King Arthur

King Arthur
   Semilegendary hero and king of the Britons who defended England from Anglo-Saxon invaders in the fifth or sixth century and who traditionally fought twelve battles, including the great Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus) in 516. The legendary figure of Arthur is possibly based on a historical person, who has been identified as one of a broad range of figures, including a professional mercenary, a late Roman military commander, a Welsh duke, and an Irish king in Scotland. He is best known, however, through the tales of romance composed on the basis of the old legends in the high and late Middle Ages by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Thomas Malory, and others that describe the adventures of Arthur and Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere, and their home, the fabled Camelot.
   The origins of the legend can be found in the descriptions of invasion-era England by Gildas in the sixth century and Nennius in the ninth century, as well as in the comment of an anonymous early medieval Welsh poet who says of a certain warrior that he "was not Arthur." Although Gildas does not name his hero, he seldom does name names in his history, and he does describe the victory at Badon Hill and the brief recovery of the fortunes of the Britons after the battle-key elements in the later fame of Arthur. Nennius identifies his hero as Arthur and lists twelve battles, including Badon Hill and Camlann where Arthur died, that the great hero fought against invading Saxon armies. Although two of the battles have been located geographically and probably did occur, the other ten battles have not been located and may not have occurred, or least as Nennius described them. It is from these simple beginnings that the full-scale legend evolved in Welsh and later English sources. It was a legend of great popularity that, at the same time, made any English prince named Arthur suspect in the eyes of the ruling monarch.
   Some scholars claim to have identified Camelot, the most famous landmark of the legend of Arthur. As early as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Cadbury Castle in South Cadbury, Somerset, was recognized as Camelot. In the 1960s excavations discovered early fortifications that could be associated with a historical Arthur and also unearthed foundations of a church and numerous objects of everyday use of high quality. Although some scholars accept this as Arthur's castle, others reject it and argue that the documentary record of an active warrior does not support his association with the structures found at Cadbury.
   See also
 ♦ Alcock, Leslie. Arthur's Britain: History and Archeology, a.d. 367-634. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1971.
 ♦ Barber, Richard. The Figure of Arthur. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1972.
 ♦ Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Trans. Lewis Thorpe. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1996.
 ♦ Gildas. The Ruin of Britain and Other Works. Ed. and trans. Michael Winterbottom. London: Phillimore, 1978.
 ♦ Malory, Sir Thomas. Le Morte d'Arthur. Ed. Norma Lorre Goodrich. New York: Washington Square Press, 1966.

Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe. 2014.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • King Arthur — is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence 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 …   Wikipedia

  • King Arthur — bezeichnet: den englischen Namen des legendären kelto britischen Artus King Arthur (Film), einen 2004 erschienenen US amerikanischen Film des Regisseurs Antoine Fuqua King Arthur (Oper), eine Semi Oper von Henry Purcell, Uraufführung 1691 King… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • King Arthur — noun a legendary king of the Britons (possibly based on a historical figure in the 6th century but the story has been retold too many times to be sure); said to have led the Knights of the Round Table at Camelot • Syn: ↑Arthur • Derivationally… …   Useful english dictionary

  • King Arthur — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. King Arthur est le titre de plusieurs œuvres se basant sur la légende du roi Arthur : King Arthur (opéra), un opéra d’Henry Purcell créée en 1691,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • King Arthur —    From Arthurian legend, he was born about 480 AD. King Arthur was the High King of Britain, and created a golden age of chivalry. He lived in Camelot, his mentor was the wizard Merlin, and he created the Round Table, where the Knights of the… …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • King Arthur's messianic return — is an aspect of the legend of King Arthur, the mythical 6th century British king. Few historical records of Arthur remain, and there are doubts that he ever existed, but he achieved a mythological stature that gave rise to a growing literature… …   Wikipedia

  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice — was a Sunday morning, syndicated cartoon series which lasted for 2 seasons (totaling 26 episodes) and was produced by Golden Films, C D Entertainment and Bohbot Entertainment. The first episode aired on September 13, 1992 and the last episode was …   Wikipedia

  • King Arthur (opera) — King Arthur or, The British Worthy (Z. 628), is an opera in five acts composed by Henry Purcell to a libretto by John Dryden. The opera was first performed at the Queen s Theatre, Dorset Garden, London, in late May or early June of 1691 [ The… …   Wikipedia

  • King Arthur and King Cornwall — is an English ballad surviving in fragmentary form in the 17th century Percy Folio manuscript. An Arthurian story, it was collected by Francis James Child as Child Ballad 30. Unlike other Child Ballads, but like the Arthurian The Boy and the… …   Wikipedia

  • King Arthur (TV series) — King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table 円卓の騎士物語 燃えろアーサー (Entaku no Kishi Monogatari Moero Āsā) TV anime …   Wikipedia

  • King Arthur's family — grew throughout the centuries with King Arthur s legend. Several of the legendary members of this mythical king s family became leading characters of mythical tales in their own right.Welsh literatureIn Welsh Arthurian literature from before the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”