nurse correctly interprets as boldness that only Authari himself can trust. Theudelinde flees from the Franks to Verona, where she marries Authari. The name Autharis was later replaced by that of the famous Longobard prince Rothari (636-653), whose name has been passed down extremely well through his work as a legislator. The second historical parallel concerns the person of the Norman prince Roger II, who campaigned for a Byzantine princess and undertook several campaigns to Constantinople from 1143-49. Although it is very improbable, if only because of the connection to Charlemagne, that the figure of Rother can be directly connected with Roger II, it is nevertheless possible that the representation of the Byzantine court is based on reports from this o - the previous crusades builds up.[]
In terms of content, the first part concentrates on the princess to be advertised, who is not only the goal of Rother's actions, but also cunningly contributes to the successful advertising; In the second part, the main focus of the narrator is almost exclusively on the person and actions of the king.[]
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