The tales of Thebes, Troy, Alexander, the Round Table and the Niebelungenlied represent the main narratives of medieval French and German literature. The Codex Kalocsa, a major German anthology, contains works in the Roman de Renart tradition and numerous texts by Stricker. Allegorical literature starts with Le Roman de la Rose and includes Christine de Pisan, René d’Anjou and the mysterious Dream of Poliphilus. The Foundation also houses exceptional manuscripts of writings by Boccaccio and Chaucer, the fathers of the short story and moral literature.
Dante, one of the five pillars of the collection, is widely represented and the Quattrocento deserves a place of honour. Petrarch opened the way to a new kind of poetry culminating in Ronsard’s modern style. Erasmus marked the beginning of humanist thinking, which rapidly spread throughout Europe. The Reformation, with major works such as Luther’s Theses and the Edict of Nantes, was also the beginning of the printing era.