Sir Sagramore of Hungary (or Sagremor) is a Knight of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. His characterization varies from story to story, though he is surprisingly prolific; he appears in a number of early stories, such as Chrétien de Troyes' works, and he turns up in all the cyclical versions. He gains a number of nicknames, including "The Impetuous" and "le Desirous." Generally he is characterized as a virtuous but hot-tempered knight who fights fiercely and ragefully.
Sagramore in the Lancelot-Grail
According to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, Sagramore is the son of the King of Hungary and the daughter of the Eastern Roman Emperor; he is even an heir to the throne of Constantinople. His father dies while he was still young, and his mother accepts the proposal of King Brandegoris of Estangore in Britain. When he is fifteen, Sagramore travels to Britain to join them and to become one of King Arthur's knights. Upon arrival in Britain Sagramore engages Arthur's Saxon enemies, and receives aid from Arthur's nephew Gawain and his brothers. The group are subsequently knighted by Arthur.
The Lancelot-Grail describes him as a good knight, but quick to anger. When fighting, he would go into a frenzy not unlike the Irish hero Cúchulainn's warp spasm; when he came down, he would feel ill and hungry. As he was wont to do, Sir Kay gave him a nickname, "Morte Jeune" (dead youth), because he would sometimes go into epilepsy-like fits. The Lancelot-Grail recounts a number of his adventures, often centered around rescuing damsels, and mentions that he had a daughter by one of his paramours who was raised at Arthur's court by Guinevere. His half-sister, Brandegoris' beautiful daughter Claire, falls in love with Sir Bors and sleeps with him; their child is Elyan the White. He dies by Mordred's hand at the Battle of Camlann as one of Arthur's last remaining warriors.
The Post-Vulgate Cycle contains a different backstory for Sagramore. His family rescues Mordred from the sea (afraid of Merlin's prophecy that a child born on May Day will destroy him, Arthur sends children born that day out on a leaky boat) and raises him for the next several years as Sagramore's stepbrother.
In Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Sagramore's prowess varies from situation to situation; he usually serves to lose jousts to better knights, but at times he is a valiant fighter. He is also the subject of a fragmentary German romance, Segremors, the surviving portions of which describe his journey to an island ruled by a fay and his undesired combat with his friend Gawain.
In the 16th-century Portuguese novel Triunfos de Sagramor ("Triumphs of Sagramore") or Memorial das Proezas da Segunda Távola Redonda ("Memorial of the Deeds of the Second Round Table"), by playwright Jorge Ferreira de Vasconcelos, Sagramore and legendary British king Constantine III are fused into a single person, Sagramor Constantino, portrayed as the heir to Arthur, who forms a new Round Table to fight the Saxons and keep the glory of Arthurian Britain
Sagramore appears with some regularity in modern Arthurian literature. In Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Merlin and Vivien", one of the Idylls of the King, he stumbles into bed with a maiden, thinking he is in his own room; to save their reputation the two strangers wed, but their purity and goodness make their marriage a happy one. The knight appears in the musical Camelot and was played by Peter Bromilow in the film version.
Mark Twain characterized Sagramore (as "Sir Sagramor le Desirous") as an angry, backwards knight in A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court, who challenges the Yankee to a duel to the death and is defeated by the Yankee's modern weaponry. His armor, later displayed in a museum featuring a gunshot hole inflicted by the Yankee, serves as a setpiece to the start of the story. Sagramore was portrayed by William Bendix in the 1949 film version of the tale.
- Os livros de cavalarias renascentistas nas histórias da literatura portuguesa, Aurelio Vargas Díaz-Toledo
- A novelística portuguesa do século XVI, Ettore Finazzi-Agró, Lisbon, Instituto de Cultura Portuguesa, 1978
- Norris J. Lacy et al. The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1991.