David's Sword and Scabbard, King
Balin's sword was Galahad's first sword. Galahad's second sword was King David's Sword, which he found on Solomon's Ship. Some makes this sword the one-time property of Saint David (below), it is more widely accepted as having belonged to the biblical David. It appears in the Arthurian tales as the sword used by Varlan to kill King Lambor in one account of the Dolorous Stroke.
Following his wife's advice, Solomon had his father David's sword repommelled with a rich pommel subtly made. The pommel was of stone, with
all manner of colours that any man might find, and everych of the colours had divers virtues.
One scale of the haft was a rib of a serpent
which was conversant in Calidone, and is called the Serpent of the Fiend.
The virtue of this bone is that the hand that handles it will never be weary nor hurt. The Vulgate names the serpent Papagustes and says its virtue is to guard the bearer from excessive heat. The other scale of the haft was a rib of a fish called Ertanax (Ortenax) - Orteniaus in the Vulgate - which lived in the Euphrates. Whoever handled the bones of Ertanax would never be weary and, while handling it, would think only of the task before him at the time; as the Vulgate explains this, he would forget everything except the purpose for which he drew the sword. On the sword were the words:
Let see who shall assay to draw me out of my sheath, but if he be more hardier than any other; and who that draweth me, wit ye well that he shall never fail of shame of his body, or to be wounded to the death.
Attempting to draw the sword had brought grief to various men through the ages, and Galahad would not have tried it had not Amide assured him the sword was meant for him. Amide gave the name of the sword as The Sword with the Strange Girdles.
The scabbard was made of serpent's skin, and written on it in gold and silver were the words:
He which shall wield me ought to be more harder than any other, if he bear me as truly as me ought to be borne. For the body of him which I ought to hang by, he shall not be ashamed in no place while he is girt with this girdle, nor never non be so hardy to do away this girdle; for it ought not be done away but by the hands of a maid, and a maid all the days of her life, both in will and in deed. And if she break her virginity she shall die the most villainous deat that ever died any woman.
On the other side, which was red as blood, was written in letters black as coal:
He that shall praise me most, most shall he find me to blame at a great need; and to whom I should be most debonair shall I be most felon, and that shall be at one time.
This last referred to the adventure of Nascien, some time before Galahad and his companions found the ship. Nascien had drawn the sword to defend himself against a giant, but the sword broke. Later Nascien met his brother-in-law Mordrains, who mended the sword. (It might be the other way around, Mordrains drew the sword and Nascien mended it.) Amide named the scabbard Mover of Blood.
for no man that hath blood in him shall never see the one part of the sheath which was made of the Tree of Life.
In the Vulgate, the scabbard is named Memory of Blood, which seems to make slightly more sense.
Solomon's wife provided hemp girdles because she had no worthy materials to sustain so high a sword. The hemp girdles were to be replaced by a worthy maiden damsel, as mentioned in the writing on the scabbard. When Amide had learned the adventure that was ordained for her, she cut off her hair and wove it, along with golden threads, into a girdle, set with gems and a golden buckle. She carried this girdle with her in a box until her time came to use it for girding David's Sword to Galahad's side.
David of Tintagil
Chrétien lists him among the counts and other vassals whom Arthur summoned to court for the wedding of Erec and Enide. David of Tintagil never suffered sorrow or grief. The geography looks wrong for an identification of this David with the saint (below).
Born c. 496 to Prince Xantus of Cereticu (Cardiganshire) and a nun namned Malearia, Saint David was an uncle of Arthur according to Geoffrey. A Welsh manuscript makes him Arthur's grand-nephew, and in Brut y Brenhinedd, a medieval Welsh history, he is Arthur's second cousin.
The patron of Wales (Welsh name Dewi). He may have inherited the monastery of Henllan from his father. After entering religious life on the Isle of Wight, the ascetic David moved to Menevia, Pembrokeshire, where he founded twelve convents, including Glastonbury and in the city of Mynyw or Menevia.
In 577 the Archbishop of Caerleon resigned his seat to David, who moved the seat of the diocese to Menevia, which became the metropolis of Wales under the name St. David's, and his shrine became a popular destination for pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
According to Drayton, he lived in the valley of Ewias between the Hatterill Hills, Monmouthshire. The waters of Bath were said to owe their qualities to the blessing of David. He reportedly died in 642, aged 146.
St. David is connected to Arthur in the Welsh Life of St. Cadoc and in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. In the former, he joins St. Teilo and St. Cadoc in mediating a dispute between Arthur and a warrior named Ligessauc. The saints successfully convinced Arthur to accept 100 cows in return for the lives of three knights slain by Ligessauc. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that he was Arthur’s uncle and that Arthur appointed him to the arcbishopric at Caerleon after St. Dubricius, the former archbishop, retired.