|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/23 13:52 英语文摘|
Archaeological digging might soon unveil the mystery surrounding a sword buried in a Gothic2 abbey3 in Tuscany Italian researchers announced.
Known as the “sword in the stone” the Tuscan “Excalibur” is said to have been plunged into a rock in 1180 by Galgano Guidotti a medieval knight who renounced war and worldly goods to become a hermit. Built in Galgano’s memory the evocative4 Gothic abbey at Montesiepi near the city of Siena still preserves the sword in a little chapel5. Only the hilt and a few centimeters of the blade protrude from the rock in the shape of a Cross.
“The sword has been considered a fake for many years but our metal dating research in 2001 has indicated it has medieval origins. The composition of the metal doesn’t show the use of modern alloys and the style is compatible with that one of a 12th century sword” said Luigi Garlaschelli a research scientist at University of Pavia.
The figure of Galgano Guidotti who is said to have been born in 1148 in Chiusdino near Siena is shrouded in mystery and legend. Evidence of his historical identity has never been found and no records exist in documents from his time.
Galgano Guidotti was said to have been an arrogant and lustful knight who isolated himself in a cave and became a hermit after seeing a vision of the Archangel6 Michael.
Legend has it that Galgano was lured out by his mother who convinced him to meet with his former beautiful fiancée7 on the way to her house Galgano was thrown by his horse while passing Montesiepi a hill near Chiusdino. There another vision told him to renounce material things. Galgano objected that it would be as difficult as splitting a rock with a sword. To prove his point he struck a stone with his sword. Instead of breaking the sword slid like butter into the rock. Galgano once again became a recluse isolating himself by the sword’s side. There he remained until he died in 1181.
“Further evidence may lie underneath the rock. More multidisciplinary8 studies are needed to understand what the hill of Montesiepi hides. Meanwhile we are all anxious to see what results this excavation will bring” said Maurizio Cali president of the “Project Galgano” association.
By Rosella Lorenzi
(安琪 摘译自Discovery News Mar. 1 2004)
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