Recently, Comrade Drogo and I were discussing the Winchester Round Table, and as well various designs for tables round, and whether their centre be cut away for ease in serving, etc. The modern perception of the round table is that first echoed by Wace in Roman de Brut, written in 1155:
“On account of his noble Barons, each of whom thought himself the best and none of whom accounted himself the worst, Arthur made the Round Table, of which the Britons tell many fabulous tales. There sat his vassals, all noble and all equal; they sat equally at table and were equally served. No one of them could boast of sitting higher than his peer.”
A Round Table may also describe a gathering or tournament, often featuring motifs or outright imitation of Arthurian elements (i.e. assuming the names and arms of Arthur’s Knights). It is one thing to take these ideals and use them in symbolic play, and quite another to doggedly uphold them for the greater good. Even as we see the spirit of truth, equality, and dissemination of knowledge in both this blog and the form of the round table, others may just as willfully malign those images for their own gain, as Henry VIII contrived to do in his fabrication of the round table at Winchester.
Among my own favorite interpretations of the physical and spiritual manifestation of the Round Table is featured in the film Mazeppa, as you may view here now.