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The Celtic Origins of Arthurian Legends by Thomas DeVoss he question of the existence of King Arthur is one that has puzzled scholars for centuries. Arthur.

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Presentation on theme: "The Celtic Origins of Arthurian Legends by Thomas DeVoss he question of the existence of King Arthur is one that has puzzled scholars for centuries. Arthur."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Celtic Origins of Arthurian Legends by Thomas DeVoss he question of the existence of King Arthur is one that has puzzled scholars for centuries. Arthur has lived on in so many multifarious (different)manifestations and has been connected with so many different stories he has become more of a myth than any historical figure. The actual Arthur would have to have lived during the fourth and fifth century but his character is “crystallized” to fit in with any generation's literature and culture. The Arthur mentioned in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s twelfth century Historia Regum Brittaniaeis (History of Britain) different in both arms and personality to the Arthur posed in the earlier and the later writings.

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4 All mythology goes through its own history. Early mythology is primarily about creation myths and etiological stories. As the years go by myths start to branch out and seek to explain the origins of the culture they represent. This naturally evokes the hero myths and stories of great warriors and incredible deeds. The stories that have mythical beasts and otherworldly creatures are inherently older than ones that don't have them because those things always happened "a long time ago."

5 In this simple way, the Arthurian text that draws on the absurd or impossible must be from an older age. One where the same rules don't apply. One where miracles can happen. The societies that predate the Arthur stories are those of the Celts, the Welsh, the Irish, and the Scots, among others, and each of these cultures lends their unique myths to the Arthurian tapestry.

6 Whereas earlier works tell of a warlord of supreme ferocity in battle, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries recount a generous and chivalrous knight (and round table) fighting for women's honor and all that is right. By the fourteenth century people had apparently grown tired of the chivalric works and so satire filled the void. Then in the 15th century Malory tries to tie everything together (bear in mind that things are already inextricably related) compromising some belligerence for some chivalry in a good mix. Despite the differences in armor, personality, and even the use of basic characters almost all of the Arthurian legends draw on a similar Celtic background for their plot.

7 People first started to write down stories about Arthur in the 10th century.stories about Arthur The earliest stories about Arthur are in a Welsh book called the 'Mabinogion'. This book was for teaching people how to become bards.Arthurbards In 1136, a Welsh priest named Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a book in Latin called "The History of the Kings of Britain". It was about lots of British Kings, but mostly about King Arthur. He claimed the stories he wrote were true.British Throughout the middle ages, French writers like Chrétien de Troyes wrote lots more books about King Arthur (in French). They wrote as if Arthur lived in the Middle Ages like them. They added new bits to the story, like the Round Table, Sir Lancelot and the Holy Grail. They also added the idea of 'Chivalry' (being brave, fighting for right against wrong, having good manners & being nice to ladies). In 1470, an English knight named Sir Thomas Malory was thrown in prison because he owed people money. It was very boring in prison, so he wrote a long book called "The Death of Arthur". He wrote it in English. It was one of the first books in Britain ever to be printed instead of handwritten. There were lots of copies available. So King Arthur stories became very popular with everyone. The Victorian poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote a famous group of poems about King Arthur and his knights called "The Idylls of the King". Lots of modern writers still tell stories about King Arthur. There are now films too, like "The Sword in the Stone", "Monty Python & the Holy Grail", "Excalibur" and "First Knight". People first started to write down stories about Arthur in the 10th century. The earliest stories about Arthur are in a Welsh book called the 'Mabinogion'. This book was for teaching people how to become bards. In 1136, a Welsh priest named Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a book in Latin called "The History of the Kings of Britain". It was about lots of British Kings, but mostly about King Arthur. He claimed the stories he wrote were true.

8 Throughout the middle ages, French writers like Chrétien de Troyes wrote lots more books about King Arthur (in French). They wrote as if Arthur lived in the Middle Ages like them. They added new bits to the story, like the Round Table, Sir Lancelot and the Holy Grail. They also added the idea of 'Chivalry' (being brave, fighting for right against wrong, having good manners & being nice to ladies).

9 The Ten Commandments of the Code of Chivalry I. Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions. II. Thou shalt defend the Church. III. Thou shalt repect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them. IV. Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born. V. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy. 1.Thou shalt not recoil befre Thou shalt be 1.Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions. 1.Thou shalt defend the Church. 2.Thou shalt repect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them. 3.Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born. 4.Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy. 5.Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy. 6.Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God. 7.Thou shalt never lie, and shall remain faithful to thy pledged word. 8.Thou shalt be generous, and give largess to everyone. 9.Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

10 VI. Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy. VII. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God. VIII. Thou shalt never lie, and shall remain faithful to thy pledged word. IX. Thou shalt be generous, and give largess to everyone. X. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

11 In 1470, an English knight named Sir Thomas Malory was thrown in prison because he owed people money. It was very boring in prison, so he wrote a long book called "The Death of Arthur". He wrote it in English. It was one of the first books in Britain ever to be printed instead of handwritten. There were lots of copies available. So King Arthur stories became very popular with everyone. The Victorian poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote a famous group of poems about King Arthur and his knights called "The Idylls of the King".

12 Lots of modern writers still tell stories about King Arthur. There are now films too, like "The Sword in the Stone", "Monty Python & the Holy Grail", "Excalibur" and "First Knight".

13 The Code of Chivalry From the Rifts: England Supplement Live to serve King and Country. Live to defend Crown and Country and all it holds dear. Live one's life so that it is worthy of respect and honor. Live for freedom, justice and all that is good. Never attack an unarmed foe. Never use a weapon on an opponent not equal to the attack.

14 Codes Continued Never attack from behind. Avoid lying to your fellow man. Avoid cheating. Avoid torture. Obey the law of king, country, and chivalry. Administer justice. Protect the innocent.

15 Exhibit self control. Show respect to authority. Respect women. Exhibit Courage in word and deed. Defend the weak and innocent. Destroy evil in all of its monstrous forms. Crush the monsters that steal our land and rob our people.

16 Fight with honor. Avenge the wronged. Never abandon a friend, ally, or noble cause. Fight for the ideals of king, country, and chivalry. Die with valor. Always keep one's word of honor. Always maintain one's principles. Never betray a confidence or comrade.

17 Always maintain one's principles. Never betray a confidence or comrade. Avoid deception. Respect life and freedom. Die with honor. Exhibit manners. Be polite and attentive. Avoid deception. Respect life and freedom. Die with honor. Exhibit manners. Be polite and attentive. Be respectful of host, women, and honor. Loyalty to country, King, honor, freedom, and the code of chivalry. Loyalty to one's friends and those who lay their trust in thee.

18 The Grail Quest

19 One of the most famous motifs in Arthurian Legend is the Quest for the Holy Grail. The story is of a virtuous knight i.e. Percival or Galahad, who set forth to find the Holy Grail, the chalice used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. It was further hallowed by catching a few drops of the Jesus's blood during his crucifixion, and later brought to England (as luck would have it) by Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph of Arimathea

20 In the medieval romance, only Galahad, the purest and best of the knights, possessed the grace to actually achieve the Grail. However, this sublime Christian myth has much older roots amid the ancient Celtic tradition


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