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Undiscovered Merlin and King Arthur tale fragments found in Bristol archives

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the Once and Future King
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« on: February 04, 2019, 11:34:51 pm »

Undiscovered Merlin and King Arthur tale fragments found in Bristol archives

The fragments could potentially be part of the version of the Vulgate Cycle that Sir Thomas Malory used as a source for Le Morte D'Arthur

    Clarisse Loughrey
    @clarisselou
    4 days ago

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The Independent Culture
A detail showing the name Merlin in a hand-written parchment fragment of a manuscript from the Middle Ages which tells the story of Merlin the magician
A detail showing the name Merlin in a hand-written parchment fragment of a manuscript from the Middle Ages which tells the story of Merlin the magician ( PA )

A previously unknown 13-century version of a tale featuring Merlin and King Arthur has been discovered in the archives of Bristol’s central library.

Found inside an unrelated volume of work by a 15th-century French scholar, the seven handwritten fragments of parchment are written in Old French and tell the story of the Battle of Trèbes.

The fragments are thought to be an iteration of the Merlin story, known as the Estoire de Merlin, which comes from an Old French sequence of texts called the Vulgate Cycle or the Lancelot-Grail Cycle.

In the newly discovered work, it is Merlin who rallies Arthur’s troops with a grand speech, before leading the charge wielding a magical dragon standard, which breathes actual fire. Other versions of the cycle depict different characters leading the charge.

Dr Leah Tether, the president of the British branch of the International Arthurian Society and an academic based at Bristol University, said that much more research will need to be done, but that they could potentially be part of the version of the Vulgate Cycle that Sir Thomas Malory used as a source for his famous 1485 reworking of existing Arthurian legends, known as Le Morte D’Arthur.
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Mallory’s book is largely responsible for the version of the Arthurian myth that we’re most familiar with today.

“Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold,” Tether said.“The south-west of England and Wales are, of course, closely bound up with the many locations made famous by the Arthurian legend, so it is all the more special to find an early fragment of the legend – one pre-dating any version written in English – here in Bristol.”



https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/merlin-tale-fragments-king-arthur-bristol-archives-13th-century-arthurian-legend-parchment-a8755856.html
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the Once and Future King
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 11:41:46 pm »

Lost Merlin and King Arthur tale discovered
Posted on Monday, 4 February, 2019 |




The fragments describe a different version of a famous King Arthur story. Image Credit: Charles Ernest Butler
The seven hand-written parchment fragments were found in the archives of Bristol's central library.
While the story of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and their adventures in Camelot have been familiar themes in movies, books and television shows for years, the historical origins of the legend and the real-life events on which it is based have long remained a topic of academic debate.

Now though, one more piece of the puzzle has been unexpectedly unearthed in an archive in Bristol.

According to researchers, the parchment fragments, which are written in Old French and tell the story of the Battle of Trebes, were found inside an unrelated volume by a 15th-century French scholar.

It is believed that this particular version of the story, which describes how Merlin rallied the troops while wielding a magical dragon standard that breathed fire, may have served as a source for Sir Thomas Malory's famous 1485 reworking of Arthurian legend - Le Morte D'Arthur.

"Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold," said Dr Leah Tether of the International Arthurian Society.

"The south-west of England and Wales are, of course, closely bound up with the many locations made famous by the Arthurian legend, so it is all the more special to find an early fragment of the legend - one pre-dating any version written in English - here in Bristol."

    If you are a fan of the Arthurian legend, then this discovery will interest you.#KingArthur https://t.co/2Zs5tlxGY2
    — Mensa Saskatchewan (@MensaSask) January 31, 2019

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