Myth's and Legends

Myths, legends, urban legends, fiction, fact

Legend of the Holy Grail

October 6th, 2013
holy grail

img design by AlicePopkorn

There are many stories surrounding the Holy Grail as to its origins, what it is and where it might have been laid to rest. Many movies have depicted differing views: Monty Python obviously putting an intensely funny spin on it, Indiana Jones an action adventure slant and more recently Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code apparently depicting a more philosophical and interesting approach.

Let’s move away from the movies and get some facts in. One of the most common ideas is that the Holy Grail originated during the Arthurian times as a unique dish, bowl or a cup-like object. Depending on which religious path you followed, you would likely end up at a different source back in history – the Christians amongst us would profess that the Holy Grail was a cup used at The Last Supper, whereas non-religious folk would move down the road of it originating from Arthur’s times. The truth is, there are no hard and fast facts, since we are heavily reliant on historian’s views and the teachings and learnings of tales some, potentially, 800 years ago or more. In time, these stories bend and shift as and when a common ground is found that makes sense. This new, slightly molded story is passed further on through time.

Studies have shown, though, that there are potentially two main sources of the legend: “Perceval le Gallois” written by Chretien de Troyes sometime near the 12th century and “Joseph d’Arimathie” by Robert de Boron in the late 12th century. De Boron’s tale is of Joseph of Arimathea using a chalice at the Last Supper to collect Christ’s blood from when he was on the cross. He is subsequently exiled and forms a group known as Grail Keepers, which includes Perceval, known to be one of King Arthur’s Knights. Formerly, Chretien’s account was and still is the most influential of all tales and it is reassuring that after all of these centuries, there is still a common link in the Holy Grail myth, that being Perceval.