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King Arthur's round table

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annis
Bibliomaniac

King Arthur's round table

Postby annis » Wed July 14th, 2010, 6:17 pm

Just came across this piece about historian Chis Gidlow's claim to have discovered where King Arthur's famous round table was located -- in the ruins of a Roman ampitheatre in Chester. Interesting - we had a discussion elsewhere about the use of ampitheatres in post-Roman Britain as fortified sites of power, and Chester is near the Welsh border. Legend has often connected Arthur with Wales.
http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/07/king-arthurs-round-table-located.html

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SarahWoodbury
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Location: Pendleton, Oregon
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Postby SarahWoodbury » Wed July 14th, 2010, 6:43 pm

Chris Gildow states: "In the 6th Century, a monk named Gildas, who wrote the earliest account of Arthur's life, referred both to the City of the Legions and to a martyr's shrine within it," he explained. "That's the clincher. The discovery of the shrine within the amphitheater means that Chester was the site of Arthur's court--and his legendary Round Table."

What? One of the huge problems regarding the historical existence of Arthur was that GILDAS NEVER MENTIONS HIM!

The first mention of King Arthur's round table was in the Roman de Brut by a guy named Wace, who was working off Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.

At the same time, the whole ampitheatre-as-round-table theory is interesting--and oddly credible.

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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Wed July 14th, 2010, 7:16 pm

I think this is another one of those discoveries, a bit like the recent Noah's Ark story, that comes up every so often. I've lost count of the number of supposed last resting places of the Holy Grail, and I suspect the Round Table is a similar case - where will it pop up next!
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

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Anna Elliott
Compulsive Reader

Postby Anna Elliott » Thu July 15th, 2010, 12:30 am

What Sarah said. Arthurian scholars for decades have tied themselves into knots trying to explain why Gildas never mentions Arthur by name. Arthurian research is one of those fields where nearly everyone writing a book has their own particular ax to grind and theory to prove--often at the expense of ignoring all evidence that doesn't fit their particular claim.
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]
Author of the Twilight of Avalon trilogy
new book: Dark Moon of Avalon, coming Sept 14 from Simon &Schuster (Touchstone)
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http://www.annaelliottbooks.com

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Thu July 15th, 2010, 7:36 am

By finding a handle that the press can use, it's also a way of getting publicity via column inches. You get so many dubious articles like this nowadays.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu July 15th, 2010, 2:25 pm

"Madeleine" wrote:I suspect the Round Table is a similar case - where will it pop up next!


Here in California, perhaps? :p :D

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SarahWoodbury
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Location: Pendleton, Oregon
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Postby SarahWoodbury » Thu July 15th, 2010, 3:05 pm

Oooh! Oregon! By some amazing series of events, Arthur actually sailed to the New World and back and that's why none of the battles he fought are found on the map of Britain!

Seriously, it occured to me that the 'historian' is skating over his real opinion that "King Arthur" is actually Cuneglas of Din-Arth, against whom Gildas rails at length. Still has nothing to do with the round table, however. And wouldn't sell as many papers.

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Anna Elliott
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Postby Anna Elliott » Thu July 15th, 2010, 3:17 pm

Also, it's not a 'new' theory that Arthur may have been Cuneglas of Din Arth (or Cynlas of Rhos or Cynlas Goch as he's also known). Whatever you think of the theory, you can read an extensive argument for it here, from an author who's written a book on the subject.
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]
Author of the Twilight of Avalon trilogy
new book: Dark Moon of Avalon, coming Sept 14 from Simon &Schuster (Touchstone)
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http://www.annaelliottbooks.com

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Fri July 30th, 2010, 9:49 pm

"Michy" wrote:Here in California, perhaps? :p :D


"SarahWoodbury" wrote:Oooh! Oregon! By some amazing series of events, Arthur actually sailed to the New World and back and that's why none of the battles he fought are found on the map of Britain!



But here in California we actually have a beautiful place called Avalon, and it's even on an island! I'm sure the Round Table and Holy Grail and Excalibur and who knows what else will show up in an antique shop there one of these days. :)

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Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Fri July 30th, 2010, 10:18 pm

Earlier this week I took a call at the reference desk from a woman who wanted to know if we had any maps of Avalon, because that's where her ancestors came from. And here I could have pointed her to California, if only I'd known. If she ever calls back, I'll do that.


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