Gemstone of Paradise: The Holy Grail in Wolframs Parzival

Paperback | July 29, 2010

byG. Ronald Murphy

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The story of the Holy Grail has gripped the imaginations of millions since it first appeared in medieval romances, among them Wolfram von Eschenbach's Middle High German Parzival (c. 1210). Strangely, the Grail is identified in Parzival not as a cup or dish, but as a stone. This oddity isusually interpreted merely as further evidence of the difficulty of discerning the true sources of the Grail legend. G. Ronald Murphy seeks to illuminate this mystery and to enable a far better appreciation of Wolfram's insight into the nature of the Grail and its relationship to the Crusades. Wolfram's "sacred stone" was in fact a consecrated altar, precious by virtue of the sacrament but also, Murphy argues, byvirtue of the material from which it was made: a precious green stone associated with the rivers of Paradise. Parzival, Murphy believes, was intended as an argument against continued efforts by Latin Christians to recover the Sepulchre by force. In Wolfram's story, warring Christians and Muslims arebrought together in peace by the power of the Grail - a stone Murphy believes still exists. An entirely original reading of Wolfram's famous text, this engrossing and accessible book appeals not only to scholars and students of medieval literature but to anyone who is drawn to the lasting mystery of the Holy Grail.

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The story of the Holy Grail has gripped the imaginations of millions since it first appeared in medieval romances, among them Wolfram von Eschenbach's Middle High German Parzival (c. 1210). Strangely, the Grail is identified in Parzival not as a cup or dish, but as a stone. This oddity isusually interpreted merely as further evidence o...

G. Ronald Murphy is Professor of German at Georgetown University. He is the author of several titles, including The Heiland: The Saxon Gospel and The Owl, the Raven, and the Dove: The Religious Meaning of the Grimms' Magic Fairy Tales .

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:July 29, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199747598

ISBN - 13:9780199747597

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Table of Contents

Prologue: In the BeginningGrails, the Grail, and the Stars1. The Idea of the Holy Grail2. The World of Precious Stones3. The Crusaders' QuestThe Holy Sepulcher4. The Frame StoryFeirefiz, Parzival, and Their Father5. The Frame Story EndingThe Overflowing Grail6. The Grail in the Inner Story7. The Paradise Altar of BambergAfterwordAftermathAppendix 1: Etymological ExcursusThe Meaning of the Five Women's NamesAppendix 2: Two Medieval Texts on the Consecration of the Altar and the Veneration of the SepulcherSelect BibliographyIndex