Saturday, 11 February 2012

Gawain’s Sword

After last week’s post about Gawain’s sword, long-time reader, Angus McWasp, wrote in with a couple of additional details.
As I mentioned previously, in the Death of Arthur poem, Gawain’s sword is named ‘Galuth’ a Hebrew word for exile.  Apart from alliteration, there is no clear reason why Gawain would have a sword with a Hebrew name, and it is likely that this is just coincidence. Angus points out that Thomas Malory used this poem as a source for his Le Morte d’Arthur, but renames Gawain’s sword ‘Galantine’, which has a much more heroic (and French) ring to it.
In earlier works, Gawain’s sword was either unnamed, or he was said to carry Excalibur.  In fact, one story even has King Arthur bestowing the sword on his nephew.  Considering that Arthur didn’t do much adventuring in his later years, this makes sense.
If anyone has any more information on this, or any other great sword of myth and legend, please do share.

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