is to be a site about knights. There is much to be done: much research
to be culled; much art of knights' fancy, knights' honor, and knights'
quests to collect; much of all that makes a knight a knight to be delivered
to you through this vehicle. In the pages to come, there is to be much
exposition of those who called the code of chivalry their own, who rode
on mighty chargers, who wielded blades as if they were extensions of
their very souls. I hope to bring you the smell of armor, the clang
of steel on steel. I hope to bring either the past into the now or the
now into the past, and let you breathe the air of an age now past, though
never entirely gone from the imagination.
Twelve Knights of the Round Table
Dryden says there were twelve paladins and twelve knights of the Round
Table. The table was made for 150, but as twelve is the orthodox number,
the following names hold the most conspicuous places:
- Lamoracke, with the first two, the three bravest
- Tor, the first made
- Galahad, the chaste
- Gaw Ain, the courteous
- Gareth, the big-handed
- Palomides, the Saracen or unbaptized
- Kay, the rude and boastful
- Mark, the dastard
- Mordred, the traitor
- And the twelfth must be selected from one of the following names,
to fill the position of those fallen, all of which are seated with
the prince in the frontispiece attached to the History of Prince
Arthur, compiled by sir T. Malory in 1470: Sirs Acolon, Ballamore,
Beleobus, Belvoure, Bersunt, Bors, Ector de Maris, Ewain, Floll, Gaheris,
Galohalt, Grislet, Lionell, Marhaus, Paginet, Pelleas, Percival, Sagris,
Superabilis, and Turquine. Or we may take from the Mabinogion the
three "battle knights," Cadwr, Launcelot, and Owain; the
three "counselling knights," Kynon, Aron, and Llywarch Hên;
the three "diademed knights," Kai, Trystan, and Gwevyl;
and the three "golden-tongued," Gwalchmai, Drudwas, and
Eliwlod, many of which are unknown in modern story.
Twelve famous warriors in Charlemagne's court:
- Astolpho, cousin of Roland, descended from Charles Martel. A great
boaster, fool-hardy, and singularly handsome. It was Astolpho who
went to the moon to fetch back Orlando's (Roland's) brains when mad.
- Ferumbras or Fierabras, a Saracen, afterwards converted and baptized.
- Florismart, the fidus Achatês of Roland or Orlando.
- Ganelon, the traitor, count of Mayence. Placed by Dante in the Inferno.
- Maugris, in Italian Malagigi, cousin to Rinaldo, and son of Beuves
of Aygremont. He was brought up by Oriande the fairy, and became a
- Namo or Nayme de Bavière.
- Ogier the Dane, thought to be Holger the hero of Denmark, but some
affirm that "Dane" is a corruption of Damné; so called
because he was not baptized.
- Oliver, son of Regnier comte de Gennes, the rival of Roland in
all feats of arms.
- Otuel, a Saracen, nephew to Ferragus or Ferracute. He was converted,
and married a daughter of king Charlemagne.
- Rinaldo, son of duke Aymon, and cousin to Roland. Angelica fell
in love with him, but he requited not her affection.
- Roland, called Orlando in Italian, comte de Cenouta. He was Charlemagne's
nephew, his mother being Berthe the king's sister, and his father
- One of the following names, all of which are called paladins, and
fill vacancies caused by death: Basin de Genevois, Geoffrey de Frises,
Guerin duc de Lorraine, Guillaume de l'Estoc, Guy de Bourgogne, Hoël
comte de Nantes, Lambert prince of Bruxelles, Richard due de Normandy,
Riol du Mans, Samson duc de Bourgogne, and Thiery.
There is considerable resemblance between the twelve selected paladins
and the twelve selected Table knights. In each case there were three
pre-eminent for bravery: Oliver, Roland, and Rinaldo (paladins); Launcelot,
Tristram, and Lamoracke (Table knights). In each was a Saracen: Ferumbras
(the paladin); Palomides (the Table knight). In each was a traitor:
Ganelon (the paladin); Mordred (the Table knight), like Judas Iscariot
in the apostolic twelve.