no edit summary
[[File: Merlin One.jpg|200px|thumb|left| A medieval manuscript with a drawing of Merlin and King Arthur]]__NOTOC__
Merlin is perhaps the best-known wizard or magician in popular culture. He is one of the key characters in the much-loved Arthurian legends. In these stories, he is the court magician and mentor of the ruler of Camelot. Since the Middle Ages, Merlin has become a by-word for the practice of magic. He has been portrayed countless times in books, plays, and movies. However, was Merlin based on a real-life character? This article will discuss if he was based on an actual historical figure or merely a fictional character, the product of medieval writers and poets. It will discuss possible candidates for the original Merlin, and these include a Scottish prophet, an early British king, and the theory that he was a Celtic priest, a druid.