The Grail Procession

The Legend, the Artifacts, and the Possible Sources of the Story


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About the Book

By the 12th century, European literature was rich with tales of a procession carrying a group of objects closely tied to the Passion of Christ—the Holy Grail, the lance that pierced Christ’s side, the sword used to behead John the Baptist, and a dish from the Last Supper. While legends of the quest for the Holy Grail continue to grip the popular imagination, the other relics, once closely associated with the Grail legends, receive little mention. Still, the overlooked Grail Hallows, as they are called, have a rich symbolic history, winding through the ages—and leading in some surprising directions.
This exploration of the forgotten relics of the Grail Procession examines the body of evidence hinting at their authenticity, and traces their history as symbols, from the early days of Christianity, to Celtic mythology, to “the foggy wastelands inhabited by history’s outcasts,” to the suits of the modern tarot. The oral histories and a possible sourcebook that informed the earliest known stories are discussed. Illustrations and photographs of relevant locations and objects, including the cards of the tarot, further illuminate the story. An appendix gives a timeline of the Hallows’ history, and there is a bibliography and an index.

About the Author(s)

Justin E. Griffin is the author of three books and maintains, a website dedicated to sharing his research. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he works in the Office of Information Technology at the University of Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Justin E. Griffin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 198
Bibliographic Info: 103 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1939-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2690-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

1. The Grail Hallows      3
2. Two Paths Diverge in the Wood      11
3. Firbolgs, Danus, and Dragons on the Water      23
4. The Tribe of Dan      31
5. The Pelagian Heresy and the British Church      37
6. Merlin and Blaise      45
7. The Book      55
8. Archetypes in Arthurian Texts      65
9. Eschenbach’s Parzival and the Fisher King      77
10. Cathar and Templar Heresies      87
11. La Folie Perceval      97
12. The “Folio” Perceval      107
13. The Grail Hallows      151
14. An Altered Perspective      169

Appendix: Timeline, 2500 Years, from the Reign of Solomon to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Great Britain      179
Bibliography      185
Index      187