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50 Essential Facts About King Arthur

The 50 facts that you MUST know on your way to becoming an Arthurian expert!

Arthur is alluded to but not named in "On the Ruin of Britain" c. 540Literature
He is first mentioned by name by the Welsh historian Nennius c. 830
Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th Century made Arthur famous in Europe
Norman poet Wace translated the legend into French and added to it
Since then many authors have adapted the tale of King Arthur
King Arthur is most likely an amalgam of several ancient British warlordsHistory
Arthur was a Briton. He fought AGAINST the English, not for them
Britons beat the Saxons at the Battle of Badon. Arthur may have led them
In the 6th Century the name Arthur became popular
Historian A. Breeze claims Arthur was real and has supporting evidence
Arthur was the first born son and heir of King Uther PendragonLegend
He became king when he pulled a magical sword from a stone
He gathered loyal knights around his "Round Table"
Arthur held court at Camelot. Many places claim to be its site
His most famous quest was for the Holy Grail
Merlin the magician was Arthur's trusted advisorCharacters
Morgan Le Fay was a witch and was Arthur's sister
Mordred was Arthur's son or nephew. It was he who killed Arthur
Lancelot was Arthur's foremost knight, but he betrayed his king
Arthur's queen was Guinevere. She also betrayed him
Mynty Python's "Holy Grail" is a hilariously silly version of the storyFilm
Disney made their own version of the myth, "The Sword In The Stone"
Sean Connery played an aging Arthur in "First Knight"
"Camelot" is a musical version of the story
TV series "Merlin" was very loosely based on the Arthur myth
Arthur received a magic sword, Excalibur, from the Lady of the LakeMagic
Morgan Le Fay could change shape and she could fly
The Holy Grail could magically heal all wounds
Merlin was very powerful with magic and had many spells
The Lady of the Lake was either a goddess, a fairy or a witch
When Arthur met Guinevere he fell instantly in loveRomance
Tristan and Iseult are tragic lovers associated with King Arthur
Sir Gawain married a lady who was cursed to be ugly
Culhwch sought Arthur's help in several quests to win the hand of Olwen
Pelleas was another romantic knight and Tennyson wrote about him
Merlin's true name was Myrddin WylltMerlin
According to legend, Merlin’s father was a demon or the Devil
Merlin was said to have built the Stonehenge with the help of giants
As well as being magical, Merlin was also said to be mad
Merlin discovered a red and a white dragon beneath a fortress
Much of the Arthurian legend is based on pagan mythReligion
Christians "adapted" it to make it acceptable to the new faith
Guinevere's sin brings down Arthur, as Eve's sin brought down Adam
The Holy Grail of Christ was, in the original story, a magic cauldron
Arthur is expected to return, just as Christ in Christian myth
Arthur's downfall begins when his wife's affair is discoveredDeath
While Arthur fought Lancelot Mordred seized his kingdom
Arthur and Mordred met in the Battle of Camlann. Both were killed
Arthur's grave was said to be at Glastonbury Abbey
Legend says Arthur will return when the Britons need him most

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