King Arthur

Legendary Character / Royalty

Born: c. 6th century
Died: c. 537
Birthplace: England
Best known as: Ruler of Camelot
King Arthur is one of the great mythic figures of English literature. Dozens of legends and romantic images have grown up around him: the knights of the Round Table, Merlin the wizard, and the Holy Grail, to name a few. According to the main Athurian legends, the king wielded a magical sword, Excalibur; lived in a glorious kingdom called Camelot; was helped by the wizard Mordred; and was married to the beautiful Queen Guinevere (who in many legends falls for Arthur's knight Sir Lancelot). Many of our modern-day stories of Arthur are based on Le Morte d'Arthur ("The Death of Arthur"), the collection of Arthurian tales published by Sir Thomas Malory in 1485. Historians can't decide whether anyone like Arthur ever existed, though most now accept that the legend is very loosely based on a real historical figure; he may have been a 5th or 6th century ruler name Arturus or Riothamus.

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