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Excalibur Legends. Excalibur is probably the most famous sword ever. Legends of Merlin, King Arthur, Lady of Lake, Mordred and Uther Pendragon, Sword in stone legends.

Excalibur - Sword in stone
Excalibur – Sword in stone

Excalibur Legends

There are many legends about Excalibur – almost as many as there are about Arthur, Merlin or Camelot.

The legends say that Excalibur had magical powers. One legend
said that the Lady of the Lake gave the sword to Arthur and
another has Arthur removing it from a stone. Yet another
claims Arthur got it as a gift from Avalon as a second
sword (although both swords were referred to as
Excalibur). Still others say that the sword was not
magical but that the Lady of the Lake repaired
it after it was broken.

Many legends of Excalibur – with as many variations!

One legend calls Arthur the “Warrior of two swords” but in another it is Balin who is called that.

Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur, has been referred to by many names. Such names include different spellings of Excalibur such as Excalibor and Excaliber. Other names include Caliburn, Caledwich, Caledfwich, Calibian, and even Caladbolg.

Some of the meanings include “voracious”, “liberated from stone”, “hard belly” and “cut-steel”. Still another story has the original name coming from the name of an Anatolian iron working tribe.

The “Sword in the Stone” story of Excalibur has been likened to the Norse legend of Sigurd. While the Vietnamese have a story about a 14th century King similar to the “Lady in the Lake”.

In the “Sword in the Stone” legend, (Robert de Boron’s poem – Merlin) only the rightful king of Britain can remove the sword from the stone. While in another legend it is an anvil that Excalibur is removed from.

Before the birth of Arthur, Merlin is said to have put the sword into the stone and locked it there until the true ruler of Britain comes to remove it. Some legends say Arthur removed Excalibur as a small boy to get a sword for his cousin. Another story says he removed it as a young man when he, like other knights, went to the stone to try his luck at removing it.

There are stories that say only Arthur could use the sword but others tell of it as being among Arthur’s prized possessions and was used by his best knight.
The legends of Excalibur have their own descriptions of the sword

It has been described as having a gold hilt with twin dragons whose eyes shoot out fire or, depending on the source, whose eyes have the power to calm. It is supposed to be studded with jewels such as Jacinth, Topaz and Diamonds.

The blade is engraved on one side with the words “take me up” and on the other side with “cast me away”. Another legend says the words engraved on it were “one edge to defend” and on the other side “one edge to defeat”. The blade is supposed to shine with the power of thirty torches and be blinding to his enemies. The scabbard is of even greater value and is said to protect Arthur from losing blood but if the scabbard is lost then he will never get it back.

Excalibur sword in an Excalibur movie 1981

Excalibur sword in an Excalibur movie 1981

With so many Excalibur legends to choose from…

Excalibur is one of the most famous swords in the world. Poems have been written about it. Stories for adults and young children have been written about it. Films such as Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone” have been made. In fact, the movies about Excalibur are many.

The question still exists about whether it was a real sword or just a story for entertainment; whether the sword was magical or just a sword.

The latest movie offering is “The Last Legion”. It is about a young boy who becomes the last emperor of Rome but loses his empire, his home and his family in one day. He is captured and taken to the mystical isle of Capri where he finds the legendary sword of Caesar. Aided by his wits, a loyal legionaire and his teacher, he escapes to Britain to find the last legion of Rome, the famous Dragon legion.

One tagline is “Before King Arthur, there was Excalibur.” Other taglines say “The untold story of Excalibur.”

Whichever way we look at it Excalibur, as a magical sword of legend, is a part of what we want to enjoy.

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