King Arthur and the Arthurian legend were not entirely abandoned, but until the early 19th century the material was taken less seriously and was often used simply as a vehicle for allegories of 17th- and 18th-century politics.  Tennyson's works prompted a large number of imitators, generated considerable public interest in the legends of Arthur and the character himself, and brought Malory's tales to a wider audience. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) and Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals), saw Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons some time in the late 5th to early 6th century.  From the perspective of Arthur, perhaps the most significant effect of this great outpouring of new Arthurian story was on the role of the king himself: much of this 12th-century and later Arthurian literature centres less on Arthur himself than on characters such as Lancelot and Guinevere, Percival, Galahad, Gawain, Ywain, and Tristan and Iseult. King Arthur, Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot did not really exist, but their names conjure up a romantic image of gallant knights in shining armour, elegant ladies in medieval castles, heroic quests for the Holy Grail in a world … Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae, written between 1135 and 1139, brought Arthur European fame. T. H. White's novel was adapted into the Lerner and Loewe stage musical Camelot (1960) and Walt Disney's animated film The Sword in the Stone (1963); Camelot, with its focus on the love of Lancelot and Guinevere and the cuckolding of Arthur, was itself made into a film of the same name in 1967. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.  The historian David Dumville wrote: "I think we can dispose of him [Arthur] quite briefly. (For a fuller treatment of the stories about King Arthur, see also Arthurian legend.). Medieval writers, especially the French, variously treated stories of Arthur’s birth, the adventures of his knights, and the adulterous love between his knight Sir Lancelot and his queen, Guinevere.  The romance tradition did, however, remain sufficiently powerful to persuade Thomas Hardy, Laurence Binyon and John Masefield to compose Arthurian plays, and T. S. Eliot alludes to the Arthur myth (but not Arthur) in his poem The Waste Land, which mentions the Fisher King.  Thus Richard Blackmore's epics Prince Arthur (1695) and King Arthur (1697) feature Arthur as an allegory for the struggles of William III against James II. King Arthur is a 2004 historical adventure film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by David Franzoni.It features an ensemble cast with Clive Owen as the title character, Ioan Gruffudd as Lancelot and Keira Knightley as Guinevere, along with Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Hugh Dancy, Ray Winstone, Ray Stevenson, Stephen Dillane, Stellan Skarsgård and Til Schweiger. On the other, his warband in the earliest sources includes former pagan gods, and his wife and his possessions are clearly Otherworldly in origin.. The legend possibly originated either in Wales or in those parts of northern Britain inhabited by Brythonic-speaking Celts. Growing out of the chaos of … However, the most significant for the development of the Arthurian legend are Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, which introduces Lancelot and his adulterous relationship with Arthur's queen Guinevere, extending and popularising the recurring theme of Arthur as a cuckold, and Perceval, the Story of the Grail, which introduces the Holy Grail and the Fisher King and which again sees Arthur having a much reduced role.  Y Gododdin is known only from a 13th-century manuscript, so it is impossible to determine whether this passage is original or a later interpolation, but John Koch's view that the passage dates from a 7th-century or earlier version is regarded as unproven; 9th- or 10th-century dates are often proposed for it.  Finally, Geoffrey borrowed many of the names for Arthur's possessions, close family, and companions from the pre-Galfridian Welsh tradition, including Kaius (Cei), Beduerus (Bedwyr), Guenhuuara (Gwenhwyfar), Uther (Uthyr) and perhaps also Caliburnus (Caledfwlch), the latter becoming Excalibur in subsequent Arthurian tales. Note of the author. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). How the Legend Developed . The 9th-century Historia Brittonum also refers to this tale, with the boar there named Troy(n)t. Finally, Arthur is mentioned numerous times in the Welsh Triads, a collection of short summaries of Welsh tradition and legend which are classified into groups of three linked characters or episodes to assist recall. After twelve years of peace, Arthur sets out to expand his empire once more, taking control of Norway, Denmark and Gaul. , This lack of convincing early evidence is the reason many recent historians exclude Arthur from their accounts of sub-Roman Britain. Even so, he found little to say about a historical Arthur. , Whatever his sources may have been, the immense popularity of Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae cannot be denied. Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain.  Some scholars have suggested it is relevant to this debate that the legendary King Arthur's name only appears as Arthur or Arturus in early Latin Arthurian texts, never as Artōrius (though Classical Latin Artōrius became Arturius in some Vulgar Latin dialects). A 2007 academic survey led by Caitlin Green has identified three key strands to the portrayal of Arthur in this earliest material.  Chrétien's work even appears to feed back into Welsh Arthurian literature, with the result that the romance Arthur began to replace the heroic, active Arthur in Welsh literary tradition. Re-enactment 2010.  The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas.  Other inscriptional evidence for Arthur, including the Glastonbury cross, is tainted with the suggestion of forgery.. The 9th-century Historia Brittonum, traditionally attributed to Nennius, records 12 battles fought by Arthur against the Saxons, culminating in a victory at Mons Badonicus. The earliest literary references to Arthur come from Welsh and Breton sources. The Arthurian section of this work, however, is from an undetermined source, possibly a poetic text. , An alternative theory, which has gained only limited acceptance among professional scholars, derives the name Arthur from Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, near Ursa Major or the Great Bear. During this period, Arthur was made one of the Nine Worthies, a group of three pagan, three Jewish and three Christian exemplars of chivalry. C. A. Coates, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Sites and places have been identified as "Arthurian", A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Bibliothèque nationale de France [French National Library], "The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur", "Early Medieval Tintagel: An Interview with Archaeologists Rachel Harry and Kevin Brady", "The Egyptian Maid, or, The Romance of the Water-Lily", "Arthuriana: Studies in Early Medieval History and Legend", Arthuriana: The Journal of Arthurian Studies, published by Scriptorium Press for Purdue University, US, "John Dee, King Arthur, and the Conquest of the Arctic", The Camelot Project, The University of Rochester, The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe, Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, Locations associated with Arthurian legend, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=King_Arthur&oldid=989622135, Characters in works by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles containing Cornish-language text, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 November 2020, at 01:59.  These works were the Estoire del Saint Grail, the Estoire de Merlin, the Lancelot propre (or Prose Lancelot, which made up half the entire Vulgate Cycle on its own), the Queste del Saint Graal and the Mort Artu, which combine to form the first coherent version of the entire Arthurian legend.  In the United States, hundreds of thousands of boys and girls joined Arthurian youth groups, such as the Knights of King Arthur, in which Arthur and his legends were promoted as wholesome exemplars. King Arthur.  How much of Geoffrey's Historia (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was supposed to set up a six-movie shared universe of sequels and spinoffs, but the plan failed at the first hurdle. Omissions? On Uther's death, the fifteen-year-old Arthur succeeds him as King of Britain and fights a series of battles, similar to those in the Historia Brittonum, culminating in the Battle of Bath.  According to the Life of Saint Gildas, written in the early 12th century by Caradoc of Llancarfan, Arthur is said to have killed Gildas' brother Hueil and to have rescued his wife Gwenhwyfar from Glastonbury.  Arthur's status as the king of all Britain seems to be borrowed from pre-Galfridian tradition, being found in Culhwch and Olwen, the Welsh Triads, and the saints' lives. The writer claimed that the island of Britai… Early traditions of abduction and infidelity follow Guinevere, who in some stories was carried off by Arthur’s rivals and in others had an adulterous affair with the knight Lancelot. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table. in Gothic > Medieval 143,019 downloads (37 yesterday) Free for personal use. Historians cannot confirm King Arthur’s existence, though some speculate that he was a real warrior who led British armies against Saxon invaders in the 6th century. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Britain would be occupied until 410 CE when the last troops were withdrawn to the continent to defend the weakened Western Roman Empire, but Rome had been pulling its garrisons out of Britain for decades prior to this time.