King Arthur is the mythical British king considered to be the embodiment of wisdom and bravery. Stories of the king and his peers are the subject of countless cycles of literature from the early middle ages through modern times. The Arthurian legends are the inspiration for many fantasy and medieval activities, but also encompass a part of historic and literary scholasticism.
Highlights of the Arthurian Legends
- His father, Uther Pendragon
- Receiving the sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake
- His Knights of the Round Table, including Galahad, Galen, and Lancelot
- The wizard Merlin
- His quest for the Holy Grail
- The mythical kingdom of Camelot
King Arthur in History
There is debate as to whether Arthur ever existed, but some think he may have been a 6th century chieftain or even an earlier Roman or Welsh warrior. Medieval leaders sometimes claimed descent from King Arthur.
There is some evidence that the historical Arthur fought the Battle of Badon Hill.
Arthuriana in the Media
The expansive body of Arthurian literature has spawned a wealth of modern interpretations, from serious drama to the reknowned Monty Python movie. These include: