King Arthur: The Truth Behind the Legend

King Arthur: The Truth Behind the Legend


By (author) Rodney Castleden


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Hardback $115.50
  • Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
  • Format: Paperback | 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 188mm x 244mm x 18mm | 558g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2003
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0415316553
  • ISBN 13: 9780415316552
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: 23 black & white halftones, 46 black & white line drawings
  • Sales rank: 1,641,437

Product description

King Arthur is often written off as a medieval fantasy, the dream of those yearning for an age of strong, just rulers and a contented kingdom. Those who accept his existence at all generally discard the stories that surround him. This exciting new investigation argues not only that Arthur did exist, as a Dark Age chieftain, but that many of the romantic tales - of Merlin, Camelot and Excalibur - are rooted in truth. In his quest for the real King Arthur, Rodney Castleden uses up-to-date archaeological and documentary evidence to recreate the history and society of Dark Age Britain and its kings. He revives the possibility that Tintagel was an Arthurian legend, and proposes a radical new theory - that Arthur escaped alive from his final battle. A location is even suggested for perhaps the greatest mystery, the whereabouts of Arthur's grave. King Arthur: The Truth Behind the Legend offers a more complete picture of Arthur's Britain and his place in it than ever before. The book's bold approach and compelling arguments will be welcomed by all readers with an interest in Arthuriana.

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Author information

Rodney Castleden has been researching landscape processing and prehistory for the last the 30 years. He is the author of The Making of Stonehenge, The Knossos Labyrinth, Minoans and Atlantis Destroyed.

Review quote

"Castleden tells an engaging and engaged tale, full of legendary personages, stirring clashes between cultures, and revelations regarding ancient mysteries." - Elizabeth A. Ragan, Salisbury University, Journal of Anthropolical Research

Table of contents

1. Who this Arthur Was: The Once and Future King; Doubts about Arthur's Existence 2. The Documents: Constantius' Life of Germanus; Writings on Stones; Genealogies; Nennius' Historical Miscellany; Poetry; The Anglo-saxon Chronicle; Gildas Book of Complaint; Geoffrey of Monmouth 3. The Archaeology: Background Problems; Strongholds of the North; strongholds of Wales and the Borders; Dark Age Dumnonia; Castle Dore and Other Sites 4. Arthur's Britain: St Germanus and Vortigern; Ambrosius Aurelianus; Christian Missionaries; The Saxons 5. Arthur: The Man. the King and the Kingdom: The Man; 'The most powerful leader of the Britons'; Arthur's Power Base; Arthur as a Christian King 6. Camelot: Colchester, Cadbury and Caerlaverock, Tintagel, Viroconium, Killibury, The Hammerer 7. The Death of Arthur: The last battle; Arthur's Disappearance; Avalon; 'The Wonder of the World'