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Tuscany's Excalibur Is The Real Thing, Say Scientists
The Observer ^ | 9-16-2001 | Rory Carroll

Posted on 09/24/2001 7:46:55 PM PDT by blam

Tuscany's Excalibur is the real thing, say scientists

Rory Carroll in Rome
Sunday September 16, 2001
The Observer

The sword of St Galgano, said to have been plunged into a rock by a medieval Tuscan knight, has been authenticated, bolstering Italy's version of the Excalibur legend. Galgano Guidotti, a noble from Chiusdano, near Siena, allegedly split the stone with his sword in 1180 after renouncing war to become a hermit. For centuries the sword was assumed to be a fake. but research revealed last week has dated its metal to the twelfth century.

Only the hilt, wooden grip and a few inches of the 3ft blade poke from the hill, which still draws pilgrims and tourists to the ruins of the chapel built around it.

'Dating metal is a very difficult task, but we can say that the composition of the metal and the style are compatible with the era of the legend,' said Luigi Garlaschelli, of the University of Pavia. 'We have succeeded in refuting those who maintain that it is a recent fake.'

Ground-penetrating radar analysis revealed that beneath the sword there is a cavity, 2m by 1m, which is thought to be a burial recess, possibly containing the knight's body. 'To know more we have to excavate,' said Garlaschelli, whose findings have been published in Focus magazine.

Carbon-dating confirmed that two mummified hands(DNA?) in the same chapel at Montesiepi were also from the twelfth century. Legend has it that anyone who tried to remove the sword had their arms ripped out.

In English legend the sword Excalibur is pulled from a stone by the future King Arthur, heralding his glory. In Galgano's case the miracle signified humility and holiness.

The son of an illiterate feudal lord, Galgano had a reputation for arrogance and selfishness. After a vision of the Archangel Michael, however, he retired to a cave to become a hermit. Lured out by his family he was thrown by his horse while passing Montesiepi, a hill near Chiusdano, where another vision told him to renounce material things.

Galgano objected that that would be as difficult as splitting a rock and to prove his point he struck one with his sword. The rock, it is said, yielded like butter.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; archangelmichael; arthurianlegend; artifacts; catholic; chiusdano; chiusdino; excalibur; galganoguidotti; godsgravesglyphs; history; italy; kingarthur; legends; middleages; montesiepi; montesiepichapel; montesiepisiena; relic; romancatholicism; roundtable; saintgalgano; saintgalganoabbey; saints; sangalgano; santuccio; siena; siepichapel; stgalgano; sword; swordinthestone; tuscan; tuscany
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Don't know anything about this subject. I do know that some believe that the Archangel Michael was a comet.
1 posted on 09/24/2001 7:46:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
My understanding is that Excalibur is the sword that Arthur got from the lady in the lake after the cheap piece of Chicom-made crap that Merlin stuck in a stone for him to pull out broke.

Also, the Arthurian legends supposedly had their genesis in the 8th or 9th centuries, not the 11th or 12th.

2 posted on 09/24/2001 7:54:01 PM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: blam
You mean he played with Bill Haley? Wow, that would make him really old huh?.

---max

3 posted on 09/24/2001 7:54:53 PM PDT by max61
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To: FateAmenableToChange
"Also, the Arthurian legends supposedly had their genesis in the 8th or 9th centuries, not the 11th or 12th."

Thanks. I wondered about the reference to King Arthur also. Most date him to around AD540. I just thought perhaps there was another King Arthur.(?)

4 posted on 09/24/2001 8:01:01 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I do know that some believe that the Archangel Michael was a comet.

Probably aliens messing with Medievil minds way back then.

Read Wiliam Bramley's "The Gods of Eden"

5 posted on 09/24/2001 8:02:02 PM PDT by Alan Ford
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To: blam
Present it to Dubbya when the Brits dub him Sir George the Lionheart....
6 posted on 09/24/2001 8:04:18 PM PDT by spokeshave
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To: blam
No this isn't Excalibur. I threw the durn thing back in the lake centuries ago. parsy.
7 posted on 09/24/2001 8:05:42 PM PDT by parsifal
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To: parsifal
Arthur

I. Introduction

Arthur, legendary king of the Britons in ancient times, and the major figure in Arthurian legend. Arthur expelled foreigners from Britain, brought peace to the country, and established a kingdom based on justice, law, and morality. He held court at his castle at Camelot and instituted an order known as the knights of the Round Table. Eventually his realm crumbled, and his illegitimate son Mordred grievously wounded him in battle. Many versions of Arthurian legend say that Arthur will someday return, when he is again needed by Britain.

II. Legend

Arthur is the son of King Uther Pendragon and the lady Ygraine (who was married to Gorlois, the duke of Cornwall, when Arthur was conceived). After Arthur is born, the magician Merlin gives him to a man named Hector (also called Antor) to be raised with Hector's son, Kay. Arthur grows up as a commoner, but then he alone succeeds at a test devised to choose Uther's successor: Arthur draws a sword from a stone (or, in some versions of the story, from an anvil).

Because of his humble origins, Arthur must overcome strong opposition from the British nobles to his royal claim, but eventually he is crowned. To help him in his task of leading Britain, he receives a great sword, Excalibur, offered by a hand that rises mysteriously from a lake. To defeat Britain's enemies, Arthur undertakes a series of wars, conquests, and invasions. After Arthur completes these, Britain has a long period of peace and security. Arthur sets up the Round Table as a meeting place for his knights. The shape of the table ensures that all who sit around it are equal in status.

Arthur meets and marries the lady Guinevere, but she and Lancelot, one of Arthur's favored knights, eventually fall in love, and their relationship divides Camelot. The ruin of the kingdom is hastened by the quest for the Holy Grail, the sacred cup used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. However worthy an enterprise the quest may be, it takes Arthur's best knights away from court and leads many of them to their deaths. Once Arthur discovers Lancelot and Guinevere's love affair, his own system of justice requires that he condemn his wife to death. Lancelot rescues her, however, initiating a war between his forces and those of Arthur and the knight Gawain.

During the conflict with Lancelot, Arthur learns that the Romans plan to attack him. He fights and defeats them, but at the same time his illegitimate son (or, in some texts, his nephew), Mordred, tries to usurp the throne. Arthur then battles Mordred in a terrible conflict on Salisbury Plain that leaves many knights dead. Arthur kills Mordred, but before dying, the young man gravely wounds the king.

Facing death, Arthur orders one of his knights (Bedivere or Girflet, depending on the story) to throw Excalibur into a lake, so that the sword cannot fall into the wrong hands. Versions of the legend differ about Arthur's fate thereafter. Some say that he dies and is buried, others tell that a boat (usually containing a number of women, including Arthur's half sister Morgan le Fay) takes him away to the island of Avalon. Many works promise that Arthur will return when Britain again needs him to subdue the nation's enemies and to bring peace and security to the land.

(snip)

8 posted on 09/24/2001 8:13:29 PM PDT by blam
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To: FateAmenableToChange
"You can't expect to wield Supreme executive power, just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
9 posted on 09/24/2001 8:14:17 PM PDT by j_tull
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To: max61
"You mean he played with Bill Haley?"

Yup. ..and they 'Rocked around the clock."

10 posted on 09/24/2001 8:15:46 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam, j_tull
"Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."


11 posted on 09/24/2001 8:21:30 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: blam
Dear Blam:

Later legend surrounding King Richard suggests that on March 7, 1192(?), he gifted the legendary sword Excalibur to King Tancred of Leece, thus prompting some of the uprisings against him while he fought in Europe.

(Positive of the date, but not the year. It was just a few years prior to his death from an arrow wound near his heart).

12 posted on 09/24/2001 8:27:55 PM PDT by TheWriter
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To: blam
No, No, No. You can't believe everything you read.

"Knowing he was dying, Arthur asked Percival to take Excalibur back to the Lady of the Lake. However Percival decided to keep Excalibur for himself and on returning to Arthur reporting that nothing had happened. Arthur told Percival that he had not done what was asked and to do it. This time Percival did throw Excalibur into the lake and the Lady caught it. Soon after Arthur died and his body was taken to the Isle of Avalon where, according to legend, he waits until England needs him again.

The story doesn't end there. Galahad took the throne as Arthur's chosen and at least stemmed the disintegration of Arthur's kingdom. Percival continued his grail quest eventually finding it but when he touched it he disappeared.

13 posted on 09/24/2001 8:30:12 PM PDT by parsifal
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To: Constitution Day
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away!

ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!

DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!

DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that, eh? That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn't you?

14 posted on 09/24/2001 8:41:51 PM PDT by dzurn
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To: dzurn
My favorite Python skit! Dennis the Peasant-- classic! And so well done. Michael Palin rocked in it.
15 posted on 09/24/2001 8:48:58 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast
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To: Constitution Day
Truer words have never been spoken.

BTW, you're using coconuts.

16 posted on 09/24/2001 8:54:02 PM PDT by seams2me
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To: TheWriter, blam
The lady of the Lake part of the legend is Druidic. Watery sites were considered sacred, as in wishing wells.
17 posted on 09/24/2001 9:15:44 PM PDT by rightofrush
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To: seams2me
Cannot the tiny ant, building his home from the hard earth, carry sixty times his own weight?
18 posted on 09/24/2001 9:30:14 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: rightofrush
"The lady of the Lake part of the legend is Druidic. Watery sites were considered sacred, as in wishing wells."

I happen to believe something catastrophic happened in the mid-500's AD, a date many believe was the period of King Arthur. The tree rings, worldwide, indicate a serious temporary climate change at exactly that period. I think a comet or comet fragment plunged into the Celtic Sea in 540AD. All these legends have grown out of an effort to explain that event. Swords, snakes, dragons and angels have always been associated with comets in myths. All tree ring events dating back to 3000BC have an acid layer (volcanoes) in the ice cores, the 540AD event does not have an acid layer. (comet?) This catastrophy (serious cooling) probably plunged Europe into the Dark Ages.

19 posted on 09/24/2001 9:47:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Interesting, blam, I had not read that before anywhere. Are there any sources you can give me to read more about it?
20 posted on 09/24/2001 10:00:15 PM PDT by SurferDoc
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