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Arthur, the focus of an extensive medieval cycle of legends and romances, was probably a Celtic British king or chieftain of the 6th century AD who fought against the Saxon invaders of England. The name may also be that of a Celtic god whose mythology was early confused with the exploits of the historical figure.

  1. The Sword in the Stone
  2. The Holy Grail
  3. Arthur's Tomb
  4. Modern Versions of the Arthurian Story

Hic iacet Arturus

Photo courtesy of Rod Hampton, Britannia
Rex quondam rexque futurus

Select Chronology of Arthurian Sources

  1. Arthur is first mentioned in the Welsh poem Gododdin(c.600)
  2. By the Welsh chronicler Nennius (c.800) in his Latin Historia Britonum,
  3. In the Annales Cambriae (10th century).
  4. By GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH in his Historia regum Britanniae (1137)
  5. By the French poet Wace Le Roman de Brut (1155)
  6. To which the English poet LAYAMON added in his epic narrative Brut at the end of the century.
  7. CHRETIEN DE TROYES (fl. late 12th century) used the court of King Arthur as the setting for his intense, tragic romances of individual knights associated with Arthur.
  8. These in turn influenced the German renderings of the PARSIFAL legend produced by WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH
  9. And the Tristan legend produced by GOTTFRIED VON STRASSBURG (both 13th century)
  10. The thirteenth century Vulgate Lancelot -source for much later Arthurian literature, particularly Malory.
  11. SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT was an important 14th-century English addition to Arthurian literature..
  12. Arthur and his knights assumed quasi-definitive form in the MORTE D'ARTHUR of Sir Thomas MALORY

Links to Arthurian and Medieval Sites

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