Robert de Boron

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Description:
Robert de Boron (also spelled in the manuscripts "Bouron", "Beron") was a French poet of the late 12th and early 13th centuries who is most notable as the author of the poems Joseph d'Arimathe and Merlin.

Work

Robert de Boron was the author of two surviving poems in octosyllabic verse, the Grail story Joseph d'Arimathe and Merlin. The latter work survives only in fragments and in later versions rendered in prose. The two poems are thought to have formed either a trilogy - with a verse Perceval forming the third part - or a tetralogy - with Perceval a Mort Artu (Death of Arthur). The "Didot Perceval", a retelling of the Percival story similar in style and content to Robert's other works, may be a prosification of the lost sections.

Robert de Boron is the first author to give the Holy Grail myth an explicitly Christian dimension. According to him, Joseph of Arimathea used the Grail (the Last Supper vessel) to catch the last drops of blood from Jesus's body as he hung on the cross. Joseph's family brought the Grail to the vaus d'Avaron, the valleys of Avaron in the west, which later poets changed to Avalon, identified with Glastonbury, where they guarded it until the rise of King Arthur and the coming of Perceval. Robert also introduced a "Rich Fisher" variation on the Fisher King.

Life

Robert originated from the village of Boron, now in the arrondissement of Montbéliard. What is known of his life come from brief mentions in his...
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