Le Morte Darthur Book 5
12 old ambassadors from Rome come to Arthur’s court and demand him to swear allegiance to Rome, threatening with war if he declines. Arthur forbids his men to attack the ambassador. In a council it is clear that most favour a war and eventually Arthur concludes that not HE shall swear allegiance to Rome but Rome to him. Note: 12 ambassadors already visited Arthur in I.23.
Kings throw men into the pool of an army, Rome’s messangers are sent back and informed of Arthur’s claims; they receive gifts and are escorted out of the country. They report to emperor Lucius of Arthur and assert that he has powerful knights. Lucius decides to gather troops from all thee empire and starts occupying France, destroying many lands Arthur won of King Claudas.
Arthur and his men cross the channel – Gwenever stays in England, Lancelot leaves as well, Tristram and Isolde stay.
Arthur has an allegorical dream of a dragon fighting a boar. It is eventually explained by a ‘philosopher’
After landing, Arthur is told about a giant who slew many people and abducted a duchess. Arthur goes with Kay and Bedeware to slay him, climbs the mountain alone. He is informed by an old lady of the duchess’ death and 12 children hostages. Arthur challenges the giant. Both eventually tumble down the mountain and the giant gets slain by Kay and Bedeware waiting. His head is set on a spear, they return to the host, a church is commanded to be built. Two messengers inform Arthur of Lucius’ army
Gawain, Bors, Lionel, Bedewere are sent straight to Lucius. They talk to the emperor and - after being insulted – Gawain kills the emperor’s cousin. A battle ensures. Gawain fights with his sword GALATYN. Arthur is eventually called for support in battle; 10k Romans die, prisoners are sent to Paris, surveilled by Lancelot and Cador
Lucius puts up 60k men to rescue the imprisoned knights and lords and puts up an ambush. Lancelot espies them and prepares his 10k men for battle. King Arthur learns of the battle and comes with reinforcements. Sir Beriel, Moris and Maurel die but the battle is one. Arthur scolds Launcelot for not having called for reinforcements, but Lancelot highlights the duty to be valorous.
Lucius is advised to withdraw by a senator but rejects the advice. He sends Sir Leomye with a great army to occupy towns and castles. Arthur divides his army. In a big battle, Arthur slays the giant Galapas and ultimately directly fights Lucius. Arthur is wounded but Lucius is killed consecutively. The Romans flee – 100k slain, among them several nobles whose corpses are sent to Rome together with demands.
Gawain and others are sent out to get supplies. Gawain steals away from the camp seeking adventure and meets a knight from Tuskany. He challenges him.
They fight. Both are wounded – and Gawain’s wound is magical, not due to cease by natural means. They both agree to cease fighting and the stranger introduces himself as Sir Priamus, descendant of Alexander and others (Troy). Gawain pretends to be no knight at all, sending P. marvelling, then reveals his identity. Priamus warns him of a nearby Roman host of 60k men and they both return to Gawain’s companions (Priamus intending to defect and be christened). Gawain is healed with a viol of Waters out of Paradiese from Priamus. Gawain insists on fighting with the Romans instead of sneking away.
The knights kill 20k enemies quickly. Then a giant, Iubaunce, enters the fight and slays Sir Gherard of Wales. Priamus and his men fight with Arthur’s man; P slays the Marquis of Moses’ land; Chestelayne, a ward of Gawain gets slain (the, Gawain always somehow messes up…) but the knights win.
They return to Arthur; Priamus gets baptised and is made a knight of the Table Round. Some damsels come out of the city sieged by Arthur and demand mercy. Arthur grants it but for the governor who is sent to lifelong prison to Dover. Milan, hearing this, surrenders and sends money to Arthur. A. continues to Rome, gives time to assemble all Romans and crown him emperor. Priamus is given the duchy of Lorraine. He is eventually crowned by the Pope’s hand at Christmas. His knights beseech him to get home now and they leave. Gwenyver awaits them – all is well.