The Holy Grail Picture

According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers. The connection of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail legend dates from Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie (late 12th century) in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Great Britain; building upon this theme, later writers recounted how Joseph used the Grail to catch Christ's blood while interring him and that in Britain he founded a line of guardians to keep it safe. The quest for the Holy Grail makes up an important segment of the Arthurian cycle, appearing first in works by Chrétien de Troyes.[1] The legend may combine Christian lore with a Celtic myth of a cauldron endowed with special powers.

The development of the Grail legend has been traced in detail by cultural historians: It is a legend which first came together in the form of written romances, deriving perhaps from some pre-Christian folklore hints, in the later 12th and early 13th centuries. The early Grail romances centered on Percival and were woven into the more general Arthurian fabric.

Some of the Grail legend is interwoven with legends of the Holy Chalice.
The Grail has also been treated in works of non-fiction, which frequently connect it to conspiracy theories and esoteric traditions. According to the notorious Italian traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola (1898-1974), the Holy Grail was an initiatory "Hyperborean mystery" and also "a symbolic expression of hope and of the will of specific ruling classes in the Middle Ages (namely, Ghibellines), who wanted to reorganize and reunite the entire Western world as it was at that time into a Holy Empire, that is, one based on a transcendental, spiritual basis."

In The Sign and the Seal, Graham Hancock asserts that the Grail story is a coded description of the stone tablets stored in the Ark of the Covenant. For the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, who assert that their research ultimately reveals that Jesus may not have died on the cross, but lived to wed Mary Magdalene and father children whose Merovingian lineage continues today, the Grail is a mere sideshow: they say it is a reference to Mary Magdalene as the receptacle of Jesus' bloodline. In their book Swords at Sunset, Canadian authors Michael Bradley and Joelle Lauriol connect the Grail to the pseudohistorical legend that Henry Sinclair came to the Americas (specifically Lake Memphremagog in Vermont, USA) 100 years before Columbus.
In an argument drawing more closely on earlier "pro-Celtic" research, English author John Grigsby attempts to connect themes of the Grail to other Indo-European myths, including Osiris, Adonis and the Greek Dionysos in his book Warriors of the Wasteland.

(16th century illuminated, heraldic, stained glass panel, depicting the Holy Grail) and the coat of arms of Sir Robert BellThese works of non-fiction have inspired a number of works of modern fiction. The best known is Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code, which, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, is based on the idea that the real Grail is not a cup but the womb and later the earthly remains of Mary Magdalene (again cast as Jesus' wife), plus a set of ancient documents telling the "true" story of Jesus, his teachings and descendants. In Brown's novel, it is hinted that Jesus was merely a mortal man with strong ideals, and that the Grail was long buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, but that in recent decades its guardians had it relocated to a secret chamber embedded in the floor beneath the Inverted Pyramid near the Louvre Museum. The latter location, like Rosslyn Chapel, has never been mentioned in real Grail lore. Yet such was the public interest in this fictionalized Grail that for a while, the museum roped off the exact location mentioned by Brown, lest visitors inflict any damage in a more-or-less serious attempt to access the supposed hidden chamber.
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