THE MUSLIM ORIGIN OF THE HOLY GRAIL
It all started when Wolfram revealed the secret. It is very curious to observe how Wolfram’s Parzival has an evident Muslim influence in many of his written references. But it is also that according to Wolfram himself, his Provençal teacher Kyot found the story of Parzival written precisely in an Arabic manuscript.
Kyot de Provence or Provençal, was a poet, Christian teacher from Toledo who provided the source to Wolfram to elaborate the famous Arthurian romance Parzival at the end of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, and that has made him so famous.
Wolfram thus enunciates himand declares himin book 8 of his Parzival, as his teacher and source. Where he explains that Kyot would have found the story of the grail in a worthless Arabic manuscript in Toledo, written by the pagan sage Flegetams or Flegetanis, of a Muslim father and Jewish mother. This partially Jewish Muslim astronomer and descendant of Solomon would have found the secrets of the Holy Grail written in the stars. Hence, it was thought for centuries that it was guarded in a Templar castle high in the mountains, close to the sky and the stars.
Kyot after learning the Arabic language (a necessary condition to be able to translate the manuscript), he traveled through Europe and arrived in Anjou, (a county in western France) where he told Wolfram the true story of Sir Perceval and the Holy Grail.
And later, what “his teacher told him in French, he wrote in German” artistically re-elaborating the elements that were in the story regarding alchemy, mysticism and esotericism. Apparently it was originally written by an astronomer, a Jew named Flegetanis (Persian, “scholarin stars”).
But there are many speculations about the actual existence of Kyot and Flegetanis. Demonstrating whether or not they existed would solve the mystery and show us the truth about the facts. But verifying it is complicated. On the one hand, it is speculated that Wolfram used in his narration a literary device to attract attention, a series of anagrams and puns to create these fictional characters called, Kyot and Flegetanis. On the other hand, there are historical references and characters that suggest that Kyot and Flegetanis actually existed.
So it may not be a “story.” Because when they appeared there were several “Kiots” of flesh and blood.
KYOT EXISTED IN THE COURT OF MARIA DE CHAMPAGNE
Let us remember that Queen Mary’s fondness for promoting literature made her a patron of many courtly poets of the time. They are also attributed to her rumors that her husband descended from the lineage of King Arthur, that Camelot was actually Winchester and that they discovered, by “chance”, that the graves of Arthur and Genebra in Glastonbury were very close to the court. She even called his son Arturo.
She was a really hardcore fan and so she wanted to be part of the story as well. But that is called self-insert and is in fact frowned upon in most fandoms!
GUIOT OR GUYOT DE PROVINS
The presence in the court of Champagne (at the same time and in the same court where Chrétien served, of which the queen was also a patron) of another trouvère is striking.
Let us remember that trouvère, were the poets who used the language of northern France, the langue d’Oil, unlike troubadour, which used Provençal, the langue d’oc, from the south, precisely called Guiot or guyot of Provins.
He was a French poet and trouvere from the city of Provins (similar to Provence) in the Champagne area. Some scholars identify him with Kiot, because he was called Guiot de Provence, or Provençal (perhaps for this reason he was reputedly native to the region of Provence), the alleged source and teacher of Wolfram.
Of Guiot or guyot of Provins only 6 songs (c. 1180) of the many he wrote are preserved. And apparently it reached the court of Frederick Barbarossa. Later he became a monk, first a Cluniac, then passed through various orders. He mainly wrote satirical works on morality for which he was famous. His main work was his famous Bible Guiot. The “Bibles” were in medieval literature the satirical compositions of French poets. It is known that he died after 1208.
Guiot having traveled extensively, through many countries visiting Germany, Greece, Constantinople, and Jerusalem; and having met all kinds of people, he allowed himself the license, according to him, “in the name of truth and morality”, to criticize the customs of his time. However, for the Knights Templar, everything was praise and adulation. But, is that he could have participated in the third and fourth crusade, so he was just praising himself.
Guiot (the troubadour of the court of Champagne) could be the Kiot of Wolfram, the famous teacher who found the original text of this story, writ ten in Arabic, on file in Toledo.
Wolfram says that Kiot ” before had to learn the magical signs, without studying the art of black sorcery he could not ” decipher it. But “his Christian faith helped him, because, if not, this story would still be unknown. No pagan knowledge can reveal to us the essence of the grail (it would refer to the quintessence), nor how its secret was revealed”.
Perhaps we are before the man we are looking for. The coincidences are not lacking. The name Guiot is similar to Kiot, the fact that he was a French poet of the same time, and precisely from the Champagne area, where Queen Maria of France served as a patron to the literary of that time, makes him a good candidate. He had also traveled alot, perhaps also to Spain, and since he was a poet it is very likely that he visited the Toledo School of Translators.
GUILLERMO DE TUDELA
It is also speculated that Kyot could have been Guiot referring to Guillermo or Guillem de Tudela, a Spanish religious and writer of the order of Saint Anthony who went to Montauban, France in 1199, where he stayed for eleven years, who would have known Wolfram.
He was a chronicler of his time, in his texts he comments on some events in reference to the extermination of the Cathars in the south of France, on the city of Lavaur he narrated: ” More than 400 Perfects and sympathizers are condemned to the stake.” In that same city lived the Lady Girauda, of whom she narrates how she was thrown into the well while pregnant and was left to die. His brother Eimeric had the same luck along with 80 knights, referring to the crusaders of whom he said “they made such a great slaughter, that we believe it will be talked about until the end of the world “, a forecast that will be fulfilled at this rate.
Guillermo was the author of the first part of the poem (without a title that preceded it) with the structure “cantar de gesta” (to be sung or salmoniado), “The Song of the Crusade against the Albigenses ” (it was named for its content, since it had no title). Although its content is clearly favorable to the crusade, it defends Raymond Roger Trencavel, Viscount Carcassonne, saying that he was not a heretic, but a good Catholic. Therefore, Guillermo has also been considered a sympathizer of the Cathar cause.
BALDUINO, MECENATES OF GUILLERMO AND DEFENDER OF THE CATARS
In addition, Guillermo had a patron and protector, Count ” Baudowin ” or Baldwin of Tolosa who openly defended the Cathars and participated in several battles on their behalf. Precisely Balduino was the bastard brother of Count Raymond VI of Tolosa who accused him of being a traitor for participating in the battle of Muret and was looking for the moment and the way to catch him and execute him.
According to legend, when he left with a group of knights from his castle in Lolmie, also known as Saverdum (Saint Laurent Lolmie was an old commune in the region of Occitania that disappeared, merging with two others and creating a new one, the current Lendou in Quercy.), fell into an ambush.
Baudouin and his men had gone out to scrutinize the territories of the Earls of Fox, located near their fortress where the Crusaders had recently been killed. Two Fox County gentlemen on guard came out of hiding and suddenly attacked them, causing them to scatter. In the ambush theycaught their captain, Balduino, and handed him over to his brother Raymond V, the Count of Tolosa. A prisoner in his own castle of Saverdum, he waited tied in a tree for the decision of his brother Raymond, who upon his arrival accused him of treason and had him hanged.
The territory of Saverdum has evolved over time according to the needs of its inhabitants. Originally it was just a group of farms and small villages scattered around the area. From the eleventh century seeking protection, they grouped behind the walls of the Castle of Saverdun. As time went by, its population increased and expanded to other nearby districts, where there were also defense systems, some natural with cliffs and rivers, and others built, with another castle, walls, watchtowers and its famous ditches or “ball”. Until its extension reached the Augustinian convent, where today the town hall is.
SECOND PART OF ” The Song of the Crusade against the Albigenses”
The second part wasmade by another anonymous author, more cultured than Guillermo, who continued the poem bywriting in pure Occitan (Guillermo’s part was a mixture of Occitan and French, colder and more mediocre) for the most part, 6,811 verses out of a total of about 10,000, in Provençal language. Guillermo began the poem in May 1210 and stopped writing it in February 1214 (so he did not finish it), after the death of his protector Count Baudouin and disappeared.
There is only one other deed song in the lengua d’oc (version from the south of France), which curiously has a Navarrese theme (Navarra). It was written by Guilhem Atelier, born in Toulouse (Languedoc).
WILLIAM THE SEER
The same Guilhelm, author of the first part (prologue) of the poem, appears as a clergyman raised in Tudela, and in the cobla (laisse) number 9 of manuscript number 25425 of the French collections of the National Library of Paris saying: “Comensa the tired that Maestre Guilhelms fit Us clergy qui fo in Navarra, a Tudela, noirit; Pois vint a Montalba, si cum l’estoria dit . ”.
Later he says that he went to Montauban (possibly with a member of his family), and that he stayed there for eleven years, on the twelfth he left due to the devastation that his geomancy had shown him and allowed him to foresee the future: “S’i estet onze ans, al dotze s’en issit, Per la destruction that he conog e vic In geomancy, which loc temps legit, E know that the country was ars e destruzit, Per la fola crezensa qu’avian consntit, (. ..) “
The geomancy was one of the ” seven forbidden arts ” of divination, which uses the element of earth. He recognized the existence of a vital energy that was latent and flowed in nature. The technique consisted of throwing a handful of stones, sand or dirt on the surface of the ground. By observing the marks left by these elements on the surface of the ground, one could guess the future.
He introduces himself as a clergyman and teacher, and explains that between his studies he cultivated the art of geomancy so he has the instruction to predict the future (precisely this competence in his “curriculum” allowed him to attract the attention of his following patrons).
Against the fact that Guillermo is the true Kiot, there are two references, one that in none of his works speaks of the Grail, and the other that, although the exact place of his birth is unknown (he only says that he was “raised in Tudela”), it is assumed that he was not born in the region of Provence (southern France).
MIGUEL ESCOTO, EL KIOTDICHTUNG
Miguel Escoto really existed and could be our Kiot or kiotdichtung. Wolfram could have chosen him for one of his anagrams or if he didn’t bluff us, he might as well be the “true master Kiot.”
It is known that he lived with his uncle and went abroad to study at the university (until the 15th century there were no universities in Scotland), but it is not known with certainty what his training was, although it must have been very broad.
He was a medieval philosopher, doctor, alchemist and astrologer, and traveled to different places including Italy, specifically Bologna, he may even visited North Africa, since there is evidence that he probably had contact with the Tuaregs of the Sahara desert.
They called him Magister Michael Scotus, so it is believed that he was also a professor at some university. But the interesting thing is that there is evidence that he was working at the Toledo School of Translators from 1217 to 1220, where he translated texts from Arabic and Hebrew into Latin, some by Aristotle, and numerous other important works, including the cosmologist’s Spherae Tractatus Andalusian Alpetragio.
He was also famous in the Middle Ages as an astrologer and quickly gained the reputation of a magician and necromancer. He wrote three treatises on astrology and several works on alchemy are attributed to him.
Miguel Escoto could also be our Kiot, except for the name, everything else matches.
THE WISE FLEGETANIS
The other character who is difficult to prove his existence is Sage Flegetanis, the ” true author” of the story of the Holy Grail.
“ A pagan named Flegetanis achieved great fame for his learning. This physicist (as astrologers were called in ancient times) came from the Solomon’s dynasty and was of the Israelite stock. Very noble from very ancient times, until the baptism (…) He wrote the story of the Grail. On his father’s side, he was a pagan (…) Flegetanis knew how to expose us to the coming and going of the stars and the dimensions of their orbits, until they return to their points of origin…. As a pagan, Flegetanis saw hidden mysteries in the stars with his own eyes and spoke of them with great shyness. He told us that there was a thing called the Grail. This name he clearly read in the stars. (Book IX).
But a sage named Flegetanis really existed. And precisely in Toledo, where Kiot finds the manuscript that tells the “true story of the Grail”.
Everything matches. Toledo was reconquered a century before the poem, written in 1085. Therefore, for quite some time Castilians, Jews, Muslims, Mozarabs (Christians of Hispano-Visigothic origin) and also Franks (precisely like Kiot) lived there, who came from the victorious army Alfonso VI. This circumstance reinforces the oriental character and of syncretism that Wolfram marks to the myth.
But there are also other elements that point to Flegetanis as the true author of the legend, regardless of whether these have been put in the Parzival on purpose or not.
One of these data is the distinguished lineage of the wise astronomer, none other than the line of Solomon. Solomon, in addition to being recognized by religious Islam as a great prophet, was distinguished within Islamic esotericism as the exemplary model of guide and teacher towards a peculiar spiritual path that was linked precisely to the sciences of the cosmic order.
And precisely Flegentamis is called “physicist“, the name by which astronomers who interpreted the meaning of the constellations were called in medieval times, even by means of divination.
And another element is the fact that he was “pagan” (they called that who opposed the “protected” Jews and Christians), who at that time were Muslims.
Solomon was for Islam a great sage but also a powerful magician, the mythical and legendary builder of the Temple of Jerusalem and as a symbol he was linked to the order of the Knights Templar. Milites Templi Salomonis (Soldiers of the Temple of Solomon) and custodians of the Grail according to Wolfram.
In the mysterious character of Flegetanis are all these new elements that clearly deviate from the Celtic sources. Perhaps done on purpose, however incredible as it may seem, it is plausible that Kiot discovered the true history in Toledo, where countless people converged at a unique crossroads, and where there was an abundant mix of beliefs and cultures.
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