Round Table, the

British - A large circular table used by King Arthur and his knights; An institution of knighthood. This table, originally known as The Old Table and capable of seating fifty knights, was said to have been made by Merlin for Uther Pendragon, based on the table used at the Last Supper. It was given to Leodogrance and brought by Guinevere as part of her dowry on her marriage to King Arthur. In some accounts, it could seat thirteen, fifty, 150 or 250. In another version it was made for King Arthur to seat 1,600, including himself and the sub-kings of Britain, so that no one sat above another causing resentment. Yet another story says that Arthur found a large flat stone, the lost altar of St Carannog, floating in a marsh where he was seeking a monster. The saint gave the king the altar which he had made into the Round Table. One chair (the Perilous Seat) was left empty for the knight deemed worthy of the recovery of the Holy Grail. The only one ever to sit in it without harm was Galahad. An early story says that, before Arthur had the table made, a quarrel broke out over precedence at the table and seven knights were killed. Arthur had the originator of the fracas drowned in a swamp and cut off the noses of that knight's womenfolk. The king then had the Round Table made to prevent further argument. Also known as Round Table, the.

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