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Sword with the Strange Belt


In Chretien de Troyes' 10th century work Le Conte du Graal, the Sword with the Strange Belt would be awarded to the knight that could rescue a maiden besieged at the castle of Montesclere. The owner of the sword would be the greatest knight in the world, and the one capable of finding the Holy Grail. Unforunately Troyes died before he could finish the original story, and it is not known who was destined to win the sword. However, several subsequent authors wrote their own versions of the story, called "continuations". In the fourth continuation, written in the 13th century by Gerbert de Montreuil, it was Perceval who lifted the siege and won the sword.

In the Vulgate Cycle, an alternative perspective on Arthurian folklore, the sword features more prominently but many of the details surrounding it are different. For instance, there is no siege at Montesclere, and Galahad is the Grail knight rather than Perceval. The sword itself was said to be originally owned by King David of Israel, and that one of his descendants would be the greatest knight in the world. King David's son Solomon wanted to leave that knight a special sword.

The sword, hilt, and scabbard had several prophecies inscribed on them detailing who was destined to wield the sword, and a warning to others who would try to use it. One prophecy stated that only the greatest knight in the world could properly grip the sword, anyone else would be unable to grasp the hilt. Another said that anyone other than the true owner who unsheathed the sword would be killed or maimed by it.

Arthurian, England, Mythology, Sword, Weapon


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