This original and compelling study argues against the traditional identification of Arthur as a king in Celtic Britain. Instead, Graham Anderson explores the evidence for two much older figures, known to classical writers as kings of Arcadia and Lydia, over a millenium before.
He shows how these kings can be clearly connected with traditional Arthurian characters and adventure, including an ancient Gawain, a Lady of Shallott, and a predecessor of Excalibur, and shows that the Arthurian universe found in Welsh tales and French romances is already anticipated in these earliest of Arthurian materials.
This radical reassessment of the Arthurian legends provides a new perspective on on age-old historical puzzle, and will provoke debate amongst Classical and Medieval scholars and Arthurian enthusiasts.
Table of ContentsIntroduction
1. The Traditional Arthur
2. The "Sarmatian Connexion" Theory
3. A first Arthur-figure: Arktouros of Arcadia
4. Arktouros II: the folktale evidence
5. Ardus, "Greatest of Knights": a Lydian Artus-figure
6. Some Ancient Gawains, and an elusive Lancelot
7. Holy Graals and Circular Objects
8. Tristan, Thraeton, Rhodan: the first Tristan Tales
9. Six Arthurs in Search of a Character
Appendix 1: from Kambles to Camalis
Appendix 2: Other "Bear's Son" legends: Theseus, Achilles, Batraz, Alexander
Appendix 3: Jack the Giant Killer and King Arthur's Son
Appendix 4: "Scythian" Fiction: Toxaris' Third Tale
Appendix 5: Iamblichus' Tale of Rhodanes and Sinonis
Appendix 6: Mythology in the "Nennian" Battle-List
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