Arthurian Legends Questions and Answers

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Where was King Arthur supposedly from?

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The answer to this question depends upon if one believes King Arthur was a fictional character or not. Historians have argued, over many generations, if Arthur was real. Therefore, Arthur's origin depends upon if one believes in the fictional Arthur or the nonfictional Arthur.

If one only believes in the fictional Arthur, then he reigned as king of Camelot. According to literary and historical critics, Camelot was located somewhere in Britain (exact location is unknown). Other critics believe that Camelot is completely fictional and cannot be aligned with any geographical location.

On the other hand, if one believes that Arthur was real, then he most likely would have been from England (given some "Tudor monarchs traced their lineage to Arthur and used that connection as a justification for their reign").

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tstawson | Student

Great question.  While there is no concrete evidence that King Arthur was a real person, there is no evidence that he was merely a literary invention either.  King Arthur has long been associated with Tintagel, a massive fortification in Cornwall on the Southwest coast of England.  Recent archaeological finds confirm this location was a rich and important site from roughly the fifth to the seventh centuries.  Interestingly, this is the period when the Arthurian legends state that Arthur was conceived at Tintagel.

While there is no definitive proof that Arthur lived and/or reigned at Tintagel, at present it is impossible to disprove as well.  What is certain is that this area was an important center of wealth and trade, as it contained artifacts from as far away as France, Turkey, Greece, and North Africa during the time that King Arthur supposedly lived.  Does this prove that King Arthur lived there?  No, but excavations there continue, and who knows what else will be found?

emtheawesome | Student

If you are talking about the fictional character, he was from the fictional kingdom of Camelot. If you are talking about the person he was supposed to be based off of, no one really knows. Some people say that he is based off of a Roman general. Some people say that if he was real, he would have been a king from England. Some even say that he will come again when the people of England need him!

umairhp | Student

King Arthur is believed to be a mythical character who was the leader of the Kingdom of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Many authors describe him as a warrior more than a king because he led his army to wage war against Saxons and won twelve times against them. The historical Welsh tale Culhwch describes him as a leader of mythological warriors who had super powers. If Arthur really existed then he most probably was a warrior in the 5th century.

lottieh | Student

King Arthur was from Camelot.