This article considers the 13th-century Middle Dutch Roman van Moriaen from a generic perspective. Moriaen, the titular hero, is a young, black knight, originally the son of Grailhero Perceval and a black Moorish lady. With Walewein (Gauvain) as coach, he integrates into the Arthurian world and becomes the best knight of the court. This wonderful career is first studied in relation to Chrétien's Conte du Graal, and secondly against the background of chansons de geste, in particular Aliscans. Like Moriaen, these texts centre on the so-called Enfance-theme.
It is argued that in describing the development of a likeable, but rash, black hero, the author of Moriaen combined traditional, worldly Arthurian values like mesure with epic ideals such as compagnonnage and loyalty to the king. In doing so, he illustrates that it is inner beauty which is most important when aspiring to becoming an excellent knight.
full text in DBNL
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