Selected topics in Medieval Culture

Searching for the Holy Grail

MEDI 360 topic: The Grail, The Never-ending Quest


First mentioned around 1180. Ever since, knights, poets, novelists, artists, musicians, and movie makers have searched for this elusive and evolving object and, in their quest, have found themselves. This course will begin by exploring the first tales and their continuations, starring Perceval, Gauvain, Lancelot and Galaad. Then, we will travel to Romantic epics, costume movies, Indiana Jones, and other remakes. The teaching format will be hybrid, combining flipped classroom, lectures/debates, and artistic explorations. Creative assignment options will be considered. Join the quest!

Required readings (Available on line, through UVic libraries)

Excerpts from:

  1. Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval, or, The story of the grail [electronic resource] Transl. Ruth Harwood-Cline.
  2. [Robert de Boron] Merlin and the Grail: Joseph of Arimathea, Merlin, Perceval [electronic resource] Transl. Nigel Bryant.
  3. The complete story of the Grail : Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval and its continuations [electronic resource] Transl. Nigel Bryant.

Instructor: Dr. Helene Cazes