A Librarian at the University of Bristol recently uncovered 7 manuscripts featuring Merlin and a number of other characters from Arthurian lore. These pieces were discovered in a French manuscript by a fifteenth century French scholar. Within these is a 13th century tale of Arthur and Merlin that has never been read.

The extract is a version of the Vulgate cycle that hasn’t been told before in which Merlin leads the charge into battle. The Vulgate cycle is part of the grail stories and adventures. It also contains a brief love story between Merlin and a woman named Viviane. It seems that it also may be a part of Estoire de Merlin a classic Merlin story. There are a number of changes in this fragment that make things different for those who study Arthurian lore.

The university is currently undertaking the task of identifying all of the tale and translating it. Dr Tether added: “There are many more differences, too, but because of the damage to the fragments, it will take time to decipher their contents properly, perhaps even requiring the use of infra-red technology. We are all very excited to discover more about the fragments and what new information they might hold.”