King Arthur
June 21, 2004 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Artorius, Ambrosius, Arthur. An examination of the history behind the legend of King Arthur.
posted by homunculus (14 comments total)
i see someone else has been watching the history channel hmm?
posted by bob sarabia at 12:28 PM on June 21, 2004

Yeah, I started to watch it last night, but gave up on it quickly. Actually I found most of these links a few weeks ago when I heard there was going to be a new movie. At least the show reminded me of the links.
posted by homunculus at 12:37 PM on June 21, 2004

actually, i had a hard time concentrating on watching it too. i think it was Patrick Stewarts voice.

Nice links, btw. thanks!
posted by bob sarabia at 12:45 PM on June 21, 2004

I had served under King Arthur. We found him to be a great leader, though as a ruler, he seemed not to have the same control and panache he had during battles. At the Ropund Table (we peeked in windows) I thought his wife, the queen a bit of a flirt, always flipping her hair and casting glances at this or that guy sitting about the round table...We thought of him as you later folks think of Reagen--a leader whose many faults are overlooked because of his charm and smooth acting ways.
posted by Postroad at 12:52 PM on June 21, 2004

King Arthur came to America.
posted by stbalbach at 1:17 PM on June 21, 2004

Well, tell him to get lost, we already have a king!
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on June 21, 2004

For those interested in a bit of the backstory for the new movie "King Arthur", I did an interview with Mark Ryan awhile back, who is the swordmaster for the new movie in question. He went into some details regarding the historical background of the movie, and revealed some interesting details about the production.

(Mark, though best known as Nasir from "Robin of Sherwood", also did some swordfighting in "Charlie's Angels", which makes me just two degrees of seperation from Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. Yum!)

Will it be good? Dunno. The interview and longer conversation I had regarding the movie indicates that there are aspects to the picture that might make it more interesting than it appears, however. So much depends on how well they flush out their Arthurian premise. How do you make a movie that, in one sense, competes against a beloved legend? Perhaps the legend has far more flesh and blood to it than the history ever could.

As long as it's not Troy bad...
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:46 PM on June 21, 2004

I still think Riothamus of Domnonée was Arthur.

The real question which remains unanswered: who was Gambrinus?
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:57 PM on June 21, 2004

I remember doing some research on this a year ago, checked a few books out of the library. It's certainly fascinating. I liked how the History Channel related the creation of myth and its use in the Norman Conquest.
posted by linux at 2:34 PM on June 21, 2004

And of course we can't have an Arthur thread without mentioning the great Camelot Project (and all those yummy images). Also interesting is the idea of Arthur as or relating to the Bear God (discussed a bit here, near the bottom of the page).

From a Geocities site on bear cult: "The Celtic word for bear was arth or arthe, Latinsed as Artos, which can be found in place names and gives rise to the name of 'Arthur'. In the Pyranees, in the Valley of the Bear, there is a 6th century BC inscription to a Celtic god Arthe, and it reads 'Our Holy Father Arthe'. The constellation of the Great Bear is known in Wales as 'Arthur's Wain'. King Arthur is sleeping in an underground cave until Britain needs him recalls a bear in hibernation. It seems likely that Arthur was originally a sun god, and Yule was called Alban Arthur or 'Arthur's Time' by the Celts. The bear rising from his underground sleep represented the rebirth of the sun from the underworld at midwinter. In Gaelic tradition it is said that the Kean mathon ['head of the bear'] was one of the seven signs or names of star clusters engraved on the shield of Arthur." (Cache.)

And Marc Devere Davis outlines why, with this connection in mind, Arthur is Cuneglasus (cache of an Angelfire site).
posted by taz at 3:21 PM on June 21, 2004

Strange women lying around in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:42 PM on June 21, 2004

Thanks! Now I know all about Commander Arthur!
posted by Hildago at 6:10 PM on June 21, 2004

Builders of Stonehenge found
posted by homunculus at 9:53 PM on June 23, 2004

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