Date of Award
Honors Program Director
Despite being a well -known figure in Western culture, the historical evidence for King Arthur is very small, and scholars have not even been able to identify a specific person as the historical Arthur. New information concerning Arthur on three basic details - the dates of significant events of his life, his ancestry and close family members, and the area of Britain in which he was militarily active - would be extremely useful in identifying the mysterious historical figure that Arthur has become. This paper examines multiple sources related to the existence and identity of Arthur, approaching the topics in a roughly reverse chronological order, evaluating first what is most historically certain before analyzing aspects of Arthur that are more contested. While little information regarding Arthur's lineage and location in Britain was discovered, a combination of several elements of the Arthurian tradition and various textual sources resulted in a new timeframe for Arthur's life, based on the dates of two of Arthur's major battles.
Walley, Emily, "Legendary: Was King Arthur a Living Hero or a Popular Legend?" (2015). Honors Senior Theses/Projects. Paper 84.