The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol

The Grail From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol The medieval legend of the Grail a tale about the search for supreme mystical experience has never ceased to intrigue writers and scholars by its wildly variegated forms the settings have ranged fro

  • Title: The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol
  • Author: Roger Sherman Loomis
  • ISBN: 9780691020754
  • Page: 134
  • Format: Paperback
  • The medieval legend of the Grail, a tale about the search for supreme mystical experience, has never ceased to intrigue writers and scholars by its wildly variegated forms the settings have ranged from Britain to the Punjab to the Temple of Zeus at Dodona the Grail itself has been described as the chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper, a stone with miraculous youth pThe medieval legend of the Grail, a tale about the search for supreme mystical experience, has never ceased to intrigue writers and scholars by its wildly variegated forms the settings have ranged from Britain to the Punjab to the Temple of Zeus at Dodona the Grail itself has been described as the chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper, a stone with miraculous youth preserving virtues, a vessel containing a man s head swimming in blood the Grail has been kept in a castle by a beautiful damsel, seen floating through the air in Arthur s palace, and used as a talisman in the East to distinguish the chaste from the unchaste In his classic exploration of the obscurities and contradictions in the major versions of this legend, Roger Sherman Loomis shows how the Grail, once a Celtic vessel of plenty, evolved into the Christian Grail with miraculous powers Loomis bases his argument on historical examples involving the major motifs and characters in the legends, beginning with the Arthurian legend recounted in the 1180 French poem by Chrtien de Troyes The principal texts fall into two classes those that relate the adventures of the knights in King Arthur s time and those that account for the Grail s removal from the Holy Land to Britain Written with verve and wit, Loomis s book builds suspense as he proceeds from one puzzle to the next in revealing the meaning behind the Grail and its legends.

    One thought on “The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol”

    1. In "The Grail," one of the twentieth century's most important scholars of Arthurian legend sets out to prove that Grail legend derives principally from Celtic prototypes and antecedents. His putative opponent is the scholar who, like Jessie Weston, believes that Grail legend reflects an underground esoteric tradition stemming from the Levant or based in the Cathar heresy, or some other damned thing. Before we travel so far afield, Loomis reasons, we should first look at the most obvious candidat [...]

    2. When reading through Arthurian literary materials, and especially those written before the 1970s, one must keep in mind two things. First, in writing about many topics the literary scholar is inherently less bound by facts than with, say, history. Second, the haphazard means by which Arthurian materials came to the continent only compounds the problem of critical study. Before the 1970s, drawing comparisons between literatures was commonly done by making lists of comparison. I once saw a perfect [...]

    3. Loomis was one of the great Arthurian and Grail scholars of his age, but his commitment to proving the Celtic roots of Grail lore grows tiresome quickly in this book. It's as though you've been buttonholed at party by someone who won't stop until they've explained their theory about the Rosicrucians or fluoridation. There's much interest to be had along the way because the man knew his stuff, but it's not balanced account. I'm going start Richard Barber's book soon, which I understand is more re [...]

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