Casting aside Arthur in search of fact


  1. Stop looking for ‘King Arthur’. 
  2. Forget the characters, artefacts, and places of legend. 
  3. Abandon the written sources.
  4. It’s not just about the South — get some context!
  5. ‘Arthur’ was not the defender of the Romans.
  6. ‘Arthur’ did not fight against the Saxon invasion.
  7. Britain wasn’t united — fifth-century factions.
  8. Stop looking for Saxons or Britons.
  9. There were no ‘knights’.
  10. Start thinking in terms of a mess.
Well, this list sure takes the fun out of the matter. I suppose number one is a bit of contradictory advice for a gentleman trying to sell a book on the topic. We live in a stale, matter-of-fact world where if there is not room for conjecture or speculation. If a particular subject does not stand up to the scrutiny of whatever scientific or archaeologic application of a given period, it is discarded as false. Until it isn’t, as was the case with Troy. There wasn’t a Troy until the right person came along and dug in the right place. A fair amount of Homer’s account of the Trojan was was vindicated, allowing for embellishment through oral tradition over generations. I’ll stick with my probably-embellished-possibly-false accounts and enjoy the story.
So to be fair in my rant, I need to actually read the book and then comment back intelligently.
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