Knights of the Round Table

 

The Knights of the Round Table
Knights of the Round Table - The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table are well known. Many knights were featured in the tale although most people remember the main characters - Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad. King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends but the Knights of the Round Table play an important part in the story. The legend revolves around the Code of Chivalry followed by the Knights of the Round Table - Honour, Honesty, Valour and Loyalty. The Knights of the Round Table were ' Brothers in Arms'. The significance of the Round Table is that no one person, not even the King, should sit at the head of such a table. A round table enforced the concept of equality - completely at odds with the concept of the Feudal System.

 
 
 
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Knights of the Round Table

Knights of the Round Table - The Round Table Knights of the Round Table - The Round Table - was first mentioned by the twelfth century Norman poet Wace in his "Roman de Brut".

This poem was based on a translation of the Historia Regum Britanniae (the History of the King's of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth) into French verse. The poem was called Roman de Brut which Wace presented Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of King Henry II, in 1155. Wace embellished the Arthurian story and invents the legend of the Round Table. Wace is also the first to ascribe the name Excalibur to King Arthur's sword. The excerpt from the poem by Wace which first makes mention of the Round Table is as follows:

Pur les nobles baruns quil out,
Dunt chescuns mieldre estre quidout,
Chescuns se teneit al meillur,
Ne nuls nen saveit le peiur,
Fist Arthur la Rounde Table
Dunt Bretun dient mainte fable.
Illuec seeient li vassal
Tuit chevalment e tuit egal;
A la table egalment seeient
E egalment servi esteient;
Nul dels ne se poeit vanter
Quil sest plus halt de sun per.

The Round Table was not only a physical table, but was also the highest Order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur.  During the Medieval era society was based on the pyramid-shaped Feudal System. The King and the most powerful Lords were seated at a "high table" on a dais. Wace writes in his Brut that King Arthur ordered the Round Table to be built in order to resolve a conflict among his knights concerning who should have precedence. All seats at the Round Table were favoured places, and all were equal. The Knights of the Round Table were served their food as equals and none of them could boast that he had a seat of higher dignity than that of any of his fellow Knights.

Knights of the Round Table

  • Knights of the Round Table
  • Knights of the Round Table - Sir Lancelot
  • Knights of the Round Table - Sir Galahad
  • The Round Table at Winchester
  • Knights of the Round Table Code of Chivalry
  • Names of all the Knights of the Round Table

The Knights of the Round Table Code of Chivalry
The twelve basic rules of the Knights of the Round Table according to Giovanni Boccaccio in his "De Casibus Virorum Illustrium" were:

  • To never lay down arms
  • To seek after wonders
  • When called upon, to defend the rights of the weak with all one's strength
  • To injure no one
  • Not to attack one another
  • To fight for the safety of one's country
  • To give one's life for one's country
  • To seek nothing before honour
  • Never to break faith for any reason
  • To practice religion most diligently
  • To grant hospitality to anyone, each according to his ability
  • Whether in honour or disgrace, to make a report with the greatest fidelity to truth to those who keep the annals

The Knights of the Round Table at Winchester
Some of the Medieval Legends about the Knights of the Round Table indicate that Camelot was situated in the Historic City of Winchester. Winchester was first identified as the Camelot of legend by Sir Thomas Malory in his "Le Morte D'Arthur" which was first printed by Caxton in 1485. Geoffrey of Monmouth refers to Winchester by is the old Welsh name of Caer-Guinntguic. An ancient Round Table can be found at Winchester which is reputed to be King Arthur's Round Table. 'King Arthur's Round Table' at Winchester does not date from the early 6th century when King Arthur was believed to have lived. Radiocarbon and Tree-ring (dendrochronology) dating methods have revealed that the table was constructed in the 1270s, at the beginning of King Edward I's reign. This date corresponds perfectly with the fact that King Edward I used Arthurian legends and myths when he conquered Wales - see Caernarvon Castle and Welsh Mythology. The large round wooden table in the Great Hall at Winchester, reputed to be  King Arthur's Round Table, is made of 121 separate pieces of oak and measures 18 feet across, is nearly 3 inches thick and weighs nearly 1.25 tons. Scientific studies have also revealed that a painting of a King was added to the round table around 1522. The King depicted bears a striking resemblance to the Tudor King Henry VII! The Tudors claimed lineage to King Arthur as justification for their reign and their claims to both the Welsh and English thrones! Knights of the Round Table.

The Names of Knights on the Round Table at Winchester
The names of the Knights of the Round Table at Winchester are detailed on the following list together with a brief comment about the Knight:

  • Kyng Arthur ( King Arthur )
  • Sir Galahallt ( Sir Galahad - the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot)
  • Sir Launcelot Deulake ( Sir Lancelot du Lac - was taken in by the mystical Lady of the Lake who raised him - the greatest Knight of the Round Table who fell in love with Queen Guinevere )
  • Sir Gauen ( Sir Gawain - famed for fighting the Green Knight )
  • Sir Percyvale ( Sir Percivale - famed for fighting the Red Knight )
  • Sir Lyonell ( Sir Lionel - brother of Sir Bors and cousin to Sir Lancelot)
  • Sir Trystram Delyens ( Sir Tristram de Lyones - the son of King Meliodas & Queen Isabelle of Lyonesse - second greatest Knight of the Round Table )
  • Sir Garethe ( Sir Gareth - a young knight placed under the tutelage of Sir Kay)
  • Sir Bedwere ( Sir Bedivere - a giant of a Knight )
  • Sir Blubrys ( Sir Bleoberis - an arrogant Knight who later became a hermit )
  • Sir Brunor le Noir - Lacotemale Tayle ( La Cote Male Taile - arrived in Camelot wearing an ill-fitting coat which had belonged to his dead father, given the nickname by Sir Kay )
  • Sir Lucane ( Sir Lucan - a most loyal and trusted Knight )
  • Sir Plomyde ( Sir Palomides - a Saracen knight)
  • Sir Lamorak ( Sir Lamorak - the third greatest Knight of the Round Table )
  • Sir Bors De Ganys ( Sir Bors de Ganis - brother of Sir Lionel and cousin to Sir Lancelot )
  • Sir Safer ( Sir Safir - a Christian Knight of Saracen descent )
  • Sir Pelleus ( Sir Pelleas - of low birth but one of the bravest Knights )
  • Sir Kay ( Sir Kay - King Arthur's foster-brother )
  • Sir Ectorde Marys ( Sir Ector de Maris - a Ladies man! )
  • Sir Dagonet ( Sir Dagonet - King Arthur's jester )
  • Sir Degore ( Sir Tegyr - King Arthur's cup-bearer)
  • Sir Lybyus Dysconyus ( Sir Guinglain was Sir Gawain's eldest son also known as Le Bel Desconneu - the Fair Unknown )
  • Sir Alynore ( Sir Alymere - totally loyal to King Arthur )
  • Sir Mordrede ( Treacherous Sir Mordred - his real father was his own uncle, King Arthur)

Knights of the Round Table
The story of the Knights of the Round Table are fascinating despite the Knights did not exist - they were pure fiction. The legendary Knights of the Round Table.

Knights of the Round Table

Arthurian Legend - Knights of the Round Table -

  • Knights of the Round Table - Was the Life of King Arthur Fact or Fiction?
  • Knights of the Round Table - What influence did the Arthurian legend have on the actual history of England and Wales?
  • Knights of the Round Table - Educational resource which sorts Arthurian Legend fact from fiction

King Arthur
Merlin the Wizard
The Legends of Camelot
Caernarvon Castle & Welsh Mythology

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