Object structure


Knights in the Middle Dutch Epos ‘Karel Ende Elegast’


Acta Poloniae Historica T. 120 (2019), Studies


Dowlaszewicz, Małgorzata


Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences


Instytut Historii PAN

Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



p. 27-43

Subject and Keywords:

Karel ende Elegast ; Charlemagne (King of the Franków and Holy Roman Emperor ; 742-814) - in literature ; Charlemagne, Emperor, 742-814 - romances - history and criticism ; epic poetry, Dutch - history and criticism ; knights and knighthood - poetry - history and criticism ; outlaws - in literature ; outlaws - Middle Ages ; chivalry ; outlaw ; knights


Karel (Charlemagne), Elegast, and Eggeric are the three main protagonists of the medieval Dutch epos Karel ende Elegast. Each of them is a knight, but represents different characteristics. The Monarch, the Outlaw, and the Traitor share some chivalric values but present contrasts in their behaviour. This article examines these three characters and their relationships to chivalry. It focuses on the image of chivalry in the epos, and not on the historical aspects of knighthood. As it is one of the first publications in Poland on Middle Dutch texts, it also outlines the chivalric literature in the medieval Low Countries.


Abbenes Céserine, ‘Fraye historie ende al waer. Over fictie en werkelijkheid in Karel ende Elegast’, Voortgang, 21 (2002), 253–73 ; Besamusca Bart and Tigelaar Jaap (eds.), Karolus Rex. Studies over de middeleeuwse verhaaltraditie rond Karel de Grote (Hilversum, 2006) ; Claassens Geert, Karel ende Elegast (Amsterdam, 2002) ; Duinhoven Antonius M. (ed.), Karel ende Elegast. Diplomatische uitgave van de Middelnederlandse teksten en de tekst uit de Karlmeinet-compilatie (Zwolle, 1969) ; Koch Jerzy and Oczko Piotr (eds.), Widzę rzeki szerokie…: z dziejów dawnej literatury niderlandzkiej (Poznań, 2018) ; Oostrom Frits van, Stemmen op schrift: geschiedenis van de Nederlandse literatuur vanaf het begin tot 1300 (Amsterdam, 2006) ; Ruiter Jacqueline de, ‘Karl Magnus’ Krønike, Karlamagnús Saga, and Karel ende Elegast: Genre, Form, Function’, Enk S. Kooper (ed.), The Medieval Chronicle: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle (Amsterdam, 1999), 96–102 ; Ruiter Jacqueline de, ‘Traces of Orality in Charlemagne’s Thieving Adventure’, Olifant, xxv, 1–2 (2006), 175 ; Stuckey Jace, ‘The Twelfth-Century Vita Karoli and the Making of a Royal Saint’, in William J. Purkis and Matthew Gabriele (eds.), The Charlemagne Legend in Medieval Latin Texts (Suffolk and Rochester, 2016), 33–58 ; Tilvis Pentti, ‘Mittelniederländisches im Prosa-Lancelot I’, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, lii, 4 (1951), 195–205


Acta Poloniae Historica



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Resource Type:

Article : original article



Resource Identifier:

0001-6829 ; 2450-8462 ; 10.12775/APH.2019.120.02


IH PAN, sygn. A.295/120 Podr. ; IH PAN, sygn. A.296/120 ; click here to follow the link




Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license

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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY-ND 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of History PAS

Projects co-financed by:

Ministry of Science and Higher Education ; National Programme for the Development of the Humanities



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