Presenting the culmination of more than 40 years' research, John and Caitlin Matthews examine the historical and mythological evidence for every major theory about the existence of King Arthur. Drawing on modern techniques in archaeology and scholarship, they reconstruct the history of the 6th century in Britain, the period when the first unambiguous references to Arthur appear. They explore the history of every Arthur candidate, the geographical arguments that have placed him in different locations, and the evidence for his life and famous battles fought against the Saxons. Was the greatest British hero of all time not a king but a 2nd-century Roman officer active around Hadrian's Wall in Cumbria? A 5th-century soldier who operated in areas as far apart as Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, or Brittany? Or an entirely mythical fiction that provided a figure of light during a dark period of British history?
John and Caitlin Matthews have been studying the Arthurian legends and their background for more than 40 years. Recognized authorities on myths and legends of the Celtic tradition, they are the authors of more than 100 books, both separately and together, including Taliesin: The Last Celtic Shaman, Walkers Between the Worlds, King Arthur and the Goddess of the Land, and the award-winning Arthur of Albion, as well as several tarot decks and oracles. The Matthews live in Oxford, England.
Acknowledgments Dates, Names, and Time Line of Significant Events Introduction: The Once and Future King 1 Arthur of Rome: Commander of Legions 2 Arthur of the Shadows: A Hero in the Making 3 Arthur of the Battles: Defender of the Land 4 Arthur of Myth: Granter of Quests 5 Arthur of Britain: The Making of a King 6 King Arthur: Lord of Camelot 7 Arthur of Fable: A Nation's Hero 8 Arthur Everywhere: Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus Appendix: "The Sovereign's Chair" Notes Bibliography/Further Reading Arthurian Societies and Resources Index