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Der richtende König

Urteil und Urteilsvermögen in Hartmanns von Aue ‚Iwein‘ und Heinrichs von Neustadt ‚Apollonius von Tyrland‘

Lea Braun


Pages 133 - 158



This article discusses two examples of Middle High German romances that depict an ideal king in his role as judge. According to theological and juridical discourse and the historical tradition of royal courts, the king is tasked to guarantee justice and law. This depiction on the one hand stages the king at the height of his power. On the other hand, it serves as a testing ground of his eligibility for the role, turning him judge and judged at the same time. In Hartmann’s von Aue ‚Iwein‘, an Arthurian romance that is throughout concerned with issues of law and justice as well as proper procedure, Arthur’s successful navigation of the complex conflict between two sisters proves his reputation as an ideal king. Heinrich von Neustadt draws on codified law in his ‚Apollonius‘ to depict the freshly ascended emperor Apollonius as a just ruler and guarantor of law and female agency. Both texts use a complex strategy of information distribution to involve the recipients in this process of evaluation and judgement.

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