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Tristan and Isolde – King Arthur’s Round Table

By |2018-04-22T10:26:50+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Tristan and Isolde, in a German woodcut (1400s AD) In the story, Isolde was a princess in Ireland, and a great healer. She was the best doctor in the land. One day this guy Tristan shows up. He's been sent by his uncle King Mark to get Isolde and bring her back for King Mark to marry. [...]

Knights of the Round Table – Medieval England

By |2017-08-04T07:57:30+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Lancelot to the rescue! Notice the importance of his strong steel sword In the early Middle Ages, poets and story-tellers were telling a lot of different stories about knights and ladies and their adventures. But how did all these stories fit together? People wanted all of these stories to be tied together somehow. So the poets [...]

King Arthur and Morgaine – Medieval England

By |2017-08-04T07:50:14+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake Morgaine, or Morgan, first appears in written stories about 1150 AD. There are different stories about her, but most of them agree that Morgaine was a famous healer, like Isolde, and that she was evil, or at least sometimes evil. In some versions, Morgaine was King Arthur's older [...]

King Arthur and Mordred – Medieval England

By |2017-08-04T07:46:35+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

King Arthur (Flores Historiarum, 1200s AD) Mordred first shows up in writing as early as 960 AD. His name's in the Annales Cambriae, in the entry for the year 537 AD. He may even have been a real person, though stories grew up around him later. The story tells us that as King Arthur got older, he [...]

Lancelot and Guinevere – Medieval Romance

By |2017-08-04T00:01:09+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Guinevere sends her ring to Lancelot Guinevere first appears in written stories about 1325 AD in the Welsh story Culhwch ac Olwen, as Arthur's queen. In later medieval stories, she's the daughter of King Leodegrance, and she marries Arthur when they are both still very young. Arthur needs sons to inherit his throne, but Guinevere does [...]

King Arthur stories – Knights of the Round Table

By |2017-08-03T21:05:22+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

King Arthur hunting, 1300s AD (British Library, London) Stories about King Arthur may be based on a real man who ruled southern England about 450 AD, just after the Romans left, but nobody knows anything much about this man, or even if he really existed. The stories seem to be a mashup of memories of this man and [...]

King Arthur’s Britain – Medieval history

By |2017-08-02T12:48:02+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon helmet (500s-600s AD, now in the British Museum) When Constantine III revolted in England in 406 AD and took all its Roman troops with him to France, that was really the end of Roman control in Britain. The British seem to have written to the Romans asking them to come help out in the 420s. They [...]