Explorations in Arthurian History

The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Archaeology or Explorations in Arthurian History , you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
The Romans The placing of Arthur is a difficult task, considering that we have so very little to go on and several conflicting traditions from which to draw. Most of the early tales of Arthur are Welsh. Some of the later tales are Scottish. A great many of the tales call Arthur King of the Britons, which can be taken to mean that he was king of just Britain, excluding Wales and Scotland. Sites with Arthur's name in them abound and, taken together, would probably cover the expanse of the isle of Britannia. Traditions passed down from generation to generation, first orally and then written, are just as much a part of history as cold facts. Yet it is cold facts that we pursue when we study archaeology. We are looking into the distant past with this subject, so we have to rely on what was many years ago. Not much is left standing. The exceptions, of course, are many things Roman and a good number of things Welsh. Let us begin with the Romans. Julius Caesar, of course, is given credit for "discovering" the island for Rome. He "visited" twice and deemed it fit for occupation. It wasn't until Claudius arrived in 43 that the island was overrun with Roman influence. The Romans stayed for about 400 years and brought a kind of order not seen before. When they abandoned Britain to its own squabbles, they left behind a legacy of structures and traditions. In the way of order they left several forts, most of them connected to the two giant walls: Hadrian's Wall (right) and the Antonine Wall (left). Both were ordered built by emperors and named after themselves. Both, of course, were built to contain what the Romans thought of barbarians in the north. Both stand, in part, to this day. It is a testament to Roman craftsmanship and British respect for the past. But the Romans also left structures in towns and the countryside. Prominent examples can be found still standing at Bath and Wroxeter (the Roman metropolis Viroconium). These are just two examples of the many that are available. But these two, along with the two walls, will serve as an introduction to Arthurian Archaeology. As the Romans worked their back eastward toward Rome, they left their strongholds behind. Viroconium was once the military stronghold for the Roman conquest of Wales. In 78, this headquarters transferred to Chester. Viroconium was later turned into the military stronghold of Vortigern in Powys. Modern excavations have turned up quite an array of Roman buildings. And Vortigern, of course, is a towering figure in matters Arthurian, bringing about both the advent of Merlin as a prophet and the wishful idea that Saxons could fight side by side with Britons against Picts and Scots. Arthurian traditions holds that Arthur fought great battles against Saxons, so he might have had Vortigern to blame for this. The Saxons and Romans mingle again at Bath (the Roman Aquae Sulis). The site of ancient hot springs was a thriving Roman town and then a target of Saxon "settlers." Geoffrey of Monmouth, who gave us the fanciful History of the Kings of Britain, says that Arthur fought his greatest battle at Bath. Some historians have suggested that Badon Hill, which most souces list as Arthur's greatest battle, was actually Bath-on in the British language of the time. And some historians have suggested that the hill outside Bath is Little Solsbury Hill. The presence is strong all over the island, including at such other Arthurian places as Caerleon, Carmarthen, Cadbury, Colchester, Catterick. Let us examine each in brief: Caerleon has been called Arthur's court since Geoffrey of Monmouth did it in th

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on Archaeology

Archaeology

Archaeology The history of past cultures has been a fascinating topic of debate and discovery for hundreds of years. From the discoveries of fossilized elephant bones leading to the legends o...

read more
Archaeology

Archaeology There is a saying that goes: One must first have an understanding of the past in order to proceed into the future. An archaeologist s job, therefore, is very important because they hav...

read more
Troy

November 22, 19 World Civilization to 1500 Research Paper When Heinrich Schliemann emerged from Turkey in June of 1873 with a hoard of treasure, the whole world took note. He claimed to h...

read more
Stonehenge

Stonehenge Medieval Mathematics Math in Medieval times was evident at Stonehenge. Stonehenge and its purpose remains an mystery even now, more than 4,000 years after it was first constructe...

read more
Signifance Of Anthropology And Archaeology

“The Significance of” “Anthropologists and Archaeologists” Anthropologists and archaeologists have influenced our lives in so many ways. They have taken us back to our most humb...

read more
When Did The First Americans Appear

When did people first come to North America is a highly publicized question in archaeology. This question has been the focal point of many archaeologists careers. Although this question is really ...

read more