Why was the sword in the stone?!

Discussion in 'Celtic Mythology' started by Munnin13, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Munnin13

    Munnin13 New Member

    There is more than one type of mythology that ascribes a certain kind of vital essence to a rock. The Niobe rock of Greek mythology, the weapon that allowed David to overcome Goliath in Biblical lore, and Celtic mythology is no exception to this rule as can be evidenced from Merddyn delivering prophecies from a a chair on a rock in Welsh mythology.

    In the context of mythology, a rock is more than just a rock. It represents the native soil and being able to draw on its powers. The rock seems to release Excalibur for Arthur's sake because his potential to rule as the Chosen of the Earth is recognized by the powers that be, represented in part both by Vivian and Morgan.

    Arthur seems to stand out in more than one respect from the other warlords of his time. The only one able to defeat the Saxons, the only one worthy of Excalibur, one of the few said to return upon a n hour of need, even his conception through deceit is reminiscent of those themes in mythology where the hero is ascribed a divine father.

    Whichever way you look, Arthur himself is a type of a folk hero, and as such it makes senses that his legitimacy is established by the magical rock and thus the Earth itself.
    Myrddin likes this.
  2. Misa

    Misa Member

    In the original lore Excalibur was not the sword in the stone (the king sword; either it broke in battle or was too valuable to bring to battle).

    Excalibur was given to Arthur by the lady in the lake, the name comes from Welsh ‘Caledfwlch’, which means ‘cleaving what is hard'.
  3. Munnin13

    Munnin13 New Member

    There are also actually some tales that say the Lady of the Lake only gave Arthur the sword back fixed, after it was broken in battle against the so called Fisher King, but I suspect by the naming pattern that it might be a later French addition to the Welsh lore, trying to reconcile the stone and the lake, much like I have. LOL

    I am aware of the "Cleaver" too but as my theory on it connects with other types of mythology, I did not wish the mods to look askance at me for mixing up the mythological categories they outlined, so I had to settle for a lesser and simpler version of my theory. Anyway, thanks for reading my theory and for your comment.
  4. Caburus

    Caburus Active Member

    The original Sword in the Stone can still be seen at the Rotonda de Montesiepi, Tuscany;
    ImpatientTypist likes this.
  5. ImpatientTypist

    ImpatientTypist New Member

    I distinctly remember the original sword in the stone was Clarent, the peace blade and twin of Excalibur which was pulled out by King Arthur.

    Although, in another story, the original sword in the stone was instead pulled out by Galahad, as way to prove he was 'bestest knight of all' :)
  6. Caburus

    Caburus Active Member

    As a 'twin' Clarent can't be the original of Excalibur, only it's equal. As to Galahad's sword of peace - this appears after Arthur has been King for many years, so he had already pulled the earlier sword from the stone.

    The true original is the sword of Theseus, who pulled a sword from under a stone in order to prove that he was the rightful heir of Athens.
  7. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    Arthur drew a sword from the stone proclaiming him as heir to the throne, but this was not Excalibur. I think this sword may not have had a name, or at least not one that's mentioned. From what I recall, this sword broke in a bloody battle, and Merlin led Arthur to a calm lake from which the Lady of the Lake (she goes by no other name) rises and presents Arthur with the sword Excalibur and its scabbard, which Merlin warns Arthur is more valuable than the sword itself. Arthur's eyes, however, are drawn to sword.

    E. M.
    jmellis likes this.
  8. jmellis

    jmellis New Member

    Wrong thread.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018

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