Galgano, according to a later legend, was a knight who lived a (maybe) carefree and (possibly) dissolute life from 1148 to 1181.

Nevertheless a higher destiny was waiting for him: suddenly, during a vision or a mystic trance, he received from the Apostles the mission of building a church, in a remote place, called Montesiepi.

No one shared in his vision:  his mother and friends, for different reasons, tried to discourage his project, creating difficulties or doubting his good faith.

Nevertheless Galgano went on with his project, reached Montesiepi, where he started to build the Round Church, still standing, and sticking in a stone his sword, which became a cross, witness of his young sanctity.


St. Galgano’s Sword in the Stone, which inevitably brings to mind the Sword in the Stone of the King Arthur story, has been in the chapel of Montesiepi in Chiusdino, near Siena, since 1180.

Chemical analyses of the materials, tests and direct surveys, confirm that the sword and materials, concerning St. Galgano’s life and environment, belong to the middle of the XII century. The sword dates before the end of the XII century, thirty or forty years at least before any other Swords in the Stone appear.


According to latest researches, St. Galgano's life mirrors that of the knight in the beginning of the Round Table narrative, called Parsifal ­ or Perceval, in French.


The original text of Canonization Inquiry of  St. Galgano, including the story of the sword in the stone, is dated 1185, at least ten or twenty years before Chrétien's Perceval and Round Table Knights, as performed in the French Aquitaine. A copy, discovered during research, indicates that any other European literature evolves from that earliest core. This applies to Perceval by Chrétien de Troyes and to Parsival by Wolfram von Eschenbach.


Many details in the King Arthur story – including environment, way of life, habits, geography, etc. – do not belong to Europe.

Too many elements show that the original story of King Arthur and of the Round Table Knights did not originate in Europe. Animals e.g. (panthers, mongooses, etc.), trees, dresses and many other details belong to a Far East environment.


Times and facts strictly connect these elements to Middle Europe and Aquitaine especially, explaining how and why the story, arrived from oriental countries, passed through Tuscany (via Pisa) and arrived in France and Britain, introducing in the Persian matter the local stories of the sword and of St. Galgano (i.e. Parsifal): it appears a natural effort by European translators and authors to give European character to foreign novels.

The Sword in the Stone

L’enigma di San Galgano

GALGANO. OR PARSIFAL?Galgano._Or_Parsifal.html

Libri di Mario Moiraghi
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