King Arthur was a popular hero in medieval romances, such as the famous story of ‘King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table’. These stories tell how Arthur became king of England after pulling a sword from a stone and defeating his enemies at Camelot.
The first written record of Arthur appears in Nennius’ Historia Brittonum in 829 AD when he was described as “the leader of battles”. By 850 AD he had become known as “Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus”.
Arthur’s name may be derived from Arcturus, meaning “bear guard” or “bear forerunner”. He was said to have been born at Tintagel Castle on Cornwall’s coast; however, there are no historical records to support this claim.
King Arthur was one of Britain’s greatest rulers. He is said to have lived around 500 years ago, but nobody really knows for sure when he lived or died. Some people say that he was a real king who lived at that time; others say that he was invented by storytellers many years later.
Arthur’s fame has spread throughout Europe and his name has become synonymous with courage and chivalry. He has inspired numerous works about him since medieval times. These include Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur (1485), which introduced one of his most famous characters, Sir Lancelot du Lac (“Sir Lancelot” in later versions).
In modern times, Arthur’s legend has been re-envisioned through books and films such as T. H. White’s The Once and Future King (1958) and John Boorman’s film Excalibur (1981).