Chrétien de Troyes or Chrestien de Troyes (both: krātyăNˈ də trwä) [key], fl. 1170, French poet, author of the first great literary treatments of the Arthurian legend. His narrative romances, composed c.1170–c.1185 in octosyllabic rhymed couplets, include Érec et Énide; Cligès; Lancelot, le chevalier de la charette; Yvain, le chevalier au lion; and Perceval, le conte del Graal, unfinished (see Parsifal). Chrétien drew on popular legend and history, and imbued his romances with the ideals of chivalry current at the 12th-century court of Marie de Champagne, to which he was attached. His other surviving works include imitations of Ovid and Guillaume d'Angleterre, a non-Arthurian narrative. Translations of the Arthurian romances are included in W. W. Comfort's edition (1913) and in R. S. and L. H. Loomis, Medieval Romances (1957).
See L. T. Ropsfield, Chrétien de Troyes: A Study of the Arthurian Romances (1981); J. Frappier, Chretién de Troyes: The Man and His Work (1982); N. J. Lacy et al., ed., The Legacy of Chrétien de Troyes (2 vol., 1988).
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