King Arthur is a mythical king of England during the 5th and 6th centuries. He is a legendary figure in English history. He defended England from numerous invasions by the Anglo-Saxons. He first appeared in a book entitled History of Britons in the 9th century written by Nennius.
He is also included in the 11th century book named The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Probably the most famous book detailing the legendary life of King Arthur is The Death of Arthur and was written in 1485 C.E. by Thomas Malory.
King Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon. His father was the King of Britain. King Uther wanted to marry Igraine but she was married. King Uther then went to war with her husband, Gorlois. King Uther won and killed Gorlois. Igraine gave birth to Arthur at Tintagel Castle.
At the time Britain was under the attack from the Anglo-Saxons on a regular basis. King Uther feared for Arthur’s life. He sent Arthur to live with a wizard named Merlin. The wizard sent Arthur to live with Sir Ector.
He was raised by Sir Ector with his foster brother named Kay. His foster brother was very mean to Arthur. Merlin tried to teach Arthur about being a just king of knowledge not just by force.
At this time there was much fighting in Britain with the Anglo-Saxons. English nobles sought out the advice of Merlin.
The wizard then inserted a sword into a large boulder. Merlin then told the nobles that whoever could remove the sword would become the king. None of the nobles could remove the sword.
Merlin took Arthur to visit the stone when he was 15 years old. Many others tried to remove the sword including his foster brother. Only Arthur was able to remove the sword. He was immediately sworn in as King of England by St. Dubricius.
Many of the nobles did not want to take instructions from a 15 year old boy. The nobles then started a rebellion against the new king. Merlin helped King Arthur rule England. Merlin also took King Arthur to visit “The Lady of the Lake” where he received his magical Excalibur sword.
King Arthur was told about the magical sword. In battle the sword would kill his opponents and when the sword was in its scabbard he would be protected from being hurt. After receiving Excalibur King Arthur went to war with the rebellious nobles. He defeated the nobles and became King of England again.
King Arthur fell in love with a lady named Guinevere. They were married at Camelot. At their wedding Guinevere’s father gave King Arthur a round table for a present. The round table was large enough for all of King Arthur’s knights to gather including one empty seat reserved for Siege Perilous, the greatest knight in the world.
The Anglo-Saxons continued their invasions into England. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table defeated them at the Battle of Mount Badon. King Arthur then decided to invade Europe. The Emperor of the Roman Empire fell in defeat and gave the western half of his kingdom to King Arthur.
Before King Arthur married Guinevere, he had an affair with a woman named Morgause. She was actually King Arthur’s half-sister. During their affair she became pregnant. Several years later, three women appeared at Camelot with a young boy named Mordred.
The boy was King Arthur’s half-brother and nephew. One woman did not want peace with King Arthur and used Mordred against the king.
Merlin the Wizard had fell in love with one of the Ladies of the Lake named Nenive. She was not fond of Merlin. She formed a plan to get rid of Merlin. She pretended to want to learn the magic of Merlin. She lured him into a cave and placed a magic spell on Merlin. Merlin never left the cave again.
The Knights of the Round Table were adventurous. The rescued fair maidens in distress and searched for the Holy Grail. But not all was well with King Arthur’s knights. His favorite knight was named Sir Lancelot and the knight was in love with Guinevere.
Eventually, Guinevere was judged to be burnt to death and Lancelot escaped to France. King Arthur followed Lancelot with his army.
While King Arthur chased Lancelot, Mordred was left in charge of England. Since King Arthur had no children, Mordred told the people of England he was the new king. King Arthur had to return to England and his army would fight with Mordred and his soldiers.
At the Battle of Camlaan, King Arthur did not carry Excalibur. They fought against each other and King Arthur miraculously lived but was badly injured.
Upon his return he gave Excalibur to Sir Bedivere and asked him to throw the sword into the magical lake where the Lady of the Lake lived. After Excalibur was thrown into the lake three Queens appeared and took King Arthur to the Isle of Avalon where he died.
King Uther of England
The Knights of the Round Table
Isle of Avalon