Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet is one of the early versions of the Lancelot story and a critical work in German medieval literature. This Middle High German romance is a rendering of a lost French tale of Lancelot and may predate Chrétien de Troyes's famous Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart. It is the only remaining trace of a Lancelot legend free of the adulterous affair with Guinevere. Rather than presenting a hero who falls from grace as Chrétien did, Ulrich's Lanzelet is a truly flawless idealized knightly hero. Scholars consider it one of the precursors of classical Arthurian romance in Germany, superseded only by Hartmann's Erec. Ulrich von Zatzikhoven obtained a copy of the lost original book in 1194 and translated the work from French into German. According to one source, the lost original was an Anglo-Norman romance brought to southern Germany by Hugo de Morville, one of the hostages sent to Mainz in February 1194 as sureties for the fulfillment of the terms on which Richard I had been ransomed, after his capture on his way back from crusade in 1992. A good tie into the Robin Hood legends as well. The story does show some potential oral traditions but this may only reflect the standard presentation of the manuscript as a performance for small or private gatherings.

Lanzelet (Records of Western Civilization Series) by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, Thomas Kerth, Roger Sherman Loomis, and additional notes by Kenneth G.T. Webster (Paperback - Dec 15, 2004)

   Kenneth G.T. Webster made the first English translation in the 1930s, and Columbia University Press published it in 1951. Following Webster's death, Roger Sherman Loomis made slight modifications to the text and expanded Webster's notes. Thomas Kerth's translation above includes a new introduction and a revised bibliography, the notes from both Loomis and Webster, and a commentary reflecting the fifty years of scholarship on Lanzelet since the publication of Webster's translation.

Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet: Narrative Style and Entertainment (Arthurian Studies) by Nicola McLelland (Hardcover - Dec 7, 2000)