The Once and Future King
On an old tomb, hidden by centuries of neglect, there is written this verse in Latin, "Here lies Arthur, the once and future king." No one has ever found this tomb, though many have claimed to. Is the tomb real? For that matter, is Arthur real? Where did the mystical legend of Camelot and the Knights of the Round come from? These are the questions that this paper will try to explain. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round have fascinated people around the world for centuries. Most people know the story of Arthur. Arthurian legend has something for everyone. There is chivalry, romance, adventure, and tragedy; a remarkable story. Yes, a remarkable story. Much of Arthurian legend is nothing more than story, but Arthur was real. King Arthur is a factual character, but his fictional legend was created throughout the centuries after his death.
To understand Arthur one must know what the world was like during and before the sixth century. In 400 BC the Celts migrated to Britain. They were able to overcome the natives of Britain because of their knowledge of iron tools, which the natives of Britain lacked. The Celts quickly spread their beliefs throughout England and Ireland. The Celts' government consisted of a collection of tribes, each with a king and a queen. One of the most important classes in Celtic life was the druids. The druids were the priests, judges, and healers of the society. It was the Celts who built monuments like Stonehenge.
In the first century A.D. Rome began its occupation of Britain. The Celts were no match for the drilled and well equipped Roman army. Britain was now the Roman province of Britannia. The Celts lost the ability to defend themselves, and began to rely...