, figure of Arthurian legend
also known as Sir Percivale, who is in turn a later form of a hero of Celtic myth. The name originally occurs as Pryderi, an alternative name of Gwry in Pwyll Prince of Dyved,
a tale in the Mabinogion
. Gwry is the original of Gawain, and in the later Percivale stories Gawain appears, often fulfilling the same role as the hero. The great feature of the Percivale cycle is the Holy Grail
, and Welsh sources connect this sacred talisman with Percivale, who finds the Grail. Chrétien de Troyes
is the author of the first great artistic treatment of the theme; in Chrétien's unfinished poem Percivale finds the Grail at the Fisher King's castle and heals the king. The Parzival
of Wolfram von Eschenbach
is one of the greatest medieval poems. Drawn largely from Chrétien, von Eschenbach's story is highly spiritualized and appears essentially in the form used by Richard Wagner in his music drama Parsifal.
In the Morte d'Arthur
of Sir Thomas Malory
, Percivale is admitted to the Grail with Galahad and Bors.
See R. S. Loomis, Arthurian Tradition & Chrétien de Troyes (1949) and Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages (1959); R. Cavendish, King Arthur and the Grail (1985).
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Parsifal (religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Parsifal, asteroid 2,095 (the 2,095th asteroid to be discovered, on September 24, 1960), is approximately 10 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 4.3 years. Parsifal was named after the hero of Chrétien de Troyes’s novel Perceval. J. Lee Lehman associates this asteroid with the quest for knighthood, as well as with compassion. Jacob Schwartz gives Parsifal’s significance as “compassion learned through suffering; those avoiding the learning inflict suffering on others.”
Kowal, Charles T. Asteroids: Their Nature and Utilization. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Ellis Horwood Limited, 1988.
Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford Press, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
deliverer of Amfortas and the Grail knights. [Ger. Opera: Wagner, Parsifal, Westerman, 250]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.