‘The Last Sleep Of Arthur In Avalon’

'The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon' (detail) by Edward Burne-Jones

I find the return of King Arthur to be one of the most poignant of British legends.  Apparently this tale of the King slumbering beneath the earth to awake in time of Albion’s peril was first related in the Twelfth Century work ‘Otia Imperialia’ by Gervase of Tilbury. It was a tale enthusiastically taken up by British folklorists in the Nineteenth Century along with the poets and thinkers of Romanticism, Medievalism, and the Gothic Revival.

At the same time as this resurgence of interest in the Arthurian legend in the West, in Iran in 1844 the Báb revealed his status as the’ Mahdi’ or ‘Guided One’ prophesised in the Qur’an- a prophecy often conflated with the return of the ‘Hidden Imam of Shia eschatology.  I see the Báb and his followers as practicing an almost Arthurian chivalric code when faced by the tyrannical forces ruling Iran at that time. Bábi history is replete with martial imagery such as the unfurling of the black banner of the Mahdi in the Iranian province of Khorrassan and the chivalry of the Báb’s faithful follower Mulla Husayn Bushrui, his first disciple or ‘Letter of the Living’.

The Báb was cruelly martyred in Tabriz in 1850 but not before prophesising the return yet again of mankind’s eternal spiritual hero


2 thoughts on “‘The Last Sleep Of Arthur In Avalon’

  1. Thought you might be interested to see my King Arthur’s Summer Solstice at Stonehenge machinima film in which the returned King Arthur narrates his own poems for this film

    Bright Blessings, elf ~

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