Yvain, the Knight of the Lion

Yvain rescues the lion (Garrett MS 125 fol. 37r, c. 1295)
The opening lines of the Welsh version, Owain (pre 1382) from Jesus College, Oxford (MS 111).

Arthurian romance by French poet Chrétien de Troyes.

- Yvain, the Knight of the Lion

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Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, wherein he is often the son of King Urien of Gorre and the sorceress Morgan le Fay.

Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions (1907)

He was also one of the most popular, starring in Chrétien de Troyes' late-12th-century Yvain, the Knight of the Lion and appearing prominently in many later accounts, often accompanied by his fierce pet lion.

Three Welsh Romances

The Three Welsh Romances (Welsh: Y Tair Rhamant) are three Middle Welsh tales associated with the Mabinogion.

The opening lines of Owain from Jesus College, Oxford (MS 111}
"Enid and Geraint Reconciled", Louis Rhead and George Rhead's illustration for Idylls of the King (1898)
The opening lines of Peredur on Jesus College, Oxford (MS 111)

Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain; which corresponds to Chrétien's Yvain, the Knight of the Lion


Figure of medieval chivalric romance literature.

Title page of an Amadís de Gaula romance of 1533
"Yvain rescues the lion", from Garrett MS 125, an illustrated manuscript of Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion, dated to ca. 1295.

Sir Ywain assisted a lion against a serpent, and was thereafter accompanied by it, becoming the Knight of the Lion.

Chrétien de Troyes

French poet and trouvère known for his writing on Arthurian subjects, and for first writing of Lancelot, Percival and the Holy Grail.

Engraving considered to be a representation of Chrétien de Troyes in his work studio (1530)

Chrétien's works, including Erec and Enide, Lancelot, Perceval and Yvain, represent some of the best-regarded of medieval literature.

Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart

12th-century Old French poem by Chrétien de Troyes, although it is believed that Chrétien did not complete the text himself.

Lancelot crossing the sword bridge (illumination in a manuscript produced for Jacques d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, in the workshop of Evrard d'Espinques, c. 1475)

It is unknown exactly when the poem was composed, only that it would have been between 1175 and 1181 (most likely 1177), and before or at the same time as Chrétien de Troyes' own Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, (Le Chevalier de Lion), the two serving as companion pieces with overlapping narratives.

Saint Mungo

Missionary in the Brittonic Kingdom of Strathclyde in the late sixth century, and the founder and patron saint of the city of Glasgow.

Saint Mungo appears in the crest of Glasgow's coat of arms along with his miracles.
Saint Mungo (University of Glasgow)
Tomb of St. Mungo in the crypt of Glasgow Cathedral
St Mungo's Church, Townhead, Glasgow

The Life of Saint Mungo bears similarities with Chrétien de Troyes's French romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion.


Character in Arthurian legend, in which he is King Arthur's nephew and a Knight of the Round Table.

Sir Gawaine the Son of Lot, King of Orkney, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
"Gavvain's" attributed arms
"Galvagin" depicted in the Italian Modena Archivolt (c. 1135)
Gawain unwittingly fights Yvain in the Garrett MS. No. 125 manuscript of Chrétien's Knight of the Lion (c. 1295)
"Walewein" follows a flying checkboard in a 14th-century Dutch manuscript Roman van Walewein (en het schaakspel)
"Sir Gawain seized his lance and bade them farewell", Frank T. Merrill's illustration for A Knight of Arthur's Court or the Tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1910)
"The Passing of Sir Gawaine", Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of the Grail and the Passing of King Arthur (1910)
Parzival's Gawain in a capital relief at the Church of Saint-Pierre, Caen
"Sir Gawaine finds the beautiful Lady", Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
John Tenniel's illustration for "The Song of Courtesy", George Meredith's take on Gawain and the Loathly Lady published in Once a Week magazine in 1859
The Vigil by John Pettie (1884)
"Nevertheless You, O Sir Gauwaine, Lie." Florence Harrison's illustration for Early Poems of William Morris (1914)
"In the morning one of these ladies came to Gawaine." William Henry Margetson's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1914)
"Now you have released me from the spell completely." William Henry Margetson's illustration for Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race (1910)
Sir Gawain bends over the exhausted Maid Avoraine in concern after she has proved her love by running after his horse for two days. John Everett Millais' and Joseph Swain's wood engraving illustration for Robert Williams Buchanan's poem "Maid Avoraine" published in Once a Week magazine in 1862

Chrétien's story of Gawain's cousin Yvain, Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion (Yvain, the Knight of the Lion), was translated into Middle English as Ywain and Gawain.


Middle High German verse romance by the poet Hartmann von Aue, written around 1203.

Fresco from the Iwein-Cycle at Castle Rodenegg: Iwein fights Aschelon (Askalon).
Two scenes from the Iwein frescoes at Schloss Rodenegg: The stone on the spring is watered (left), and the Woodsman (right).

An Arthurian tale freely adapted from Chrétien de Troyes' Old French Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, it tells the story of Iwein (Yvain), a knight of King Arthur's Round Table.

Hartmann von Aue

German knight and poet.

Portrait of Hartmann von Aue from the Codex Manesse (folio 184v)

The first of these, Erec, which may have been written as early as 1191 or 1192, and the last, Iwein, belong to the Arthurian cycle and are based on epics by Chrétien de Troyes (Erec and Enide and Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, respectively).

Owain mab Urien

The son of Urien, king of Rheged c. 590, and fought with his father against the Angles of Bernicia.

Attributed arms devised for Urien in the later Middle Ages, featuring the raven

In his legendary guise he is the main character in Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain, the Knight of the Lion and the Welsh Romance Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain, which corresponds to Chrétien's poem.