Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Round Table

The Round Table, located within the Great Hall, in the ancient city of Winchester, was originally built as a table between 1250-80. An inscription is found on the table explaining, "This is the round table of Arthur with 24 of his named knights". It is 18 feet in diameter, weighs one ton and four hundredweight, whilst being made from 121 pieces of oak. 

It was painted, in its present form, for King Henry VIII, however it has been venerated by generations of tourists as the mysterious table of the "Once and Future King" Arthur. The first written accounts of the Arthurian story appeared in 1130 in Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Kings of Britain", which maintains that Merlin had the 15 year old Arthur crowned at nearby Silchester. 

However, the first mention of the Round Table is Robert Wace's Roman de Brut (1155), that describes how Arthur seated his knights at a round table so that all should be equal. In Thomas Malory's Morte D'Arthur, the table is a wedding gift to Arthur from Guinevere's father, Leodegrance. 

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