There are a number of sites in Wales that are associated with King Arthur, and certain people who have concluded that he was of Welsh descent. What are your thoughts on that-who was Arthur and what was his real place in history?
Very interesting questions! According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, he really was born in Cornwall, specifically Tintagel. I think there may have been a real Arthur, possibly of Welsh descent, but no one knows for sure. That he became 'King of Britain' is probably a stretch. As regards the legends about him, does it really matter whether or not he was a real character? Even so, it's fascinating to speculate.
I read Geoffrey of Monmouth some years ago. Fun book.
The Welsh versions of Arthur's stories are housed in The Mabinogion. It is a must read, and one
of my all time favorite books.
There is much debate over his origins.
Some say he may have been a god. In the Welsh story of Culhwch and Olwen, he is chasing an enchanted boar; a motif of the ruler of the underworld.
Historically, he may have been a Britain of Celtic descent, or maybe Romano-Celtic descent, that helped keep the Saxons out of Britain after the island lost the protection of Rome in the 6 th Century.
There was some sort of battle at Badon hill that was victorious for the Brits, and may have led to the Golden age of Arthur's reign.
Eventually, the Saxons did make it into Britain, and the Celts were pushed into Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.
The Celts kept the legends alive and maybe that is why he is so much associated with Wales.
It was only with the later literature, such as Mallory, that Arthur evolved into an English (e.g. Saxon), king.
Right, and see it's the general history of the Welsh/Celts that drives me to believe this a little more. The geography of the area helped them to remain isolated, and protected. It also protected the language from change, as well as some of the traditions-including that of oral history. I know there were a lot of legends, but something has to spark them.
And yes, I'm of Welsh descent, and hence a certain pride
Yes, it is Cymru and our language is Cymraeg. The language was for a time dying out, but now is protected fiercely by the Welsh language board, who are leading Welsh language education. They also support the maintenance of our legends and history, which is good for tourism as well as understanding our roots.
As for England vs. Wales.... well that's a battle best fought on the rugby field
I know about the history of King Arthur based from the movie King Arthur. There are many speculations on the real history of King Arthur but the story itself is good enough to remind us that rulers must be the protector of the people and not the other way around.
It did not do well, but I kind of liked the new movie with Keira Knightly. It was a big departure from what we usually think of when we see anything having to do with King Arthur, but I did like the story. They tried to be more historical.
That's the trouble-when movies try to do actual history, they generally aren't all that popular. Fiction sells, history does not sell nearly as well. It's a shame too, because there are a lot of lessons to be learned from both our history and our cultural myths.