The Historic King Arthur

Authenticating the Celtic Hero of Post-Roman Britain


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About the Book

Who was King Arthur? How did the story originate? Through careful research of the many primary documents, a picture of the true Arthur can in fact be set down. He reached power shortly after the Romans evacuated Britain at the end of the fifth century and died at the Battle of Camlann. He became king at 15 under the name of Ambrosius Aurelianus and fought against the Saxons on the mainland as Riothamus, thus explaining the regeneration motif so closely tied to the mythical Arthur. This study reveals that the integrity and ideals central to Arthurian myth were very much a part of the real Arthur.

About the Author(s)

Frank D. Reno lectures throughout the United States and in 2002 was invited to Britain to contribute to the BBC documentary Arthur: King of the Britons. He lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

Frank D. Reno
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 458
Bibliographic Info: 48 photos, maps, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007 [1996]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3025-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vi

List of Illustrations     ix

List of Abbreviations of Works Cited in the Text     xi

Preface     1

1. Introduction     5

2. The Ancient Manuscripts     19

3. The Cardinal and Ordinal Years for the Arthurian Chronology     66

4. Hillforts and Roman Roads     124

5. The Geography of Mount Badon     140

6. The Geography of Camlann     179

7. Other Sites: Camelot and Tintagel     202

8. The Isle of Avalon: Arthur’s Resting Place     221

9. Ambrosius Aurelianus: History and Tradition     263

10. Riothamus: The Briton from Across the Ocean     286

11. Arthur: Historical and Literary Data     293

12. The Phoenix Arises     326

Appendices     365

Glossary     371

Notes     385

Selected Bibliography     413

Index     421

Book Reviews & Awards

“very useful”—Reference & Research Book News; “well worth your while”—Critical Mass.