From "Lancelot" in Lacy, The New Arthurian Encyclopedia.  Routledge, 1995, 269.

Chrétien gives no background information about his hero, other than that his name is Lancelot del Lac and that he had once been given a magic ring by a fairy who had raised him as a child (ll. 2,335 – 50).  Lancelot’s cognomen may have led to his association with Niniane, the Dame du Lac, in the thirteenth-century Prose Lancelot, and Ulrich shows some familiarity with this motif when he has the young Lancelot carried off by a mermaid and raised in a kingdom of women until the age of fifteen. 
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