Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quote of the day

Telegraph:
The discovery of the shrine within the amphitheatre means that Chester was the site of Arthur’s court and his legendary Round Table.

You probably think, wow, pretty cool that these guys actually found Camelot. Funny thing is, though, these nerds were actually searching for Castle Anthrax.

7 comments:

arethusa said...

If I remember my medieval Latin scholarship, Gildas, on whom the "Camelot scholar" is basing your quote, is pretty unreliable.

Andrew Stevens said...

Actually, I think the article FLG links to may be a hoax or something. See this article at the very top.

If we're to believe it (and I can find many independent sources which say the same thing), the significance of Gildas to Arthurian scholarship is not that he "wrote the earliest account of Arthur’s life," but that he doesn't mention Arthur at all when he really should have, leading some to doubt that Arthur existed at all.

At the very least, some journalist badly misquoted Mr. Gidlow.

Andrew Stevens said...

By the way, I'm sure Arethusa was confused by the erroneous description of Gildas and was almost surely thinking of Geoffrey of Monmouth who actually wrote the first narrative account of Arthur's life and was completely unreliable. His account of the British kings is pretty much made up out of whole cloth.

Andrew Stevens said...

I found some places where Arthurians meet and discuss things like this and the consensus opinion is that Gidlow was seriously misquoted.

FLG said...

"I found some places where Arthurians meet and discuss things like this"

Better you than I, my friend.

In all seriousness, I don't doubt the misquote. It was more an excuse to link to the we all need a spanking video.

arethusa said...

Uh...I'm not the one who said Gildas wrote a life of Arthur.

Andrew Stevens said...

FLG, I didn't think you doubted it. But I had implied that the article could have been an outright hoax, which it wasn't.

Arethusa: Gildas isn't considered to be unreliable. Apparently, he's the source for fifth and sixth century British history, even though he wasn't writing history, but sermons. So I assumed that you had been thinking of Geoffrey of Monmouth instead, who actually did write a life of Arthur in Latin, and actually is considered unreliable unlike Gildas who didn't and isn't. I could of course easily be wrong in my assumptions and you could have been thinking of a different person entirely. I was just searching for a plausible explanation for why you might recall Gildas as unreliable.

 
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