Knights of the Round Table

Knights of the Round Table were those men awarded the highest order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur in the literary cycle the Matter of Britain. The table at which they met was created to have no head or foot, representing the equality of all the members. Different stories had different numbers of knights, ranging from only 12 to 150 or more. The Winchester Round Table, which dates from the 1270s, lists 25 names of knights.

Sir Thomas Malory describes the Knights' code of chivalry as:
*To never do outrage nor murder
*Always to flee treason
*To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy
*To always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succor
*To never force ladies, gentlewomen or widows
*Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods

Origins of the Round Table

The first writer to describe the Round Table was Wace, whose "Roman de Brut" was an elaboration of Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Historia Regum Britanniae". The actual table itself was round in order to represent that each knight was of equal value to the king and thus there was no 'head' of the table, although one understood that Arthur's place was 'the head.' In later writings, the table was said to be a gift to King Arthur from his father-in-law, King Leodogran of Cameliard, as a wedding gift upon the marriage of Arthur to Guinevere.

The company was used by many subsequent authors. However, even the earliest writers ascribe to Arthur a following of extraordinary warriors. In Geoffrey, Arthur's court attracts the greatest heroes from all of Europe. In the Welsh Arthurian material, much of which is included in the "Mabinogion", Arthur's men are attributed with superhuman abilities. Some of the characters from the Welsh material even appear under altered names as Knights of the Round Table in the continental romances, the most notable of which are Cai (Sir Kay), Bedwyr (Sir Bedivere), and Gwalchmai (Sir Goyette).

List of Knights of the Round Table

*Sir Aglovale, son of King Pellinore of Listinoise
* Sir Agravaine, son of King Lot of Orkney
* King Bagdemagus
* Sir Bedivere (Bedwyr), throws Excalibur back into the lake when Arthur dies
* Sir Bors, King of Gannes (Gaul)
* Sir Breunor, also known as "La Cote Male Taile"
* Sir Cador
* Sir Caradoc, called "Caradoc Vreichvras", or "Caradoc Strong Arm"
* Sir Colgrevance
* Sir Constantine, son of Cador, who became king after Arthur's death
* Sir Dagonet, the court jester
* Sir Daniel
* Sir Derfel Cadarn (The Brave), Kulwgh's best friend and in the Welsh legends it's Derfel who throws the sword into the lake, not Bedivere
* Sir Dinadan, the son of Sir Brunor Senior and brother of Sirs Brunor le Noir 'La Cote Mal Taillée' and Daniel.
* Sir Ector, Arthur's foster father and Sir Kay's father
* Sir Ector de Maris, the son of King Ban of Benwick
* Sir Elyan the White, the son of Sir Bors
* Sir Erec, (see also Geraint)
* Sir Gaheris
* Sir Galahad (son of Lancelot; his seat was the Siege Perilous)
*Sir Galehaut, friend of Lancelot
* Sir Galeshin (son of Elaine and King Nentres)
* Sir Gareth, also called Beaumains or Goodhands
* Sir Gawain (Gawaine, Walganus, Balbhuaidh, Gwalchmai)
* Sir Geraint (see also Erec)
* Sir Gingalain, called at first Sir Le Bel Inconnu ("The "Fair Unknown"), Gawain's son
* Sir Griflet, also called Sir Griflet le Fils de Dieu
* King Hoel
* Sir Kay (Cai, Caius), Arthur's stepbrother, son of Sir Ector
* Sir Lamorak
* Sir Lancelot (Launcelot du Lac, father of Sir Galahad)
* King Leodegrance, Guinevere's father and keeper of the Round Table
* Sir Lionel
* Sir Lucan
* Sir Maleagant, who abducted Guinevere
* Sir Meliant de Lis
* Sir Mordred, Arthur's illegitimate son and destroyer of the kingdom
* Sir Morholt
* Sir Palamedes the Saracen
* Sir Pelleas, husband of the Lady of the Lake
* King Pellinore
* Sir Percival (Perceval, Peredur), son of Pellinore
* Sir Sagramore le Desirous
* Sir Safir, brother of Palamedes
* Sir Segwarides, brother of Palamedes
* Sir Tor
* Sir Tristram (Tristan)
* King Uriens
* Sir Ywain (Owain), son of King Uriens of Gore
* Sir Ywain the Bastard, also son of UriensIn addition, Malory's account includes many obscure knights during the episode containing Sir Urry:
*King Angwish of Ireland,
*King AB-Enion, Beignon (Benion in Breton) named after a Celtic Seat located Bretagne région, but also with Welsh origins AP-AB = Son of
*Earl Aristance,
*Sir Azreal,
*Sir Arrok,
*Sir Ascamore,
*Sir Barrant le Apres (King with a Hundred Knights),
*Sir Bellenger le Beau,
*Sir Belliance le Orgulous,
*Sir Blamor de Ganis,
*Sir Bleoberis de Ganis,
*Sir Borre le Cœur Hardi (King Arthur's son),
*Sir Brandiles,
*Sir Brian de Listinoise,
*King Carados of Scotland,
*Sir Cardok,
*Duke Chalance of Clarence,
*King Clariance of Northumberland,
*Sir Clarus of Cleremont,
*Sir Clegis,
*Sir Clodrus,
*Sir Colgrevance,
*Sir Crosslem,
*Sir Damas,
*Sir Degrave sans Villainy (fought with the giant of the Black Lowe),
*Sir Degrevant,
*Sir Dinas le Seneschal de Cornwall,
*Sir Dinas,
*Sir Dodinas le Savage,
*Sir Dornar,
*Sir Driant,
*Sir Edward of Caernarvon,
*Sir Edward of Orkney,
*Sir Epinogris (son of King Clariance of Northumberland),
*Sir Fergus,
*Sir Florence and Sir Lovell (sons of Gawain by Sir Brandiles's sister),
*Sir Gahalantine,
*Sir Galahalt (a duke known as the Haut Prince),
*Sir Galihodin,
*Sir Galleron of Galway,
*Sir Gauter,
*Sir Gillimer,
*Sir Grummor Grummorson,
*Sir Gumret le Petit,
*Sir Harry le Fils Lake,
*Sir Hebes (not Hebes le Renowne),
*Sir Hebes le Renowne,
*Sir Hectimere,
*Sir Helian le Blanc,
*Sir Herminde,
*Sir Hervis de la Forest Savage,
*Sir Ironside (Knight of the Red Launds),
*Sir Kay l'Estrange (not Kay, Arthur's seneschal),
*Earl Lambaile,
*Sir Lambegus,
*Sir Lamiel of Cardiff,
*Sir Lavain,
*Sir Lucan the Butler,
*Sir Mador de la Porte,
*Sir Marrok (whose wife turned him into a werewolf for seven years),
*Sir Melias de l'Isle,
*Sir Melion of the Mountain,
*Sir Meliot de Logris,
*Sir Menaduke,
*Sir Morganor,
*King Nentres of Garlot,
*Sir Neroveus,
*Sir Ozanna le Cœur Hardi,
*Sir Perimones (brother to Persant and Pertolepe. Called the Red Knight),
*Sir Persant,
*Sir Pertolepe,
*Sir Petipace of Winchelsea,
*Sir Plaine de Fors,
*Sir Plenorius,
*Sir Priamus,
*Sir Reynold,
*Sir Sadok,
*Sir Selises of the Dolorous Tower,
*Sir Sentrail,
*Sir Severause le Breuse (known for rejecting battles with men in favour of giants, dragons, and wild beasts),
*Sir Suppinabiles,
*Earl Ulbawes,
*Sir Urry,
*Sir Uwain le Avoutres, and
*Sir Villiars the Valiant.

Yet other sources add more obscure knights. For example, "Lancelot und Ginevra" (Anonymous, 1230) mentions Sir Gaimar and has him a lover of both Guinevere and Morgan le Fay. (He has had an asteroid named after him: 9502 Gaimar)

ee also


*Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur, the Winchester Manuscript. Edited and abridged by Helen Cooper, this book was published by Oxford University Press in 1998.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Knights of the Round Table — Knight Knight, n. [OE. knight, cniht, knight, soldier, AS. cniht, cneoht, a boy, youth, attendant, military follower; akin to D. & G. knecht servant; perh. akin to E. kin.] 1. A young servant or follower; a military attendant. [Obs.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Knights of the Round Table — Knights of the Round Ta|ble, the the ↑knights led by King Arthur, who, according to old English stories, sit together at a table, which is round so that no one should seem to be more important than any of the others …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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