King Arthur: Myth-Making and History

King Arthur: Myth-Making and History

by N. J. Higham
     
 

This seminal new study explores how and why historians and writers from the Middle Ages to the present day have constructed different accounts of this well-loved figure.

N. J Higham offers an in-depth examintaion of the first two Arthurian texts: the History of the Britons and the Welsh Annals. He argues that historians have often been more

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Overview

This seminal new study explores how and why historians and writers from the Middle Ages to the present day have constructed different accounts of this well-loved figure.

N. J Higham offers an in-depth examintaion of the first two Arthurian texts: the History of the Britons and the Welsh Annals. He argues that historians have often been more influenced by what the idea of Arthur means in their present context than by such primary sources

King Arthur: Myth-making and History illuminates and discusses some central points of debate:

* What role was Arthur intended to perform in the political and cultural worlds that constructed him?
* How did the idea of King Arthur evolve?
* What did the myth of Arthur mean to both authors and their audiences?

King Arthur: Myth-making and History is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the origins and evolution of the Arthurian legend.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415213059
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
Acknowledgements
Introduction1
IA King out of Time: Arthur in the twentieth century10
Arthur comes of age26
Arthur in the spotlight31
IIThe Genesis of Arthur38
Being 'British': The political and ideological context39
Alternative ideologues and British authority59
Prototype Arthurs74
Bears and gods80
IIIContested Histories: Anglo-Saxons and Britons c.730-83098
Bede and the Britons98
Welsh-Mercian interactions102
Reclaiming the past: Writing British history in the early ninth century116
The Historia Brittonum: Authorship and purpose119
Britons, Trojans and Romans124
Vortigern and the Adventus Saxonum128
St. Patrick and Arthur136
Arthur and the Old Testament141
Arthur's battles144
The image of Arthur150
The English historical framework157
Conclusions164
The Pillar of Eliseg166
IVText in Context: The Annales Cambriae c.954170
England, Wales and the Vikings171
Heroic poetry174
Y Gododdin180
Asser185
The Armes Prydein188
The Annales Cambriae193
VThe Rise and Fall of the 'Historical' Arthur218
The Arthurian legend to c.1100218
Arthur as cultural icon221
Arthur as royal cult226
Arthur in question235
The fall of King Arthur239
VIPostscript: The Rhetorical Arthur267
Bibliography275
Index296

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