Online Encyclopedia

ORENDEL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 252 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ORENDEL, a Middle High German poem, of no great literary merit, dating from the close of the 12th century. The story is associated with the town of Treves (Trier), where the poem was probably written. The introduction narrates the story of the Holy Coat, which, after many adventures, is swallowed by a whale. It is recovered by Orendel, son of King Eigel of Treves, who had embarked with twenty-two ships in order to woo the lovely Brida, the mistress of the Holy Sepulchre, as his wife. Suffering shipwreck, he falls into the hands of the fisherman Eise, and in his service catches the whale that has swallowed the Holy Coat. The coat has the property of rendering the wearer proof against wounds, and Orendel successfully overcomes innumerable perils and eventually wins Brida for his wife. A message brought by an angel summons both back to Treves, where Orendel meets with many adventures and at last disposes of the Holy Coat by placing it in a stone sarcophagus. Another angel announces both his and Brida's approaching death, when they renounce the world and prepare for the end. The poem exists in a single manuscript of the 15th century, and in one print, dated 1512. It has been edited by von der Hagen (1844), L. Ettmuller (1858) and A. E. Berger (1888) ; there is a modern German translation by K. Simrock (1845). See H. Harkensee, Untersuchungen fiber das Spielmannsgedicht Orendel (1879) ; F. Vogt, in the Zeitschrift fur deutsche Philologie, vol. xxii. (189o) ; R. Heinzel, Uber das Gedicht vom Konig Orendel (1892); and K. Mullenhoff, in Deutsche Altertumskunde, vol. i. (2nd ed., 189o), pp. 32 seq.
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