The Krater and the Grail
Kahane and Peitrangeli's 1965 text
The evidence presented is
not totally convincing that Wolfram took his concept of the Grail from some
knowledge of the Corpus Hermeticum (CH), but nevertheless they offer a
number of intriguing points, and propose a number of sources for Wolfram
which may not be so easy to discount. They are very thorough indeed in
offering possible parallels between Parzival and the CH.
They interpret Wolfram's
curious "lapis exillis" as the lodestone, the psaltry stone (exillis
= exilis), and point out that the Krater in CH 4 is also likened to the
lodestone ("magnetis" in the Greek of the CH), which when beheld
by men draws them like iron to a magnet. Interesting, but perhaps only a
coincidence. They also provide unprovable proposals regarding Wolfram's
Tebit, Flegetanis, and Kyot. They identify Tebit as the Sabian philosopher
of the ninth century Thabit b. Qurra originally from Harran, and that the
"Book" which in a rather devious way the Harranians used to save
themselves from conversion to Islam was in fact the CH. The authors
propose that knowledge of the CH in some form translated into Arabic would
have come to Wolfram via Kyot, whom they identify with William of Tudela,
"Kyot" being Wolfram's transliteration of the Catalan "Guillot"
a diminutive of "Guillem". They offer evidence to support this
identification. They also suggest that "Flegetanis" might derive
from the Arabic al-Falakiyatu or falakiyatun meaning Astronomy/Astronomer,
which is the title of an Arabic Hermetic treatise on astrology. But with
all the other fanciful names used by Wolfram, it is possible that Wolfram
could have picked names such as these to provide an air of authority for
his stated sources without having any real knowledge of any earlier works
such as Arabic Hermetic texts. The attempt to link "gradale"
directly with the Late Latin "kratera" as in Greek "krater"
in CH4 is less convincing.
More detail to come.