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Encyclopedia > Battle of Camlann
Battle of Camlann
Part of the Sovereignty of Britain by legend; local feud by other traditions
Date 537 (traditional date)
Location Unknown; perhaps South Somerset or near the western section of Hadrian's Wall; several places named Camlan(n) or containing the word exist in Welsh tradition
Result Arthurian Victory, but Indecisive; no effective succession.
Commanders
King Arthur Mordred
"How Mordred was Slain by Arthur, and How by Him Arthur was Hurt to the Death", by Arthur Rackham
"How Mordred was Slain by Arthur, and How by Him Arthur was Hurt to the Death", by Arthur Rackham

The Battle of Camlann is best known as the final battle of King Arthur, where he either died in battle, or was fatally wounded. As the surviving accounts of this battle are all generally little more than legend or myth (and all versions exhibit traces of folklore), some historians doubt this battle even took place. In most non-contemporary accounts, the battle was caused by a knight on one side who drew blade against orders to kill a snake. As the unsheathing of cold steel was against the rules of the truce, and the metal shone, one army thought the other was breaking the truce. Both armies subsequently charged at each other, beginning the battle in earnest. Older Welsh tradition has the battle as the outcome of a feud between Arthur and Medrod (Mordred) with its origins in a quarrel between Arthur's wife Gwenhwyfar (later Guinevere) and her sister Gwenhwyfach. Events Pope Silverius deposed by Belisarius at the order of Justinian, who appoints as his successor Pope Vigilius. ... South Somerset is a local government district in Somerset, England. ... A bronze Arthur in plate armour with visor raised and with jousting shield wearing Kastenbrust armour (early 15th century) by Peter Vischer, typical of later anachronistic depictions of Arthur. ... Mordred or Modred (Welsh: Medrawd, Latin: Medraut) is a character in the Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, where he was killed and Arthur fatally wounded. ... Image File history File links How_Mordred_was_Slain_by_Arthur. ... Image File history File links How_Mordred_was_Slain_by_Arthur. ... An illustration from Alices Adventures in Wonderland Arthur Rackham (September 19, 1867 – September 6, 1939) was a prolific English book illustrator. ... Camlann Medieval Village is a year-round recreation of England in 1376, located in Carnation, Washington. ... A bronze Arthur in plate armour with visor raised and with jousting shield wearing Kastenbrust armour (early 15th century) by Peter Vischer, typical of later anachronistic depictions of Arthur. ... For other uses, see Legendary (disambiguation). ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Mordred or Modred (Welsh: Medrawd, Latin: Medraut) is a character in the Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, where he was killed and Arthur fatally wounded. ... Queen Guinevere, by William Morris Guinevere was the legendary queen consort of King Arthur. ... Gwenhwyfach or Gwenhwyvach, sometimes Anglicized as Guinevak, is a sister of Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere) in early Welsh Arthurian legend. ...


Historicity

The earliest known reference to this battle, however, is the entry in the Annales Cambriae for the year 537, which does not specify that Arthur and Mordred were on opposite sides: Wikisource has original text related to this article: Welsh_Annals Annales Cambriae, or The Annals of Wales, believed to date from 970, is a chronicle of events thought to be significant occurring during the years 447-954. ...

Gueith camlann in qua Arthur et Medraut corruerunt.
(The Strife of Camlann in which Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) perished".)

Later accounts of this battle are in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and in the 13th century Welsh tale The Dream of Rhonabwy. Geoffrey of Monmouth (in Welsh: Gruffudd ap Arthur or Sieffre o Fynwy) (c. ... Geoffrey of Monmouths Historia Regum Britanniæ (English: The History of the Kings of Britain) was written around 1136. ... The Alliterative Morte Arthure is a 4346 line Middle English poem, retelling the latter part of the legend of King Arthur. ... The term Welsh literature may be used to refer to any literature originating from Wales or by Welsh writers. ... The Dream of Rhonabwy (Welsh: Breuddwyd Rhonabwy) is a Middle Welsh prose romance. ...


The location of the battle is unknown, but several candidates exist. One possible site is Queen Camel in Somerset which is close to the hill fort near South Cadbury (identified by some with King Arthur's Camelot), where the River Cam flows beneath Camel Hill and Annis Hill. The site most consistent with the theory of a northern Arthur is the Roman fort called, in Latin, 'Camboglanna'. When this theory was first put forward, this was identified as Birdoswald, but has since been accepted as nearby Castlesteads. Other identifications have been offered, the River Camel along the border of Cornwall, and the River Camlann in Eifionydd in Wales. Queen Camel is a village and civil parish in the South Somerset district of Somerset, England, about seven miles north of Yeovil. ... This article is about the county of Somerset in England. ... A hill fort is a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for military advantage. ... South Cadbury in Somerset is a hilltop archaeological site covering an area of around 8ha, 12km northeast of Yeovil and near the historical hillfort Cadbury Castle. ... Gustave Doré’s illustration of Camelot from “Idylls of the King”, 1868 Camelot is the most famous fictional castle associated with the legendary King Arthur. ... Basic ideal plan of a Roman castrum. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... // Birdoswald Fort is an ancient Roman fort towards the western end of Hadrians Wall. ... The River Camel in north Cornwall rises below Hendraburnick Down and empties into the Bristol Channel at Padstow Bay. ... Cornwall (pronounced ; Cornish: ) is a county in south-west England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar and Devon. ... Eifionydd is an area in north-west Wales covering the south-eastern part of the Lleyn peninsula from Porthmadog to just east of Pwllheli. ... This article is about the country. ...


Often Camlann is confused with Camalot itself, especially in newer retellings of the Arthurian saga, such as Elizabeth Wein's The Winter Prince. Elizabeth E. Wein (pronounced WEEN) is an American author (but a resident of Scotland) of historical fiction for young adults. ... The Winter Prince is Elizabeth Weins retelling of the Aurthurian story of Mordred (here Medraut), detailing Medrauts complicated, intense relationship with his legitimate half-brother Lleu. ...


References

  • Hunt, A. (2005). From Glein to Camlann: The life and death of King Arthur. Vortigern Studies.

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