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VIDEO: Top 7 Medieval Urban Legends

1. Incubus and Sucubus

An incubus is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death.

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2. Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Eternal youth is a gift frequently sought in myth and legend, and stories of things such as the philosopher’s stone, universal panaceas, and the elixir of life are common throughout Eurasia and elsewhere.

3. The Wandering Jew

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The legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The origins of the legend are debatable; perhaps one element is the story in Genesis of Cain, who is issued with a similar punishment — to wander over the earth, never reaping a harvest again, but scavenging.

4. Robin Hood

Robin Hood is an archetypal figure in English folklore, whose story originates from medieval times, but who remains significant in popular culture where he is known for “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” and fighting against injustice and tyranny. There are a number of theories that attempt to identify a historical Robin Hood, but for various reasons (such as the popularity of the name in the Middle Ages), it is unlikely to ever come up with any evidence that suggests he is not just a legend.

5. The Holy Grail

According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers.

6. King Arthur

King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defense of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur’s story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians.

7. Prester John

Reportedly a descendant of one of the Three Magi, Prester John was said to be a generous ruler and a virtuous man, presiding over a realm full of riches and strange creatures, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided. His kingdom contained such marvels as the Gates of Alexander and the Fountain of Youth, and even bordered the Earthly Paradise. Among his treasures was a mirror through which every province could be seen.