Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Troyes, Chrétien de from Philip's Encyclopedia

(active late 12th century) French poet. He was the author of the earliest extant Arthurian romances. Troyes' work includes translations of Ovid and the romances Erec (after 1155), Cligès (c.1176) and the unfinished Perceval (Le Conte du Graal), which contains the earliest known reference to the legend of the Holy Grail. See also Arthur


Summary Article: Chrétien de Troyes
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

or Chrestien de Troyes both: krātyăN' dӘ trwä, 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 Ropsfield, L. T., Chrétien de Troyes: A Study of the Arthurian Romances (1981);.
  • Frappier, J., Chretién de Troyes: The Man and His Work (1982);.
  • N. J. Lacy et al., ed., The Legacy of Chrétien de Troyes (2 vol., 1988).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Articles


Full text Article CHRÉTIEN DE TROYES (c. 1125-1191)
Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature

French romance writer Chrétien de Troyes elaborated upon earlier Arthurian legends in such an intriguing way as to create, change, and...

Full text Article Chrétien de Troyes (1170 - 1190)
The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature

Nothing certain is known of his life but he seems to have had the patronage of Marie, Countess of Champagne (1160-80), and then...

Full text Article Chrétien [Crétien] de Troyes (Troyes; c. 1160–90)
The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music

The earliest known French poet-composer. Also wrote the Arthurian romances Perceval and Lancelot . After being...

See more from Credo