What was the origin of The Round Table?

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are different legends about how King Arthur acquired the round table. The first time the round table is mentioned is in a text called "Roman de Brut" by an Anglo-Norman writer named Wace. He states that Arthur had the table installed so that no one who sat at it would be in a place of prominence; all would be equal.

According to Malory's "Morte d'Arthur," the table was a wedding gift to Arthur and Guinevere from her father, King Leodegrance.

The French poet Robert de Boron claimed that Merlin created the table out of a single, very large tree.

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cdandrea | Student

The Round Table existed in the days of The Arthurian knights, who sat with King Arthur around a circular table. The table was circular because it allowed every seated member to face one another; there was a sense of equality, trust, and fellowship between the knights that had no other choice but to stare those around them directly in the eyes. Despite, the fellowship and brotherhood that the architecture of the table-shape lends however, our history also tells of much competition, jealousy, and envy amongst the "brothers." When Sir Lancelot (a Knight of the Round Table) committed adultery with Arthur's wife (amongst a series of other consecutive mishaps), Arthur's kindgom reached its demise. 

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Le Morte d'Arthur

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