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King Arthurís

Marriage to Guinevere


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The Arthur Story according to

Geoffrey of Monmouth

and his versionís political agenda



In his Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) published in 1136, Geoffrey of Monmouth provided the main outline for the story of King Arthur.


He recounted that after the fall of the Roman Empire and the departure of the Roman troops, Britain was attacked by Picts from Scotland and Huns from mainland Europe until a usurping British leader, Vortigern, invited the Anglo-Saxons (English) over as mercenaries to defend Britain.


This policy had disastrous results as the Saxons promptly invaded in their own right. When the

legitimate rulers of Britain, the brothers Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther, reasserted themselves, Vortigern was killed and the Saxons temporarily

defeated. With the aid of the magus Merlinus (who had prophesied Vortigernís death)


Uther seduced Igerna, wife of his ally Gorlois of

Tintagel, and from that union Arthur was born. Aurelius and Uther were both later poisoned in Saxon plots.


Arthur grew up to be a great king, inflicting several defeats on the Saxons, at York, Celidon, Bath and Thanet. He ruled from Caerleon and

Winchester, his company of knights and allies including his nephew Walgan, Bedwerus, Caius, Peredur, and Urian. Arthur married a Roman noblewoman, Guanhamara, and later set off on a campaign of European conquest.


While he was away, Guanhamara and Modredus (brother to Walgan and nephew to Arthur)

plotted to take the throne. Arthur returned, Guanhamara went into a convent while Arthur pursued Modredus, defeating and killing him at the

battle of Camblam in Cornwall in AD 542. Arthur was himself mortally wounded, and Ďwas carried off to the Isle of Avalloní (insula Avallonis) to be healed of his wounds.


In his Vita Merlini (Life of Merlin) in 1151, Monmouth described Arthurís resting place as the Fortunate Isles or Isle of Apples (insula pomorum),

presided over by Morgen le Fay and her nine sisters.


Monmouthís Historia served a political purpose, pandering to the Normans by vilifying the Saxon English (whom the Normans had conquered in 1066), providing Britain with a legendary national hero to match the French Charlemagne, and painting a vision of a British empire extending far into Europe.


As a Welshman, Monmouth also used the opportunity to glorify the Welsh (descendants of the pre-Saxon Britons), moulding his new national

hero out of earlier Welsh traditions, creating as he did so a cultural history of Britain drawing on Celtic roots far more subtle and interesting

than Beowulf which was an epic from the

Anglo-Viking warrior tradtion.




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King Arthur &

The Round Table


Merlin & The Tree of Life


Merlin the Magician

Born circa 400 CE ; Welsh: Myrddin;

Latin: Merlinus; English: Merlin.



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