King Arthur – Fact or Myth? TH2021 Ep 20

Season 2021 – Talk 20 – King Arthur – Fact or Myth?

In the talk  King Arthur – Fact or Myth? David Simpson analyses the case for King Arthur, his legend and also the evidence against him.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Battles against the Saxon invaders:

King Arthur was a legendary Celtic Briton who, according to legend, led the Celtic Britons in battles against the Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

The departure of the Romans left a power vacuum and a (probably) unprepared population. In this period there are many battles to contain the Saxon invasion. To this day there are questions as as to the exact locations of these battles because the early historians omitted the details.

Historia Regia Britanniae:

The popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s twelfth century work Historia Regum Britanniae did much to develop interest in the legend of Arthur. There are also earlier Welsh and Breton tales and poems where Arthur appears as a great warrior. He defends Britain from both human and supernatural enemies. Others state that he is a a magical figure of folklore.

Geoffrey completed the Historia in 1138 but how much was adapted from earlier sources and how much was invented by Geoffrey is unknown.

In latter years Geoffrey’s version has often served as a starting point for later stories. These talk of Arthur as a king of Britain who defeats the Saxons. Geoffrey’s Historia gives us Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, Merlin, Guinevere – Arthur’s wife, Excalibur, Tintagel, his final battle and  final rest in Avalon.

The facts:

The Anglo Saxons did suffer reversals in their invasion of Britain between 500 and 550. There were many battles during these years and the Battle of Badon Hill is believed to have been a decisive factor in stalling the Saxon advances. But as to where it took place and when it was is, as David describes, a matter of conjecture!

Listen to the podcast and hear David tell the full story of his research and also his heartfelt hope about Arthur.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given remotely over the internet. In places the speech quality is variable, however I have tried to ensure that it can be understood all the way through.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History and Medieval History Groups.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History and Medieval History Groups 2018 – 2022

Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.