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King Arthur and The Round Table.

  1. Oct 23, 2004 #1

    Clausius2

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    I'm a bit weak in historics. Maybe some englishman could help me:

    Did the King Arthur exist in reality?. Is Avalon in any place of England?.
    Is Camelot a real place?. Where's the Round Table?.

    I've just read something of it, and I saw a lot of films about it, but I cannot believe nowadays the unknown of its existence keeps on. Is not there any historical data to confirm their existence?. What do you think?.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2004 #2
  4. Oct 23, 2004 #3

    Clausius2

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: The Round Table in IKEA!! :rofl: :rofl: One never know what the hell one can find in such a large supermarkets.... :rofl: I've noticed it's too well conserved.

    Thank you for the link. Very interesting...and long. It will take me some time.

    Nevertheless, I'm not surprised King Arthur and Camelot didn't exist. Surely, if they had existed, The Kings of Spain would have conquered it and defeated Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in a few minutes :biggrin: :cool: .
    Nothing is more powerful than the Toledo's Steel. :biggrin:
     
  5. Oct 23, 2004 #4

    arildno

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    It is quite probable that two figures, with the names "Arthur" and "Medraut" (Mordred)
    once lived and "died in the battle of Camlan".
    This is from an early entry of an Easter table which says something like:
    "In the year of the great plague, Arthur and Medraut died in the battle of Camlann"
    While we haven't got any Easter table reliably dated before the 800's (I think), it is well known that the monks transcribing these tables in other cases faithfully entered the entries from earlier tables (They didn't invent the stuff).

    This is just about the only historical snippet which can be seen as a reasonably reliable confirmation of Arthur's existence.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2004 #5

    Clausius2

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    Thanks Arildno. I'm not just an expert in history. But I see you have read a little bit more.

    So that, talking about Excalibur has no sense too...
     
  7. Oct 23, 2004 #6

    jcsd

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    Whetehr or not King Arthur existed is very conetious. Some of his early chroniclers (but remebre that these chroncilers were writing almost 500 years after the supposed events) talk of him defeating the Anglo-Saxons at Mons Badonicus, this was a real battle (it was written abut by the Monk Gildas only a few years after it happened, though he makes no mention of Arthur or any of the legends), thoguh very, very little is known about it (not even it's location). This is just about the best evidece we haevbe for his historicity.

    The Isle of Avalon is a real place in Glastonbury Sout-West England, though I'm not sur eif it take sthta name from the places long association with Arthurian legend (though the place itself is certainly ancient. There are many ancinet fortifications in the England and Wales that people have claimed are Camelot (Tintagel in Cornwall is one of the most well-known of these places).
     
  8. Oct 23, 2004 #7

    arildno

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    Well, you have legends, of course..:wink:
    Now, we DO have one source which was approximately written between 540-560, that is, only a generation or so after Arthur supposedly should have lived (Gildas' "De Excidio").

    There's only a slight problem, though :
    Gildas doesn't mention Arthur by name, even though "De Excidio" is part history, part (or rather, mostly) a savage criticism of the contemporary British rulers' lacking ability to fight off the Germanic tribes (Saxons and others).

    Earlier, this was seen as convincing proof that there never was a significant king called Arthur (who would have been the king Gildas would have grown up under; Gildas was around 65 at the time of writing, by his own account).

    The picture is not that bleak, though, for two reasons:
    1) It is a general trend in Gildas not to provide personal names at all.
    That doesn't mean there didn't exist people prior to the time of Gildas.
    2) Gildas DOES mention that when he grew up, there was a great period when peace, law and order reigned, but when the "new British kings" came to power, this period of peace was ruptured into petty squabblings amongst them and outright civil war.
    In particular, they failed to meet in unison the Saxon threat, which the earlier king(s) had done so successfully at the Battle of Badon and the time thereafter.

    Clearly therefore, there exist SOME historical justification for the "Arthurian epoch", the problem is, we cannot reasonably ascertain that that period SHOULD be called after "Arthur"..
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2004
  9. Oct 23, 2004 #8

    Gokul43201

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    I believe until fairly recently, the sway of the opinion was in favor of Arthur's existence...mostly based on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the defeat/containment of the Saxons that jcsd mentioned. However, some historians believe the the myth of Arthur springs from a misunderstanding (or maybe even a deliberate misinterpretation) of Gildas by the Welsh scholars that first revealed it to the world.

    In short, I think the question is still open.
     
  10. Oct 23, 2004 #9

    Clausius2

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    Yes, I remember to have heard about that Isle in an episode of the Pilot Guides (Lonely Planet), but I wasn't sure. It had a ¿church? at the top of a hill. And the traveller (who is the protagonist of the episodes) starts to talk with a group of crazy long haired people that call themselves Templar Knights. What is the relation between Templar history and King Arthur?. Is it a casuality both the Holy Grail and King Arthur were relationed in that legend?.
     
  11. Oct 23, 2004 #10

    arildno

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    The connection of the Holy Grail and Arthur comes from Chretien de Troyes, the French father of Arthurian myths living about 1150.
    His story is loosely built around the Perceval/Parzival figure, who Chretien said was a retainer at Arthur's court.
    Parzival is the figure known now mostly from Richard Wagner's operas.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2004 #11

    jcsd

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    Actually I seem to remember tht they found a 6th century (approximately the time of Arthur) inscription at Tintagel castle (which was idnetified as camelot by Geoffery of Monmouth in the 12th century and since then has always been the focus of Arthur myths) which says "Arhtnou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had this constructed". It's certainly not inconceivable that Arthur was a real person, compare to the legndary Tristan who is a conetmporay of Arthur and was often co-opted into Arthurian legends, it is genrally believed that a certain stone in Cornwall bearing a Latin inscription marks the burial place of the histrorical Tristan.
     
  13. Oct 23, 2004 #12

    Clausius2

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    Well, Arildno, jcsd and Gokul, you have just given me a class of Ancient History. Now I know a bit more of English History.

    The spreading of the Templar Knights and the Holy Grail over our history is something strange and misterious. Not too far, here in Spain, the ships sent by the Kings of Castilla y Aragón that discovered America in 1492 had the Templar Cross printed in their sails. The signals of Templar Knights are present in many places worldwide. Nobody knows how, but they were there.... also in the DaVinci Code. :eek:
     
  14. Oct 23, 2004 #13

    arildno

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    Now this is GREAT, jcsd!
    I've read quite a few works (from scholarly to popular) on the Arthurian period (in want of a better name..), but this inscription from Tintagel has escaped me..(I'll go back and check)
    Do you have a reference, or must I dash off to Cornwall?
     
  15. Oct 23, 2004 #14

    Clausius2

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    I've read something about there is a grave of King Arthur in England. Is that true? or is it a part of the myth?. The legend talks a magic ship carries him away when he's wounded in a battle and claims to Beinievere to throw away the sword Excalibur to the sea, to give him the inmortality or so, :confused: . So that, legend and that grave maybe are opposite in meaning.
     
  16. Oct 23, 2004 #15

    jcsd

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    When they relaed the King Arthur movie a little while ago a British televsion channel did something on it, here's the original news story:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/146511.stm

    I've been to Tintagel (the ruined castle there is actually later than Arthur, but their are earlier ruins underneath apparently), unfortunately I couldn't find the round table :(
     
  17. Oct 23, 2004 #16

    jcsd

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    According to legend Arthur is buried in Glastobury 'waiting to arise in Britian's hour of need'. Of course it's doubtful whether or not he could of stayed asleep through many years of the Galstonbury music festival - the UK's largets music festival.
     
  18. Oct 23, 2004 #17

    Clausius2

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    Yeah, maybe he has a lot of free time to dance some piece. :smile: . And I don't understand why he hasn't returned when Tony Blair won the elections. :biggrin:

    But is that grave anywhere?.
     
  19. Oct 23, 2004 #18

    arildno

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    No, but you've got a cross at Glastonbury:
    A history is retained that during the ninth century, an ancient sixth-century grave chamber became accidentally exposed during a period when the abbey was rebuilt.
    Within it, a skeleton was found, clearly an ancient king, which was identified to be the remains of Arthur.
    That skeleton was removed, and a cross was set up to say thatArthur lay buried here.
    Over the years, the story got kind of muddled, and in the 11th century, it was stated that the iron cross was in fact from Arthur's own time.

    The cross is written in letters which would seem "ancient" in the 11th century, but would have been contemporary in the 9th.

    There are two current views on this matter:
    Either the cross is an 11th century forgery purporting to be from Arthur's time (using reasonably ancient-looking script).
    The motivation was to make Glastonbury into a center of pilgrimage (which would yield a not inconsiderable income to the abbey).

    Alternatively, the 9th-century cross is genuine, and the monks at that time believed that they had unearthed the remains of Arthur (for some reasons we don't know today) and moved them somewhere else.
    It is of course a possibility of a 9th century forgery rather than an 11th century forgery..

    As you can see, the story is EXTREMELY muddled..
     
  20. Oct 23, 2004 #19

    arildno

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    EDIT:
    What can be said for certain is that the retained cross is NOT from the 6th-century, that is, it is not from Arthur's own time.
     
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