unverified account of a discovery, in Wales, of the grave of Arthur’s “nephew”, Gawain. But the grave of Arthur himself was not found he said. The problem here was that his writings were based on an old Welsh poem that proclaims; "a grave for Gwgawn (Gawain) of the Ruddy Sword." Neither grave was actually found. So, there is absolutely no practical evidence at all to support it.
It took several hundred years for the troubadours tales to make their way southward. King Arthur was first mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It was Geoffrey who gave him the title 'king' In his book AD 1136 A History of the Kings of England. As he wrote he discovered that there was a large historical gap in the sixth and seventh centuries in which few kings were mentioned. He saw Arthur’s name and arbitrarily crowned him king, neatly, filling a gap. Before the 12th Century, then, Arthur was never referred to as a king.
Three hundred years later, the nefarious Sir Thomas Mallory created/translated many of the myths surrounding Arthur in his work Le Morte d'rthur. (He wrote it while in prison AD 1468. It wasn't published until AD1485.) His work was divided into 8 books each with a separate theme/myth involving Arthur and his familiars. It also contains many historical inaccuracies. This was about the time that the holy grail legends began to circulate. So, he wove that into his stories also.
So, did Arthur exist? Yes, unequivocally. Was he a king? No. As King Aidan's eldest son he could have held the position of “Dux Brittanorum”, or leader of the Britons of the North. So yes, there was a genuine Arthur.
Was there a Camelot? As son of the king he would have had a castle. But, at that time in European history it would have been a wooden Motte and Bailey. Given the lack of written information and length of time transpired it would be a virtual impossibility to find it’s location. So, that’s a “No” for Camelot.
Were Arturius and King Arthur’s exploits genuine? Probably not. Arturius didn't live long enough. He was almost certainly involved in some adventures, but they would have been local and never written down. King Arthur is a fictional character and as such so were his “adventures”. As far as King Arthur’s knights and round tables stand, they are simply that - fables. They
spring from the exact same sources that gave us Rip Van Winkle, The Headless Horseman, Paul Bunyon, Pacos Bill, Slue-foot Sue, The Cisco Kid, The Lone Ranger and Dorothy Gale (hint, “ and your little dog too”.)
Was Arthur Welsh, Cornish or British? Absolutely not. He was Scottish. Three verifiable sources, that for all intent and purpose, represent prima facie evidence that he was born, raised and died in Scotland.
Let’s assemble the facts. Then you can judge for yourself. Is Arturius, son of Aidan the source of the King Arthur myths and legends?
1. He was an obscure figure in a remote part of early Great Britain. King Arthur was living in obscurity until he pulled the sword from the stone.
2. He is mentioned in three historical documents as living in Scotland.
3. He has the correct name, Arthir or Arturius, the 6th century version of the name Arthur.
4. He was the son of a powerful and influential king.
5. He was a christian (a valid point, when half the country was still pagan).
6. He lived at the correct period. (6th century)
7. He was a contemporary and ally of the Northern King Urien, who was a real historical figure and who is mentioned in historical documents as an ally of Arthur’s father, King Aiden.
8. He was an ally of the Kings of the Britons in the wars in the North against the Saxons/Angles and the Picts.
9. He died in battle against the Picts. (Remember in legend Arthur’s last battle was against Modred, whose mother was the wife of Lot, king of the Picts.)
10. Artur or Arturius had a sister or half-sister called Morgan, as did the King Arthur of legend.
11. Arturius and Arthur both had an adviser who could predict the future.
With all that the evidence, you may ask, why hasn’t Arturius not been accepted as the legitimate inspiration for the Legend of King Arthur? Perhaps the answer lies in the simple fact that for scholars south of The Borders, he was guilty of the unforgivable - being born a Scot, and not Welsh, Cornish or British.
This article is based on a variety of sources including work by David F. Carroll