Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Round Tables

Round Tables were elaborate festive events held in imitation of the legendary gatherings of King Arthur and his knights. These events typically featured tournaments, jousting competitions, feasting, and dancing, all inspired by the chivalric ideas of Arthurian legend.

The first recorded Round Table event occured in Cyprus in 1223, organized to celebrate a knighting ceremony. This event set the precedent for similar pageants that became popular throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. These gatherings provided opportunities for nobles and knights to showcase their marital skills, display heraldry, and participate in courtly rituals.

One notable aspect of Round Tables was the emulation of Arthur’s legendary knights. Participants often adopted the names and arms of Arthurian characters, adding a touch of romance and fantasy to the proceedings. René d’Anjou, a prominent figure of the fifteenth century, even took the concept further by constructing a castle reminiscent of Arthurian legend to host his own Round Table event in 1446.

These events served not only as displays of martial prowess but also as social and cultural gatherings were nobles could reaffirm their status and bonds of chivalry. The tradition of Round Tables reflected the enduring fascination with the Arthurian legends and the ideals of knighthood that they embodies.

See also
Tournament | The Legend of King Arthur