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Paladins

Discussion in 'Whatnots' started by Sir Yerril of Morningmist, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. According to my parents, there used to be real paladins on earth (whatever that is), the last one bieng in Jerusalem or something.

    Anyone know about this?
     
  2. Vormaerin Gems: 15/31
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    Well, the word "paladin" comes from the Latin "palatinus", which means courtier. So, in that sense, there were lots of paladins. :) The word was uses explicitly to refer to the Charlemagne's chief advisors/heroes (guys like Roland, Ogier, etc). Much like Arthur's Round Table Knights, there is a whole series of adventurous tales about them. Close variations like palatine refer to specific types of royal officials, particularly in the Holy Roman Empire.

    As for D&D paladins, they are clearly modeled on the ideals of the military orders such as the Knights of the Hospital of St. John and the Knights of the Temple of Solomon. Most, though not all, of these Orders were based in Jerusalem originally. A fair number were operated exclusively in Spain (Knights of Calatrava, for example) or in the Baltic States (Brethren of the Sword).

    I'm not sure what your parents were refering to, though. I'm not aware of any D*D like holy warriors specifically called paladins existing in the real world.

    Aloha
    Vormaerin
     
  3. Gash Gems: 14/31
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    They were the 12 knights in Charlemagne's royal court.
     
  4. Mathetais Gems: 28/31
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    About the "Paladin in Jerusalem" ... Arthurian legends hold the Joseph of Aramethia (sp?) was the first knight.

    Joseph was the wealthy follower of Christ who pleaded to Pilate for Jesus' body after the crucifiction, and then buried him in his own tomb. (Which didn't hold Jesus for long ;) )

    In La Morte De Arthur, they say that after the resurrection, Joseph went around teaching the Gospel and defending the weak. He carried a pure white shield with no crest or emblem. When he finally died in combat, he collapsed on the shield. When they washed the blood away, there was a Red Cross left emblazoned on the shield. The shield was passed down, and was finally carried by Galahad during the quest for the Holy Grail.
     
  5. Mollusken Gems: 24/31
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    Interested in paladins? Go read the books about Paksenarrion, by Elizabeth Moon.
     
  6. [​IMG] oh dear, i have a lot to live up to...
     
  7. Sir Belisarius

    Sir Belisarius Viconia's Boy Toy Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    [​IMG] Vormaerin is right! Paladins were the 12 peers of Charlemagne - that was the first time I read about them...In the Song of Roland. It's a good tune, but you can't really dance to it! :grin: :spin: :roll:
     
  8. You can do anything if you put your mind to it, lets have a paladin disco!

    Starring DJ Piergenon!

    *cringe*
     
  9. Feirhanith Dengeird Gems: 4/31
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    [​IMG] Yeah, sounds like great fun where do i sign up.
     
  10. Gnolyn Lochbreaker Gems: 13/31
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    Hmmm...well, I guess it depends on what you mean exactly by 'Paladins'. If you're speaking of actual historical use of the term, then you're referring to the Kights of Charlemagne (the Holy Roman Empire) - the first true order of 'knights' in Europe around the 8th C. AD. Charlemagne conquered large portions of western Europe, uniting the region for the first time under the Francs (later France) since the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Today the term is used losely to refer to all kinds of orders, including those same knights, the Crusaders, and the mythical Knights of the Round Table. The 'paladins' of Jerusalem could be a reference to the Knights Templar, a holy order of knights from which the Free Masons (yes, and those funny Shriners with their little pointy shoes) are derived. It could also refer to the Knights Hospitallier (predecessors to the Templars) who essentially controlled Jerusalem after it was 're-captured'. While they occupied the Holy City, they excivated extensively under the Temple Mount and other holy sites, searching for relics. They are rumoured to have discovered the 'Ark of the Covenant', among other things, and then to have secreted it away to Malta, Cypress, Spain and even Ethiopia (depending on who you listen to). Around this time, holy relics began appearing all over Europe, including the Shroud of Turin, and pieces of wood said to be remnants of the actual Cross. These knights didn't owe allegiance to any nation, but were instead dedicated to God (and not even the Church specifically). After being ousted from Jerusalem, some bands could be found wandering around Europe, again ostensibly looking for 'relics', and often causing trouble for local nobles and lords.

    Any reference to Joseph of Arimathea and/or the Knights of the Round Table is usually quite 'mythical'. After the resurrection, Joseph of Arimathea is said to have travelled to Britain carrying the Holy Grail and the spear that Jesus of Nazareth was stabbed with while on the Cross. He is then said to have created the first christian church of Britain (usually sited near Glastonbury Tor), and then become a hermit of sorts. This grail is said to be two things: the cup that was used in the first communion during the last supper, and a 'cup' or platter in which the blood of Christ was collected while he was on the cross. The first mention of either of these is in the Conte de Graal by Chretien de Troyes in the 12th century. In these, the grail hero (Perceval) witnesses a procession in which he sees a wounded knight, the grail (a tray with waffers and blood) and the perpetually bleeding spear - by the way, Perceval in this is a complete 'lout' and a fool, who just happens to be really good with a sword. It's only after he understands the ideals of 'courtly love' and courtly manners (chivalry) that he becomes the Grail hero.

    Incidently, it was Chretien de Troyes and his patroness (can't remember her name) who initiated the concept of 'courtly love' and courtly manners that are so intertwinned with the Knights of the Round table. Basically, this meant that it was acceptable for a lady to be 'comforted' by travelling knights and troubadors while her lord husband was off fighting in the crusades :) The first step in women's rights :D

    Prior to this, the grail legends had virtually nothing to do with Christianity and were actually part of a larger cycle called the Mabinogian - a collection of celtic legends surrounding the bard/druid Talesien (Merlin), Arther, Gawain (Arthur's cousin and greatest hero) and Culwich (another great hero). The grail in these is a 'cauldron of life', one of the treasures of Britain. These warriors weren't very 'paladin-like' though, and were definitely anti-Christian. (lots of beheading, raping and pilaging)

    Hmm...that's a really long answer though isnt' it....and I don't think I really helped at all, now did I?

    [This message has been edited by Gnolyn Lochbreaker (edited November 16, 2001).]
     
  11. Vormaerin Gems: 15/31
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    Eh, some quibbles here Gnolyn.

    Charlemagne's "Paladins" were not an order of knighthood in any meaningful sense. They were simply Charlemagne's privy council of important and trustworthy barons. About six centuries later, people (mostly italian) started writing epic tales of their adventures involving chinese princesses, hippogriffs, wizards, and other such things.

    The idea of 'orders' of knighthood did not evolve until much later. The Templars were the first, being founded in 1118. Shortly thereafter, the Hospitallers developed a military branch to support their (already existing) medical function. The first secular Orders (The Garter, Bath, Thistle, etc) weren't instituted until the 14th century or so.

    Chretien wrote in the mid to late 12th century, decades after the founding of the Templars. The first mention of Arthur's knights as an "order" is in Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Kings of England", published in the 1130s. Even that is pretty sketchy, with all the major details like the Round Table originating in later works by other authors (such as Wace and Chretien).

    As for the term 'paladin' as applied to Charlemagne's guys, it was purely in the "royal military official" meaning and, in fact, is generally translated interchangably with the term "Peer". Because of the Charlemagne romances, paladin has acquired a second meaning: "champion of a cause". This is how it is generally used today outside of the RPG context.

    The Holy Roman Empire continued to have 'paladins' throughout the medieval period, though the term is generally used in the alternative spelling 'palatine'. They were royal officials very similar to the medieval english Sheriffs.

    oh, and Chretien's patroness was the Countess Marie of Champagne. :)

    Aloha
    Vormaerin
     
  12. Mathetais Gems: 28/31
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    Great stuff. . . I haven't studied this topic in years (since before I got a life ;) )

    Quick point to Gnolyn, I did mention that Joseph of Aramathia as a "knight" was a myth. Also, the image of Percival as a bit of a buffoon as been, in my opinion, maintained through many of the retellings of the Grail stories.

    A great Arthur book that has the Grail as the Cauldron of Life is the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. He writes "historical fiction" and his recounting of the story is brilliant. I especailly like the politics behind the Celtic relgion being replaced by Christianity. I am (obviously) sympathetic to the Christians, but in the Dark Ages, we did not have our best moments :(
     
  13. Gnolyn Lochbreaker Gems: 13/31
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    [​IMG] Vormaerin - not to worry, I was using the term 'order' in a very loose sense :) And thanks for the Countess' name - I always forget. Charlemagne was never a major point of study for me - don't know why though. I have to say though, Monmouth is much drier than Chretien ;) -- written as a 'latin history' rather than a romance.

    I loved Bernard Cornwall's Arthurian series! I was really excited about it, since it was a very 'fresh' take on the stories - rather than the re-hashed 'Once and Future King' and 'Le Morte D'Arthur' versions that keep popping up. One of the things I liked best about that series was that, for a change, the historical setting was 'correct'. Correct in the sense of when it was 'supposed' to occur - none of this Italian Rennaissance armour and heavy cavalry business :b

    Another good take on the myth is Bradley's 'The Mists of Avalon'. It's much more political than the Warlord Chronicles, focusing on the Christian-Celtic conflict, and told from a female perspective on the sidelines, rather than one of the warriors. Much less historical-fiction and more fantasy, but a good story nonetheless.

    [This message has been edited by Gnolyn Lochbreaker (edited November 18, 2001).]
     
  14. Enagonios Gems: 31/31
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    Mathetais, about that Joseph guy, you wouldn't happen to have gotten your info from Indiana Jones' the last crusade, would you? hehe that's where I got mine. The guy with the shield under the library right? The scene with all the rats
     
  15. Mathetais Gems: 28/31
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    LOL - no, I actually got it from reading a book ;)

    Seriously, it was part of the Arthur legends that I read a long time ago. But Indiana Jones did a much better job telling it :grin:
     
  16. Enagonios Gems: 31/31
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    [​IMG] Haha while we're on it, can anyone tell me what Parzival is about? I saw lots of references towards it from "The Last Vampire 6" and Eric S Nylund's "A game of universe". anyone else read these 2 books?
     
  17. Vormaerin Gems: 15/31
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    Do you mean Wolfram Von Eschenbach's "Parzifal"? If so, it is a version of the Grail story originally written in German during the 13th century. Its rather different than the grail stories you are likely familiar with (assuming you mostly know the Lancelot/Galahad version in Malory et al).

    It is an interesting tale and well worth reading . Translation quality, of course, varies. :(

    There are other books, plays, etc similarly titled but they are generally adaptations of this original.

    Aloha
    Vormaerin
     
  18. Enagonios Gems: 31/31
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    [​IMG] yep, that's the one, thanx vor. is this the one with Klingsor?
     
  19. Vormaerin Gems: 15/31
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    Yup, that's Parzifal, Lohengrin, Klingsor and all the rest.

    Aloha
    Vormaerin
     
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