With apologies to Lerner and Lowe, there really was no Camelot, Round Table, Lancelot or Guinevere for that matter. There was, however, an Arthur. He wasn’t British or Welsh and he wasn’t a king. Nay, nay, slander, calumniation and subterfuge you may shout. Oh yea, verily so, it's true! There are probably thousands of myths and legends surrounding warriors, especially kings and knights. They are entertaining, many serve as inspirations even today. However, few if any capture the imagination like King Arthur. The myths that have grown up around him are a wonder to behold: loyalty, adventure, heroism, chivalry and intrigue surround and swirl around him and his knights like so many fireflies. But these myths, from the gallantry of Sir Galahad to the deception of Lancelot remain exactly that - myths, fairy tales if you wish.
A little historical background may be in order here. The time of Arthur was an unsettled convulsive and violent time in European history. Following the fall of The Roman Empire a power vacuum developed and Europe descended into a era of disarray, bedlam and conflict with petty warlords, both pagan and christian fighting for domination. For centuries the christian church strove to re-establish order. Their primary opponent were the descendants of The Celts, whom they viewed as pagan infidels. Therefore, the church supported christian "kings". They were eventually able to establish a form of order that more or less lasted for centuries.
At this time in European history few people were educated. It was only the religious clerics and some of the Christian royalty. All others, including pagan rulers, were essentially illiterate. Hence, the only accurate sources of information are going to be found in the writings of religious clerics.
The second source of information about this time period comes from the roving troubadours and their songs, tales, poems and stories. They travelled from village to village entertaining the people there. The villagers lived in a small, closed society. They seldom ventured more than a few miles from their village. So, their perception of the outside world was really based on what they heard from the troubadours. These minstrels embellished their stories according to the audience to whom they were appealing. The better the tale, the more profitable their visits became.
At a tender age you probably played the “Whisper game.” I used it frequently in my classroom. You write an innocuous note and let the first student read it. He or she than whispers it to the next student while you give the note to the last person in line. When he or she finally gets to hear what was whispered it is said aloud. Then the original note is read. It is never, ever anything resembling what was written. Which is the delicate point I am trying to make. The same can be ascribed to the minstrels’ tales and poems. No matter the reputation of the writer when he or she bases research on myths, poems and tall tales they are chasing a false echo. Their conclusions are simply fallacious.
For more decades or centuries than really should have passed, scholars have searched vainly far and wide for any shred of evidence that King Arthur was either Welsh/Briton, English or Cornish. Do you know what all of them found? They found nothing, nienti, nada, zero, zilch. They found absolutely no evidence of a person, a table, no sword, no burials, no written records only poems and stories written hundreds of years ex post facto.
In short they wasted centuries looking in the wrong place. This, unfortunately, happens more often than it should. How does this happen, you might ask? A scholar, historian or archaeologist will get a bee in his or her bonnet and set out to prove that point. Frequently, overlooking or simply disregarding legitimate discoveries. Making assumptions based solely on other assumptions. In this case there had to be a King Arthur. He must have been real, Geoffrey of Monmouth mentioned him. (He wrote fictional stories.) So did Sir Thomas Mallory (A ne'er-do well, who spent much of his life in prison.) These stories and songs had to come from somewhere. There had to be a legitimate inspiration. There had to be an Arthur. There was.
A few hundred miles to the north there was a wealth of first hand written information about that time. There was a real person. His name was Arturius. He was Scottish, but he wasn't a king. His father was the king. There is reliable primary evidence of the existence of Arthur (Arturius). It is found in a 7th century AD manuscript, known as the ‘Vita Columba’, (Life of St. Columba) written by a monk named Adomnan. It clearly states Arthur (Arturius) was the son of king Aidan and tells of Arthur’s last battle, Maithi, against