View Full Version : The Truth behind the Myth " King Arthur"

March 5th, 2001, 10:53 AM
Now this should open up a huge topic of discussion, come on don't be shy I'd like to hear what you think on this matter, Fact of Fiction, the location of Camelot if it existed...
Just to add a little wood into the fire Arthur ap Uther The Pendragon of Britian was Welsh.....Not Saxon!

(Verbena Stands well back)

March 5th, 2001, 12:47 PM
Hi all!
Well of course he's not a Saxon!His whole story is about driving the Saxons away.It takes place after the Romans have left.Celtic and Roman Britain have to fight off the Saxon invaders.Arthur's gift is supposedly in uniting these sometimes opposing groups to fight this common foe.
I think there is probably a basis in fact for his story.Probably a chieftain from around 500s ACE.When the people of Britain were fighting off the Saxon or Germanic invaders in the East.He could be Welsh.He was also called Gwydion I've heard.But definitely not a Saxon.
Peace and Love

March 5th, 2001, 03:40 PM
I don't think Arthur's heritage was in any one ethnicity (i.e. he wasn't 100 percent Briton). This is probably why it seemed more natural for him to unite and join forces...

March 6th, 2001, 04:19 AM
and what of merlin?

March 6th, 2001, 09:30 AM
Merlin was Welsh. He was born in Carmarthen (in welsh, "Caerfyrddin" or Merlin's Fort) which is about 30 miles away from where I live.

March 6th, 2001, 02:54 PM
I read this somewhere online a while back, and printed it. I checked back today before posting this, and can't find a copyright or anyone to credit for it.

Different writers have placed Camelot in different locations. Sir Thomas Malory, in Le Morte D'arthur (15th century) placed the castle in Winchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his History of the Kings of Britain (about 1136) named Caerleon Castle in Wales. Another theory puts Camelot near Tintagel, Arthur's reputed Cornish birthplace. Modern attempts at identifying Camelot have sought to place Camelot at the ruins of Cadbury Castle in Somerset, excavated in the 1960's. There is much underlying tradition to support this belief. Cadbury Castle is an earthwork fort of the Iron Age, which looks over the Vale of Avalon to Glastonbury. Nearby is the River Cam, and the village of Queen Camel (once known as Camel). John Leland, in the reign of Henry VIII, speaks of local people who refer to the fort as "Camalat" and as the home of Arthur.
Camelot itself has come to be viewed not only as a place, but as a state of mind or a reflection of a lost ideal. Tennyson, in the Idylls of the King writes that it is symbolic of "the gradual growth of human beliefs and institutions, and of the spiritual development of man."

Found at: www.eliki.com/ancient/myth/camelot/

March 6th, 2001, 02:57 PM
PS- I am really quite interested in this topic. I think that while much of the legend has been embellished over time, it is actually based on fact and on real people and places.

"Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot".

March 7th, 2001, 06:41 AM
For all of your intrested in the Lengend of Arthur from an historical point I suggest you take a look at a book called The Holy Kingdom by Adrian Gilbert , Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett. ISBN 0-220-001189-4

" In this explosive book the authors, using ancient historical records, show that Britian was never fully conquered by the Romans but retained it's cultures, It's royal families by intermarrying with the Caesars. With the coming of Joseph of Armathea in AD 37, it's kings become converts to Christianity.

Two of those kings were named Arthur- one, Arthur 1 of Warwickshire, the fourth century son of Magnus Maximus, the other his 6th century desendant and a King of Glamorgan- Their careers rolled into one and elaborated upon by many medieval poets, they became the single king Arthur of myth and legend.

As a result of research going back over 40 years the authors are able to reveal the location of the graves of both Arthur's, the location of Camelot and uncover a secret historical current that links our own times with the mysteries of Arthur and the Holy Grail. In doing so they challange many orthodox belifes perpetuauted by a church which long ago lost touch with it's roots."

March 9th, 2001, 08:23 PM
In the days of Arthur, who did indeed exist, there was no such place as Wales and no such place as England. There was no specific devide between what is now called england and what is now called wales, there was only Briton. Wales is a saxon word meaning stranger forigner, and the saxons called it this because it was the part of Briton that the non-saxons managed to maintain after the invasions. England means belonging to the Anglos i.e anglo-saxons. Thus it is important to remember that Arthur was not a welsh man at all, but a Briton, a Celt. He existed before the saxons took their hold and devided our land and separated a vast majority of true Britons from their own true culture. The legend of Arthur is important because it reminds us of a time when Briton was united, a time when there was no cultural conflict between wales and england, a time when we were all fellow country folk.

Further more, while many people see Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, as Celtic places, people forget that the Celts occupied what is now called England too. Yet if you look around you will find the remains of Celtic sights all over England. The saxons took England, they dictated to its people, oppressed them, and devided them. But they did not irradicate them, and this sadly is too often overlooked.

March 11th, 2001, 10:35 AM
In the Time of Arthur Was we now call England and Wales did exist. At this time they were known by other names those being Lloegrs and Cymry, Cymry (Wales) at this time was almost twice the size it is today. It was not untill the Romans invaded that the Welsh lost most of that land.

March 12th, 2001, 05:20 AM
Looking at all your replies on the legend of Arthur, Merlin, and Camelot, i have to agree with all of you. But!!, as stated that there were no such boundaries as Wales and england, but a united Briton, so the nationality of Arthur was briton and not an isolated Welsh ancient. I myself am Welsh, and would dearly like to claim the individuality of Arthur, but nope he was a Briton.
The location of Camelot is much harder to locate, but the somerset location is the most viable, as legends depict that Arthur and his followers were driven from the arm of Briton to the warring Celts, that had become isolated within the valleys and dales. This being "Wales" as we now know it, so the resting place, or sanctuary of "Arthur" maybe more linked with Wales, rather than Camelot. There are two sites linked to the sanctuary of Arthur within South Wales, both within a few miles of each other, "The sleeping Giant", and another located just above the head of a valley in the vale of Neath.
"Merlin", again was a Briton, as we all are. He was supposedly born of demonic a father, but at birth was taken in by a priest who brought the practice of white magic to light, preventing the practices of the black arts.
The warring serpents, a white and red dragon, were to be the redemtion of Merlin within the court of king Arthur, which is way to long to detail here, but needless to say, the myth of Arthur, Merlin and the remaining Knights, have been pledged to protect all Celts through the ways of the Celtic Shadow, which is another tale to be given.
I have studied the Myths and legends of most Celtic ways for many years, and find it great that all of us have the same findings, albeit written or seen in diferent ways. It is my aim to bring the the ways of the Celtic shadow forward, to unite all Celts and fellow Britons around the World, which hopefully will prevent such petty bickering between different cultures. We have been left through history a legend of our ancestors, which can and is brought forward to modern times. Thanks to all of you.

March 12th, 2001, 02:01 PM
A really good book to read is 'the Coming of the King' which tells of the events some time after Arthurs death under the guidence of Myrdinn. Now if Merlin had just been born (as he had in this story) after Arthurs death how could he have guided Arthur? Well there are two answers to this, one is that he didn't, and most historians agree that that is the right answer. Another is that Merlin or Mrydinn was a title used to ddescribe a high druid, and that again is likely. Anyway, this book, which is a translation of earlier writings of a Celtic monk, (so you can ignore the christianisation of the story) also tells of how whilst preparing to go once more to fight the invaders, the Celts called themselves the Cymry. Cymry meaning fellow country men. This is the first time that people from the area we now call Wales, and people from other areas of Briton too, such as London, called themselves Cymry. Had the Celts succeeded in driving the Saxons out then the whole of Briton would be known as Cymry, but because the Saxons took a big chunk of land the area they took they named Angleland or England. And thats what happened.

March 17th, 2001, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by BrightStar
around 500s ACE.

Okay, I'm confused. What exactly is 'ACE' supposed to mean according to this timeline?

March 17th, 2001, 10:25 PM
Well, there's BCE and CE, which stand for "before the common era" and "commom era." I assume that she meant ACE to mean "after common era."
In other words, some people like to use BCE and CE, or ACE in place of BC and AD. This is because BC and AD stand for "before Christ" and "anno dominae" which means "in the year of our Lord." Very Christian!
While BCE and CE are still marked by the birth of Christ, they are better terms to use, as not everyone in the world is Christian, and the world does go by this way of marking time.
I'm sure that MORE than answers your question, but I figured I'd give a fairly in-depth answer as some people might not know. Granted, I could be off on some of this and hope people will correct me if I am! :)

March 28th, 2001, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by Wizard
Looking at all your replies on the legend of Arthur, Merlin, and Camelot, i have to agree with all of you. But!!, as stated that there were no such boundaries as Wales and england, but a united Briton, so the nationality of Arthur was briton and not an isolated Welsh ancient. I myself am Welsh, and would dearly like to claim the individuality of Arthur, but nope he was a Briton.

I'm not an Arthurian, my husband is, but he says Geoffery Ashe is a really good Arthurian scholar. In his book __Mythology of the British Isles__, Ashe says

"Descendants of the Celtic Britons maintained their identity for centuries, not only in Wales itself but in parts of northern England and southern Scotland, as also in Cornwall..........all the peoples concerned had a share in the formation of Arthur's legend."

By the way--I have to ask. Have you ever heard of a town called Nantyglo in southern Wales?



May 8th, 2003, 09:44 AM

May 9th, 2003, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by Maggie

By the way--I have to ask. Have you ever heard of a town called Nantyglo in southern Wales?



I know Nantyglo well, I live near there. Why the interest? You can PM me if you want and I will give you more details.

Myrddyn Emrys
June 6th, 2003, 09:44 PM
Mallory was a hack! True to the times he lived in, he took old stories and romanticized and "Christified" them.

The original term for "Camelot" would have been Caer Cam or perhaps Caer Camel, due to the river Cam nearby. Cadbury is the most likely candidate due to the nearby river Cam or Camel. THe excavations there have indeed unearthed artifacts dating from circa 500 CE, and are items that only a "wealthy" Chieftain of the time would have had. Even it being in Somerset is a clue, Arthur having been King of the "Summer" lands.

Another term Mallory screwed up was the Sword. Caliburn or Calawyloc (please excuse possible misspell of Welsh word) would be the proper. These translate to "cuts steel". IF the Sword had been indeed forged from "skystone"(or meteor) by Weyland the Smith, it would most likely contain nickel. When nickel is smelted with steel in proper proportion, you obtain Stainless Steel. The majority of iron in those times was "bog" iron, very brittle even after forging into crude steel. Imagine a stainless steel sword that "sang" when tapped that would shatter (or "cut through") steel blades of the time.

Yes, the Cymry were a driving force back then. Nowadays, the Welsh are the closest thing to "true" Britons. Briton is even a modern trem. The more arcane name for the country is Ynys Prydien. Norman and Saccen blood comprise the general populace of Britain itself, due to invasions.

Merlin, well, I could go on for ever there. Yes, the old boy was around.

Myrddyn Emrys

June 7th, 2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Myrddyn Emrys
Merlin, well, I could go on for ever there. Yes, the old boy was around.

Well, have at it.

Myrddyn Emrys
June 8th, 2003, 07:14 PM
Check out this BBC News article. It lends a lot of credibility to the "myth"


A stone found at Tintagel with an inscription.

Myrddyn Emrys

June 9th, 2003, 10:36 AM
Some kids could have scrawled that on a rock, though. :rolleyes:

Myrddyn Emrys
June 9th, 2003, 11:02 PM
I'll have to find the other article, but they've done dating tests on it and found the carved areas were done around 600 CE.

Myrddyn Emrys

June 25th, 2003, 05:00 PM
Some really good books about this subject would be The Camulod Chronicles, A dream of Eagles in Canada which are ficton but have some very interesting historical facts and just a really interesting approach to the whole legend. Love them, highly recommended. www.camulod.com

Myrddyn Emrys
June 25th, 2003, 10:37 PM
Mary Stuart's "Merlin" trilogy is also really good. She's done here research. Also Marion Zimmer Bradley's series starting with the "Mists of Avalon" are superb.

Stephen Lawhead's series starting with "Taliessin" is good, but leans too much towards the fantasy of Merlin and Arthur.

Myrddyn Emrys

June 25th, 2003, 11:03 PM
:smoke: THen there is talk in the Bardic Sourcebook that he was no less than Taliesin himself.

La la la la


June 26th, 2003, 02:27 AM
Have any of you read "Bloodline of the Holy Grail" by Laurence Gardner? He says that Arthur was actually descended from Jesus. He also said that "UTHER" pendragon was not a name, but rather, a title, like.."Grand King" or something like that. Which might have added to the confusion as to whether Arthur did or did not exist. Other than that..i'm not sure what to make of the book, let alone his theories of Arthur..opinions anyone?

Myrddyn Emrys
June 26th, 2003, 10:30 PM
Yes, that is a common thought, Bro. But, if you look at timeframes, he couldn't have BEEN Taliesin. I've always taken it as they mean that in the manner of skills and prophecy, that he wasTaliesin's equal.

From bits and pieces, I've found that Taliesin was the first to propose "The Kingdom of Summer", which later came to fruition under Arthur. Merlin, having had Taliesin's vision passed to him by the oral traditions, then set out to shape it (as any good Druid would!).

There's also the story that Taliesin was actually Merlin's father. Again, the timeframe doesn't fit. Taliesin was Bard to Chief Gwyddno Garheir and his son Elfin thereafter, about 75 to 100 years I believe before Aurelius Ambosious' reign followed by his half-brother Uther.

The more plausable tale of Merlin's birth is this;

Merlin's mother, Cerridwyn, was enamored by a young noble who wound up on the opposite side of her father's alliance with Vortigern. You see, Vortigern had betrayed and murdered Constantine, causing his two sons, Aurelius and Uther, to seek safe haven with Hoel in Armorica. The young noble Cerridwyn was enamored with was no other than Aurelius. This also lends basis to many of the stories calling Merlin Arthur's direct kin. It also is WAY more plausable than the tale of Merlin being sired by a Demon. His mother would have had to make something up to keep her father from killing the child of one of his enemies. It also clarifies the story of Vortigern's priests, the building of the tower, and needing to slake the mortar with the blood of a man who had no father (the red and white dragon prophecy of Merlin's. Vortigern's symbol was the white dragon. Aurelius, then Uther held the Red Dragon, the pen(high)Dragon as their symbol).

Anything else, Bro?

Myrddyn Emrys

I, Brian
August 7th, 2003, 04:14 PM
Call me a complete heretic, but I don;t buy into the Arthur story at all - excepting as a bloated highly romanticised legend that was partially promoted by the Normans in an effort to prove their deserved place as rulers of England!

It's more than likely that "King Arthur" - if there ever was one - was a composite. It's also important to note that the there were indeed many Kingdoms across Britain - we had Mercia up here in the North.

As for the inscription - well, really, is there only one person in the 6th century who ever carried a name similar to Arthur? Of course not!

The whole Arthur myth has become a strange reality for some - no doubt for many here. But the simple truth is there is no objective identity that can be placed on any significant part of the legends - which as correctly pointed out were not only romanticised for their time, but also highly Christianised.

If people wish to find a place of meaning for themselves in the myth of Arthur and co then that's fine, of ourse. But people toying with history itself - as with the fiction writing named "Bloodline of the Grail" - is just plain dishonest.

There - now watch me burn at the stake for that! ;)

Myrddyn Emrys
August 7th, 2003, 11:33 PM
You know, that last bit was really a bad pun to use around Pagans!:nyah:

Seriously, though, everyone is entitled to their own opinion...

I just can't put aside the possibility. Plus all the evidence they are turning up pointing towards validating this legend. Sure, I know the argument that archaeology is not an exact science, and that the evidence being discovered could in fact be disconnected, bu there are a lot of legends have been validated by archaeologists.

Myrddyn Emrys

I, Brian
August 8th, 2003, 03:23 AM
Certainly true - and my point is not to be dismissive (except to those claiming to write history, as 'Bloodline' does).

I'm certainly not dismissive of legend - we have Troy to prove that count. :)

However, I strongly suspect that the reason there are so many possible Arthur's, and possible locations for Camelot, is precisely because parts of the composites are being identified. Yet as with so many things, humans often try to narrow possibilities to a single "truth". Where many answers suggest themselves, it's perhaps worth entertaining that each possibility has its own validity.

For example - Camelot at Tintagel or Glastonbury? Likely both possibilities are reflective of strong traditions of a similar archetypal figure and legend in each area.

Myrddyn Emrys
August 10th, 2003, 11:23 PM
For example - Camelot at Tintagel or Glastonbury? Likely both possibilities are reflective of strong traditions of a similar archetypal figure and legend in each area.

No, archaeological evidence points at Cadbury Hill as having been the leading possibility for Camelot. In the "purported" time of Arthur, there was a small river which flowed newar there, known to the locals as the River Cam. Pottery and Timber building ruins have been excavated at this site, and have been dated to circa 500 CE. The size of the "fortress" that was on that Tor is indicative of a rather influential Chieftan of the time.

Tintagel was Arthur's birthplace, not his stronghold.

Glastonbury at the time was home to a small group of Christain Monks.

With all the mythos and re-writing of the tales of Arthur, it is a commonality for people to believe that Arthur and his "Knights" lived in massive stone castles and wore armor that wold have been envious in the 18th century. In fact, he would have merely been a Clan Chieftan, worn leather armor and perhaps a little bit of crude maile armor, and lived in a timber structure.

Myrddyn Emrys