Sword in the Stone

British - In the Arthurian legends, a sword. Set in a block of stone. There are two such swords. The more famous of the two is the sword which could be drawn only by the man destined to be king of Britain. The other was destined for Galahad. When a successor to Uther was sought, Merlin arranged for a sword embedded in a block of stone (and, in some versions, an anvil as well) to appear in the churchyard near to where the assembled peers were to make their choice. Only Arthur was able to draw the sword from the stone, so establishing his claim to the throne. In some stories, this sword was Excalibur and had that name engraved upon it; in other versions, Excalibur was the sword which Arthur received from the hand rising from the lake, an event organised by Merlin when Arthur told him he was without a sword. The second sword, set in a block of red stone, floated down the river to Camelot where Galahad had just arrived. He was the only knight able to withdraw the sword which he claimed and put into his empty scabbard. Also referred to as Sword in the Stone.

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