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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Medieval Era

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The Medieval Era Discussions on Knights and Crusaders, and all things medieval!

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  #16  
Old 15 Mar 09, 14:45
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Oh I should point out as explanation that the reason I'm so bloody opinionated about this subject is that I've been studying it for the last 20 years.

So I apologise for any 'attitude' I may display

I'm very passionate on this subject.
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  #17  
Old 15 Mar 09, 14:59
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Great post Arthwys.
Apart from Little Solsbury Hill .
Still very much merit to your informative post. The original location of a genuine Arthur figure is almost certainly Wales. He wont be the figure in the legends, but an Arthur character almost certainly lived. It is the fact that several layers of myth have been added to his personae that hides the real man.

One of the problems with deciphering Arthurian Britain was the belief that Anglo-saxons may have been ethnically cleansing the locals, and Arthur was a saviour, albeit only for a while. Recent DNA testing has shown that the Britons were not displaced, but in England (most of it anyway) a cultural shift was rapidly introduced. Rome was simply not popular, hence the large number of military forces stationed at this far distant end of their empire. Wales was different. They respected Rome. Even as late as the 13th Century Edward I designed Carnarvon Castle to look Byzantine in style directly to impress the locals more.



Are you sure the King Arthur film was not accurate in every detail .
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  #18  
Old 15 Mar 09, 14:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthwys View Post
Oh I should point out as explanation that the reason I'm so bloody opinionated about this subject is that I've been studying it for the last 20 years.

So I apologise for any 'attitude' I may display

I'm very passionate on this subject.
I'm glad you are !
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  #19  
Old 15 Mar 09, 18:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Great post Arthwys.
Apart from Little Solsbury Hill .
Still very much merit to your informative post. The original location of a genuine Arthur figure is almost certainly Wales. He wont be the figure in the legends, but an Arthur character almost certainly lived. It is the fact that several layers of myth have been added to his personae that hides the real man.

One of the problems with deciphering Arthurian Britain was the belief that Anglo-saxons may have been ethnically cleansing the locals, and Arthur was a saviour, albeit only for a while. Recent DNA testing has shown that the Britons were not displaced, but in England (most of it anyway) a cultural shift was rapidly introduced.
I totally agree with that point and I'm glad you raised it

I've never bought into the idea of the "Saxon Hordes" wiping out the Britons in the east, subdued and assiilated into their way of life absolutely and in the doing so the Britons passed parts of their cultures and traditions on to the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes that now had lordship of the land.
Some Britons remained free and others were slave-fodder, but they and their ancestors still inhabit those lands to this day (as do of course many many others)

Quote:
Rome was simply not popular, hence the large number of military forces stationed at this far distant end of their empire. Wales was different. They respected Rome. Even as late as the 13th Century Edward I designed Carnarvon Castle to look Byzantine in style directly to impress the locals more.
It was the practice as far as I've been able to tell to let the kingdoms that gave no headaches to Rome largely rule themselves as clients even though they were for all appearances and purposes part of the Roman Empire.

The really curious parts start when you investigate evidence that points towards the Imperial line and the Royal line of Wales being joined.
How about the Idea that Maximus Magnus had a legitimate Blood-claim to the Empire as well as claims in south Wales to the kingship of Glamorgan?




Quote:
Are you sure the King Arthur film was not accurate in every detail .
Yup absolutely!
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  #20  
Old 15 Mar 09, 22:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthwys
Actually: Artur, Artorius, Athrwys, Arthwys and Arthur all mean: "The Iron Bear" coming from Artus... <snip>
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Originally Posted by Arthwys
Popular fiction has it based there, however the Place Name of Mynydd Baedan is still found on Ordinance Surveys of Wales.

Indeed a startling number of Names related to the Arthurian Legend are found in Wales. Including the elusive Camlann...
The sketchy nature of the history is why my sentences have plenty of qualifiers. With so little real evidence to go on it would be ridiculous to make definitive statements. Thus my "perhaps" and "such as it is".

Arthur is great fun and I believe that an "Arthur" did exist but he would have been a Celtic Warlord or Cheiftain projecting power locally in southwest England. The knights?? A guard of some sort and Camelot little more than a village to our eyes. The one thing I think one needs to avoid is thinking that just because the time period was 5th or 6th C AD that the Celts ran around painting themselves blue or lived in the woods.

Sub Roman does not mean barbarian.

The movie,... other than placing Arthur in the 5th century (even if at the wrong end of it),... is again wrong. At least it is one half step closer to a more realistic portrayal.
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  #21  
Old 15 Mar 09, 22:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthwys
... I've never bought into the idea of the "Saxon Hordes" wiping out the Britons in the east, subdued and assiilated into their way of life absolutely and in the doing so the Britons passed parts of their cultures and traditions on to the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes that now had lordship of the land.
Some Britons remained free and others were slave-fodder, but they and their ancestors still inhabit those lands to this day (as do of course many many others)
Agreed. There were simply too few Saxons to carry out a massacre such as some would believe.

I have a new tome to digest after my current read, its called "An Imperial Possession, Britain in the Roman Empire", by David Mattingly. I'm using this to gain more background to 5th century Britain and to better understand the level of Romanisation in Britain by the time of the withdrawal around 410AD. At 540 pages it will be a hefty read.
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  #22  
Old 15 Mar 09, 23:59
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The movie,... other than placing Arthur in the 5th century (even if at the wrong end of it),... is again wrong. At least it is one half step closer to a more realistic portrayal.
I agree. The recent film must still be taken with a large block of salt. But it seems to present a much more realistic idea of what it might have meant to be a hero in those times.

Were Sarmatians really in Briton at the time? I see the reference in the Wiki about the King Arthur legend.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histori...ian_connection

What have you learned about the subject?
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  #23  
Old 16 Mar 09, 04:10
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Originally Posted by Torien View Post
I agree. The recent film must still be taken with a large block of salt. But it seems to present a much more realistic idea of what it might have meant to be a hero in those times.

Were Sarmatians really in Briton at the time? I see the reference in the Wiki about the King Arthur legend.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histori...ian_connection

What have you learned about the subject?
Many years ago (too many) visited one of their buriel sites in Chester area. I used to be really into this stuff in the 80's and its was only Arthwys name that brought it all flooding back. Its in a jumbled mess in my mind, so am frantically re reading some books to catch up. However, one of the major reasons, if not the reason, for the large presence of Roman troops was that the Isle of Anglesey supplied a huge amount of grain to the Empire, and thus needed protecting. Angleseys a nice visit for other reasons as well.
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  #24  
Old 16 Mar 09, 04:27
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Another candidate for King Arthur is King Mark of Cornwall. The story of Tristan and Iseult (film version was called Tristam and Isolde) mirrors that of Lancelot and Guinevere to an uncanny degree - at least in the affair - Tristam being Lancelots counterpart. King Mark may have had his fortress at Tintagel as well.
I will visit Tintagel in May - can't wait to see it!
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Old 16 Mar 09, 07:45
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I will visit Tintagel in May - can't wait to see it!
Will beat you to it . Am on holiday in Cornwall in the week leading up to Easter !
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  #26  
Old 16 Mar 09, 16:12
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Tintagel Castle



Tintagel Castle is in Cornwall, and held by some to be Camelot. The current ruins are that of a Norman castle, but this defensible site has relics that predates that, including Roman and Byzantine artifacts, usually in the form of wine and olive oil jugs. Cornwall had always been known as a source of tin and some silver, hence the trade going back to the Phoenicians. The area was certainly in use during the 5th and 6th centuries.

A King Mark of Cornwall may well have had a fortress or even his major settlement here. King Mark was in the right time period to be a contender for a King Arthur figure, and certain stories of Mark mirror those of concerning Arthur. I'll tell you more after I've visited it in person.

http://www.tintagelweb.co.uk/Tintagel%20Castle.htm
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/s...show/nav.15393





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Old 16 Mar 09, 16:42
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I can't wait to see it. Don't "ruin" the place until I get there Nick
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Old 16 Mar 09, 17:50
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I can't wait to see it. Don't "ruin" the place until I get there Nick
In that case I'll wait .
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Old 16 Mar 09, 21:22
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Arthur didn't exist, he was a medieval literary creation. Full stop. /thread
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Old 16 Mar 09, 23:19
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Alina,

Arthur as he has come down to us certainly did not exist. However, an Authurian figure is another story, if only in shadow and whispers. He would not have been known as such at the time but would have simply been a Romano-Celtic chieftain or warlord from the 5th century fighting other tribes and/or the Saxons. But the myth would begin somewhere and be built upon bit by bit, enhanced by each telling of the tale until we get the story of round tables, moistened bints handing out swords, and wizards.

After all, the first recordings of the tale pre-date the medieval version by almost 800 years.
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