The nostalgic yearning for the ideal knightly world given by thirteenth-century vernacular courtly epics is supposed to be the vanishing point of the literature of the do called late medieval knightly romantic. The article examines this assumption. It passes through a number of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century German text, thus showing the variety of forms in which they adapt the narrative and ideological patterns of the literary tradition. In doing so the article stresses that the texts of Hugo von Montfort, Augustin von Hammerstetten, Püterich von Reichertshausen and in particular of Hermann von Sachsenheim, Ulrich Fuetrer, and Emperor Maximilian I find different ways of irony, allegorization, historization etc. to bring out the gap between the literary examples of the past and the claims of the late medieval present and at the same time to bridge it.