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Forum LockedThe real King Arthur.......

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QueenCleopatra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The real King Arthur.......
    Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 16:25
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur
 
Everyone has heard in some shape or form of the tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Names like Excalibur, Guinevere, Merlin and Camelot are as familar to us today as they were 100s of years ago when the legends were first born. Arthur is even connected to the Grail Legend.
 
But how historically accurate are the tales? Do they have any basis at all in history or are they merely fairytales?
 
What do you think?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 22:53

It is a legend based in some actual people. King Arthur look like it was a Roman general of the 5th century (according to some report I saw on TV long ago). Camelot seem to have been a wooden fort. However, details like the names excalibur, Merlit and others, and the drama itself seem to come from a mixture of different legends.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penelope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 00:07
Arthur, it seems, is claimed as the King of nearly every Celtic Kingdom known. The 6th century certainly saw many men named Arthur born into the Celtic Royal families of Britain but, despite attempts to identify the great man himself amongst them, there can be little doubt that most of these people were only named in his honour. Princes with other names are also sometimes identified with "Arthwyr" which is thought by some to be a title similar to "Vortigern".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miki015 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 19:06
The King Arthur perhaps was a living man...Nice to believe in time when Good defeat Evil every time...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2007 at 10:19
A leader called Arthur first appears in old Celtic stories. Noticable about them is that in these tales, he is almost always a secondary character, not the main figure, and that quite often he is neutral at best, or just plain bad. He is also generally not a king, but a leader of a group of warriors, more war-lord or raubriter than anything else. The later Arthurian traditions are undoubtly based on these Celtic stories, but they changed quite a lot, the whole courtly love idea was added much later. Many of these stories are very early Celtic saints lives, and Arthur sometimes is a heathen...Wink so much for the grail.... Big%20smile that is defenately later...
 
Historically there are a lot of guesses and not much to base them on. The current concensus is that he was an actual historical figure of the ca. 5th-6th century, but there is not (and probaby never will be) enough evidence to prove this.


Edited by Aelfgifu - 02-Apr-2007 at 10:22

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2007 at 19:53
In my opinon he was based on a real historical figure as some recent studies suggest, however, the idea of him a war lord seems much more credible, and in line with the political situation of post-Roman England and Wales where decentralization happened on a rather massive scale when you take into account the various kingdoms that erupted out of the Roman troop withdrawal and collapse of government.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lotus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2007 at 06:32

Queen Cleopatra, do you know the story of Tristan & Isolde? it’s a much older tale, but there are a of similarities with the Arthurian legends.

 

http://www.tristanandisolde.net/Myth/Myth.asp

 

One of the candidates for Camelot is Cadbury castle in Somerset, there’s a huge earthworks there now, excavations have revealed  6th centaury fortifications and a settlement.

 

 

Nearby Cadbury castle is Glastonbury Tor ( Tor is a Celtic word for hill shaped like a segment of swiss cheese) said to be the Isle of Avalon – Other world home of the Celtic Underworld god Afallach, where Arthur was taken to be healed after the battle of Camlann.

Today the surrounding area has been drained and used for farming, during the dark ages however the Somerset levels would have been flooded.



Edited by Lotus - 05-Apr-2007 at 06:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QueenCleopatra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2007 at 10:26
Soryy I meant to get back to you sooner.
 
Yes I've heard it alright. I think it has some small collection to the Authurian legends doesn't it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2007 at 15:32
Cadbury castle is a hillfort dating 500 bc, the Arthurian fairy story is supposedly in the 6th century ad.
 
I'm not very good at maths but isn't that like the saying the Battle of Hastings was in WWII.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iazygys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2007 at 14:51
Cadbury hill/castle has been a sacred spot for, probably, millennia.  Such sacred spots tend to remain so regardless of the religion. Many european churches are built upon old sacred groves. Glastonbury itself was such a sacred grove, and some legends have Joseph of Arimathea founding the first church there. But legends are not literal history and arguing about their accuracy or validity gets us back to the number of angels on the head of a pin problem. Since we don't have records of the use of either Cadbury or Glastonbury, we don't really know who used them when for what.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iazygys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2007 at 15:01
As far as Arthurian legend, see www.archaeology.org/9701/abstracts/sarmatians.htm and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sarmatians
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2007 at 15:42
Originally posted by iazygys iazygys wrote:

Cadbury hill/castle has been a sacred spot for, probably, millennia.  Such sacred spots tend to remain so regardless of the religion. Many european churches are built upon old sacred groves. Glastonbury itself was such a sacred grove, and some legends have Joseph of Arimathea founding the first church there. But legends are not literal history and arguing about their accuracy or validity gets us back to the number of angels on the head of a pin problem. Since we don't have records of the use of either Cadbury or Glastonbury, we don't really know who used them when for what.
 

Iron Age village below Cadbury Castle

The discovery of widespread evidence for late Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement around Cadbury Castle hillfort in Somerset, contemporary with settlement inside the fort, has raised interesting questions about the way hillforts were used in the 1st millennium BC.

In particular, a large late Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement covering up to 15 hectares has been found on the lower slopes of the hillfort itself, mirroring the settlement within the fort. It is assumed the two settlements were closely connected, although it is unclear at present exactly how.

Traditionally, hillforts were investigated in isolation and regarded by many as islands of Iron Age occupation in an otherwise empty landscape. The evidence at Cadbury Castle (South Cadbury) confirms that hillforts were merely one part of a wider settlement pattern, a point also made by recent work in the hinterland of Danebury hillfort in Hampshire.

At Cadbury, wherever intensive survey has taken place within a radius of 8km of the fort, material has been found of mainly late Bronze Age to Roman date, according to Peter Leach of Birmingham University's field unit, which was working at Cadbury together with a team from Glasgow.

The settlement on the south-western slope, containing roundhouses and rectilinear buildings, lies on what is thought to have been the main route up into the fort. Mr Leach rejects the idea that the settlements were related like a castle to its medieval town - to regard hillforts as primarily military is `old-fashioned' - but the powerful defences at the fort suggest it was used as a refuge in times of danger.

Early Bronze Age and Neolithic material was found at the settlement - as also in the fort during former excavations. The most spectacular find was a complete late Bronze Age shield, placed face-down in an early Bronze Age banked ditch, at the corner of what may have been a large enclosure. The circular bronze shield, of the Yetholm type (currently dated c 1100-700BC), is decorated with rings of impressed dots and appears not to have been used in battle. It is the first late Bronze Age shield from an archaeological context - as opposed to a river, or similar site - which may allow it to be more precisely dated.

 
Source- British Archaeology - Issue 35


Edited by Paul - 13-May-2007 at 15:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2008 at 14:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2008 at 14:59
Should the thread in 'Medieval Europe' subforum be merged with this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hannahross Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 11:11
hi
   just now i read the article about king Arthur, thanks for the information
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dynbertawe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jul-2008 at 10:16
Originally posted by Lotus Lotus wrote:

Queen Cleopatra, do you know the story of Tristan & Isolde? it?s a much older tale, but there are a of similarities with the Arthurian legends.

 

http://www.tristanandisolde.net/Myth/Myth.asp

 

One of the candidates for Camelot is Cadbury castle in Somerset, there?s a huge earthworks there now, excavations have revealed  6th centaury fortifications and a settlement.

 

 

Nearby Cadbury castle is Glastonbury Tor ( Tor is a Celtic word for hill shaped like a segment of swiss cheese) said to be the Isle of Avalon ? Other world home of the Celtic Underworld god Afallach, where Arthur was taken to be healed after the battle of Camlann.

Today the surrounding area has been drained and used for farming, during the dark ages however the Somerset levels would have been flooded.

 
The place name Afallach does tend to make sense that it could be the home of King Arthur - the Welsh word afal(lach) means apple, and we all know that Somerset is famous for its apples and cider!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AdamantFire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2008 at 17:00
One of my professors, one of the top in his field of medieval history, said that the legend of King Arthur is probably dated much later than we originally thought - that he's actually a 8th, 9th, or 10th century figure, rather than the seventh century figure many historians theorize.  I don't know if this was his personal feeling on the subject, or something new in the field.  However, according to that Wikipedia article, it allows for the possibility.

Quote There are only a few early sources that mention Arthur. The earliest, by date of composition, is a British poem, "Gododdin", which was probably composed around the year 600. It refers to a warrior who "glutted black ravens [i.e. killed many men] on the rampart of the stronghold, though he was no Arthur". The earliest surviving manuscript of this poem dates from about the 11th century, however, so it is possible that this line is a later addition.


I don't know.  It's possible.  Perhaps a warrior was wrapped up in the history and folklore?  It wouldn't be the first time for that to happen.  I don't know.  What I've read of the story of Arthur doesn't seem like such an ancient figure.  He seems like a medieval figure fused with Celtic and French mythology.

Perhaps he was real, but I lean more to the opinion that he is more myth than man.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2008 at 22:43
the story of Arthur is the story of a declining Britain and Roman even christianized culture, driven back by pagan saxon invaders. Arthur stands for some war chiefs or kings that fought against the Saxons. As a historic persons he did not exist. It is possible that it became famous again in 11th century as a result of the Normannic reign, but for sure the legend of Arthur belongs to the 5th or early 6th century.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AdamantFire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2008 at 23:03
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

the story of Arthur is the story of a declining Britain and Roman even christianized culture, driven back by pagan saxon invaders. Arthur stands for some war chiefs or kings that fought against the Saxons. As a historic persons he did not exist. It is possible that it became famous again in 11th century as a result of the Normannic reign, but for sure the legend of Arthur belongs to the 5th or early 6th century.


Thank you.  That's what I was ineloquently trying to say (my posts get disjointed while I'm at work from looking over my shoulder - heh).  But yes, I think that the myth was reinvigorated right before and in the 11th century, and fused with older parts of the tale.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jul-2008 at 23:06

Norma Lorre Goodrich proposed that King Arthur ruled not in England but to the north, in Scotland. Her exhaustive literary research pointed to Stirling, northwest of Edinburgh, rather than Cadbury Castle, as the site of Camelot.

While I also agree (FWIW) that the basis of the Arthurian legend lies in Scotland, I don't accept that Stirling was the site of Camelot. I have many reasons for not accepting Stirling as Camelot, not least that it is north of the Antonine wall. Recent investigations have suggested that Arthur was, in fact a military commander of the tribe known to the Romans as Votadini, or to themselves as Goddodin. The Goddodin were the Welsh speaking inhabitants of the eastern part of the Lothians. This, to me at least, suggests that Traprain Law was “Camelot”. There are, however, many other contenders for the title such as Dumbarton Rock or the Castle Rock in Edinburgh.

A book entilted “Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms” by Alister Moffat,  postulates that Camelot was, in fact Roxburgh Castle.

The connection to Wales may be lingiustic rather than geographic as the Goddodin seem to have spoken a P-Celtic language similar to what has devloped into modern Welsh (as probably, did the Picts). The oldest known poem in any form of Welsh is the Y Goddodin, which also contains the first written reference to an "Arthur"

Quote He struck before the three hundred bravest
He would slay both middle and flank
He was suited to the forefront of a most generous host
He would give gifts from a herd of horses in winter
He would feed black ravens on the wall
of a fortress, though he were not Arthur
Among the strong ones in battle
In the van, an alder-palisade was Gwawrddur

but it was a product of the "Romans between the Walls". Those walls being Hadrians Wall and the Antonine Wall.

I don't think that it's possible, merely through linguistics to attribute anything to anywhere or anywhen. If that was true the battle of "Camlann" may very well have occured at Camelon on the southern shore of the Forth which would place it in the Lothians.



Edited by Chookie - 18-Jul-2008 at 23:07
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