Nature of the Grail problem. Unsatisfactory character
of results achieved. Objections to Christian Legendary origin; to Folk-lore origin.
Elements in both theories sound. Solution to be sought in a direction which will do
justice to both. Sir J. G. Frazer's Golden Bough indicates possible line of
research. Sir W. Ridgeway's criticism of Vegetation theory examined. Dramas
and Dramatic Dances. The Living and not Dead King factor the importance.
Impossibility of proving human origin for Vegetation Deities. Not Death but Resurrection
the essential centre of Ritual. Muharram too late in date and lacks Resurrection
feature. Relation between defunct heroes and special localities. Sanctity possibly
antecedent to connection. Mana not necessarily a case of relics. Self-acting
weapons frequent in Medieval Romance. Sir J. G. Frazer's theory holds good. Remarks on
method and design of present Studies.
THE TASK OF THE HERO
Essential to determine the original nature of the task
imposed upon the hero. Versions examined. The GAWAIN forms--Bleheris, Diu
Crone. The PERCEVAL Versions--Gerbert, prose Perceval, Chretien
de Troyes, Perlesvaus, Manessier, Peredur, Parzifal.
GALAHAD--Queste. Result, primary task healing of Fisher King and removal of
curse of Waste Land. The two inter-dependent. Illness of King entails misfortune on Land.
Enquiry into Nature of King's disability. Sone de Nansai. For elucidation of
problem necessary to bear in mind close connection between Land and Ruler. Importance of
Waste Land motif for criticism.
THE FREEING OF THE WATERS
Enquiry may commence with early Aryan tradition. The Rig-Veda.
Extreme importance assigned to Indra's feat of 'Freeing the Waters.' This also specific
achievement of Grail heroes. Extracts from Rig-Veda. Dramatic poems and
monologues. Professor von Schroeder's theory. Mysterium und Mimus. Rishyacringa
drama. Parallels with Perceval story. Result, the specific task of the Grail
hero not a literay invention but an inheritance of Aryan tradition.
TAMMUZ AND ADONIS
General objects to be attained by these Nature Cults.
Stimulation of Fertility, Animal and Vegatable. Principle of Life ultimately conceieved of
in anthropomorphic form. This process already advanced in Rig-Veda. Greek
Mythology preserves intermediate stage. The Eniautos Daimon. TAMMUZ--earliest known
representative of Dying God. Character of the worship. Origin of the name. Lament
for Tammuz. His death affects not only Vegetable but Animal life. Lack of artistic
representation of Mysteries. Mr Langdon's suggestion. Ritual possibly dramatic. Summary of
evidence. ADONIS--Phoenician-Greek equivalent of Tammuz. Probably most popular and best
known form of Nature Cult. Mythological tale of Adonis. Enquiry into nature of injury.
Importance of recognizing true nature of these cults and of the ritual observed. Varying
dates of celebration. Adonis probably originally Eniautos Daimon. Principle of Life
in general, hence lack of fixity in date. Details of the ritual. Parallels with the Grail
legend examined. Dead Knight or Disabled King. Consequent misfortunes of Land. The Weeping
Women. The Hairless Maiden. Position of Castle. Summing up. Can incidents of such remote
antiquity be used as criticism for a Medieval text?
MEDIEVAL AND MODERN FORMS OF NATURE RITUAL
Is it possible to establish chain of descent
connecting early Aryan and Babylonian Ritual with Classic, Medieval and Modern forms of
Nature worship? Survival of Adonis cult established. Evidence of Mannhardt and Frazer.
Existing Continental customs recognized as survivals of ancient beliefs. Instances.
'Directly related' to Attis-Adonis cult. Von Schroeder establishes parallel between
existing Fertility procession and Rig-Veda poem. Identification of Life
Principles with King. Prosperity of land dependent on king as representative of god.
Celts. Greeks. Modern instances, the Shilluk Kings. Parallel between Shilluk King, Grail
King and Vegetation Diety. Sone de Nansai and the Lament for Tammuz.
Identity of situation. Plea for unprejudiced criticism. Impossiblity of such parallels
being fortuitous; the result of deliberate intention, not an accident of literary
invention. If identity of central character be admitted his relation to Waste Land becomes
fundamental factor in criticizing versions. Another African survival.
Summary of the previous enquiry. The Medieval
Stage. Grail romances probably contain record of secret ritual of a fertility cult.
The Symbols of the cult--Cup, Lance, Sword, Stone, or Dish. Plea for treating Symbols as a
related group not as isolated units. Failure to do so probably cause of unsatisfactory
result of long research. Essential to recognize Grail story as an original whole and to
treat it in its ensemble aspect. We must differentiate between origin and
accretion. Instances. The Legend of Longinus. Lance and Cup not associated in
Christian Art. Evidence. The Spear of Eastern Liturgies only a Knife. The
Bleeding Lance. Treasures of the Tuatha de Danann. Correspond as a group with Grail
Symbols. Difficulty of equating Cauldron-Grail. Probably belong to a different line of
tradition. Instances given. Real significance of of Lance and Cup. Well known as Life
Symbols. The Samurai. Four Symbols also preserved as Suits of the Tarot. Origin of Tarot
discussed. Probably reached Europe from the East. Use of the Symbols in Magic. Probable
explanation of these various appearances to be found in fact that associated group were at
one time symbols of a Fertility cult. Further evidence to be examined.
THE SWORD DANCE
Relation of Sword Dance, Morris Dance, and Mumming Play.
Their Ceremonial origin now admitted by scholars. Connected with seasonal Festivals and
Fertility Ritual. Earliest Sword Dancers, the Maruts. Von Schroeder, Mysterium und
Mimus. Discussion of their nature and functions. The Kouretes. Character of their
dance. Miss J. E. Harrison, Themis. The Korybanetes. Dance probably
sacrificial in origin. The Salii. Dramatic element in their dance. Mars, as Fertility god.
Mamurius Veturius. Anna Perenna. Character of dance seasonal. Modern British survivals.
The Sword Dance. Mostly preserved in North. Variants. Mr E. K. Chambers, The
Medieval Stage. The Mumming Plays. Description. Characters. Recognized as
representing Death and Revival of Vegetation Deity. Dr Jervons, Masks and the Origin
of the Greek Drama. Morris Dances. No dramatic element. Costume of character
significant. Possible survival os theriomorphic origin. Elaborate character of figures in
each group. Symbols employed. The Pentangle. The Chalice. Present form shows dislocation.
Probability that three groups were once a combined whole and Symbols united. Evidence
strengthens view advanced in last Chapter. Symbols originally a group connected with lost
form of Fertility Ritual. Possible origin of Grail Knights to be found in Sword Dancers.
THE MEDICINE MAN
The rôle of the Medicine Man, or
Doctor in Fertility Ritual. Its importance and antiquity. The Rig-Veda poem.
Classical evidence, Mr F. Cornford. Traces of Medicine Man in the Grail romances. Gawain
as healer. Persistent tradition. Possible survival from pre-literary form. Evidence of the
Triads. Peredur as Healer. Evolution of theme. Le Dist de l'Erberie
THE FISHER KING
Summary of evidence presented. Need of a 'test'
element. To be found in central figure. Mystery of his title. Analysis of variants. Gawain
version. Perceval version. Borron alone attempts explanation of title. Parzifal.
Perlesvaus. Queste. Grand Saint Graal. Comparison
with surviving ritual variants. Original form King dead, and restored to life. Old Age and
Wounding themes. Legitimate variants. Doubling of character a literary device. Title. Why Fisher
King? Examination of Fish Symbolism. Fish a Life Symbol. Examples. Indian--Manu, Vishnu,
Buddha. Fish in Buddhism. Evidence from China. Orpheus. Babylonian evidence. Tammuz Lord
of the Net. Jewish Symbolism. The Messianic Fish-meal. Adopted by Christianity.
Evidence of the catacombs. Source of Borron's Fish-meals. Mystery tradition not Celtic
Folk-tale. Comparison of version with Finn story. With Messianic tradition. Epitaph
of Bishop Aberkios. Voyage of Saint Brandan. Connection of Fish and
Dove. Fish as Fertility Symbol. Its use in Marriage cermonies. Summing up of evidence.
Fisher King inexplicable from Christian point of view. Folk-lore solution unsatisfactory.
As a Ritual survival completely in place. Centre of action, and proof of soundness of
THE SECRET OF THE GRAIL (1)
The Grail regarded as an object of awe. Danger of
speaking of Grail or revealing Its secrets. Passages in illustration. Why, if survival of
Nature cults, popular, and openly performed? A two-fold element in these cults, Exoteric,
Esoteric. The Mysteries. Their influence on Christianity to be sought in the Hellenized
rather than the Hellenic cults. Cumont. Rohde. Radical difference between Greek
and Oriental conceptions. Lack of evidence as regards Mysteries on the whole. Best
attested form that connected with Nature cults. Attis-Adonis. Popularity of the Phrygian
cult in Rome. Evidence as to Attis Mysteries. Utilized by Neo-Platonists as vehicle for
teaching. Close connection with Mithraism. The Taurobolium. Details of Attis Mysteries.
Parallels with the Grail romances.
THE SECRET OF THE GRAIL (2)
The Naassene Document
Relations between early Christianity, and
pre-Christian cults. Early Heresies. Hippolytus, and The Refutation of all Heresies.
Character of the work. The Naassene Document. Mr Mead's analysis of text. A
synthesis of Mysteries. Identification of Life Principle with the Logos. Connection
between Drama and Mysteries of Attis. Importance of the Phrygian Mysteries. Naassene claim
to be the sole Christians. Significance of evidence. Vegetation cults as a vehicle of high
spiritual teaching. Exoteric and Esoteric parallels with the Grail tradition. Process of
evolution sketched. Bleheris. Perlesvaus. Borron and the Mystery tradition.
Christian Legendary, and Folk-tale, secondary, not primary, features.
MITHRA AND ATTIS
Problem of close connection of cults. Their apparent
divergence. Nature of deities examined. Attis. Mithra. The Messianic Feast. Dieterich, Eine
Mithrasliturgie. Difference between the two initiations. Link between Phrygian,
Mithraic, and Christian, Mysteries to be found in their higher, esoteric, teaching. Women
not admitted to Mithraic initiation. Possible survival in Grail text. Joint diffusion
through the Roman Empire. Cumont's evidence. Traces of cult in British Isles. Possible
explanation of unorthodox character of Grail legend. Evidence of survival of cult in fifth
century. The Elucidation a possible record of historic facts. Reasons for
connecting Grail with Arthurian tradition.
CHAPTER XIII THE PERILOUS CHAPEL
The adventure of the Perilous Chapel in Grail
romances. Gawain form. Perceval versions. Queste. Perlesvaus.
Lancelot. Chevalier à Deux Espées. Prose Lancelot.
Adventure part of 'Secret of the Grail.' The Chapel of Saint Austin. Histoire de
Fulk Fitz-Warin. Genuine record of an initiation. Probable locality North Britain.
Site of remains of Mithra-Attis cults. Traces of Mystery tradition in Medieval romance. Owain
Miles. Bousset, Himmelfahrt der Seele. Parallels with romance. Appeal
to Celtic scholars. Otherworld journeys a possible survival of Mystery tradition. The
Templars, were they Naassenes?
Provenance and authorship of Grail romantic
tradition. Evidence points to Wales, probably Pembrokeshire. Earliest form contained in
group of Gawain poems assigned to Bleheris. Of Welsh origin. Master Blihis,
Bilhos, Bliheris, Bréri, Bledhericus. Probably all references to same person. Conditions
of identity. Mr E. Owen, and Bledri ap Cadivor. Evidence not complete but fulfils
conditions of problem Professor Singer and possible character of Bleheris' text. Mr Alfred
Nutt. Irish and Welsh parallels. Recapitulation of evolutionary process. Summary and