I’m a sucker for all things Arthurian, and Chretien de Troyes, so I thought this post would be a good way to introduce any of my readers who aren’t already familiar it to C.J. Adrien’s blog about Vikings and medieval history. It’s one of my favorites on WordPress. Check out the original, linked below, and take a look around while you’re there. There’s a lot of great stuff at Viking History with C.J. Adrien!
The anglophone world is all too willing to assume that the legend of King Arthur originated in England, and is thus English. King Arthur’s legend in reality likely originated outside of the British Isles. Many people have heard of the alternative versions of the myth, including Arthur’s humble beginnings as Arthurius, a Roman centurion. All of these are as fabricated as the English myth. The myth does, however, begin with the Romans, but not in the way Hollywood has attempted to portray it. It certainly does not begin in England; it begins in Bretagne.
We begin with a simple but important fact: the Romans kept impressive records. In Bretagne — Brittany in English — archeological digs of Roman sites have uncovered a large array of evidence to paint a fairy accurate picture of the region under Roman control at the end of the 4th century (Under Emperor Valentinius). We know…
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