Merlin (Page 2)
Merlin's association with Arthur is indisputable. According to legend, Uther Pendragon — with Merlin’s magical help — seduces the wife of one of the noblemen. From that union, Arthur is born. Though the king married the woman, who was widowed soon after conceiving Arthur, Merlin advises that the child be given to foster parents for his own protection. Therefore, immediately after his birth, Arthur was given into the keeping of Merlin, who then took him to Sir Hector, who brought the child up as his own son. Later, Merlin tutored and prepared the young lad for his future role as king. Arthur eventually claimed the throne based upon his pulling of the sword from the stone.
Geoffrey also credited Stonehenge to Merlin. In his account, Merlin was asked by Ambrosius Aurelianus, brother of Uther Pendragon and uncle of King Arthur, to erect a monument to commemorate the site where several hundred British nobles were murdered by Saxons. Merlin then used magic to transport the stones from Ireland, where they had been erected in the form of Stonehenge after having been brought from Africa by giants. The formation of stones was called the Giants Dance.
Merlin disappeared forever when Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, using magic he taught her, betrayed and trapped him in an enchanted prison, variously described as a cave, a large rock, an invisible tower, or a thorn bush. From that time on the shadows were seen to gather swiftly around Arthur’s head.
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Sources: (1) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, Routledge Publishing; (3) Steiger, Brad and Sherry Hansen, The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, Thomson Gale Publishing; (4) Coghlan, Ronan, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Arthurian Legends, Houghton Mifflin Publishing.
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