The Virgin and the Grail: Origins of a Legend

Joseph W. Goering - The Virgin and the Grail; Origins of a Legend
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go site If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Journal of Religious History Volume 33, Issue 1. Majella Franzmann University of Otago Search for more papers by this author. Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access.

The Virgin and the Grail: Origins of a Legend

Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Volume 33 , Issue 1 March Pages Upon his release, Joseph gathers his in-laws and other followers and travels to the west. He founds a dynasty of Grail keepers that eventually includes Perceval. The authors of the Vulgate Cycle used the Grail as a symbol of divine grace ; Galahad, illegitimate son of Lancelot and Elaine , the world's greatest knight and the Grail Bearer at the castle of Corbenic , is destined to achieve the Grail, his spiritual purity making him a greater warrior than even his illustrious father.

It is called Lapsit exillis , which in alchemy is the name of the Philosopher's stone. Joseph Campbell considered Parzival the greatest of the Grail stories, told from a heroic view, where Parzival, is a married man and a self-motivated figure. Campbell sees the Grail as, " Now what he Wolfram is doing is imitating the Muslim Kaaba , the stone at Mecca that was brought down from heaven".

Loomis traced a number of parallels between Medieval Welsh literature and Irish material and the Grail romances, including similarities between the Mabinogion ' s Bran the Blessed and the Arthurian Fisher King, and between Bran's life-restoring cauldron and the Grail. The opposing view dismissed the "Celtic" connections as spurious and interpreted the legend as essentially Christian in origin. Goering argues that they were the original inspiration for the Grail legend.

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Richard Barber argued that the Grail legend is connected to the introduction of "more ceremony and mysticism" surrounding the sacrament of the Eucharist in the high medieval period, proposing that the first Grail stories may have been connected to the "renewal in this traditional sacrament". In the wake of the Arthurian romances, several artifacts came to be identified as the Holy Grail in medieval relic veneration.

These artifacts are said to have been the vessel used at the Last Supper, but other details vary. Despite the prominence of the Grail literature, traditions about a Last Supper relic remained rare in contrast to other items associated with Jesus' last days, such as the True Cross and Holy Lance. One tradition predates the Grail romances: in the 7th century, the pilgrim Arculf reported that the Last Supper chalice was displayed near Jerusalem.

Two relics associated with the Grail survive today.

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Its provenance is unknown, and there are two divergent accounts of how it was brought to Genoa by Crusaders in the 12th century. It was not associated with the Last Supper until later, in the wake of the Grail romances; the first known association is in Jacobus da Varagine 's chronicle of Genoa in the late 13th century, which draws on the Grail literary tradition. The Catino was moved and broken during Napoleon 's conquest in the early 19th century, revealing that it is glass rather than emerald.


The Virgin and the Grail: Origins of a Legend [Joseph Goering] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Some fifty years before Chrétien de. Editorial Reviews. Review. “To search for the Holy Grail has always been to search for its meaning. Goering, in a highly original and historically satisfying work.

The Holy Chalice of Valencia is an agate dish with a mounting for use as a chalice. The bowl may date to Greco-Roman times, but its dating is unclear, and its provenance is unknown before , when it was gifted to Martin I of Aragon.

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By the 14th century an elaborate tradition had developed that this object was the Last Supper chalice. This tradition mirrors aspects of the Grail material, with several major differences, suggesting a separate tradition entirely. It is not associated with Joseph of Arimathea or Jesus' blood; it is said to have been taken to Rome by Saint Peter and later entrusted to Saint Lawrence.

Grail, Holy,

Several objects were identified with the Holy Grail in the 17th century. These include the Nanteos Cup , a medieval wooden bowl found near Rhydyfelin , Wales; a glass dish found near Glastonbury , England; and the Antioch chalice , a 6th-century silver-gilt object that became attached to the Grail legend in the s. In the modern era, a number of places have become associated with the Holy Grail.

One of the most prominent is Glastonbury in Somerset , England. Glastonbury was associated with King Arthur and his resting place of Avalon by the 12th century. Early accounts of Joseph at Glastonbury focus on his role as the evangelist of Britain rather than as the custodian of the Holy Grail, but from the 15th century, the Grail became a more prominent part of the legends surrounding Glastonbury.

Similarly, the 14th-century Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian , Scotland, became attached to the Grail legend in the midth century when a succession of conspiracy books identified it as a secret hiding place of the Grail. Since the 19th century, the Holy Grail has been linked to various conspiracy theories.

In , Austrian pseudohistorical writer Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall connected the Grail to contemporary myths surrounding the Knights Templar that cast the order as a secret society dedicated to mystical knowledge and relics. In Hammer-Purgstall's work, the Grail is not a physical relic but a symbol of the secret knowledge that the Templars sought. There is no historical evidence linking the Templars to a search for the Grail, but subsequent writers have elaborated on the Templar theories.

Starting in the early 20th century, writers, particularly in France, further connected the Templars and Grail to the Cathars. This identification has inspired a wider legend asserting that the Cathars possessed the Holy Grail. Beginning in , German writer Otto Rahn published a series of books tying the Grail, Templars, and Cathars to modern German nationalist mythology.

According to Rahn, the Grail was a symbol of a pure Germanic religion repressed by Christianity.

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Rahn's books inspired interest in the Grail in Nazi occultism and led to Heinrich Himmler 's abortive sponsorship of Rahn's search for the Grail, as well as many subsequent conspiracy theories and fictional works about the Nazis searching for the Grail. In the late 20th century, British writers Michael Baigent , Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln created one of the most widely known conspiracy theories about the Holy Grail.

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Years ago I watched a documentary about this very search. It was for this reason that I have divided the "Grail Legend" into four separate pages. This takes us to another esoteric message, which may be the greatest mystery of all: Why did Ramon ignore Sunday and then consecrate two churches on Monday and Tuesday? It would be Galahad who healed his great-grandfather, Parlan Pellam. It is an even lesser known fact that nine churches with paintings of a Holy Grail have been discovered in the Pyrenees above this ancient diocese.

The theory first appeared in the BBC documentary series Chronicle in the s, and was elaborated upon in the bestselling book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. According to this theory, the Holy Grail is not a physical object, but a symbol of the bloodline of Jesus. The blood connection is based on the etymology reading san greal holy grail as sang real royal blood , which dates to the 15th century.

While the Catholic Church worked to destroy the dynasty, they were protected by the Priory of Sion and their associates, including the Templars, Cathars, and other secret societies. The combination of hushed reverence, chromatic harmonies and sexualized imagery in Richard Wagner 's final music drama Parsifal , premiered in , developed this theme, associating the grail — now periodically producing blood — directly with female fertility.

A major mural series depicting the Quest for the Holy Grail was done by the artist Edwin Austin Abbey during the first decade of the 20th century for the Boston Public Library. Other artists, including George Frederic Watts [60] and William Dyce , also portrayed grail subjects. The story of the Grail and of the quest to find it became increasingly popular in the 19th century, referred to in literature such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson 's Arthurian cycle Idylls of the King.