German version of Perceval
, written by Wolfram von Eschenbach
around 1220. It is distinguished not only for Wolfram's humor, but also because it fills out the beginning, adding three chapters before Chretien de Troyes
' version starts. He also finishes the poem where Chretien left off, taking Parzival to the castle of the Fisher King
, asking the question "What ails you, uncle?
" and thus restoring the Waste Land
to fertility. He then becomes the new Grail King when the old king dies.
The beginning episodes details Parzival's father Gahmuret and his adventures in Baghdad. These are, of course, interpolations due to the political climate of the thirteenth century (i.e. the Crusades); Wolfram is also the first to say that the Knights Templar are the guardians of the Grail. Moreover, he states that the Grail is a stone from Lucifer's crown, which fell with him from heaven (he calls it the "lapsit exillis"). It is possible (though not necessarily true) that he was unconsciously (or even consciously) referencing the Kaba'a in Mecca, though more likely he was refering to the Philosopher's Stone.
It contains a curious little idea that Prester John is the son of Feirfiz, half-brother of Parzival, and Repanse de Shoye, the grail maiden.
This romance is also famous for having inspired Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, one of Hitler's favorites.