Agate bowl at the Hofburg Museum in Vienna, thought to be the origin of the Holy Grail stories. Image is public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Last week, we looked at the possible Celtic origins of the Grail stories. This week, we’ll see how it came to be the story we know today.
By the time Chretien de Troyes came on the scene in the 1100s, the world was a much different place than in Celtic myth. For one, Christianity had taken over as the main religion of Britain. For another, the ideas of chivalry and courtly love were beginning to become popular. In Chretien’s tale, Perceval finds the grail (which is written with a small “g” and isn’t given miraculous powers). There is little description, only that it was brought into the room by a beautiful maiden. “When she entered holding the grail, so brilliant a light appeared…
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