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Old 08-17-2016, 08:16 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 17,984
Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Pulling a sword from a stone in the Arthurian legend could be looked at as a metaphor for turning iron ore into steel and forging it into a sword.
Actually - wouldn't it be a better metaphor for casting a bronze sword?

Iron swords are beaten out on an anvil. Bronze swords are cast in a mould. That process looks a lot like "pulling a sword from a stone". Sometimes the mould was sand/clay but more often stone moulds were used. In that case, the sword is quite literally "pulled from a stone".

Of course if that is true, it has some bearing on the antiquity of the legend!

Edit: also on the type of sword. If the "pulled from a stone" legend is an echo of the Bronze Age, then Excaliber = a typical Bronze Age sword, like the ones pictured in the link above.

Last edited by Malthus; 08-17-2016 at 08:18 AM.