Galice, Galise, Galys
A historical kingdom, today an autonomous community located in the northwest corner of Spain.
The Holy Grail has been the Kingdom of Galicia’s national symbol for almost a millenium. An English armorial dated the thirteenth century gives the earliest notice of the Holy Grail appearing as the coat of arms of the kings of Galicia. The earliest depection was a single golden chalice over a blue field.
Galicia | 400-700 AD
The fourth and fifth centuries saw the gradual decline of the Western Roman Empire due to internal turmoil, economic challenges, and pressure from barbarian groups. Galicia, like other parts of the Iberian Peninsula, was affected by these developments. Various Germanic tribes, such as the Vandals, Suebi, and Alans, invaded and settled in different regions.
The Suebi, a Germanic tribe, established a kingdom in northwest Iberia, including Galacia, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Suebic Kingdom of Galicia maintained a degree of autonomy under Roman suzerainty. During this time, the region experienced a blend of Germanic and Roman influences, including in governance, culture, and religion.
In the mid-sixth century, the Visigoths, another Germanic tribe, succeeded in conquering the Suebic Kingdom of Galicia. This marked the beginning of Visigothic rule in the region. The Visigoths were Arian Christians initially, but over time, they converted to Nicene Christianity (the form of Christianity endorsed by the Roman Empire). The conversion of the Visigoths to the Nicene Christianity led to changes in the religious practices in Galicia. Christianity gained prominence, and Galicia became more closely integrated into the religious and cultural networks of the broader Christian world.
In 711 AD, the Umayyad Caliphate, a Muslim empire, invaded the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa. This marked the beginning of Islamic rule over much of the peninsula. Galicia, however, remained largely outside the initial scope of Muslim control due to its remote location in the northwest. The northern regions of the peninsula, including Galicia, became areas of resistance against Muslim expansion.
Out of the resistance against Muslim rule emerged the Kingdom of Asturias, which played a significant role in the Reconquista – the gradual Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. While not exclusively centered in Galicia, the Kingdom of Asturias contributed to the eventual liberation of the region from Muslim control.
Galacia | The Legend of King Arthur
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Claris et Laris | 1268