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King Arthur:Man or Myth?

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    Posted: 04-Jan-2005 at 12:59
Originally posted by Vamun Tianshu

In 1191, monks of Glastonbury Abbey announced that they had found the burial site of Arthur and Guinevere. Their grave was shown to many people, and the reputed remains were moved to a new tomb in 1278. The tomb was destroyed during the Reformation, and the bones lost. The antiquary John Leland reports that he saw the cross found with the remains, and transcribed its inscription as

Hic iacet sepvltvs inclytvs rex artvrivs in insvla avalonia "Here is buried the famous king Arthur in the Island of Avalon".

If Leland accurately reproduced the script of this inscription, then it can be dated to the 10th century. At least one scholar has suggested that the cross was added when Arthur's remains were translated to the Abbey.

There is a theory that Has the monks of Glostonbury perpetuating and imbelishing the myth to help protect and shore up the abby against its enemies. I most reacently read about it in RWDunnings "Arthur,The king in the west". His aguments and sourses are convincing enough. He is for sure of the same school as Ashe in placing Arthur as a welshmen.

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  Quote Pastscapian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2008 at 17:51
Did Arthur exist? I think most definitely and even many academic historians believe so too. Was he a king? I dont think so and I subscribe to the views of Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd in their books on the subject. He was probably a warrior and warband leader. The Vatican version of Nennius Historia Brittonum (9th Century) even says so and calls him a warrior, and saying there were others nobler than him. Even the Harleian version points to him being the commander of the British but not a king. The Annales Cambriae dont call him a king either. The first to give him that title is the Life of St Caradog but most early Welsh traditions dont call him a king either. (One has been interpreted as calling him an emperor but this come from the Latin imperator, which is a military commander). We have Geoffrey of Monmouth (12th Century) and his so called 'History of the Kings of Britain' to thank for starting the legend we know of today. It wasn't a story, it was a 'history', believed to be true and used by the Normans and later English for political purposes. But it didn't fool everyone! Every Geoffrey's contemporary, William of Malmesbury, said this 'history', and especially the Arthurian bit, was a load of old cobblers... in and Anglo-Norman way, of course.

If he was a warband leader for one of the Welsh kings, and Blake and Lloyd point to this being the kings of Gwynedd, Cadwallon and Maelgwn (father and son reigning 500-517 and 517-549 respectfully), it also explains why in the Welsh tradition he didnt even fight the Saxons. If he fought anyone it would have been the Irish who were constantly raiding west and north Wales and who Cadwallon expelled. Also in Welsh tradition he seems to fight mostly people with British (Welsh) names. Hes not even associated with the Siege Badon Hill. It also helps to explain why he isnt liked much in the South Walian Lives of the Saints texts as Maelgwn had a habit of raiding them. It could also explain why the 6th Century cleric Gildas never mentions him as he only berates the kings of Britannia, and only the bad ones at that. Gildas also tell us that after Badon (c. 500) there was a peace between Britons and Saxons (Saxons, Angles, Jutes et al) that lasted for two generations and the Britons had turned to civil war. This is what archaeology sees and this would be why Arthur fights other Britons as Gwynedd tries to expand and dominate North Wales.

But you mustnt think that a warband leader had no power. He was second to the king in medieval Wales, usually because he was also the prince but not always, and theres no reason to suggest it wasnt the same in the 6th Century. He took his place when the king wasnt at court. He was also crowned with a battle coronet, a taith, and it may have been this so called Crown of Arthur that Edward I took from Wales and had destroyed along with many other relics and books during his conquest of Wales.

Did he exist? Yes? Was he a king? I dont think so. Did he fight in all those twelve battles attributed to him? Probably not. Did he fight all over the isle of Britannia? Not if hes who Blake and Lloyd think he was. His sphere of activity was not only limited to what was once the province of Britannia Prima (what is now Wales, the Marches and southwest Britain) but probably only North Wales with incursions into Mid and South Wales. Did he fight at Badon? Could have done but maybe not. Did he die to rise again in Britain's hour of need? Not according to Welsh tradition, he's definitely dead... and he missed his chance with World War II at saving Britain. Was the legend an amalgam of characters? Yes, and a load of fiction as well. Between the 12th and 15th Centuries he went from a warband leader to a king - and a King of England at that, not of Britannia - who developed a round table, chivalrous knights, a sword in the stone, Camelot, Lady of the Lake, Lancelot... to name but a few. No wonder everyone's confused!
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  Quote DynGlas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2016 at 18:51
Shwmae pawb, helo all.

A little bit of information for you that you may find interesting is the word Arth-ur does not appear in the French, English or Scottish languages.
In Cymraeg, Arth Means Bear, and ur means nothing in the Welsh language, but if you spell it Arth-wyr, it means Bear exalted, so it can be said The Bear Exalted was King Arthwyr king of the Silures and of Ynys Prydain, ( Isle of Britain).

First time Arthwyr ap Meurig ap Tewdrig, was mentioned in any script any where in the world  was in the 6th century poem in Welsh called, 'Y Gododdin,' it was a 300 verse poem of the men of Cymru going up north to quell a Saxon attack, but in the last verse it says to the best of my remembering it goes; He was strong and killed many foe with great skill, he cut off the heads of his enemies so that they could not find their way through Annwn. He placed their heads on stakes on the Caer, (Hill fort) palisade to let the ravens/crows peck out their eyes, so they could not see their way through Annwn. He gave 20 horses to each widow of the brave worriers that died in his band, but he was no,' Arthwyr'.

Taliesin was a worrier poet, not only did he fight in this battle, he remembered every one who fought in it and what happened to the 300 Warriors, if killed or survived or got to drunk on mead to and not able to take part in it, he was an early Welsh Druid and monk and became a Saint!
 
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