What are the sources of the Arthurian myths and legends?

The sources for the Arthurian myths and legends as we know them are found not in 6th Century history but in 11th-14th Century Romances intended to influence the conduct and reputation of real Knights in armour.

These were compiled into Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur in 1485  and have been repeatedly reinterpreted and embellished in literature, the arts and the media.

 

When did King Arthur reign?

There are no contemporary or primary sources for the existence of King Arthur. The most likely period for him to have reigned was a century after the last Roman legion left Britain in 410 AD, when the Celts and descendants of the Romans were still holding out in the west of England against the Germanic Saxon invaders. Knight for a Day takes place in 533 AD towards the end of King Arthur's reign.

Where was Camelot?

Cadbury Castle in Somerset, 12 miles south of Glastonbury, is the most likely location despite rival claims from Cornwall and Wales. Camelot was first mentioned in 12th Century French Romances, but more as an idealised concept than a specific place.

The iron-age hillfort of Cadbury Castle, near the village of Queen Camel, has been identified as the site of Camelot since the 16th Century. Archaeologists have found that it was fortified as a major stronghold during Arthurian times with walls 16 feet thick, the largest known in Britain at that period.