Arturius: A Quest for Camelot. Title: Arturius: A Quest for Camelot. Author: Carroll, David F. Link: PDF with commentary in the UK. Stable link here. Arturius – a Quest for Camelot. Front Cover. D. F. Carroll. D.F. Carroll, – Great Britain Bibliographic information. QR code for Arturius – a Quest for Camelot. The Theory: In his book, “Arturius – A Quest for Camelot,” David F. Carroll sets out his ideas that suggest that the great King Arthur of legend was the historical.

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The historicity of King Arthur is a source of considerable debate among historians, some of whom have suggested that Arthur was a mythological or folkloric figure. Arthur first appears in historical context as a soldier fighting against the invading Saxons in 5th- to 6th-century Sub-Roman Britain at the Battle of Badon in a text written more than three centuries after his activity.

He develops into a legendary figure in the Matter of Britain from the 12th century, following Geoffrey of Monmouth ‘s influential Historia Regum Britanniae.

The exact origins of the name Arthur remain a matter of debate. The most widely accepted etymology is derived from the Roman nomen gentile family name Artorius. This was the Battle of Badon which occurred in the year of Gildas’ birth and ushered in a generation of peace between the two warring peoples. He describes the battle as taking place “in our times” and being one of the “latest, if not the greatest” slaughter of the Saxons, and that a new generation born after Badon had come of age in Britain.

Later Cambro-Latin sources give the Old Welsh form of the battle’s location as Badonsuch as in Annales Cambriaeand this has been adopted by most modern scholars. Gildas’ Latin is somewhat opaque; he does not name Arthur or any other leader of the battle. He does discuss Ambrosius Aurelianus as a great scourge of the Saxons immediately prior, [12] but he seems to say that some time passed between Ambrosius’ victory and the battle of Badon.

The date of the battle is uncertain, with most scholars accepting a date around The location is also unknown, though numerous locations have been proposed throughout Britain over the years. The list is inserted between the death of Hengist and the reign of Ida of Bernicia. Other accounts associating Arthur with the Battle of Badon can be shown to be derived directly or indirectly from the Historia Brittonum.

The earliest version of the Annales Cambriae was composed in the midth century and gives the date of Badon asand it lists Arthur’s death as occurring in at the Battle of Camlann.

The annals survive in a version dating from the 10th century, and all other sources that name Arthur were written at least years after the events which they describe. He identifies Aurelius Ambrosius as the son of Constantinus, a Breton ruler and brother of Aldroenus. Arthur is mentioned in several 12th- to 13th-century saints’ lives, including those of CadocCarantocGildas, GoeznoviusIlltud artturius, and Paternus.

Historicity of King Arthur

The Legenda Sancti Goeznovii is a hagiography of the Breton saint Goeznovius which was formerly dated to circa [17] but is now dated to the late 12th to early 13th century.


There are a number of mentions of a legendary hero named Arthur in early Welsh and Breton poetry. These sources are preserved in High Medieval manuscripts and cannot be dated with accuracy. They are mostly placed in the 9th to 10th century, although some authors make them as early as the 7th. The earliest of these would appear to be the Old Welsh poem Y Gododdin preserved in a 13th-century manuscript. It refers to a warrior who “glutted black ravens on the rampart of the stronghold, although he was no Arthur.

The Welsh poem Geraint, son of Erbin was written in the 10th or 11th century; it describes a battle at a port-settlement and mentions Arthur in passing. Some theories suggest that “Arthur” was a byname of attested historical individuals. One theory suggests that Lucius Artorius Castusa Roman military commander who served in Britain in the late 2nd century or early 3rd century, was a prototype of Arthur.

After a long career as a centurion in the Roman army, he was promoted to prefect of Legio VI Victrixa legion headquartered in Eboracum present-day York, England.

Kemp Malone first made the connection between Artorius and King Arthur in Noting that the Welsh name Arthur plausibly derives from the Latin ArtoriusMalone suggested that details of Castus’ biography, in particular his possible campaign in Brittany and the fact that he was obliged to retire from the military perhaps because of an injurymay have inspired elements of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s depiction of King Arthur. Malone’s idea attracted little attention for decades, but it was revived in the s as part of a theory known as the “Sarmatian connection”.

Nickel wrote that Castus’ Sarmatian unit fought under a red dragon banner and that their descendants were still in Britain in the 5th century; he also identified similarities between the Arthurian legend and traditions associated with the Sarmatians and other peoples of the Caucasus.

He suggested that the Sarmatians’ descendants kept Castus’ legacy alive over the centuries, and mixed it with their ancestral myths involving magical cauldrons and swords. Independently of Nickel, C. Scott Littleton developed a more elaborate version of the Sarmatian connection. Littleton first wrote about the theory with Anne C. Thomas inand expanded on it in a book co-authored by Linda MalcorFrom Scythia to Camelot.

They find parallels in the traditions of the Caucasus for key features of the Arthurian legend, including the Sword in the Stonethe Holy Grailand the return of Arthur’s sword to a lake, and connect Arthur and his knights to Batraz and his Nartsthe heroes of the legends of the North Caucasus. Some Arthurian scholars have given credence to the Sarmatian connection, but others have found it based on conjecture and weak evidence. Riothamus also spelled Riotimus was a historical figure whom ancient sources list as “a king of the Britons “.

He lived in the late 5th century, and most of the stories about him were recorded in the Byzantine historian Jordanes ‘ The Origin and Deeds of the Gothswritten in the mid-6th century, only about 80 years after his presumed death.

AboutRoman diplomat and bishop Sidonius Apollinaris sent a letter to Riothamus asking his help to quell unrest among the Brettones, British colonists living in Armorica ; this letter still survives. In the yearWestern Emperor Anthemius began a campaign against Euricking of the Visigoths who were campaigning outside their territory in Gaul.

Anthemius requested help from Riothamus, and Jordanes writes that he crossed the ocean into Gaul with 12, soldiers.


Riothamus was last seen retreating northward to Burgundy when Euric besieged Arvernum Clermont-Ferrand just south of the Bituriges territory. Geoffrey Ashe points out that Arthur is said by Geoffrey of Monmouth to have crossed into Gaul twice, once to help a Roman emperor and once to subdue a civil war.

Riothamus did both, assuming that he was a king in Britain as well as Armorica. Arthur is also said to have been betrayed by one of his advisers, and Riothamus was betrayed by one of his supposed cameloh.

It is unknown whether Riothamus was a king in Britain or Armorica. Armorica was a British colony and Jordanes writes aryurius Riothamus “crossed the ocean”, so it is possible that both are correct. Ambrosius Aurelianus also sometimes referred to as Aurelius Caelot was a powerful Romano-British leader in Britain. He was renowned for his campaigns against the Saxons, and there is some speculation that he may have commanded the British forces at the Battle of Badon Hill. At any rate, the battle was a clear continuation of his efforts.

Scholars such as Leon Fleuriot identified Ambrosius Aurelianus with the aforementioned Riothamus figure from Jordanes, an idea which forms part of his hypothesis about the origins of the Arthurian legend. He was ultimately killed in battle in – thus, he lived far too late to have been the victor at the Battle of Badon, as mentioned by Gildas in the early 6th century. This is the solution proposed by David F. Uqest in his book Arturius: A Quest for Camelotand by Michael Wood.

Owing to the paucity of British records from the period —, historian Thomas Charles-Edwards noted that “at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been a historical Arthur [but] the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him.

He owes his place in our history books to a ‘no smoke without fire’ school of thought The fact of the matter is that there is no historical evidence about Arthur; we must reject him from our histories and, above all, from the titles of our books. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l’Ouest, pp. The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation. A History of Rome Under the Emperors. Routledge, new ed. The Roman Government of Britain.

Arturius: A Quest for Camelot, by David F. Carroll | The Online Books Page

Scott; Thomas, Ann C.: From Scythia to Camelot: Retrieved July 6, In Search of Myths and Heroes. University of California Press. History of the Men of Scotland [1]. Gaulois et celtique continentalLibrairie Droz,p. King Arthur and the Matter of Britain. Bibliography List of works. Retrieved from ” https: Arthurian legend Arthurian literature British traditional history Historicity. Views Read Edit View history. Languages Galego Italiano Polski Edit links. This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.