Arthur: Fact or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Medieval Boards' started by Lady_of_Shalott, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    The engines of the spitfires were called Merlin's? That is interesting indeed....
     
  2. GARY

    GARY New Member

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    Fortunately no one has tried to invade us (ENGLAND) since, so the theory hasn't been tested again.I'd like to think that he would turn up again in some form.
     
  3. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    Arthur might have been real. But then again, he might not have. We could equally question the authenticity of Herakles and Achilles. But Davy Crockett himself was blown to great proportions during his own lifetime. How much more so if the people in Arthur's day didn't do a good job of recording history.
     
  4. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    If you see the documentary on the History channel about Troy they have some guys who studied verbal history. Their conclusion was that due to the extremely specific nature of the way verbal history is told that it is reasonably accurate. In my mind that means that though some of the details might not be correct, it has a core of truth.

    http://historymedren.about.com/library/prm/blsearcharth1

    Arthur would have lived in the 3rd or 4th century AD

    Seems to me Arthur would have been a little later.. at least into the 4th century ... after the romans left England.
     
  5. njuul

    njuul New Member

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    Well, I just came by this forum. Arthur, and his legend is ancient, but there are fewer historical sources to proove his exitence. The oldest written source of contemporary britain is that of the munk Gildas who wrote "De exidio Britanniae". He mentions a man called Ambrosius, probably the leader of the brits against the saxon invaders in the battle of Badon witch occured between 480- 520 CE.

    He also mentions the rivalry between Gwetheryn, probably king of Powys and maybe overlord of the british areas, and Vortigern. Ambrosius/Emrys role here is more diffuse. Gwetheryn anyway allies himself with the saxons, marking him as the major Quistling figure of anciant britain.

    The story itself, og Arthur Pendragon is as we all know a romantic invention of the bards in france during the middel ages.
     
  6. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    All quite true there. But, now that we've established certain things, I've been wondering which version of the King Arthur story do you prefer? The one that is probably closest to the truth, or the made up legends?
     
  7. Fingon

    Fingon The High King

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    I grew up upon fiction, fantasy and mythology. I read many books and legends, but none are written as the Arthurian Legend. It is more of a "story became legend, legend became myth" thing. I found many sourses stating of his true existance. "A day will come when the dead king rises from the grave of old and comes upon thy lands to once again claim it his own" read a stone upon his grave tomb. I think he existed.
    ~Fingon
     
  8. Celestial Wanderer

    Celestial Wanderer searching for peace...

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    Mary Stuart??? Sorry, if I am being silly, but are you referring to a present-day author by that name, or are you talking abt Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland?
     
  9. Celestial Wanderer

    Celestial Wanderer searching for peace...

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    I suppose , the myths of King Arthur, were a result of the moral plays that were staged, before the sophistication of the Elizabethan theatre. In these moral plays, the idea of good always winning evil, is the main theme. For theaterical purposes, many stories may have been made up, but I am sure the characters were real. Yes, there should be a King Aruthur, Guinevere and a Launcelot, as the eary histories do mention them. Parts of the quest of the Holy grail was documented in some Scottish poems( sorry I can't post that up, as I have read this a long time ago)

    Yet, some Welsh poets think that Arthur was a wicked tyrant.
     
  10. Tamzen

    Tamzen New Member

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    They meant Mary Stewart. :) There are 4 books she wrote about the Matter of Britian with Merlin as the protagonist. The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment and The Wicked Day. They are rather good. I read them first when they were published over 30 years ago and still enjoy them.
     
  11. Talan

    Talan Member

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  12. Loki the Demon

    Loki the Demon "Belgium, Man!"

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    Best 'real life' king Arthur story i've read is called 'Sword at Sunset', by Rosemary Sutcliffe. I've also read a heap of short stories, and, i think once, the complete legend. Forget who it was by though. THere are so many versions of the king arthur story though- like, different characters, different names, different relationships between one another. So it's hard to even find the definitive version of what the complete legend of Arthur is, let alone whether the man himself existed. (even though the core of the whole thing is usually always there in some form or another).
     
  13. Loki the Demon

    Loki the Demon "Belgium, Man!"

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    but yeah, no matter whether it was true or not, it's a rattling good story. Interestingly enough though, i don't think Tolkien ever really respected the king Arthur legend very much. Because even with that whole story, he didn't feel that Britain had a proper legendary cultural background, as 'twere. Especially since Geoffry of Monmouth (the guy who first translated some of it into French) in the 12th century, wrote it to give england a bit of a magnificent past for its new Norman lords to look back on- on a king that was noble and brave etc, but with a few weaknesses and whose kingdom/golden age collapsed and failed. Giving the Normans a bit of legitimacy in making England a great nation again. And ignoring the already illustrious past of the Saxons... and perhaps more heroic and very real King Alfred the Great.
     
  14. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I am not sure but i think King Arthur was a real person, just made into a legend over years of exageration. And as Loki the Demon said above me- it is a very good story.

    for some reason i wanted to ressurect this thread... :D