You are all welcome, and I'm glad to see that a few have an interest in it.
There has been so much controversy as to whether Arthur was real or just a legend.
I am hoping this program tonight will provide some answers.
There are numerous references to Arthur as a real person in ancient historical records.
The monk Nennius (a Welsh monk of the 9th century) gives a detailed description of the life of Arthur in his "Historia Brittonum", history of Britain.
The life of Arthur is also detailed by the 6th-century British monk Gildas in his "De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae", which recounts the history of the Britons before and during the coming of the Saxons.
I put a great deal more stock in what these monks wrote than what may be written today, because this had been recent history to them.
Gildas lived from 500 to 570, the period following the Romans leaving Britain (in 410 AD) and the Saxons coming to Britain, so he could hardly have been wrong about what he saw and heard happening around him during that period. (Or what his parents and grandparents told him about recent history during their lives.) He was a man of God, so I believe he would have written truthfully. Later in life, he emigrated to Brittany where he founded a monastery known as St Gildas de Rhuys.
Arthur is also featured in the Nine Worthies shown here.
"The 13th-century carving "Nine Good Heroes" at City Hall in Cologne, Germany, is the earliest known representation of the Nine Worthies. From left to right are the three Christians: Charlemagne bearing an eagle upon his shield, King Arthur displaying three crowns, and Godfrey of Bouillon with a dog lying before him; then the three pagans: Julius Caesar, Hector, and Alexander the Great bearing a griffon upon his shield; and finally the three Jews: David holding a sceptre, Joshua, and Judah Maccabee."
Photo credit:© Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)
Notice that in this carving done in the 1200's, real people are represented, and Arthur is one of them, standing right beside Charlemagne. Is their placement of Arthur beside Charlemagne an indication of his importance in the opinion of Medieval historians of that time? Was he a real person? Not just a legend? Just wondering.
The fact that this carving is in Cologne, Germany, indicates that his fame had spread well beyond Medieval Britain, whether he was real or just a popular legend of the day.