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 King Arthur the LEGEND

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King Arthur the LEGEND Empty
PostSubject: King Arthur the LEGEND   King Arthur the LEGEND EmptyThu Dec 04, 2008 10:14 am

King Arthur[/b] is a legendary [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]British[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] leader who, according to medieval histories and [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]romances[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], led the defence of Britain against the [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Saxon[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]folklore[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians.[/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff][2][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various histories, including those of [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Gildas[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Nennius[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and the [/size][url=][i][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Annales Cambriae[/i][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]. Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as [/size][url=][i][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Y Gododdin[/i][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21].[/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff][3][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]
The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Geoffrey of Monmouth[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]'s fanciful and imaginative 12th-century [/size][url=][i][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Historia Regum Britanniae[/i][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] ([i]History of the Kings of Britain[/i]).[/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff][4][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] However, some [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Welsh[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Breton[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] tales and poems relating the story of Arthur date earlier than this work; these are usually termed "pre-Galfridian" texts (from the Latin form of Geoffrey, [i]Galfridus[/i]). In these works, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies, or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh Otherworld, [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Annwn[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21].[/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff][5][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] How much of Geoffrey's [i]Historia[/i] (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown.
Although the themes, events and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text, and there was no one canonical version until Malory's [/size][url=][i][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Le Morte d'Arthur[/i][/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] was published in 1485, Geoffrey's [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]version of events[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] often served as the starting point for later stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over the [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]British Isles[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Iceland[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Norway[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Gaul[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]. In fact, many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's [i]Historia[/i], including Arthur's father [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Uther Pendragon[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], adviser [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Merlin[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], the sword [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Excalibur[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], his birth at [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Tintagel[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and his death at [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Camlann[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and final rest in [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Avalon[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]. The 12th-century French writer [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Chrétien de Troyes[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21], who added [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Lancelot[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] and the [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Holy Grail[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21] to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]medieval literature[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various [/size][url=][u][size=21][color:e4af=#0000ff]Knights of the Round Table[/u][/color][/size][/url][size=21]. Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, both in literature and in adaptations for theatre, film, television, comics and other media.
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