The legend of King Arthur and his sword, Excalibur, has been a source of stories and movies for years. It seems to be one of the biggest legends that people have heard about, even if you haven’t taken the time to read about it or see it in action on the big screen.
So what do you know about this famous piece of British history? Here are ten facts about Excalibur that you didn’t know before reading this article.
Fact 1: Excalibur was forged by giants
Excalibur was forged by giants and then given to King Arthur. It had magical powers, which helped Arthur become a powerful king and defend England against invaders. Excalibur was famously placed in the stone by Arthur’s enemy, Merlin, who demanded that it be freed only by the greatest knight in the land.
When no one could remove the sword from the stone, Arthur took it as his sign of legitimacy as king. He then pulled out the sword from its resting place with ease and appointed himself as ruler of England.
Fact 2: King Arthur was a different person to Lancelot
King Arthur was a different person to Lancelot. King Arthur was a man who was the rightful heir to the throne of Camelot. Lancelot was a Knight from France who had helped Arthur in many battles and became his closest friend. However, when Arthur fell in love with Guinevere he began to get less involved in battles and stopped defending his kingdom because he wanted to spend more time with her. This allowed other kingdoms like France, Spain and Rome to try and take over Camelot. The only person who could have defended it was Lancelot but as he wasn’t there, they were able to take over the kingdom and kill Guinevere.
Fact 3: The sword may be older than Britain itself
The sword may be older than Britain itself, with evidence suggesting that it originated in the Middle East or Eastern Europe. The sword is said to have magical powers, but many scholars believe that the legends of Arthurian legend were exaggerated to suit European tastes. One legend says that excalibur was created when a nail from God’s cross fell into the soil and became embedded in a rock which was then cut by Merlin.
Another story claims that excalibur had been brought by a maiden from Ireland who married King Pellam, though they had no children. When she heard her husband’s death would come at hands of his brother’s son, she gave him two eggs and told him to swallow them when he saw his enemy approaching.
Fact 4: The sword could make its owner unbeatable
The sword could make its owner unbeatable. This is because the sword was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake and she said that the sword would be invincible as long as it remained in her hand. The only way for a knight to take the sword away from her would be if he were able to pull it out of a stone, which no one had ever been able to do.
Fact 5: The first use of Excalibur was in a war
The first use of Excalibur was in war against the Saxons. The Saxons were attacking a town, and King Arthur’s army was nearby. As soon as he arrived on the scene, he drew his sword from its scabbard and killed many of them before they knew what was happening. That is when the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur began.
Fact 6: The sword was engraved with snakes
The sword was engraved with snakes and it was so brightly shining that the people who saw it could not look at it. The legend of the sword in the stone was based on a passage in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae that describes how King Arthur pulled a sword from a stone to prove his worthiness to rule Britain.
Fact 7: Legend has it that there were two swords called Excalibur
Legend has it that there were two swords called Excalibur. The first was broken in a duel with King Pellinore and the second was given to King Arthur by the Lady of the Lake, which he then used to fight his final battle with Mordred.
Fact 8: There’s more than one version of Arthurian myth
There’s more than one version of Arthurian myth. This is because the legend is so old and has been told for so many years that it has changed as it was passed on. There are a lot of versions of the story and not all of them have King Arthur coming back to life with the sword in the stone or even being a real person. Some legends say that the king didn’t really die, but just went into hiding to wait for his people to be safe again before he ruled again.
Fact 9 : Merlin himself may have been a Celtic god
Merlin himself may have been a Celtic god. We see that there are many similarities between Merlin and the Welsh god Myrddin. Myrddin is the god of prophecy and magic, while Merlin is a wizard who aids King Arthur in his battles. There is also evidence that Merlin was originally from Ireland, which would make sense as to why he was both Irish and Welsh.
Fact 10 : The last wish of King Arthur was to be buried at Glastonbury Abbey
King Arthur’s last wish was to be buried at Glastonbury Abbey, but he was never found. It is said that his final resting place was in the grounds of what later became Glastonbury Abbey, but it is still unknown if this is true or not.