Holy Grail. The Legend, the History, the Evidence 1st Edition by Justin E. Griffin
The Holy Grail was said to be the vessel from which Christ drank at the Last Supper, which later held some of the blood of the crucified Christ and which was brought to England by Joseph of Arimathea. Fact or fiction? The grail was later plunged into the realms of Arthurian and medieval legend and myth and remains a mystery today. This book traces the events that led to the rise of the legend associated with the grail, based on both textual material and historical facts relating to Christ, Holy Wars, relics, the Knights Templar and so on. Griffin claims that ‘The Grail is not only a true, physical object, but the truth behind the legend has proven to be even stranger than the fiction written about it… the myth of the Grail as simply a spiritual or psychological abstraction has been shattered’.
The legend of the holy grail, like much dubious history of its vintage, encompasses a veritable labyrinth of divergent, often directly contradictory stories. It is not one legend but many, from King Arthur to the Knights Templar to the mysterious village of Rennes-le-Chateau and the Merovingian bloodline. This being the case, Griffin’s slight but eminently readable essay should be considered an introduction to the subject rather than a definitive analysis of it. He posits several different theories on the identity of the grail and, investigating the origins and significance of various contenders, assesses them with convincing dispassion. He approaches the material as historian, scientist, and detective by turns, and is able to reach crisp, clearheaded conclusions while calling up as many questions as he answers. A reader who finds the Holy Grail intriguing but whose knowledge of it comes primarily from Monty Python and Indiana Jones films will find this an exemplary place to start an exploration of the vast, mysterious world of grail lore. Will Hickman
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