The Holy Grail conjures up images of a romantic and heroic past, of magical journeys and brave knights.
What do we really know of its origin and meaning? It has entered the language as a phrase that embodies an infinitely desirable but attainable goal.
Is there any truth behind this intriguing object, or is it just one of the many myths of the Middle Ages?
This talk will consider why the symbol of the Holy Grail has proved so durable. It will follow the transformations of the medieval Grail through history, art, literature and theology.
The journey will take us across Europe and the Near East, and even to America as we unravel the cultural impact of Tennyson's Phantom Cup.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently nearly 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.