Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Legend of King Arthur

Old SarumThirty-two years passed away after the defeat of the West Saxons at Mount Badon in 520 before they made any further conquests. Welsh legends represent this period as that of the reign of Arthur. Some modern inquirers have argued that Arthur's kingdom was in the north, whilst others have argued that it was in the south. It is quite possible that the name was given by legend to more than one champion; at all events, there was a time when an Ambrosius, probably a descendant of Ambrosius Aurelianus , protected the southern Britons. This stronghold was at Sorbiodunum, the hill fort now a grassy space known as Old Sarum (see illustration), and his great church and monastery, where Christian priests encouraged the Christian Britons in their struggle against the heathen Saxons, was at the neighbouring Ambresbyrig (the fortress of Ambrosius), now modernised into Amesbury. Thirty-two years after the battle of Mount Badon the kingdom of Ambrosius had been divided amongst his successors, who were plunged in vice and were quarrelling with one another.

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