Knight for a Day's Arthurian Top 10's

10 Arthurian facts:

1.   The most likely time for King Arthur to have reigned was in the sub-Roman period that used to be known as the Dark Ages, a century after the last Roman legion left Britain in 410 AD.

2.   Camelot was first mentioned in 12th Century Romances, not as a specific place but as a symbol of an idealised lost world of courtly love, chivalry and honour.

3.   The most likely location of Camelot was Cadbury Castle, between Glastonbury and Sherborne, despite rival claims from Cornwall and Wales.

4.   Cadbury Castle had the largest fortifications found in Britain from the Arthurian era, around 500 AD, with walls 16 feet thick.  

5.   King Arthurs life wasn’t recorded at the time. The lack of primary or contemporary sources added to his importance by allowing myths and magic to embellish his story and make him into a symbol of an idealised ruler.

6.   The only real place identified in the Arthurian legends is Glastonbury, a site of magic, mystery and worship since pre-historic times, whose abbey became the richest and most powerful monastery in Britain. 

7.   King Arthur is reputed to have been the victor of the Battle of Mount Badon in the early 6th Century, the last recorded success of the Celts and descendants of the Romans against the Saxon invaders who later overwhelmed all England.

8.   The Romans outlawed the Druids as a public menace and because of alleged human sacrifice. Christianity became established as the main religion in late Roman Britain, replacing pagan mystery cults such as Mithraism.

9.   Europe in 533 AD, the year when Knight for a Day is set, has a well-documented history. Britain does not, so Arthur could indeed have been the ruler of a western Celtic kingdom at this time.

10.  The sources for Arthurian myths and legends are found not in 6th Century written history, but in the literature and art of the last thousand years.

10 Arthurian myths:

1.   Merlin, the great wizard, was the architect of King Arthur’s legendary reign.

2    King Arthur was conceived by Igraine when his father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin's magic.

3.   The sword in the stone, which only Arthur could pull out, first identified him as the rightful king. Knight for a Day reveals what happened afterwards to the stone, whose magical force held the sword in place.

4.   The Knights of the Round Table, an order of chivalry. This is an invention from 500 years later, when Knights in armour were indeed a force in the land but generally ruthless killers and not remotely chivalrous.

5.   Excalibur had extraordinary powers, but its enchanted scabbard was far more important. The witch Morgana Le Fay stole it from King Arthur and pretended she had lost it. Knight for a Day reveals what might have happened to it.

6.   Magic was central to the legends about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Time travel is the ultimate magic that links the past with the present.

7.   The holy grail, an object of veneration, mystery and quests.

8.   The Lady of the Lake, who supplied King Arthur with his sword Excalibur.

9.   Perilous battles against superhuman enemies with magical powers.

10. Dragons and other mythical creatures.

10 sources for Arthurian legends:

1.   11th-14th Century Romances (mainly French)

2.   Historia Regum Britanniae (Geoffrey of Monmouth c.1131)

3.   Le Morte d’Arthur (Thomas Malory 1485)

4.   Idylls of the King (Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1858-85)

5.   A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court (Mark Twain 1889)

6.   The Story of King Arthur and his Knights (Howard Pyle 1903)

7.   The Once and Future King (T.H.White 1958)

8.   The Merlin Trilogy (Mary Stewart 1970-79)

9.   Children’s books

10. Hollywood movies

10 Knights of the Round Table:

1.  King Arthur

2.  Sir Lancelot

3.  Sir Gawain

4.  Sir Perceval

5.   Sir Galahad

6.   Sir Bedivere

7.   Sir Bors

8.   Sir Tristan

9.   Sir Geraint

10. Sir Ywain the Bastard

10 rules of chivalry:

1.   Strive for honour and glory until death

2.   Protect the weak, widows and orphans

3.   Keep your oaths

4.   Give mercy even in combat

5.   Help and respect women, but not necessarily peasants

6.   Never fight for love or possessions

7.   Speak the truth

8.   Be loyal to your King

9.   Avoid murder or cruelty

10. Rescue damsels in distress

10 places in Knight for a day 533 AD:

1.   Camelot (now Cadbury Castle)

2.   Camlann (now Sherborne)

3.   Glastonbury

4.   The Isle of Avalon (now the Somerset Levels)

5.   Stonehenge

6.   Lindinis (now Ilchester)

7.   Caerleon (now Newport)

8.   The Fosse Way

9.   The River Gifl (now River Yeo)

10. Armorica (now Brittany)

10 key objects in Henry’s adventure:

1.    Merlin’s magic staff

2.   Parchment scroll from 533 AD

3.   Candle of time

4.   Compass

5.   Swiss army knife

6.   Telescope

7.   Siren

8.   Electronic snake

9.   Metal detector

10. Scabbard of Excalibur

10 magical EVENTs in Knight for a Day:

1.   A summons from the past

2.   The power of King Arthur’s stone

3.   Time travel to Camelot

4.   Witchcraft in the enchanted forest

5.   Merlin’s predictions

6.   The magic of Excalibur's scabbard

7.   The snake that caused a battle

8.   A portal in time

9.   Back to the future 

10. Buried treasure

10 characters in Knight for a Day 533 AD:

1.   Merlin, the great wizard

2.   Sir Perceval, the good knight

3.   Luke, Sir Perceval’s squire

4.   Elaine, Luke’s sister

5.   King Arthur

6.   Queen Guinevere

7.   Taliesin, the Bard of Caerleon

8.   Sir Boor, the incompetent

9.   Sir Mordred, the villain

10. Sir Henry, Knight for a Day

10 weapons and armour in Knight for a Day:

1.   Sword

2.   Knife

3.   Lance

4.   Arrow

5.   Ballista

6.   Spear

7.   Axe

8.   Mace

9.   Shield

10. Chainmail

10 foods eaten at Camelot:

1.   Gruel

2.   Pottage

3.   Swan

4.   Hedgehog

5.   Oysters

6.   Honey

7.   Mutton

8.   Curds and whey

9.   Trenchers

10. White carrots

10 foods unknown at Camelot:

1.   Rice

2.   Potatoes

3.   Tomatoes

4.   Pasta

5.   Pizza

6.   Burgers

7.   Sugar

8.   Bananas

9.   Tea and coffee

10. Chocolate

10 trades AND CRAFTS at Camelot:

1.   Barber/surgeon

2.   Fletcher

3.   Miller

4.   Farmer

5.   Smith

6.   Dyer

7.   Weaver

8.   Tanner

9.   Chandler

10. Armourer

10 ranks and PROFESSIONs at Camelot:

1.   King

2.   Knight

3.   Wizard

4.   Squire

5.   Lady in waiting

6.   Minstrel

7.   Monk

8.   Archer

9.   Man at arms

10. Serf

10 questions from knight for a day:

1.   When did the last Roman legion leave Britain?

2.   When are the Ides of June?

3.   What are the two best known Neolithic Stone Circles in Wiltshire?

4.   Which Iron Age hill-fort is the most likely site of Camelot?

5.   Which abbey became the richest and grandest monastery in Britain?

6.   Which King dissolved the monasteries?

7.   What are Runes?

8.   What does a fletcher make?

9.   Who was the Eastern Roman Emperor in 533 AD.

10. Where did the Saxons come from?