The grail is a frequent goal for legendary heroes, and it, like the Holy Lance, is rumored to have special healing properties. The Holy Grail was first featured in literature sometime late in the 12th century, when Chretien de Troyes wrote his poem, The Story of the Grail. While common knowledge describes the grail as a chalice or cup of sorts, in reality, it was first portrayed as a bowl or dish.
The Holy Grail has inspired authors and directors for centuries, notably Dan Brown for his book The Da Vinci Code, Stephen Spielberg for his film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and British comedians for their film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Other popular uses of the grail include the search by King Arthur and his knights of the round table, and the use of the grail as a metaphor for a very lofty trophy. It is frequently alluded in works of historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.
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