Safir (Arthurian legend)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sir Safir is a Knight of the Round Table and the youngest son of the Saracen king Esclabor in the Arthurian legend. Both his brothers, Segwarides and Palamedes, also belong to the Round Table. He is a courageous and loyal knight and was, in his time, a fairly popular character, showing up in the Prose Tristan and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. His name is included on the Winchester Round Table.

Safir appears in many works of Arthurian literature, usually alongside his brother Palamedes. In one incident, Safir is disguised as Sir Ector de Maris and fights with Sir Helior le Preuse. He defeats him and wins Sir Espinogres' lady. Vowing to defend the lady's honor, Sir Palamedes arrives on the scene, and locks sword with Safir, not realizing it is his brother. After fighting for an hour, both are impressed with each other's prowess and skill, and decide to ask the other's identity. Safir is devastated to find that he was fighting with his own brother and asks Palamedes for forgiveness. Together, they return the lady to Sir Espinogres.

Though he is a younger brother, Safir converted to Christianity some time before Palamedes. When the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere is exposed, Safir and Palamedes join Lancelot's side in the ensuing civil war between Lancelot and King Arthur. When they are banished to Lancelot's homeland in Gaul, Safir is made Duke of Landok while Palamedes becomes Duke of Provence.