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Of the Three Christian Worthies , King Arthur


When it comes to the “Nine Worthies,” we have already touched upon those that belong under the Jewish and Pagan categories. Now, it is time to explore the Christian ‘three,’ which consists of King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon. This first is King Arthur.

Who is King Arthur?

In British fables, King Arthur is no stranger to the legends that surround his name. He is best known as a prominent figure throughout the history of greatness that has seemed to take on a life of its own. In an assortment of medieval stories, he is depicted as the gallant ruler who watches over Britain and successfully defends his land when Saxon invaders come a calling. An entertaining blend of folklore and legend has become the best bedtime stories of all time.

No one is for sure if the man existed or not, as historians have gone back and forth regarding this topic of debate. Nonetheless, he has captured the hearts, minds, and interest of people for many centuries. A few facts regarding this memorable legend, include:

Five Facts About King Arthur

1) When it comes to the earliest reference in literature to Arthur , it is the Welsh and Breton sources that top the list. Some effort has been seen in pre-Galfridian approaches, but not if you are looking for a single text or a story that involves Arthur.

2) If you are interested in reviewing one of the most famous of Welsh poetic references pertaining to Arthur, seek out “Y Gododdin” (also known as “The Goddodin”) , a heroic death song associated with a poet named Aneirin from the 6th century. In one stanza, it is the accomplishments of a brave warrior that is compared to Arthur. It is stated that despite taking the lives of 300 enemies, which gained him great praise , “he is no Arthur.”

3) The first narrative account of Arthurs life is told in a Latin text called “Historia Regum Britanniae” (better known as “History of the Kings of Britain”), which was created by Geoffrey of Monmouth. The written piece dates back around 1138 and displays an account of British kings that is full of imagination and wishful thinking. Some of the people mentioned include Brutus and a Welsh prince by the name of Cadwallader that lived during the 7th century.

4) While the sword called Excalibur is often associated with Arthur as his only means of defense, there are other weapons that he was known to use , according to Welsh tales. He had a dagger that was called Carnwennan and a spear called Rhongomyniad. The first appearance of his dagger is encountered in “Culhwch and Olwen,” which was used to bisect the ” Very Black Witch.”

5) When following the early and late Arthurian tales, you will learn that Arthur had sons, which is rarely touched upon in later years, as it is suspected that they died prematurely.

In this next installment, you will meet Charlemagne, who would later become the King of the Franks and led from 768 until his death.