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The Second Camulodunum

Slack, a small town in modern West Yorkshire, seems an unlikely candidate for King Arthur's capital, yet it too was once called Camulodunum.

The Connection: The settlement at Slack, near Huddersfield, may have its origins in the impressive Iron Age hillfort of Almondbury, only five miles away. Like modern Colchester, the Romans established a small military fort there and named it Camulodunum after the ancient Celtic War-God, Camulos. However, it never grew to be a place of much importance and appears to have been abandoned in by the middle of the second century. It now lies partly buried beneath the M62.

Possible Conclusions: It seems probable that Camelot, Chrétien De Troyes' name for Arthur's Court, is derived directly from Camelod-unum. Though modern Colchester, which also bore this name, may seem a more likely candidate, there are strong arguments for locating King Arthur in the North of Britain. Saklatvala suggests that Arthur was the last of the Roman Duces Brittanniarum and that, as such, he would have maintained a campaigning headquarters in the North. Camulodunum (Slack) would therefore have been an ideal candidate, though perhaps Eboracum (York) would be more likely. 


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