Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Bayses, Biases, Blaises, Blaisses, Blaize, Blase, Blasio, Blasy, Blays, Blayse, Blayses, Blayze, Bleise, Bleys, Bleyse

Merlin’s foster-father in Robert de Boron’s Merlin and subsequent texts.

A holy man and clerk from Northumberland, he heard the confession of Merlin’s mother after she was impregnated by an incubus. Blaise divined that Satan was planning to introduce a hideous devil child to the world, in order to counteract the advance of Christianity. Staying by the girl’s side, Blaise was on hand to quickly baptize the infant as soon as it was born, driving the devil’s nature out of Merlin. He defended Merlin’s mother against a group of judges who sought to punish her for perfidy.

Serving as Merlin’s tutor and companion, Blaise wrote down the many adventures of Merlin, Arthur, and Arthur’s knights as Merlin dictated it. Merlin made frequent visits to Blaise to relate new chapters of the Arthurian saga. Blaise also penned a Grail history. The Vulgate Cycle suggests that its romances were descended from Blaise’s texts. In the Didot-Perceval, Merlin brings Blaise to the Grail Castle to live out his days, while in the Vulgate Merlin, Blaise takes up residence in Camelot just prior to Merlin’s death.

Certain Arthurian tales – among them Thomas’s Tristan, the works of Giraldus Cambrensis, the Second Continuation of Perceval, and the Elucidation – appeal to the authority of a certain “Bleheris” or “Blihis”, probably a medieval bard who spread Arthuriana through Britain and Brittany. The character of Blaise, said to have authored Arthur’s history, may be a reflection of this historical conteur.

Mike Dixon-Kennedy says Blaise hailed originally from Vercelli in Italy. He became Merlin’s foster-father, and when Merlin was but two years old he dedicated the story of the Grail to Blaise, who also wrote an account of Arthur’s battles. After teaching him, Blaise retired to the forest of Northumberland, where Merlin visited him frequently, to write down his pupil’s deeds. Although so greatly eclipsed by his former pupil, Blaise must have had some skill in his time.

It appears that he may be identical with the Welsh Blaes.

See also
Succubus | Myths and Legends

Prose Merlin | Early 13th century
Didot-Perceval | c. 1220-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin | 1230-1240
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470
Idylls of the King | Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1859-1886