IN SEARCH OF BRITAIN'S LOST KING:

King Arthur's Coat of Arms

A MILLENNIAL QUEST FOR ARTHUR

I know not if you have heard tell the marvellous gestes and errant deeds related so often to King Arthur. They have been noised about this mighty realm for so great a space that the truth has turned to fable and an idle song. Such rhymes are neither sheer bare lies, nor gospel truths. They should not be considered either an idiot's tale, or given by inspiration. The minstrel has sung his ballad, the storyteller has told over his story so frequently, little by little he has decked and painted, till by reason of his embellishment the truth stands hid in the trappings of a tale. Thus to make a delectable tune to your ear, history goes masking as fable. -Wace, Roman de Brut, c.1155


In January 2000 two undergraduate students left for a month-long research trip, sponsored by Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. After traveling over 3000 miles across the Island of Britain, we created this site for people who wish to learn more about those places associated with King Arthur and the legends attached to them. Then, in January 2001, we returned to Britain and followed Arthur's trail for another 2000 miles, and this site now better reflects and explores the historical bases of the Arthurian Legend. We have since compiled our experiences into a travel guide and are seeking publication.

This project has been presented at several conferences:

Birmingham-Southern College's Honors Day--April 25, 2000 The Southeast Medieval Association--September 28, 2000 National Conference for Undergraduate Research--March 2001
The site is best viewed with this font, placed in the C:/Windows/Fonts directory -- Anglo-Saxon Caps

 Historical Context

5th and 6th century post-Roman Britain is the time most often associated with the "real" King Arthur. Here you will find information about the political climate, warfare, and everyday life of that time.

Camelot

There is a mystery surrounding Arthur's birth and his reign at Camelot. We visited the island of Tintagel and several of the supposed sites of Camelot (including Cadbury Castle).

 The Round Table

Arthur's Round Table has become a symbol of equality and brotherhood. We examined several different candidates in both southern and northern England, as well as in Wales.

Arthur's Knights

Here we tell of the exploits of Arthur's most well-known knights, such as Gawain, Lancelot, Bedivere, and more.

The Battles of Arthur

According to Nennius, Arthur fought twelve major battles during his reign. Supposed sites for nine of these twelve battles are pictured and discussed here including Badon, where Arthur defeated the Saxons, and Camlann, where Arthur was mortally wounded

 Excalibur

After the battle of Camlann, Arthur instructed Sir Bedivere to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. The stories, however, never point to a specific body of water. This page discusses eight of the stronger claims to the resting place of Excalibur.

Arthur's Passing

Here you will find details of Arthur's final resting place after the fatal battle of Camlann.

Merlin

The character of Merlin is one of the more interesting ones in the Arthurian Legend. This page discusses the evolution of this magician, as well as issues of his life, feats, and death.

Legendary Characters

This page discusses other important figures surrounding the legend, such as Vortigern, Uther Pendragon, and Guinevere.

 Interview with Geoffrey Ashe

We were lucky to have the chance to sit down with this renowned Arthurian scholar.

Itinerary 2000

Itinerary 2001

The itineraries from our first trip and our most recent one from January 2001. They include clickable maps of the sites we visited as well as our lodging information.

 Tips From the Pros

Our experience as Arthurian pilgrims, as well as the pedagogy behind the trip.

 Jake's Journal 2000

Jake's Journal 2001

These are the full texts of Jake's travel journals from both trips.

Joe's Journal 2000

Joe's Journal 2001

These are the full texts of Joe's travel journals from both trips.

 Primary Texts

Read the works of Nennius, Bede, and Gildas, as well as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Bibliography

In this section, you can find the books and sources we used for our research.

 Links

Here are some resources that we found useful.

Emails

Here are some emails we've gotten from visitors to our site. 

 Articles

The Birmingham News

The Tuscaloosa News

  

We want to hear from you!

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DESIGNED BY JOSEPH W. C. BOYLES AND W. J. LIVINGSTON, III

SITE CREATED DECEMBER 6, 1999 LAST UPDATED JULY 15, 2004

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since July 18, 2004


This Arthur's Ring website is owned, operated and/or maintained by
Jake Livingston and Joe Boyles.
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