King Lear's one hundred knights have no precedent in any early version of the legendary Leir story, from Geoffrey of Monmouth (ca. 1136) to the late sixteenth century. Previous authors offer one hundred forty, sixty, forty, or are silent—but never give one hundred. Thomas G. Olsen argues that the size and the diminution of Lear's retinue speak to the internal logic of Shakespeare's tragedy. Knighthood was a personally significant ideal to Shakespeare, but Lear's "men of choice and rarest parts" must also have resonated in very topical and ironic ways when King Lear was first performed, including at court, in 1605–6.