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Lundy, Isle of Avalon

 L’Estoire del Saint Graal

   Lundy, Isle of Avalon         Arthurian and related Texts

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'The earliest Grail text we have, namely, Robert de Boron's poem, Le Roman del L'Estoire del Graal, written, according to Birch-Herschfeld, between 1170 and 1189. Robert's sources are purely Christian and easily discernible, firstly, the part played by Joseph of Arimathea in the Bible story of the Passion and Resurrection, and secondly, apocryphal tales like the Gesta Pilati (Evangelium Nicodemi) and Vindicta Salvatoris. The Grail is here the cup in which Joseph of Arimathea caught up the blood of Jesus when he took down his body from the Cross. It is called a chalice, 'calice', and shed a bright light all around. There is no mention of a lance at all.  
Classical mythology and Arthurian romance;p257.

In the Prose Romances, the 'La Queste del Saint Graal' and the 'Estoire del Saint Graal' , written in the thirteenth century Joseph of Arimathea is presented as the ancestor of Lancelot and Galahad

The Estoire adds to the story of Joseph, bringing him to Britain as an evangelist, and carries the history of the Grail and its successive keepers almost down to Arthur's time. 

Bron makes his first appearance in the twelfth-century 'Roman de L'Estoire du Graal' by Robert de Boron. Bron enters the tale in the miracle of Josephe's shirt.

.."Joseph's sister and her husband Bron (or Hebron) are among the followers who accompany Joseph into exile....a Heavenly voice told Joseph to command Bron to go into the water and catch a fish.... (a table like the Last Supper)-Joseph to sit where Christ sat at the Last Supper, with Bron at his right. Bron was to remove one seat to signify Judas' place, and this seat was to be reserved for a child yet to be born to Bron and his wife.. Bron and his wife had twelve sons. Eleven married, but the twelfth (later called ALAIN) refused to take a wife, and in accordance with advice from heaven was instructed by Joseph in the history of the vessel (Grail, which he was to impart to others. Alain's heir was to be guardian of the vessel, and Alain himself was to lead his brothers and sisters westward, preaching Christ. Through heavenly agency PETRUS received a letter, with which he was to set forth for the vales of Avaron and there wait the coming of Alain's son and of the one who would read his letter. An angel then announced that the vessel should pass into Bron's possession after Joseph imparted to him the secrets of the Grail, the words of Christ to Joseph in prison. Bron thenceforth would be called the Rich Fisher because of the fish he had caught, and he too, was to go westward to await Alain's son, to whom the vessel and the grace must be given. The three custodians would signify the Trinity. After Joseph told the secrets to Bron, the Good Fisher departed to the land where he was born."


related pages

La Queste del Saint Graal
Joseph of Arimathea
The Holy Grail



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