King Rother


King Rother or König Rother [ˈkøːnɪk ˈʁoːtɐ] is the earliest Spielmannsdichtung known to historians. It has many of the qualities of a fairy tale. Only one complete manuscript exists from the twelfth century (Heidelberg Cpg 390). The tale was popular into the fourteenth century. The name Rother may have a connection to a king of the Lombards, Rothari. There is a possibility, however, the name Rother may have come from the Norman king, Roger II of Sicily.The epic story is notable for its combination of Byzantine and Germanic story elements. The poem has between 5200 and 5300 lines of verse and is from the period of Middle High German literature of adventure novels. The epic tale is written in a mixture of Low and High German. It seems to be for a Bavarian audience and was perhaps written by a Bavarian priest. The reason for this is because the writer mentions two noble Bavarian families, the Tengelingen and the Diessen.The medieval German romance tale was popular among wandering minstrels of central Europe and was written in popular verse style. Some historians believe King Rother was written by an unknown educated cleric Rhenish poet probably between 1140 and 1170. Others suggest it was a Bavarian priest (c.1150); few believe any longer that it was a minstrel. The author refers to "books" as his source indicating there was a written source already, however he could have just used this to authenticate his writings.
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language: Middle English


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