compiled by Dee Finney


Someone should have asked the question long ago, why did Cortez expect to find gold in the Americas i
n the first place? Why did the crew on the boats of Columbus expect to find gold? 
Why did the marauding Spaniards kill eight million native American Indians looking for gold. 
The truth is that the royal families of England and Spain had spoken as far back as 
King Arthur in 530 AD that their "treasure house" was located in the "Mericas" 
(Source for this statement needed Landaff Charters from the sixth century).

The German who suggested that we named the Americas after 
Amerigo Vespucci recanted his story when he found the tales 
of the "Mericas" stars which lead the way to the "promised land".

King Arthur

Statue of King Arthur, Hofkirche, Innsbruck, designed by Albrecht Dürer and cast by Peter Vischer the Elder, 1520s[1]

King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians.[2] The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin.[3]

The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain).[4] However, some Welsh and Breton tales and poems relating the story of Arthur date from earlier than this work; in these works, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn.[5] How much of Geoffrey's Historia (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown.

Although the themes, events and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text, and there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey's version of events often served as the starting point for later stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul. In fact, many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the wizard Merlin, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's birth at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann and final rest in Avalon. The 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table. Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, both in literature and in adaptations for theatre, film, television, comics and other media.

Debated historicity

Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, tapestry, c. 1385

The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) and Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals), sees Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons sometime in the late 5th to early 6th century. The Historia Brittonum, a 9th-century Latin historical compilation attributed in some late manuscripts to a Welsh cleric called Nennius, lists twelve battles that Arthur fought. These culminate in the Battle of Mons Badonicus, or Mount Badon, where he is said to have single-handedly killed 960 men. Recent studies, however, question the reliability of the Historia Brittonum as a source for the history of this period.[6]

The other text that seems to support the case for Arthur's historical existence is the 10th-century Annales Cambriae, which also link Arthur with the Battle of Mount Badon. The Annales date this battle to 516–518, and also mention the Battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) were both killed, dated to 537–539. These details have often been used to bolster confidence in the Historia's account and to confirm that Arthur really did fight at Mount Badon. Problems have been identified however, with using this source to support the Historia Brittonum's account. The latest research shows that the Annales Cambriae was based on a chronicle begun in the late 8th century in Wales. Additionally, the complex textual history of the Annales Cambriae precludes any certainty that the Arthurian annals were added to it even that early. They were more likely added at some point in the 10th century and may never have existed in any earlier set of annals. The Mount Badon entry probably derived from the Historia Brittonum.[7]

NOTE:  Joseph Ritsin, Esq, in his book on the Life of Arthur - (free book at   points to Arthur's death in 642 AD - page 21 of his book.

Avalon or Ynys Afallon in Welsh (probably from the Welsh word afal, meaning apple) is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend. It first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 1136 pseudohistorical account Historia Regum Britanniae ("The History of the Kings of Britain") as the place where King Arthur's sword Excalibur (Caliburnus) was forged and later where Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann. Avalon was associated from an early date with mystical practices and people such as Morgan le Fay.

This lack of convincing early evidence is the reason many recent historians exclude Arthur from their accounts of post-Roman Britain. In the view of historian Thomas Charles-Edwards, "at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been an historical Arthur [but …] the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him".[8] These modern admissions of ignorance are a relatively recent trend; earlier generations of historians were less sceptical. Historian John Morris made the putative reign of Arthur the organising principle of his history of sub-Roman Britain and Ireland, The Age of Arthur (1973). Even so, he found little to say of a historic Arthur.[9]

Partly in reaction to such theories, another school of thought emerged which argued that Arthur had no historical existence at all. Morris's Age of Arthur prompted archaeologist Nowell Myres to observe that "no figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian's time".[10] Gildas' 6th-century polemic De Excidio Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain), written within living memory of Mount Badon, mentions the battle but does not mention Arthur.[11] Arthur is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or named in any surviving manuscript written between 400 and 820.[12] He is absent from Bede's early 8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People, another major early source for post-Roman history that mentions Mount Badon.[13] Historian David Dumville has written: "I think we can dispose of him [Arthur] quite briefly. He owes his place in our history books to a 'no smoke without fire' school of thought ... The fact of the matter is that there is no historical evidence about Arthur; we must reject him from our histories and, above all, from the titles of our books."[14]

Some scholars argue that Arthur was originally a fictional hero of folklore – or even a half-forgotten Celtic deity – who became credited with real deeds in the distant past. They cite parallels with figures such as the Kentish totemic horse-gods Hengest and Horsa, who later became historicised. Bede ascribed to these legendary figures a historical role in the 5th-century Anglo-Saxon conquest of eastern Britain.[15] It is not even certain that Arthur was considered a king in the early texts. Neither the Historia nor the Annales calls him "rex": the former calls him instead "dux" or "dux bellorum" (leader of battles).[16]

Historical documents for the post-Roman period are scarce, so a definitive answer to the question of Arthur's historical existence is unlikely. Sites and places have been identified as "Arthurian" since the 12th century,[17] but archaeology can confidently reveal names only through inscriptions found in secure contexts. The so-called "Arthur stone", discovered in 1998 among the ruins at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall in securely dated 6th-century contexts, created a brief stir but proved irrelevant.[18] Other inscriptional evidence for Arthur, including the Glastonbury cross, is tainted with the suggestion of forgery.[19] Although several historical figures have been proposed as the basis for Arthur,[20] no convincing evidence for these identifications has emerged.


The origin of the Welsh name Arthur remains a matter of debate. Some suggest it is derived from the Latin family name Artorius, of obscure and contested etymology.[21] Others propose a derivation from Welsh arth (earlier art), meaning "bear", suggesting art-ur (earlier *Arto-uiros), "bear-man", is the original form, although there are difficulties with this theory.[22] It may be relevant to this debate that Arthur's name appears as Arthur, or Arturus, in early Latin Arthurian texts, never as Artorius. However, this may not say anything about the origin of the name Arthur, as Artorius would regularly become Art(h)ur when borrowed into Welsh; all it would mean, as John Koch has pointed out, is that the surviving Latin references to a historical Arthur (if he was called Artorius and really existed) must date from after the 6th century.[23] An alternative theory links the name Arthur to Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, near Ursa Major or the Great Bear. The name means "guardian of the bear"[24] or "bear guard".[25] Classical Latin Arcturus would also have become Art(h)ur when borrowed into Welsh, and its brightness and position in the sky led people to regard it as the "guardian of the bear" (due to its proximity to Ursa Major) and the "leader" of the other stars in Boötes.[26] The exact significance of such etymologies is unclear. It is often assumed that an Artorius derivation would mean that the legends of Arthur had a genuine historical core, but recent studies suggest that this assumption may not be well founded.[27] By contrast, a derivation of Arthur from Arcturus might be taken to indicate a non-historical origin for Arthur, but Toby Griffen has suggested it was an alternative name for a historical Arthur designed to appeal to Latin-speakers.[24]

Medieval literary traditions

The creator of the familiar literary persona of Arthur was Geoffrey of Monmouth, with his pseudo-historical Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), written in the 1130s. The textual sources for Arthur are usually divided into those written before Geoffrey's Historia (known as pre-Galfridian texts, from the Latin form of Geoffrey, Galfridus) and those written afterwards, which could not avoid his influence (Galfridian, or post-Galfridian, texts).

Pre-Galfridian traditions

A facsimile page of Y Gododdin, one of the most famous early Welsh texts featuring Arthur, c. 1275

The earliest literary references to Arthur come from Welsh and Breton sources. There have been few attempts to define the nature and character of Arthur in the pre-Galfridian tradition as a whole, rather than in a single text or text/story-type. One recent academic survey that does attempt this, by Thomas Green, identifies three key strands to the portrayal of Arthur in this earliest material.[28] The first is that he was a peerless warrior who functioned as the monster-hunting protector of Britain from all internal and external threats. Some of these are human threats, such as the Saxons he fights in the Historia Brittonum, but the majority are supernatural, including giant cat-monsters, destructive divine boars, dragons, dogheads, giants and witches.[29] The second is that the pre-Galfridian Arthur was a figure of folklore (particularly topographic or onomastic folklore) and localised magical wonder-tales, the leader of a band of superhuman heroes who live in the wilds of the landscape.[30] The third and final strand is that the early Welsh Arthur had a close connection with the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn. On the one hand, he launches assaults on Otherworldly fortresses in search of treasure and frees their prisoners. On the other, his warband in the earliest sources includes former pagan gods, and his wife and his possessions are clearly Otherworldly in origin.[31]

One of the most famous Welsh poetic references to Arthur comes in the collection of heroic death-songs known as Y Gododdin (The Gododdin), attributed to the 6th-century poet Aneirin. In one stanza, the bravery of a warrior who slew 300 enemies is praised, but it is then noted that despite this "he was no Arthur", that is to say his feats cannot compare to the valour of Arthur.[32] Y Gododdin is known only from a 13th-century manuscript, so it is impossible to determine whether this passage is original or a later interpolation, but John Koch's view that the passage dates from a 7th-century or earlier version is regarded as unproven; 9th- or 10th-century dates are often proposed for it.[33] Several poems attributed to Taliesin, a poet said to have lived in the 6th century, also refer to Arthur, although these all probably date from between the 8th and 12th centuries.[34] They include "Kadeir Teyrnon" ("The Chair of the Prince"),[35] which refers to "Arthur the Blessed", "Preiddeu Annwn" ("The Spoils of the Annwn"),[36] which recounts an expedition of Arthur to the Otherworld, and "Marwnat vthyr pen[dragon]" ("The Elegy of Uther Pen[dragon]"),[37] which refers to Arthur's valour and is suggestive of a father-son relationship for Arthur and Uther that pre-dates Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Culhwch entering Arthur's Court in the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen, 1881

Other early Welsh Arthurian texts include a poem found in the Black Book of Carmarthen, "Pa gur yv y porthaur?" ("What man is the gatekeeper?").[38] This takes the form of a dialogue between Arthur and the gatekeeper of a fortress he wishes to enter, in which Arthur recounts the names and deeds of himself and his men, notably Cei (Kay) and Bedwyr (Bedivere). The Welsh prose tale Culhwch and Olwen (c. 1100), included in the modern Mabinogion collection, has a much longer list of more than 200 of Arthur's men, though Cei and Bedwyr again take a central place. The story as a whole tells of Arthur helping his kinsman Culhwch win the hand of Olwen, daughter of Ysbaddaden Chief-Giant, by completing a series of apparently impossible tasks, including the hunt for the great semi-divine boar Twrch Trwyth. The 9th-century Historia Brittonum also refers to this tale, with the boar there named Troy(n)t.[39] Finally, Arthur is mentioned numerous times in the Welsh Triads, a collection of short summaries of Welsh tradition and legend which are classified into groups of three linked characters or episodes in order to assist recall. The later manuscripts of the Triads are partly derivative from Geoffrey of Monmouth and later continental traditions, but the earliest ones show no such influence and are usually agreed to refer to pre-existing Welsh traditions. Even in these, however, Arthur's court has started to embody legendary Britain as a whole, with "Arthur's Court" sometimes substituted for "The Island of Britain" in the formula "Three XXX of the Island of Britain".[40] While it is not clear from the Historia Brittonum and the Annales Cambriae that Arthur was even considered a king, by the time Culhwch and Olwen and the Triads were written he had become Penteyrnedd yr Ynys hon, "Chief of the Lords of this Island", the overlord of Wales, Cornwall and the North.[41]

In addition to these pre-Galfridian Welsh poems and tales, Arthur appears in some other early Latin texts besides the Historia Brittonum and the Annales Cambriae. In particular, Arthur features in a number of well-known vitae ("Lives") of post-Roman saints, none of which are now generally considered to be reliable historical sources (the earliest probably dates from the 11th century).[42] According to the Life of Saint Gildas, written in the early 12th century by Caradoc of Llancarfan, Arthur is said to have killed Gildas' brother Hueil and to have rescued his wife Gwenhwyfar from Glastonbury.[43] In the Life of Saint Cadoc, written around 1100 or a little before by Lifris of Llancarfan, the saint gives protection to a man who killed three of Arthur's soldiers, and Arthur demands a herd of cattle as wergeld for his men. Cadoc delivers them as demanded, but when Arthur takes possession of the animals, they turn into bundles of ferns.[44] Similar incidents are described in the medieval biographies of Carannog, Padarn and Eufflam, probably written around the 12th century. A less obviously legendary account of Arthur appears in the Legenda Sancti Goeznovii, which is often claimed to date from the early 11th century although the earliest manuscript of this text dates from the 15th century.[45] Also important are the references to Arthur in William of Malmesbury's De Gestis Regum Anglorum and Herman's De Miraculis Sanctae Mariae Laudensis, which together provide the first certain evidence for a belief that Arthur was not actually dead and would at some point return, a theme that is often revisited in post-Galfridian folklore.[46]

Geoffrey of Monmouth

Mordred, Arthur's final foe according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, illustrated by H. J. Ford for Andrew Lang's King Arthur: The Tales of the Round Table, 1902

The first narrative account of Arthur's life is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin work Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain).[47] This work, completed c. 1138, is an imaginative and fanciful account of British kings from the legendary Trojan exile Brutus to the 7th-century Welsh king Cadwallader. Geoffrey places Arthur in the same post-Roman period as do Historia Brittonum and Annales Cambriae. He incorporates Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, his magician advisor Merlin, and the story of Arthur's conception, in which Uther, disguised as his enemy Gorlois by Merlin's magic, fathers Arthur on Gorlois's wife Igerna at Tintagel. On Uther's death, the fifteen-year-old Arthur succeeds him as King of Britain and fights a series of battles, similar to those in the Historia Brittonum, culminating in the Battle of Bath. He then defeats the Picts and Scots before creating an Arthurian empire through his conquests of Ireland, Iceland and the Orkney Islands. After twelve years of peace, Arthur sets out to expand his empire once more, taking control of Norway, Denmark and Gaul. Gaul is still held by the Roman Empire when it is conquered, and Arthur's victory naturally leads to a further confrontation between his empire and Rome's. Arthur and his warriors, including Kaius (Kay), Beduerus (Bedivere) and Gualguanus (Gawain), defeat the Roman emperor Lucius Tiberius in Gaul but, as he prepares to march on Rome, Arthur hears that his nephew Modredus (Mordred) – whom he had left in charge of Britain – has married his wife Guenhuuara (Guinevere) and seized the throne. Arthur returns to Britain and defeats and kills Modredus on the river Camblam in Cornwall, but he is mortally wounded. He hands the crown to his kinsman Constantine and is taken to the isle of Avalon to be healed of his wounds, never to be seen again.[48]

Merlin the wizard, c. 1300[49]

How much of this narrative was Geoffrey's own invention is open to debate. Certainly, Geoffrey seems to have made use of the list of Arthur's twelve battles against the Saxons found in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, along with the battle of Camlann from the Annales Cambriae and the idea that Arthur was still alive.[50] Arthur's personal status as the king of all Britain would also seem to be borrowed from pre-Galfridian tradition, being found in Culhwch and Olwen, the Triads and the Saints' Lives.[51] Finally, Geoffrey borrowed many of the names for Arthur's possessions, close family and companions from the pre-Galfridian Welsh tradition, including Kaius (Cei), Beduerus (Bedwyr), Guenhuuara (Gwenhwyfar), Uther (Uthyr) and perhaps also Caliburnus (Caledfwlch), the latter becoming Excalibur in subsequent Arthurian tales.[52] However, while names, key events and titles may have been borrowed, Brynley Roberts has argued that "the Arthurian section is Geoffrey’s literary creation and it owes nothing to prior narrative."[53] So, for instance, the Welsh Medraut is made the villainous Modredus by Geoffrey, but there is no trace of such a negative character for this figure in Welsh sources until the 16th century.[54] There have been relatively few modern attempts to challenge this notion that the Historia Regum Britanniae is primarily Geoffrey's own work, with scholarly opinion often echoing William of Newburgh's late-12th-century comment that Geoffrey "made up" his narrative, perhaps through an "inordinate love of lying".[55] Geoffrey Ashe is one dissenter from this view, believing that Geoffrey's narrative is partially derived from a lost source telling of the deeds of a 5th-century British king named Riotamus, this figure being the original Arthur, although historians and Celticists have been reluctant to follow Ashe in his conclusions.[56]

Whatever his sources may have been, the immense popularity of Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae cannot be denied. Well over 200 manuscript copies of Geoffrey’s Latin work are known to have survived, and this does not include translations into other languages.[57] Thus, for example, around 60 manuscripts are extant containing Welsh-language versions of the Historia, the earliest of which were created in the 13th century; the old notion that some of these Welsh versions actually underlie Geoffrey's Historia, advanced by antiquarians such as the 18th-century Lewis Morris, has long since been discounted in academic circles.[58] As a result of this popularity, Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae was enormously influential on the later medieval development of the Arthurian legend. While it was by no means the only creative force behind Arthurian romance, many of its elements were borrowed and developed (e.g., Merlin and the final fate of Arthur), and it provided the historical framework into which the romancers' tales of magical and wonderful adventures were inserted.[59]

Romance traditions

During the 12th century, Arthur's character began to be marginalised by the accretion of "Arthurian" side-stories such as that of Tristan and Iseult. John William Waterhouse, 1916

The popularity of Geoffrey's Historia and its other derivative works (such as Wace's Roman de Brut) is generally agreed to be an important factor in explaining the appearance of significant numbers of new Arthurian works in continental Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries, particularly in France.[60] It was not, however, the only Arthurian influence on the developing "Matter of Britain". There is clear evidence for a knowledge of Arthur and Arthurian tales on the Continent before Geoffrey's work became widely known (see for example, the Modena Archivolt),[61] as well as for the use of "Celtic" names and stories not found in Geoffrey's Historia in the Arthurian romances.[62] From the perspective of Arthur, perhaps the most significant effect of this great outpouring of new Arthurian story was on the role of the king himself: much of this 12th-century and later Arthurian literature centres less on Arthur himself than on characters such as Lancelot and Guenevere, Perceval, Galahad, Gawain, and Tristan and Isolde. Whereas Arthur is very much at the centre of the pre-Galfridian material and Geoffrey's Historia itself, in the romances he is rapidly sidelined. His character also alters significantly. In both the earliest materials and Geoffrey he is a great and ferocious warrior, who laughs as he personally slaughters witches and giants and takes a leading role in all military campaigns, whereas in the continental romances he becomes the roi fainéant, the "do-nothing king", whose "inactivity and acquiescence constituted a central flaw in his otherwise ideal society".[65] Arthur's role in these works is frequently that of a wise, dignified, even-tempered, somewhat bland, and occasionally feeble monarch. So, he simply turns pale and silent when he learns of Lancelot's affair with Guinevere in the Mort Artu, whilst in Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain, the Knight of the Lion he is unable to stay awake after a feast and has to retire for a nap. Nonetheless, as Norris J. Lacy has observed, whatever his faults and frailties may be in these Arthurian romances, "his prestige is never – or almost never – compromised by his personal weaknesses ... his authority and glory remain intact."

Pope Innocent the Third of Europe stated in the 12th century that marriage was to be celebrated in the church and that a ring must be included in the ceremony. Early rings were made of hemp, hair, leather, bone, ivory, iron, silver, gold and in the 17th century Tungsten. Gimmel engagement rings became a popular tradition in the 15th century. Representing a romance between two lovers, the ring consisted of three interlocking circles that would symbolize faith, trust and fidelity.


Arthur (top centre) in an illustration to the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, late 14th century

Arthur and his retinue appear in some of the Lais of Marie de France,[68] but it was the work of another French poet, Chrétien de Troyes, that had the greatest influence with regard to the above development of the character of Arthur and his legend.[69] Chrétien wrote five Arthurian romances between c. 1170 and c. 1190. Erec and Enide and Cligès are tales of courtly love with Arthur's court as their backdrop, demonstrating the shift away from the heroic world of the Welsh and Galfridian Arthur, while Yvain, the Knight of the Lion features Yvain and Gawain in a supernatural adventure, with Arthur very much on the sidelines and weakened. However, the most significant for the development of the Arthurian legend are Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, which introduces Lancelot and his adulterous relationship with Arthur's queen (Guinevere), extending and popularizing the recurring theme of Arthur as a cuckold, and Perceval, the Story of the Grail, which introduces the Holy Grail and the Fisher King and which again sees Arthur having a much reduced role.[70] Chrétien was thus "instrumental both in the elaboration of the Arthurian legend and in the establishment of the ideal form for the diffusion of that legend",[71] and much of what came after him in terms of the portrayal of Arthur and his world built upon the foundations he had laid. Perceval, although unfinished, was particularly popular: four separate continuations of the poem appeared over the next half century, with the notion of the Grail and its quest being developed by other writers such as Robert de Boron, a fact that helped accelerate the decline of Arthur in continental romance.[72] Similarly, Lancelot and his cuckolding of Arthur with Guinevere became one of the classic motifs of the Arthurian legend, although the Lancelot of the prose Lancelot (c. 1225) and later texts was a combination of Chrétien's character and that of Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet.[73] Chrétien's work even appears to feed back into Welsh Arthurian literature, with the result that the romance Arthur began to replace the heroic, active Arthur in Welsh literary tradition.[74] Particularly significant in this development were the three Welsh Arthurian romances, which are closely similar to those of Chrétien, albeit with some significant differences: Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain is related to Chrétien's Yvain; Geraint and Enid, to Erec and Enide; and Peredur son of Efrawg, to Perceval.[75]

The Round Table experience a vision of the Holy Grail. From a 15th century French manuscript.

Up to c. 1210, continental Arthurian romance was expressed primarily through poetry; after this date the tales began to be told in prose. The most significant of these 13th-century prose romances was the Vulgate Cycle, (also known as the Lancelot-Grail Cycle), a series of five Middle French prose works written in the first half of that century.[76] These works were the Estoire del Saint Grail, the Estoire de Merlin, the Lancelot propre (or Prose Lancelot, which made up half the entire Vulgate Cycle on its own), the Queste del Saint Graal and the Mort Artu, which combine to form the first coherent version of the entire Arthurian legend. The cycle continued the trend towards reducing the role played by Arthur in his own legend, partly through the introduction of the character of Galahad and an expansion of the role of Merlin. It also made Mordred the result of an incestuous relationship between Arthur and his sister and established the role of Camelot, first mentioned in passing in Chrétien's Lancelot, as Arthur's primary court.[77] This series of texts was quickly followed by the Post-Vulgate Cycle (c. 1230–40), of which the Suite du Merlin is a part, which greatly reduced the importance of Lancelot's affair with Guinevere but continued to sideline Arthur, now in order to focus more on the Grail quest.[76] As such, Arthur became even more of a relatively minor character in these French prose romances; in the Vulgate itself he only figures significantly in the Estoire de Merlin and the Mort Artu.

The development of the medieval Arthurian cycle and the character of the "Arthur of romance" culminated in Le Morte d'Arthur, Thomas Malory's retelling of the entire legend in a single work in English in the late 15th century. Malory based his book – originally titled The Whole Book of King Arthur and of His Noble Knights of the Round Table – on the various previous romance versions, in particular the Vulgate Cycle, and appears to have aimed at creating a comprehensive and authoritative collection of Arthurian stories.[78] Perhaps as a result of this, and the fact that Le Morte D'Arthur was one of the earliest printed books in England, published by William Caxton in 1485, most later Arthurian works are derivative of Malory's.[79]

Decline, revival, and the modern legend

Post-medieval literature

The end of the Middle Ages brought with it a waning of interest in King Arthur. Although Malory's English version of the great French romances was popular, there were increasing attacks upon the truthfulness of the historical framework of the Arthurian romances – established since Geoffrey of Monmouth's time – and thus the legitimacy of the whole Matter of Britain. So, for example, the 16th-century humanist scholar Polydore Vergil famously rejected the claim that Arthur was the ruler of a post-Roman empire, found throughout the post-Galfridian medieval "chronicle tradition", to the horror of Welsh and English antiquarians.[80] Social changes associated with the end of the medieval period and the Renaissance also conspired to rob the character of Arthur and his associated legend of some of their power to enthral audiences, with the result that 1634 saw the last printing of Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur for nearly 200 years.[81] King Arthur and the Arthurian legend were not entirely abandoned, but until the early 19th century the material was taken less seriously and was often used simply as vehicle for allegories of 17th- and 18th-century politics.[82] Thus Richard Blackmore's epics Prince Arthur (1695) and King Arthur (1697) feature Arthur as an allegory for the struggles of William III against James II.[82] Similarly, the most popular Arthurian tale throughout this period seems to have been that of Tom Thumb, which was told first through chapbooks and later through the political plays of Henry Fielding; although the action is clearly set in Arthurian Britain, the treatment is humorous and Arthur appears as a primarily comedic version of his romance character.[83]

Tennyson and the revival

Gustave Doré's illustration of Arthur and Merlin for Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, 1868

In the early 19th century, medievalism, Romanticism, and the Gothic Revival reawakened interest in the Arthur and the medieval romances. A new code of ethics for 19th-century gentlemen was shaped around the chivalric ideals that the "Arthur of romance" embodied. This renewed interest first made itself felt in 1816, when Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur was reprinted for the first time since 1634.[84] Initially the medieval Arthurian legends were of particular interest to poets, inspiring, for example, William Wordsworth to write "The Egyptian Maid" (1835), an allegory of the Holy Grail.[85] Pre-eminent among these was Alfred Lord Tennyson, whose first Arthurian poem, "The Lady of Shalott", was published in 1832.[86] Although Arthur himself played a minor role in some of these works, following in the medieval romance tradition, Tennyson's Arthurian work reached its peak of popularity with Idylls of the King, which reworked the entire narrative of Arthur's life for the Victorian era. First published in 1859, it sold 10,000 copies within the first week.[87] In the Idylls, Arthur became a symbol of ideal manhood whose attempt to establish a perfect kingdom on earth fails, finally, through human weakness.[88] Tennyson's works prompted a large number of imitators, generated considerable public interest in the legends of Arthur and the character himself, and brought Malory’s tales to a wider audience.[89] Indeed, the first modernization of Malory's great compilation of Arthur's tales was published shortly after Idylls appeared, in 1862, and there were six further editions and five competitors before the century ended.[90]

This interest in the "Arthur of romance" and his associated stories continued through the 19th century and into the 20th, and influenced poets such as William Morris and Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edward Burne-Jones.[91] Even the humorous tale of Tom Thumb, which had been the primary manifestation of Arthur's legend in the 18th century, was rewritten after the publication of Idylls. While Tom maintained his small stature and remained a figure of comic relief, his story now included more elements from the medieval Arthurian romances, and Arthur is treated more seriously and historically in these new versions.[92] The revived Arthurian romance also proved influential in the United States, with such books as Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur (1880) reaching wide audiences and providing inspiration for Mark Twain's satiric A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889).[93] Although the "Arthur of romance" was sometimes central to these new Arthurian works (as he was in Burne-Jones's The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, 1881–1898), on other occasions he reverted back to his medieval status and is either marginalised or even missing entirely, with Wagner's Arthurian operas providing a notable instance of the latter.[94] Furthermore, the revival of interest in Arthur and the Arthurian tales did not continue unabated. By the end of the 19th century, it was confined mainly to Pre-Raphaelite imitators,[95] and it could not avoid being affected by the First World War, which damaged the reputation of chivalry and thus interest in its medieval manifestations and Arthur as chivalric role model.[96] The romance tradition did, however, remain sufficiently powerful to persuade Thomas Hardy, Laurence Binyon and John Masefield to compose Arthurian plays,[97] and T. S. Eliot alludes to the Arthur myth (but not Arthur) in his poem The Waste Land, which mentions the Fisher King.[98]

Modern legend

The combat of Arthur and Mordred, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth for The Boy's King Arthur, 1922

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).[99] 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.[100] The romance Arthur has become popular in film as well. The musical Camelot, with its focus on the love of Lancelot and Guinevere and the cuckolding of Arthur, was made into a film in 1967. The romance tradition of Arthur is particularly evident and, according to critics, successfully handled in Robert Bresson's Lancelot du Lac (1974), Eric Rohmer's Perceval le Gallois (1978) and perhaps John Boorman's fantasy film Excalibur (1981); it is also the main source of the material utilised in the Arthurian spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).[101]

Re-tellings and re-imaginings of the romance tradition are not the only important aspect of the modern legend of King Arthur. Attempts to portray Arthur as a genuine historical figure of c. 500 AD, stripping away the "romance", have also emerged. As Taylor and Brewer have noted, this return to the medieval "chronicle tradition"' of Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Historia Brittonum is a recent trend which became dominant in Arthurian literature in the years following the outbreak of the Second World War, when Arthur's legendary resistance to Germanic invaders struck a chord in Britain.[102] Clemence Dane's series of radio plays, The Saviours (1942), used a historical Arthur to embody the spirit of heroic resistance against desperate odds, and Robert Sherriff's play The Long Sunset (1955) saw Arthur rallying Romano-British resistance against the Germanic invaders.[103] This trend towards placing Arthur in a historical setting is also apparent in historical and fantasy novels published during this period.[104] In recent years the portrayal of Arthur as a real hero of the 5th century has also made its way into film versions of the Arthurian legend, most notably King Arthur (2004) and The Last Legion (2007).[105]

Arthur has also been used as a model for modern-day behaviour. In the 1930s, the Order of the Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table formed in Britain to promote Christian ideals and Arthurian notions of medieval chivalry.[106] In the United States, hundreds of thousands of boys and girls joined Arthurian youth groups, such as the Knights of King Arthur, in which Arthur and his legends were promoted as wholesome exemplars.[107] However, Arthur's diffusion within contemporary culture goes beyond such obviously Arthurian endeavours, with Arthurian names being regularly attached to objects, buildings and places. As Norris J. Lacy has observed, "The popular notion of Arthur appears to be limited, not surprisingly, to a few motifs and names, but there can be no doubt of the extent to which a legend born many centuries ago is profoundly embedded in modern culture at every level."[108]

See also


  1. ^ Barber 1986, p. 141
  2. ^ Higham 2002, pp. 11–37, has a summary of the debate on this point.
  3. ^ Charles-Edwards 1991, p. 15; Sims-Williams 1991. Y Gododdin cannot be dated precisely: it describes 6th-century events and contains 9th- or 10th- century spelling, but the surviving copy is 13th-century.
  4. ^ Thorpe 1966, but see also Loomis 1956
  5. ^ See Padel 1994; Sims-Williams 1991; Green 2007b; and Roberts 1991a
  6. ^ Dumville 1986; Higham 2002, pp. 116–69; Green 2007b, pp. 15–26, 30–38.
  7. ^ Green 2007b, pp. 26–30; Koch 1996, pp. 251–53.
  8. ^ Charles-Edwards 1991, p. 29
  9. ^ Morris 1973
  10. ^ Myres 1986, p. 16
  11. ^ Gildas, De Excidio Britanniae, chapter 26.
  12. ^ Pryor 2004, pp. 22–27
  13. ^ Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, Book 1.16.
  14. ^ Dumville 1977, pp. 187–88
  15. ^ Green 1998; Padel 1994; Green 2007b, chapters five and seven.
  16. ^ Historia Brittonum 56; Annales Cambriae 516, 537.
  17. ^ For example, Ashley 2005.
  18. ^ Heroic Age 1999
  19. ^ Modern scholarship views the Glastonbury cross as the result of a probably late 12th-century fraud. See Rahtz 1993 and Carey 1999.
  20. ^ These range from Lucius Artorius Castus, a Roman officer who served in Britain in the 2nd century (Littleton & Malcor 1994), to Roman usurper emperors such as Magnus Maximus or sub-Roman British rulers such as Riotamus (Ashe 1985), Ambrosius Aurelianus (Reno 1996), Owain Ddantgwyn (Phillips & Keatman 1992), and Athrwys ap Meurig (Gilbert, Wilson & Blackett 1998)
  21. ^ Malone 1925
  22. ^ See Higham 2002, p. 74.
  23. ^ Koch 1996, p. 253. See further Malone 1925 and Green 2007b, p. 255 on how Artorius would regular take the form Arthur when borrowed into Welsh.
  24. ^ a b Griffen 1994
  25. ^ Harrison, Henry (1996) [1912]. Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary. Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 0-806-30171-6. Retrieved on 2008-10-21. 
  26. ^ Anderson 2004, pp. 28–29; Green 2007b, pp. 191–94.
  27. ^ Green 2007b, pp. 178–87.
  28. ^ Green 2007b, pp. 45–176
  29. ^ Green 2007b, pp. 93–130
  30. ^ Padel 1994 has a thorough discussion of this aspect of Arthur's character.
  31. ^ Green 2007b, pp. 135–76. On his possessions and wife, see also Ford 1983.
  32. ^ Williams 1937, p. 64, line 1242
  33. ^ Charles-Edwards 1991, p. 15; Koch 1996, pp. 242–45; Green 2007b, pp. 13–15, 50–52.
  34. ^ See, for example, Haycock 1983–84 and Koch 1996, pp. 264–65.
  35. ^ Online translations of this poem are out-dated and inaccurate. See Haycock 2007, pp. 293–311, for a full translation, and Green 2007b, p. 197 for a discussion of its Arthurian aspects.
  36. ^ See, for example, Green 2007b, pp. 54–67 and Budgey 1992, who includes a translation.
  37. ^ Koch & Carey 1994, pp. 314–15
  38. ^ Sims-Williams 1991, pp. 38–46 has a full translation and analysis of this poem.
  39. ^ For a discussion of the tale, see Bromwich & Evans 1992; see also Padel 1994, pp. 2–4; Roberts 1991a; and Green 2007b, pp. 67–72 and chapter three.
  40. ^ Barber 1986, pp. 17–18, 49; Bromwich 1978
  41. ^ Roberts 1991a, pp. 78, 81
  42. ^ Roberts 1991a
  43. ^ Translated in Coe & Young 1995, pp. 22–27. On the Glastonbury tale and its Otherworldly antecedents, see Sims-Williams 1991, pp. 58–61.
  44. ^ Coe & Young 1995, pp. 26–37
  45. ^ See Ashe 1985 for an attempt to use this vita as a historical source.
  46. ^ Padel 1994, pp. 8–12; Green 2007b, pp. 72–5, 259, 261–2; Bullock-Davies 1982
  47. ^ Wright 1985; Thorpe 1966
  48. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae Book 8.19–24, Book 9, Book 10, Book 11.1–2
  49. ^ Thorpe 1966
  50. ^ Roberts 1991b, p. 106; Padel 1994, pp. 11–12
  51. ^ Green 2007b, pp. 217–19
  52. ^ Roberts 1991b, pp. 109–10, 112; Bromwich & Evans 1992, pp. 64–5
  53. ^ Roberts 1991b, p. 108
  54. ^ Bromwich 1978, pp. 454–55
  55. ^ See, for example, Brooke 1986, p. 95.
  56. ^ Ashe 1985, p. 6; Padel 1995, p. 110; Higham 2002, p. 76.
  57. ^ Crick 1989
  58. ^ Sweet 2004, p. 140. See further, Roberts 1991b and Roberts 1980.
  59. ^ As noted by, for example, Ashe 1996.
  60. ^ For example, Thorpe 1966, p. 29
  61. ^ Stokstad 1996
  62. ^ Loomis 1956; Bromwich 1983; Bromwich 1991.
  63. ^ Lacy 1996a, p. 16; Morris 1982, p. 2.
  64. ^ For example, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae Book 10.3.
  65. ^ Padel 2000, p. 81
  66. ^ Morris 1982, pp. 99–102; Lacy 1996a, p. 17.
  67. ^ Lacy 1996a, p. 17
  68. ^ Burgess & Busby 1999
  69. ^ Lacy 1996b
  70. ^ Kibler & Carroll 1991, p. 1
  71. ^ Lacy 1996b, p. 88
  72. ^ Roach 1949–83
  73. ^ Ulrich, von Zatzikhoven 2005
  74. ^ Padel 2000, pp. 77–82
  75. ^ See Jones & Jones 1949 for accurate translations of all three texts. It is not entirely certain what, exactly, the relationship is between these Welsh romances and Chrétien's works, however: see Koch 1996, pp. 280–88 for a survey of opinions
  76. ^ a b Lacy 1992–96
  77. ^ For a study of this cycle, see Burns 1985.
  78. ^ On Malory and his work, see Field 1993 and Field 1998.
  79. ^ Vinaver 1990
  80. ^ Carley 1984
  81. ^ Parins 1995, p. 5
  82. ^ a b Ashe 1968, pp. 20–21; Merriman 1973
  83. ^ Green 2007a
  84. ^ Parins 1995, pp. 8–10
  85. ^ Wordsworth 1835
  86. ^ See Potwin 1902 for the sources Tennyson used when writing this poem
  87. ^ Taylor & Brewer 1983, p. 127
  88. ^ See Rosenberg 1973 and Taylor & Brewer 1983, pp. 89–128 for analyses of The Idylls of the King.
  89. ^ See, for example, Simpson 1990.
  90. ^ Staines 1996, p. 449
  91. ^ Taylor & Brewer 1983, pp. 127–161; Mancoff 1990.
  92. ^ Green 2007a, p. 127; Gamerschlag 1983
  93. ^ Twain 1889; Smith & Thompson 1996.
  94. ^ Watson 2002
  95. ^ Mancoff 1990
  96. ^ Workman 1994
  97. ^ Hardy 1923; Binyon 1923; and Masefield 1927
  98. ^ Eliot 1949; Barber 2004, pp. 327–28
  99. ^ White 1958; Bradley 1982; Tondro 2002, p. 170
  100. ^ Lagorio 1996
  101. ^ Harty 1996; Harty 1997
  102. ^ Taylor & Brewer 1983, chapter nine; see also Higham 2002, pp. 21–22, 30.
  103. ^ Thompson 1996, p. 141
  104. ^ For example: Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers (1959) and Sword at Sunset (1963); Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave (1970) and its sequels; Parke Godwin's Firelord (1980) and its sequels; Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle (1987–99); Nikolai Tolstoy's The Coming of the King (1988); Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles (1992–97); and Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles (1995–97). See List of books about King Arthur.
  105. ^ King Arthur at the Internet Movie Database; The Last Legion at the Internet Movie Database
  106. ^ Thomas 1993, pp. 128–31
  107. ^ Lupack 2002, p. 2; Forbush & Forbush 1915
  108. ^ Lacy 1996c, p. 364


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  • Thomas, Charles (1993), Book of Tintagel: Arthur and Archaeology, London: Batsford, ISBN 978-0713466898 .
  • Thompson, R. H. (1996), "English, Arthurian Literature in (Modern)", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 136–144, ISBN 978-1568654324 .
  • Thorpe, Lewis, ed. (1966), Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Harmondsworth: Penguin, OCLC 3370598 .
  • Tondro, Jason (2002), "Camelot in Comics", in Sklar, Elizabeth Sherr; Hoffman, Donald L., King Arthur in Popular Culture, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, pp. 169–181, ISBN 978-0786412570 .
  • Twain, Mark (1889), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, New York: Webster, OCLC 11267671 .
  • Ulrich, von Zatzikhoven (2005), Lanzelet, New York: Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231128698 . Trans. Thomas Kerth.
  • Vinaver, Sir Eugène, ed. (1990), The Works of Sir Thomas Malory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0198123460 . Third, revised, ed.
  • Watson, Derek (2002), "Wagner: Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal", in Barber, Richard, King Arthur in Music, Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, pp. 23–34, ISBN 978-0859917673 .
  • White, Terence Hanbury (1958), The Once and Future King, London: Collins, OCLC 547840 .
  • Williams, Sir Ifor, ed. (1937) (in Welsh), Canu Aneirin, Caerdydd [Cardiff]: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru [University of Wales Press], OCLC 13163081 .
  • Wordsworth, William (1835), "The Egyptian Maid, or, The Romance of the Water-Lily", The Camelot Project, The University of Rochester,, retrieved on 2008-05-22 .
  • Workman, L. J. (1994), "Medievalism and Romanticism", Poetica (39–40): 1–44 .
  • Wright, Neil, ed. (1985), The Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth, 1: Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS. 568, Cambridge: Brewer, ISBN 978-0859912112 .

External links

Preceded by
Uther Pendragon
Legendary British Kings Succeeded by
Constantine III


King Arthur's family

King Arthur's family grew throughout the centuries with King Arthur's legend. Several of the legendary members of this mythical king's family became leading characters of mythical tales in their own right.

Welsh literature

In Welsh Arthurian literature from before the time of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), Arthur was granted numerous relations and family members. Several early Welsh sources are usually taken as indicative of Uther Pendragon being known as Arthur's father before Geoffrey wrote, with Arthur also being granted a brother (Madog) and a nephew (Eliwlod) in these texts.[1] Arthur also appears to have been assigned a sister in this material – Gwalchmei is named as his sister-son (nephew) in Culhwch, his mother being one Gwyar.[2] Rachel Bromwich and D. Simon Evans have observed that Culhwch and Olwen, the Vita Iltuti and the Brut Dingestow combine to suggest that Arthur had a mother too, named Eigyr.[3]

In addition to this immediate family, Arthur was said to have had a great variety of more distant relatives, including maternal aunts, uncles, cousins and a grandfather named Anlawd (or Amlawdd) Wledig ("Prince Anlawd"). The latter is the common link between many of these figures and Arthur: thus the relationship of first cousins that is implied or stated between Arthur, Culhwch, Illtud, and Goreu mab Custenhin depends upon all of their mothers being daughters of this Anlawd, who appears to be ultimately a genealogical construct designed to allow such inter-relationships between characters to be postulated by medieval Welsh authors.[4] Arthur's maternal uncles in Culhwch and Olwen, including Llygatrud Emys, Gwrbothu Hen, Gweir Gwrhyt Ennwir and Gweir Baladir Hir, similarly appear to derive from this relationship.[5]

Turning to Arthur's own family, his wife is consistently stated to be Gwenhwyfar, usually the daughter of Ogrfan Gawr (Ogrfan "the Giant") and sister to Gwenhwyach, although Culhwch and Bonedd yr Arwyr do indicate that Arthur also had some sort of relationship with Eleirch daughter of Iaen, which produced a son named Kyduan.[6] Kyduan was not the only child of Arthur according to Welsh Arthurian tradition – he is also ascribed sons called Amr,[7] Gwydre,[8] Llacheu[9] and Duran.[10]

Geoffrey of Monmouth era

Relatively few members of Arthur's family in the Welsh materials are carried over to the works of Geoffrey and the romancers. His grandfather Anlawd Wledic and his maternal uncles, aunts and cousins do not appear there and neither do any of his sons or his paternal relatives. Only the core family seem to have made the journey: his wife Gwenhwyfar (who became Guinevere), his father Uther, his mother (Igerna) and his sister-son Gwalchmei (Gawain). As Roberts has noted,[11] Gwalchmei's mother – Arthur's sister – failed to make the journey, Gwyar's place being taken by Anna, the wife of Loth, in Geoffrey's account, whilst Medraut (Mordred) is made into a second sister-son for Arthur (a status he does not have in the Welsh material). In addition, new family members enter the Arthurian tradition from this point onwards. Uther is given a new family, including two brothers and a father,[12] while Arthur gains a sister, Morgan le Fay (first named as Arthur's sister by Chrétien de Troyes),[13] and a new son, Loholt, in Chrétien's Eric and Enide, the Perlesvaus and the Vulgate Cycle.[14]

Another significant new family-member is Arthur's half-sister Morgause, the daughter of Gorlois and Igerna and mother of Gawain and Mordred in the French romances (replacing Geoffrey of Monmouth's Anna in this role). In the Vulgate Mort Artu we find Mordred's relationship with Arthur once more reinterpreted, as he is made the issue of an unwitting incestuous liaison between Arthur and this Morgause, with Arthur dreaming that Mordred would grow up to kill him.[15] This tale is preserved in all the romances based on the Mort Artu, and by the time we reach Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur Arthur has started to plot, Herod-like, to kill all children born on the same day as Mordred in order to save himself from this fate.[16]

 Children and grandchildren

Although Arthur is given sons in both early and late Arthurian tales, he is rarely granted significant further generations of descendents; this is at least partly because of the premature deaths of his sons in these legends. Amr is the first to be mentioned in Arthurian literature, appearing in the 9th century Historia Brittonum:

There is another wonder in the region which is called Ercing. A tomb is located there next to a spring which is called Licat Amr; and the name of the man who is buried in the tomb was called thus: Amr. He was the son of Arthur the soldier, and Arthur himself killed and buried him in that very place. And men come to measure the grave and find it sometimes six feet in length, sometimes nine, sometimes twelve, sometimes fifteen. At whatever length you might measure it at one time, a second time you will not find it to have the same length – and I myself have put this to the test.[17]

Why Arthur chose to kill his son is never made clear. The only other reference to Amr comes in the post-Galfridian Welsh romance Geraint, where "Amhar son of Arthur" is one of Arthur’s four chamberlains along with Bedwyr’s son, Amhren.[18] Gwydre is similarly unlucky, being slaughtered by the giant boar Twrch Trwyth in Culhwch and Olwen, along with two of Arthur's maternal uncles – no other references to either Gwydre or Arthur's uncles survive.[19] More is known of Arthur's son Llacheu. He is one of the "Three Well-Endowed Men of the Island of Britain", according to Triad number 4, and he fights alongside Cei in the early Arthurian poem Pa gur yv y porthaur?.[20] Like his father is in Y Gododdin, Llacheu appears in 12th century and later Welsh poetry as a standard of heroic comparison and he also seems to have been similarly a figure of local topographic folklore too.[21] Taken together, it is generally agreed that all these references indicate that Llacheu was a figure of considerable importance in the early Arthurian cycle.[22] Nonetheless, Llacheu too dies, with the speaker in the pre-Galfridian poem Ymddiddan Gwayddno Garanhir ac Gwyn fab Nudd remembering that he had "been where Llacheu was slain / the son of Arthur, awful in songs / when ravens croaked over blood".[23] Finally, Loholt is treacherously killed by Sir Kay so that the latter can take credit for the defeat of the giant Logrin in the Perlesvaus,[24] while another son, known only from a possibly 15th century Welsh text, is said to have died on the field of Camlann:

Sandde Bryd Angel drive the crow
off the face of ?Duran [son of Arthur].
Dearly and belovedly his mother raised him.
Arthur sang it[25]

Medraut/Mordred is an exception to this tradition of a childless death for Arthur's sons. Mordred, like Amr, is killed by Arthur – at Camlann – according to Geoffrey of Monmouth and the post-Galfridian tradition but, unlike the others, he is ascribed two sons, both of whom rose against Arthur's successor and cousin Constantine with the help of the Saxons. However, in Geoffrey's Historia (when Arthur's killing of Mordred and Mordred's sons first appear), Mordred was not yet actually Arthur's son.[26]


  1. ^ T. Green, Concepts of Arthur (Stroud: Tempus, 2007), pp.145–51; P. Sims-Williams, "The Early Welsh Arthurian Poems" in R. Bromwich, A.O.H. Jarman and B.F. Roberts (edd.) The Arthur of the Welsh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), pp.33–71 at pp.53-4
  2. ^ R. Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydein: the Welsh Triads (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1978), pp.372–3
  3. ^ R. Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992), pp.44-5
  4. ^ R. Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992), pp.44-5
  5. ^ These maternal uncles are named at lines 251-2, 288-90: R. Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992)
  6. ^ See T. Green, Concepts of Arthur (Stroud: Tempus, 2007), pp.151–5; R. Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992), pp.76–7, 107-08 -- the latter note that the sons of Iaen appear to have been kinsmen of Arthur on their father's side, not Arthur's father's side, i.e. they were Arthur's in-laws via their sister
  7. ^ Historia Brittonum, 73 and also the romance Geraint and Enid, which mentions an "Amhar son of Arthur"
  8. ^ R. Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992), lines 1116-7
  9. ^ R. Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydein: the Welsh Triads (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1978), pp.416–8
  10. ^ J. Rowland, Early Welsh Saga Poetry: a Study and Edition of the Englynion (Cambridge, 1990), pp.250–1
  11. ^ B. F. Roberts, "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae and Brut Y Brenhinedd" in R. Bromwich, A. O. H. Jarman and B. F. Roberts (edd.) The Arthur of the Welsh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), pp.98–116 at pp.112–3
  12. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae Book 8.1
  13. ^ Arthurian Romances trans. W. Kibler and C. W. Carroll (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1991)
  14. ^ Arthurian Romances trans. W. Kibler and C. W. Carroll (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1991); The High Book of the Grail: A translation of the thirteenth century romance of Perlesvaus trans. N. Bryant (Brewer, 1996); Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation trans. N. J. Lacy (New York: Garland, 1992-6), 5 vols.
  15. ^ Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation trans. N. J. Lacy (New York: Garland, 1992-6), 5 vols.
  16. ^ See A. Varin, "Mordred, King Arthur's Son" in Folklore 90 (1979), pp.167–77 on Mordred's birth, its origins and Arthur's reaction to his dream.
  17. ^ Historia Brittonum, 73
  18. ^ T. Jones and G. Jones, The Mabinogion (London: Dent, 1949), p.231
  19. ^ R. Bromwich and D. Simon Evans, Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992), lines 1116–7 and note on Gwydre; T. Jones and G. Jones, The Mabinogion (London: Dent, 1949), pp.132, 134
  20. ^ R. Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydein: the Welsh Triads (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1978), no. 4; P. Sims-Williams, "The Early Welsh Arthurian Poems" in R. Bromwich, A.O.H. Jarman and B.F. Roberts (edd.) The Arthur of the Welsh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), pp.33–71 at p.43
  21. ^ O. J. Padel, Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000), pp.55–6, 99; P. Sims-Williams, "The Early Welsh Arthurian Poems" in R. Bromwich, A.O.H. Jarman and B.F. Roberts (edd.) The Arthur of the Welsh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), pp.33–71 at p.44
  22. ^ T. Green, Concepts of Arthur (Stroud: Tempus, 2007), pp.168-9
  23. ^ J.B. Coe and S. Young, The Celtic Sources for the Arthurian Legend (Llanerch, 1995), p.125
  24. ^ The High Book of the Grail: A translation of the thirteenth century romance of Perlesvaus trans. N. Bryant (Brewer, 1996)
  25. ^ J. Rowland, Early Welsh Saga Poetry: a Study and Edition of the Englynion (Cambridge, 1990), pp.250-1
  26. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae Book 11.2-4


  • Bromwich, R. Trioedd Ynys Prydein: the Welsh Triads (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1978)
  • Bromwich, R. and Simon Evans, D. Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1992)
  • Bryant, N. The High Book of the Grail: A translation of the thirteenth century romance of Perlesvaus (Brewer, 1996)
  • Coe, J. B. and Young, S. The Celtic Sources for the Arthurian Legend (Llanerch, 1995).
  • Green, T. "The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur", Arthurian Resources, retrieved on 22-06-2007
  • Green, T. "Tom Thumb and Jack the Giant Killer: Two Arthurian Fairytales?" in Folklore 118.2 (August, 2007), pp.123-40
  • Green, T. Concepts of Arthur (Stroud: Tempus, 2007) ISBN 978-0-7524-4461-1 [1]
  • Higham, N. J. King Arthur, Myth-Making and History (London: Routledge, 2002).
  • Jones, T. and Jones, G. The Mabinogion (London: Dent, 1949)
  • Kibler, W. and Carroll, C. W. Arthurian Romances (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1991)
  • Lacy, N. J. Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation (New York: Garland, 1992-6), 5 vols
  • Padel, O. J. Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000) ISBN 978-0-7524-4461-1
  • Roberts, B. F. "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae and Brut Y Brenhinedd" in R. Bromwich, A.O.H. Jarman and B.F. Roberts (edd.) The Arthur of the Welsh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), pp.98-116
  • Rowland, J. Early Welsh Saga Poetry: a Study and Edition of the Englynion (Cambridge, 1990)
  • Sims-Williams, P. "The Early Welsh Arthurian Poems" in R. Bromwich, A.O.H. Jarman and B.F. Roberts (edd.) The Arthur of the Welsh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), pp.33-71

 External links


Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
by John Steinbeck

Labyrinth - Arthurian Resources

LeMorte D'Arthur
by Thomas Malory

Once and Future King
by Terence Hanbury White

Tales of King Arthur by Thomas Malory & Michael Senior

The Golden Bough by James Frazier (9 different versions available)

Templar Resources

Book Recommendations

The High Queen: The Tale of Guinevere & King Arthur continues
by Nancy McKenzie

The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere & King Arthur
by Nancy McKenzie

 Journey to Avalon

 Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - An on-line book

The Woman with the Alabaster Jar - Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail

Sword in The Stone
by Terence Hanbury White

British Academy Publications

Arthurian Resources - A guide to recent research regarding the early Arthurian legends and their origins.

Arthuriana Homepage - Quarterly journal of the International Arthurian Society - North American Branch.


The King Arthur Legend

Proof of King Arthur's Existence?

The Camelot Project

A Quest for Arthur

Arthur: the Matter of Britain Many good links

King Arthur: History and the Arthurian Legend

Mattman's Arthurian Resource Page

The Pillar of King Arthur

King Arthur A to Z

Arthur Of Britain

Origins of the Arthurian Legend

The Fisher King

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Arthurian FAQ page

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King Arthur's French Oddysey


All these places are on one site:



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The Camelot Project



Arthurnet Mailing List Homepage - The searchable archives are one of the best Arthurian resources available on the Web.

Cadbury Castle, Somerset: The early medieval archaeology - Description of the book by Leslie Alcock. Many other books by the University of Wales Press can be found at the UWP's main page.

The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras - Summary of the book, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World by David Ulansey.

The Dark Ages: King Arthur and Others

Arthurian Legend Home Page

 Novels with Arthurian ThemesAn extensive bibliography of novels dealing with Arthurian themes. From an English course at the University of Great Falls in Montana.


Arthurian Legend in Young Adult Fantasies - Capsule reviews/bibliography from the Boulder Public Library.

The Forever King - Review of the book by bestselling authors Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy.

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King and Raven - Book review.

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Sample Chapter: The Child Queen

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The Realm of Chivalry - A Medieval Living History Organization...

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Templars and the Grail Role of the Knights Templars in the Grail Legend


British Fantasy - Grail - Listing of Arthurian films for sale.

Excalibur - Review by Mr. Cranky.

First Knight - Review by Roger Ebert.

First Knight - USA Today review.


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The alchemy web site and virtual library

Le Morte Darthur Volume 1 - Full text from the University of Virginia archives.

Le Morte Darthur Volume 2 - Full text from the University of Virginia archives.

Tintagel Castle: Arthur's Birthplace?

Has King Arthur been discovered at Tintagel? - Current Archaeology

Arthurian Inscription found at Tintagel

Tintagel Excavations 1998 - Uiversity of Glasgow

Tintagel Castle - King Arthur: a Man for the Ages

Early Medieval Tintagel: An Interview with Archaeologists Rachel Harry and Kevin Brady - The Heroic Age, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 1999

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle

Cadbury Castle: Arthur's Camelot or Dumnonian Capital?

Cadbury Castle - King Arthur: a Man for the Ages

Cadbury Castle - Somerset

Cadbury Castle - Britannia's Guide to Arthurian Sites

Castle Killibury: King Arthur's First Home?


The Celtic Mythology

On The Trail of the Peacemaker

The Bloodline, Starfire & The Anunnaki

Genesis of the Grail Kings

Words of Wisdom from Sir Laurence Gardner

Sir Laurence Gardner Books and CD

British Mythology - Portions of The Mabinogion.

Old Sarum History

Major Castles in Northeast Wales

Castles in Southwest Wales - Norman

Castle Construction

Time Line of Castle Construction

Rosslyn Chapel, the official web site


The Time Line of Arthurian Britain - Part I

The Time Line of Arthurian Britain -
Part II

The Time Line of Arthurian Britain - Part III

SOMERSET HISTORY Lords & Barons and their holdings




Hello Dee, thanks for your mail. I have visited your webpage. Great! Marvellous! This is the best link page to grail related topics I have ever seen! I would be proud if you could post our article there, too.

Johannes Fiebag

Date: 05/05/1999 5:19:51 PM Central Daylight Time
From: (Karen Lyster)

Hi Dee

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Lots of Love


Thanks to Liz Edwards for Art Assistance

The Alliterative Morte Arthure - Full text from the University of Virginia archives.

Altramar Medieval Music Ensemble - Performed on period instruments.

Angelcynn - "Anglo-Saxon Living History 400 - 700 AD." Includes "The Anglo-Saxon Invasion of Britain," "Clothing and Appearance of the Pagan Anglo-Saxons," and "The Finnesburh Fragment.".

Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries - Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries database.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - The 1912 Everyman Press version, from the Berkeley site.

The Arch-Druid in His Ceremonial Robes (From Wellcome's Ancient Cymric Medicine) - Article and line art.

Archaeometry and Stonehenge - "A major archaeological project to reassess the results of the 20th century excavations at Stonehenge."

Arthur of Britain - Chronology of Arthurian sources, short bits on the Sword in the Stone and the Holy Grail.

AVALON - Gateway to everything Glastonbury on the Web! - The Ancient Isle of Avalon.

Bede - Conversion of England

Beyond Legend: Arthur Reconsidered - From the Concord Review.

The Birth Of Mithras (From Montfaucon's Antiquities) - Article and line art.

Broceliande Page - Quest for the Grail card game info.

Brut (MS Cotton Caligula) - Online text of Layamon from University of Virginia archives.

Camelot & Arthurian Legend - Information and art on the major characters in the myth of Camelot.

Camelot Frequently Asked Questions List - FAQ from the old Camelot mailing list.

Characters from Arthurian Legend - Cast from Malory.

The Charrette Project - "Prototype version of an image/text database of Chrétien de Troyes's Le Chevalier de la Charrette."

A Chronology of Ancient Rome - Part of Exploring Ancient World Cultures.

A Chronology of the Arian Controversy - Part of The Ecole Initiative.

Circular Logic - "Someone is trying to kill one of the members of the Round Table! One of the six knights is sitting in front of a poisoned cup of grog. Use the clues below to figure out which knight is in danger."

Classics Ireland - Journal of the Classical Association of Ireland.

The Complete Corpus of Old English - "From the Dictionary of Old English Project."

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - The full text, plus additional materials such as the original advertisements and contemporary reviews.

Cotswold History and Lore - All the way back to the Neolithic.

Council for British Archaeology

Cymdeithas Madog (Welsh Studies Institute) - Cymdeithas Madog, the Welsh Studies Institute of North America, Inc., is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to helping North Americans learn, use and enjoy the Welsh language. It takes its name from Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, a Welsh prince who sailed (according to legend) to America in the 12th century. That makes him a fitting symbol of the cultural and linguistic links which Cymdeithas Madog maintains between Wales and the New World.

Earth Mysteries: An Introduction - Ley lines, megaliths, geomancy, etc.

Electronic Beowulf Project - From the British Library.

Excaliburs from the Knife Center - That's funny, I thought the Sword in the Stone was a different one...

Gateway to Scotland - Geography, history, weather, etc.

Gildas - De Excidio Britanniae excerpt.

The Grail Quest or The Orion Archetype and The Destiny of Man

The Great George And Collar Of The Garter (From Ashmole's Order of the Garter) - Article and line art.

The Great God Pan (From Kircher's OEdipus AEgyptiacus) - Article and line art.

The Ground Plan of Stonehenge (From Maurice's Indian Antiquities) - Article and line art.

Guided Tour of Wales - From the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Heirloom Tapestries: The Folly - "The Theme is the Quest for the Unicorn by the legendary twenty-four Knights of King Arthur."

Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus (From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum) - Article and line art.

Historical Recipes of Different Cultures - Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval dishes.

History and Status of the Welsh Language - Ties in with A Welsh Course.

The History of Plumbing - Roman and English Legacy - From Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine.

The Holy Grail - Entry from The Catholic Encyclopedia.

How Sir Tristram Drank of the Love Drink - Image from Turn-of-the-Century Fantasy Illustration.

Images of Sites in the British Isles - "Sites of archaeological and archaeoastronomical interest."

Internet Archaeology - Online journal.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook - Public domain and copy-permitted texts.

King Arthur - History and Legend - Includes Arthur's burial cross, interview with Geoffrey Ashe, a synopsis of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, etc.

King Arthur and Camelot - Includes the painting, The Wedding of Arthur and Guinevere by John Moyr Smith. Part of Virtual Renaissance: A Journey Through Time.

King Arthur Bibliography - Classroom Connections.

King Arthur Uther Pendragon - "I'm Arthur Pendragon and if people want to believe I'm some nutter who thinks he's the reincarnation of King Arthur that's their choice."

Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournaments Resource Library - Articles and a glossary.

Labyrinth Home Page - Georgetown University's Medieval Studies site.

The Legacy of the Horse - From the International Museum of the Horse. Includes Roman use, early cavalry.

Legends: King Arthur and the Matter of Britain - Exploring King Arthur in history, fiction, folkore, and the arts. Part of LEGENDS.

List of Arthurian Literature - From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Steinbeck.

Lucan: The Civil War (Pharsalia) - English translation by Sir Edward Ridley, 1896.

Map of Anglo-Saxon England - From the Old English Pages.

The Mead Maker's Page - Honey wine recipes.

Medieval Institute at WMU - "Center for teaching and research in the history and culture of the Middle Ages."

Medieval/Renaissance Food Homepage - "How to Pig Out with 130 of Your Closest Friends" and more.

Merrie Haskell's King Arthur Page - Currently partially completed, this seems to be on its way to being one of the best Arthurian sites.

Mimas Nomenclature - Satellite of Saturn has many Arthurian names given to features.

Mithras Slaying The Bull (From Lundy's Monumental Christianity) - Article and line art.

Music of the Middle Ages - From Lyrichord.

Mysterious England Tour - Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Avebury, Bath, etc.

The National Archives of Ireland - Index of materials available offline.

Nennius - Historia Brittonum excerpts - The Arthurian segments, of course.

The Newstead Project - University of Bradford archaeological project "investigating the region surrounding the Roman fort of Trimontium."

Old English Pages - "An encyclopedic compendium of resources for the study of Old English and Anglo-Saxon England."

On-Line Reference Book for Medieval Studies - Everything from barbarization to Byzantium.

Oxford Arthurian Society - Aiming "to discuss, investigate and generally celebrate the myths, legends and ancient mysteries whose roots lie in the darkness of our forgotten past."

Parsifal - Everything you'd ever want to know about Wagner's opera.

Plague and Public Health in Renaissance Europe - "Hypertext archive of narratives, medical consilia, governmental records, religious and spiritual writings and images."

The Quest: Arthurian Legend Studies - "Scholarly page maintained by the University of Idaho's Arthurian Legend Club, Caliburn."

Renaissance Faire Homepage - A "how-to" guide for participants.

Roman Scotland: Outpost of an Empire - "This exhibition tells the story of the Roman presence in Scotland in the first and second centuries AD, with emphasis on the Antonine Wall frontier and the life lived by the soldiers based in forts along its line."

The Round Table of King Arthur (From Jennings' The Rosicrucians, Their Rites and Mysteries) - Article and line art.

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) - Home page for the maintainers of the National Monuments Records of Scotland.

The Ruin and Conquest of Britain 400 A.D. - 600 A.D. - The transition from Roman Britain to early-mediaeval England and Wales

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Full text from the University of Virginia archives.

Society for Creative Anachronism - Reenactment group.

Starfire Swords - Website for Master Blacksmith Maciej "Zak" Zakrzewski.

Storyfest - Storytelling, Spirituality & Pilgrimage Travel.

Sub-Roman Britain - From the On-Line Reference Book for Medieval Studies.

Tennyson Overview - Partial collection of Tennyson's poems includes "The Lady of Shalott," "Morte d'Arthur," "Enid," "Vivien," Elaine," Guinevere," "The Coming of Arthur," and "The Passing of Arthur." Other sections include thematic discussions, etc. Part of The Victorian Web.

The Tennyson Page - Idylls of the King, etc.

The Tree Of The Knights Of The Round Table - Article and line art.

UK Online - Around the UK - Regional information.

UK Travel Guide - Interactive map.

University of Birmingham Field Archaeology Unit - Includes descriptions of Romanization at Wroxeter, digs at the South Cadbury site, etc.

University of York Department of Archaeology - Includes Roman and Medieval specialties.

Virtual Renaissance: A Journey Through Time - A large, marvelous exploration.

Wales Direct - Online store has, among other things, Twrch Trwyth T-shirts and The Tale of Culhwch and Olwen on illustrated cards with bilingual (Welsh/English) text.

Walt Disney Records: A Kid in King Arthur's Court Soundtrack - With downloadable sample files.

Watford Gap to Camelot -

Welcome to Cornwall - Tourism guide.

Welcome to Wales, the Land of Castles - Text and images.

A Welsh Course - Also see History and Status of the Welsh Language.

Arthuriana. the website of one of the primary scholarly journals on Arthur.

Allegories of the Grail. Allegories of the Holy Grail with several versions of the Grail texts pursuing different meanings of the Grail.

ARTHURNET Mailing List - searchable archive of discussions on this list.

Portico: the British Library's Information Server Grail summary and links to other info on mythical quests from Portico, the British Library's informtion server.

Lancelot, Knight of the Cart by Chrétien de Troyes. A 12th-century text by one of the central Arthurian authors.

Fantasy Fiction and Welsh Myth: Tales of Belonging. A small collection of materials on the Grail legends with a Grail Timeline.

The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies - Excellent site with lots of information.

Glastonbury SiteGlastonbury Information about the town of Glastonbury (UK) known for legends concerning Avalon, Joseph of Arimathea, King Arthur, Holy Grail, etc. Glastonbury Festival held nearby.

Short History of Arthurian Archaeology. A page by Michelle L. Biehl with information on archeology of Tintagel, Cadbury, and other sites.

Glastonbury Tor - Some more info on Glastonbury Tor.

The Arthurian Legends

Arthurian Legends for Teachers - a web-based, interdisciplinary approach for educators. Designed to provide secondary educators (all disciplines) with Web-based resources for the study of Arthurian legends; and to publish on-line lesson plans designed to provide the means for students to increase their proficiency in using the internet and to learn about Arthurian-related material.


Illuminations by Richard Shand

MediaQuest Home Page

The Daily Grail

Legends of Grail

Theories about Grail

Allegories of the Holy Grail

The High History of the Holy Graal

The Ark of the Covenant

Holy Grail in Blood, Spin Path of Love into DNA

San Graal School of Sacred Geometry

Conscious Evolution Home Page

The Sacred Landscape

Deep Secrets: The Great Pyramid, The Golden Ratio and The Royal Cubit

The Golden Mean

The Golden Mean

New Advent. Catholic Website - Russia


Hildegard von (of) Bingen

Iona Island Community

Shroud of Turin

Gnostic Texts

Guide to Early Church Documents

Illuminations--the Real Jesus plus underground spirituality

Spiritual Movements

The Quest - An Arthurian Resource

Historical King Arthur Web Site

King Arthur & the Matter of Britain

Camlan - An Exploration of Arthurian Britain

Arthur's Ring

Arthurian Resources

Arthurian Links

Arthurian Resources on the Internet - By John J. Doherty

Explorations in the History and Legends of Arthur

Early Medieval Resources for Britain, Ireland and Brittany

Arthurnet Links

The Arthurnet Online Discussion Group

Arthuriana - The journal of Arthurian Studies

Celtic Dark Age Kingdom Related Web Sites - Links to Arthurian Sites - King Arthur

Yahoo! WebRing - Le Ring du Roi Arthur et des Celtes

Yahoo! WebRing - Knights of Excalibur

Llys Arthur

Arthurian Resources

Arthurian Sites

The Camelot Project - Arthurian Texts, Images, Bibliographies and Basic Information

The Elmet Heritage Site

Vortigern Studies - British History 400 - 600

Arthur and Archaeology

The Cardiff Arthurian's Medieval Link Page

200 King Arthur Links

The King's Chambers of Odin's Castle of Dreams & Legends

King Arthur: a Man for the Ages

Oxford Arthurian Society

King Arthur & the Matter of Britain

The Arthurian Legend

Celtic Twilight

Legends - King Arthur, History and Archaeology

King Arthur's Burial Cross -

Arthur's Life - Birth and Camelot

A Guide to King Arthur's Forgotten Realm

The Camelot Project at the Rochester University

The Oxford Arthurian Society

Arthur's Britain

Arthurian Legends

Dark Age Archaeology - Early British Kingdoms

Arthurian Sites

An Archeological Quest for the 'real' King Arthur

Glastonbury Tor: Queen Guinevere's Prison?

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey -

Glastonbury Abbey: King Arthur's Last Resting-Place?

Glastonbury: The Isle of Avalon?

Glastonbury's own "Isle of Avalon"



Caerleon: Dark Age Capital of Wales?

Caerwent: The Welsh Winchester

Dinas Emrys

Dinas Emrys: Vortigern's Hide-Out?

Dinas Emrys Hillfort - Vortigern Studies




Camlann - Arthur's final battlefield

Arthur and Camlann - By August Hunt

The Battle Of Camlann

Amesbury Abbey

Carbonek Castle

Clue to King Arthur discovered - BBC on line

A Short History of Arthurian Archaeology - By Michelle L. Biehl

The Ruin and Conquest of Britain 400 A.D. - 600 A.D. - By Howard Wiseman

Sub-roman Britain - ORB, A Guide to Online Resources

Sub-roman Britain: An Introducton - By Christopher Snyder, ORB Encyclopedia

Transformations of Celtic Mythology in Arthurian Legend

The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur

The Age of Arthur: Some Historical and Archaeological Background - by Christopher Snyder, Marymount College

A Gazetteer of Sub-Roman Britain (AD 400-600): the British Sites - By Christopher A Snyder

Breton and British Celts

Eboracum - Literary references to a historical Arthur are few

Arthurian Booklist

British Archaeology, no 4, May 1995 - Not King Arthur, but King Someone

The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur

Beyond Legend: Arthur Reconsidered - by Camilla Ann Richmond, The Concord Review

The Saxon Advent - by Geoffrey Ashe, British Heritage

The Historical Arthur - A Bibliography by P. J. C. Field

Arthur's Bibliography - University of Kansas

King Arthur - many informative sites about Arthur listed here; a wonderfully wide range:

Celtic Cultural History - an informative reading list; especially good for the academic and more scholarly types of books:

Medieval Irish Literature - good basic start; mainly scholarly sources:

Medieval Welsh Literature - good basic start; mainly scholarly sources:

International Arthurian Society (North American branch) - A professional association that was founded in 1948 by a group of Arthurian scholars; Arthuriana journal:

Celtic Connections (UK) - Quarterly journal on all aspects of Celtic culture; edited by David James; also good information on Celtic arts and crafts:
http://celtic-connections -

Ceridwen's Cauldron - magazine of the Oxford Arthurian Society, Oxford, England:

The Camelot Project (University of Rochester, MN) - Academic, Arthurian research, information, reports:

Centre de L'Imaginaire Arthurien (Chateau de Comper - en - Broceliande) - A leading Arthurian centre located in Brittany; a wonderful resource on all things Arthurian:
[No website yet; to contact, email Claudine:]

HallowQuest - the website of John and Caitlin Matthews (UK), authors of many books about the Arthurian, Celtic, and shamanic traditions; they teach all over the world and have done a great deal to raise modern awareness of ancient Celtic folklore and beliefs:

Celtic Shamanism - Geo Cameron, based near Edinburgh, Scotland; Celtic shamanic counsellor and writer; fascinating workshops with old Gaelic chants; informative site:

Celtic Folklore - general and fairy folklore of Celtic countries:

Encyclopedia Mythica - An online encyclopedia of mythology, folklore (including Celtic), and legends:

Celtic Folklore - Irish seasonal celebrations:

Mything Links - fantastic resource site that is highly recommended by Dr. Karen Ralls for those who would like to see an annotated & illustrated collection of worldwide links to mythologies, fairy tales, sacred arts and traditions:

Dalriada Heritage Trust - Informative news, projects, conferences, music, crafts, and journal; Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland:

Celtic Studes Scholarly and Professional Organizations -

Celtic Studies Book and Journal Publishers -

Ogham reading list - mainly scholarly sources:

Druid reading list - mainly scholarly sources:

Arthurian Heritage Trust, Cornwall - working to set up a new educational visitor centre, and spearheading a major initiative to work with the British Library to digitalise Arthurian manuscripts:

Stoneline Designs - is a form of ancient wisdom encoded in the visual domain; a unique rendering of Pictish symbol stone art and medieval stone carvings; the images from Stoneline carry an energy of their own to take you back to the past glory of Scotland's past; featuring the art of Marianna Lines:

The Holy Wells Web - A gateway site for holy wells and water lore:

Living Spring Journal - an electronic journal for the study of holy wells and water lore, hosted at the University of Bath, England:

The Pendragon Society (UK) - Quarterly journal that investigates many aspects of Arthurian history, archaeology, legend, myth, folklore, and the arts
[website under construction]

Round Table of King Arthur -

Caerdroia - Journal of mazes and labyrinths; for more information, please email:

So is Celtic pronounced "keltic" or "seltic"? -

Arthurian articles from -

Wilson's Almanac Planetary Links Directory links to websites on personal change and healing, including a Celtic category:


Council for British Archaeology (York, England) - a leading professional organisation and registered charity:

Biblical Archaeology Review - magazine; thought - provoking, informative, and provocative site:
http://www.bib -

Michael Cremo - 'Forbidden Archaeology' from one of the most persistent and meticulous researchers; a very thought-provoking, challenging and fascinating site; have a look:

English Heritage - U.K. heritage sites and historical information:

Stone Pages - Highly recommended site; Database of megalithic sites from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Italy; Stone circles, dolmens, standing stones, cairns, barrows, and hillforts; 'happy hunting!':

Megalithic Map - in association with Dr. Aubrey Burl:

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales -

Historic Scotland -

International Council on Monuments and Sites -

United Kingdom Institute for Conservation (UKIC) -

Third Stone magazine - the 'magazine for the New Antiquarian'; a popular approach to archaeology, folklore and myth:

Wilson's Almanac Planetary Links Directory links to websites on personal change and healing, including a History/Archaeology category:


Folklore/Comparative Mythology

Folklore Society (UK) - highly regarded organisation; based at the Warburg Institute, University of London:

Encyclopedia Mythica - An online encyclopedia of mythology, folklore & legend, from all over the world; a great resource:

Mything Links - Highly recommended site; very helpful resources; annotated & illustrated collection of worldwide links to mythologies, fairy tales, folklore, sacred arts and traditions; by Dr. Kathleen Jenks, Pacifica University (USA):

Jean Houston - founder of the Mystery School, dedicated to teaching history, philosophy, the new physics, psychology, myth, anthropology, and the many dimensions of our human potential; just one of Jean's many activities:

Dept. of Folklore, Indiana University (USA) - Highly regarded site and university program for Folklore studies:

Celtic Studies Bibliography - by Celtic Studies Association of North America; also includes Celtic Folklore: