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Wolfram von Eschenbach

Wolfram von Eschenbach (died around 1220) was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of his time. As a Minnesinger, he also wrote lyric poetry.

Little is known of Wolfram's life. From his name it can be determined he was born in Eschenbach in Bavaria, near Ansbach, and it is known that he served at a number of courts in his life. It is also known that he was illiterate, because in Parzifal he says that his work was recorded by dictation.

Wolfram is best known today for his Parzifal, sometimes regarded as the greatest of all German epics from that time. It is the first extant work in German to have as its subject the Holy Grail, and it has been suggested that Wolfram derived much of the story from Chretien de Troyes' Comte del Graal. Wolfram, however, suggested that a poet from Provence called Kyot was a more important source. Little is known about Kyot, and it has even been suggested that he did not in fact exist.

Parzifal was the main source Richard Wagner used when writing the libretto to his opera, Parsifal. Wolfram himself appears as a character in another Wagner opera, Tannhäuser.