A critical edition of the Athis und Prophilias fragments with introduction, commentary, rhyme- and word-lists
The introduction contains separate studies of the manuscripts, their orthographies, the rhymes, metre and treatment of source material. Both the orthographic studies and the rhyme—grammar reveal Athis to be a CG poem with no real evidence of Rhenish provenance. The metrical studies, dealing with vowel collision and units of one and three syllables, show how the Athis poet pursued various legitimate rhythmic options in his attempt to introduce variation to the tedium of regular alternation. The most positive results emerge from the comparison of Athis with its OF source, the Roman d'Athis. The dependence of the German text on the OF poem can be proved through misunderstandings of lines and part—lines of the Rd'A enshrined in proper names in the German text. By far the most important aspect of the German poet's adaptation is his sense of history. Ancient Rome and Athens are presented in an entirely different way in the German text. In particular, the large scale descriptions of ceremonies and major events are scenically developed under the influence of medieval historiographic ideas. Further supplementary source material is provided by a Pseudo—Ovidian treatment of Pyramus and Thisbe and a number of medieval military and judicial customs associated with Roman models. In general Athis is shown to be indebted to a medieval German self—awareness of Romanitas.