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Every year dozens of books are published on King Arthur. A few admit they have found all their information from one or more romances. When I was a kid, I used to love pouring over those. Most of them claim to have uncovered the events and dates of Arthur’s entire life and it was fun doing my own work and comparing it. The problem is, they all seem to be either taking its dates verbatim from a guy named Geoffrey of Monmouth (who, incidentally wrote around 1136, maybe 600 years after Arthur and with almost no historical information) or, worse yet, to have started with him and then used the romances to fill out the events of Arthur’s career. While the approach is all wrong, it does have the benefit of giving the curious a set of solid years for the king’s reign. Because they satisfy the public’s interests, they sell. Because there is always a market for books of this nature, more books like them are published every year. Unfortunately, their writings also make the work of real scholars look like they have not been as thorough in their studies. I know I used to think so. The fact is, there are no real sources that give any direct indications of Arthur’s date. Because of the disparity, the range of suggestions has been wide. He may have been a chieftain who fought on the continent in the 420s as Riothamus, or he may have stayed on the island and died at Camlann nearer to 550. Depending on how a person chooses to interpret Geoffrey of Monmouth or the abundant sources that claim to have accurate information on them, both extremes are plausible. One can go further than that in questioning Arthur’s historicity. Professors Dumville and Padel have both made valid arguments to that effect in the last few decades.

 

http://ladybritain.blogspot.com/2008/07/king-arthur-was-welsh-say-french.html

http://kingarthursknights.com/default.asp

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