THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR is very well known although it has changed during
the centuries. It seems, that King Arthur of Briton has really existed, around
500 AD, and that perhaps Camelot has been discovered as well. If you want to
study or research these famous legends in detail, some of the answers may be
found by following the links below or use Related
(bookmarks on this page) above.
The Age Of Chivalry
"It is believed that this presentation of a literature which held unrivalled sway over the imaginations of our ancestors for many centuries will not be without benefit to the reader, in addition to the amusement it may afford...These legends are so connected with each other, so consistently adapted to a group of characters strongly individualized in Arthur, Launcelot, and their compeers, and so lighted up by the fires of imagination and invention, that they seem as well adapted to the poet's purpose as the legends of the Greek and Roman mythology...." [ 1998, 1999 by Bob Fisher.]
The "Arthurian Legends Illustrated" represents an amalgam of different artists' views. The above link is the starting point. Links to other sections are; Part 2. Some Tragic Lovers, Part 3. Magic and Sorcery, Part 4. Healing the Fisher King, Part 5. Galahad's Grail Quest, Part 6. The Dream Falls Apart and Part 7. The Female Quest of RemediosVaro.
"As a story of fantastic knightly adventure, King Arthur and King Cornwall resembles Chaucer's Squire's Tale and other popular romances like Sir Launfal . The Arthurian knights gain victory by getting control of a magical horse, sword, and horn; to come by these, they must first gain mastery (through a kind of religious ritual or white magic) over a seven-headed sprite who serves King Cornwall, improbably named Burlow Beanie."
Facts & Myths
"Possible evidence of the existence of Arthur, the legendary warrior king, has been found at Tintagel in Cornwall. A Cornish slate with sixth-century engravings was found in July on the eastern terraces of Tintagel on the edge of a cliff overlooking the place traditionally known as Merlin's Cave. It was discovered under broken pottery and glass from the late sixth or seventh centuries during the re-excavations of an area last dug in the 1930s." [ 1998 by the Archaeological Institute of America-AMLIE A. WALKER]
This site explores the historical aspect of the King Arthur story, "attempting to compile a list of sources as I go and try to come one step closer to answering the question, "Did he exist at all or was he a mere concoction in the scribblings of a Medieval storyteller?"
"Of the many theories that have come in and out of fashion on the origin or etymology of the name Arthur, borne by the defender of Britain in the sixth century, the most popular and widespread notion is that his name is derived from that of an ancient Celtic god."
"A complete crash course in all the names and legends along with the key people that were to alter and adapt through their writings the famous King."
"King Arthur is a man of mystery and legend. His tales have been told and retold by numerous generations. He has fascinated countless storytellers, novelists, and screen writers alike. Did this man ever exist? Surely legends that have lasted so many centuries had to have had strong beginnings."
According to the author of this site, it is "the one and only authorised Web site of King Arthur Uther Pendragon, The Once And Future King. This site is dedicated to the living, breathing, People's King, not the myth of legend." This site was awarded a Times Pick by the Los Angeles Times on 23-Jul-96. Links from the home page include; An Interview with The King, King Arthur's Accoutrements, Images of The King,
Arthurian FAQ, King Arthur and the Druids and The Royal warrant.
"The memory of the famous Arthur, king of the Britons, is not to be suppressed, which the histories of the famous monastery of Glastonbury praise greatly, and of which he was the distinguished and generous patron and a magnificent supporter in his day..." [De Instructione Principis]
Some Text, but mostly images.
A Web site dedicated to King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Was Arthur a true, historical figure or only a hero of legend?
"Arthur was the legendary King of medieval Britain, and the hero of one of the most exciting and often recounted cycle of legends and romances. Camelot, the enchanted sword called Excalibur and the Holy Grail are all a part of this amazing legend. He is said to have been born in Tintagel in Cornwall, son of King Uther Pendragon."
"The place name 'Camelot' does not occur in early versions of the story of Arthur. However, Geoffrey of Monmouth (1133AD) tells how Arthur held court at..."
"Today when asked about tapestries, most will imagine glorious wall decorations, with fantastic scenes and vibrant colors hanging on museum walls. In the Middle Ages however, tapestries were not only used as wall hangings, but because of their warm and durable fabric, as covers for beds tables, and furniture."
"The Arthurian Legend speaks of an English town called Camelot, where King Arthur was said to have lived and was raised by Merlin the Magician. He was raised to reign, to be King, in this land called Camelot. King Arthur and his court of knights would meet at what they called, "The Round Table," to celebrate and discuss the goings on in Camelot."
The Sword Excalibur
Short historical explanations.
"King Arthur's magical sword, is said to symbolize both destruction and fertility. In one version of the legends of Arthur, the future king proved his right to rule by pulling Excalibur out of a stone, which no other man could do..."
"A mixture of mythology and history, Arthurian legend told the adventures of Arthur, king of the Britons, and his knights. According to the legend, Arthur drew his magic sword, called Excalibur, from a stone. These swords, from the Muse des Beaux-Arts in Troyes, France, and the legend both date from the 5th century..."
An essay; The Story Of Merlin And Vivien
"In the traditional legend, Merlin was Arthur's magician and counsellor, in many ways the architect of his reign. The popular modern image of Merlin is a wise elder, but there is abundant evidence in many early sources of Merlin's true nature as a shamanistic mad prophet, magician, wise man, and, paradoxically, foolish seeker of the truth. During the middle ages, his glamour outshown Arthur. His life was in three phases..."
Merlin is one of the original line of Mystics in ancient British folklore and has become an icon to many people interested in the mystical, in arcane magic and spirituality. The earliest known references to 'Arthur' (See Arthur) are associated with ancient Celtic mythology and so it is perhaps understandable that the name of 'Merlin' was interwoven into Arthurian legend, and reflected the Celtic mystic beliefs and notable deities. [Mystical World Wide Web]
"MERLIN, Arthur's adviser, prophet and magician, is basically the creation of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who in his twelfth-century History of the Kings of Britain combined the Welsh traditions about a bard and prophet named Myrddin with the story that the ninth-century chronicler Nennius tells about Ambrosius (that he had no human father and that he prophesied the defeat of the British by the Saxons). Geoffrey gave his character the name Merlinus rather than Merdinus..." -[Camelot Project, University of Rochester]-
From Tombtown - "A magician, prophet and advisor, active in all phases of the administration of Arthur's kingdom. According to legend, Merlin was begotten by an incubus, an evil spirit that has intercourse with sleeping women. The evil child was supposed to provide a counterweight to the good influence of Jesus Christ on earth. Merlin, fortunately, was baptized early on in his life, an event which negated the evil in his nature, but left his powers intact"...
"Merlin first appears in extant records (Armes Prydein, Y Gododdin) from the early 10th century as a mere prophet, but his role gradually evolved into that of magician, prophet and advisor, active in all phases of the administration of King Arthur's kingdom. He was apparently given the name Emrys (or Ambrosius) at his birth in Caer-Fyrddin (Carmarthen). He only later became known as Merlin, a Latinized version of the Welsh word, Myrddin, taken from the place of his birth."