According to author Mario Moiraghi, the legend of King Arthur, his sword Excalibur, and the knights of the Round Table originated in Italy, and not in England. Moiraghi says a sword embedded in a rock in an abbey in Tuscany that dates to the year 1180 is the original "sword in the stone."
The sword of Saint Galgano is preserved at a Gothic abbey near the city of Siena. Only the hilt and a small amount of the sword's blade can be seen protruding from the rock. Galgano was a knight who became a hermit after a religious vision, and plunged the sword into the rock after renouncing all worldly goods. The sword was once thought to be a fake, but metal dating has established its authenticity. In the Arthurian legend, the future king pulls the sword from the stone, instead of plunging it in.
Chretien de Troyes' Perceval (Percival), written in 1190, and Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, written in 1220, tell of a gallant knight who overcomes all obstacles. The sword was first mentioned by 13th century French poet Robert de Boron. The legends that inspired these writings have always been thought to be Celtic in origin.
An Italian King Arthur? How about flying saucers built by Hitler?
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