King Arthur & the Matter of Britain

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[Map of Roman Britain] Many of the Arthurian source sites concentrate on literature, fiction, and film. This page is a guide to researching the historical Arthur, Dux Bellorum or King at Camelot:

Dark Age Britain

Sub-Roman Britain: An Introduction by Christopher Snyder. This essay is part of the ORB Encyclopedia at The ORB, the Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies. This article is mirrored at Voritgern Studies.
The Age of Arthur: Some Historical and Archaeological Background by Christopher Snyder, from Issue 1 of The Heroic Age, a free online journal dedicated to the study of the Northwestern Europe from the Late Roman Empire to the advent of the Norman Empire. New !
An Archeological Quest for the 'real' King Arthur surveys the the general landscape, part of The Quest at the University of Idaho.
Adventas Saxonum, a discussion of the Saxon Invasion of Britain, by Michael Veprauskas, at Britannia.
Early British Kingdoms, by David Nash Ford, also at Britannia, covers the British kingdoms that flourished between Roman rule and the mid-eleventh century.
The Ruin and Conquest of Britain 400 A.D. - 600 A.D., a "reconstruction" from primary sources by Howard Wiseman. This article is mirrored at Mythic Crossroads.
The Last of The Romans: The life and times of Ambrosius Aurelianus by Kurt Hunter-Mann argues that Ambrosius Aurelianus was a more important figure than Arthur in fifth/sixth-century Britain. From Issue 4 of The Heroic Age. New !
Vortigern Studies: British History 400-600, based in the Netherlands, is "dedicated to the study of the period between the Roman occupation of Britain and the Early Middle Ages," focusing on the historical Vortigern rather than the "legendary" Arthur.
Vortigern Studies

The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur by Thomas Green includes "The Historical Arthur: an Analytical and Bibliographic Survey". A dense, scholarly summation of current thinking on the historical Arthur, at Green's Arthurian Resources site.


A Guide to Arthurian Archaeology, also at Thomas Green's Arthurian Resources. New !
A Gazetteer of Sub-Roman Britain (AD 400-600) by Christopher A. Snyder includes an introductory essay on the use of archaelogical evidence for Dark Age Britain. The searchable gazetteer with clickable maps is no longer free, but can be purchased online. Thanks to Robert Vermaat of Vortigern Studies for the updated information. Updated.
The Great Famine and the Collapse of the Pax Britannica. Toby D. Griffin explores the effects of a climatological catastrophe in the British Isles in the mid-sixth century on the historical developments of the period and their possible influences on Arthurian legend, at Celtic Cultural Studies. New !
A Short History of Arthurian Archaeology by Michelle L. Biehl.
Antiquity is a quarterly specialist journal of archaeological research, which maintains the full content of its six most recent issues on the web. New URL.

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10 July 2004