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Old September 24th, 2016, 11:56 PM   #21

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A note about Henry VII naming the son Arthur ... if we take a look at the date of his birth, September 20th 1486CE, we can note that he was born 15 years after the death of Thomas Malory, the author who finished the long process of creation of the literary figure of King Arthur.

The first publication of his famous work "Le Morte d'Arthu" happened around 1470 and sure Henry VII enjoyed it a lot.

It's like when today a very famous movie carries parents to name children after some personages [or a pet: my mother named a dog "Obi-Wan Kenobi"!].
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Old September 25th, 2016, 10:57 AM   #22

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Originally Posted by cmbanalia View Post
Seems to me Arthur had not been a very lucky name in British monarchy history!

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True that!
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Old September 25th, 2016, 11:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
A note about Henry VII naming the son Arthur ... if we take a look at the date of his birth, September 20th 1486CE, we can note that he was born 15 years after the death of Thomas Malory, the author who finished the long process of creation of the literary figure of King Arthur.

The first publication of his famous work "Le Morte d'Arthu" happened around 1470 and sure Henry VII enjoyed it a lot.

It's like when today a very famous movie carries parents to name children after some personages [or a pet: my mother named a dog "Obi-Wan Kenobi"!].
Yes but first the idea of Arthurian chilvery had been around for a long time. Arthur was suppose to be Welsh, which Henry VII was, Arthur was suppose to of ruled from Winchester, where Prince Arthur was born. Henry VII identified with the Arthur legend regardless

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Old September 25th, 2016, 11:51 AM   #24

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Originally Posted by kazeuma View Post
According to an interview, he is thinking of being named "George", he thought that George III was given a bad rap and wanted to rehabilitate him.... so no arthur this time...
That'd be nice. Even more because his 2x great-grandfather is my favourite British king and a great choice to be named after. I don't doubt the Queen fancies this.
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Old September 25th, 2016, 11:55 AM   #25

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It seems that recently the name "Arthur" has been quite common in the Royal family: a Governor General of Canada carried that name ... Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince...and_Strathearn].
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Old September 26th, 2016, 10:11 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MAGolding View Post
You are describing the reign of Arthur as depicted in medieval romances written only six or eight hundred years ago, and thus long after the time of Arthur. And the medieval romances were works of historical fiction. Taking them seriously as history is like taking western movies seriously as histories of the American west. Anything like a historical Arthur must be looked for in much earlier sources than the medieval romances.
Since Arthur is mythical in rhe first place, there is no point complaining abut the legends being true or mot. If there was ever any real man behind the legend (and that is a highly debatble and unproven point a real "Arthur" ever actually existed, that man bore so little resemblemce to anything like the Arthur of story is that for all practical purposes Arthur is a total myth. And regardless of whether true or not, the legend I described is the stories that were circulating around him. So why would you want to name your kid after a total loser of a king? That is, after all, the point lf this thread, is why weren't there more British kings named Arthur. My answer is that Arthur was a loser, who got cuckhold by his number one knight, had his own son turn against him, was invovled in incest, and managed to get his entire kingdom destroyed, so why would anyone in their right mind name a possible future king after him. You don't see many British Kings named John, do you?

If you have any stories about Arthur living to a ripe old age, and not loosing his entire kingdom, I like to see those stories.

Last edited by Bart Dale; September 26th, 2016 at 10:15 PM.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 11:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
Since Arthur is mythical in rhe first place, there is no point complaining abut the legends being true or mot. If there was ever any real man behind the legend (and that is a highly debatble and unproven point a real "Arthur" ever actually existed, that man bore so little resemblemce to anything like the Arthur of story is that for all practical purposes Arthur is a total myth. And regardless of whether true or not, the legend I described is the stories that were circulating around him. So why would you want to name your kid after a total loser of a king? That is, after all, the point lf this thread, is why weren't there more British kings named Arthur. My answer is that Arthur was a loser, who got cuckhold by his number one knight, had his own son turn against him, was invovled in incest, and managed to get his entire kingdom destroyed, so why would anyone in their right mind name a possible future king after him. You don't see many British Kings named John, do you?

If you have any stories about Arthur living to a ripe old age, and not loosing his entire kingdom, I like to see those stories.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
Since Arthur is mythical in rhe first place, there is no point complaining abut the legends being true or mot.
I was commenting on the medieval Arthurian romances which were not myths, or legends, but were simply works of historical fiction set in the Arthurian age which was then believed to be totally historical but is now believed to be partly mythical, partly legendary, and partly historical, in different combinations according to different people.

The medieval Arthurian romances were historical fiction like, for example movies about the Little Big Horn. Someone who watches They Died With Their Boots On (1941), or Sitting Bull, or Chief Crazy Horse, or Tonka, or Custer of the West, or Little Big Man won't think that something in the movie is true merely because it is in the movie.

Instead he will think that some details in those movies are true because they agree with what he thinks he knows about the Little Big Horn, although many common beliefs about the Little Big Horn are actually myths and legends instead of historical fact.

A reader or listener to a medieval Arthurian romance did not think that anything in the romance was true merely because it as in the romance. Instead he thought that some details in the romance were correct because they agreed with what the thought he knew about Arthurian Britain, although many common beliefs about Arthurian Britain in that era were actually myths and legends instead of historical facts.

The Arthurian myths and legends came before the Arthurian romances and inspired them, or at least their setting and parts of their plots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
So why would you want to name your kid after a total loser of a king? That is, after all, the point lf this thread, is why weren't there more British kings named Arthur. My answer is that Arthur was a loser, who got cuckhold by his number one knight, had his own son turn against him, was invovled in incest, and managed to get his entire kingdom destroyed, so why would anyone in their right mind name a possible future king after him. You don't see many British Kings named John, do you?

If you have any stories about Arthur living to a ripe old age, and not loosing his entire kingdom, I like to see those stories.
The earlier medieval romances tended to emphasize that Arthur defeated the Saxon invaders of Britain and delayed their conquest of Britain by decades, which certainly made him a great leader and savior of his people, even if his reign ended in treason and violent death.

Would you say that Emperor Aurelian (reigned 270-275 AD) was a loser? The Restitutor Orbis or "Restorer of the World" rose from the ranks in the army to become a top general and eventually emperor. In five short years he defeated invading barbarians, reconquered the breakaway Palmyrene Empire and the breakaway Gallic Empire - conquering more land than Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar combined - reformed the religion and coinage, and then was assassinated.

Without Aurelian, the Roman Empire might have ended in 300 AD instead in 476, 480, 1204, 1453, 1461, or 1806. I guess that makes him a loser in your eyes.

Many versions of the Arthurian story have him defeating the Roman Empire and usurping the imperial throne. The version by Sir Thomas Mallory, a very well known one, has Arthur defeat the Romans and become Emperor early in his reign, and then rule while all the stories and adventures take place during an unknown number of fictional years and decades.

Gaius Julius Caesar conquered all Gaul for the Roman Republic. He fought a series of bloody civil wars against his enemies to become the ruler of Rome. He fought and won many battles and made many reforms including the calendar that was slightly changed to make our modern calendar. And then he was treacherously assassinated. Was Julius Caesar a loser? Was the fictional Arthur who fictionally usurped the Roman throne and ruled Rome a loser?

Lucius Septimius Severus usurped the throne of the Roman Empire in a bloody civil war and ruled it for 18 years from 193 to 211. He fought many campaigns in Africa, Asia, and Britain and extended the Roman empire to perhaps its largest extent. He died in York while campaigning against the Caledonians. Since Severus's fatal illness may have been a result of the hardships of his campaign one might say that the Caledonians "killed" him.

Does that make Severus a loser, or Arthur who fictionally usurped the Roman Empire and fictionally ruled it?

Who knows how many men have been cuckolded? I would expect that many great and otherwise successful men have been.

Morbid Mordred was not described as Arthur's son by incest at the beginning, that was added by later medieval romancers for dramatic effect.

How can you say that Arthur managed to get his entire kingdom destroyed? Many people suppose that Arthur was an early king of England, and the kingdom of England lasted until 1707 when merged with Scotland to form Great Britain. More observant people notice that Arthur was the leader of the Britons and fought against the invading Angles and Saxons and Jutes whose descendants founded the kingdom of England.

So Arthur's enemies eventually won and destroyed his country long after his lifetime. If that makes Arthur a loser I guess that everyone who reads this is a loser because most will be from more or less democratic countries and thus will have some vote in choosing government policies, and their countries are doomed to come to an end at various unknown future times.

In fiction Arthur was King of the Britons, and his successors as kings of the Britons continued to rule a smaller and smaller area until the conquest of Gwynedd in 1282/83, about 750 years after Arthur's death. Plantagenet and Tudor kings descended from princesses of Gwynedd claimed to be thus descended from Arthur's political heirs and in a sense to be Arthur's successors. Thus in medieval romances the realm of Arthur was not believed to have been entirely destroyed at the Battle of Camlann but to have continued until after the first medieval romances were written.

Quote:
If you have any stories about Arthur living to a ripe old age, and not loosing his entire kingdom, I like to see those stories.
As I wrote, the stories indicate that Arthur did not lose his entire kingdom and that it continued long after his death. Some medieval sources describe Arthur as living to a very great age of almost a hundred before being killed at the Battle of Camlann. Thus those versions of Arthur seem to make him roughly contemporary with a couple of military leaders who lived to very old ages.

Narses (478/479/480-566 or 573) lived to be about 86 to 95 years old and fought this last battle in 554 in his seventies. Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius (c.465 - c.554) lived to be about 89 years old and had a military command as late as 551.

The fictional highly aged Arthur can be compared to two elderly High Kings of Ireland who won the Battle of Clontarf on 23 April 1014; Mael Sechnaill mac Domanaill (949-2 September 1022) and Brian Boru (c. 941 - 23 April 1014). Does anyone say that because Brian was killed at Clontarf he was more of a loser and less of a great leader than Mael Sechnaill?

Quote:
Myth is any traditional story consisting of events that are ostensibly historical, though often supernatural, explaining the origins of a cultural practice or natural phenomenon.[3] Myths are often stories that are currently understood as being exaggerated or fictitious.[4] The word "myth" is derived from the Greek word mythos (μῦθος), which simply means "story". Mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths.[5] A myth also can be a story to explain why something exists.

Human cultures usually include a cosmogonical or creation myth, concerning the origins of the world, or how the world came to exist. The active beings in myths are generally gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, or animals and plants. Most myths are set in a timeless past before recorded time or beginning of the critical history. A myth can be a story involving symbols that are capable of multiple meanings.

A myth is a sacred narrative because it holds religious or spiritual significance for those who tell it. Myths also contribute to and express a culture's systems of thought and values.

Academic usage[edit]
The term is common in the academic fields of mythology, mythography[6] or folkloristics. Use of the term by scholars has no implication for the truth or falsity of the myth. While popular usage interchangeably employs the terms legend, fiction, fairy tale, folklore, fable and urban legend, each has a distinct meaning in academia.

Popular usage[edit]
In popular use, a myth can be a collectively held belief that has no basis in fact. This usage, which is often pejorative,[7] arose from labeling the religious myths and beliefs of other cultures as incorrect, but it has spread to cover non-religious beliefs as well.[8] Because of this popular and subjective word usage, many people take offense when the narratives they believe to be true are called myths.

To the source culture a myth by definition is "true", in that it embodies beliefs, concepts and ways of questioning to make sense of the world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth

Quote:
Full Definition of myth
1
a : a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon
b : parable, allegory
2
a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society <seduced by the American myth of individualism — Orde Coombs>
b : an unfounded or false notion
3
: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence
4
: the whole body of myths
2015 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Myth | Definition of Myth by Merriam-Webster

Quote:

Full Definition of legend
1
a : a story coming down from the past; especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable
b : a body of such stories <a place in the legend of the frontier>
c : a popular myth of recent origin
d : a person or thing that inspires legends
e : the subject of a legend <its violence was legend even in its own time — William Broyles Jr.>
2
a : an inscription or title on an object (as a coin)
b : caption 2b
c : an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart
Legend | Definition of Legend by Merriam-Webster

If you read those definitions carefully you will see that there is no reason why someone (such as Arthur, for example) can not be partly fictional, partly mythical, partly legendary, and partly historical.

You could learn a lot from Sir John Rhys (1840-1915). In Studies in the Arthurian Legend (1891) he mainly discussed the mythical Arthur but also considered the mythical Arthur to be mixed up with the historical Arthur. In chapter 1 "Arthur, Historical and Mythical" pages 1-24, he discusses the relation between the two, and was one of the first to mention the theory that Maelgwn Gwynedd overthrew Arthur and was the original Mordred.

https://archive.org/details/studiesinarthur00rhysgoog

Here is the historical Arthur:

Quote:
St. Germanus, after his death, returned into his own country. At that time, the Saxons greatly increased in Britain, both in strength and numbers. And Octa, after the death of his father Hengist, came from the sinistral part of the island to the kingdom of Kent, and from him have proceeded all the kings of that province, to the present period.

Then it was, that the magnanimous Arthur, with all the kings and military force of Britain, fought against the Saxons. And though there were many more noble than himself, yet he was twelve times chosen their commander, and was as often conqueror. The first battle in which he was engaged, was at the mouth of the river Gleni. The second, third, fourth, and fifth, were on another river, by the Britons called Duglas, in the region Linuis. The sixth, on the river Bassas. The seventh in the wood Celidon, which the Britons call Cat Coit Celidon. The eighth was near Gurnion castle, where Arthur bore the image of the Holy Virgin, mother of God, upon his shoulders, and through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the holy Mary, put the Saxons to flight, and pursued them the whole day with great slaughter. The ninth was at the City of Legion, which is called Cair Lion. The tenth was on the banks of the river Trat Treuroit. The eleventh was on the mountain Breguoin, which we call Cat Bregion. The twelfth was a most severe contest, when Arthur penetrated to the hill of Badon. In this engagement, nine hundred and forty fell by his hand alone, no one but the Lord affording him assistance. In all these engagements the Britons were successful. For no strength can avail against the will of the Almighty.

The more the Saxons were vanquished, the more they sought for new supplies of Saxons from Germany; so that kings, commanders, and military bands were invited over from almost every province. And this practice they continued till the reign of Ida, who was the son of Eoppa, he, of the Saxon race, was the first king in Bernicia, and in Cair Ebrauc (York).
Nennius - Arthur's Twelve Battles - the ninth at the City of the Legion, Cair Lion

And:

Quote:
516[edit]
The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights upon his shoulders[8] and the Britons were the victors.
521[edit]
St. Columba is born. The death of St. Brigid.[9]
537[edit]
The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut[10] fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Annals_of_Wales_A

Of course the original Annales Cambriae don't give dates AD. Instead they number the years since a first year. The year of the Battle of Badon is believed to correspond to 516/517/518 AD, the year of the Battle of Camlann to 537/538/539 AD depending on various theories about the starting year.

Last edited by MAGolding; September 27th, 2016 at 11:44 AM.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 11:40 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by MAGolding View Post
As I wrote, the stories indicate that Arthur did not lose his entire kingdom and that it continued long after his death. Some medieval sources describe Arthur as living to a very great age of almost a hundred before being killed at the Battle of Camlann.
Which Romances are they? I heard that one from the 12th century said that Arthur was 76 years old when he died. Do you know of this one?
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Old September 27th, 2016, 01:45 PM   #29
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The sobering reality about all of this is that Gildas never mentioned Arthur at all. It is inconceivable that the Arthur described by Nennius would not have been recognised in some way by him.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 02:18 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGolding View Post
I was commenting on the medieval Arthurian romances which were not myths, or legends, but were simply works of historical fiction set in the Arthurian age which was then believed to be totally historical but is now believed to be partly mythical, partly legendary, and partly historical, in different combinations according to different people.

The medieval Arthurian romances were historical fiction like, for example movies about the Little Big Horn. Someone who watches They Died With Their Boots On (1941), or Sitting Bull, or Chief Crazy Horse, or Tonka, or Custer of the West, or Little Big Man won't think that something in the movie is true merely because it is in the movie.

Instead he will think that some details in those movies are true because they agree with what he thinks he knows about the Little Big Horn, although many common beliefs about the Little Big Horn are actually myths and legends instead of historical fact.

A reader or listener to a medieval Arthurian romance did not think that anything in the romance was true merely because it as in the romance. Instead he thought that some details in the romance were correct because they agreed with what the thought he knew about Arthurian Britain, although many common beliefs about Arthurian Britain in that era were actually myths and legends instead of historical facts.

The Arthurian myths and legends came before the Arthurian romances and inspired them, or at least their setting and parts of their plots. 
Take away rhe medieval Arthurian romances, and there is very little left of the Arthurian characger. Lord of the Ring ks a popular book, still not many nzme their kids after a character in it. Not too many "Frodos" running around.



Quote:
The earlier medieval romances tended to emphasize that Arthur defeated the Saxon invaders of Britain and delayed their conquest of Britain by decades, which certainly made him a great leader and savior of his people, even if his reign ended in treason and violent death. 
Since the majority, the overwhelming majority, is Englisn speaking, and descendents of the very people Arthur fought against, that hardly made him a savour for the largest part of the Birtish people. However, rhe mythological Arthur still probably save Wales, and Welsh identity.

Quote:
Would you say that Emperor Aurelian (reigned 270-275 AD) was a loser? The Restitutor Orbis or "Restorer of the World" rose from the ranks in the army to become a top general and eventually emperor. In five short years he defeated invading barbarians, reconquered the breakaway Palmyrene Empire and the breakaway Gallic Empire - conquering more land than Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar combined - reformed the religion and coinage, and then was assassinated.
No, Aurelian wasn't a failure, but then the empire lasted a 1000 years after his death.



Quote:
Many versions of the Arthurian story have him defeating the Roman Empire and usurping the imperial throne. The version by Sir Thomas Mallory, a very well known one, has Arthur defeat the Romans and become Emperor early in his reign, and then rule while all the stories and adventures take place during an unknown number of fictional years and decades.

Gaius Julius Caesar conquered all Gaul for the Roman Republic. He fought a series of bloody civil wars against his enemies to become the ruler of Rome. He fought and won many battles and made many reforms including the calendar that was slightly changed to make our modern calendar. And then he was treacherously assassinated. Was Julius Caesar a loser? Was the fictional Arthur who fictionally usurped the Roman throne and ruled Rome a loser? 
No, Caesar helped create an empire that lasted almost 1500 years after his death. Arthur didn't. If there were such fantasy yarns spread about Arthur, perhaps no one wanted to know his his son after a clear fantasy character. Members of the British Royal Family even in the middle ages would probably have known enough history to see how non sensical the legends were Tney wpild have known in real history there was no character who took over the empire.

Quote:
Lucius Septimius Severus usurped the throne of the Roman Empire in a bloody civil war and ruled it for 18 years from 193 to 211. He fought many campaigns in Africa, Asia, and Britain and extended the Roman empire to perhaps its largest extent. He died in York while campaigning against the Caledonians. Since Severus's fatal illness may have been a result of the hardships of his campaign one might say that the Caledonians "killed" him.

Does that make Severus a loser, or Arthur who fictionally usurped the Roman Empire and fictionally ruled it?

Who knows how many men have been cuckolded? I would expect that many great and otherwise successful men have been. 
If the empire disappeared after Severus, perhaps I would nave called him a loser. And if their wives were cheating on them, most people didn't know, and there weren't bards and poets making sure how everyone knew how your wife was cheating om you with your number one man.

Quote:
Morbid Mordred was not described as Arthur's son by incest at the beginning, that was added by later medieval romancers for dramatic effect.

How can you say that Arthur managed to get his entire kingdom destroyed? Many people suppose that Arthur was an early king of England, and the kingdom of England lasted until 1707 when merged with Scotland to form Great Britain. More observant people notice that Arthur was the leader of the Britons and fought against the invading Angles and Saxons and Jutes whose descendants founded the kingdom of England. 
Well, you donqt nere about Camelot after Arthurs death, and with all his best knights dead, tnere wasn't anyohe left to run it. The Saxon's he fought against did overrun things, and Wales was a bunch of petty kingdoms until welll intl tne middle ages.

Quote:
So Arthur's enemies eventually won and destroyed his country long after his lifetime. If that makes Arthur a loser I guess that everyone who reads this is a loser because most will be from more or less democratic countries and thus will have some vote in choosing government policies, and their countries are doomed to come to an end at various unknown future times.

In fiction Arthur was King of the Britons, and his successors as kings of the Britons continued to rule a smaller and smaller area until the conquest of Gwynedd in 1282/83, about 750 years after Arthur's death. Plantagenet and Tudor kings descended from princesses of Gwynedd claimed to be thus descended from Arthur's political heirs and in a sense to be Arthur's successors. Thus in medieval romances the realm of Arthur was not believed to have been entirely destroyed at the Battle of Camlann but to have continued until after the first medieval romances were written. 
You have a point, that is true. I will concede that.




Quote:
As I wrote, the stories indicate that Arthur did not lose his entire kingdom and that it continued long after his death. Some medieval sources describe Arthur as living to a very great age of almost a hundred before being killed at the Battle of Camlann. Thus those versions of Arthur seem to make him roughly contemporary with a couple of military leaders who lived to very old ages.

Narses (478/479/480-566 or 573) lived to be about 86 to 95 years old and fought this last battle in 554 in his seventies. Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius (c.465 - c.554) lived to be about 89 years old and had a military command as late as 551.

The fictional highly aged Arthur can be compared to two elderly High Kings of Ireland who won the Battle of Clontarf on 23 April 1014; Mael Sechnaill mac Domanaill (949-2 September 1022) and Brian Boru (c. 941 - 23 April 1014). Does anyone say that because Brian was killed at Clontarf he was more of a loser and less of a great leader than Mael Sechnaill? 
By the 7th century CE, around a hundred years after when Arthur allegedly lived, the AngloxSaxoms hand pretty much overrun what is now England, so Arthur's kingdom could not long have survived him. And a bunch of petty small chiefdoms can hardly been said represent a surviving kingdom.




Quote:
If you read those definitions carefully you will see that there is no reason why someone (such as Arthur, for example) can not be partly fictional, partly mythical, partly legendary, and partly historical.

You could learn a lot from Sir John Rhys (1840-1915). In Studies in the Arthurian Legend (1891) he mainly discussed the mythical Arthur but also considered the mythical Arthur to be mixed up with the historical Arthur. In chapter 1 "Arthur, Historical and Mythical" pages 1-24, he discusses the relation between the two, and was one of the first to mention the theory that Maelgwn Gwynedd overthrew Arthur and was the original Mordred.

https://archive.org/details/studiesinarthur00rhysgoog

Here is the historical Arthur:



Nennius - Arthur's Twelve Battles - the ninth at the City of the Legion, Cair Lion

And:



https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Annals_of_Wales_A

Of course the original Annales Cambriae don't give dates AD. Instead they number the years since a first year. The year of the Battle of Badon is believed to correspond to 516/517/518 AD, the year of the Battle of Camlann to 537/538/539 AD depending on various theories about the starting year.
Any real charactet would bear so little resemblence to the Arthur of legend as to be irrelevant if there was a real person buried beneath the legend or not.

Last edited by Bart Dale; September 27th, 2016 at 03:36 PM.
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