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Eastern Europe and the cultural poetics of the chivalric tournament in medieval Germany: Biterolf und Dietleib, Ottokar von Steiermark's Osterreichische Reimchronik and Ludwig von Eyb's Turnierbuch.

I. Biterolf und Dietleib

The mid-twelfth century anonymous German epic Biterolf und Dietleib divides the European continent into two hostile spheres: a southeastern sphere centered around the east European, "Hunnish" court of Etzel, and a northwestern sphere dominated by the Rhenish court at Worms. The text's representation of a pan-European war has generated considerable interpretive speculation among medieval Germanists. Is it a purely literary construction, or is it meant to reflect or refract contemporary geographic/political constellations, an east/west European divide? Representative of the former view, Michael Curschmann disregards any connection with actual history, considering the text "Dichtung uber Heldendichtung" in which the division of Europe develops a construction immanent to the epic tradition, a "Rivalitat der Sagenkreise" and "klare Polaritat nordwestlicher und sudostlicher Sagenwelten" that first appears in the Nibelungenlied, and is to be considered derivative thereof. (1) Fritz Peter Knapp, representing a more historically inclined group of scholars, interprets the poetic geopolitics of Biterolf as reflecting "eine gewisse Distanz zu traditionellen Machtzentren des Reichs und eine Ausrichtung auf Suden und Osten," which "einer politisch-okonomischen Neuorientierung der adligen Machthaber in den Landern Steiermark und Osterreich Ausdruck verleihen soll." (2)

Both camps have neglected certain geographical, cultural, and narrative aspects which shed light on the text's relationship with both the Nibelungenlied and its wider cultural-historical context. Biterolf not only tells the story of the famous Nibelungenlied in reverse--instead of the Burgundian court at Worms going off to the Land of the Huns for the final, decisive battle, here the court of Attila (or Etzel, as his is known in the German vernacular epics) journeys en masse to a confrontation with Gunther's court along the banks of the Rhine--the later epic also "civilizes" the grim heroic military ethos of its source-model: instead of total annihilation of both parties, as in the Nibelungenlied, the Huns and Burgundians decide to settle their differences with chivalric tournaments, leading ultimately to reconciliation, a big celebration, and mutual survival. (3) Yet the phenomenon of "chivalrication" (Verritterlichung) has, in recent years, been interpreted almost exclusively in terms of literary genre, (4) as if it would point to nothing more than the expected inroads of fashionable, French-influenced romance discourse a la Wolfram von Eschenbach or Gottfried von Strabburg into the grim martial absolutism of the older heroic literary tradition. While there is no doubt some truth in this, nonetheless I think the Biterolf-poet had other, culturally more concrete things in mind than bringing his heroic tale up to the fashionable literary standard of the day. Namely, he places chivalric combat within a discourse of "gentilic" difference more pronounced and sophisticated than anything found in contemporary romances. (5) This move has important implications for our understanding of representations of national consciousness and ethnicity in medieval German literature that looks to the continental east.

The Biterolf-poet constructs an ethno-cultural divide within his representation of pan-European military civilization. None of the eastern European warriors in the text--Huns, Bohemians, Poles, Prussians, Vlachs and Cumans--know how to turnieren, that is, to fight with the lance on horseback in "proper" chivalric fashion. As the two opposing sides, working out the terms of the battle, decide upon a pre-emptive, recreational tournament, Rudiger, Etzel's Bavarian vassal and envoy to the Rhine, tells the Burgundian king:
 "... welt jr tuornierens phlegen?
 sy wundert, daz vnns auf den wegen
 mit streite in disen lannden
 noch nyomant hat bestannden.
 nu wolden die von Hunen lanndt
 daz man jn rette daz bekannt,
 was geturnieret weare." (8395-8401) (6)

 "How about a tournament? The Huns have been wondering why nobody
 from these lands has come to challenge them on the way. They are
 eager to learn what tourneying is all about."


Indeed, the Huns are not the only ones ignorant of the art. Bloedelin, Etzel's brother, tells Rudiger that their allies, the Poles and the Prussians, are similarly handicapped:
 "wir Huanen gesahen doch nie mer
 wie turnieren sey getan:
 die Preuassen und die Polan
 habent sein selten icht gephlegen." (8276-79)

 "We Huns have never before witnessed the tourney. The Prussians and
 the Poles don't know how to do it, either,"


Ignorance of the tournament is not, however, exclusive to Etzel's kingdom and its Slavic vassals. All the Slavs, regardless of which side they are on, are similarly incompetent. Witzlan, king of the Bohemians and ally of the Burgundians, goes into some detail describing the native customs of his countrymen:
 "nu die rede ist so gewant,
 daz wir hie streites sullen phlegen:
 ob wir niht kunnen," sprach der degen,
 mit gleyoen und buckeleren,
 doch muogen wir satele laaren
 mit flaotsehen wol sneidanden.
 Die tieffen ferchwuonden
 suln wir mit swerten houwen hie."

 "The word is that we will engage in battle here," spoke the hero.
 "Even if we do not come bearing lances and buckler-shields, we can
 still empty saddles with our sharp broadswords. And we can deliver
 the coup de grace with our longswords."


When Gunther tells Witzlan the first confrontation is going to be a tournament rather than a pitched battle, Witzlan assures him that the fighting style of the Bohemians, albeit somewhat primitive, can be adapted to the tournament:
 "[den Beheimen] sol nicht wesen schwaare
 ob sy nicht spere enfuoelen:
 sy sullens mit flatschen ruoeren
 den helden auf die rende.
 ja sicht man von ir hendn
 durch zaume selten geschlagen;
 uf haben vnd nachjagen,
 des kunnen sy das mynnist.
 sy habn annders dhainen list,
 wan das sy an guoten knechten
 ymmer muagen erfechten,
 daran ist jr syn gewant.
 Der site ist in Beheim lannt." (8446-58)

 "[The Bohemians] won't be hindered at all by the fact that they
 aren't wielding lances: they'll hit the opponents' shields with
 their broadswords. Although they aren't used to seizing the bridle,
 at least they are able to pursue and hunt down the enemy. They
 don't have much mole skill than that, but they are firmly intent
 upon holding their own against worthy warriors: that is the custom
 in Bohemia."


Slavic-Hunnish ignorance of the chivalric arts is rendered even more pronounced by the fact that in the entire rest of the world, from Arabia to Spain, such military practice is the rule: "even though Rudiger and his men had never been to a tournament on the Rhine before, they had seen this skill (kunst) in Arabia." (7) "Walther of Spain said: 'We know how to tourney. I'll contribute one hundred knights. They'll quickly see how good we are at the tournament.'" (8) The Saxons and the Thuringians, too, are "versed in this game" (kunden wol dasselbe spil). (9) The inclusion of these latter two peoples is especially significant, since it highlights the geographic borders of the knightly martial arts: the Saxons and Thuringians are the immediate western neighbors of the Poles and the Bohemians. Turnieren, therefore, is a kind of international standard, with the sole exception of the European countries east of Germany.

Despite references to the desire of east European peoples to learn how to fight with the lance, none of them does. The only warrior unpracticed in turnieren who becomes proficient in the course of the text is Wolfhart of Lombardy, one of Dietrich's Gothic Amelungs, who are allies of the Huns:
 "mich muoet," sprach aber Wolthart,
 "daz ich nie kain herefart
 versass in Lamparten lant,
 vnd mir das nie ward erkant
 daz sy hayossent turnieren,
 seyt es sol ritter zieren." (8207-12)

 "I regret," responded Wolfhart, "that I didn't take part in any
 expeditions in Lombardy, and that I never witnessed that which they
 call 'tourneying,' since it is supposed to glorify the knight."


Nevertheless, in his first encounter in the ensuing battle Wolfhart is seen wielding the lance like any other non-east European knight. (10) In contrast, the east Europeans persist in their native military customs, with the result that Slavic and Hunnish warriors from both sides who cannot fight with the lance are designated to confront each other: the Huns and Vlachs are assigned to the Bohemians, and their battle becomes a vicious melee of horse-to-horse flatschen and bogenschiessen. (11)

The repeated emphasis on the discrepancy between those proficient in and those ignorant of the art of knightly turnieren constructs an ethno-cultural border in Biterolf's map of the heroic world. The division is cultural because it is construed according to the knowledge/ignorance of an inherently learnable custom or technology: the art of fighting with the lance. It is ethnic in the sense that a subtle essentialism, fixed along gentilic lines, emerges in the description of the battle's participants and their native martial customs: The Huns and Slavs persist in their native usages, as if these are fixed in gentilic identity, and they fight each other, as if ethnic like inclines to like. (12) Wolfhart, on the other hand, is immediately proficient in lance combat, even though he initially seems as unfamiliar with it as the Slavs and Huns. The speed and ease with which the Amelung adapts to the new technology suggests that his ignorance was not gentilic nature but cultural nurture--we presume he grew up in Lombardy, away from the centers of chivalric culture--and that his swiftly acquired skill shows a natural predisposition to tourneying.

For the non-eastern European warriors the kunst of turnieren hardly even requires learning and practice; mere sight will invoke it. As we have seen, Rudiger and his men are proficient because they "witnessed" the art in Arabia: sis ee hetten gesehen ze Arabia in dem lannde. However, the most striking example of natural inclination and recognition occurs much earlier in the narrative, in the context of Dietleib's coming-of-age. Preparing to go to the land of the Huns in search of his lost father, Dietleib teaches himself all the essentials of how to be a chivalric hero:
 So er aller taugenlichist kunde,
 so nam er heide claider war,
 vantz daz er ersynnet gar,
 wie man gen streite hamasch truog
 nyemand er des zuo gewuog ... (2116-20)
 schilde narrt er an die hant,
 die tyaost er kundelich erfant (2123-24)

 As inconspicuously as he could. Dietleib began to observe how heroes
 clothed themselves, until he was thoroughly acquainted with the ins
 and outs of battle armor. He mentioned this to nobody ... Taking
 shield in hand, he discovered the knowledge of the joust.


Scholars have generally interpreted this remarkable example of autodidactic knighthood in terms of a borrowing from chivalric romance, especially Wolfram's Parzival. Parzival, like Biterolf, grows up without a father, in isolation from all courtly and military activity, yet manifests an natural inclination to knights and knighthood that leads to swift mastery of the chivalric martial arts. (13)

Dietleib's self-education belongs, however, in a different context. In Biterolf, chivalric ability is not so much a manifestation of individual aristocratic nature within a narrative of personal development, hut rather a marker of gentilic character in a pan-European military contest. No kingdom or nation emerges in the text without simultaneous commentary on its chivalric competence. One could quite easily draw a map of the known world based upon Biterolf's extensive geography, and shade it according to the knowledge of the knightly tournament. For an audience of warrior aristocracy, chivalric custom constituted an important index of cultural standing. As Wolfhart says, the tournament sol ritter zieren, "is said to glorify the knight." (14) Doubtless, the east European warriors are meant to appear somewhat backward, quaint, and not quite as glorious as their Germanic companions in arms. There is no explicit discourse of the "German," much less "Germanic" in the text, even though a proto-nationalizing terminology of Germanness had been available in vernacular historiography for about a century and a half, beginning with the Annolied and the Kaiserchronik. (15) This suggests that the ethnocultural world view of Biterolf, as well as other heroic epics, mirrored a consciousness of discrete genres, kingdoms and empires, not one of "nations" or proto-nations. By way of contrast, French epics, beginning with the Song of Roland, began to sing the praises of "sweet France," France dolce, already in the late eleventh or early twelfth century. (16)

Otto of Freising's Gesta Friderici, a Latin chronicle of the deeds of the Hohenstanfen emperor Frederick Barbarossa written about seventy or eighty years prior to Biterolf, sheds light on the importance of military custom in medieval German discussions of east European ethnicity. This text contains a lengthy excursus on Hungary, which ends with a portrait of native Hungarian military style:
 Omnes pene tetri tetris in armis procedunt, nisi quod iam ab
 hospitibus, quos nunc solidarius dicimus, educati vel ab eisdem
 etiam geniu, quandam, non innatam, sed quasi extrinsecus affixam
 virtutem trahentes, principes tantum et hospites nostros impugnandi
 periua armorumque splendore imitantur. (17)

 Almost all [the Hungarians] bear ugly arms in an ugly fashion, that
 is, unless they have been instructed by foreign guests, whom we
 call mercenaries, or unless they are, in fact, descendants of these.
 Thus they acquire, not an innate skill, but rather a superficial,
 external proficiency, striving to imitate our princes and guests in
 the martial arts and in splendor of arms.


This passage requires a bit of explanation. The foreign "guests" (hospites) Otto mentions are not "mercenaries" as we understand the term today, but rather European--mostly western European--warriors who took long term service with the Hungarian king and, generally speaking, settled in Hungary permanently. In time, many of them were fully integrated into the kingdom, ethnoculturally and linguistically Magyarized. Otto's comment on the descendants of the hospites reflects this integration. By the time Otto is writing, the hospites-system had been in place for nearly two centuries, having been initiated a few decades after the final Hungarian invasion of western Europe in the mid tenth century. This system played a significant part in the Christianization and Europeanization of the formerly pagan, steppe-nomadic culture of the Hungarians, although the historiographic assessment of its importance has differed greatly according to national subjectivity. (18)

From the above passage we can see that a species of national subjectivity was already operative in the mid-twelfth century. Otto regards native Hungarian military customs as repulsive, tetri, while those of the foreign guests, indeed "our princes and guests" (principes et hospites nostri) are "glorious" (armorum splendor). Given the probability that most hospites were German and Austrian, the "our" in hospites nostri suggests, in all likelihood, a Germanic ethnocultural consciousness. (19) Furthermore, even when the Hungarians do adopt the military culture of the hospites, they can offer, in the bishop's view, nothing more than a superficial imitation of the real thing, which is inborn, innata. The Hungarians "appropriate an externally affixed virtue" (quasi extrinsecus affixam virtutem trahentes). Trahentes supplies an element of surplus metaphorical enjoyment here. Traho means literally "to drag," and one of the signs of knightly incompetence is to let the shield hang and the lance drag on the ground. Such language further emphasizes the laboriousness and unnaturalness of the Hungarian attempt to imitate their German teachers in the arts of war. (20)

Otto of Freising's excursus has several things to offer to a reading of Biterolf. First, the epic's discourse on chivalric technique reflects an attitude towards the relation of ethnicity to military culture remarkably similar to Otto's. It lacks the bishop's pejorative commentary, but the underlying "theory"--as well as the value judgment, if in somewhat attenuated form--is identical: gentilic nature determines military style, and east Europeans, despite their desire to adopt the ennobling customs of their vassals and associates, persist in their primitive native usages. Of course, whereas Otto restricts his depiction to the Hungarians, the Biterolf poet expands the realm of Otherness to cover the Bohemians, Poles, and Prussians as well. There are at least two precedents for this: the first is in the Nibelungenlied, in which Etzel's east European vassals--Russians, Greeks, Poles, Wallachians, and Petchenegs--all disport themselves at the military games of the Hungarian court according to their native styles: "whatever different customs they had, they demonstrated them thoroughly." (21) Kriemhild, who has just arrived in Hungary, is greeted by a spectacle of exotic cultural otherness: "there she became acquainted with many strange customs, the likes of which she had never seen." (22) Since the Nibelungenlied merely posits cultural pluralities, but does not go into their precise nature, they all rend to blend together into a unified, vague eastern European alterity. It seems logical that the Biterolf poet, transforming Etzel's court from the periphery to the center of his narrative, would have more to say about the vremde site of the east Europeans while simultaneously maintaining the cultural cohesion of their otherness. (23)

The second, and perhaps related, precedent is the frequent confusion of the Hungarians and the Slavs in the twelfth century. Curiously, neither earlier not later sources record such conflation, but in the 1100s one can read such statements as, for example, Helmold of Bosau: Quod si adieceris Ungariam in partem Slavaniae, ut quidam volunt, quia nec habitu nec lingua discrepat, eo usque latitudo Slavicae linguae succrescit, ut pene careat estimatione. (24) Slavania is the contemporaneous Latin term connoting Poland, Bohemia, and the Wendish peoples between the Oder and the Elbe. (25) Given the fact that the hospites-system was also present in the courts of Poland and Bohemia, and, as in Hungary, attracted mostly German-speaking warriors, it seems likely that Otto's views on the Hungarians would have been echoed all along the eastern marches, leading at times to a unified-field theory of Slavic-Hungarian culture in the minds of their Germanic neighbors. Biterolf reflects such an imageology. The fact that the primary marker of ethnocultural difference is, in this text, military custom, reflects nothing more than the world-view of a warrior aristocracy. Clerics and missionaries saw the difference in religious terms. They often described Poles, Bohemians and Hungarians as paganos, even centuries after their conversion to Christianity and despite the fact that they had long since begun to produce their own saints. (26)

Otto of Freising's excursus on the Hungarians and the hospites also allows a historical-cultural approach to the narrative structure of the poem. Biterolf is, in fact, more than a Nibelungenlied in reverse infused with the civilizing ethos of chivalry. Beyond the epic confrontation of Huns and Burgundians, it tells the story of a family that pulls up roots in "western" Europe and relocates to Etzel's kingdom, or if we take the reference to Ungerlant seriously, to Hungary. Broadly speaking, Biterolf is a hospites-narrative. Not a hospites-biography, that is, the text does not attempt to provide a realistic picture of the life of German or Austrian knights who moved to Hungary, such as many did from the tenth century onward. Nor do I mean hospites in the strict legalistic sense, which meant vassalage, integration and Magyarization. The text is very explicit about Biterolfs and Dietleib's unwillingness to become Etzel's subjects, and stresses their Styrian kingdom's independence from the Huns, despite the fact that the land is a girl from Etzel. As they survey their new home, father tells son:
 "es ward Etzele vnnderthan
 von seiner grossen herrschafft.
 wir gewinnen leicht noch die crafft
 daz wir erpawoen so das lanndt
 daz vnnser ellen vnnd vnnser hanndt
 vor allen kuanigen wol stent mit wer.
 zwischen der Elb vnd dem mer
 steend nyondert pesser burgstal." (13, 324-331)

 "[Styria] was subject to Etzel's great empire. But certainly we will
 be able to gain enough strength and build up the land against all
 kings, defending it with our own courage and our own hands. Between
 the Elbe and the sea there will be no better fortification."


Despite this caveat, however, we should not overlook the prominent figure whom the poet represents as the true Hun-Hungarian hospes, Rudiger. In Biterolf's main source text, the Nibelungenlied, Rudiger is a tragic figure, a forced exile in the Land of the Huns, caught between formal loyalty to the Hunnish king and the emotional bond to his Burgundian friends and erstwhile house guests. Biterolf, retaining the centrality of Rudiger's role in the narrative, removes all such conflicts and ambiguities, representing him as the perfect Hunnish vassal, Etzel's all-purpose agent and willing executor. When the Burgundians try to bribe Rudiger with rich gifts and promise him a dukedom on the Rhine, Rudiger refuses, professing undying loyalty to the Hunnish king: "I've served my lord Etzel to the utmost. It doesn't bother me at all when he gets angry, because he never does anything I wouldn't do myself. For that reason, I will always be with the son of Botelung, and call myself his subject." (27) In a spirited repartee with the Bohemian king, Rudiger demonstrates his enthusiasm for Etzel's imperialist agenda in eastern Europe. Witzlan announces: "Etzel and his folk have enemies in us Bohemians. He has always wanted to make us his subjects, me and my brother Poytan.' Rudiger laughed and replied: 'I don't give a damn if he takes you over. I'm a good neighbor! We are certainly not going to leave you untested. Your independence bothers me as greatly as it does the king.'" (28)

If we think of Biterolf as a hospites-narrative, then Otto of Freising shows us why an Austrian poet who makes eastern Europe the center of his narrative and the new Heimat of his heroes would be especially concerned about the gentilic nature of military culture. The noble art of the tournament is analogous to the virtus innata and splendor armorum of "our princes and guests" in the eastern kingdoms. These assumptions allow the poet to continue and deepen the Hun/Hungarian-friendly tendency of the Nibelungenlied--a trend identifiable in German poetry since the 8th-century Song of Hildebrand (29)--while simultaneously maintaining--perhaps even intensifying--the sense of an ethno-cultural border between the Germanic world and its various eastern European others.

To put it in modern terms, Biterolf outlines a scenario of international cooperation without cultural and ethnic integration and assimilation. Yet this scenario also has a precise historical context. In the late 1250s, after the death of Frederick II and the end of the Hohenstaufen ruling house, the Bohemians, under Ottokar II, made a play for the leadership of the empire, and the poet's Styrian homeland was caught in the trammels of Bohemian/Hungarian/ Austrian power politics. The attempt to map precise historical constellations onto a literary text may be misguided. Still, Biterolf's Hungarian sympathies and anti-Bohemian barbs probably reflect the poet's own concrete loyalties in this contest, or those of his aristocratic patron. (30) And in the bigger picture, the discourse of general east European ethno-cultural difference manifests the self-consciousness and anxiety of a Germanic border society faced with the emergence of a new European order dominated by the declining German empire's former central European satellite kingdoms. Biterolf records this decentering shift from the west to the east in the quasi-historical discourse of epic literature.

II. Ottokar von Steiermark's Osterreichische Reimchronik and Ludwig von Eyb's Turnierbuch

Representations of the knightly tournament played an important, but hitherto largely unexamined role in the the cultural poetics of medieval German historiography of the east. This section briefly examines two later medieval historical texts that deploy the chivalric arts to underscore gentilic and national difference, Ottokar von Steiermark's Osterreichische Reimchronik and Ludwig von Eyb's Turnierbuch.

The Osterreichische Reimchronik (c. 1309), one of the most important German sources for the history of late twelfth/early thirteenth century central Europe, (31) contains a wealth of ethnographic discourse relating to the peoples of eastern Europe. The chronicle begins in the mid twelfth century, focussing in its first part on the power struggle between Ottokar II of Bohemia and Bela IV of Hungary for the overlordship of Austria after the deaths of duke Frederick (1246), last of the Austrian Babenberg dynasty, and the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II (1250)--thus approximately at the time and place Biterolf und Dietleib was written, according to the standard view.

The author's anti-Hungarian sentiments are well-known--if not yet particularly well studied--and need not concern us generally here. (32) Ottokar's interest in chivalric ideals is also unusual among contemporaneous historians; in addition to an abundance of references to courtly literature and lavish attention to courtly feasts and protocol, (33) the Osterreichische Reimchronik contains one of the few examples of a classic lance-tournament to appear in medieval historiography. (34) In the battle between Ottokar II and the Hungarians at Altenburg in 1271, the Austrian knights (11, 019: Stiraere) break ranks and hold a joust between the opposing forces:
 zwischen in und disen scharn
 wart uf dem plan
 manic gegenrenn getan,
 als man noch durch hohen muot
 zwischen den scharen tuot,
 daz mans hab dester tiur. (11, 025-30) (35)

 On the field between themselves and the yonder [Hungarian]
 armies many a joust was run, as is still practiced between
 the drawn ranks of armies for the sake of knightly high
 spirits, so that knights might win esteem.


hoher muot, tiure : As in chivalric romance, and also as reflected in Biterolf, the tournament is no mere sport, but a performance of noble chivalric ethics. Yet here, in the no man's land zwischen den scharen, it simultaneously delimits gentilic-cultural space over the chaotic terrain of battle. Ottokar emphasizes almost exclusively the tiutsche avant-garde of the Bohemian king's forces. (36) After witnessing the Bohemian and Austrian tiostiur, the Hungarians respond with a performance of their own, that of the famous "feigned flight" characteristic of steppe-nomadic battle tactics: (37)
 do daz die Unger sahen,
 daz vehtens sich der kunic bewac,
 do kerten si den nac
 und zogten muezlich hin.
 daz daz durch einen sin
 geschaehe und einen list,
 daz tet man an der frist,
 dem kunig und den sinen kunt.

 When the Hungarians saw that, the king [Stephan] decided not
 to engage. They turned their backs and left the scene in a
 lackadaisical manner. That this was a deliberate maneuver
 and a feint was soon reported to the king [Ottokar of Bohemia]
 and his men.


Thus with the "noble" (tiur) tourneying of the Austrians and the "tricky'" (ein list) retreat of the Magyars, the Osterreichische Reimchronik records German-Hungarian conflict in the literary typologies of gentilic confrontation borrowed from heroic and chivalric epic. In the politically fluid and contested zone of middle Europe after the collapse of the centralizing German empire, chivalric custom functions as a salient marker of a prestigious ethno-cultural identity.

The Hungarians are not merely ignorant of the tournament, they are unable to recognize it as sport. At the military games during the marriage festival of the son of the Hungarian king and the daughter of the Margrave of Brandenburg (1264 at Pettenburg), the Hungarian guests misinterpret the buhurt (tournament en masse with blunted lances) as a direct attack upon themselves:
 ungefuege wart der schal
 and der buhurt wart so herte,
 daz die Unger ir geverte
 zuo den Tiutschen bet gerouwen:
 si wanden, daz uf si gebrouwen
 ein ungefuege waere.
 und mit dem selben maere
 kom ein Unger gerant,
 als im der zagel waer verbrant;
 ein wartman in kum vernam.
 als unstetelich er kam
 fur kunic Welan gevarn.
 er sprach: "herr, ir mugt wol sparn
 furbaz iwer ezzen:
 disiu wirtschaft ist gemezzen
 als Krimhilten hochzit!
 die Beier habent einen strit
 an gevangen under in,
 ich waen aber der ungewin
 uns Ungern si vil nahen." (8147-8166)

 The din became so loud and the buhurt so intense that the Hungarians
 regretted having met with the Germans. They believed that trouble
 was brewing, directed against them. Then up came a Hungarian,
 running as if his tail had been scorched, to report just such a
 tale. The watchman hardly saw him. Shaking in his boots, he rode
 right up to king Bela, and cried: "Lord, you can spare yourself
 any further feasting; this banquet is going to turn out just like
 Kriemhild's festival! The Bavarians have started a brawl among
 themselves, but I think it's going to get ugly for us Hungarians
 very quickly."


At which point the Hungarians storm out of the celebration in haste, insulting the Bohemian king: "Die Situation musste peinlich und zugleich lacherlich gewesen sein. Die Ungarn erschienen von Anfang an wie ein Fremdkorper in dieser hofischen Atmosphare." (38)

Kriemhilds hochgezit is, of course, an allusion to the Nibelungenlied, in which Etzel's kingdom ist destroyed in a cataclysmic battle between the Burgundians/Nibelungs and the forces of the Hunnish king under the direction of the vengeful Kriembild. The intertextuality is remarkably precise: in the Nibelungenlied, the hostilities enter a critical phase with the gratuitous murder of a Hunnish knight at the buhurt. (39) At the same time, Ottokar seems to be aware of the contemporaneous Hungarian reception of the Nibelunglied-tradition, as depicted in the Gesta Hungarorum of Simon of Keza (c. 1283). This text depicts the war of succession among Attila's sons, referred to throughout as the praelium Crumheld, (40) as a conflict between a foreign, "German" faction under the leadership of Dietrich von Bern (!) and a "native" faction under "Scythian" prince Csaba.

The relative proportions of fact and fiction in Ottokar's Hungarian chivalric burlesque (as in the previous episode) are impossible to determine; no other sources describing the event in any detail have survived. If Erik Fugedi and Agnes Kurcz are correct, chivalric customs had been well established in Hungary in the early thirteenth century. (41) After the Tatar invasions in the 1240s, Bela IV, the king whom Ottokar describes in the episode above (Welan), initiated massive reforms on a western European model, emphasizing heavy armor and weaponry in his military forces, developing an infrastructure of castles and fortified towns, centralizing the monarchy, and curtailing the power of the nobility. (42) It is most unlikely that Bela's retinue at the wedding in Pettenburg would have been unfamiliar with the chivalric tournament in the manner Ottokar depicts.

Yet between the events of 1264 and the writing of the Osterreichische Reimchronik, the west-europeanization of Hungary experienced a reversal. Laszlo IV (1272-1290), whose mother was Cuman (thus Laszlo "the Cuman") and whose tastes ran to steppe-nomadic culture, religion, and military style, deployed large contingents of his maternal kinsfolk in his armies. (43) Since these forces almost always formed the avant-garde of the Hungarian military, they were highly noticeable and tended to dominate the descriptions of Hungarian armies in western sources out of proportion to their true numbers: "Die Barbarenvolker, insbesondere die Valwen [Cumans], die durch ihr Uberwiegen im Heere dem Ausland gegenuber die Bevolkerung Ungarns reprasentierten, haben dem Rufe der Ungarn unendlichen Schaden zugefugt. Ihnen hauptsachlich ist es zuzuschreiben, wenn in dem grossten Teile der deutschen Literatur der zweiten Halfte des 13. Jhs. Ungarn wieder als ein barbarisches, halb heidnisches Land angesehen wird." (44)

The Hungarian imageology of the Osterreichische Reimchronik was influenced retroactively by such phenomena. For Ottokar, bogenschiezenden Valwen and taeterischer sit, darab uns Tiutschen eiset are everywhere invasively present in the armies of the Hungarian princes. (45) In the buhurt-scene, he constructs a sophisticated literary parody combining both the ethno-cultural poetics of the German heroic epic a la BiterolflNibelungenlied and the nationalist tendentiousness of Hungarian Nibelungenlied-reception a la Simon of Keza, representing the chivalric tournament as tiutsche culture, unintelligible to the comical, orientalized subjects of the Hungarian monarch, who are "Fremdkorper" in their German courtly environment.

In 1519, Ludwig von Eyb ("the Younger"), a member of a highly literary Franconian noble family, compiled from a number of late medieval texts and chronicles a Turnierbuch, a synopsis of the protocols and progress of important tournaments (Turnierordnungen) in Germany from the previous two centuries (1284-1487). (46) The first part of the text provides an historical overview, wie der [i.e. the tournament] erstlich furgenomen, aufbracht, bisher besucht und gehallten worden ist ... wie der vrsprunglich imm reich sey aufgestannden vnd erwachsen ... (47) Freely combining into one pseudo-historical panorama material from seven centuries of German/east European history, (48) this short sketch tells how a horde of east European invaders, under the overlordship of the vnglaubigen tyrannischen volck, die die zeit Honnen genennt werden, aber nu Vngern, (49) but also including Goths (Gotten), Slavs (Wenden und Schlawannen), Russians (vorder Reissen = Byelorussians), and Tartars (Tatern), was destroyed by a Teutsche confederation drawn from all parts of Germany by the tenth century Saxon king (here kaiser) Henry the Fowler (Hainrich der Vogler). In celebration of this victory, Henry decides to
 lassen ein turney zurichten, damit er selbs mit seinen gessten vnd
 guten frandten des reichs wollt einreiten vnd turnirn, dieweil jne
 das imm reich selltzam was vnd frembd were, darzu wer es vor zeiten
 in Pritania, Gallia, Engellannd vnd anndem lanndan ain loblich
 gewonhait vnd zaichen des frids. So sy das ritterspil des turnirs
 anfienngen, dann betten sy vberwunden vnd sige, das sy in allen iren
 lannden frolich waren. (50)

 hold a tournament, so that he, along with his guests and good
 friends, might ride in and joust, although that [practice] was
 exotic and unknown in the Empire at the time, but had in the
 past been a praiseworthy custom and sign of peace in Brittany,
 France, and England. Thus was this knightly game the beginning
 of the tournament, for they had conquered and had the victory
 and rejoiced in all their lands.


At this juncture the author himself chimes in, invoking the tradition of this originary tournament as a component of contemporaneous German identity:
 Das wollten wir auch gebrauchen, wann sy durch solh triumf und
 frewd jr manlich vnd ritterlich tatten ansgiessen in vil reich
 vnd lannde, des warlich wir Teutschen wol wirdig sein. Darumb
 ist jne solh triumf vnd ritterspil anzenemen vnd gebraucben. (51)

 We, too, ought to practice [this art], for they, by means of such
 triumph and joy, pour out their manly and knightly deeds into many
 kingdoms and lands. Truly, we Germans are worthy of that! Thus,
 such triumph and knightly sport ought to be adopted from them (?)
 and practiced.


The Turnierbuch seems to have been the first of its kind to combine a historical narrative with a chronicle of later tournaments in Germany. (52) The sources for the historical pastiche (the author claims that he drew from a "chronicle") are hitherto unknown. (53) At this point, I do not wish to argue for any philological connection between the Turnierbuch and Biterolf und Dietleib. There seem to be no reflections of heroic epic in the later text. Yet this fact only makes the case of a general cultural poetic more compelling: both texts deploy a remarkably similar "cultural geography" of chivalry, thematizing an east/west split in the European world. In the Turnierbuch, the Germans become receptive to the art of the tournament only after throwing off the yoke of Hunnish-Slavic barbarism; (54) they adopt the art from further west--references to Brittany, France, and England as the old homeland of the loblich gewonhait evoke the cultural memory of Arthurian literature in a fashion similar to the romance-influenced Verritterlichung of the heroic-epic world in Biterolf, where the tournament sol ritter zieren.

As we have seen, Biterolf's agenda in the pan-European war is reconciliationist, in a sence supragentilic and multiculturalist, while at the same time thematizing an east/west European difference in military custom that informs narrative structure (hospites-narrative). In Ottokar's Osterreichische Reimchronik, conflict with the east is typologized along the lines of a Germanized, noble tournament art vs. deceitful Cumanized barbarism on the one hand and budesque parody of Hungarian tournament-ignorance on the other. The Turnierbuch goes much further than either text, casting the cultural geography of chivalry within a foundationalist narrative of German Empire, whereby the ongoing gebrauch of chivalric sport continuously re-celebrates the originary German "triumph" over a primitive, infidel European Orient. All three texts belong in a differentiated analysis of the roots of Germanic thinking about the continental east and its reflection in a cultural poetics. The discourse of the "cultural gradient" between eastern and western Europe and the German self-image as "bearers of culture" was not invented ex nihilo in the Age of Nationalism. (55)

Notes

(1) "literature about heroic literature"; "rivalry of saga traditions"; "clear polarity between northwestern and southeastern epic worlds"; Michael Curschmann, "Biterolf und Dietleip," Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon, v. 1 (Berlin, New York: Die Gruyter, 1978) 879-83, here 881; "Zur Wechselwirkung von Literatur und Sage," Beitrage zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 111 (1989): 80-410, 400.

(2) "a certain distance vis-a-vis the traditional imperial centers of power and an orientation towards the south and east"; "was intended to express the political-economic reorientation of the ruling nobility in the lands of Styria and Austria"; Fritz Peter Knapp, "Sagengeographie und europaischer Krieg in 'Biterolf und Dietleib'," 2. Pochlarner Heldenliedgesprach: Die historische Dietrichepik, ed. Klaus Zatloukal (Vienna: Fassbaender, 1992) 69-77, here 76-77.

(3) On Biterolf as "deproblematized Version of the Nibelungen-conflict" see Jan-Dirk Muller, Spielregeln fur den Untergang: Die Welt des Nibelungenliedes (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1998) 101, 184-85, 325, 397.

(4) Curschmann 881; Joachim Heinzle, ed., Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von den Anfangen bis zum Beginn der Neuzeit, v. II, pt. 2 (Konigstein/Ts.: Athenaum Verlag, 1984) 157-58; Joachim Bumke, Geschichte der deutschen Literatur im hohen Mittelalter (Munich: Deutscher Taschanbuchverlag, 1990) 268.

(5) With the term gentilic I employ a concept that has become standard among modern historians of the (early) German Middle Ages in order to avoid the modern ideological connotations of the terms "national"/"nationalist," "racist"/"racial," "ethnic," and the like. See Alfred Dove, "Studien zur Vorgeschichte des deutschen Volksnamens," Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl., no. 8, 1916; Reinhurd Wanskus, Stammesbildung und Verfassung: Das Werden der fruhmittelalterlichen gentes (Cologne, Graz: Bohlau Verlag, 1961) 46-54; Herbert Grundmann, Geschichtsschreibung im Mittelalter: Gattungen--Epochen--Eigenart (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965), 12-15. Jeno Szucs, Nation und Geschichte (Cologne, Vienna: Bohlau Verlag, 1981) ("Die Frage des ethnischen Selbstbewubtseins der Barbarenvolker"); Walther Schlesinger, "Die mittelalterliche deutsche Ostbewegung und die deutsche Osfforschung," Zeitschrift fur Osrmineleuropa-Forschung 46 (1997): 427-57. On "nationalism" in the medieval period, see John Armstrong, "Nations before Nationalism," Nationalism, ed. John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) 140-46. For an attempt to bring this concept into a discussion of medieval literature, see Alexander Sager, "Von ostrint allenthalben: Images of Eastern Europe in Medieval German and Hungarian Literary Culture, 1050-1300" (Dissertation: Cornell University, 2000) 7-9 and passim.

(6) Text quoted from Andre Schnyder, ed., Biterolf und Dietleib (Bein, Stuttgart: Verlag Paul Haupt, 1980). For a normalized Middle High German edition, see Oskar Janicke, ed., Biterolf und Dietleib, Deutsches Heldenbuch, v. 1 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1866). All translations are my own, unless otherwise noted.

(7) wie selten turnieren beya / ware da ze Reine / Rudeger vnd die seine; / das was von jr kunst geschehen/das sis ee hetten gesehen/ ze Arabia in dem lannde. (8950-57)

(8) "so wil ich lassen scheinen"/sprach Walther von Spanilant, / "daz vnns turnieren ist bekant: / jch wil auch lassen huondert dar./sy werden schiere wol gewar / wie wir turnierens kuannen phlegen." (8436-41)

(9) 8966-67

(l0) 8694-723. Wolfhart, however, loses in his first encounter against Ortwin.

(11) 10, 179-198.

(12) In contradistinction to the literary imageology in Biterolf, the chivalric tournament seems historically to have been introduced into and spread within eastern Europe fairly early (late eleventh and early twelfth centuries). Erik Fugedi, "Turniere im mittelalterlichen Ungarn," and Josef Macek, "Das Turnier im mittelalterlichen Bohmen," both in Das ritterliche Turnier im Mittelalter: Beitrage zu einer vergleichenden Formen- und Verhaltensgeschichte des Rittertums, ed. Josef Fleckenstein (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1985) 371-89, 390-400. For Hungary, see also Agnes Kurcz, Lovagi kultura Magyarorszagon a 13-14. szazadban (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1988). The first mention of courtly tournaments in Hungary is provided by the anonymous notary of King Bela III (1172-1196). Describing the military games of Arpad's army at "the city of Attila" (Obuda), Anonymous writes: [O]mnes milites Hungarie ante presentiam ducis fete cottidie super dextrarios suos sedendo cum elipeis et lanceis maximum turnamentum faciebant, et alii iuvenes more paganismo cum arcubus et sugitiis ludebant ("All the Hungarian warriors engaged, in the presence of the prince, in daily tournaments on their war-horses and using shields and lances. Other men competed with the bow and arrow in heathen fashion"; quoted from Fugedi 390-91). The first evidence of tournaments in Bohemia occurs in the early fourteenth-century Czech chronicle Dalimil. According to this source, the German knight Ogier von Friedberg brought (c. 1238) stechin und turnirn to Bohemia under the reign of King Wenzel I (1230-1254). In the mid-fourteenth-century German translation of Dalimil the passage reads: Mit Ogero gein Behem stechin und turnirn kom ... Ritin zeu den stunden in dy turney si begunden ("Jousting and tourneying came to Bohemia with Oger ... In those days, [the Bohemians] began to ride the tournament"; Fontes rerum Bohemicarum [FRB] III, 1770). This is confirmed in one of the continuations of the chronicle of Cosmas of Prague: sub eius etiam temporibus adinventus est in Bohemia ludus tornamentorum ("In his days, the game of the tournament came to Bohemia"; FRB II, 303). It is possible that Bohemian knights participated in tournaments in other parts of Europe prior to this time: Ulrich von Liechienstein took part in a tournament in Crummau in southern Moravia in 1227, and he encountered Bohemian knights in Wiener Neustadt sometime before 1240. See Macek 371, footnote 3.

(13) Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival, ed. Karl Lachmann (Berlin, Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1926) 117, 30-124, 21; and especially 173, 11-175, 18.

(14) 8212.

(15) See Hans Eggers, Deutsche Sprachgeschichte, v. I (Reinbek: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag) 40-46.

(16) La Chanson der Roland (Oxford Version), 109, 702, 1695, 1927.

(17) Otto von Freising, Gesta Frederici, ed. Franz-Josef Schmale, trans. Adolf Schmidt (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1965) I, c. 33.

(18) See Konrad Schunemann, Die Deutschen im Ungarn bis zum 12. Jahrhundert (Berlin, Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1923).

(19) Schunemann 125: "unter der grossen Menge der fremden Krieger [in Ungarn] ... waren die Deutschen so sehr in der uberzahl, dass Otto von Freising ohne weiteres von ihnen als von 'unseren' Gasten spricht."

(20) See Alexander Sager, "Hungarians as vremde in Medieval Germany," Meeting the Foreign in the Middle Ages, ed. Albrecht Classen (New York, London: Routledge, 2002) 27-44.

(21) swaz si site heten, der wart vil wenic vermiten. Das Nibelungenlied, ed. Karl Bartsch and Helmut de Boor, trans. Siegfried Grosse (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1997) 1139, 4. For a mole comprehensive look at the eastern European aspects of the Nibelungenlied, see Sager, "Hungarians as vremde," 36-44.

(22) da wart ir bekant vil manic site vremede, den si e nie gesach (1341, 3).

(23) On the relationship between the Nibelungenlied and Biterolf, see Muller 117 (Nibelungen-story as "Teil unendlicher Rede, die sich in Anderen Geschichten [Biterolfet al.] fortsetzten kann.")

(24) Helmold of Bosau, Chronica Slavorum, ed. Bernard Schmeidler, trans. Heinz Stoob (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1963) ch. 1, 35-36: "If one counts Hungary as a part of Slavania, as some would because it is different neither in customs nor in language, the compass of the Slavic tongue becomes so great that it nearly defies estimation."

(25) Compare Adam of Bremen, Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae Pontificum, trans. Werner Trillmilch. Quellen des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts zur Geschichte der Hamburgischen Kirche und des Reiches (Berlin: Rutten and Loening, 1961) 246, II, no. 17 and passim (Adam uses the form Sclavania). See further Gunter Cerwinka, "Volkercharakteristiken in historiographischen Quellen der Salier- und Stauferzeit," Festschrift fur Friedrich Hausmann, ed. Herwig Ebner (Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1977) 59-79, here 69-76; Ludwig Schmugge, "Uber 'nationale' Vorurteile im Mittelalter," Deutsches Archiv fur die Erforschung des Minelalters 38 (1982): 439-59, here 445, 457.

(26) As in the early twelfth-century letter from the bishop of Augsburg to Otto of Bamberg: "Rex Christianus [Lothar, 1132] inducit super ecclesiam Christianam homines inhumanos et paganos, Boemos videlicet ac Flavos, qui vulgari nomine Valwen dicuntur, qui persecutores Christi et ecclesiae esse ac fuisse semper manifeste ab omnibus cognoscuntur" ("The Christian King sends upon the Christian church inhuman and pagan men, Bohemians and Flavians [i.e.Cumans], who are known in the vernacular as Valwen. Everybody knows that such peoples are and always have been persecutors of Christ and the church"). Philipp Jaffe, ed., Monumenta Bambergensia: Udalrici Babenbergensis codex (Berlin: Weidmann, 1869) 444.

(27) "jch han gedienet vontz an das zil / Etzelen meinem hrn. / mir kan daz luotzel wern, / wirt er icht zornigs gemuaet, / wann der vil selten icht getuot / daz wider meinen willen seyo. / des sol ich ymmer wesen beyo / Potelunges kinde / und heyossn sein gesinde" (6134-42).

(28) "Etzele vnd all die seine,/die haben veint vnnder vnns hie./er wolt mich des bezwingen yoe, / daz wir im waren vnderta, / jch vnd mein brueder Poyotan." / Des erlachte Rudigere, / der edle marggraue here: / "mich nam des vntawre /--ich bin guot nachgepauore--/ daz euch erzwinge sein gewalt./wir lassens," sprach der heit halt, / "an euch noch vunersuochet nicht. / daz man euch so ledeclichen sicht, / daz swaoret dicke mir den muot / als hart, als es den kunig thuot" (6538-52).

(29) Sager, "Hangarians as vremde," 30-35.

(30) I follow the standard chronologization of Biterolf to the decade after 1250, as argued by Willi Rauft, Untersuchungen zu Biterolf und Dietleip (Dissertation: Berlin: Universitats-Buchdruckerei von Gustav Schade, 1907) 21-23; and Justus Lunzer, "Die Entstehnngszeit des Biterolf," Festschrift fur Bernard Seuffert. Zum 23. Mai 1923. Mit Beitragen von Walther Brecht [et al.] (Leipzig: C. Fromme, 1923). This view has recently been challenged by Joachim Bumke, Die vier Fassungen der "Nibelungenklage. Untersuchungen zur Uberlieferungsgeschichte und Textkritik der hofischen Epik im 13. Jahrhundert (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 1996) 484-89. Bumke points out the lack of any really compelling textual evidence for the connection between Biterolfs depiction of Etzel's Prussiun campaign (1388ff.) and what Rauff/Lunzer regard as this episode's historical template, Ottokar II of Bohemia's 1254/55 expedition to Prussia. Bumke argues that the material for the Biterolf-episode is probably based immanently on the Nibelangenlied and Diu Klage traditions, to which it thus probably stands in a closer chronological relationship than after the 1250s: "Den Gedanken, Etzel zum Herrn uber ganz Osteuropa zu machen, bat der Biterolf-Dichter wahrscheinlich aus dem Nibelungenlied und der Klage ubemommen ... Die ganze Konstruktion seiner Bezugnahme auf die historischen Preubenkdege ist ohne Grundlage" (487). However, factors other than historical speak for a later dating. See Norbert Voorwimien, "Biterolf und Dietleib: Spiegel einer Spatzeit," 4. Pochlarner Heldenliedgesprach. Heldendichtung in Osterreich--Osterreich in der Heldendichtung, ed. Klaus Zafloukal (Vienna: Fassbaender, 1997) 231-253, esp. 234.

(31) Helmut Weinacht, "Ottokar von Steiermark," Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 1987) v. 7, pt. 1, 238-245.

(32) A comprehensive study of Ottokar's Hungarian imageology is a desideratum. A short inventory is provided by Konrad Schunemann, "Ungarische Hilfsvolker in der deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters," Ungarische Jahrbucher 4 (1924): 99-115, esp. 109-111. See also Andras Vizkelety, "'Du bist ein alter Hunne, unmassig schlau ...,'" Das Ungarnbild in Deutschland und das Deutschlandbild in Ungarn: Materialien des wissenschaftlichen Symposiums am 26. und 27. Mai 1995 in Hamburg, ed. Holger Fischer (Munich: Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 1996) 11-21, here 17-21.

(33) Weinacht 241-242.

(34) See Joachim Bumke, Hofische Kultur. Literatur und Gesellschaft im hohen Mittelalter (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986) 232-33.

(35) Ottokar von Steiermark, Osterreichische Reimchronik, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Deutsche Chroniken, v. 5, ed. Joseph Seemuller (Hannover: Hahn, 1890)

(36) Ottokar von Steiermark 10, 928; 10, 966; 11, 057; 11, 065; 11, 088; 11, 094.

(37) The classic description of the "Scythian" tactics of feigned flight and shooting in retreat is found in the late sixth or early seventh century Byzantine military manual known as the Strategikon of emperor Maurice (582-602), XI, sections 1 and 2. Das Strategikon des Maurikios, ed. George T. Dennis, Ernst Gamillscheg. Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae, v. 17, Series Vindobonensis (Vieana: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1981). In English translation by George T. Dennis, Maurice's Strategikon. Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984). Such tactics were also frequently described of the Saracens and Turks in crusading literature, for example Fulcher of Chartre's Historia Hierosolmitana, II, xxxii, no. 6 and esp. III, xi, no. 5. For general context, see David Nicolle's exhaustive Medieval Warfare Sourcebook (London: Arms and Armour Press, 1995) v. I, 30, 77-78 (Hungarians); v. 2, 30, 33. I thank Max Reinhart for bringing to my attention a symbolic interpretation of the "Parthian shot" in Georg Philipp Harsdorffer, Auloea romana contra Peristromata Turcica expansa: sive, Dissertatio coneordice Christianae omen repraesentans (Nuremberg: Wolfgang Endter, 1641) H2v, 60: Veluti Scythae & Parthi hostes; ita Emblemata Apodosim, vel in ipsa fuga ingeniose insinuant, & spicula quasi retrospiciendo vibrare debent. ("Emblems are like Scythian and Parthian troops, ingeniously imparting their message while turned in flight, and brandishing their spears in backward glances."). This text is forthcoming in English translation: Georg Philipp Harsdoerffer, Lamentation for France and Other Polemics on War and Peace: The Latin Pamphlets of 1641-42, ed. Max Reinhart (New York: Peter Lang, 2002).

(38) Vizkelety 20: "The situation must have been both embarassing and ridiculous. From the very beginning the Hungarians appear to be foreign bodies in this courtly atmosphere."

(39) Nibelungenlied, st. 1873-1897, esp. 1886-1892.

(40) Simonis de Keza, Gesta Hungarorum / Simon of Keza, The Deeds of the Hungarians, ed. and transl. Laszlo Veszpremy and Frank Schaer, with a study by Jeno Szucs (Budapest: Central European University Press, 1999) 67-69, 71, 73, 85.

(41) See footnote 12.

(42) See Balint Homan, Geschichte des ungarischen Mittelalters (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1943) v. II, 154-162. The more recent work of Erik Fugedi is indispensable here: "Das mittelalterliche Konigreich Ungarn als Gastland," Die deutsche Ostsiedlung des Mittelalters als Problem der europaischen Geschichte. ed. Walter Schlesinger (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1975) 471-507, here 473-480, 488-490; Castle and Society in Medieval Hungary, 1000-1437 (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1986) 50-64; Kings, Bishops, Nobles and Burghers in Medieval Hungary (London: Valorium Reprints, 1986) IV, 7. For those who read Hungarian, see Gyula Kristo's classic, Az Aranybullak evszazada (Budapest: Kossuth Kiado, 1998) 100-127.

(43) Immigration of Cumans into Hungary, as well as other peoples from the east, had, however, begun much earlier. Homan 242-43. More recently Hansgerd Gockenjan, Hilfsvolker und Grenzwachter im mittelalterlichen Ungarn (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1972).

(44) "The barbarian peoples, especially the Cumans, who, on account of their great numbers in the armies deployed abroad, represented the population of Hungary in the eyes of foreign nations, caused an unending amount of damage to the reputation of the Hungarians. If Hungary again appears as a barbarian, half heathen land in the greater part of the German literature in the second half of the thirteenth century, it is to a large extant the fault of these peoples." Schunemann, "Ungarische Hilfsvolker," 115. For Ottokar von Steiermark's description of Laszlo the Cuman, see 24,407-24,428.

(45) "tataric customs that make the blood of us Germans ran cold." See Vizkelety 19. See also Ottokar von Steiermark 6819-6855; 6965-68; 7374-7402; 24,407-24,428.

(46) Heide Stamm, ed., Das Turnierbuch des Ludwig von Eyb (cgm 961) (Stuttgart: Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, 1985).

(47) "how the tournament was first brought in, propagated, how it was held and by whom attended ... how it originally grew and flourished in the Empire ..."

(48) See Stamm's discussion of the historical basis, 56-59. To this one might add what seem to be reflections of the fabled treasure of the Avars (103), the Wendish and Prussian crusades (103), the Slavic rebellion of the early eleventh century (126-27), and the Tartar invasions (95). The ascription of the Goths to the eastern party seems to indicate a reception of Jordanes Getica (which links the ethnogenesis of the Huns to the Goths), possibly through Widukind. Jordanes, Getica, ch. 24. Monumenta Germaniae Historica Auctores Antiquissimi. Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, I, ch. 18. Quellen zur Geschichte der sachsischen Kaiserzeit, ed. Albert Bauer and Reinhold Ran (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1971) I, ch. 18.

(49) "the infidel, tyrannical people that were at that time called Hans, bet now the Hungarians."

(50) Stamm 104. See also 107 for a further reference to the origins of the tourney in Brittany and France.

(51) Stamm 104. See also 106.

(52) Stamm 35. For Eyb's mention of the cronickh, 94.

(53) See Stamm's comments 59-67.

(54) Curiously, the Bohemians cleave here to the "western" party (98), just as they did in Biterolf.

(55) "Kulturgefalle"; "Kulturager"; See Michael Burleigh, Germany Turns Eastwards: A Study of Ostforschung in the Third Reich (Cambridge, New York et al.: Cambridge UP, 1988) 3-32. See also Zeitschrift fur Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 46 (1997), dedicated to the history of Osfforschung, especially the article by Walther Schlesinger, "Die mittelalterliche deutsche Osthewegung und die deutsche Ostforschung" (originally 1963), 427-57.

ALEXANDER SAGER

University of Georgia
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