Joseph of Arimathea Holy Grail Origin Summary
Here, you will find two different versions about Joseph of Arimathea and the origin of the Holy Grail – the original poem by Robert de Boron and the later Vulgate version on the history of the Grail, written by unknown author or authors.
|Robert de Boron||Joseph d’Arimathie, c. 1200|
|Vulgate Cycle (Lancelot-Grail)||Estoire de Saint Graal, c. 1250|
Robert de Boron actually made some major additional events to Chretien’s Grail romance, as well as to the early history of King Arthur, based on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work.
As you will see after reading both legends, you will find that the Vulgate romance was only based loosely on Boron’s original. The Estoire de Saint Graal was actually based mostly on the original trilogy of the Vulgate romances; namely the Lancelot Propre and the Queste del Saint Graal.
|Joseph of Arimathea (Boron’s version)|
|Vulgate History of the Grail|
Note, that originally I wasn’t going to do a Vulgate version, but there are a number of different between Boron’s and the Vulgate version that I merited that the two stories should be told.
Genealogy: House of Perceval (Chretien de Troyes’ version)
|Grail Legend (Background)|
This story is taken from a work, titled Joseph d’Arimathie (c. 1200). It was written by a Swiss-French poet, named Robert de Boron. Boron was probably also a knight.
Joseph d’Arimathie was first tale of a trilogy. The other two works were called Merlin and Perceval. Merlin is fragmented, beginning with the incredible birth of Merlin and ended with Arthur being accepted as king, after drawing the sword (Excalibur?) out of the stone. The rest of the poem (Merlin) was missing, including the death of wizard.
The last poem Perceval is lost. So we don’t have the content of Perceval, but both medieval and modern scholars have speculate that the Didot Perceval (1205) may have translated Boron’s verse to prose adaptation. If you want to read more about background about Robert de Boron, then I would suggest you read Robert de Boron and the Didot Perceval.
Joseph d’Arimathie was supposed to be the history of the Grail, with Joseph of Arimathea as the main character. The poem was later re-written in prose, by one of the Vulgate authors, which was titled Estoire de Saint Graal (“History of the Holy Grail”, c. 1240).
There is a vast difference between Boron’s original and the later Estoire de Saint Graal. Boron had kept his story simple and very short, where Joseph was involved in bringing the Grail to Britain.
Whereas Estoire de Saint Graal included many new characters and many adventures that are not found in Boron’s original poem. The Estoire was also ten times longer than Boron’s small work. These characters and episodes were derived from two original Vulgate romances (1225-1237) – Lancelot Propre (“Lancelot Proper”) and Queste del Saint Graal (“The Quest of the Holy Grail”).
In this part of the Origin of the Grail, you will retelling of Boron’s poem. You will find Estoire de Saint Graal in my new Vulgate History of the Grail.
The story I am about to tell is about the history of the Holy Grail and how Joseph of Arimathea brought his people out of Judaea. The Grail was eventually taken to Britain by Joseph’s brother-in-law, Bron.
Robert de Boron tell about Jesus in the Last Supper, the crucifixion and resurrection, which followed the gospels in the Bible, more or less. This Grail romance place more emphasis on the roles played by Judas Iscariot, Joseph of Arimathea and Pontius Pilate.
House of Joseph of Arimathea (Boron’s version)
|Cup of the Last Supper|
|The tale began with Boron saying that all men and women, good and bad, were sent to Hell when they died, since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve, and all the great patriarchs and prophets went there until Jesus through the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, brought salvation to mankind. If they agreed to accept Jesus’ teachings, they could all, including Adam and Eve, be saved. Eve and Mary were compared – Eve brought death to mankind by falling to temptation, Mary brought relief from death and eternal life by subjecting herself to God’s will, which led to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The tale of Joseph of Arimathea and the Grail began with the Last Supper.
Judas Iscariot was portrayed as a greedy man, who had betrayed Jesus after the Last Supper for 30 silver coins that he had received from the council of Jewish high priests.
Joseph of Arimathea witnessed the Last Supper in the home of Simon, on a Thursday night. Though Joseph did not have a seat at the table with Jesus and the 12 apostles, he had secretly followed and loved Jesus. Joseph saw Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and asking his apostles to remember him as He shared bread and a cup of wine (grail) with the disciples. Jesus had said in the Gospels that “This is the Cup of God’s new covenant sealed with my blood, which is poured out to you.” (So you can see why Boron decided that the Grail must be the cup of the Last Supper.)
That night, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss in the garden of Gethsemane; the kiss was meant to identify to the Jewish authority. The apostles fled in fear at Jesus’ arrest. Jesus was brought before the Jewish council of priests and was interrogated and beaten. He was then brought before the Roman governor of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, who was asked to have Jesus put to death. Pilate refused to condemn and execute an innocent man, but he finally agreed, if the Jewish council took the responsibility for it.
So Jesus was crucified on Friday and he died on the cross. Joseph was upset over Jesus’ death, so he appeared before the Roman governor with a request.
Joseph was a knight and a good friend of Pilate. Since Joseph was never paid for his military service to Pilate, he asked for a gift from the governor. When Joseph asked for Jesus’ body so that he could give it a proper burial, Pilate agreed to the boon.
The Jewish priests however refused to give up Jesus’ body, because they were aware of Jesus’ prediction that he would rise in three days. They thought this claim was only a ploy. They threatened to attack Joseph. So Joseph told Pilate that the Jewish authority refused to give up the body. Pilate sent Nicodemus with Joseph to claim Jesus’ body.
Nicodemus helped Joseph take down Jesus’ body from the cross. When blood poured from Jesus’ wound, Joseph used the same cup (grail) that was used in the Last Supper, to collect the blood. The two men washed the body, wrapped it in linen (the Shroud), and put it in the tomb (cave). A large stone blocked the entrance.
The Jewish priests and authority placed guards around the cave to keep Jesus’ disciples from stealing the body, because they didn’t believe in the prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection.
Joseph returned home and hid the cup with Jesus’ blood in his house.
Before Jesus appeared before his apostles, He went to Hell, and freed the virtuous people, including Adam and Eve, and their descendants. Jesus gave redemption to all of God’s creation.
After a couple of days, the authorities noticed that Jesus’ body had vanished. They thought someone had stolen it. They plotted to have Joseph and Nicodemus arrested and executed. But Nicodemus, hearing of their plot, escaped and fled before the authorities arrived. Joseph was not so lucky. The authorities accused Joseph of stealing Jesus’ body from the tomb. Joseph was beaten and interrogated and thrown him into a deep dungeon. He was deprived of light, freedom, food and water.
However, when Jesus appeared before Mary Magdalene and his apostles, he had not forgotten Joseph of Arimathea, who was languishing in dungeon for his sake. Jesus appeared before Joseph, carrying the cup (Grail) that brought radiance into his dark cell.
Jesus gave the chalice, which would be called the Grail, into Joseph’s safekeeping. The Grail would provide Joseph with sustenance. Jesus explained the purpose of his life on earth and the secret of the Grail to Joseph and told him that he would not free him from his prison until the time was right.
So Joseph lived in the dungeon, waiting patiently in the darkness for his freedom. Each day, a dove would deposit a wafer in the cup and he would eat it. His name was forgotten as the years went by.
This was how things remained until a certain pilgrim travelled to Rome, some 35 years later. The pilgrim had witnessed Jesus’ ministry and miracles in Judaea. In Rome, the Emperor Titus had a son named Vespasian, who suffered from leprosy.
(I know, I know. Boron got the ordering wrong, not me. According to Roman history, Vespasian was the father and Titus was the son. Vespasian was in command of the army, that put down the rebellion in Judaea, before he became emperor in AD 69, after Nero’s death in the previous year. Titus took over the command of the Roman army, which ruthlessly besieged and captured Jerusalem in AD 70. Vespasian reigned for 10 years, while his son ruled for only 2 years. Vespasian’s younger son, Domitian ruled after Titus’ death. Vespasian’s own father was named Flavius Sabinus, a Roman tax collector.)
Titus heard from the pilgrim of the extraordinary ministry of Jesus and his ability to heal the sick. The emperor decided to send an envoy to the Roman governor of Judaea, Pilate, to find out the truth. Titus hoped that the envoy would at least find an object belonging to Jesus that would heal his son.
The messenger arrived in Judaea, where he heard from Pilate’s own account of the events of Jesus’ arrest and death. The messenger found out that Pilate had been forced to allow Jesus to be crucified. The messenger also found that the Jews were more to blame for Jesus’ death than Pilate.
The messenger soon learned that there was a woman who had a cloth that might heal the emperor’s son. The woman was named Veronica. When Jesus was carrying the cross through the street of Jerusalem, she had used clean linen to wipe the blood and sweat from His face. This left a permanent imprint of Jesus’ face on the cloth (shroud).
Veronica was unwilling to give or sell her most prized possession to the messenger, but was willing to take it to Rome to heal the emperor’s son.
Veronica travelled to Rome with the messenger. Titus himself brought the linen to his son, and Vespasian was immediately healed as soon as he saw the shroud. Both emperor and son were delighted and they richly rewarded Veronica. But Vespasian was angry when he learned that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death. He was determined to go to Judaea and punish those responsible for Jesus’ death.
The emperor and Vespasian met Pontius Pilate, who told them to put him in prision, and find out from the Jews who was responsible for Jesus’ death.
When Vespasian told the Jews that he was holding Pilate, they were delighted and answered all the questions from the emperor’s son, hoping that the governor would be executed, not realising Vespasian’s true purpose. They told him that when they demanded the death of Jesus from Pilate, Pilate had refused unless they would admit their responsibility for this death to Pilate’s lord. Vespasian heard this and was thoroughly disgusted with the Jews. Vespasian immediately condemned the Jews them to death. No man, woman or child was spared.
One of the Jews were dismayed that they were being executed, pleaded for his life, and those of his wife and children, in return for revealing where Joseph of Arimathea was confined. Vespasian agreed to spare him. The Jew took him to the dungeon, but told Vespasian that Joseph must have died long ago from starvation. He had been given no food or water, since he had been thrown into the dungeon.
This Jew took Vespasian to where Joseph of Arimathea had been imprisoned. Vespasian entered the dark prison, and found Joseph in the deepest part of the dungeon. Joseph was in very good health and greeted Vespasian by name.
Joseph was freed by Vespasian. The surviving Jews believed that it was miracle that Joseph had survived in the dungeon without food and water. The Jew who had revealed Joseph’s confinement, was spared along with his family, but faced exile. Vespasian sold the other surviving Jews into slavery. He spared the surviving Jews who were willing to follow the teaching of Christ for Joseph’s sake.
Joseph told the emperor’s son about the Creation, how Adam and Eve broke their convent with God, but how, with Jesus’ own death and resurrection, He had brought redemption to all who were willing to follow and heed his teaching. Jesus had redeemed the work of creation, and allowed Adam and Eve to be resurrected along with other virtuous people. Vespasian believed all that Joseph had said and was converted to Christianity. Joseph and Vespasian became friends.
(I would like to make one final note. According to the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus or the Acts of Pilate, Joseph was imprisoned and guards were set around the dungeon where he was held. When the Jewish authority had determined to kill Joseph, they found that he had vanished. He was a prisoner for only a few days.)
|Table of the Grail Company|
|Joseph rejoined his sister, Enygeus, who was married to a good man named Hebron, who was often called Bron. Joseph led Bron and his family and their friends out of the land of Judaea into exile, searching for a new home. Joseph took the Grail with him. Some of the Jews that survived Vespasian’s vengeance were allowed to follow Joseph if they believed in Jesus’ teaching.
They travelled to a distant land (where they had stayed, Boron doesn’t say, but according to the Vulgate version, Estoire de Saint Graal – “History of the Holy Grail”, they went to Egypt first). Joseph continued to preach to his people, and for a while their community prospered. Mainly they toiled on the land growing crops and keep sheep and cattle.
However, famine hit their small community, and Boron says that it was caused by someone who had committed the sin of lust, which caused suffering and hardship to the whole community. They brought their problems to Bron (Hebron), Joseph’s brother-in-law, who in turn asked Joseph for aid.
Joseph prayed to God before the Holy Vessel (Grail), and Joseph had another visitation from Jesus. Jesus told him that he had done nothing wrong. One among the community had sinned. Jesus gave Joseph instruction on what to do.
So Joseph constructed a new table, in remembrance of the table of the Last Supper. Joseph sent Bron to catch a single fish, which Joseph prepared. Joseph then placed the dish of fish, next to the Grail, at the centre of the table.
Joseph called all people to attend, where he asked them to take a seat. Only twelve people who can perceived the wonders at the table, were able to take a seat. The table was filled with all the food that each person desire. Joseph sat on the seat that represented the seat that Jesus took at the Last Supper, while Boron sat to Joseph right, but one seat away. Bron would not moved closer, because Bron could feel danger from the seat. The seat between these two men was vacated, and this seat represented the seat of the treacherous Judas Iscariot (this seat was usually called Siege Perilous or the “Perilous Seat”).
The twelve men enjoyed all sort of food. They were allowed to see the food, which they enjoy because each person was virtuous man, and only virtuous men could sit in the presence of the Grail, so they enjoyed God’s special grace.
The rest of community perceived no grace of God and saw no food at the table. One of the men at table, named Petrus asked them about this. Then Petrus realised that the others did not enjoy God’s grace, because of their sins. Hearing this, the distressed community felt ashamed and departed from the holy company. Before they left, they found out the Holy Vessel was called the Grail from Petrus. (Petrus is another name for Peter, but has nothing to do with the apostle Simon Peter. In the Vulgate version, Peter was the name used.)
Only one of them refused to leave Joseph’s company. His name was Moses (the Didot Perceval (c.1210), called him Moys). Moses wanted to sit with Joseph and the other eleven men. Moses wept and pleaded with them to be allowed to sit with them. The other people in the company took pity on Moses, asked Joseph on behalf of Moses, for the seat that was left vacated. Joseph told them that it was not in his power to choose who sit at the table. So that night, Joseph again prayed to God, and the Holy Spirit answered that they would witness what would happened if any unworthy person tried take a seat before the Grail by deception.
So Joseph gave Moses fair warning that if he was not worthy of God’s grace then it would better for him to leave, rather than sit among them. Moses was thrilled that he had permission to sit among them, where he would share the privilege and ecstasy with the Grail companions.
When Joseph and his companions sat, they watched Moses sit on the only chair available to him, between Joseph and Bron – the seat that represented the seat of Judas Iscariot. Moses was utterly destroyed by some unseen forces. This frightened Joseph’s eleven companions. They pleaded with their leader what fate had visited Moses.
So Joseph prayed on his companions behalf. Once again Jesus informed his beloved disciple that the seat represented the treachery of Judas, who had betrayed him. Any one who dared would also be destroyed likewise. Only Bron’s future grandson would fill this seat and live. Moses had been thrown into the abyss until such time that the man who would be destined to sit on this perilous seat would deliver him.
Bron and Enygeus had twelve noble sons. When they had reached manhood, Enygeus urged her husband to seek her brother’s counsel in regard to their future. So Bron asked his brother-in-law about his sons. Joseph again prayed, and this time an angel visited him. Joseph followed the instruction given to him.
Joseph told Bron that if any of his sons wished to marry, they should do so, but should one of his sons decided not to marry, then he would be the chosen one to follow him and Joseph would be responsible for his nephew’s teaching. Also this son of Bron should rule over his eleven brothers. At some point in the future, his nephew would marry and have a son, who would become the greatest knight in the world (Perceval), and the one destined to sit on the Perilous Seat of the Round Table (the seat representing Judas).
All of Bron’s sons were delighted and married, except the youngest, named Alain le Gros (Alan), who had no desire to take a wife, as the angel had foretold. So Bron and Enygeus were delighted and freely gave Alain into Joseph’s care. Joseph would be the one responsible for Alain’s education, particularly when Jesus visited Joseph in the dungeon, revealing the secrets of Grail; Alain would also know the secrets.
The next day, when the Joseph and his companions were attending their daily services before the Grail, when they had a brief, radiant visitation, who gave a letter to Joseph. Joseph called Petrus (Peter) to him and told him that he must read out this letter, and departed on a long journey, wherever he wish.
As the angel had previously foretold, Petrus knew exactly where he must go. Petrus told his friends that he would go west, and settled in the Vale of Avalon. Petrus was fated to lived a long life, waiting for the man (Perceval, again), who would come and read the divine letter. Only then would Petrus be allowed to die and join Jesus in Paradise.
After the marriages of Bron’s eleven sons, Bron gave his youngest son the responsibility and leadership over Alain’s brothers and sisters. They too seek new home in the West, leaving behind their mother and father. Alain preached about Jesus in each land he travelled to.
So Petrus left the following day, leaving his friends behind, he headed West, toward Britain.
Finally Joseph told Bron of his other plan involving him and his brother-in-law (more instructions from the angel, sent by Jesus). His brother-in-law being a good man, so he would be forever known as the Rich Fisher (or Rich Fisherman), because it was he who caught the fish, for the company around the Grail Table. Joseph was to teach everything he knew about his meeting Jesus in the dungeon, especially the secrets of the Grail.
Once he taught his brother-in-law everything, Joseph gave the Grail to Bron.
Then Bron took all his people that had stayed behind with him, also heading toward the West. Bron moved to some place in Britain, where he would settle and wait patiently for a reunion with his son, Alain. Then Bron gave the Grail to his son (Alain), who would in the end give the Holy Vessel to his own son, Perceval.
At this point, Joseph’s time on earth would end. Joseph died and was taken to heaven.
As I had said before in the introduction of the origin of the grail, Boron’s next work was Merlin, then followed by Perceval. Only an incomplete part of Merlin had survived, but Boron’s Perceval is lost.
In this next section of the Origin of the Grail, I have recounted a different history about Joseph in the Vulgate History of the Grail. This new version was actually based on the many allusions found in the original Vulgate romance called Queste del Saint Graal, known by its English title as the “Quest of the Holy Grail”.
Around 1227-1235, a large compilation of the trilogy about Lancelot and the Grail was completed by unknown French writer or writers. It originally contained only three texts, known as the Vulgate Cycle or the Lancelot-Graal Cycle and their titles were –
- Lancelot (Lancelot Proper)
- Quest of the Holy Grail (Queste del Saint Graal)
- Death of King Arthur (Mort de roi Artu)
In the Grail romance of the Quest, the writer often referred to the pasts in a number of subplots, which was set during the time of Joseph of Arimathea. It was different to the simple tale of Joseph of Arimathea, told by a French poet, named Robert de Boron.
These subplots of the Quest allowed patient scholars to piece together the origin of the Grail history. It added new plots and scenes, which completely reworked Boron’s original tale in such a way that it was barely recognisable. The Quest also added a number of new characters, such as Josephus, Mordrain (Evalach), Nascien (Seraphe) and many more. That was because Sir Galahad, son of Lancelot, was a new Grail hero, who replaced Sir Perceval.
However, two new prose narratives were written a decade or two later, which would replace Boron’s versions about Joseph of Arimathea and Merlin.
The Vulgate version of Joseph of Arimathea was called L’Estoire du Graal (History of the Grail) was based more on the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal than Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathea. Here, Joseph of Arimathea was no longer the chief character in the Grail origin. It was Joseph’s son, Josephus, who took over his role of the Grail keeper. The Vulgate version was also largely the adventures of Mordrain and his brother-in-law Nascien. On Lancelot’s side of the family, Galahad’s ancestor was Nascien, a mighty Saracen knight who became Christian.
Whereas the Queste del Saint Graal jump from present to past and then back to the present; the new Vulgate tale (L’Estoire du Graal), tells the entire story of Joseph and the arrival of Grail as a full, single narrative.
(Please note that when I mentioned cities such Babylon and Baghdad, I am referring to the Egyptian cities. The medieval authors were not very strong with geography.)
Genealogy: House of Joseph of Arimathea (Vulgate version)
|Joseph of Arimathea|
|The first few chapters in Vulgate Estoire de Saint Graal are very similar to that told by Robert de Boron’s version, though there are differences between the two. This is the part of Joseph being toss in prison and then his eventual release.
Boron’s verse on Joseph d’Arimathie is a short narrative, rather simple and naïve in style. While the Vulgate Estoire was longer, with lot more detailed and refined than Boron’s.
There are two major differences in this episode. The brief introduction of Joseph’s son and what happened after Jesus was betrayed and arrested.
Shortly after Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus after the Last Supper, Joseph of Arimathea visited this room and found the dish (later it was described as bowl). This dish was to serve the Paschal lamb. Joseph prized it above all, took this dish home, and perhaps set it on his mantel.
(Please not that this dish, bowl or cup wasn’t called the Grail, until later. Boron said it was a cup.)
Joseph of Arimathea had been living in Jerusalem for seven years now with his wife and son, Josephus, a boy who was only one and a half year old. According to these Grail romances, he had served Pilate as a knight, as well as being the governor’s friend. Joseph was devout man, and a secret follower of Jesus.
The Jews who hated Jesus were angry to learn that Joseph of Arimathea had buried Jesus’ body. They secretly abducted him, placed in a dungeon in the stronghold of Caiaphas, seven leagues from Jerusalem.
In Rome, the new emperor Titus was desperately looking for a cure for his son’s leprosy. A knight returning to inform the emperor that about Jesus having the powers to cure the sick, but forty-two years ago, the Jews had wrongfully executed him. The knight returned to Judaea and then back with an old woman, named Veronica, who had a cloth she used to wipe the sweat from Jesus’ face. With this Veronica’s cloth, Vespasian was cured of his leprosy.
Vespasian went to Judaea to find if what out more about Jesus, which in due course, he discovered Joseph of Arimathea, languishing in the dungeon. Joseph had survived in the dungeon because the resurrected Jesus had given the Grail to Joseph. Joseph was confused when Vespasian came to him in the prison to release him; he didn’t realise that 42 years had passed, not 3 days. By the power of the Grail, Joseph had not aged at all.
Vespasian had those responsible for Jesus’ death, executed. Only Caiaphas escaped death at Vespasian’s hands, because the prince had promised. However, Vespasian still punished him: Caiaphas was placed in the row boat and set adrift in the sea; if he survives it was God’s will.
Vespasian became Joseph’s friend, and the Roman prince was baptised.
|Conversion of Evalach and Seraphe|
|Joseph of Arimathea was now reunited with his wife Elyab and son Josephus, whom he didn’t recognise. His son Josephus was now a man in his early 40’s. He was also reunited with his sister, who was wife of Hebron or Bron. Joseph, however, looked the same he did 42 years ago. Joseph actually thought he was in the prison cell for only a few days.
Before Vespasian returned to Rome, Joseph had another vision of Jesus, where he was instructed to leave Judaea and head west, to preach to in the lands of the heathens about Christ. He was to take anyone who would follow him, and he was to bring the Grail with him. Seventy-five people followed Joseph out of Judaea, with around half family and friends of Joseph, the rest were converts.
Joseph and his followers reached Sarras, a city in Egypt, ruled by pagan king, Evalach. It was Joseph’s task to assist his son in converting Evalach and the people of Sarras. Jesus invested Josephus as bishop.
Evalach was the husband of Sarrasinte, who was the sister of Seraphe, Evalach’s faithful seneschal. Early in Evalach’s reign, he ruled all of Egypt, but now that he was older, his enemies, such as Tholomer began winning and annexing Evalach’s territories. At this time of Joseph’s arrival, Tholomer was besieging his castle of Evalachin. (Of course, the writer ignored the fact that Egypt was a province within the Roman Empire.)
Evalach was uncertain whether to believe in Josephus’ preaching. Evalach agreed to convert to Christianity, if the god of the Christians could help him win his war against Tholomer. Joseph used red ribbons to make the sign of the cross on Evalach’s white shield, before covering it. Josephus instructed Evalach to only uncover his shield when he feels that he was in mortal danger of losing life or the battle but only on the third day in battle against Tholomer; only then would Evalach win his war.
So on the first day of battle, Evalach was trying to relieve his besieged castle of Evalachin, Evalach was beaten back and forced to retreat. Evalach rallied his forces, when he was joined by Seraphe, his brother-in-law.
On the third day, the battle was very fierce, and no one fought better than Seraphe, whose prowess and valor were unsurpassed, yet it wasn’t enough to defeat Tholomer’s larger army. Tholomer had captured Evalach, and was leading towards his own line, when Evalach fearing this dishonour, uncovered his shield for the first time. On the red cross, a figure of Christ can be seen as if he was crucified.
Immediately, a White Knight rode out of the forest and unhorsed Tholomer. With Tholomer helpless, Evalach managed to gain his enemy’s surrender and become his prisoner. Despite Tholomer’s surrender, the battle continued to rage. With the help of the White Knight, they rescued Seraphe and defeated the Egyptians. The White Knight left after the war was over, much to the disappointment of Evalach and Seraphe who wanted to know who their rescuer was.
Back in Sarras, Evalach’s wife revealed to Josephus that she and her mother had secretly converted to Christianity a while ago, before Joseph’s arrival. Sarrasinte promised to persuade her husband if Josephus could help the king wins his war against Tholomer.
On the return of the victorious army to Sarras, Evalach and Seraphe were baptised. Evalach changed his name to Mordrain, while Seraphe was now called Nascien. Josephus revealed the holy vessel to the newly baptised Christians. Nascien admiring it; it was he who gave the name “Grail” to the vessel.
However, Nascien (Seraphe) stood too close to the Grail, trying to look inside the vessel, and was blinded. When Josephus exorcised the devil in a temple of Orcaus, for some reasons, an angel pierced Josephus’ thigh with a lance, when the bishop rushed out of the city gate. But the angel returned, using the blood from the lance, to heal Josephus’ wound and restored Nascien’s sight.
|The Adventures of Nascien and Celidoine|
|New problem arose after the war and their baptism. Not long after Joseph and his followers departed from Sarras, Mordrain (Evalach) vanished one night after the lightning struck his palace. He was spirited away and left on a rock in the middle of an ocean. A silver ship arrived where a man comforted him but left him there. Another ship, this one was black. The woman from the black ship invited him to board her ship, but her arrival and departure always brought storms. So when the silver ship returned, Mordrain decided to leave with this man, instead of with the woman from the black ship.
Galafre accused Nascien (Seraphe) for their king’s disappearance, imprisoning both Nascien and his son Celidoine. When a hand picked up Nascien and carried him away, Galafre decided to kill Nascien’s son: he had Celidoine thrown out of the battlement. A new miracle happened. Instead of falling to his death, nine hands spirited him away. For his treachery, a fire from the sky destroyed the tower, killing Galafre.
Nascien found himself on the Turning Isle in the Western Sea. It was here that he boarded a deserted and unmanned ship with a large beautiful bed. The ship warned him that anyone who has not true faith in the God of Israel should not come aboard. On the bed he found a sword that has inscription on the hilt and scabbard. No one can unsheathe the sword without harm or being killed, if he was not the chosen one (Galahad).
Because Nascien lacked strong faith, the deck opened up, and he fell into the water. Nascien had to swim ashore. Another ship arrived, where the captain told Nascien the meaning of the ship, bed and sword. The ship was constructed by King Solomon of Israel for the final descendant of Nascien, foretelling about a good knight named Galahad. It was one of Solomon’s wise wives that gave instructions on how to build the ship and bed. The three painted wooden posts around the bed came from the branch that Eve had pulled from the Tree of Knowledge. Solomon left his father’s sword on the bed with a strange sword belt. Solomon’s father was none other than King David.
Celidoine was also taken an island, but a different one to which Nascien was stranded on. Two ships arrived, and Celidoine was taken to see King Label of Persia. Label knew Evalach (Mordrain), because Label received knighthood from Evalach. Though Label like Celidoine, wanting the young man to marry his daughter, he did not like Christians. The king did not believe Celidoine’s miracle escape from Galafre. Label wanted to convert Celidoine to his pagan religion, but that night he had a terrible vision. Celidoine interpreted the king’s vision that he would die soon. Celidoine also reveal a deep secret of Label. Label had secretly killed his own sister, since she refused to sleep with him. No one knew of his attempt to commit incest, and no one knew he had murdered her – until now.
The next night, Label had another dream, which Celidoine described and interpreted without the king telling him. In his dream he saw his sister, whom he had murdered, enjoying herself in the High City (heaven), but he could not enter, because of his belief in pagan religion and because of his sin. Celidoine told the king that his sister had been a Christian, without Label’s knowledge.
King Label heeding Celidoine’s message about Christ, found a hermit and was baptised. Label urged his people to also convert to Christianity, but they refused to change religion. Label stayed with the hermit until he died. Despite Label’s conversion, his people did not convert and they were angry with Celidoine because of their king’s death. They forced Celidoine upon a small boat without a rudder and set it adrift in the sea. In this boat they also put a wild lion, which they captured days before. Unafraid, Celidoine foretold their doom, when they tried to leave the island. But he was rescued by the unmanned ship with the beautiful bed; the same ship that his father boarded on before. The ship took Celidoine to an island, which he was reunited with his father.
Nascien was fighting a giant, with that sword that he had found on the bed. This sword broke in two as was predicted from the inscriptions on the sheath. Nascien managed to find and use another sword, which he wounded the giant. Nascien boarded the ship with his son and taking the broken blade with him.
They reached another island, where they picked up their king – Mordrain. As foretold on the scabbard, a king would restore the sword by merely joining the two halves of the blade. Mordrain put the two broken ends of the blade together, and the sword of David was restored, as if it had never being broken. After this, a voice told them to leave the ship. So the king with Nascien and Celidoine disembark from the ship. Either Nascien left the ship too slowly or he touched the sword of David when he shouldn’t have, because an angel with a flaming sword pierced Nascien’s left shoulder. Both his son and the king were distressed that Nascien was wounded and may possibly die. Nascien assured them that he would live and that he was justly punished for drawing the sword.
After Galafre’s death, Queen Sarrasinte sent five messengers to find where her brother had disappeared to. Flegetine, Nascien’s wife, also left Sarras to search for him and her son. The five messengers had searched for Nascien for some times, without find any trace or news about Nascien’s whereabouts, until the youngest messenger had a vision of Joseph of Arimathea directing to the ship near Greece. So the messengers set out by sea, where one of them died from the heat.
They reached another vessel where they found everyone dead except the young daughter of King Label. Label’s daughter revealed that as foretold by Celidoine, his people were killed in an ambush. They promised to help and protect her if she became a Christian, which she agreed. The messengers removed the bodies from the ship and buried the bodies.
While they slept on the ship, it silently drifted until it broke against the rock, on the shore of the island. Two more messengers died. The survivors found a ruined house on the hill that had once belonged to Hippocrates, who married a woman who didn’t love him, and brought about his downfall. The house was now deserted after the king of Babylon destroyed it.
For three days they had no food. The princess was complaining of her hardship, because she was only a girl. They had a very strange visitation: a very tall man, with skin black as ink. They refused his help, when he only asked for homage, because they fear that he might be a devil. Another visitor who offered to help them was a rich woman on a beautiful ship; but they refused to do her homage too, because she was a pagan.
They were finally rescued by an old man, who was in rudderless boat that has a caged lion; it was the same boat that Celidoine was in. They accept the old man offer, because he knew that the messengers were seeking their lord Nascien. The old man also told them that this boat would take them straight to the ship, which the king Mordrain, Nascien and Celidoine was on board.
Everything the old man told them was true, and the two messengers finally found Nascien on board the ship.
When the ship arrived in a port of a castle of Brauch, they had a strange visitor, where they saw a man in white habit, literally walking on water. This man, named Hermoine, healed Nascien’s wounded shoulder. Hermoine also instructed Celidoine to board a small boat, which arrived Nascien’s healing; Celidoine must go wherever the boat would take him. The boat took Celidoine to Britain, where he found his way to Galafort Castle and befriended Duke Ganor. The Duke marvelled the boy’s faith in Christ, and decided to convert when Josephus would lead his people to the Britain.
The people of Brauch welcomed their king and lord. Both Mordrain and Nascien were soon reunited with their wives; Flegetine met with Nascien in Sarras. Label’s daughter was baptism from Petrone, a kinsman of Joseph of Arimatha; she was named Sarrasinte, after Mordrain’s wife.
|Journey to Britain|
|Some months after leaving Sarras with his followers, Christ appeared in Joseph’s dream, telling him that he should have sex with his wife, so she could bear another child to him. This son would become a king in the new kingdom in Britain, and his name would be Galahad (not to be confused with the Grail hero). Like the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, Joseph didn’t think that he and his wife could have another child at their age, but as usual he obeyed his Lord. Elyab became pregnant and later bore a son named Galahad, as Jesus predicted.
It was some days later that Josephus led his followers to the sea, but there were no ships in sight. The people feared they would not be able to cross. A voice instructed that Joseph should removed his undergarment and for his father to step on top of it. The under-tunic held Joseph above the water as if he was on solid land. Josephus asked for others to step on; and with each new person standing on top of the cloth, the cloth stretched and grew larger until it held up one hundred fifty people on a single under-tunic.
The rest, who have ignored Josephus’ prohibition of keeping their chastity and not sleep with their wives, were not allowed to go with them by this mean. Two people, one named Simeon, the other was Simeon’s son, Moses, tried to step on the tunic and join them, they immediately fell into the water. Josephus rebuked Simeon and his son for their deception of trying to join the holy company.
Josephus told the other people staying behind because of their sins that they should wait there on the beach until Nascien arrived with ship to take them across to Britain. And Nascien did arrive on the next day. The sinners also reached Britain but the journey lasted longer than Josephus’ journey. It took Josephus and his company only some hours before they reached the shore of Britain – just before the rising sun. They rejoined Josephus, and Nascien was delighted to see his friend again.
The whole company followed Josephus, until they reached Galafort Castle, and saw the banner of red cross, marvelling at sign of Christians in Britain. Here, Nascien found his son. Celidoine had persuaded the Duke Ganor to accept to the new religion of Christianity. With the arrival of Josephus, Ganor was baptised. Those who refused to convert with their duke, left Galafort Castle, but they drowned not far from the castle tower. Josephus instructed Ganor to bury the bodies on the plain near the sea, and build a tower, which will be known as the Tower of Marvels. This tower will remain standing until the Grail quest ended and Arthur has gone.
It was while they were almost completed the chapel of this tower, that Elyab gave birth to a second son, whom Joseph named him Galahad; not to be confused with Sir Galahad.
The conversion of Duke Ganor made him many enemies among his neighbours; among them was Ganor’s liege lord, the king of Northumberland, who attacked Galafort Castle with his army, but with help of Nascien, they defeated the army of Northumberland, and killed the king.
The victory was short-lived, because King Crudel of North Wales captured Joseph and Josphus when they went out to preach among the heathens. Jesus appeared in Mordrain’s dream, which the king must leave Sarras to rescue Joseph and his son. Mordrain not only took his army to Britain, but also his wife, Nascien wife and King Label’s daughter.
Mordrain joined Nascien and Celidoine, and together they defeated King Crudel and freed Joseph and Josephus. After the victory, they attended mass, where Mordrain was struck down for standing too close the Grail. Mordrain lost his sight and strength.
Despite the Grail punishing the king, Mordrain didn’t lose faith that his sight would be restore one day, so he didn’t abandon the religion he had adopted. Though, he was blind and no strength, Mordrain would live a very long life, where he would meet Nacien’s last descendant, Sir Galahad. In great compassion for the aged king, Galahad would comfort him and restore his sight; Mordrain would die in Galahad’s arms. See Father and Son in the Galahad’s Grail Legend.
Sarrasinte learned of her husband’s condition she was distressed. Everyone lamented for the blind king. As the army returned to Galafort Castle, they found Mordrain had no strength to even ride his horse.
A week after returning to Galafort Castle, Celidoine married Sarrasinte, King Label’s daughter. Celidoine also received kingdom of North Wales, and they would have a son, whom they named as Nascien; the boy was named after his grandfather.
Mordrain decided to leave the company of his wife and friends; Josephus suggested that the king should move in with a hermit who lived in the woods not to far from Galafort Castle. This hermitage flourished into a great abbey, where many knights seeking to join this abbey would become the white monks. Here, Mordrain would live for nine generations, until Perceval and then Galahad would visit him.
|The Grail Table|
|Josephus led his people, where he could preach to more people in the pagan kingdoms. They arrived in the largest pagan city in the British Isles, called Camelot.
Camelot was ruled by King Agrestes – a treacherous and cruellest of the Saracen kings. When saw many of his subjects converting to this new faith, he was angry. With his men loyal to their pagan religions, they pretend to accept Christianity as their new faith and they were baptised, but they were false Christians.
The whole kingdom of Camelot converted. When Josephus left most of his family and followers, he left behind twelve of his relatives. Couple of days later, Agrestes arrested the twelve relatives of Josephus demanding that they abandon Christ and accept the pagan gods. They refused. Agrestes took these prisoners outside, where Josephus had a large white cross erected. Agrestes had tied up, to this large cross, then bashed out their brains with his mace.
When Agrestes returned to his city after murdering the Christians, he went mad, strangling his own children, wife and his brother. Agrestes also began eating his own hands. He was so insane that when he saw a large oven, he jumped into the fire and died.
The subjects, who witnessed the martyrs and murder of the king’s family, were frightened send a messenger to Josephus to bury his relatives. Josephus rushed back to Camelot, took down the bodies from the cross and had them buried. Josephus ordered the large cross to be washed clean, but the blood had permanently stained the cross, so it was now a black cross. Josephus also ordered the people of Camelot to knock down the pagan temple, the largest of its kind in Britain, and had a church built in its place, dedicated to St Stephen.
Josephus again left Camelot and came upon a knoll, known as the Giant’s Knoll, where they constructed a table. The table had only thirteen seats, but only Josephus and his devout relatives were allowed to sit on twelve of those seats, leaving one seat empty.
Peter, (or Petrus in the Boron’s tale of Joseph of Arimathea), a relative of Josephus, asked why he doesn’t ask someone to seat on the vacant seat. Josephus replied that the seat was reserved for the Grail Knight (Galahad), because it symbolised the seat of Jesus (according to Robert de Boron, it was the seat of Judas Iscariot). No one could possibly survive, sitting on this seat, except Jesus himself and the future Grail Knight. This seat at the Grail Table was sort of like the Siege Perilous, the seat in Arthur’s Round Table.
Many people were unhappy that none of their group could sit among the holy group, particularly Moses. Other people tried to persuade Josephus to let Moses to sit on the vacant seat. Josephus did not think Moses was a worthy Christian, but he allowed him do so anyway.
The next day, pretending to be humble, because Moses was very determined to sit on the empty chair, despite Josephus’ dire warning, watched the others with envy. The moment he sat on the seat, Moses was engulfed in flame, and some fiery hands took Moses away.
After their meal, Bron asked Josephus what he should do with his twelve sons. Eleven wanted to marry, except the youngest, who wanted to remain a virgin and serve the Grail. Josephus appointed him as the next guardian of the Grail after him. His name was Alan the Fat (or Alain de Gros). Bron’s older sons must serve the youngest as leader.
Josephus continued to travel through Britain to preach the gospel. One day, they come across a barren land, so finding food would be difficult. Those who followed faithfully Josephus’ orders and teaching were given abundance of food that they desired, but the rest receive no such food from the Holy Grail.
In order that none of them starved, Josephus had Alan to catch a single fish. This was fish was enough food for everyone else (sinners). For this reason, Alan became known as the Rich Fisherman.
This is different to the event told by Robert de Boron, where it was Alan’s father who could the fish and it was Bron who was named the Rich Fisher or Rich Fisherman.
|His father, Joseph of Arimathea, went out one day alone, wandering into the forest of Broceliande, where he met a Saracen lord, who was looking for physician to heal his brother. His brother’s wound to the head had not being healed a year after receiving the blow.
The only payment that Joseph wanted from the Saracen was that they give up their pagan gods and convert to Christianity if Joseph’s God could heal the Saracen’s brother. But upon arriving at the castle, known as the Rock, a lion killed this Saracen knight.
Joseph made the same bargain with the dead Saracen’s brother, who was named Matagran. Angry at Joseph’s proposal, Matagran’s seneschal struck Joseph with his sword, wounding Joseph’s in the thigh. The seneschal’s blade broke in two, leaving one half of the blade in Joseph’s thigh. But Joseph did more than heal Matagran’s head wound; Joseph had also revived Matagran’s dead brother. Both brothers accepted Joseph’s faith and was baptised along with everyone else in the castle, abandoning their old pagan religion.
Joseph’s own wound was healed, but what was miraculous was that the wound didn’t bleed nor were there any blood on the blade. Joseph foretold the broken sword would be restored and joined together as if the sword had never been broken, only when the Grail hero (Galahad) achieves his quest.
Joseph left the Rock and rejoined Josephus and followers, who were now attempting to cross a wide and deep river. They found the place to ford the river, only when they saw a place where a stag and four lions crossing the river.
Only one man named Canaan couldn’t cross the river, because of his sin and lack of faith in Jesus. Canaan’s twelve brothers begged Josephus to help Canaan cross, something that they would regret. Canaan was so filled with envy and rage that his brothers could cross but he couldn’t.
Josephus led them to where they came to the castle within the forest of Darnantes that Moses was still burning in a fire, while he remain alive as punishment for sitting on the seat at the Grail Table that was reserved Galahad.
Moses regretted and repented for his sin of pride and envy. Moses warned his father, Simeon, not to fall into the same sin that he had. His punishment would last until Galahad come to him.
Even after leaving Moses, Simeon and Canaan would continue to sin. Simeon, forgetting his son’s warning, was jealous that Peter and Josephus continued to be rewarded by the Grail, while Canaan was jealous of his twelve brothers were more pious than he was. Canaan murdered his twelve brothers, while Simeon seriously wounded Peter with a knife.
The Christians decided to bury both Simeon and Canaan alive, but Simeon received a different punishment. Simeon was carried away by two flaming angels, like his son had been; his body lighted in a fire that would not go out, just like his son, Moses. Simeon’s punishment would end when the knight Lancelot comes and the fire burning Simeon’s body would be extinguished.
Canaan plead with Josephus that if he was to be buried alive in a tomb that his brothers would be buried around him. They did so, putting a sign of why Canaan had murdered his brothers.
Josephus could not heal his kinsman, Peter, because the dagger that Simeon had used was smeared with poison. When Josephus and his followers left Canaan’s tomb, Peter stayed behind with a priest named Parent.
Eventually Peter would also leave Canaan’s tomb. Peter got in a small boat, which would take him to a place to be healed. The boat took him to a pagan island, which King Orcant ruled in his castle.
Orcant has a daughter who found Peter in this boat. She took pity on him and cared for him. She was concerned when she found out that Peter was a Christian, because her father doesn’t like any Christian, and has one languishing in his dungeon.
Orcant’s daughter arranged a meeting between Peter and her father’s Christian prisoner. This Christian discovered the reason why Peter couldn’t be healed, easily removed the poison from Peter’s body so that it could heal. Within a month, Peter regained his strength and health.
Around this time, King Orcant was holding a feast in which one of his guests, Marahant, son of King Luce of Ireland, was poisoned. Luce accused Orcant of poisoning his son. Luce demanded that he meet him in combat. Orcant ask someone to fight against Luce, because Luce was a fearsome knight. Peter decided to fight in Orcant’s place, where he defeated Luce. Peter gained the trusts of both kings, making peace between them. Both Orcant and Luce also converted to Christianity and abandoned their own pagan religions. Orcant had his name changed to Lamet. Such was Orcant’s trust in Peter that he married his daughter Camille (this is her Christian name; I couldn’t find her other name). Orcant/Lamet’s castle and the island were called Orkney.
Peter and Camille had a son named Herlan. From his son and his descendants, Peter had established a strong line in which during Arthur’s time, King Lot and his son Sir Gawain were direct descendants of Peter and Camille.
As you can see, this event about Peter was totally different from that of Boron’s account. Peter, or Petrus as he was known by Boron, didn’t receive any wound from anyone, but he did leave Joseph’s company; heading towards Avalon, instead of Orkney. There was also no mention that Petrus being an ancestor of Lot and Gawain.
|Death of Josephus and Nascien|
|After to peaching and converting pagan people in all part of Britain (and even in Ireland!), Josephus returned to Galafort after leaving the castle 15 years ago. Galahad, Josephus’ young brother was now an adult. He has become a strong knight, serving Duke Ganor.
It was not long after Josephus’ return that they heard that an old king had died childless in Holselice, an old name for Wales. The people of Holselice called upon Ganor to find a suitable person to rule this kingdom. After discussing this with Josephus and Nascien, Ganor decided the person to become Holselice’s new king would be young Galahad.
Josephus invested the kingdom of Holselice to his brother at the city of Palagre, where he was coroneted. Galahad married the daughter of the King of the Distant Isles, and became the father of Lyanor. The son of Joseph of Arimathea established a strong line, culminating at Arthur’s time, with King Urien and his son, Yvain (Owain).
When Galahad died, the kingdom was named after the king as Galles (Wales).
Galahad rode off in a hunting trip in the woods, when he heard a voice calling him. He found his cousin, Simeon, his flesh still burning because of his sin of attempting to murder another kinsman Peter. Simeon’s punishment would end one day, when Sir Lancelot and then Sir Galahad visited him. Galahad decided to have an abbey built here. It would also be the place of Galahad’s tomb. It was destined that the hero Lancelot would be the only knight to easily lift Galahad’s tombstone.
Josphus returned to Galafort Castle, only to receive a message from the former king of Saras to visit him. Mordrain was still blind and weakened by the Grail. Josephus’ own father had died, some times ago, and was buried the Abbey of the Cross in Scotland. Josephus went to this abbey, because he knew that his own time come too.
Josephus was in a good mood because he knew that he would die the next day. But Mordrain was upset by this news, begged Josephus to leave him something to remember him by.
Josephus ordered the monk caring for Mordrain, to bring the king’s shield that he carried to war against King Tholomer, shortly after their first meeting. At this very moment, Josephus’ nose was bleeding. Josephus used his own blood to paint Mordrain’s white shield.
Blind Mordrain was pleased with his old friend’s last gift to him. Josephus foretold that Nascien’s last descendant, Sir Galahad, would claim this shield when he set out in the Grail quest. No one else could bear this shield without death or injury, except the future Grail hero. Josephus further instructed Mordrain to hang the shield on the tree the grave of Nascien, when the king’s brother-in-law dies.
The next day, Josephus died and was buried in the abbey that Mordrain have been living in.
Josephus had already passed the Grail on to Alan, son of Bron, in Galafort Castle, before he left for the abbey.
Alan then left the abbey with all his brothers and their family. All of his brothers were married, except Joshua. They wandered through Britain, until they arrived in the city of Malta in the kingdom of the Land Beyond.
The Land Beyond was ruled by a king named Calafes. Calafes was a pagan king, suffering from leprosy. Calafes have heard of the Christians performing miracle, and asked Alan if he could be healed. Alan said that he could be healed in three days, if the king get rid of all idols in his kingdom, and convert to the Christian religion.
Calafes did everything that Alan instructed, and at the time of his baptism when he revealed the Grail to the king and Calafes was completely healed. Calafes changed his name to Alphasan.
So pleased of finally being cured, King Alphasan decided that Alan and his family should stay in his kingdom. Alphasan would build the most wondrous of castle and palaces to house the Grail and Alan’s family. Since Alphasan has a daughter (who was unnamed), but no son, he wanted Alan’s unmarried brother to be his daughter’s husband, as well as his heir. Alan agreed with the king’s proposal.
So Alphasan had the most wondrous and beautiful castle built for Joshua. When it was completed, there were many palaces and a great cathedral.
When the stronghold was completed, inscriptions was miraculous written in Chaldean that “This castle should be called Corbenic”, where Corbenic means “Holy Vessel”.
On Sunday, the Grail was moved into the Corbenic, and Joshua married Alphasan’s daughter. After the wedding and celebration, Joshua and his wife slept in the room below the hall, but Alphasan foolishly slept on the beautiful bed made, next to the grand hall where the Grail was kept on a silver table.
Alphasan woke hearing a thousand voices singing praises to Christ, but Alphasan could see no one about. However, the king did see a man dressed in the robe of a priest near the Grail, as if he was holding Mass.
Once the song ended, a knight appeared; the frightening apparition as if he was enveloped in flame approached the king lying on the large bed, rebuked the king for witnessing the holy ceremony and sleeping on the bed near the Holy Vessel that he was not worthy of. The knight then struck the king with a lance through both thighs. The knight told Alphasan that no one can sleep in this bed of the Palace of Adventure, unless he was one of the greatest knights.
The lords found King Alphasan mortally wounded. Alphasan told them that no man should sleep on this bed within the Palace of Adventure. Many knights visiting Corbenic died in this very bed by the lance of the fiery knight. The only knight to survive his wound was Sir Gawain, nephew of King Arthur, but he left Corbenic in deep shame, because he saw the Grail, but didn’t ask the vital question.
Alphasan lingered for ten days before he died, because his wound could not be healed. Alan the Fat, son of Bron, also died on that same day. Alan and Alphasan were entombed side by side in Corbenic’s Church of Notre Dame. Joshua, brother of Alan, succeeded Alphasan as king of the Land Beyond, and resided in its capital at Corbenic Castle.
The Holy Grail remained in the care of Alan’s brother and his descendants. Joshua was the father of Aminadap. The book goes on about the descendants of Joshua. Each king was known as the Rich Fisherman (or the Fisher King), and they were the guardians of the Grail, which is why they were also known as the Grail Kings.
One descendant of Joshua, King Lambor was a great knight, who was at war against a neighbouring king, named Varlan. Varlan found a ship with a beautiful bed, which has a magnificent sword (sword of King David); it was the same ship that Nascien had found at the Turning Isle. Varlan fought and killed Lambor with this sword; splitting Lambor’s skull. This caused blow, known as the Dolorous Stroke, also devastated the land, so that it became barren. Marvelling at this weapon, Varlan returned to the ship to retrieve the scabbard. The moment King Varlan sheathed the sword, because he had touched the sword that was not meant for him to wield. This sword was known as the Sword with the Strange Belt.
Pellehan, son of Lambor, succeeded his father. King Pellehan was wounded in both thighs during his battle against Rome. Pellehan was the Maimed King, which Sir Galahad would later heal in his quest. Pellehan abdicated; letting his son King Pelles to rule the Land Beyond, in his place. Pelles was the father of Elaine, the Grail Maiden. When Lancelot of the Lake visited Corbenic, he would be duped into sleeping with Elaine, therefore fathering the Grail knight, Sir Galahad.
After the death of Josephus, Nascien along with his wife and sister stayed with King Mordrain, keeping the blind king company. Nascien, Flagetine and Sarrasinte, Mordrain’s wife, died all on the same day. The ladies were buried within the abbey, but the king remembering Josephus’ instruction, left the abbey in a cart with his shield and Nascien’s body.
Mordrain had Nascien buried not too far from the abbey, in a clearing of the woods. Mordrain hung his shield on one of the branches above Nascien’s grave. Galahad would take this shield five days after receiving his knighthood.
Mordrain returned to the abbey where he would wait until Galahad come and release him from his life.
The story then continues about the descendants of Nascien’s son, Celidoine. The descendants of Nascien would produce many fine kings and knights. Lancelot of the Lake was not a king; he was the greatest knight in the world, before his son surpassed him. Galahad was the result of joining two great lineages: on his father’s side Galahad was the descendant of Nascien; on his mother’s side, he was descendant of Bron and Joshua.
Before this story ended, Lancelot had a grandfather, who was also named Lancelot. King Lancelot ruled in Bellegarde Castle, living with his wife Queen Marche. King Lancelot was also the father of two great kings, King Ban of Benoic and King Bors of Gaunes. Ban was the father of Lancelot of the Lake and Hector, while King Bors was the father of Sir Lionel and Sir Bors. Ban and Bors were early allies of King Arthur.
King Lancelot came to a tragic end, because of his treacherous duke. The king was in the Perilous Forest, where he met a hermit. When he took a drink from a spring, the duke beheaded King Lancelot, whose head fell into the spring. The evil duke pulled the head out of the cold water, but not before his hands were scathed by water that was suddenly boiling. The spring water remained boiling, until Galahad would come to this place.
The duke realised that God was punishing him for the murder, so he quickly had the king’s body and head buried near the hermitage, hoping to hide his wicked deeds.
Upon returning to his castle, he learned that darkness have engulfed his home. When he went to investigate the new miracle, the stonework above his castle gate came tumbling down, killing the wicked duke.
A tomb was erected for King Lancelot. Two miracles would happen here. One is that drops of blood from the tomb could heal any wounded knight. The second miracle was that the tomb was guarded by two lions.
The two lions would remain guarding the tomb, until the king’s grandson, Lancelot of the Lake would come and kill the lions, then opened the tomb and find his name.