King Arthur is one of the most iconic stories of all time. The tale of the legendary British leader has been told since the Middle Ages. As the legend of King Arthur has grown, his story has become more and more convoluted. Now, King Arthur is looked at as a pop-culture legend more than a potentially historic figure. Today, we are pleased to announce that there is more to the story. A recent scientific discovery will change the way that you look at King Arthur — forever!
1. A Legend Is Born
The legend of King Arthur has captured the hearts and minds of people throughout the world. Since his emergence as an English icon in the 19th century, historians and archaeologists have been desperate to find real evidence of his existence. Due to his place in pop-culture, King Arthur has shifted perception in the public’s eye. Now, Arthur is seen as a figure of fiction and not a potential historical figure.
2. Going Back in Time
In order to fully appreciate the latest scientific revelations, we need to have a full understanding of who King Arthur was from a literary perspective. King Arthur was introduced to the world by way of Geoffrey of Monmouth. Geoffrey wrote the initial chronicle that brought King Arthur to the mythological status that he holds today.
3. History of the Kings of Britain
Geoffrey of Monmouth helped to elevate Arthur’s exploits by way of The History of the Kings of Britain. While this work doesn’t hold up to the standards of historical record keeping, it is one of the first real looks inside of King Arthur’s legendary acts. This is one of the most important pieces of writing in all of Arthurian-related history.
4. Creating a Timeline
Starting with The History of the Kings of Britain, tales of King Arthur began to flood the literary world. Suddenly, everyone had a story about the legendary knight. Despite Arthur’s popularity, historical references to King Arthur were missing. Using a detailed scientific method, historians were able to circle the 6th Century A.D. as the likely era for King Arthur’s reign. This era was known as the Dark Ages due to the fact that very little was recorded via the written word.
5. Analyzing a Legend
King Arthur was propelled to newfound fame thanks to Geoffrey’s chronicles. In Geoffrey’s works, readers were introduced to Uther Pendragon, the disguised father of Arthur. We were also introduced to the legend of Merlin, a wizard, and advisor to King Arthur. While impressive, these chronicles only served to shroud King Arthur in further mystery.
6. From the Beginning
Legend has it that Arthur became a king at the tender age of 15. Succession in the dark ages would have been a dangerous event, according to Geoffrey’s work. In his writings, Geoffrey claimed that Arthur had to fight his way through local adversaries in order to take his crown. The culmination of his fight for the throne came when he saved Britain from the Scots and Picts.
7. The Strength of a King
Modern retellings of the King Arthur legend always culminate with Arthur taking the throne. According to Geoffrey, however, most of his legend was created after donning his crown. From fighting off the evil Mordred to developing the Knights of the Roundtable, King Arthur’s story is long and fascinating.
8. A Ruler of All People
What makes King Arthur such a prevailing story is the fact that he was famously a man of the people. King Arthur’s story inspired hope in the common folk while bringing acclaim to those of noble lineage. In summary, King Arthur was the perfect historical figure for people to rally around.
9. Tales of the Court
Perhaps most famous of all is the drama surrounding King Arthur’s court, Camelot. From Lancelot to Guinevere, there were no shortages of stories to tell. Is this why King Arthur has lasted so long as a pop-culture and historical icon?
10. Legend from Fact
While finding the truth of King Arthur has been a storied pursuit, more people have focused on finding his ancient court. The Arthurian Capital of Camelot has become nearly synonymous with King Arthur himself. The legendary court has been shrouded in mystery and the search for Camelot has been going on since the 15th Century. This is where new scientific discoveries might be bringing truth to light!
11. A Man Alone
While King Arthur is likely the most famous King of all time, there have been none like him in British history. In fact, there has not been a British king by the name of Arthur since King Arthur of legend. In fact, there was a real superstition that the name was cursed and British nobles refused to name their male heirs Arthur as a result.
12. A True Beginning
While Geoffrey of Monmouth may have put together the first complete story of King Arthur, he may not have been the first person to reference the legendary man. Historical scholars worked through their archives in order to find trends in Welsh poetry that alluded to a heroic man. Could this be King Arthur?
13. Lineage of a King
The deeper that scholars began to deep, the more they began to learn. The more knowledge that came forth, the more convoluted the story of King Arthur became. Scholars were able to find references to Arthur that began long before Geoffrey had ever set pen to paper. Researchers began to realize that their concept of King Arthur may not have been correct at all!
14. Establishing a Foundation
In modern adaptations of the King Arthur story, Arthur is always portrayed as a young man who rises to the crown. The truth is that there is some uncertainty whether Arthur was ever a king, to begin with! Some argue that Arthur was merely a skilled fighter who led a group of warriors. Others trace his roots back to a completely different continent!
15. A ROMAN Legend
While Arthur is almost always associated with Britain, some historians believe that he was a soldier from Rome. Some Arthurian historians began to argue that Arthur was an amalgamation of several historical figures from Rome and Britain.
16. A Muddied Timeline
Some have come to believe that King Arthur was merely a warrior by the name of Arturus. According to some written accounts, Arturus led a band of Briton soldiers in a battle against the Jutes and Saxons. While this theory is fairly compelling, the timelines don’t quite add up.
17. Lucius Artorius Castus
Another camp of Arthurian scholars firmly believes that Arthur comes from Roman origins. According to this prominent theory, Lucius Artorius Castus is the foundation for King Arthur. According to this theory, Lucius was a Roman-born commander who used Hadrian’s Wall in order to hold off enemy invasions. Again, there are problems with historical timelines in this theory.
18. A Different Perspective
There is solid proof that Lucius Artorius Castus existed, but his exploits were not synonymous with the Saxon invasions that King Arthur was historically known for defending. Still, this is an interesting theory that gets far too little recognition.
19. Hunt for Camelot
While tracing the origins of King Arthur is important, finding Camelot may be even more important. The hunt for Camelot has been going on since Arthur’s legend began to manifest. Now, scholars are starting to circle a potential location.
20. Tintagel Castle of Cornwall
Many scholars have come to believe that Tintagel Castle, located in Cornwall, may be the castle that King Arthur was born at. Tintagel Castle certainly ‘looks’ the spot, doesn’t it?
21. Man or Magic
We’ve talked extensively of King Arthur as a historical being. While Geoffrey’s chronicles painted King Arthur as a larger-than-life individual, he was still fundamentally realistic. Welsch poets have added their own flair to the man, making him a combatant of demons and other mystical devils.
22. King Arthur Grows Larger Than Life
There probably isn’t an adult alive who doesn’t know what Excalibur is. Most of us have dreamed of pulling the legendary sword from the stone and going on Arthur’s exciting exploits, at least as children. This fascination with Arthur has helped to cultivate a breeding ground for fantasy. Pop culture has certainly taken notice!
23. Wading into Fiction
While the foundation of King Arthur’s story may be grounded in fact, fiction has certainly taken hold of the story. There are numerous famous works revolving around the life of King Arthur. A few of the most celebrated novels are ‘The Once and Future King’ by T.H. White as well as ‘La Morte d’Artur’.
24. Fact into Fantasy
While novels like ‘The Once and Future King’ have helped to popularize King Arthur as a character, they have taken away some of his shine as a historical figure. The more stories that are released about King Arthur, the less they begin to resemble a man who might have lived.
25. Disney Embraces Legend
King Arthur’s tale has been adapted into every medium imaginable. Now, King Arthur is as much a genre as a man with a story. Here, we see a screenshot from Disney’s ‘The Sword and the Stone’. Arthur’s story was rendered palatable for children of all ages.
26. Stripping the Fantasy
Early adaptations of King Arthur’s story focused on magic, fantasy, and adventure. Only recently, there has been a turn toward the grit of Arthur’s origins. Here, we see a screenshot from the 2004 film ‘King Arthur’ which starred Clive Owen. Stripping away the fantastical elements allows us to see something a little closer to reality.
27. Returning to Cornwall
Now that we have a fuller understanding of King Arthur and his place in pop-culture, we need to make a return trip to Cornwall. It is in this region of the world that Arthur’s mythos shines brightest. According to historians and archeologists, this is the region where answers may reside.
28. Truth or Fiction
Arthurian scholarship has taken on a life of its own. Everyone in the field has an opinion on Arthur, his origins, and his basis in reality. According to Nicholas Higham, however, they are all wrong. Higham has taken an extreme and adversarial tone, positing that King Arthur as a whole never existed. In fact, according to Higham, Arthur was just a good story developed by ‘an imaginative clerk’. While Higham is certainly passionate about his position, he falls short in several areas.
29. Scholars Fight Back
While Higham may have sought to put the issue to rest forever, some scholars weren’t ready to accept him at his word. David Carroll claimed to have a document that was nearly 1,300 years old which he posited could prove the existence of King Arthur. Carroll put £50,000 on the line in defense of his document, claiming Arthur was a monarch from 6th-century Scotland.
30. Birthplace of Arthur
While scholars can argue the validity of their position forever, the truth is that finding Camelot could settle all disputes. Geoffrey famously suggested that Arthur was born at Tintagel but it has been bordering impossible to find Arthur’s roots through archeology.
31. An Ancient Underworld
Tintagel once boasted its own castle, but the 12th-century dating of the building meant that it could not have been Arthur’s. However, later excavations of Tintagel would boast much older structures buried below the surface. Was this finally proof of the birthplace of King Arthur?
32. Finding Ancient Artifacts
Scientists began to uncover ancient artifacts from throughout the Mediterranean. While this doesn’t explicitly correlate with King Arthur, it does suggest that the dark ages weren’t quite so dark after all. These artifacts proved that ancient Britain was reaching out further than historians had previously believed. The quality of the artifacts would also suggest that someone of high importance had lived on the land.
33. Beginnings of a Castle
As the excavations continued, it became apparent that there was more going on than they had previously realized. Soon, the outlines of a castle were beginning to come clear. This castle was far older than the 12th-century building that Tintagel had become so famous for. Was this it? Was this where King Arthur had lived?
34. A Stunning Discover
As the archeological team dug deeper, they began to date the structures to the 6th century AD, the period that King Arthur had supposedly lived. While the structures were awe-inspiring, it was something else that captured everyone’s attention! What could be more stunning than a castle underground?
35. Ancient Writing is Uncovered
When you are digging for a legend, uncovering ancient writing is a great way to garner some momentum. During their dig, archeologists came upon Latin and Greek writing embedded into stone. At the time, writing was extremely limited to Christian scholars. The idea that someone knew how to write while living at this castle meant that someone of importance was surely living in the building.
36. Finding Camelot
While finding Arthur’s birthplace is surely an incredible historical pursuit, it isn’t the only avenue that scholars are pursuing. The search for Camelot has continued uninterrupted for decades, though one scholar believes that he may have found some answers. According to Peter Field, an Arthurian scholar, there is only ONE place that Camelot could have once stood.
37. Welcome to West Yorkshire
According to Peter Field, the likely location of a historical Camelot would have been in Slack, West Yorkshire. This location was once home to a Roman Fort known as Camulodunum. The fact that we have already tied King Arthur to Roman history makes this theory all the more interesting. The name of the fort, as well, as similar enough to Camelot to make us believe in this theory.
38. More to Come
While Fields is confident in his theory, he isn’t all the way there yet. Fields has been working on a paper that explains and connects King Arthur to the famous Roman fort. His work has not been released to the public, nor has it been peer-reviewed as of yet. Other scholars and archeologists are continuing their search for Camelot in other areas.
39. Truth Comes into Focus
King Arthur, Merlin, and the Legend of Excalibur. The very mythos surrounding King Arthur has spawned countless tales in every medium that one can imagine. The long-lasting nature of King Arthur’s story, as well as the continued focus of scholars around the world, is something that simply cannot be ignored. King Arthur’s story, whatever angle you approach it from, has inspired countless generations of men and women to aspire to be more noble, brave, and forthright.
40. Realizing a Legend
While scholars continue to circle around possible origins for King Arthur, the truth is that we are not there yet from a scholarly standpoint. If you had dreamed of finding Camelot on your own, there is still some time! Arthurian legend will never fade away, as evidenced by this very website. From the 6th-century A.D. to the modern internet, King Arthur continues to live on.
The Origins of Memorial Day in America: Rooted in a History of Former Slaves and Bravery
Memorial Day is widely celebrated in the United States, as a way to remember the heroism and sacrifice of those fallen American soldiers. The day has become a time of celebration and community gatherings. With parades, food, and fireworks., it’s just like July 4th. But, while we all know the origins of other American holidays (including the 4th of July), Memorial Day is still shrouded in lost and misunderstood history. The full story is not known, and it’s quite a tale!
Who Invented Memorial Day?
The first acknowledged Memorial Day is linked with the tragic loss of life in Charleston, South Carolina that took place toward the end of the Civil War. Hundreds of Union soldiers were left for dead at the Washington Race Course, a makeshift prisoner-of-war camp by the Confederate side. With Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s abrupt surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. The war had taken a brutal toll on both sides, but the end of the war inspired a mass exodus of Charleston by soldiers and citizens alike. Former slaves stayed behind. Inspired by patriotic fervor, they called themselves the “Patriotic Association of Colored Men.” They took it upon themselves to bring honor and dignity to the fallen soldiers left in the race-course prison in unmarked graves when the Confederate soldiers fled.
They excavated the unmarked mass graves and then dug 257 individual graves, surrounded by a fence to ensure a place of honor and security. Once their final memorial was complete, the community turned out for “Decoration Day,” which is now recognized by many as the first Memorial Day, in 1865. The event included the march on the race track, singing by 2,800 black school children, preaching by black ministers, and the wide-spread decoration of the graves. It was a way to honor the soldiers, who’d been viewed as martyrs by the Patriotic Association of Colored Men.
The Rest is History
Tragic loss and sacrifice are at the center of virtually every version of the first Memorial Day celebrations, but the scale is important. The Decoration Day tradition was later launched in Waterloo, New York (and yes, they claim to have invented the first Memorial Day). Memorial celebrations for Confederate soldiers took place in April 1866, and then Union Major General John A. Logan declared May 5, 1868, to be Decoration Day. There are a number of conflicting reports and claims for the events and meaning of the commemorations that took place following the cessation of hostilities at the end of the Civil War. But that last event took place at Arlington National Cemetery. The formalization of the event at Arlington, with the mass decoration of graves with flowers and flags, is part of why the 1868 event is widely considered to be the first national Memorial Day event in US History.
Memorial Day was then set as a May 30th national holiday, and it has continued to evolve. The true history of the day is complicated by historical bias and the fickle memories of the participants, but the role of these men and women who had once been slaves is important. After all, the Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, was just a few years old when the war ended. Former slaves signed up to become Union soldiers en masse. An estimated 25,000 soldiers fought for the Union Army, but approximately 10% of their ranks were former slaves. They fought bravely and with distinction. In fact, 16 black soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism in battle. It’s about time that we recognized the hidden stories that have for so long gone untold.
You Will Not Believe These Classic Era Celebrities Who are Still Rocking Their Golden Years
Past and Present
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Brave Babysitter Steps Up, Saves Child From Dangerous Burglar
Making the decision to hand your child over to a babysitter can be a hard one. Every parent has that nagging thought that runs through their head, “What if something goes wrong?”. Jonathan Lai and his wife called on Jenna Lee Baker in order to watch their three-year-old son for an afternoon. What seemed like a regular afternoon soon turned into a nightmare situation. Keep on reading to find out how Jenny turned into a modern-day superhero!
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Jonathan Lai and his family are based out of Irvine, CA. As a tightly-knit family, Irvine has plenty to offer. The metropolitan area is located in Orange County, CA. The area is known for being home to some truly amazing local attractions. In fact, Irvine is considered one of the best cities to live in the entire United States, at least according to Business Insider and WalletHub! Still, that doesn’t mean that tragedy cannot strike!