mediaevalist: (King Arthur as a girl)
I hate the fact that these damned things always seem to be on PDF, but I suppose it's the easiest way to present a Master's thesis.

Heraldry and Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

The fun thing about Arthurian legend is that it's anachronism stew from the onset. European heraldry as we know it really didn't take off until the High Middle Ages, and the historical King Arthur (Arturius, Artuir, Arturia) lived during the cusp between the Late Roman Period and the Early Middle Ages. But the anachronism stew is what makes it so entertaining!
mediaevalist: (King Arthur as a girl)
The Round Table might have been found.

Yep, Scootland.

The King's Knot, a geometrical earthwork in the former royal gardens below Stirling Castle, has been shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years. Though the Knot as it appears today dates from the 1620s, its flat-topped central mound is thought to be much older. Writers going back more than six centuries have linked the landmark to the legend of King Arthur.


I've seen this mound when I visited Stirling Castle. At the time, I was more fixated on the crazy-ass story about how James II had murdered the 8th Earl of Douglas when he refused to end his alliance with the Earl of Ross and the Earl of Crawford (which James considered treasonous) by stabbing him 26 times (how did they find that number?) and tossing the body out the window into the garden below.

If I had know the friggin Round Table was out in the King's Knot, I would have paid less attention to the possibility of Douglas's ghost wandering around the inner garden.

Archaeologists from Glasgow University, working with the Stirling Local History Society and Stirling Field and Archaeological Society, conducted the first ever non-invasive survey of the site in May and June in a bid to uncover some of its secrets.


Yeah, well. Glasgow. There was a reason I was sent there for Celtic Archaeology studies.

Historian John Harrison, chair of the SLHS, who initiated the project, said: "Archaeologists using remote-sensing geophysics, have located remains of a circular ditch and other earth works beneath the King's Knot.

"The finds show that the present mound was created on an older site and throws new light on a tradition that King Arthur's Round Table was located in this vicinity."

Stories have been told about the curious geometrical mound for hundreds of years -- including that it was the Round Table where King Arthur gathered his knights.

Around 1375 the Scots poet John Barbour said that "the round table" was south of Stirling Castle, and in 1478 William of Worcester told how "King Arthur kept the Round Table at Stirling Castle".


Oh, but it gets even better.

It has also been suggested the site is partly Iron Age or medieval, or was used as a Roman fort.


Considering that most evidence points to Camelot having been a former Roman fort?

If Camelot turns out to be Stirling Castle, I will laugh my derriere off. No, seriously, I will.

But once again, I maintain careful scepticism. As massively cool as this would be, the evidence must support it.

Mr Harrison, who has studied the King's Knot for 20 years, said: "It is a mystery which the documents cannot solve, but geophysics has given us new insights.

"Of course, we cannot say that King Arthur was there, but the feature which surrounds the core of the Knot could explain the stories and beliefs that people held."
mediaevalist: (King Arthur as a girl)
I've already mentioned this in passing, but apparently there are others even more invested in research into the historical King Arthur than I am.

Author David F. Carroll self-published Arturius - The Quest for Camelot and went so far as to bet £1,000 that the "Legend of King Arthur" was inspired by Arturius, the son of Aidan MacGabran, the 6th century AD King of the Scots of Dál Riata. It's been 11 years since The Scotsman reported this, and so far he's had no takers.

Oh, and the book is free. And we all like free stuff, right? So go download it and help history literacy!
mediaevalist: (King Arthur as a girl)
I was sucked back into a fandom that I was involved in (somewhat) about a year and a half ago though -- you guessed it -- an RPG (What a surprise). In consideration of a particular character in said fandom and how the person who plays said character in our RP might be amused to read this, in my infinite mediaeval geekery I hunted down one of the articles from an independent Scottish news/history/culture website I used to frequent daily. 

First Foot - Scotch Mythed: King Arthur

Maybe we do know the 'secret history of Arthur', now that I think about it.

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