Monday, July 12, 2010
Camelot: More than a model
Historians locate King Arthur's Round Table
The Telegraph: Researchers exploring the legend of Britain's most famous Knight believe his stronghold of Camelot was built on the site of a recently discovered Roman amphitheatre in Chester.
Legend has it that his Knights would gather before battle at a round table where they would receive instructions from their King. But rather than it being a piece of furniture, historians believe it would have been a vast wood and stone structure which would have allowed more than 1,000 of his followers to gather.
Historians believe regional noblemen would have sat in the front row of a circular meeting place, with lower ranked subjects on stone benches grouped around the outside. They claim rather than Camelot being a purpose built castle, it would have been housed in a structure already built and left over by the Romans.
Camelot historian Chris Gidlow said: 'The first accounts of the Round Table show that it was nothing like a dining table but was a venue for upwards of 1,000 people at a time. We know that one of Arthur's two main battles was fought at a town referred to as the City of Legions. There were only two places with this title. One was St Albans but the location of the other has remained a mystery.'
The recent discovery of an amphitheatre with an execution stone and wooden memorial to Christian martyrs has led researchers to conclude that the other location is Chester. Mr Gidlow said: 'In the 6th Century a monk named Gildas, who wrote the earliest account of Arthur's life, referred to both the City of Legions and to a martyr's shrine within it. That is the clincher. The discovery of the shrine within the amphitheatre means that Chester was the site of Arthur's court and his legendary Round Table.'
Image source here.