King Arthur, Man or Myth An unbiased investigation

Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

Wednesday July 19, 2023 12:00pm EST
Tony Sullivan
King Arthur, Man or Myth An unbiased investigation

Was King Arthur a real historical figure or a mythological figure, conjured in the mists of Avalon, swathed in legends of magicians and magical swords?

Author Tony Sullivan takes us on a journey to find the real King Arthur. His investigation of the evidence is based on the earliest written sources rather than later myths and legends. The evidence is laid out in a chronological order starting from Roman Britain and shows how the legend evolved and at what point concepts such as Camelot, Excalibur and Merlin were added. It covers the historical records from the end of Roman Britain using contemporary sources such as they are, from 400-800, including Gallic Chronicles, Gildas and Bede. He details the first written reference to Arthur in the ninth century Historia Brittonum c.800 and the later Annales Cambriae in the tenth century showing the evolution of the legend in in later Welsh and French stories.

Tony Sullivan compares the possibility of Arthur being purely fictional with a historical figure alongside a list of possible suspects.

The ninth century Historia Brittonum is the first source that mentions Arthur and lists twelve battles, including the famous Badon Hill. Some of these battles can indeed be located with some confidence. Additionally, Tony places the battles in the fragmenting provincial, political and military context of the late fifth and early sixth century Britain, a time of rapid changes in cultural identity and a significant increase in Germanic material culture and migration.

The conclusion gives the reader a new insight into what sort of man Arthur was and the nature of the battles he fought.

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