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Legend of King Arthur & the Round Table

One of the world's most enduring legends is the story of King Arthur and the Round Table, a story which in the popular imagination has become lodged somewhere in the fourteenth century when knighthood was in flower, though in fact the story is much older. If there were a historical King Arthur, in fact, he would have existed centuries before the era of knighthood, probably sometime in the sixth century. The historical reality of Arthur is much in doubt and remains a controversy, though Arthur has his champions who believe the stories of his reign began with a real personage and then were turned into myth and legend by various writers.

The Arthurian legends began as a literary form in the twelfth century with traveling minstrels who told stories of heroism, usually built in the exploits of the French king Charlemagne, or Charles the Great (742-814 A.D.). Another group of stories was known as The Matter of Rome, and these stories included tales from both Rome and Ancient Greece about the period before the siege of Troy. The third group of stories was known as The Matter of Britain. These stories grew in popularity during the twelfth century, and the tales told of the lives of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, of their magnificent castle at Camelot, of Merlin the Magician, and of the Round Table and the search for the Holy Grail. The oral literature was the only means by which many of these stories were then transmitted, and even if there were a kernel of truth in them, it would be likely to be changed many times in the course of subsequent tellings until whatever truth there was would be hard to discern. Most of the stories had been known only in parts of England and Wales for some centuries, but in the twelfth century their popularity grew when the French writer ChrTtien de Troyes published a popular written version in both France and Britain. Other French and German writers also addressed these stories. Late in the fifteent...

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Legend of King Arthur & the Round Table. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:24, May 28, 2020, from