The hero of a king that pulled the sword from the stone, backed by a round table full of dedicated knights…and a mysterious wizard named Merlin.
We’ve all heard the stories, but are they based on actual events – did King Arthur really exist?
A handful of historians now believe that the fabled king was nothing more than a fabrication that was created to boost the morale of the English troops at the time…
But not all historians go along with this…and neither do I…
The Fabled King
The medieval legend and fabled king, who led British forces, and his group of elite knights into battle against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century.
His campaigns were apparently so successful, he ended up running rule over England, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul.
But was King Arthur actually a real person, or simply a Celtic tale that was passed on through the generations?
Arthur first appeared in the writings of a famous Welsh historian named Nennius. He listed 12 battles that the famous king was supposed to have won, against all odds.
Experts point out that a lot of these battles came from poetry at the time, and it would near enough be impossible for one leader to have attended all of these battles over the time period.
The Myth Becomes a Legend
After Nennius’s time, numerous Welsh writers drew on his work and built up this great and magnificent king. Arthur soon spread across the Welsh borders and the Celtic world, and snowballed after the Norman conquest of 1066.
In the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote the first life story of Arthur and published it in a book named History of the Kings of Britain.
This story covered the king’s famous sword Caliburn (later known as Excalibur), his head knight named Lancelot, Queen Guinevere and the mysterious wizard Merlin.
Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that the book was based on a lost Celtic manuscript that only he was allowed to read…
The Holy Grail
French poet Chrétien de Troyes decided to give Arthur’s exploits a more spiritual angle by introducing The Holy Grail into his quests.
This ‘ultimate’ quest was described in a series of romances penned by the poet.
So, did King Arthur really exist?
Well one thing is for certain – his myth is certainly powerful. Apparently, Henry VIII and Queen Victoria used the famous King’s exploits for political purposes. On top of that – Hollywood loves to cover his story in big budget movies.
What are your thoughts on this subject?
Please leave them in the comment section below.