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Tapestry showing Arthur wearing a coat of arms often attributed to him c. 1385


Arthur is a legendary figure that sprung from early literature dating about 300 years after his presumed death. Most historical sources discredit him as an actual person, stating that his myth is a composite of various heroic warriors who lived in Britain during the late 5th and early 6th centuries.The best-known stories of King Arthur began with Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “History of the Kings of Britain”published in the 12th century. These popular writings were, however, almost all fiction except perhaps for portraying Arthur as a powerful warlord who defeated the Saxons, which some historians endorse.


Eminent historian Thomas Charles-Edwards comments; "at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been an historical Arthur [but ...] the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him".


By the end of the Middle Ages, interest in King Arthur stories faded as Geoffrey’s “History” was recognized as mostly imaginary and the legends were viewed more as allegory than history. Then in the romantic 19th century tales of Arthur rose again and continue to live on today. He is often the subject of a Sleeping Hero myth that casts him in the role of a slumbering knight who will wake once again to come to the aid of Britain in its most urgent time of need.









Gallos is an 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) bronze sculpture by Rubin Eynon located at Tintagel Castle, a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island, North Cornwall. It is a representation of a ghostly male figure wearing a crown and holding a sword. It is popularly called the "King Arthur statue", but the site's owner English Heritage states that it is not meant to represent a single person and reflects the general history of the site, which is likely to have been a summer residence for the kings of Dumnonia.


The prophecy of Arthur’s return has persisted through the ages. He lives on as a potent Celtic archetype whose function is to protect the land. Because of this, he is often known as The Once and Future King.


“Be brave, be impeccable!

Endure challenge, be cheerful!

I go to the summer world

Of Afallon, to recover

But I’ll come back to my land

Once more.”

from “Arthur’s Passing”by Thomas Gwynn Jones



Higham, Nicholas J. (2018). King Arthur: The Making of the Legend. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.  ISBN 978-0-300-21092-7.



Charles-Edwards, Thomas M. (1991), "The Arthur of History", in Bromwich, Rachel; Jarman, A. O. H.; Roberts, Brynley F. (eds.), The Arthur of the Welsh, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 978-0-7083-1107-3.


Caitlin Matthews, {1999) “The Celtic Spirit”Harper-Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-251538-4


Gallos photo from Wikipedia

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