Something perhaps needs to be said about Camelot. This Arthurian site, which Leland identified as South Cadbury, first appears some of the manuscripts of Chrétien de Troyes's Le Chevalier de la charrette. It plays no part in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, who gives prominence to Caerleon-on-Usk, and none in the Welsh traditional materials, which make Kelli Wic Arthur's court. Perhaps the most telling piece of evidence is that of Triad 85, a late Triad that is clearly influenced by non-traditional materials and which includes both Caerleon-on-Usk and Kelli Wic as Arthur's principal courts but makes no mention of Camelot. As such no credence can be given to ideas that Camelot was associated with the Arthur earlier than Chrétien de Troyes either in literature or fact and rather it appears to have been entirely the creation of the continental romances. Back to 'A Guide to Arthurian Archaeology'

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Such considerations have, to a large extent, led to the adoption of Dr Dumville's concluding remarks on Arthur by academic historians, namely that "The fact of the matter is that there is no historical evidence about Arthur; we must reject him from our histories and, above all, from the titles of our books" (Dumville, 1977a, p.188), and Arthur is noticably absent from (or dismissed in) the latest research concerned with the post-Roman period (for example, Bassett (ed.), 1989; Esmonde-Cleary, 1989; Higham, 1992; Dark, 1993; Yorke, 1995). Whilst Dr Dumville's remarks may be a little harsh in places - there is after all the possibility on the above evidence that Arthur may have existed -, even if one accepts the above 'perhaps' then one can go no further: the evidence simply is not of the quality that it would allow us to say anything at all concrete about any possible historical Arthur. Back to 'The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur'.

Copyright © 1998, 1999 Thomas Green. All Rights Reserved.
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Last revised:November 09, 2001.