Bullfinch's Holy Lance

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January 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm #943
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Altosackbuteer
Participant

Dear All:

So here I am living “in exile” in Poland, in a manner of speaking, waiting for my next Amazon shipment of Tony’s book, whichever may be first, and having to keep my mind occupied with the current contents of my library.

I have been forced to resort to reading Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews (which is fun, actually, though hardly action-paced) and BULLFINCH’S MYTHOLOGY. It’s actually interesting and worth the time, though I’d rather read Casca or Joseph Wambaugh or Harry Turtledove or SOMETHING current.

So I’m up to reading about the magical, heroic exploits of King Arthur and the Round Table. I just got finished with the tragic doomed love of Tristan and Isolde, and I’m now onto Chapter XIX, which is about the Sangreal, or the Holy Grail. And — it has a mention of The Holy, True Lance.

Here it is: “The Sangreal was the cup from which our Saviour (sic; damned Limey bad spelling!) drank at his last supper. He was supposed to have given it to Joseph of Arimathea, who carried it to Europe, TOGETHER WITH THE SPEAR WITH WHICH THE SOLDIER PIERCED THE SAVIOUR’S (sic) SIDE. From generation to gneration, one of the descendants of Joseph of Arimathea had been devoted to the guardianship of these precious relics; but on the sole condition of leading a life of purity in thought, word, and deed. For a long time the Sangreal (which, literally, from its Latin roots, means, I think, “the royal blood”) was visible to all pilgrims, and its presence conferred blessings upon the land in which it was preserved. But at length one of those holy men to whom its guardianship had descended so far forgot the obligation of his sacred office as to look with unhallowed eye upon a young female pilgrim whose robe was accidentally loosened as she knelt before him. THE SACRED LANCE INSTANTLY PUNISHED HIS FRAILTY, SPONTANEOUSLY FALLING UPON HIM, AND INFLICTING A DEEP WOUND. The marvellous wound could by no means be healed, and the guardian of the Sangreal was ever after called “Le Roi Pescheur” — “The Sinner King.” The Sangreal withdrew its visible presence from the crowds who came to worship, and an iron age succeeded to the happiness which its presence had diffused among the tribes of Britain.”

Hmmm — all THAT — just for looking down some woman’s TOP?

All I got to say is, if the Holy Grail is THAT sensitive, no wonder nobody’s seen it for AGES!

I also note there’s something ominously phallic and masculine about that Holy Lance too…

I wonder if there’s a Casca yarn somewhere involved…

January 17, 2012 at 12:47 am #962
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Harri
Participant

I have a hard time crediting a weapon of war with such delicate sensibilities.

January 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm #979
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Harri
Participant

I found an interesting book called “Relics” by Joan Carroll Cruz, and there are a surprising number of relics associated with Jesus. We all know the Shroud, the Lance, and the Grail, but she also lists the Holy Manger, the swaddling cloth, the seamless garments, the Holy Stairs, the scourging post, the crown of thorns (and innumerable individual thorns therof), the Cross (ditto splinters of), the nails, the sponge, the title, a “grave cloth” separate from the Shroud, and the Veil of Veronica. For some reason she omits the Mandylion. It might make for an interesting subplot for Casca to be involved in a search for, or discovery, of one of these lesser-known artifacts.

January 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm #981
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Tony Roberts
Keymaster

Or the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? One thing to say about ‘relics’. The vast majority were fakes and only created by the holding church/Abbey/Cathedral to bring in the tourists and boost income. It was – as is everything in life so it seems – all about money.

January 27, 2012 at 2:00 am #995
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Harri
Participant

and the Book of Armaments, yes đŸ˜‰ But, I remember a mention that Casca spent some time chasing down Rapture rumors in the hopes that one would be true and thus bring an end to the Curse. So it follows that he night investigate a relic or two till he burns out on it. Would at least be a good setup for a meet with Goldman.

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