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King Arthur
King Arthur is most known for his Kingly leadership, his loving rule, and even his ruthless judgment of Lancelot and Guinevere. But often a very important part of Arthur's life is forgotten: his skills as a general and knight.

The name Arthur may be a form of Artorius, a Roman gens name, but according to J. D. Bruce, it is possibly of Celtic origin, coming from artos viros (bear man). Bruce also suggest the possibility of a connection with Irish art (stone).

King Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon and defeated the barbarians in a dozen battles. Subsequently, he conquered a wide empire and eventually went to war with the Romans. He returned home on learning that his nephew Mordred had raised the standard of rebellion and taken Guinevere, the Queen. After landing, his final battle took place.

Tradition has it that after King Uther's death there was no king ruling all of England. Merlin had placed a sword in a stone, saying that whoever drew it out would be king. Arthur did not know his true status but had grown up living with Sir Ector and Sir Kay, his son. The young Arthur pulled the sword from the stone and Merlin had him crowned the King of Britain. This led to a rebellion by eleven rulers which Arthur put down. He married Guinevere, whose father gave him the round table as a dowry.

In the war against the Romans, Arthur defeated Emperor Lucius and became emperor himself. The last battle of Arthur took place between He and the forces of his evil nephew, Mordred. Arthur delivered the fatal blow to Mordred in the battle, but in the process Arthur was struck a mortal blow, himself. It was then that he commanded Sir Bedivere to throw Excalibur back into the Lake.

The date of Arthur's death is given by Geoffrey of Monmouth as AD 542. Malory places his life in the fifth century. Geoffrey Ashe puts forward the argument that Arthur is, at least to some extent, to be identified with the historical Celtic king Riothamus. Was Arthur fictitious or did he really live? Was he really a composite of a number of persons living at different times in British history? That is for all of us to decide for ourselves.

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