RfbciR of the Bmfons

| here is little hard historical evidence for I the existence of Arthur. In the poem Y Gododdin written in the late sixth century, the defeat of the Celtic warlords was ascribed to the fact that they "were not Arthur." We know that a sub-Roman victory over the Saxons at Badon halted Saxon expansion for a generation, and the Celtic chronicler Ncnnius ascribes the victory to "Arthur," along with 11 others. He also describes Arthur as a "dux bellorem" (lit. leader of war, warlord).

So he was a general, not a king. A manuscript written in the mid-tenth century claims that the Battle of Badon took place c.516, and adds that Arthur was killed together with Metraut (Mordred) in a battle named Camlann in c.537. These scanty references provide the bones on which the Arthurian legend was later laid (see pages 176—177). I^Hn

The warlord Arthur became the leading late Celtic British hero, and later chroniclers embellished his career until Geoffrey of Monmouth, writing in the early 12th century, made him the King Arthur of popular mythology. The name Arthur has been linked to the Romano-British name Arturus or Artorius, but it is more likely that the name had Celtic roots.

The first string of Arthurian victories over the Saxons have been traced to modern Lincolnshire, suggesting he was a local commander serving in the army of the kingdom of Elmet. His first victory was won against the Angles on the River Glein, near Peterborough. Another series of engagements was probably-fought in the same area, on the south border of Elmet. After securing the southern borders of his region, the warlord marched north, to halt the incursions of Picts and Scots. He fought a battle at a fortress called Guinnion, which has never been identified.

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