King Arthur was a legendary British leader who led the defence of post-Roman Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries, according to medieval histories and romances. The details of his life are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin.
Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain. The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain). In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn. It is not known how much of Geoffrey's Historia (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself.
The themes, events, and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text, and there is no one canonical version, although Geoffrey's version of events often served as the starting point for later stories. He depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, and Gaul. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, Merlin the wizard, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, and his final rest in Avalon. Twelfth-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, and he began the genre of Arthurian romance which became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table. Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, not only in literature but also in adaptations for theatre, film, television, comics, and other media.
The historical basis for King Arthur has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought sees Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons some time in the late 5th to early 6th century, and cite entries in the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) and Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals). The Historia Brittonum is a 9th-century Latin historical compilation attributed in some late manuscripts to a Welsh cleric called Nennius. It contains the first datable mention of King Arthur, listing 12 battles that he fought. These culminate in the Battle of Badon, where he is said to have single-handedly killed 960 men. Some recent studies, however, question the reliability of the Historia Brittonum.
The other text that seems to support the case for Arthur's historical existence is the 10th-century Annales Cambriae, which also link Arthur with the Battle of Badon. The Annales date this battle to 516–518, and also mention the Battle of Camlann in which Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) were both killed, dated to 537–539. These details have often been used to bolster confidence in the Historia's account and to confirm that Arthur really did fight at Badon. Problems have been identified, however, with using this source to support the Historia Brittonum's account. The latest research shows that the Annales Cambriae was based on a chronicle begun in the late 8th century in Wales. Additionally, the complex textual history of the Annales Cambriae precludes any certainty that the Arthurian annals were added to it even that early. They might have been added at some point in the 10th century and may never have existed in any earlier set of annals. The Badon entry may have been derived from the Historia Brittonum.
In the view of historian Thomas Charles-Edwards, "at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been an historical Arthur" but "the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him". Historian John Morris made the reign of Arthur the organising principle of his history of sub-Roman Britain and Ireland in The Age of Arthur (1973), which prompted archaeologist Nowell Myres to observe that "no figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian's time". Gildas' 6th-century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain) was written within living memory of Badon and mentions the battle, but it does not mention Arthur. Arthur is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or named in any surviving manuscript written between 400 and 820. He is absent from Bede's early-8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People, another major early source for post-Roman history that mentions Badon. Historian David Dumville writes: "The fact of the matter is that there is no historical evidence about Arthur; we must reject him from our histories and, above all, from the titles of our books."
Some scholars argue that Arthur was originally a fictional hero of folklore or even a half-forgotten Celtic deity who became credited with real deeds in the distant past. They cite parallels with figures such as the Kentish Hengist and Horsa, who may be horse-gods that later became historicised. Bede ascribed a historical role to these legendary figures in the 5th-century Anglo-Saxon conquest of eastern Britain. It is not certain whether Arthur was considered a king in the early texts. Neither the Historia nor the Annales calls him "rex"; the Historia calls him dux bellorum (leader of battles) and miles (soldier).
Historical documents are scarce for the post-Roman period, so a definitive answer is unlikely on the question of Arthur's historical existence. Sites and places have been identified as "Arthurian" since the 12th century, but archaeology can confidently reveal names only through inscriptions found in secure contexts. The so-called "Arthur stone" discovered in 1998 among the ruins at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall in securely dated 6th-century contexts created a brief stir but proved irrelevant. Some inscriptional evidence for Arthur is tainted with the suggestion of forgery, such as the Glastonbury cross. Several historical figures have been proposed as the basis for Arthur, ranging from Lucius Artorius Castus, a Roman officer who served in Britain in the 2nd or 3rd century (Littleton & Malcor 1994), to Roman usurper emperors such as Magnus Maximus or sub-Roman British rulers such as Riotamus (Ashe 1985), Ambrosius Aurelianus (Reno 1996), Owain Ddantgwyn (Phillips & Keatman 1992), and Athrwys ap Meurig (Gilbert, Wilson & Blackett 1998).
The origin of the Welsh name "Arthur" remains a matter of debate. The most widely accepted etymology derives it from the Roman family name Artorius. Artorius itself is of obscure and contested etymology, but possibly of Messapian or Etruscan origin. Linguist Stephan Zimmer suggests that Artorius possibly had a Celtic origin, being a Latinization of a hypothetical name *Artorījos, in turn derived from an older hypothetical *Arto-rīg-ios, meaning "son of the bear" or "warrior-king". This patronym is unattested and purely hypothetical, but the root *arto-rīg is the source of the Old Irish personal name Artrí. Some scholars have suggested that it is relevant to this debate that King Arthur's name only appears as Arthur or Arturus in early Latin Arthurian texts, never as Artōrius (though Classical Latin Artōrius became Arturius in some Vulgar Latin dialects). However, this may not say anything about the origin of the name Arthur, as Artōrius would regularly become Art(h)ur when borrowed into Welsh.
Another commonly proposed derivation of Arthur from Welsh is not accepted by modern scholars for phonological and orthographic reasons, which posited arth "bear" + (g)wr "man" (earlier *Arto-uiros in Brittonic). An alternative theory has gained only limited acceptance among professional scholars which derives the name Arthur from Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, near Ursa Major or the Great Bear. Classical Latin Arcturus would also have become Art(h)ur when borrowed into Welsh, and its brightness and position in the sky led people to regard it as the "guardian of the bear" (which is the meaning of the name in Ancient Greek) and the "leader" of the other stars in Boötes.
Medieval literary traditions
Geoffrey of Monmouth created the literary character of Arthur in his pseudo-historical Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) in the 1130s. The textual sources for Arthur are usually divided into those written before Geoffrey's Historia (known as pre-Galfridian texts, from the Latin form of Geoffrey Galfridus) and those written afterwards, which could not avoid his influence (Galfridian or post-Galfridian texts).
The earliest literary references to Arthur come from Welsh and Breton sources. There have been few attempts to define the nature and character of Arthur in the pre-Galfridian tradition as a whole, rather than in a single text or story-type. A 2007 academic survey that does attempt this by Caitlin Green identifies three key strands to the portrayal of Arthur in this earliest material. The first is that he was a peerless warrior who functioned as the monster-hunting protector of Britain from all internal and external threats. Some of these are human threats, such as the Saxons whom he fights in the Historia Brittonum, but the majority are supernatural, including giant cat-monsters, destructive divine boars, dragons, dogheads, giants, and witches. The second is that the pre-Galfridian Arthur was a figure of folklore (particularly topographic or onomastic folklore) and localised magical wonder-tales, the leader of a band of superhuman heroes who live in the wilds of the landscape. The third and final strand is that the early Welsh Arthur had a close connection with the Welsh otherworld of Annwn. On the one hand, he launches assaults on otherworldly fortresses in search of treasure and frees their prisoners. On the other, his warband in the earliest sources includes former pagan gods, and his wife and his possessions are clearly otherworldly in origin.
One of the most famous Welsh poetic references to Arthur comes in the collection of heroic death-songs known as Y Gododdin (The Gododdin), attributed to 6th-century poet Aneirin. One stanza praises the bravery of a warrior who slew 300 enemies but adds that "he was no Arthur", and his feats cannot compare to the valour of Arthur. Y Gododdin is known only from a 13th-century manuscript, so it is impossible to determine whether this passage is original or a later interpolation, but John Koch's view is that the passage dates from a 7th-century or earlier version; 9th- or 10th-century dates are also proposed for it. Taliesin was a poet said to have lived in the 6th century, and several poems attributed to him refer to Arthur, although these all might date from between the 8th and 12th centuries. They include "Kadeir Teyrnon" ("The Chair of the Prince"), which refers to "Arthur the Blessed"; "Preiddeu Annwn" ("The Spoils of Annwn"), which recounts an expedition of Arthur to the otherworld; and "Marwnat vthyr pen[dragon]" ("The Elegy of Uther Pendragon"), which refers to Arthur's valour and is suggestive of a father-son relationship for Arthur and Uther that pre-dates Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Other early Welsh Arthurian texts include a poem found in the Black Book of Carmarthen, "Pa gur yv y porthaur?" ("What man is the gatekeeper?"). This takes the form of a dialogue between Arthur and the gatekeeper of a fortress he wishes to enter, in which Arthur recounts the names and deeds of himself and his men, notably Cei (Kay) and Bedwyr (Bedivere). The Welsh prose tale Culhwch and Olwen (c. 1100), included in the modern Mabinogion collection, has a much longer list of more than 200 of Arthur's men, though Cei and Bedwyr again take a central place. The story as a whole tells of Arthur helping his kinsman Culhwch win the hand of Olwen, daughter of Ysbaddaden Chief-Giant, by completing a series of apparently impossible tasks, including the hunt for the great semi-divine boar Twrch Trwyth. The 9th-century Historia Brittonum also refers to this tale, with the boar there named Troy(n)t. Finally, Arthur is mentioned numerous times in the Welsh Triads, a collection of short summaries of Welsh tradition and legend which are classified into groups of three linked characters or episodes to assist recall. The later manuscripts of the Triads are partly derivative from Geoffrey of Monmouth and later continental traditions, but the earliest ones show no such influence and are usually agreed to refer to pre-existing Welsh traditions. Even in these, however, Arthur's court has started to embody legendary Britain as a whole, with "Arthur's Court" sometimes substituted for "The Island of Britain" in the formula "Three XXX of the Island of Britain". While it is not clear from the Historia Brittonum and the Annales Cambriae that Arthur was even considered a king, by the time Culhwch and Olwen and the Triads were written he had become Penteyrnedd yr Ynys hon, "Chief of the Lords of this Island", the overlord of Wales, Cornwall and the North.
In addition to these pre-Galfridian Welsh poems and tales, Arthur appears in some other early Latin texts besides the Historia Brittonum and the Annales Cambriae. In particular, Arthur features in a number of well-known vitae ("Lives") of post-Roman saints, none of which are now generally considered to be reliable historical sources (the earliest probably dates from the 11th century). According to the Life of Saint Gildas, written in the early 12th century by Caradoc of Llancarfan, Arthur is said to have killed Gildas' brother Hueil and to have rescued his wife Gwenhwyfar from Glastonbury. In the Life of Saint Cadoc, written around 1100 or a little before by Lifris of Llancarfan, the saint gives protection to a man who killed three of Arthur's soldiers, and Arthur demands a herd of cattle as wergeld for his men. Cadoc delivers them as demanded, but when Arthur takes possession of the animals, they turn into bundles of ferns. Similar incidents are described in the medieval biographies of Carannog, Padarn, and Eufflam, probably written around the 12th century. A less obviously legendary account of Arthur appears in the Legenda Sancti Goeznovii, which is often claimed to date from the early 11th century (although the earliest manuscript of this text dates from the 15th century and the text is now dated to the late 12th to early 13th century).  Also important are the references to Arthur in William of Malmesbury's De Gestis Regum Anglorum and Herman's De Miraculis Sanctae Mariae Laudensis, which together provide the first certain evidence for a belief that Arthur was not actually dead and would at some point return, a theme that is often revisited in post-Galfridian folklore.
Geoffrey of Monmouth
The first narrative account of Arthur's life is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin work Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), completed c. 1138. This work is an imaginative account of British kings, beginning with Trojan exile Brutus and concluding with 7th-century Welsh king Cadwallader. Geoffrey places Arthur in the same post-Roman period as do Historia Brittonum and Annales Cambriae. He incorporates Arthur's father Uther Pendragon and his magician advisor Merlin. He includes the story of Arthur's conception, in which King Uther is disguised as his enemy Gorlois by Merlin's magic in order to sleep with Gorlois's wife Igerna (Igraine) at Tintagel, whereupon she conceives Arthur. On Uther's death, 15 year-old Arthur succeeds him as King of Britain and fights a series of battles, similar to those in the Historia Brittonum and culminating in the Battle of Bath. He then defeats the Picts and Scots before creating an Arthurian empire through his conquests of Ireland, Iceland, and the Orkney Islands. After 12 years of peace, Arthur sets out to expand his empire once more, taking control of Norway, Denmark, and Gaul. Gaul is still held by the Roman Empire, so Arthur's victory leads to a confrontation with Rome. Arthur defeats Roman emperor Lucius Tiberius in Gaul with the help of Kaius (Sir Kay), Beduerus (SirBedivere), and Gualguanus (Sir Gawain). He then hears that his nephew Modredus (Mordred) has married his wife Guenhuuara (Guinevere) and seized the throne. Arthur returns to Britain and defeats and kills Modredus on the river Camblam in Cornwall, but he is mortally wounded. He hands the crown to his kinsman Constantine and is taken to the isle of Avalon to be healed of his wounds, never to be seen again.
No one can say how much of this narrative was Geoffrey's own invention. He appears to have used the list of Arthur's 12 battles against the Saxons found in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, along with the battle of Camlann from the Annales Cambriae and the idea that Arthur was still alive. Arthur's status as the king of all Britain seems to be borrowed from pre-Galfridian tradition, being found in Culhwch and Olwen, the Welsh Triads, and the saints' lives. Finally, Geoffrey borrowed many of the names for Arthur's possessions, close family, and companions from the pre-Galfridian Welsh tradition, including Kaius (Cei), Beduerus (Bedwyr), Guenhuuara (Gwenhwyfar), Uther (Uthyr), and perhaps also Caliburnus (Caledfwlch) which became Excalibur in subsequent Arthurian tales. However, Brynley Roberts has argued that "the Arthurian section is Geoffrey's literary creation and it owes nothing to prior narrative." Geoffrey makes Medraut into the villainous Modredus; there is no trace of such a negative character in Welsh sources until the 16th century. There have been relatively few modern attempts to challenge this notion that the Historia Regum Britanniae is primarily Geoffrey's own work, with scholarly opinion often echoing William of Newburgh's late 12th-century comment that Geoffrey "made up" his narrative, perhaps through an "inordinate love of lying". Geoffrey Ashe is one dissenter from this view, believing that Geoffrey's narrative is partially derived from a lost source telling of the deeds of a 5th-century British king named Riotamus, this figure being the original Arthur, although historians and Celticists have been reluctant to follow Ashe in his conclusions.
Whether or not Geoffrey drew from other sources, the Historia Regum Britanniae was immensely popular. Well over 200 manuscript copies have survived of his Latin work, and this does not include translations into other languages; around 60 manuscripts are extant containing Welsh-language versions of the Historia, the earliest of which were created in the 13th century. Scholars have long dismissed the notion that some of these Welsh versions actually underlie Geoffrey's Historia, advanced by antiquarians such Lewis Morris in the 18th century. As a result of this popularity, Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae was enormously influential on the later medieval development of the Arthurian legend. Many of its elements were borrowed and developed, such as Merlin and the final fate of Arthur, and it provided the historical framework and setting for the romancers' tales of magical adventures.
The popularity of Geoffrey's Historia and its other derivative works (such as Wace's Roman de Brut) gave rise to significant numbers of new Arthurian works in continental Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries, particularly in France. It was not, however, the only Arthurian influence on the developing "Matter of Britain". There is clear evidence that Arthur and Arthurian tales were familiar on the Continent before Geoffrey's work became widely known (see for example, the Modena Archivolt), and "Celtic" names and stories not found in Geoffrey's Historia appear in the Arthurian romances. One significant effect of this great outpouring of new Arthurian material was on the role of the king himself; much of this 12th-century and later Arthurian literature centres less on Arthur than on characters such as Lancelot and Guinevere, Percival, Galahad, Gawain, Ywain, and Tristan and Iseult. Arthur is very much at the centre of the pre-Galfridian material and in Geoffrey's Historia itself, but he is rapidly sidelined in the romances. His character also alters significantly. He is a great and ferocious warrior in Geoffrey and the earlier materials who laughs as he slaughters witches and giants, and who takes a leading role in all military campaigns. However, he becomes the roi fainéant in the romances, the "do-nothing king" whose "inactivity and acquiescence constituted a central flaw in his otherwise ideal society". Arthur's role in these works is frequently that of a wise, dignified, even-tempered, somewhat bland, and occasionally feeble monarch. He simply turns pale and silent when he learns of Lancelot's affair with Guinevere in the Mort Artu, while he is unable to stay awake after a feast and has to retire for a nap in Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Nonetheless, Norris J. Lacy observes that "his prestige is never—or almost never—compromised by his personal weaknesses… his authority and glory remain intact."
Arthur and his retinue appear in some of the Lais of Marie de France, but it was the work of French poet Chrétien de Troyes which had the greatest influence on the development of Arthur's character and legend. Chrétien wrote five Arthurian romances between c. 1170 and 1190. Erec and Enide and Cligès are tales of courtly love with Arthur's court as their backdrop, demonstrating the shift away from the heroic world of the Welsh and Galfridian Arthur, while Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, features Yvain and Gawain in a supernatural adventure, with Arthur very much on the sidelines and weakened. However, the most significant for the development of the Arthurian legend are Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, which introduces Lancelot and his adulterous relationship with Arthur's queen Guinevere, extending and popularising the recurring theme of Arthur as a cuckold, and Perceval, the Story of the Grail, which introduces the Holy Grail and the Fisher King and which again sees Arthur having a much reduced role. Chrétien was thus "instrumental both in the elaboration of the Arthurian legend and in the establishment of the ideal form for the diffusion of that legend", and much of what came after him built upon the foundations that he laid in terms of the portrayal of Arthur and his world. Perceval was particularly popular, although he never finished it; four separate continuations of the poem appeared over the next half century, with the notion of the Grail and its quest being developed by other writers such as Robert de Boron, a fact that helped accelerate the decline of Arthur in continental romance. Similarly, Lancelot and his cuckolding of Arthur with Guinevere became one of the classic motifs of the Arthurian legend, although the Lancelot of the prose Lancelot (c. 1225) and later texts was a combination of Chrétien's character and that of Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet. Chrétien's work even appears to feed back into Welsh Arthurian literature, with the result that the romance Arthur began to replace the heroic, active Arthur in Welsh literary tradition. Particularly significant in this development were the three Welsh Arthurian romances, which are closely similar to those of Chrétien, albeit with some significant differences; Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain is related to Chrétien's Yvain, Geraint and Enid to Erec and Enide, and Peredur son of Efrawg to Perceval.
Up to c. 1210, continental Arthurian romance was expressed primarily through poetry; after this date, the tales began to be told in prose. The most significant of these 13th-century prose romances was the Vulgate Cycle (also known as the Lancelot-Grail Cycle), a series of five Middle French prose works written in the first half of that century. These works were the Estoire del Saint Grail, the Estoire de Merlin, the Lancelot propre (or Prose Lancelot, which made up half the entire Vulgate Cycle on its own), the Queste del Saint Graal, and the Mort Artu, which combine to form the first coherent version of the entire Arthurian legend. The cycle continued the trend towards reducing the role played by Arthur in his own legend, partly through the introduction of the character of Galahad and an expansion of the role of Merlin. It also made Mordred the result of an incestuous relationship between Arthur and his sister Morgause and established the role of Camelot as Arthur's primary court, first mentioned only in passing in Chrétien's Lancelot. This series of texts was quickly followed by the Post-Vulgate Cycle (c. 1230–40), part of which the Suite du Merlin, which greatly reduced the importance of Lancelot's affair with Guinevere but continued to sideline Arthur and to focus more on the Grail quest. As such, Arthur became a relatively minor character in these French prose romances; in the Vulgate itself, he only figures significantly in the Estoire de Merlin and the Mort Artu. During this period, Arthur was made one of the Nine Worthies, nine exemplars of chivalry: three pagan, three Jewish, and three Christian. The Worthies were first listed in Jacques de Longuyon's Voeux du Paon in 1312, and subsequently became a common subject in literature and art.
The development of the medieval Arthurian cycle and the character of the "Arthur of romance" culminated in Le Morte d'Arthur, Thomas Malory's retelling of the entire legend in a single work in English in the late 15th century. Malory based his book on the previous romance versions, in particular the Vulgate Cycle, and appears to have aimed at creating a comprehensive and authoritative collection of Arthurian stories. Le Morte D'Arthur was one of the earliest printed books in England, published by William Caxton in 1485, and most later Arthurian works are derivative of it.
Decline, revival, and the modern legend
The end of the Middle Ages brought a waning of interest in King Arthur. Malory's English version of the great French romances was popular, but there were increasing attacks upon the truthfulness of the historical framework of the Arthurian romances established since Geoffrey of Monmouth's time, and thus on the legitimacy of the whole Matter of Britain. Humanist scholar Polydore Vergil rejected the claim that Arthur was the ruler of a post-Roman empire as found throughout the post-Galfridian medieval "chronicle tradition", to the horror of Welsh and English antiquarians. Social changes associated with the end of the medieval period and the Renaissance also robbed the character of Arthur and his legend of some of their power to enthrall audiences, with the result that 1634 saw the last printing of Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur for nearly 200 years. King Arthur and the Arthurian legend were not entirely abandoned, but the material was taken less seriously and was often used simply as a vehicle for allegories of 17th- and 18th-century politics. Thus Richard Blackmore's epics Prince Arthur (1695) and King Arthur (1697) feature Arthur as an allegory for the struggles of William III against James II. Similarly, the most popular Arthurian tale throughout this period seems to have been that of Tom Thumb, which was told first through chapbooks and later through the political plays of Henry Fielding. The action is clearly set in Arthurian Britain, but the treatment is humorous and Arthur appears as a primarily comedic version of his romance character.
Tennyson and the revival
In the early 19th century, medievalism, Romanticism, and the Gothic Revival reawakened interest in Arthur and the medieval romances. A new code of ethics for 19th-century gentlemen was shaped around the chivalric ideals embodied in the "Arthur of romance". This renewed interest first made itself felt in 1816, when Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur was reprinted for the first time since 1634. Initially, the medieval Arthurian legends were of particular interest to poets, inspiring, for example, William Wordsworth to write "The Egyptian Maid" (1835), an allegory of the Holy Grail. Pre-eminent among these was Alfred Tennyson, whose first Arthurian poem "The Lady of Shalott" was published in 1832. Arthur himself played a minor role in some of these works, following in the medieval romance tradition. Tennyson's Arthurian work reached its peak of popularity with Idylls of the King, however, which reworked the entire narrative of Arthur's life for the Victorian era. It was first published in 1859 and sold 10,000 copies within the first week. In the Idylls, Arthur became a symbol of ideal manhood who ultimately failed, through human weakness, to establish a perfect kingdom on earth. Tennyson's works prompted a large number of imitators, generated considerable public interest in the legends of Arthur and the character himself, and brought Malory's tales to a wider audience. Indeed, the first modernisation of Malory's great compilation of Arthur's tales was published in 1862, shortly after Idylls appeared, and there were six further editions and five competitors before the century ended.
This interest in the "Arthur of romance" and his associated stories continued through the 19th century and into the 20th, and influenced poets such as William Morris and Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edward Burne-Jones. Even the humorous tale of Tom Thumb, which had been the primary manifestation of Arthur's legend in the 18th century, was rewritten after the publication of Idylls. While Tom maintained his small stature and remained a figure of comic relief, his story now included more elements from the medieval Arthurian romances and Arthur is treated more seriously and historically in these new versions. The revived Arthurian romance also proved influential in the United States, with such books as Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur (1880) reaching wide audiences and providing inspiration for Mark Twain's satiric A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). Although the 'Arthur of romance' was sometimes central to these new Arthurian works (as he was in Burne-Jones's "The Sleep of Arthur in Avalon", 1881-1898), on other occasions he reverted to his medieval status and is either marginalized or even missing entirely, with Wagner's Arthurian operas providing a notable instance of the latter. Furthermore, the revival of interest in Arthur and the Arthurian tales did not continue unabated. By the end of the 19th century, it was confined mainly to Pre-Raphaelite imitators, and it could not avoid being affected by World War I, which damaged the reputation of chivalry and thus interest in its medieval manifestations and Arthur as chivalric role model. The romance tradition did, however, remain sufficiently powerful to persuade Thomas Hardy, Laurence Binyon and John Masefield to compose Arthurian plays, and T. S. Eliot alludes to the Arthur myth (but not Arthur) in his poem The Waste Land, which mentions the Fisher King.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the influence of the romance tradition of Arthur continued, through novels such as T. H. White's The Once and Future King (1958) and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1982) in addition to comic strips such as Prince Valiant (from 1937 onward). Tennyson had reworked the romance tales of Arthur to suit and comment upon the issues of his day, and the same is often the case with modern treatments too. Bradley's tale, for example, takes a feminist approach to Arthur and his legend, in contrast to the narratives of Arthur found in medieval materials, and American authors often rework the story of Arthur to be more consistent with values such as equality and democracy. In John Cowper Powys's Porius: A Romance of the Dark Ages (1951), set in Wales in 499, just prior to the Saxon invasion, Arthur, the Emperor of Britain, is only a minor character, whereas Myrddin (Merlin) and Nineue, Tennyson's Vivien, are major figures. Myrddin's disappearance at the end of the novel is "in the tradition of magical hibernation when the king or mage leaves his people for some island or cave to return either at a more propitious or more dangerous time" (see King Arthur's messianic return). Also Powys's earlier novel, A Glastonbury Romance (1932) is concerned with both the Holy Grail and the legend that Arthur is buried in the town of Glastonbury.
The romance Arthur has become popular in film and theatre as well. T. H. White's novel was adapted into the Lerner and Loewe stage musical Camelot (1960) and Walt Disney's animated film The Sword in the Stone (1963); Camelot, with its focus on the love of Lancelot and Guinevere and the cuckolding of Arthur, was itself made into a film of the same name in 1967. The romance tradition of Arthur is particularly evident and, according to critics, successfully handled in Robert Bresson's Lancelot du Lac (1974), Éric Rohmer's Perceval le Gallois (1978) and perhaps John Boorman's fantasy film Excalibur (1981); it is also the main source of the material used in the Arthurian spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).
Re-tellings and re-imaginings of the romance tradition are not the only important aspect of the modern legend of King Arthur. Attempts to portray Arthur as a genuine historical figure of c. 500, stripping away the "romance", have also emerged. As Taylor and Brewer have noted, this return to the medieval "chronicle tradition" of Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Historia Brittonum is a recent trend which became dominant in Arthurian literature in the years following the outbreak of the Second World War, when Arthur's legendary resistance to Germanic enemies struck a chord in Britain. Clemence Dane's series of radio plays, The Saviours (1942), used a historical Arthur to embody the spirit of heroic resistance against desperate odds, and Robert Sherriff's play The Long Sunset (1955) saw Arthur rallying Romano-British resistance against the Germanic invaders. This trend towards placing Arthur in a historical setting is also apparent in historical and fantasy novels published during this period. In recent years the portrayal of Arthur as a real hero of the 5th century has also made its way into film versions of the Arthurian legend, most notably the TV series' Arthur of the Britons (1972–73) and The Legend of King Arthur (1979), and the feature films King Arthur (2004) and The Last Legion (2007),
Arthur has also been used as a model for modern-day behaviour. In the 1930s, the Order of the Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table was formed in Britain to promote Christian ideals and Arthurian notions of medieval chivalry. In the United States, hundreds of thousands of boys and girls joined Arthurian youth groups, such as the Knights of King Arthur, in which Arthur and his legends were promoted as wholesome exemplars. However, Arthur's diffusion within modern culture goes beyond such obviously Arthurian endeavours, with Arthurian names being regularly attached to objects, buildings, and places. As Norris J. Lacy has observed, "The popular notion of Arthur appears to be limited, not surprisingly, to a few motifs and names, but there can be no doubt of the extent to which a legend born many centuries ago is profoundly embedded in modern culture at every level."
- Neubecker 1998–2002
- Higham 2002, pp. 11–37, has a summary of the debate on this point.
- Charles-Edwards 1991, p. 15; Sims-Williams 1991. Y Gododdin cannot be dated precisely; it describes 6th-century events and contains 9th- or 10th-century spelling, but the surviving copy is from the 13th-century.
- Thorpe 1966, but see also Loomis 1956
- See Padel 1994; Sims-Williams 1991; Green 2007b; and Roberts 1991a
- Dumville 1986; Higham 2002, pp. 116–69; Green 2007b, pp. 15–26, 30–38.
- Green 2007b, pp. 26–30; Koch 1996, pp. 251–53.
- Charles-Edwards 1991, p. 29
- Morris 1973
- Myres 1986, p. 16
- Gildas, De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, chapter 26.
- Pryor 2004, pp. 22–27
- Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, Book 1.16.
- Dumville 1977, pp. 187–88
- Green 1998; Padel 1994; Green 2007b, chapters five and seven.
- Historia Brittonum 56, 73; Annales Cambriae 516, 537.
- For example, Ashley 2005.
- Heroic Age 1999
- Modern scholarship views the Glastonbury cross as the result of a late-12th-century fraud. See Rahtz 1993 and Carey 1999.
- Koch 2006, p. 121
- Malone 1925
- Marcella Chelotti, Vincenza Morizio, Marina Silvestrini, Le epigrafi romane di Canosa, Volume 1, Edipuglia srl, 1990, pp. 261, 264.
- Ciro Santoro, "Per la nuova iscrizione messapica di Oria", La Zagaglia, A. VII, n. 27, 1965, pp. 271–293.
- Ciro Santoro, "La Nuova Epigrafe Messapica «IM 4. 16, I-III» di Ostuni ed nomi" in Art-, Ricerche e Studi, Volume 12, 1979, pp. 45–60
- Wilhelm Schulze, "Zur Geschichte lateinischer Eigennamen" (Volume 5, Issue 2 of Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Göttingen Philologisch-Historische Klasse) , 2nd edition, Weidmann, 1966, p. 72, pp. 333–338
- Olli Salomies, Die römischen Vornamen. Studien zur römischen Namengebung. Helsinki 1987, p. 68
- Herbig, Gust., "Falisca", Glotta, Band II, Göttingen, 1910, p. 98
- Zimmer 2009
- Koch 1996, p. 253
- See Higham 2002, p. 74.
- See Higham 2002, p. 80.
- Chambers 1964, p. 170; Bromwich 1978, p. 544; Johnson 2002, pp. 38–39; Walter 2005, p. 74; Zimmer 2006, p. 37; Zimmer 2009
- Anderson 2004, pp. 28–29; Green 2007b, pp. 191–4.
- Green 2007b, pp. 45–176
- Green 2007b, pp. 93–130
- Padel 1994 has a thorough discussion of this aspect of Arthur's character.
- Green 2007b, pp. 135–76. On his possessions and wife, see also Ford 1983.
- Williams 1937, p. 64, line 1242
- Charles-Edwards 1991, p. 15; Koch 1996, pp. 242–45; Green 2007b, pp. 13–15, 50–52.
- See, for example, Haycock & 1983–84 and Koch 1996, pp. 264–65.
- Online translations of this poem are outdated and inaccurate. See Haycock 2007, pp. 293–311 for a full translation, and Green 2007b, p. 197 for a discussion of its Arthurian aspects.
- See, for example, Green 2007b, pp. 54–67 and Budgey 1992, who includes a translation.
- Koch & Carey 1994, pp. 314–15
- Lanier 1881
- Sims-Williams 1991, pp. 38–46 has a full translation and analysis of this poem.
- For a discussion of the tale, see Bromwich & Evans 1992; see also Padel 1994, pp. 2–4; Roberts 1991a; and Green 2007b, pp. 67–72 and chapter three.
- Barber 1986, pp. 17–18, 49; Bromwich 1978
- Roberts 1991a, pp. 78, 81
- Roberts 1991a
- Translated in Coe & Young 1995, pp. 22–27. On the Glastonbury tale and its Otherworldly antecedents, see Sims-Williams 1991, pp. 58–61.
- Coe & Young 1995, pp. 26–37
- Bourgès, André-Yves, "Guillaume le Breton et l'hagiographie bretonne aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles", in: Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest, 1995, 102-1, pp. 35-45.
- See Ashe 1985 for an attempt to use this vita as a historical source.
- Padel 1994, pp. 8–12; Green 2007b, pp. 72–5, 259, 261–2; Bullock-Davies 1982
- Wright 1985; Thorpe 1966
- Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae Book 8.19–24, Book 9, Book 10, Book 11.1–2
- Roberts 1991b, p. 106; Padel 1994, pp. 11–12
- Green 2007b, pp. 217–19
- Roberts 1991b, pp. 109–10, 112; Bromwich & Evans 1992, pp. 64–5
- Roberts 1991b, p. 108
- Bromwich 1978, pp. 454–55
- See, for example, Brooke 1986, p. 95.
- Ashe 1985, p. 6; Padel 1995, p. 110; Higham 2002, p. 76.
- Crick 1989
- Sweet 2004, p. 140. See further, Roberts 1991b and Roberts 1980.
- As noted by Ashe 1996 among many others.
- For example, Thorpe 1966, p. 29
- Stokstad 1996
- Loomis 1956; Bromwich 1983; Bromwich 1991.
- Lacy 1996a, p. 16; Morris 1982, p. 2.
- For example, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae Book 10.3.
- Padel 2000, p. 81
- Morris 1982, pp. 99–102; Lacy 1996a, p. 17.
- Lacy 1996a, p. 17
- Pyle 1903
- Burgess & Busby 1999
- Lacy 1996b
- Kibler & Carroll 1991, p. 1
- Lacy 1996b, p. 88
- Roach & 1949–83
- Ulrich von Zatzikhoven 2005
- Padel 2000, pp. 77–82
- See Jones & Jones 1949 for accurate translations of all three texts. It is not entirely certain what the relationship is between these Welsh romances and Chrétien's works, however; see Koch 1996, pp. 280–88 for a survey of opinions
- BNF c. 1475, fol. 610v
- Lacy & 1992–96
- For a study of this cycle, see Burns 1985.
- Lacy 1996c, p. 344
- On Malory and his work, see Field 1993 and Field 1998.
- Vinaver 1990
- Carley 1984
- Parins 1995, p. 5
- Ashe 1968, pp. 20–21; Merriman 1973
- Green 2007a
- Parins 1995, pp. 8–10
- Wordsworth 1835
- See Potwin 1902 for the sources that Tennyson used when writing this poem
- Taylor & Brewer 1983, p. 127
- See Rosenberg 1973 and Taylor & Brewer 1983, pp. 89–128 for analyses of The Idylls of the King.
- See, for example, Simpson 1990.
- Staines 1996, p. 449
- Taylor & Brewer 1983, pp. 127–161; Mancoff 1990.
- Green 2007a, p. 127; Gamerschlag 1983
- Twain 1889; Smith & Thompson 1996.
- Watson 2002
- Mancoff 1990
- Workman 1994
- Hardy 1923; Binyon 1923; and Masefield 1927
- Eliot 1949; Barber 2004, pp. 327–28
- White 1958; Bradley 1982; Tondro 2002, p. 170
- Lagorio 1996
- Lupack & Lupack 1991
- Porius. New York: Overlook Duckworth 2007. pp. 8-19.
- C. A. Coates, John Cowper Powys in Search of a Landscape. Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1982, p. 139.
- New York: Simon and Schuster. C. A. Coates, John Cowper Powys in Search of a Landscape. pp. 92-7.
- Harty 1996; Harty 1997
- Taylor & Brewer 1983, chapter nine; see also Higham 2002, pp. 21–22, 30.
- Thompson 1996, p. 141
- For example: Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers (1959) and Sword at Sunset (1963); Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave (1970) and its sequels; Parke Godwin's Firelord (1980) and its sequels; Stephen Lawhead's The Pendragon Cycle (1987–99); Nikolai Tolstoy's The Coming of the King (1988); Jack Whyte's The Camulod Chronicles (1992–97); and Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles (1995–97). See List of books about King Arthur.
- Thomas 1993, pp. 128–31
- Lupack 2002, p. 2; Forbush & Forbush 1915
- Lacy 1996d, p. 364
- Anderson, Graham (2004), King Arthur in Antiquity, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-31714-6.
- Ashe, Geoffrey (1985), The Discovery of King Arthur, Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-385-19032-9.
- Ashe, Geoffrey (1996), "Geoffrey of Monmouth", in Lacy, Norris, The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 179–82, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
- Ashe, Geoffrey (1968), "The Visionary Kingdom", in Ashe, Geoffrey, The Quest for Arthur's Britain, London: Granada, ISBN 0-586-08044-9.
- Ashley, Michael (2005), The Mammoth Book of King Arthur, London: Robinson, ISBN 978-1-84119-249-9.
- Barber, Richard (1986), King Arthur: Hero and Legend, Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press, ISBN 0-85115-254-6.
- Barber, Richard (2004), The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief, London: Allen Lane, ISBN 978-0-7139-9206-9.
- Bibliothèque nationale de France [French National Library] (c. 1475), Français 116: Lancelot en prose [French MS 116: The Prose Lancelot] (in French), Illuminated by Évrard d'Espinques. Originally commissioned for Jacques d'Armagnac, now held by the BNF Department of Manuscripts (Paris)
- Binyon, Laurence (1923), Arthur: A Tragedy, London: Heinemann, OCLC 17768778.
- Bradley, Marion Zimmer (1982), The Mists of Avalon, New York: Knopf, ISBN 978-0-394-52406-1.
- Bromwich, Rachel (1978), Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 978-0-7083-0690-1. 2nd ed.
- Bromwich, Rachel (1983), "Celtic Elements in Arthurian Romance: A General Survey", in Grout, P. B.; Diverres, Armel Hugh, The Legend of Arthur in the Middle Ages, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, pp. 41–55, ISBN 978-0-85991-132-0.
- Bromwich, Rachel (1991), "First Transmission to England and France", in Bromwich, Rachel; Jarman, A. O. H.; Roberts, Brynley F., The Arthur of the Welsh, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 273–98, ISBN 978-0-7083-1107-3.
- Bromwich, Rachel; Evans, D. Simon (1992), Culhwch and Olwen. An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 978-0-7083-1127-1.
- Brooke, Christopher N. L. (1986), The Church and the Welsh Border in the Central Middle Ages, Woodbridge: Boydell, ISBN 978-0-85115-175-5.
- Budgey, A. (1992), "'Preiddeu Annwn' and the Welsh Tradition of Arthur", in Byrne, Cyril J.; Harry, Margaret Rose; Ó Siadhail, Padraig, Celtic Languages and Celtic People: Proceedings of the Second North American Congress of Celtic Studies, held in Halifax, August 16–19, 1989, Halifax, Nova Scotia: D'Arcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary's University, pp. 391–404, ISBN 978-0-9696252-0-9.
- Bullock-Davies, C. (1982), "Exspectare Arthurum, Arthur and the Messianic Hope", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies (29): 432–40.
- Burgess, Glyn S.; Busby, Keith, eds. (1999), The Lais of Marie de France, London: Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-044759-0. 2nd. ed.
- Burns, E. Jane (1985), Arthurian Fictions: Re-reading the Vulgate Cycle, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, ISBN 978-0-8142-0387-3.
- Carey, John (1999), "The Finding of Arthur's Grave: A Story from Clonmacnoise?", in Carey, John; Koch, John T.; Lambert, Pierre-Yves, Ildánach Ildírech. A Festschrift for Proinsias Mac Cana, Andover: Celtic Studies Publications, pp. 1–14, ISBN 978-1-891271-01-4.
- Carley, J. P. (1984), "Polydore Vergil and John Leland on King Arthur: The Battle of the Books", Arthurian Interpretations (15): 86–100.
- Chambers, Edmund Kerchever (1964), Arthur of Britain, Speculum Historiale.
- Charles-Edwards, Thomas M. (1991), "The Arthur of History", in Bromwich, Rachel; Jarman, A. O. H.; Roberts, Brynley F., The Arthur of the Welsh, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 15–32, ISBN 978-0-7083-1107-3.
- Coe, John B.; Young, Simon (1995), The Celtic Sources for the Arthurian Legend, Felinfach, Lampeter: Llanerch, ISBN 978-1-897853-83-2.
- Crick, Julia C. (1989), The "Historia regum Britanniae" of Geoffrey of Monmouth. 3: A Summary Catalogue of the Manuscripts, Cambridge: Brewer, ISBN 978-0-85991-213-6.
- Dumville, D. N. (1977), "Sub-Roman Britain: History and Legend", History, 62 (62): 173–92, doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.1977.tb02335.x.
- Dumville, D. N. (1986), "The Historical Value of the Historia Brittonum", Arthurian Literature (6): 1–26.
- Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1949), The Waste Land and Other Poems, London: Faber and Faber, OCLC 56866661.
- Field, P. J. C. (1993), The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Malory, Cambridge: Brewer, ISBN 978-0-585-16570-7.
- Field, P. J. C. (1998), Malory: Texts and Sources, Cambridge: Brewer, ISBN 978-0-85991-536-6.
- Ford, P. K. (1983), "On the Significance of some Arthurian Names in Welsh", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies (30): 268–73.
- Forbush, William Byron; Forbush, Dascomb (1915), The Knights of King Arthur: How To Begin and What To Do, The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester, retrieved 2008-05-22.
- Gamerschlag, K. (1983), "Tom Thumb und König Arthur; oder: Der Däumling als Maßstab der Welt. Beobachtungen zu dreihundertfünfzig Jahren gemeinsamer Geschichte", Anglia (in German) (101): 361–91.
- Gilbert, Adrian; Wilson, Alan; Blackett, Baram (1998), The Holy Kingdom, London: Corgi, ISBN 978-0-552-14489-6.
- Green, Caitlin (2009), "The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur", Arthuriana, retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Green, Thomas (August 2007a), "Tom Thumb and Jack the Giant Killer: Two Arthurian Fairytales?", Folklore, 118 (2): 123–40, doi:10.1080/00155870701337296. (EBSCO subscription required.)
- Green, Thomas (2007b), Concepts of Arthur, Stroud: Tempus, ISBN 978-0-7524-4461-1.
- Haycock, M. (1983–84), "Preiddeu Annwn and the Figure of Taliesin", Studia Celtica' (18/19): 52–78.
- Haycock, M. (2007), Legendary Poems from the Book of Taliesin, Aberystwyth: CMCS, ISBN 978-0-9527478-9-5.
- Hardy, Thomas (1923), The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall at Tintagel in Lyonnesse: A New Version of an Old Story Arranged as a Play for Mummers, in One Act, Requiring No Theatre or Scenery, London: Macmillan, OCLC 1124753.
- Harty, Kevin J. (1996), "Films", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 152–155, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
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- Heroic Age (Spring–Summer 1999), "Early Medieval Tintagel: An Interview with Archaeologists Rachel Harry and Kevin Brady", The Heroic Age (1), archived from the original on 2014-08-21.
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- Jones, Gwyn; Jones, Thomas, eds. (1949), The Mabinogion, London: Dent, OCLC 17884380.
- Johnson, Flint (2002), The British Sources of the Abduction and Grail Romances, University Press of America.
- Kibler, William; Carroll, Carleton W., eds. (1991), Chrétien de Troyes: Arthurian Romances, London: Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-044521-3.
- Koch, John T. (1996), "The Celtic Lands", in Lacy, Norris J., Medieval Arthurian Literature: A Guide to Recent Research, New York: Garland, pp. 239–322, ISBN 978-0-8153-2160-6.
- Koch, John T.; Carey, John (1994), The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, Malden, MA: Celtic Studies Publications, ISBN 978-0-9642446-2-7.
- Koch, John T. (1994), Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, ISBN 1851094407.
- Lacy, Norris J. (1992–96), Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation, New York: Garland, ISBN 978-0-8153-0757-0. 5 vols.
- Lacy, Norris J. (1996a), "Character of Arthur", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 16–17, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
- Lacy, Norris J. (1996b), "Chrétien de Troyes", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 88–91, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
- Lacy, Norris J. (1996c), "Nine Worthies", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, p. 344, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
- Lacy, Norris J. (1996d), "Popular Culture", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 363–64, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
- Lagorio, V. M. (1996), "Bradley, Marion Zimmer", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, p. 57, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
- Lanier, Sidney, ed. (1881), The Boy's Mabinogion: being the earliest Welsh tales of King Arthur in the famous Red Book of Hergest, Illustrated by Alfred Fredericks, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
- Lanier, Sidney, ed. (1922), The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
- Littleton, C. Scott; Malcor, Linda A. (1994), From Scythia to Camelot: A Radical Reassessment of the Legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and the Holy Grail, New York: Garland, ISBN 978-0-8153-1496-7.
- Loomis, Roger Sherman (1956), "The Arthurian Legend before 1139", in Loomis, Roger Sherman, Wales and the Arthurian Legend, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 179–220, OCLC 2792376.
- Lupack, Alan; Lupack, Barbara (1991), King Arthur in America, Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, ISBN 978-0-85991-543-4.
- Lupack, Alan (2002), "Preface", in Sklar, Elizabeth Sherr; Hoffman, Donald L., King Arthur in Popular Culture, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, pp. 1–3, ISBN 978-0-7864-1257-0.
- Malone, Kemp (May 1925), "Artorius", Modern Philology, 22 (4): 367–74, doi:10.1086/387553, JSTOR 433555. (JSTOR subscription required.)
- Mancoff, Debra N. (1990), The Arthurian Revival in Victorian Art, New York: Garland, ISBN 978-0-8240-7040-3.
- Masefield, John (1927), Tristan and Isolt: A Play in Verse, London: Heinemann, OCLC 4787138.
- Merriman, James Douglas (1973), The Flower of Kings: A Study of the Arthurian Legend in England Between 1485 and 1835, Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, ISBN 978-0-7006-0102-8.
- Morris, John (1973), The Age of Arthur: A History of the British Isles from 350 to 650, New York: Scribner, ISBN 978-0-684-13313-3.
- Morris, Rosemary (1982), The Character of King Arthur in Medieval Literature, Cambridge: Brewer, ISBN 978-0-8476-7118-2.
- Myres, J. N. L. (1986), The English Settlements, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-282235-2.
- Neubecker, Ottfried (1998–2002), Wappenkunde (in German), Munich: Orbis Verlag, p. 170, ISBN 3-572-01336-4.
- Padel, O. J. (1994), "The Nature of Arthur", Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies (27): 1–31.
- Padel, O. J. (Fall 1995), "Recent Work on the Origins of the Arthurian Legend: A Comment", Arthuriana, 5 (3): 103–14.
- Padel, O. J. (2000), Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 978-0-7083-1682-5.
- Parins, Marylyn Jackson (1995), Sir Thomas Malory: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-13400-2.
- Phillips, Graham; Keatman, Martin (1992), King Arthur: The True Story, London: Century, ISBN 978-0-7126-5580-4.
- Potwin, L. S. (1902), "The Source of Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shalott'", Modern Language Notes, Modern Language Notes, Vol. 17, No. 8, 17 (8): 237–239, doi:10.2307/2917812, JSTOR 2917812.
- Pryor, Francis (2004), Britain AD: A Quest for England, Arthur, and the Anglo-Saxons, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-00-718186-5.
- Pyle, Howard (1903), The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, Illustrated by Howard Pyle, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
- Rahtz, Philip (1993), English Heritage Book of Glastonbury, London: Batsford, ISBN 978-0-7134-6865-6.
- Reno, Frank D. (1996), The Historic King Arthur: Authenticating the Celtic Hero of Post-Roman Britain, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, ISBN 978-0-7864-0266-3.
- Roach, William, ed. (1949–83), The Continuations of the Old French 'Perceval' of Chrétien de Troyes, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, OCLC 67476613. 5 vols.
- Roberts, Brynley F. (1980), Brut Tysilio: darlith agoriadol gan Athro y Gymraeg a'i Llenyddiaeth (in Welsh), Abertawe: Coleg Prifysgol Abertawe, ISBN 978-0-86076-020-7.
- Roberts, Brynley F. (1991a), "Culhwch ac Olwen, The Triads, Saints' Lives", in Bromwich, Rachel; Jarman, A. O. H.; Roberts, Brynley F., The Arthur of the Welsh, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 73–95, ISBN 978-0-7083-1107-3.
- Roberts, Brynley F. (1991b), "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae and Brut Y Brenhinedd", in Bromwich, Rachel; Jarman, A. O. H.; Roberts, Brynley F., The Arthur of the Welsh, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 98–116, ISBN 978-0-7083-1107-3.
- Rosenberg, John D. (1973), The Fall of Camelot: A Study of Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King', Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-29175-1.
- Simpson, Roger (1990), Camelot Regained: The Arthurian Revival and Tennyson, 1800–1849, Cambridge: Brewer, ISBN 978-0-85991-300-3.
- Sims-Williams, Patrick (1991), "The Early Welsh Arthurian Poems", in Bromwich, Rachel; Jarman, A. O. H.; Roberts, Brynley F., The Arthur of the Welsh, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 33–71, ISBN 978-0-7083-1107-3.
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- Stokstad, M. (1996), "Modena Archivolt", in Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, pp. 324–326, ISBN 978-1-56865-432-4.
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- Watson, Derek (2002), "Wagner: Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal", in Barber, Richard, King Arthur in Music, Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, pp. 23–34, ISBN 978-0-85991-767-4.
- Walter, Philippe (2005) , Artù. L'orso e il re [Original French title: Arthur: l'ours et le roi; English: Arthur: The Bear and the King] (in Italian), Translated by M. Faccia, Edizioni Arkeios (Original French publisher: Imago).
- White, Terence Hanbury (1958), The Once and Future King, London: Collins, OCLC 547840.
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- International Arthurian Society
- "Arthurian Gwent". Blaenau Gwent Borough County Council. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008.. An excellent site detailing Welsh Arthurian folklore.
- Green, Caitlin. "Arthuriana: Studies in Early Medieval History and Legend".. A detailed and comprehensive academic site, which includes numerous scholarly articles.
- Arthuriana: The Journal of Arthurian Studies, published by Scriptorium Press for Purdue University, US. The only academic journal solely concerned with the Arthurian Legend; a good selection of resources and links.
- "Celtic Literature Collective".. Provides texts and translations (of varying quality) of Welsh medieval sources, many of which mention Arthur.
- Green, Thomas (October 2012). "John Dee, King Arthur, and the Conquest of the Arctic". The Heroic Age (15)..
- The Camelot Project, The University of Rochester. Provides valuable bibliographies and freely downloadable versions of Arthurian texts.
- The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe. An online peer-reviewed journal that includes regular Arthurian articles; see especially the first issue.
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