The Origins Of The Arthurian Legend

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Rob Shults 1/21/09 Ambrosius Aurelius: The Real King Arthur The legend of King Arthur is undoubtedly fictitious, but it may be based on actual historical events. Multiple historical characters fit some of the descriptions of King Arthur; Ambrosius Aurelius (also known as Ambrosius Aurelianus) fits the characteristics of King Arthur perfectly. After reading the facts, it is evident that the origins of the Arthurian legend have roots in the life of Ambrosius Aurelius. Ambrosius Aurelius was the second son of the Roman emperor Constantine. Being the son of a Roman emperor, Ambrosius Aurelius had much to live up to. Throughout the ages, even Ambrosius Aurelius has legends based on his achievements, such as those in the Historia Britonum, which tell of Ambrosius slaying dragons underneath his fortress. Many legends speak of Ambrosius Aurelius; however, he was a real man who achieved real things. According to the Annal Chronicon Maiora, Aurelius came to rule in 479 A.D. over the Britons. He faced many challenges, such as uniting the Britons after the brutality of which they were served by the Saxons and then defeating the Saxons at the Battle of Badon Hill. The unification of the Britons after the destruction of their homeland was a battle in itself, and the defeat of the Saxons at the Battle of Badon Hill made Aurelius an icon of hope and security for the Britons; hence the elaborate stories of Arthur being an epic hero. It is logical to deduce that the legend of King Arthur is based on the life of Ambrosius Aurelius due to the parallels between the fictitious life of Arthur and the factual life of Aurelius. Moreover, the personality that Aurelius depicts throughout the historical accounts is nearly perfectly aligned with the traits that Arthur shows throughout the legend. For example, a monk by the name of Saint Gildas wrote of Arthur and the Saxon’s

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