Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Killing Way

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The Killing Way

By Tony Hays

The Killing Way

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Beyond the Book

King Arthur - history or myth?
No one is sure if there was truly a person named Arthur who was a ruler of the Britons. Evidence for his existence is scant at best.

The first complete account of the life of King Arthur appeared in Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), written in 1137 - 1138 CE by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Geoffrey surely used historic accounts, but modern scholars believe that he fabricated much of his text, and that other parts were a combination of traditions relating to multiple rulers. Regardless of its inaccuracy, it was very popular and influential. Many manuscript copies of this document have survived into the 21st century.

The legends surrounding King Arthur are generally divided into those written before Geoffrey's Historia, which are referred to as pre-Galfridian (from the Latin for Geoffrey, "Galfrius"), and post-Galfridian. The later stories added Lancelot and the quest for the Holy Grail, and focus less on ...

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