In the Beginning, there was the word

In the beginning, there was the word.

How much different would history have been for the accolytes picking up on it, if that word was meant to be “good”, but was written down instead as “god”?  How much difference would a letter make to what people would then believe and even follow in how they treat each other and what they do in their lives?

At some stage in the Dark Ages of early Britain, between one set of conquerors leaving their conquest behind them and another set of conquerors coming in to claim it, there is the legend of a king called Arthur who claimed the right to bring people together and defend them from new marauders coming in to take over the land.

The question of how he claimed his right to rule is written down in a Latin text as having taken a sword from a stone.

Consider this however.  One of the Latin words for stone is “saxum” – and very similar to “saxo” the word for Saxon. So, just for argument’s sake, what if the Latin scholar made a mistake in use of the noun that describes where Arthur got his sword from, so that is really a who rather than a what.

So what if Arthur came by the sword that proclaimed his right to be king through taking it from a Saxon rather than from a stone?

How much less powerful, especially to the people of medieval times believing in magic, would this practical claim to the crown be over the rites of claiming it through a mystical one. 

Suddenly, for the want of a word – and the right one – a king’s right to rule becomes magical rather than traditional.

So perhaps the mistake was simply perpetuated, masking the real truth and creating a legend.

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About Matt's Tale

A New Age travel writer, seeing the old in the new and the bold in the blue - but mainly seeking the freedom to be, as much as to do. His tales come from meeting modern day travellers following their likes of King Arthur to Geoffrey Chaucer, leading him on to places considered "Camelot" and different ways to see Canterbury and cafes a lot. Email: mattstale@yahoo.co.uk Twitter: @mattstale
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