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What Ancient tribe did King Arthur belong to?

  1. Aug 7, 2008 #1
    According to legend, King Arthur led the fight against the invading Angles and Saxons in the 6th century. If King Arthur was not an Angle or a Saxon, what was he, Celtic? What ancient tribe did King Arthur belong to?
     
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  3. Aug 7, 2008 #2

    Evo

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    No one has proven he existed, there are several theories around about which "king" or warrior" the tale might be based on, if it was even based on a single person.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2008 #3
    If King Arthur did exist, what tribe would he have belonged to?
     
  5. Aug 7, 2008 #4

    LowlyPion

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    There is a rich trove of starting places at Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur

    But I would have to echo Evo's concerns about his actual historical existence. Given that there is such a rich tradition one might suppose that many of the facts attributed to him are based on some one, or maybe even some several, if not an actual individual named Arthur.

    Speculating on what tribe a possibly fictional person may have been looks a little treacherous however.
     
  6. Aug 7, 2008 #5

    Evo

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    Are you asking which ethnic group lived in the area at time he was supposed to exist? According to the myth he was celtic. He was first written about in the 9th century and was a Welsh freedom Fighter, fighting the Anglo-Saxons. The Celtic tribe would have been the Britons.

    http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Wales.html

    Historian Michael Wood did an excellent job of tracing the background of the Arthurian myth.

    Here is a wikipedia link if you aren't familiar with the myths.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur
     
  7. Aug 7, 2008 #6
    From the wiki link, the emphasis is from me:

    In the latter half of the 20th century, the influence of the romance tradition of Arthur continued, through novels such as T. H. White's The Once and Future King (1958) and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1982) in addition to comic strips such as Prince Valiant (from 1937 onward).[97] Tennyson had reworked the romance tales of Arthur to suit and comment upon the issues of his day, and the same is often the case with modern treatments too. Bradley's tale, for example, takes a FEMINIST approach to Arthur and his legend, in contrast to the narratives of Arthur found in medieval materials.

    In whatever myth you believe - he was not a girl ! (or was he ? :surprised )
     
  8. Aug 7, 2008 #7

    arildno

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    As for the Arthurian legend, what IS known, is that during the latter half of the fifth century and onwards for the next century, the south-western part of Britain (including, as well, parts of Wales) shows certain archeological signs of economic revival/stabilization/emergence of wealthy nobility in Celtic cultural setting, something that was wholly lacking in the earlier fifth century (See, for example, C. Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages).

    Thus, Gildas may well have spoken true in that during HIS youth, there was a (comparative) wealth and stability now disintegrating in the Celtic kingdoms of HIS age (i.e, middle sixth).

    Thus, that there was a brief interval in British history that might as well be called the "Arthurian age", is pretty well established, and indeed, uncontested.

    As for which tribe a legendary king of that age might belong to, there are references to that around the middle of the fifth, a tribe called the Votadini (or, in disguise, Gododdin), originally located around the (later) Scottish border, were asked to emigrate to Welsh areas to serve as militia-men. Some later Welsh kings are supposed to have descended from the Votadini, so if I were to make a guess, I'd say Arthur belonged to the emigrated Votadini tribe.
     
  9. Aug 7, 2008 #8
    Ok...I will give my summary of a brief history of who has lived on the British isles (I'm using the British isles as a geographic term, not a political term.):

    First the British isles were settled by the Celtics. Then the Romans invaded the British isles and settled it. Then the Angles and Saxons successfully invaded the British isles. Then the Danish Vikings invaded the British isles. Then in 1066 the Normans invaded the British isles. Is this correct?
     
  10. Aug 7, 2008 #9

    arildno

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    The Caledonii might have been a pre-Celtic people, so was likely the Stone-henge builders..
    What do you mean by "settle"??
    And the Irish along the Welsh coast, the Scots in..Scotland(!), and the Jutes in Kent.
    Never forget the Jutes..
    And, not the least, NORWEGIAN Vikings, primarily in the North and West.
    Even if you DO forget the Jutes (they were Danes, anyway), you have no right to forget the Norwegians!!
    There you did it again! You totally forgot the Norwegian Harald Hardrada..

    Besides, since William the Conqueror was in direct descent from Rollo, a frenchif(r)ied version of Rolv, a NORWEGIAN, the son of Ragnvald, Earl of Møre at the time of Harold Hairfair, Britain is Norwegian property. So would Ireland have been if it weren't for that pesky "king" Brian dude..:mad:
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  11. Aug 7, 2008 #10

    Evo

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    So true, you certainly can't do even the briefest history of Britain without the huge Viking settlements. Yes, the Norweeds do own Britain.

    Sticky, if you are doing a report, get a book on history. How far back are you supposed to go? I have sitting next to me my Atlas of Prehistoric Britain which covers human occupation of the land going back 500,000 years.

    Try here, I lost my bookmark for the great timeline I had, but maybe this will help.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/british_prehistory/peoples_01.shtml

    Timeline

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/launch_tl_british.shtml

    And good ol' wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Prehistoric_Britain
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  12. Aug 7, 2008 #11

    arildno

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    Okay, Evo, I may have overtsated my case a little bit..:shy:
     
  13. Aug 7, 2008 #12

    Evo

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    :biggrin: Works for me!
     
  14. Aug 7, 2008 #13

    Integral

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    Since King Authur is more legend and fiction then fact, placing him in any given tribe is rather difficult. In addition to the old works of fiction there are some more recent efforts by modern historian/novelist like Bernard Cornwall who wrote a trilogy starting with Winter King and Jack Whyte's Camulod series. These are Historical novels in that the authors attempt to weave the novel into actual historical events. I am currently reading Jack Whyte's work, it starts with the fading of the Roman empire in Britain.
     
  15. Aug 7, 2008 #14

    arildno

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    I'll just add that it was under the (mythic?) leader Cunedda that (some of) the Votadini are to have emigrated to Wales/south-western England.
    He is regarded as the forefather of the king of Gwynedd.

    His putative arrival pre-dates with a few decades or so the typical dating of the archaelogical remains of a revived culture, so it is not entirely impossible that the known Celtic revival was, in part, due to the influx of trusted warriors who could make a bulwark against the Saxons, who dominated the rest of southern Britain.
    According to this snippet from wikipedia on the Kingdom of Gwynedd, the direct occasion for the invitation of Cunedda was in order to fight off the Irish raiders, rather than the Saxons. That would have been concerns for his sons and grandsons....
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
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