"JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA IN BRITAIN
Chrétien never mentioned Joseph. Robert did not bring Joseph westward. Rather Bron, now called the Fisher King, went west with the Holy Grail. The literary pathways by which Joseph was brought westward with the Grail in the romances are as treacherous as the Sword Bridge. The following texts, taken as a whole, may well
provide the solution to Joseph's hardly credible literary journey to sainthood in Britain.
A 5th-8th c. early "I, Joseph" Georgian text, crucial for my thesis, contains probably the first notice that Joseph's apocryphal missionary activity was associated with that of St. Philip and that together the two built a church at Lydda (Diospolis),
directly west of Jerusalem. The NT Book of Acts names two Philips and defines their missionary area as Samaria and Caesarea in Palestine and Hierapolis and Phrygia/Galatia in Turkey. If Joseph had ever been associated with Philip, primary documents place them only in the East. The reader is asked to keep this point in
A literary floodgate was opened by an anonymous monk who, about 530, was copying the Liber Pontificalis, a chronicle of the popes listing salient events during each reign. Under Pope Eleutherus (170-185), the copyist inserted: "This pope received a
letter from British King Lucius [Britannio rege Lucio] asking that he might be made a Christian through his agency." The copyist did not name Philip or Joseph. The problem is that in 170 there were no kings of Britannia, which was still a Roman province. Both
l'Abbé L. Duchesne, premier editor of the Liber Pontificalis, and Louise Ropes Loomis, its translator, wonder about the source of the insertion. Loomis asserts that the "statement . . . appears first here in Liber Pontificalis
The interpolated note was used by Bede (8th c.) in his Ecclesiastical History of Britain, who in turn was a source for every other early British historian, including Pseudo-Nennius. Bede followed his source in naming British King Lucius and Pope
Eleutherus, and he accepted the first conversion of Britain at that time.33 Gildas, sixthcentury monk-historian, our earliest British source--and Bede's main authority--made no reference to any of this. Thus Bede's source here must be the scribal insert. But this
simple insertion has had the most far-reaching consequences.
William of Malmesbury, writing his history of Glastonbury Abbey about 1125, used Bede and Freculphus, ninth-century bishop of Lisieux. The words of Freculphus' Chronicle: Phillipus . . . Gallis praedicavit Christum were ambiguous enough to
suggest that Philip had preached in France rather than--what was true --among the Gauls in Galatia, Turkey. Indeed, William's original book had said only that unnamed missionaries had been sent to Britain by the pope at the request of British King Lucius
in 166 (from Bede). He said that if St. Philip had preached in Gaul "as Freculphus had declared," it was probably he who sent the missionaries into Britain. Though William did not mention Joseph, his book led ultimately to the claims of Glastonbury Abbey to
have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea. The little book by J. A. Robinson, essentially the locus classicus on this topic,
tells what happened next, and it is well known. In 1184 fire had seriously damaged Glastonbury. Funds were required for its repair. In 1189 funding from King Henry II ceased with his death. In 1191 the monks announced that they had found the bodies of
King Arthur and Guenevere on the gr ounds, and soon after they claimed the tomb of Joseph with two vials containing the blood and water from Jesus' side. The tourists came with open purses. But two vials are not the Grail--which, oddly, Glastonbury
never claimed to have.
In 1247 William's book was copied by Glastonbury monks --with additions. In a new introduction we read, "St. Philip was [emphasis added] in Gaul, as Freculphus tells us. He sent twelve disciples to preach in Britain, and as is said [ut ferunt], he placed at
their head his favourite disciple, Joseph of Arimathea." It is this derivative text of 1247 that first directly placed Joseph in Glastonbury and it derives from Freculphus, the
sixth-century insertion (via Bede), and the Georgian MS linking Joseph with Philip. Wesselofsky and Imbs think the old Lydda tradition of Joseph and Philip as missionaries and their construction of a church to the Virgin was adopted and adapted
by Glastonbury. In adding the character of Joseph, the Glastonbury redactors, of course, had the motive of placing him in Glastonbury and making it the primal seat of the Faith in Britain.WHO IS KING LUCIUS OF BRITAIN?
Biblical scholar Adolf Harnack first noticed in 1904 that the interpolated King Lucius in the Liber Pontificalis was really King Abgar VIII, full name Lucius Aelius [Aurelius] Septimius Megas Abgarus VIII (177-212), first Christian king of Edessa and the only King Lucius who espoused Christianity in the late second century, time of Pope
Eleutherus. Harnack also revea led the crucial fact that Edessa was sometimes referred to by a term describing its citadel: in Syriac Birtha, in Latin Britium. The sixth-century Syriac Chronicle of Edessa announces that "in the year 205 Abgar VIII built the Birtha." Clement of Alexa ndria, late second century, fortifies this
identification: a Latin excerpt of his fragmentary Hypotyposes (Themes) says the tomb of St. Jude-Thaddaeus was known to be in Britio Edessenorum, the citadel of Abgar.
Palut, Edessa's first bishop, was consecrated around 200. The Chronicle of Edessa mentions the destruction by flooding of "the sanctuary of the Christian church" in 201. Eusebius notes that the bishops of Phrygia and Osrhoëne (of which Edessa
was the capital) communicated with the bishop of Rome in the time of Pope Eleutherus. Ample documents assert that Abgar VIII had close ties with Rome.
Rome's client kings sometimes took Roman names, and Abgar likely took his from Emperor Septimius Severus. Around 202, on Septimius' invitation, Abgar visited Rome amid a lavish reception. So new convert Lucius Abgar may indeed have corresponded with Eleutherus --Lucius of Edessa, not England. The "British King
Lucius" of the sixth-century insert in the Liber Pontificalis fits England not at all, and Edessa entirely".http://www.west.net/~shroud/pdfs/n56part3.pdf
Above taken from research i am doing on Veronicas veil, the Grail legends etc etc. Seems to throw some light on the subjects being discussed in this thread.
Look further to Robert de Boron and his borrowing of the 'Gospel of Nicodemus' to create his Grail texts ...... one can see where misunderstandings about Joseph have appeared .....