Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

30 in 30 - 5 - Le Blog D'Arthur

   Everyone has heard of King Arthur, but very few people really have a conception of where he fits into history. Most people probably have a vague picture of a rennaissance knight on the throne of England between Blehtahepdakor I Forkbeard and Henry XVIJ in the fifteenth century. Well I am here to give you the suprisingly accurate real picture of how King Arthur fits into history (largely because I'm writing a paper on it at the moment).

   The legend as it is largely known today came about during 30 in 30 of the year 1485. At that time a blogger by the name of Thomas Malory wrote an entry titled Le Morte D'Arthur, about the life of Arthur. Due to the recent paid account feature of the printing press, this entry received many more comments than any previous version.
   As mentioned, in this version Arthur was very much as one knows him today: he had a magic Round Friends-List in which no one was ever on top; and the magic sword Excalibur, which had free text-messeging, 5,000 anytime minutes with monthly rollover, & got him into certain casinos for free. This entry, however, had been composed from others on Malory's friends-list, such as Geoffrey of Monmouth (The Historia Regum Britanniae, 1136 AD), Nennius (Historia Britonum, 820 AD), and Gildas (De Excidio Britanniae, 541 AD), and some others, some of whom are now lost to us because their entries were friends-only. Of particular note, Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia, which elaborated the story extensively and was built upon by later versions, has been hailed by many scholars as "a deliberate spoof" (!!). In fact, Geoffrey of Monmouth was such a saucy prankster he was made a bishop of a place he never visited (even after becoming bishop) -- truly he was a megablogger of our own heart.

   As to the actual historicity of Arthur, some people regard him as just an early Chuck Norris sockpuppet, but all the early accounts ascribe him to a very specific time and place, where there happens to be a big gap in the historical record.
   As you should know, Rome controlled most of Britain from 43 AD until 407 AD. At the end of that time Rome had been in England for 364 years -- to put that in perspective, try to think about 364 years ago today - 1642 - that was a long-ass time ago. So basically England had been Roman for as long as anyone could remember. In 407, however, things were falling apart, and the leader of the Romans in England declared himself the Roman Emperor Constantine III and headed off to Rome with every soldier he could take with him. He proceeded to get his butt kicked but the point is he took the Roman forces out of Britain and left a power vacuum there.

   There then appears to be a largely historical leader in Britain known as Vortigern, whose most notable action is that he invited the Saxons to hang out on the beaches in England (in 428), but they then got belligerent and turned on him and the locals. This and suspicion that he was a hipster caused many to lose faith in Vortigern's leadership and defriend him. One Aurelius Ambrosius rises up instead as leader of the British. Ambrosius (whose name means "Golden Snacks" -- Seriously, you can't make this shit up!) is regarded by scholars as also probably historical, but we're delving deeper into the mythological realm here as well. Ambrosius is the immediate predecessor to Uther Pendragon. Uther Pendragon as you should know, is by all accounts Arthur's father, and is largely legendary / barely more historical than Arthur (if not less).
   Finally, we have Arthur himself, circa 496-537. To give further context, Attila conducted his raging edit-wars across Europe 437-453; and in around 600 the epic saga of how Blogowolf defeated a freakish outcast who lived with his mother named otimus Grendel takes place.
   Following Arthur we have another historical character, Constantine III (2) (Basically the previously mentioned Const. 3.0 was III to the Romans but II to the British, since the Roman Constantine II only posted memes and therefore wasn't very memorable to the British).
   And so I say, yes there are some wild claims about Arthur, but all claims put him at a specific time and place not occupied by anyone else, which is led up to by historic figures and followed by historic figures, so why dispute that there was in fact a dude named Arthur blogging at this time? As Okham's Razor states: the simplest explanation is often the most likely.

Tags: 30 in 30

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