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Further traditions about Arthur's final battle are developed in the Arthurian chivalric romances.

The Legend and Death of King Arthur

These often follow Geoffrey's blueprint, but alter many of the details. The legend shifts to the 'character of individuals' and the proposed adultery between Guinevere and Lancelot is first mentioned.

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He leaves Mordred in charge of Britain when he departs, only for Mordred to betray him and seize the throne. Arthur brings his army back to Britain where they meet Mordred at Salisbury Plain in south central England Camlann is not mentioned.


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The fighting begins by an accident of fate, when a startled knight draws his sword to kill an adder during the standoff negotiations between Mordred and Arthur represented by Lucan and Bedivere in Le Morte d' Arthur. Many die and Arthur kills Mordred in a final duel, but is himself mortally wounded. Arthur tasks his knight Griflet or Bedivere with returning his sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake , and the king is taken to Avalon.

In a popular motif, introduced by Geoffrey in Historia and elaborated in his later Vita Merlini , [28] Arthur was then taken to the isle of Avalon in hope that he could be saved.


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Geoffrey has Arthur delivered to Avalon and Morgen Morgan le Fay by Taliesin , while later authors including those of the Vulgate cycles and Le Morte d'Arthur would have Morgan and others arrive in a boat to take the king away. Some accounts, such as the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and the Alliterative Morte Arthure , as well as the commentary by Gerald of Wales , [29] declare that Arthur died in Avalon identifying it as Glastonbury and has been buried there. Geoffrey gives a possibility but not assurance for Arthur's wounds to be healed, while Wace and Layamon even outright state that this did happen and Arthur is about to return.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Historicity of King Arthur.

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Main article: Avalon. Field provide the translation as "The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell". Retrieved Winter Cardiff: University of Wales Press. In Koch, John T.

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Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Concepts of Arthur. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus. A Companion to Arthurian Literature.

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History of the Kings of Britain. King Arthur and the Matter of Britain. Bibliography List of works. Or that both the battle and Arthur were fork lore contrivings. The evidence that Camlan is a genuine historical conflict is weak.

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It is only first mentioned as a historical battle in a mid 10th-century document, over years after it is supposed to have occurred. So two traditions have emerged. Either King Arthur is still alive in Avalon, awaiting his moment to return, or he was killed in battle.


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The "still alive" version is the earlier version, while the "killed in battle" version arose later. In Historia Regum Britanniae it is asserted that King Arthur "was mortally wounded" at Camlan but was then "carried off to the Isle of Avalon, so that his wounds might be attended to. The third, rather odd tradition, is that King Arthur turned into a raven, or perhaps Cornish Chough. The raven, this is a bird strongly associated with myth and legend. In Wales and the West Country, it was held to be a royal bird.