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  • Parzival.


  • Wolfram von Eschenbach composed his medieval German epic poem Parzival, which consists of more than 24,000 lines, in the first decade of the 13th century. It tells the story of the juvenile fool Parzival who, having grown up in the seclusion of the forest, is ignorant of the world and causes much grief as he ventures out to become a knight. He arrives at the Castle of the Grail, but fails to pose the question to the sick King Fisher Anfortas about the source of his suffering-a question that would release Anfortas and make Parzival the new grail king. After a long odyssey and a religious catharsis, Parzival is able to return to Arthur's court and is marked as the new grail king. The tale, according to the manuscript tradition, enjoyed great popularity throughout the Middle Ages. Only a few of the manuscripts are illuminated. This manuscript from the Bavarian State Library, written in a Gothic cursive script, is one of the few illuminated manuscripts of Parzival that are known to exist. Unfortunately, only one of the illuminations in the codex, which were to be inserted in spaces that the writer left blank, was executed. The style of painting suggests that it most likely originated in Lower Bavaria, perhaps in Landshut. The quality and richness of this very illumination gives a hint of what a splendid work of art this would have been had it been completed.


  • Wolfram, von Eschenbach, 1170?-1220? Author.

Created / Published

  • Lower Bavaria : [publisher not identified], [1270 to 1280]


  • -  Germany
  • -  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • -  500 to 599
  • -  Arthurian romances
  • -  Codex
  • -  Epic poetry
  • -  Grail -- Legends
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Perceval (Legendary character)
  • -  Poetry
  • -  Wolfram von Eschenbach, active 12th century


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "BSB shelfmark: Cgm 18"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 107 pages, vellum : illustrated ; 31.25 x 22 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Bavarian State Library.
  • -  Content in Middle High German (ca. 1050-1500).
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Illuminated Manuscripts from Europe

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667654

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Wolfram, Von Eschenbach, 1170?-1220? Author. Parzival. [Lower Bavaria: publisher not identified, to 1280, 1270] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Wolfram, V. E. (1270) Parzival. [Lower Bavaria: publisher not identified, to 1280] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Wolfram, Von Eschenbach, 1170?-1220? Author. Parzival. [Lower Bavaria: publisher not identified, to 1280, 1270] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.