Myths and Legends

King Arthur and the Holy Grail

Holy Grail by AlicePopkorn, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  AlicePopkorn

I was watching one of the Indiana Jones movies, The Last Crusade. It’s the one where Indiana Jones is on a search for the Holy Grail. So it got me to thinking about the mystery of it all.
King Arthur and the Holy Grail are both real and legendary at the same time. The truth is all very difficult to decipher from the folk lore. According to legend the Grail had appeared to King Arthur and his knights like magic. It would give each person food and a sense of sacred mystery before it would just up and disappear. Of course there was so much to gain from it’s presence, the quest to find it again became a passion after it’s disappearance. The search thus created a wild collection of stories that would be an account of each knights quest to find the Holy Grail.

Who was King Arthur

So who was the actual King Arthur we hear about in story books and legends? The real Kind Arthur was actually a Celtic chieftain who had risen to power some time between 400 and 500 A.D. The Romans had withdrawn from Great Britain and this left the country open to attack by the Saxons. During these battles Arthur was an extreme warrior and a very good horseman. He wound up winning many battles which lead to his leadership. After which his story simply vanished and became nothing more than legends.


There were many tales of King Arthur that grew and spread by word of mouth through the many storytellers of the time. It was Geoffrey of Monmouth who first wrote the tales of King Arthur in 1136. His work was entitled “History of the Kings of Britain”. The great magician Merlin was said to of predicted Arthur’s birth which was preceded by a massive comet passing by the Earth.


These wonderful tales soon developed to contain Arthur’s court at Camelot and the great Knights of the Round Table. The round table apparently was crafted from the advice of Merlin. It was made round so all the knights would be able to sit at the table and remain equal. Meaning there would be no “head of the table”. There are also many tales of Arthur that include his queen Guinevere and his magical sword Excalibur. It was also written that he had a son by the enchantress Morgan le Fay. It was by his son Mordred’s hand he was said to of been killed.


The Mystery Behind the Holy Grail

Normally the Holy Grail is rumored to of been used by Jesus at the Last Supper. This is supposed to be the cup he shared with his disciples that gathered at the table with him. The cup was evidently used by Jesus’s uncle Joseph of Arimathea to catch droplets of blood from Jesus during his crucifixion. After which he hid it in Glastonbury, England where it would soon disappear.


Although this is the most well known story of the Grail, earlier stories consider the Grail to be magical. The cup is supposed to contain the gift of knowledge and is able to revive the dead. But does the Grail truly exist? Some people say it is merely a spiritual piece used as symbolism for stories of great inspiration.


It is said that only a person that is pure in heart will ever be able to find it. But one thing is certain, whether real or not, it remains a powerful and mysteries object that has either been lost or is hidden and not meant to be found. Even if found, they say you have to pass Grail guardians and they will only reveal it’s location to a select trusted few.


Of course where there is good, there is also evil. So there are a great many folks with evil intentions on a constant search for the Grail, hoping to use it’s power to do evil deeds. The Grail has actually been sought for over 2,000 years and there is still an ongoing search to this day. They say the cup at the Cathedral of Valencia in Spain is the true Grail, but I tend to disagree. I do not believe a sacred object of this caliber would be that easily discovered.


Some of histories most notorious villains like Adolf Hitler are said to of been searching for the Holy Grail as well as the Ark of the Covenant. He hoped to find himself in a similar position as Kind Arthur and having a round table of his own. Of course history continues to show how the deeds of evil never seem to pan out as planed.

Of course like many unexplained mysteries and legends, we may never know the truth. But it is simply human nature to discover things that are greater than ourselves. I suppose we keep searching because we need to know the answer to the number one question of all time, “What is our purpose here on Earth?”
Please feel free to use the comments below to give us your point of view on Arthur and the Holy Grail, I’m certain one day we will all have the answers we seek.

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12 thoughts on “King Arthur and the Holy Grail
    1. You’re very welcome. The quest for something of this magnitude has kept many archeologists busy for tons of years. This one kind of goes next to the fountain of youth.

  1. Wow Robert thanks for the article I thoroughly enjoyed it! The Holy Grail has always had me intrigued not to mention King Arthur.

    1. I hear ya, someday I hope to go on my own expeditions, I think it would be super fun to go on quests for things like this.

  2. Nice article, i’m in loved in story about king Arthur, Meriln the wizard, new tv series “Merlin” i watched in glance 🙂

  3. This new discovery has caused much excitement amongst many archaeologists from around the globe and causing some debate on this issue as it was previously thought that the Ark of the Covenant was permanently lost. Of all places in the world Panama it would seem to be the most unlikely place to have discovered this ancient relic the Ark of the Covenant, however new evidence substantiates the claims that the lost Ark of the Covenant was smuggled to Mesoamerica by Malchiah using the Phoenicians and was hidden in a cave in Volcan Chiriqui in the republic of Panama. Check out their link at Chiriqui archaeological sites.

    1. Wow, that’s some craziness for sure! Is it the real Ark? What they have doesn’t really fit the description according to the bible. But that’s very interesting.

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  5. You make some interesting points about King Arthur and the Holy Grail both being rooted in fact as well as fiction. One interesting distinction, though, is that most academics in the field agree that the Holy Grail can be traced in literature back to ancient Celtic tales about a magical cup, and that the Grail as associated with Jesus is an invention of Chretien de Troyes.

    That isn’t the case for King Arthur. Historians are divided on whether or not he existed, and even if he didn’t, most agree there does seem to be some evidence that a comparable warlord rose to power at about the same time in Britain, who did about the same things that the earliest records attribute to Arthur. What’s more, there are some theories for why the Church (which authored most of the records we have from that time) would have chosen not to mention Arthur’s existence in their writing, unwittingly enabling his legend to pass into the realm of myth and folklore. It’s all very interesting.

    1. Thanks for the input on this and I definitely agree that there wasn’t an actual real King Author, but although these legends have been attributed to the Celtic Chieftain, no one really knows for sure. But that’s the great thing about folklore and legends, it kind of leaves some things to the imagination.
      But as you said, it is all very interesting and hopefully these tales will continue throughout the generations. Makes for great story telling 🙂

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