I completely agree with this article by David Carroll concerning the history of Arthur. In my book due out this year,
The Infinite Character of King Arthur:
His History and legend;
His Camelot and Avalon
I delve into the conception of who Arthur was compared to the Medieval texts and Mythology surrounding him. I hope you enjoy David’s article as much as I have!
Arthur (Arturius) Son Of Aidan – King Of The Scots From 574 AD
There seems to be only one way to prove that the Legends of King Arthur were inspired by a real historical figure, and that is to find someone who is identical to King Arthur in so many respects, that it would be impossible or at least improbable, for it to be purely coincidence.
I believe that historical figure to be Artur or Arturius, the son of Aidan, and a real 6th century figure. He may never have been a king, he certainly was a warrior, and could quite easily have been the ‘Dux Bellorum’ or Battle Leader of the united forces of the Scots and Britons, who were definitely allies at this period, in the wars in the North against the Saxons/Angles of Bernicia and the Picts, by virtue of the fact that his father Aidan was the most powerful King in the North.
Judge for yourself. Artur son of Aidan is identical to the Arthur of Legend in the following respects:
He has the correct name, Artur or Arturius, the 6th century version of the name Arthur.
He was the son of a most powerful king.
He was a christian (a valid point, when half the country was still pagan).
He lived at the correct period. (6th century.)
He was a contemporary and ally of the Northern King Urien, who was a real historical figure and who is mentioned in the legends as an ally of Arthur.
He was an ally of the Kings of the Britons in the wars in the North against the Saxons/Angles and the Picts.
He died in battle against the Picts. (Remember in legend Arthur’s last battle was against Modred, whose mother was the wife of Lot, king of the Picts.)
Artur or Arturius had a sister or half sister called Morgan, as did King Arthur of legend. (Evidence which I was fortunate to find in the 8th cent. ‘Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee’.)
Against this Arthur, who is identical in so many respects to the Arthur of the Legends, that I cannot believe it could possibly just be coincidence, is the Arthur of Cornwall, Wales and the West Country of England, where no reliable, historical evidence has ever been found.
Why you may ask, after reading the evidence, has Arturius not been accepted as the inspiration for the Legend of King Arthur? Perhaps the answer lies in the simple fact that he was guilty of the unforgivable – being born a Scot, and therefore not Welsh or Cornish.
David F. Carroll