Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Round Table, Winchester: a sign of equality

King Arthurs round table

Unused, bought June 2009.
King Arthur's Round Table, Winchester Castle

The card shows the Round Table hanging in the Great Hall in Winchester.  It is called King Arthur's Round Table though the name can be disputed on at least two points: first,
a round table isn't described until the 12th century although Arthur was king during the 6th century; second, examination by various scientific methods has dated the table to the 1270s.

Nevertheless, the table remains a symbol, a sign, of equality.  There is no head of the table so all who are seated around it are deemed equal.  According to history, it was created to prevent quarrels among the knights, none of whom wanted to be seated below others.  The names of the 24 knights are written around the edge of the table.

The Round Table later becomes a sign of the order of chivalry in Arthur's time.  These were knights created in glorified imitation of the crusading knights, and became very idealised and romantic.  They followed a strict code of honour, with the table less of an actual table and more the sign of the highest order of chivalry.

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  1. Great card, thanks for sharing.

  2. I have seen this somewhere before, I think. No, I wasn't one of the knights - not quite old enough for that! Beautiful, isn't it?

  3. @Debby, thanks.

    @Max, you may well have seen it. I think it's beautiful too. In fact I have my own photo of the place. I should have thought to show it.

  4. I have always loved the Knights of the Round table. I did not realize it still existed!

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Love the story behind the round table. My mother took us across England when we were young to visit this and many sites she considered important and this vision is one of the few that is quite clear in the memory banks.

    Thanks for adding to the festival of postcards.

  6. Thank you for having such an original take on the theme for the latest Festival of Postcards about Signs. By coincidence, another blogger had the same idea of signs & equality and I've placed your postcards next to each other.
    Have a good day!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  7. This is just such an amazing postcard - King Arthur's Round Table. There is so much fascinating history in the U.K. I just love it.


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