Mordred or Modred is a character, variously portrayed in the Arthurian legend. The earliest known mention of a historical Medraut is in the Welsh chronicle Annales Cambriae, wherein he and Arthur are ambiguously associated with the Battle of Camlann in a brief entry for the year 537, his figure seemed to have been regarded positively in the Welsh tradition and may have been related to that of Arthur's son. As Modredus, Mordred was depicted as Arthur's traitorous nephew and a legitimate son of King Lot in Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-historical work Historia Regum Britanniae which served as the basis for the following evolution of the legend since the 12th century. Variants most characterized him as Arthur's villainous bastard son, born of an incestuous relationship with his half-sister named either Anna, Orcades or Morgause; the accounts presented in the Historia and most other versions include Mordred's death at Camlann in a final duel during which he manages to mortally wound his slayer Arthur.
Mordred is a brother or half-brother to Gawain, however his other family relations as well as his relationships with Arthur's wife Guinevere vary greatly. In a popular telling originating from the French chivalric romances of the 13th century and made prominent today through its inclusion in Le Morte d'Arthur, Mordred is knighted by Arthur and joins the fellowship of the Round Table. In this narrative, he becomes the main actor in Arthur's downfall as he helps his half-brother Agravain to expose Guinevere's and Lancelot's affair and takes advantage of the resulting war to make himself the king of Britain; the name Mordred, found as the Latinised Modredus in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, comes from Old Welsh Medraut. It is derived from Latin Moderātus, meaning "within bounds, observing moderation, moderate"; the earliest surviving mention of Mordred occurs in an entry for the year 537 in the chronicle Annales Cambriae, which references his name in an association with the Battle of Camlann.
Gueith Camlann in qua Arthur et Medraut corruerunt."The strife of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell." This brief entry gives no information as to whether Mordred killed or was killed by Arthur, or if he was fighting against him. As noted by Leslie Alcock, the reader assumes this in the light of tradition; the Annales themselves were completed between 960 and 970, meaning that although their authors drew from older material they cannot be considered as a contemporary source having been compiled 400 years after the events they describe. Meilyr Brydydd, writing at the same time as Geoffrey of Monmouth, mentions Mordred in his lament for the death of Gruffudd ap Cynan, he describes Gruffudd as having eissor Medrawd. Gwalchmai ap Meilyr praised Madog ap Maredudd, king of Powys as having Arthur gerdernyd, menwyd Medrawd; this would support the idea that early perceptions of Mordred were positive. However, Mordred's characterization as the king's villainous son has a precedent in the figure of Amr or Amhar, a son of Arthur's known from only two references.
The more important of these, found in an appendix to the 9th-century chronicle Historia Brittonum, describes his marvelous grave beside the Herefordshire spring where he had been slain by his own father in some unchronicled tragedy. What connection exists between the stories of Amr and Mordred, if there is one, has never been satisfactorily explained. Mordred is found in Geoffrey's influential Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. Here, he is portrayed as traitor to Arthur; the unhistorical account presented by Geoffrey describes Arthur leaving Mordred in charge of his throne as he crossed the English Channel to wage war on Lucius Tiberius of Rome. During Arthur's absence, Mordred crowns himself king and lives in an adulterous union with Arthur's wife, Guinevere. Geoffrey does not make it clear how complicit Guinevere is with Mordred's actions stating that the Queen had "broken her vows" and "about this matter... prefers to say nothing." This forces Arthur to return to Britain to fight at the Battle of Camlann, where Mordred is slain.
Arthur, having been gravely wounded in battle, is sent to be healed in Avalon. A number of Welsh sources refer to Medraut in relation to Camlann. One triad, based on Geoffrey's Historia, provides an account of his betrayal of Arthur; the Old French chivalric romance prose literature of the 13th century expand on the history of Mordred prior to the war with Arthur. In the Vulgate Merlin part of Vulgate Cycle, his elder half-brother Gawain saves the infant Mordred and their mother Morgause from the Saxon king Taurus. In the Old French prose narrative's revision known as the Post-Vulgate Cycle, in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Arthur is told prophecy by Merlin about a just-born child, to be his undoing, so he tries to avert the fate by ordering the killing of all the May Day newborns; this episode, reminiscent of the Biblical Massacre of the Innocents and sometimes dubbed the "May Day massacre", leads to a war between the husband of Mordred's mother and
Merlin is a legendary figure best known as an enchanter or wizard featured in Arthurian legend and medieval Welsh poetry The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures. Geoffrey combined existing stories of Myrddin Wyllt, a North Brythonic prophet and madman with no connection to King Arthur, with tales of the Romano-British war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus to form the composite figure he called Merlin Ambrosius. Geoffrey's rendering of the character was popular in Wales. Writers expanded the account to produce a fuller image. Merlin's traditional biography casts him as a cambion: born of a mortal woman, sired by an incubus, the non-human from whom he inherits his supernatural powers and abilities. Merlin matures to an ascendant sagehood and engineers the birth of Arthur through magic and intrigue. Authors have Merlin serve as the king's advisor and mentor to the knights until he is bewitched and forever imprisoned or killed by the Lady of the Lake.
He is popularly said to be buried in the magical forest of Brocéliande. The name "Merlin" is derived from the Welsh Myrddin, the name of the bard, one of the chief sources for the legendary figure. Geoffrey of Monmouth Latinised the name to Merlinus in his works. Medievalist Gaston Paris suggests that Geoffrey chose the form Merlinus rather than the regular Merdinus to avoid a resemblance to the Anglo-Norman word merde for feces. Clas Myrddin or Merlin's Enclosure is an early name for Great Britain stated in the Third Series of Welsh Triads. Celticist A. O. H. Jarman suggests that the Welsh name Myrddin was derived from the toponym Caerfyrddin, the Welsh name for the town known in English as Carmarthen; this contrasts with the popular folk etymology. The name Carmarthen is derived from the town's previous Roman name Moridunum, in turn derived from Celtic Brittonic moridunon, "sea fortress". Geoffrey's composite Merlin is based on the legendary "madman" poet and seer Myrddin Wyllt, Emrys, a fictional character based in part on the 5th century, historical war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus mentioned in one of Geoffrey's primary sources, the early 9th century Historia Brittonum.
The former had nothing to do with King Arthur: in British poetry he was a bard driven mad after witnessing the horrors of war, who fled civilization to become a wild man of the wood in the 6th century. Geoffrey had Myrddin Wyllt in mind when he wrote his earliest surviving work, the Prophetiae Merlini, which he claimed were the actual words of the legendary poet and madman. Geoffrey's Prophetiae do not reveal much about Merlin's background, he included the prophet in his next work, Historia Regum Britanniae, supplementing the characterisation by attributing to him stories about Aurelius Ambrosius, taken from Nennius' Historia Brittonum. According to Nennius, Ambrosius was discovered when the British king Vortigern was trying to erect a tower; the tower always collapsed before completion, his wise men told him that the only solution was to sprinkle the foundation with the blood of a child born without a father. Ambrosius was rumoured to be such a child but, when brought before the king, he revealed the real reason for the tower's collapse: below the foundation was a lake containing two dragons who fought a battle representing the struggle between the invading Saxons and the native Celtic Britons.
Geoffrey retells this story in his Historia Regum Britanniæ with some embellishments, gives the fatherless child the name of the prophetic bard Merlin. He keeps this new figure separate from Aurelius Ambrosius and, with regard to his changing of the original Nennian character, he states that Ambrosius was called'Merlin'—that is,'Ambrosius Merlinus', he goes on to add new episodes that tie Merlin with his predecessors. Geoffrey's account of Merlin Ambrosius' early life in the Historia Regum Britanniae is based on the tale of Ambrosius in the Historia Brittonum, he adds his own embellishments to the tale, which he sets in Wales. While Nennius' Ambrosius reveals himself to be the son of a Roman consul, Geoffrey's Merlin is begotten on a king's daughter by an incubus demon; the name of Merlin's mother is not stated, but is given as Adhan in the oldest version of the Prose Brut. The story of Vortigern's tower is the same. At this point Geoffrey inserts a long section of Merlin's prophecies, taken from his earlier Prophetiae Merlini.
He tells only two further tales of the character. In the first, Merlin creates Stonehenge as a burial place for Aurelius Ambrosius, bringing the stones from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales and Ireland. In the second, Merlin's magic enables the new British king Uther Pendragon to enter into Tintagel Castle in disguise and father his son Arthur with his enemy's wife, Igraine; these episodes appear in many adaptations of Geoffrey's account. As Lewis Thorpe notes, Merlin disappears from the narrative after this. Geoffrey dealt with Merlin again in Vita Merlini, he based it on stories of the original 6th-century Myrddin, set long after his time frame for the life of Merlin Ambrosius. Geoffrey tried to assert that the characters are the same wi
Excalibur, or Caliburn, is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Britain. Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone are sometimes said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate. Excalibur was associated with the Arthurian legend early on. In Welsh, it is called Caledfwlch; the name Excalibur derives from the Welsh Caledfwlch, a compound of caled "hard" and bwlch "breach, cleft". Caledfwlch appears including the prose tale Culhwch and Olwen; the name was used in Welsh adaptations of foreign material such as the Bruts, which were based on Geoffrey of Monmouth. It is considered to be related to the phonetically similar Caladbolg, a sword borne by several figures from Irish mythology, although a borrowing of Caledfwlch from Irish Caladbolg has been considered unlikely by Rachel Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, they suggest instead that both names "may have arisen at a early date as generic names for a sword".
Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his Historia Regum Britanniae, Latinised the name of Arthur's sword as Caliburnus. Most Celticists consider Geoffrey's Caliburnus to be derivative of a lost Old Welsh text in which bwlch had not yet been lenited to fwlch. In the late 15th/early 16th-century Middle Cornish play Beunans Ke, Arthur's sword is called Calesvol, etymologically an exact Middle Cornish cognate of the Welsh Caledfwlch, it is unclear if the name was borrowed from the Welsh, or represents an early, pan-Brittonic traditional name for Arthur's sword. In Old French sources this became Escalibor and the familiar Excalibur. Geoffrey Gaimar, in his Old French L'Estoire des Engleis, mentions Arthur and his sword: "this Constantine was the nephew of Arthur, who had the sword Caliburc". In Wace's Roman de Brut, an Old French translation and versification of Geoffrey's Historia, the sword is called Calabrum, Callibourc and Calabrun. In Chrétien de Troyes' late 12th-century Old French Perceval, Arthur's knight Gawain carries the sword Escalibor and it is stated, "for at his belt hung Escalibor, the finest sword that there was, which sliced through iron as through wood".
This statement was picked up by the author of the Estoire Merlin, or Vulgate Merlin, where the author asserts that Escalibor "is a Hebrew name which means in French'cuts iron and wood'". It is from this fanciful etymological musing that Thomas Malory got the notion that Excalibur meant "cut steel". In Arthurian romance, a number of explanations are given for Arthur's possession of Excalibur. In Robert de Boron's Merlin, the first tale to mention the "sword in the stone" motif, Arthur obtained the British throne by pulling a sword from an anvil sitting atop a stone that appeared in a churchyard on Christmas Eve. In this account, as foretold by Merlin, the act could not be performed except by "the true king," meaning the divinely appointed king or true heir of Uther Pendragon; as Malory writes: "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born." This sword is thought by many to be the famous Excalibur, its identity is made explicit in the Prose Merlin, part of the Lancelot-Grail cycle.
However, in what is called the Post-Vulgate Cycle, Excalibur was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake sometime after he began to reign. In the Vulgate Mort Artu, Arthur is at the brink of death and so orders Griflet to throw the sword into the enchanted lake; this tale becomes attached to Bedivere instead of Griflet in the English tradition. Malory records both versions of the legend in his Le Morte d'Arthur, naming both swords as Excalibur. In Welsh legends, Arthur's sword is known as Caledfwlch. In Culhwch and Olwen, it is one of Arthur's most valuable possessions and is used by Arthur's warrior Llenlleawg the Irishman to kill the Irish king Diwrnach while stealing his magical cauldron. Irish mythology mentions a weapon Caladbolg, the sword of Fergus mac Róich, known for its incredible power and was carried by some of Ireland's greatest heroes; the name, which can mean "hard cleft" in Irish, appears in the plural, caladbuilc, as a generic term for "great swords" in Togail Troi, a 10th-century Irish translation of the classical tale.
The Lancelot-Grail known as the Vulgate Cycle or the Pseudo-Map Cycle, is a major source of Arthurian legend written in French. It is a series of prose volumes that tell the story of the quest for the Holy Grail and the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere; the major parts are early 13th century, but scholarship has few definitive answers as to the authorship. An attribution to Walter Map is discounted; the Vulgate Cycle perpetuates Christian themes in the King Arthur tradition by expanding on tales of the Holy Grail and recounting the quests of the Grail knights. During this period, material takes on more historical and religious overtones with tales that include the deaths of both Arthur and Merlin, it combines elements of the Old Testament with the story Merlin and Arthur as told by Robert de Boron. The Vulgate Cycle was subject to a 13th-century revision and much added; the resulting text, referred to as the "Post-Vulgate Cycle", was an attempt to create greater unity in the material, to de-emphasise the secular love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere.
It omits all of the Vulgate's Lancelot Proper section, but includes characters and scenes from the Prose Tristan. This version of the cycle was one of the most important sources of Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur; the work is traditionally divided into three main sections. The last was the first to be written, starting in the 1210s; the first two came around the 1230s. The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Grail, about Joseph of Arimathea and his son Josephus bringing the Holy Grail to Britain. Written in French prose c. 1220–1235. The Vulgate Merlin or Estoire de Merlin, about Merlin and the early life of Arthur, it is a redaction of the Prose Merlin. Written in French prose c. 1220-1235, can be divided into: The Vulgate Merlin propre from Robert de Boron's poem Merlin. The Vulgate Suite du Merlin, adding more of Arthur's and Gawain's early adventures, it is four times longer than the first part. The Prose Lancelot, the longest section, making up half of the entire cycle, it concerns the adventures of Lancelot and the other Knights of the Round Table, written in French prose c.
1215–1230. It can be divided into: The Vulgate Lancelot propre about the life of Lancelot and his affair with Guinevere; the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal about the Grail Quest and its completion by Galahad. The Vulgate Mort Artu, about the king's death at the hands of Mordred and the collapse of the kingdom; some categorizations have either the Mort or both the Queste and the Mort regarded as separate sections independent of the Lancelot. The entire work was soon followed by the Post-Vulgate Cycle, a work based on the Vulgate Cycle but differing from it in many respects; the Lancelot-Graal Project website lists close to 150 manuscripts in French, some fragmentary, such as British Library Additional MS 10292-4, containing the entire cycle. The earliest copies are of French origin and date from 1220–1230, soon after the estimated date of composition of the work. Numerous copies were produced in French throughout the remainder of the 13th, 14th and well into the 15th centuries in France and Italy, as well as translations into other European languages.
Some of the manuscripts are beautifully illuminated: British Library Royal MS 14 E III, produced in Northern France in the early 14th century contains over 100 miniatures with gilding throughout and decorated borders at the beginning of each section. It was once owned by King Charles V of France. Other manuscripts were made for less wealthy owners and contain little or no decoration, for example British Library MS Royal 19 B VII, produced in England in the early 14th century, with initials in red and blue marking sections in the text and larger decorated initials at chapter-breaks. Few copies of the entire Lancelot-Grail Cycle survive; because it was so vast, copies were made of parts of the legend which may have suited the tastes of certain patrons. For instance, British Library Royal 14 E III contains the sections which deal with the Grail and religious themes, omitting the middle section, which relates Lancelot's chivalric exploits. Penguin Classics published a translation into English by Pauline Matarasso of the Queste in 1969, followed in 1971 with a translation by James Cable of the Mort Artu.
H. Oskar Sommer published the entire Vulgate Cycle in seven volumes in the years 1908-1916; the base text used was the British Library Additional mss. 10292-10294. It is however not a critical edition, but a composite text, where variant readings from alternate manuscripts are unreliably demarcated using square brackets. Sommer's has been the only complete cycle published. Sommer, Heinrich Oskar. Lestoire del Saint Graal; the Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances. 1. Sommer. Lestoire de Merlin. Ib. 2. Sommer. Le livre de Lancelot del Lac. ib. 3. Sommer. Le livre de Lancelot del Lac. ib. 4. Sommer. Le livre de Lancelot del Lac. ib. 5. Sommer. Les aventures ou la queste del Saint Graal. La mort le roi Artus. Ib. 6. Sommer. Supplement: Le livre d'Artus, with glossary. Ib. 7. Sommer. Index of names and places to volumes I-VII. Ib. 8. The first full English translations of the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate cycles were overseen by Norris J. Lacy. Volumes 1–4 contain the Vulgate Cycle proper. Lacy, Norris J.. Lancelot–Grail: The Old French Ar
Bors is the name of two knights in the Arthurian legend, one the father of the other. The two first appear in the 13th-century Lancelot-Grail romance prose cycle. Bors the Elder is the King of Gaunnes during the early period of King Arthur's reign, is the brother of King Ban of Benoic and the father of Bors the Younger Lionel, his son Bors the Younger becomes one of the best Knights of the Round Table and achieves the Holy Grail. Bors the Elder is the King of Gaul; as King Ban's brother, he is Hector de Maris' uncle. He marries Evaine, the sister of Ban's wife Elaine, has two sons, Bors the Younger and Lionel. Ban and Bors become Arthur's early allies in his fight against eleven rebel kings in Britain, including Lot and Caradoc, he vows to help them against their enemy, King Claudas, threatening their lands. Arthur is late on his promise and Claudas succeeds in his invasion, resulting in both kings' deaths. Ban's son Lancelot is taken by the Lady of the Lake, but Bors' children are raised in captivity by Claudas' retainers.
Sir Bors. Sir Bors and Lionel live for several years at Claudas' court, but they rebel against him and slay his cruel son Dorin. Before Claudas can retaliate, the boys are rescued by a servant of the Lady of the Lake and are spirited off to be raised with their cousin Lancelot. All three grow to go to Camelot to join King Arthur's retinue. Bors is recognizable by a distinctive scar on his forehead, participates in most of the King's conflicts, including the eventual battle with Claudas that liberates his father's lands. Bors fathers Elyan the White when the beautiful daughter of King Brandegoris, tricks him into sleeping with her by way of a magic ring. Sir Bors is always portrayed as one of the Round Table's finest, but his real glory comes on the Grail Quest, where he proves himself worthy enough to witness the Grail's mysteries alongside Galahad and Percival. Several episodes display his virtuous character, he refuses to break his vow of celibacy. As the ladies jump off, they reveal themselves to be demons set on deceiving him by playing to his sense of compassion.
In another, Bors faces a dilemma where he must choose between rescuing his brother Lionel, being whipped with thorns by villains in one direction, saving a young girl, abducted by a rogue knight in the other. Bors prays for his brother's safety. Lionel escapes his tormentors and tries to murder Bors, Bors does not defend himself, refusing to raise a weapon against his kinsman. Fellow Knight of the Round Table Calogrenant and a religious hermit try to intervene, but Lionel slays them both when they get in the way. Before he can kill his brother, God strikes him down with an immobilizing column of fire. Bors and Percival go on to achieve the Holy Grail and accompany it to Sarras, a mystical island in the Holy Land. Both Galahad and Percival pass away while there. In Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, based on the French prose romance tradition, Sir Bors agrees to fight as Queen Guinevere's champion when she is accused of poisoning Gaheris of Carhaix, but is reluctant, as her first choice, left Camelot because of her.
He relents when Arthur sees Guinevere kneeling before him and he is about to joust for her sake when Lancelot arrives to take his place. Like the rest of his family, Bors joins Lancelot in exile after his affair with Guinevere is exposed, helps rescue the Queen from her execution at the stake. Bors becomes one of Lancelot's most trusted advisors in the ensuing war between Lancelot and Arthur, becomes ruler of Claudas' former lands; when Arthur and Gawain must return to Britain to fight the usurper Mordred, Gawain sends a letter to Lancelot asking for aid. Lancelot's men arrive to put down the remainder of the rebellion led by Mordred's sons Melehan and Melou. In Adventures of Sir Galahad, a Columbia serial from 1949, Sir Bors is played by Charles King as a comedy relief sidekick for Galahad. In T. H. White's 1958 novel The Once and Future King, Bors is described as a "misogynist" and an "almost-virgin", something of a curmudgeon. In 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Sir Bors is the first Knight of the Round Table to succumb to the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.
Arthur, dismissive of the Rabbit despite Tim the Enchanter's warnings, orders Bors to kill the Rabbit to demonstrate that it is of no threat. However, the Rabbit leaps through the air and onto Sir Bors, he is decapitated before he can attempt a single blow. In 2004's King Arthur, British actor Ray Winstone plays a different Bors, he is one of Arthur's Roman-Sarmatian soldiers, is brash and violent in a departure from the saintly earlier figure. He is brother to Dagonet. Vanora is believed to be an early identity of Guenevere. Bors at The Camelot Project
King Arthur was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. The details of Arthur's story are composed of folklore and literary invention, his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians; the sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin. Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain; the legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae. In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn.
How much of Geoffrey's Historia was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Although the themes and characters of the Arthurian legend varied from text to text, there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey's version of events served as the starting point for stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who established a vast empire. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the magician Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, final rest in Avalon; the 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table.
Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, not only in literature but in adaptations for theatre, television and other media; the historical basis for King Arthur has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum and Annales Cambriae, sees Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons some time in the late 5th to early 6th century; the Historia Brittonum, a 9th-century Latin historical compilation attributed in some late manuscripts to a Welsh cleric called Nennius, contains the first datable mention of King Arthur, listing twelve battles that Arthur fought. These culminate in the Battle of Badon. Recent studies, question the reliability of the Historia Brittonum; the other text that seems to support the case for Arthur's historical existence is the 10th-century Annales Cambriae, which link Arthur with the Battle of Badon.
The Annales date this battle to 516–518, mention the Battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut were both killed, dated to 537–539. These details have been used to bolster confidence in the Historia's account and to confirm that Arthur did fight at Badon. Problems have been identified, with using this source to support the Historia Brittonum's account; the latest research shows that the Annales Cambriae was based on a chronicle begun in the late 8th century in Wales. Additionally, the complex textual history of the Annales Cambriae precludes any certainty that the Arthurian annals were added to it that early, they were more added at some point in the 10th century and may never have existed in any earlier set of annals. The Badon entry derived from the Historia Brittonum; this lack of convincing early evidence is the reason many recent historians exclude Arthur from their accounts of sub-Roman Britain. In the view of historian Thomas Charles-Edwards, "at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been an historical Arthur the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him".
These modern admissions of ignorance are a recent trend. The historian John Morris made the putative reign of Arthur the organising principle of his history of sub-Roman Britain and Ireland, The Age of Arthur. So, he found little to say about a historical Arthur. In reaction to such theories, another school of thought emerged which argued that Arthur had no historical existence at all. Morris's Age of Arthur prompted the archaeologist Nowell Myres to observe that "no figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian's time". Gildas' 6th-century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, written within living memory of Badon, mentions the battle but does not mention Arthur. Arthur is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or named in any surviving manuscript written between 400 and 820, he is absent from Bede's early-8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People, another major early source for post-Roman history that mentions Badon. The historian David Dumville wrote: "I think.
He owes his place in our history books to a'no smoke without fire' school of thought... The f
The Holy Grail is a treasure that serves as an important motif in Arthurian literature. Different traditions describe it as a cup, dish or stone with miraculous powers that provide happiness, eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance in the custody of the Fisher King; the term "holy grail" is used to denote an elusive object or goal, sought after for its great significance. A "grail", wondrous but not explicitly holy, first appears in Perceval, le Conte du Graal, an unfinished romance written by Chrétien de Troyes around 1190. Here, Chrétien's story attracted many continuators and interpreters in the 12th and early 13th centuries, including Wolfram von Eschenbach, who perceived the Grail as a stone. In the late 12th century, Robert de Boron wrote in Joseph d'Arimathie that the Grail was Jesus's vessel from the Last Supper, which Joseph of Arimathea used to catch Christ's blood at the crucifixion. Thereafter, the Holy Grail became interwoven with the legend of the Holy Chalice, the Last Supper cup, a theme continued in works such as the Vulgate Cycle, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur.
Grail literature divides into two classes. The first concerns King Arthur's knights questing after the object; the second concerns the Grail's history in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. The word graal, as it is earliest spelled, comes from Old French graal or greal, cognate with Old Provençal grazal and Old Catalan gresal, meaning "a cup or bowl of earth, wood, or metal"; the most accepted etymology derives it from Latin gradalis or gradale via an earlier form, cratalis, a derivative of crater or cratus, which was, in turn, borrowed from Greek krater. Alternative suggestions include a derivative of cratis, a name for a type of woven basket that came to refer to a dish, or a derivative of Latin gradus meaning "'by degree','by stages', applied to a dish brought to the table in different stages or services during a meal". In the 15th century, English writer John Hardyng invented a fanciful new etymology for Old French san-graal, meaning "Holy Grail", by parsing it as sang real, meaning "royal blood".
This etymology was used by some medieval British writers such as Thomas Malory, became prominent in the conspiracy theory developed in the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, in which sang real refers to the Jesus bloodline. The nine works from the first group are: the Story of the Grail by Chrétien de Troyes. Four Continuations of Chrétien's poem, by authors of differing vision and talent, designed to bring the story to a close. Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, which adapted at least the holiness of Robert's Grail into the framework of Chrétien's story. In Wolfram's telling, the Grail was kept safe at the castle of Munsalvaesche, entrusted to Titurel, the first Grail King. Some, not least the Benedictine monks, have identified the castle with their real sanctuary of Montserrat in Catalonia; the Didot Perceval, named after the manuscript's former owner, purportedly a prosification of Robert de Boron's sequel to Joseph d'Arimathie. Welsh romance Peredur son of Efrawg, a loose translation of Chrétien's poem and the Continuations, with some influence from native Welsh literature.
Perlesvaus, called the "least canonical" Grail romance because of its different character. German poem Diu Crône, in which Gawain, rather than Perceval, achieves the Grail; the Lancelot section of the vast Vulgate Cycle, which introduces the new Grail hero, Galahad. The Queste del Saint Graal, another part of the Vulgate Cycle, concerning the adventures of Galahad and his achievement of the Grail. Of the second group there are: Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie; the Estoire del Saint Graal, the first part of the Vulgate Cycle, based on Robert's tale but expanding it with many new details. Verses by Rigaut de Barbezieux, a late 12th or early 13th-century Provençal troubador, where mention is made of Perceval, the lance, the Grail; the Grail was considered a dish when first described by Chrétien de Troyes. There, it is a tray, used to serve at a feast. Hélinand of Froidmont described a grail as a "wide and deep saucer". Robert de Boron portrayed it as the vessel of the Last Supper. Peredur son of Efrawg had no Grail as such, presenting the hero instead with a platter containing his kinsman's bloody, severed head.
The Grail is first featured in Perceval, le Conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes, who claims he was working from a source book given to him by his patron, Count Philip of Flanders. In this incomplete poem, dated sometime between 1180 and 1191, the object has not yet acquired the implications of holiness it would have in works. While dining in the magical abode of the Fisher King, Perceval witnesses a wondrous procession in which youths carry magnificent objects from one chamber to another, passing before him at each course of the meal. First comes a young man carrying a bleeding lance two boys carrying candelabras. A beautiful young girl emerges bearing an elaborately decorated graal, or "grail". Chrétien refers to this object not as "The Grail" but as "a grail", showing the word was used, in its earliest literary context, as a common noun. For Chrétien a