Flos and BlankflosRudolf Steiner College Press
A story of the ancestry of Charlemagne.In the Middle Ages the legend of Flos and Blankflos appeared repeatedly as an epic poem. The most significant work was that of the Alemannic poet Konrad Fleck who lived at the turn of the 13th century. The story was later rendered in various languages as a prose narrative. The present version is taken from the sixth volume of the collection German Popular Literature and was written by Karl Simrock (published 1845-1867). Chapter I begins:In the old writings it is told how in the Year of Our Lord 624 an infidel king named Fenis lived in the land of Spain, and that the queen, his wife, was also a heathen. Now this king departed with his soldiers and went over the sea into Christian lands where he destroyed castles and cities, despoiled monasteries and churches and reduced them to ashes. In three days they so ravaged the land that neither men nor human dwellings could be seen for a distance of 150 miles from the sea. While the ships were being loaded with the stolen goods, the king sent out forty of his men to lie in wait for a group of pilgrims who were approaching. As the soldiers hid in the passes they saw from a mountain top a group of very weary pilgrims coming along. The soldiers immediately attacked them and threatened them with their lives. The pilgrims gladly gave up their belongings to save themselves. Among them was a nobleman from France who was travelling with his daughter to San Juan de Compostella, her future place of abode, for her husband had fallen in battle and she was expecting a child. For a while the nobleman from France fought bravely against the infidels, but they were too strong for him. They killed him and brought his daughter back to the king as a prisoner. Soon afterward the king returned under good wind by ship to Spain where he was worthily received and there he divided the spoils amongst his soldiers, each according to his rank. At last he took the Christian woman and gave her as a gift to his queen who was greatly pleased for she had long been asking for a Christian maidservant. The queen took the woman into her chamber and allowed her to keep her Christian faith. She served the queen faithfully day and night, taught her French and adapted herself so well to the new situation that she was well liked by everyone in the court. . . .