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In Arthurian legend, a sacred cup that was the object of a mystical quest by knights of the Round Table. The grail legend may have been inspired by classical and Celtic stories of magic cauldrons and horns of plenty. It was first given Christian significance as a mysterious, holy object by Chrétien de Troyes in the 12th-century romance Perceval, or the Count of the Holy Grail. The grail was sometimes said to be the same cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and later by Joseph of Arimathea to catch the blood flowing from the wounds of Jesus on the cross. The most notable figure connected with the grail was Sir Galahad, who, according to Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur, found the grail and achieved mystical union with God.
Variants of GRAIL
grail or Holy Grail
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on grail, visit Britannica.com.