King Arthur: his complete history –

Did King Arthur, his sword Excalibur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table really exist? In this article we are going to tell you the story of King Arthur that generates a lot of controversy among historians and lovers of legends.

Who was King Arthur in real life?

The first thing you have to know is that there is no clear documentation, so there is no unanimity when it comes to being able to affirm that King Arthur really existed. The single question has generated -and continues to generate- studies and investigations that try to unravel this mystery, at the same time that the cinematographic world continues to increase the legend.

Some data, there are many more, that you may find very interesting about these investigations are:

  • Two medieval literary sources, the Historia Brittonum and Annales Cambriae, 9th century and 10th century, mention a King Arthur but this one was from the 6th century.
  • In the 6th century Welsh poem “And Gododdin” it says “he satiated the black ravens on the city walls, though he was not Arthur”, but was he King Arthur, was he a mythical Arthur or a historical figure?
  • Kemp Malone (prolific medievalist, etymologistphilologist and professor of English literature) He believed that the character of King Arthur would be based on the Roman soldier Lucio Artorio Casto, from the 2nd century.
  • Let’s move to Cornwall, year 1998. Archaeologists from the University of Glasgow, specifically Professor Christopher Morris, found in Tintagel Castle a stone with an inscription from the 6th century that said “ARTOGNOV”, which in Celtic would be Arthnou.
  • In 2016, a historian claimed that Camelot was the Roman fortress Camulodunum (West Yorkshire, United Kingdom).

Life of King Arthur

Since we cannot affirm that King Arthur really existed, what we are going to describe to you is the life of King Arthur, that legend that remains and will always remain alive. You already know that, as in any legend, there are always many versions to tell the same story, in this case the narration of the life of King Arthur is on the search for the Holy Grail.

The king Uther Pendragon wanted Igraine, the wife of the Duke of Tintagel (parents of Morgause, Elaine and Morgana “The Fairy”). This fact meant that a war was unleashed between the two, which led to Uther asking Merlin for help to be able to physically access her and that Merlin accepted in exchange for giving her first child with her. Of course, Uther accepted.

Merlin, using his magic, bewitched Igraine so that she would not recognize Uther and when she saw him she would mistake him for her husband. Thus, when the king entered her chambers, he had no objection to lying with her (false) husband. As a result of this intimate encounter Arthur is spawned. As for the Duke, he fights to the death that same night and ends up dying in combat, so Igraine is advised by the wise men of Cornwall to make out with King Uther, by whom she is pregnant. Finally, she agrees.

Uther kept his word and when Igraine gives birth to Arthur, he gives it to Merlin. Merlin, in turn, gives him to the noble Sir Ector to raise as his own son, but curiously, he does not tell him where the child came from or who he really is.

As the years passed, King Uther died and Great Britain began to weaken, a king was needed to unite them all.

At the age of 15-16, Arturo went as a companion to Sir Hector and his stepbrother Kay to London, so that the elders could participate in the fighting tournaments between knights. After the tournaments, the nobles were expected to try to remove the sword that had appeared embedded in a stone (some say a wooden anvil, others marble), in a nearby cemetery, and of which he had said that whoever took it out would be the rightful king of all Great Britain.

It was proposed to all the nobles of the wheel that they try to free the sword, they all tried to extract it but nobody succeeded. Until it was his turn Arthur, who was able to extract it without problems in front of everyone, which involved a certain stir as some quickly prostrated themselves at his feet before the prophecy, while others resisted that he was going to be proclaimed king.

One day Arthur lost the sword he had pulled from the anvil and Merlin carried him to a lake. There lived the sorceress Nimue, known as the Lady of the Lake, who kept the sword Excalibur. After Arturo asked for it, a fist appeared with Excalibur held high, the Lady granted it to him in exchange for a wish. On each side of the sword there was an inscription with the name of the sword and, below it, “Take me”, “Throw me away”.

They say that he had an affair with his sister Morgana and that his son would be born from that incestuous encounter. Mordred. Arturo married Guinevere, who in turn was reciprocally in love with the knight Lanzarote, with whom she had an affair secretly from the king.

The father of Ginebra, after her marriage proposal, gave Arturo a round table of large dimensions. At this table the king commanded to sit down those men in whom he trusted the most and were faithful to him, and to the kingdom. Over time and due to different appearances, all the Knights of the Round Table scattered throughout the world in the quest for the Holy Grail.

In search of it, Lancelot went to the Corbenic castle where his king guarded him and there he was bewitched by the king’s daughter, Elaine, who managed to lie with her since she magically acquired the appearance of Queen Guinevere. From this encounter would be born Galahad, the future knight who would be destined to find the Holy Grail.

In time, Mordred reports and finds ways to show Arthur that Guinevere and Lancelot are deceiving him. This means that the queen has to end up at the stake, so Lancelot flees with her to Francealthough he finally returns it to Arturo who assures him of the queen’s well-being but not his.

Arthur goes with his troops after the traitor of Lancelot and, meanwhile, Mordred wants to take over the kingdom. Arturo returns and fights a fatal fight against his son, but Arturo is badly injured. He asks the only survivor of his knights to throw Excalibur far away, into the water, following the inscription “Throw me away”; when the knight does so the fist appears again to pick it up.

Morgana carried Arthur’s body to Lake Avalon, where other queens dressed in mourning took his body away on a barge. Finally, It is not known what happened to Arturo’s body.

The myth of King Arthur

True or false? We will never know if the story we have told you about King Arthur is true or not. At the moment, there is no completely conclusive scientific or historical data that can guarantee that he really existed, therefore King Arthur is still considered a myth, a legend that survives despite the passage of time.

In turn, you may find all the filmography and literature about it interesting, since in all of them they narrate the adventures of a king who pacified Great Britain, who was honorable and just, while describing that search for another element mythical, the Holy Grail.