The Pleier was a medieval author of Arthurian verse romances who flourished approximately between 1230 and 1280 and was the author of three Arthurian romances in the Bavarian-Austiran dialect.

The Name PleierEdit

The name he uses, Der Pleier, may possibly be a pseudonym, for in German Pleier means a smelter of metallic ore, and might metaphorically refer to a poet who from seemingly worthless material produces precious goods.

The Verse RomancesEdit

The romances portray a mostly consistent Arthurian universe, primarily based on earlier Arthur works: the Lanzelet of Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, Erec and Iwein of Hartman von Aue, the Wigalois of Wirnt von Grafenberg, and the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach, with the Daniel of the Blooming Valley by der Stricker as mostly a negative influence to be reworked in Gârel of the Blooming Valley.

The romances are Gârel of the Blooming Valley, Tandareis and Flordibel, and Meleranz (romance)|Meleranz]].

The Arthurian verse romance conventions are followed rigidly. The main adventure in each of the three romances begins at Arthur’s Pentecost court at Dinasdaron under a great linden tree, near the forest of Broceliande in Britain, in the Pleier’s tales meaning Little Britain (Brittany) and the action returns there by the end of each tale. The three heroic knights of the three romances, Gârel, Tandareis, and Meleranz are all flawless heroes, highborn members of an almost flawless Arthurian society. Each obtains a wife and kingdom by the end of their tale.

Arthur’s court is mostly an endless round of magnificent feasts, great tournaments and other festivities in which the evil of the adventures encountered by knights seems to mainly exist because too much pure Arthurian glory would lack interest. There must be obstacles by which a knight can prove himself.

The tales seem to be mostly the Pleier’s own invention rather than traditional tales which he is adapting.



English TranslationEdit

  • Thomas, J. W. (Trans.) (1992). The Pleier’s Arthurian Romances: Garel of the Blooming Valley, Tandareis and Flordibel, Meleranz. New York & London: Garland. ISBN 0-8153-0919-8

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