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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Legend of King Arthur

Knights of the Round Table

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Knights of the Round Table were those men awarded the highest order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur in the literary cycle the Matter of Britain. The table at which they met was created to have no head or foot, representing the equality of all the members. Different stories had different numbers of knights, ranging from only 12 to 150 or more. The Winchester Round Table, which dates from the 1270s, lists 25 names of knights.

Sir Thomas Malory describes the Knights' code of chivalry as:

  • To never do outrage nor murder
  • Always to flee treason
  • To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy
  • To always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succor
  • To never force ladies, gentlewomen or widows
  • Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods



[edit] Origins of the Round Table

The first writer to describe the Round Table was Wace, whose Roman de Brut was an elaboration of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae. The actual table itself was round in order to represent that each knight was of equal value to the king and thus there was no 'head' of the table, although one understood that Arthur's place was 'the head.' In later writings, the table was said to be a gift to King Arthur from his father-in-law, King Leodogran of Cameliard, as a wedding gift upon the marriage of Arthur to Guinevere. The company was used by many subsequent authors. However, even the earliest writers ascribe to Arthur a following of extraordinary warriors; in Geoffrey, Arthur's court attracts the greatest heroes from all of Europe. In the Welsh Arthurian material, much of which is included in the Mabinogion, Arthur's men are attributed with superhuman abilities. Some of the characters from the Welsh material even appear under altered names as Knights of the Round Table in the continental romances, the most notable of which are Cai (Sir Kay), Bedwyr (Sir Bedivere), and Gwalchmai (Sir Gawain).

[edit] List of Knights of the Round Table

In addition, Malory's account includes many obscure knights during the episode containing Sir Urry:

  • King Angwish of Ireland,
  • Earl Aristance,
  • Sir Azreal,
  • Sir Arrok,
  • Sir Ascamore,
  • Sir Barrant le Apres (King with a Hundred Knights),
  • Sir Bellenger le Beau,
  • Sir Belliance le Orgulous,
  • Sir Blamor de Ganis,
  • Sir Bleoberis de Ganis,
  • Sir Borre le Coeur Hardi (King Arthur's son),
  • Sir Brandiles,
  • Sir Brian de Listinoise,
  • King Carados of Scotland,
  • Sir Cardok,
  • Duke Chalance of Clarence,
  • King Clariance of Northumberland,
  • Sir Clarus of Cleremont,
  • Sir Clegis,
  • Sir Clodrus,
  • Sir Colgrevance,
  • Sir Crosslem,
  • Sir Damas
  • Sir Degrave sans Villainy (fought with the giant of the Black Lowe),
  • Sir Degrevant,
  • Sir Dinas le Seneschal de Cornwall,
  • Sir Dinas

  • Earl Lambaile,
  • Sir Lambegus,
  • Sir Lamiel of Cardiff,
  • Sir Lavain,
  • Sir Lucan the Butler,
  • Sir Mador de la Porte,
  • Sir Marrok (whose wife turned him into a werewolf for seven years),
  • Sir Melias de l'Isle,
  • Sir Melion of the Mountain,
  • Sir Meliot de Logris,
  • Sir Menaduke,
  • Sir Morganor,
  • King Nentres of Garlot,
  • Sir Neroveus,
  • Sir Ozanna le Coeur Hardi,
  • Sir Perimones (brother to Persant and Pertolepe. Called the Red Knight),
  • Sir Persant,
  • Sir Pertolepe,
  • Sir Petipace of Winchelsea,
  • Sir Plaine de Fors,
  • Sir Plenorius,
  • Sir Priamus,
  • Sir Reynold,
  • Sir Sadok,
  • Sir Selises of the Dolorous Tower
  • Sir Sentrail,
  • Sir Severause le Breuse (known for rejecting battles with men in favor of giants, dragons, and wild beasts),
  • Sir Suppinabiles,
  • Earl Ulbawes,
  • Sir Urry,
  • Sir Uwain le Avoutres, and
  • Sir Villiars the Valiant.
  • Sir Dodinas le Savage,
  • Sir Dornar,
  • Sir Driant,
  • Sir Edward of Caernarvon,
  • Sir Edward of Orkney,
  • Sir Epinogris (son of King Clariance of Northumberland),
  • Sir Fergus,
  • Sir Florence and Sir Lovell (sons of Gawain by Sir Brandiles's sister),
  • Sir Gahalantine,
  • Sir Galahalt (a duke known as the Haut Prince),
  • Sir Galihodin,
  • Sir Galleron of Galway,
  • Sir Gauter,
  • Sir Gillimer,
  • Sir Grummor Grummorson,
  • Sir Gumret le Petit,
  • Sir Harry le Fils Lake,
  • Sir Hebes (not Hebes le Renowne),
  • Sir Hebes le Renowne,
  • Sir Hectimere,
  • Sir Helian le Blanc,
  • Sir Herminde,
  • Sir Hervis de la Forest Savage,
  • Sir Ironside (Knight of the Red Launds),
  • Sir Kay l'Estrange (not Kay, Arthur's seneschal),

Sir Urry is a Hungarian knight who comes to Camelot, seeking Arthur's help in healing his wounds. In the end, 110 knights, in addition to Arthur, are unable to heal Sir Urry. When Sir Lancelot arrives in Camelot, his touch heals the wounded knight. This scene depicts all the knights together at the same time, with the exception of those deceased, on quest, or otherwise ascended (as with Galahad).

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