Anonymous asked in Society & CultureMythology & Folklore · 1 decade ago

Is king Arthur real?

I know he's always in the mythology and legend books, and i doubt that most of the stories happened, but could have there been an actual guy that was king arthur? (just without the fantasy) if not then where did the stories come from?

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    King Arthur is an important figure in the mythology of Great Britain, where he appears as the ideal of kingship both in war and peace. He is the central character in the cycle of legends known as the Matter of Britain. There is disagreement about whether Arthur, or a model for him, ever actually existed. In the earliest mentions and in Welsh texts, he is never given the title "King." Early texts refer to him as a dux bellorum ("war leader"), and medieval Welsh texts often call him ameraudur ("emperor"; the word is borrowed from the Latin imperator, which could also mean "war leader").

    The historicity of the Arthur of legend has long been debated by scholars.

    One school of thought believes that Arthur had no historical existence. [1] Some hold that he originally was a half-forgotten Celtic deity that devolved into a personage (citing sometimes a supposed change of the sea-god Lir into King Lear). Supporters of this theory often link it to the Welsh etymology of Arthur's name as derived from "bear", proposing bear gods named Artos or Artio as the precedent for the legend, but these deities are known to have been worshipped by the continental Celts, not the Britons.

    Another view holds that Arthur was a real person, who by most theories was a Romano-British leader and lived sometime in the late 5th century to early 6th century and fought against the invading Saxons. Recent archaeological studies show that during this alleged figure's lifetime, the Saxon expansions were halted until the next generation. If he existed, his power base would probably have been in the Celtic areas of Wales, Cornwall, or the west of modern England. However, controversy over the centre of his supposed power and the extent and kind of power he would have wielded continues to this day.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    There was probably a war lord either by that name or title. "Artos" means bear in Latin, and many people and regions were identified by an animal, like the Boar of Cornwall. There were no stone castles in England in 500 a.d., just huts and earthenwork forts. Also, many of the huts were round almost like a beehive (some still stand now). The Celtic word for a building in Old French, where the fantastic stories came from, means either "table" or "building," so the "round tableux" could have been a round building where "Artos" the war lord met with his warriors. If he had any armor at all, it would have been leather, not metal. Lancelot may have originally been L'Ancelot, or the Ancelot, in Old French. That translates to Anguselsus in Latin, or Angus in Celtic. In the myths, Lancelot says he was named for his father, and his father before them. Right about the time Arthur was supposed to live, three separate heads of one clan were named Angus, one after the other. Finally, Guinevere may have been a Pictish queen. The Picts did not believe that the royal family was to be handed down through the male branch, but the female. So the king would not be king in his own right, but whoever was married to the queen. That's how all the kidnap stories may have come about--other men wanted to be king, so they'd try to take Guinevere as their wife. Finally, the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere may have been an intentional mistranslation, too (the Old French thought the Celts were savages, and liked to make fun of them). There were Pictish priestesses in those days, and Guinevere could have been one. Lancelot may have been another worshipper. The myths refer to Guinevere and Lancelot getting up from a "bloody bed," which is the original basis for the affair myth. But the Celtic word for "bed" also means "altar" in Old French, so it's possible that they were caught in worship at an altar after a sacrifice. It would have been frowned upon in a Christian court, but Arthur was also supposed to have been a very religiously tolerant man, so it would have been less of a scandal to him than later Christians or fanatics within his court. And I can't imagine any king, even Arthur, being able to weather the storm which would have engulfed the court if Guinevere had been unfaithful to him instead of unfaithful to Christianity. Women of the time were generally just killed if they had done what the legends accused her of.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is not conformed if King Arthur was real or not. Some people believe that he was real, but since the stories were told by mouth, things were exaggerated and changed. Arthur could have been a man that killed really big bugs that people were scared of. Arthur may not have been the guys name either, but that is what people thought it was to they told the story with the name Arthur. But no one knows for sure if Arthur existed.

  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of historians believe he is real but they say the stories about him are inaccurate. Pop culture wise, they say the most recent King Arthur movie is probably the most recent one which came out 2 years ago. Several monks claim to have found the skeleton of King Arthur and Guinevere a few centuries ago but the skeletons have since been lost.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are several explainations to who King Arthur was (or was not). One is he is just completely made up, which I'm sure you've heard. Others state he is based off of several people, making the "ideal" king.

    Lucius Artorius Castus, a Roman soldier/leader, is another possiblilty. This is the Arthur portrayed in the movie, King Arthur (2004), and is said to be "more historically accurate due to recent archeological findings."

    Another possibility is that the name "Arthur" is just an alias that describes another, unknown, leader.

  • 1 decade ago

    The stories came out of the Middle Ages, but they were based on the general some of the others have mentioned. The legends themselves are full of anachronism, because they were written in the Middle Ages.

  • 1 decade ago

    The historical figure on which most of the Arthurian legends are probably based is thought by most historians to be one Arturus Riothamus who lived in the 5th century. He was a warlord who managed to unite the Breton tribes to fight off the Saxons in southern England.

    Source(s): Anything by Geoffrey Ashe
  • 1 decade ago

    the stories we know are are based on a king arthur, but obviously there are so many exagerated stories and tales that we wouldnt recognise the real one if it came up and hit us on the head. historians have plenty of theories as do authors and movie writers.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yep. He was a Roman general. Artus. Defended against the Saxon invasion. At the very least, he was a start for all the legends that later sprang up around the name. :)

  • 1 decade ago

    No, but it is believed the story is partly reflective of a true King of England

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