Tuesday, August 30, 2011

History Mystery: Realm of Myths and Legends -11

At Fowey, Cornwall, Stands this pillar with the Inscription:


Drustan lies here, son of Cunomorus

Tristan and Iseult: Two tragic lovers in the medieval legends of England, Ireland and Germany. After being wounded by a poisoned spear, Tristan was nursed back to health by Iseult the Fair – the king of Ireland’s beautiful daughter. Tristan brought her back to England to be the bride of his uncle, King Mark of Cornwall, but on the journey home, the couple accidentally drank a love potion which had been prepared for mark and Iseult on their wedding night. They fell deeply in love, and although Iseult married King Mark, the lovers were discovered and fled into the forest where they lived happily for four years, until Iseult decided to return to Mark, who banished Tristan. Years later, Tristan was wounded in a battle and sent for Iseult to heal him- telling his messenger to hoist a white sail on the returning ship if Iseult was on board, a black sail if not. As the shop approached, Tristan’s jealous wife lied and told him it had a black sail, whereupon Tristan died of grief. Iseult, on hearing the news, died soon afterwards.

Styx: In Greek mythology, the river which flowed seven times around the underworld of Hades, and across which Charon ferried the souls of the dead. Its waters were thought to be poisonous.

St. George: Saint of the Christian Church who may have been a high ranking officer in the army of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor in about AD300. In early Christian belief, the legendary slaying by St. George of a dragon symbolized the triumph of Christ over the Devil.

St. George is the patron saint of England and Portugal. In England, St George’s Day is celebrated on April 23. It seems likely that Edward III made him patron saint of England when he founded the Order of the Garter in St George’s name in the mid 14th century.

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