Time Spent With the Harvard Classics: Sir Thomas Malory – The Holy Grail

First published in 1485, Le Morte d’Arthur or The Death of Arthur is a reworking of existing tales by Sir Thomas Malory that pertain to King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and other tales about the Knights of the Round Table. He does add some original material; e.g., the Gareth story.  These include tales about the Holy Gail.

The Holy Grail is variously described as a cup, dish or stone with such miraculous powers  as to  provide happiness, eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance.   It’s first appearance in Arthurian legend appears in the 1190 work by Chretien de Troye, Perceval, le Conte du Graal.  In the 13th century, Wolfram von Eschenbach popularized the idea that the grail was actually a stone.

But, it was the 12th century telling by Robert de Boron in an unrelated tale, Joseph d’ArimathieI that is behind the legend that the Grail was Jesus’ drinking vessel from the Last Supper and with which Joseph  used to catch the blood of Christ at the crucifixion  The theme has continued down through the ages in various formats in such works as the Vulgate Cycle, the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Marlory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.  

Sir Malory’s tale The Holy Grail may be read here:


Alternatively, it may be listened along with the rest of audiobook here:

and here:




About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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