The Land of Arthur

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categorie: Engleza

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King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends. He is said to be the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine of Cornwall. Arthur is a near mythic figure in Celtic stories such as Culhwch and Olwen. In early Latin chronicles he is presented as a military leader, the dux bellorum. In later romance he is presented as a king and emperor.

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The Emblem of the[...]
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King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends. He is said to be the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine of Cornwall. Arthur is a near mythic figure in Celtic stories such as Culhwch and Olwen. In early Latin chronicles he is presented as a military leader, the dux bellorum. In later romance he is presented as a king and emperor.

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The Emblem of the Knights

The emblem of the Knights of the Round Table worn round the necks of all the Knights was given to them by King Arthur as part of the ceremony of their being made a knight.

The Order's dominant idea was the love of God, men, and noble deeds.
The cross in the emblem was to remind them that they were to live pure and stainless lives, to stive after perfection and thus attain the Holy Grail. The Red Dragon of King Arthur represented their allegiance to the King. The Round Table was illustrative of the Eternity of God, the equality, unity, and comradeship of the Order, and singleness of purpose of all the Knights.

Land

At the heart of all of the Arthurian legend is the Land itself. To walk through the land is to feel the legends and history itself. Britain has two kinds of geography: the outer, visible one of hills, valleys, trees, rivers, and plants; and the inner, mysterious, myth-haunted one which consists of places that

are often no more than names, like Camelot, Camlan, the supposed site of Arthur's last battle, or Badon, the site of his greatest fight against the Saxons.

Rivers of ink have been spilled by various commentators in their efforts to identify these places, many of which have remained undiscovered for the simple reason that they were never a part of this world at all, but myth and legend. This is not to say that they never existed, only that the physical places ascribed to them are as often as not false.

According to a local tradition, in the ground below the great outcrop of sandstone, known Above Alderley Edge is a bearded, weather-beaten face. Under it is written, Drink of this and take thy fill, for the water falls by the wizard's will.

as the Edge, there is a cave in which Arthur and his knights lie sleeping. The story goes that a farmer was on his way to market at the nearby town of Macclesfield when he was stopped by an old man who offered to buy the white horse he was planning to sell. Refusing the low offer, the farmer rode on. Despite much interest, no one bought the horse at the market. On the way back, the same mysterious man appeared and this time the farmer accepted the offer.

Leading him to the hillside, the old man laid a hand on some rocks, which opened to reveal iron gates at an entrance into the hill. Within the hill, the astonished farmer saw the great king and his knights, together with their mounts, asleep in a vast cavern. The horse was for one of the knights, and the farmer received a bag of gold for it before he fled, hearing the gates clang shut behind him.

This huge crag, which rises to a height of 822 feet above sea-level above the city of Edinburgh,

It has been said that the association of the hill with Arthur may be a matter of its being a base for military action in the 6th century.
has been known as Arthur's Seat since the fifteenth century. Part of Holyrood Park, it offers a tremendous view of the surrounding country and of the sea to the east. The 'seat' itself is said to be the notch between the highest point of the peak and a secondary point a little way to the south. In fact, it is probably named after a local hero who happened to bear the name Arthur.

Interestingly enough, Edinburgh is identified with the Castle of Maidens in several Arthurian tales, which is probably because one of its medieval names was Castellum Puellarum (Castle of Women). In the stories it is sometimes a place where a number of female prisoners are kept; at other times it seems to be occupied by seductive women who tempt knights passing by. In at least one version, Arthur's half-sister, the renowned 'enchantress' Morgan le Fay, is its mistress.

Cadbury has been associated with Arthur since at least the sixteenth century, when the distinguished antiquarian John Leland described it in his

Trees now cloak the sides of Cadbury Camp, yet its imposing bank-and-ditch ramparts would have been a formidable obstacle.
account of ancient British history. He wrote: 'At the very south end of the church of South-Cadbyri standeth Camallate, sometime a famous town or castle... The people can tell nothing there but that they have heard say Arthur much resorted to Camalat... ' Camallate or Camalat is, of course, Camelot, the famed citadel of Arthur where the Round Table was housed and from where the Fellowship of Knights rode forth in search of adventure and wrongs to right.
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