Today in my chivalry seminar we discussed the three most important accounts the Combat of 30 as found in my book of the same name. I started out by asking a general question about whether this was a chivalric deed of arms. One of my students launched into an enthusiastic affirmation. And you know what? He was taken by exactly the features of the deed that I think people of the mid-14th century most appreciated, in other words that it was a fair fight and no one ran away.
Just goes to show you.
A few days back another chivalric story swam into my ken, thanks to Phil Paine.
It is the Romance of Antar, derived from the poet Antar of the time of the Prophet, whose original poems were among the hanged poems in the Kaaba at Mecca. Students in my Islamic civilization course know Antar. Here's what Phil has to say about the later Romance of Antar and its significance.
Early Arabic literature is not well-known in the English-speaking world, and some elements of it might surprise someone who is only familiar with the stuff from later periods. Among the earliest works in Classical Arabic are a number of tales that can only be called “chivalric romances”, which strongly resemble the sort of thing you would expect in Malory or Chrétien de Troyes. What would most surprise a modern reader is the treatment of female characters.And what is that treatment, Mr. Bones?
There is much more and Phil gives an extensive summary.