Excalibur - sword of King Arthur: history and legends

King Arthur is one of the most famous legendary rulers of the past. His image is reflected in a variety of literary works and cinematography. Everything that is connected with this great ruler of the Britons is extremely interesting and shrouded in a veil of mystery. The sword of King Arthur is another fascinating legend from Celtic legends. He is often confused with another famous weapon - a blade of stone. The history of the sword Excalibur - find out how it appeared, got to King Arthur and where is now.

The legendary ruler of Britain - birth and education

Tales of King Arthur appeared a long time ago. The first mention of it dates back to the year 600. The Welsh poem of this period tells of the battle between the Britons and the Anglo-Saxons. Tales of King Arthur became popular thanks to the 12th century priest and writer Jeffrey Monmouth, or to Galfrid of Monmouth. He was the first to combine fragmentary information about the famous ruler of the Britons in a coherent narrative.

Arthur is the son of the legendary King of Britons Uther Pendragon. Immediately after birth, by agreement, he was given up for education to the great magician Merlin. He, in turn, later entrusted the education of the boy to Sir Ector, since he did not want the life at the royal court to impose an imprint on Arthur.

Arthur's coming to power

There are two versions of how Arthur took over the reins. According to a version from ancient literary sources, he was proclaimed King of Britain at the age of 15 years after the death of his father Uther as a result of poisoning.

Later, the history of King Arthur acquired the character of a legend. Here appears the famous sword in stone. Initially it was a stone slab with the weapon lying on it, pressed down by an anvil. Later, a stone appeared with a sword thrust into it and the inscription that the one who could pull out the weapon would become the king of the Britons. Arthur accidentally took out his sword when he was looking for a weapon for his named brother Kay. Merlin declared the young man king, but many rulers did not recognize him and went to war against Arthur. He had to defend the throne and his right to it.

The rule of Arthur and the first appearance of Excalibur

His capital, the young king made the city of Camelot. According to another version, he ordered to build a city from which he was going to rule the country. Where the capital was located, it's hard to say. According to the most common version it is believed that Camelot is an amphitheater in Chester in the west of England. Jeffrey Monmouth in his famous work "The History of the Kings of Britain" believed that Camelot is the castle of Carleon, located in Wales.

King Arthur in Camelot until the conquest of the Saxons of England ruled Britain, Brittany and Ireland. The young ruler had many enemies. For a time he fought with a sword, extracted from stone, but in a duel with Pelinor the weapon was broken. Then Merlin came to the aid of the king. He promised him Excalibur - a sword with wonderful properties. He pointed to Arthur the lake, in the waters of which he could see a hand with a blade. The Sword was held by the Lady of the Lake. She gave the weapon to the king on condition that she strip him only for the sake of a just cause and return a wonderful relic to any lake in the event of the death of the ruler. Arthur promised to fulfill her request.

Appearance and properties of the sword

Usually it was portrayed as a straight blade with a simple cross-shaped handle, adorned with precious stones. The sheath of the sword possessed a magical power - they healed any wound. They needed to be worn alongside Excalibur, otherwise they would lose their magic power. The sword gave its owner strength and agility in battles.

Excalibur - the name of a wonderful weapon

The sword of King Arthur in different epochs was called in different ways: Kaliburn, Kalad-kolg, Escalibor. Usually the name came from the French medieval literature.

The origin of the sword

The legend of the sword "Excalibur" dates back to the distant past. There are several versions of the appearance of this weapon. According to one of them, the Lady of the Lake created it specially for Arthur, and then took it after the death of the king. According to another legend, he was created by the great Merlin.

There is a version that Excalibur, a sword with wonderful properties, was forged by Velund, the Scandinavian blacksmith.

The death of Arthur and the disappearance of Excalibur

When the king went in search of the escaped wife of Guinevere, his throne was usurped by his nephew (according to another version, illegitimate son) Mordred, whom Arthur left governor. Learning of the Troubles, the king returned and fought with a traitor in the Kammlanskoye field. In this battle, the whole army of Britain fell. Arthur was mortally wounded by Mordred. Returning the sword of the Lady of the Lake, he died.

But there are other versions of what happened to the king. According to one of them, he was taken to the island of Avalon by four queens. According to legend, it was here that the portal to other worlds was located and sorceresses were brought up. It is said that the great ruler of Britain is sleeping in anticipation of the day when his assistance will be needed for the country.

The hill of St. Michael in the county of Somerset is considered a place associated with King Arthur. At its foot is Glastonbury - one of the oldest cities in Britain. Even before the arrival of the Romans there was a large settlement. In the XII century, during the restoration work in the abbey, were found, as the monks said, the sarcophagi of Arthur and Guinevere. This place is considered a portal to another world - Avalon.

Sword Excalibur - where is the legendary relic?

According to the legends about the life of King Arthur, before his death he asked to throw the famous sword in the waters of the nearest lake. This was done by the last of the surviving Knights of the Round Table. Only after making sure that his request was fulfilled, Arthur died. After this, Excalibur, the sword of the great king of the Britons, was forever lost.

Researcher from Italy, Mario Moiragi in his book "The Secret of San Galgano" seriously believes that the prototype of the famous weapon of King Arthur still rests in the rock in the Abbey of San Galliano. It dates from the XII century, so there is no doubt about the authenticity of the ancient weapons. The researcher believes that the legend of Excalibur is inspired by the sword of Saint Galliano, who as a sign of non-violence and stuck his weapon in the rock.


Is there an Exalibur sword in reality? History knows many examples when ancient tradition became reality. The tale of King Arthur is surprisingly believable - we know the entire history of the great ruler of Britain during the Dark Ages, and this makes us believe that the legend about him has a real basis.

Excalibur - the sword of the legendary King of Britons Arthur, having its ancient and beautiful history, has long been an ancient relic, the find of which can only be dreamed of. For modern researchers, it is similar to the Holy Grail of the Knights of the Round Table - many of them dream to find and believe in the reality of the existence of a wonderful relic.

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