Francis Pryor TV - Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1974 - Geoffrey Ashe - The Holy Grail TV - Ancient Aliens TV - William Shakespeare - Geoffrey of Monmouth - Thomas Malory - Cretien de Troyes - Alfred Lord Tennyson - Mystery Files TV - Tobias Capwell - Arthur’s Round Table Revealed TV - Simon Armitage TV - Christopher Godlow - Richard Rudgley - The Truth Behind: King Arthur TV - Ronald Hutton - Ancient X Files TV - First Knight 1995 - Richard D Hall & Wilson & Blackett TV - Jamie Theakston’s Forbidden History TV - Alice Roberts TV -
A strong society with a unique and lasting culture. The Roman colonisation was supposed to have erased the ancient Britons ... But I don’t believe our ancient culture was overwhelmed as easy as that. Dr Francis Pryor, Britain A.D.: King Arthur’s Britain I, Channel 4 2004
Far from a dark age this was a time of huge creativity and development. ibid.
Arthur is the ultimate commodity, a ready-made hero who has been hijacked by history. ibid.
Archaeologists are starting to radically rethink the Roman invasion of Britain. ibid.
Pre-Roman Britain was in fact a collection of often feudal tribal kingdoms. ibid.
Britain turned its back on Rome and turned to an independent future. ibid.
With the departure of the Roman troops historians imagined the end of history, and from their empty pages we have conjured a desolate wasteland … We call this the Dark Ages. In actual fact, sophisticated societies developed in Britain in the Dark Ages. Dr Francis Pryor, Britain AD: King Arthur’s Britain II
If he existed at all, rose to power in these troubled years … Was Arthur invented to make up for a lack of real history? ibid.
Dark Age Britain was a time of intellectual as well as economic advance. ibid.
There is no archaeological evidence for the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Dr Francis Pryor, Britain AD: King Arthur’s Britain III
Sutton Hoo ... This was the grave of a very rich man. ibid.
I don’t believe there was a hole in British society. ibid.
This continuously occupied landscape; there were no gaps of occupation, no war cemeteries. ibid.
Bede, like all historians, had his own particular axe to grind ... Bede invented a new race of people, the Anglo-Saxons, who came to be known as the English. ibid.
The real people of Britain A.D. did not only survive an influx of foreign influences but actually flourished because of it. ibid.
Behold, Arthur, this is the Holy Grail. Look well, Arthur. For it is your sacred task to seek this Grail. That is your purpose, Arthur. The quest for the Holy Grail. Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1974 starring Graham Chapman & John Cleese & Eric Idle & Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones & Michael Palin & Neil Innes & Connie Booth & Carol Cleveland & John Young & Rita Davies et al, directors Gilliam & Jones, God to Arthur
King Arthur: Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us food and shelter for the night, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail.
French Soldier: Well I’ll ask him, but I don’t think he will be very keen. Uh, he’s already got one, you see. ibid.
The earliest Grail story is a poem in which Arthur and his men go in quest of a magical vessel, a cauldron ... The story of the quest is taken up in the Middle Ages and the vessel is turned into a Christian object. But certainly there is a pagan background here. Dr Geoffrey Ashe, historian
And these is man named Ambrosius who appears during the fifth century as a resistance leader ... He is one possibility. Geoffrey Ashe, author The Discovery of King Arthur
The legendary King Arthur set off on a mysterious voyage to find the magic cauldron. The Holy Grail, Discovery 2013
The chalice and the wine became symbols of eternal life. ibid.
Arthur commanded his faithful followers to search for the Holy Grail. ibid.
Arthur: who or what was Merlin? Ancient Aliens s6e4: Magic of the Gods, History 2014
Another lean unwashed artificer
Cuts off his tale and talks of Arthur’s death. William Shakespeare, King John IV ii 201
Arthur did set upon his head the helm of gold. Girt was he also with Excalibur, best of swords, that was forged within the Isle of Avalon. Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain
And never since was there seen a more doleful a battle in all Christian land. For there was but rushing and riding, foyning and striking and many a grim word was there spoken of either to other, and many a deadly stroke. And thus they fought all the long day and never stinted till the noble knights were laid to the cold earth, and ever they fought still till it was near night, and by then there were a hundred thousand lay dead upon the earth. Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur
Me repenteth, said Merlin; because of the death of that lady thou shalt strike a stroke most dolorous that ever man struck, except the stroke of our Lord, for thou shalt hurt the truest knight and the man of most worship that now liveth, and through that stroke three kingdoms shall be in great poverty, misery and wretchedness twelve years, and the knight shall not be whole of that wound for many years. ibid.
Thus ended the story of the Sangreal, that was briefly drawn out of French into English, the which is the story chronicled for one of the truest and the holiest that is in this world. ibid.
And many men say that there is written upon his tomb this verse: Hic lacet Arthurus, rex quondam rexque futurus. ibid.
The knight was lost in thought, a man with no strength of defence against the love which torments him. His thoughts of love were so deep he almost forgot who he was. Cretien de Troyes, The Knight of the Cart
Lancelot had his every wish. Her love play seemed so gentle. Both her kisses and caresses. But I shall let it remain a secret for ever: the most delightful and choicest pleasure is that which is hinted but never told. ibid.
Sir Arthur’s army set eyes on the enemy. Shuffed for’ard their shields and shunned further delay, shooting forward at the fore with fierce-eye shouts and battering through the bright bucklers. Anonymous, The Alliterative Morte Arthure
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot. Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott
Arthur, legendary King of the Britons: from his castle at Camelot Arthur and his knights in shining armour become the ultimate symbol of chivalry and honour, bringing enlightenment to the dark ages. Archaeologists and historians now believe his myth holds clues to Arthur’s true identity. Mystery Files: King Arthur, National Geographic 2010
The Tower of London: written by Sir Thomas Malory, a former member of parliament, who is awaiting trial for robbery, extortion, attempted murder and rape, around 1469 while the bloody War of the Roses rages outside, Malory completes his great work of prose Morte d’Arthur. It’s the definitive collection of the king’s noble deeds. ibid.
In Malory’s books Arthur is the embodiment of a virtuous hero. He strives to create a peaceful land from his civilised court at Camelot. And he surrounds himself with chivalrous knights of the round table. ibid.
Arthur is betrayed. Lancelot has an affair with his unfaithful Queen Gwinevere. Disloyalty all the more devastating because of their perceived purity. His Utopian dream shattered. ibid.
Taken to the magical island of Avalon, Arthur now rests in eternal sleep, ready to rise again with the nation needs a saviour. ibid.
The pottery found at Tintagel dates back to the fifth century. Significantly, archaeologists have found the same pottery at one other fort in Britain, and it also has links to Arthur, Cadbury Castle. ibid.
The Arthurian legend is not just one story. You have to picture it as a kind of giant snowball rolling down a hill and it picks up all kinds of things as it accelerates down the hill through history. Dr Tobias Capwell, curator The Wallace Collection
The story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is one of our most enduring legends. But exactly who was this mythic super-hero? And did he ever really exist? Arthur’s Round Table Revealed
The big problem was that the first stories of a King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table were only written down in 1136 A.D. six hundred years after he actually lived, as propaganda for the monarchy. The stories quickly became popular and acquired mythical status down the centuries. ibid.
The medieval legend of Arthur and his knights of the Round Table was further embroidered in another best seller by Sir Thomas Malory in another best seller in 1470 called Le Morte d’Arthur, which effectively sealed Arthur’s fame. ibid.
This would make Chester in the west the most logical strategic arms base for Arthur. ibid.