King Arthur

Credit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boys_King_Arthur_-_N._C._Wyeth_-_p306.jpg

 

 

King Arthur is a legend which dates back to the 5th or 6th centuries. The first mention of King Arthur was in a poem called "Y Gododdin" and later in "Merlin" by Robert de Boron. Other tales of King Arthur were included in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle. Since then people have written about King Arthur and his adventures numerous times.

Little is actually known as fact about King Arthur. It is known that Arthur was born to King Uther Pendragon. Arthur was given to a magician named Merlin to raise. Merlin took Arthur to Sir Hector, who raised Arthur as his own son. Merlin stayed with Arthur as his teacher.

Two stories are told of the famous Excalibur. In the first King Pendragon had a special sword placed in a stone. The person who could remove the sword would be the rightful king. None of the other townspeople were able to pull the sword free. Arthur pulled the sword from the stone and became king. This sword was broken in a fight with King Pellinore.  The second story states that Merlon, Arthur's tutor, was worried that Arthur needed protection in battle. He took Arthur to the Lady of the Lake who thrust her hand out of the lake with the magical sword.

King Arthur married Guinevere. They lived in Camelot on the River Usk in England. King Arthur found many knights to help him. They all sat at a round table during meetings. The round table was a new idea. Before the king sat at the head of a square table. At the round table everyone was equal. People called Arthur and his knights the Order of the Round Table.

King Arthur and his knights fight in the Battle of Camlann against Mordred, Arthurís nephew. Mordred loses the battle and is killed. King Arthur is badly wounded. His body is mysteriously carried to the magical Island of Avalon to be healed, but he dies there. After the battle Arthurís people flee to the mountains of Wales and to Brittany in France. They began telling everyone tales of Arthurís adventures.

As time went by people added to this legend other tales of what Arthur was supposed to have done. One tale was that Arthur and his knights had searched for the Holy Grail, which was the cup used at the Last Supper by Jesus and his disciples. This could not have happened because the Crusades didn’t start until 1096. At least five hundred years after King Arthur died.

Another misconception is that Arthur lived in a large stone castle. Stone castles were not built until much later. In the year 1066 William the Conqueror became King of England when he when he defeated Harold, Earl of Essex. At this time there were only six castles in all of England. These castles were the motte-palisade-bailey style which were made of wood.

In other stories Sir Lancelot, one of Arthur’s knights and son of Sir Galahad, had an affair with Guinevere.

King Arthur is a legend that has become very popular over the years.