Ideas about Arthur's Position and Background.

  • Though most historians agree that Arthur existed, they still argue about who he was.
  • The monk Nennius says that Arthur fought for the British kings and was their ‘Leader in Battles’. Some people think this means he was a military commander and not a king. Other people think it just means he was the only king who was any good at fighting.
  • In a book of Welsh stories called the ‘Mabinogion,’ Arthur is definitely a King living at Caerleon in South Wales. These were first written down in the 10th century, but had been passed down from father to son by generations of bards.
  • The most popular legends say that Arthur inherited the Kingdom of Britain from his father. His parents were King Uther and Queen Igraine. Uther is said to have been the brother of the British leader, Ambrosius.
  • No-one knows where this information about Arthur’s family originally came from. It may have been remembered by the bards or written down in books which no longer exist or someone may have made a guess.
  • Some people think that Arthur was not a King of all Britain, but one of the local kings (or ‘tyrants’). He would have ruled a small kingdom, perhaps in Wales or Cornwall or the North of England. Over the centuries, stories have changed and Arthur may appear to be more important than he really was.

Click to find out: Arthur's Legendary Life-Story.

    © Nash Ford Publishing 2003. All Rights Reserved. Suitable for National Curriculum History Key Stage 2.