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Home » » What was the Holy Grail?

The Holy Grail is generally considered to be the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper and the vessel used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch his blood as he hung on the cross. This significance, however. was introduced into the Arthurian legends by Robert de Boron in his verse romance Joseph d' Arimathie (sometimes also called Le Roman de I'Estoire dou Graal), which was probably written in the last decade of the twelfth century or the first few years of the thirteenth. In earlier sources as well as in some later ones, the Grail is sometimes something quite different. The term 'grail' comes from the Latin gradale, which means a dish brought to the table during various stages (Latin 'gradus') or courses of-a meal. In Chr├ętien de Troyes and other early writers, the term 'grail' suggests such a plate. Wolfram von Eschenbach's ~ Parzival (first decade of the thirteenth century) presents the Grail as a stone which provides sustenance and prevents anyone who beholds it from dying within that week. In medieval romance, the Grail was said to have been brought to Glastonbury in Britain by Joseph of Arimathea and his followers. In the-time of Arthur, the quest for the Grail was the highest spiritual pursuit. For Chr├ętien, author of Perceval, and his continuators, Perceval is the knight who must achieve the Grail. For some other French authors, as for Malory. Galahad is the chief Grail knight, though others (Perceval and Bors in Malory's Morte d' Arthur also achieve the quest.


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