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Was Camelot based on a real place

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==The story of Camelot==
Camelot was first mentioned in the ''Romance of Lancelot '' written by the French author Chretien de Troyes in the 1200s. The first mention of the location is the following ‘Upon a certain Ascension Day King Arthur had come from Caerleon and had held a very magnificent court at Camelot as was fitting on such a day."<ref> de Troyes Chrétien Four Arthurian Romances (London, Gutenberg, 1914), p 56</ref>None of the earlier Welsh sources had mentioned a this place called Camelot and they had referred to Arthur holding his court at Caerleon. They had stated that Arthur the monarch had several capitals throughout his realms. The image of Camelot was developed by successive medieval French writers. In brief, they portrayed Camelot as a fantastic fortress, with a Christian Cathedral, magnificent halls, palaces and of course the Round Table. In some of the medieval French stories, Camelot was the capital of Arthur’s realm before the conquest of Britain by the Anglo-Saxons. Camelot had a brilliant court, where the most chivalrous knights from as far as France gathered to serve the monarch. Some 150 Knights of the Round Table gathered here and from where they decided to go on a crusade to find the Holy Grail. The French sources do not really describe the court and city, and simply state that it was surrounded by forests but was also located near some pastures that were ideal for knights’ tournaments. In the medieval sources, there were regular tournaments where knights, such as Galahad, would joust to win honors and to impress their lady-loves. In the medieval stories, Camelot is portrayed as a Christian city whose population were all noble and chivalrous. There was a dark side to this place of magic and chivalry. It was here that Arthur lived with Guinevere and where she and Lancelot fell in love. The adulterous affair between the great knight and the Queen lead to a series of ruinous civil wars that ultimately led to the death of Arthur and the decline of his realm. The magical court and stronghold did not end with the death of the great king. In some medieval tales, the city continued but was much diminished until it was sacked and destroyed by a King of Cornwall who was portrayed as a traitor and an ally to the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The story of Camelot was later adopted by Malory and other writers. Today the Arthurian court and city have become a symbol for an ideal and chivalrous realm, a fantasy land, and utopia.
[[File: Camelot 3.jpg|200px|thumb|left| Some of the ruins of Tintagel Castle]]
One of the most commonly cited locations for the real Camelot is Tintagel Castle. Since the earliest times this castle on the coast of Cornwall, in the south-west of England has been associated with the Arthurian cycle of stories <ref> Field, P. J. C. "Searching for Camelot." Medium Aevum 87, no. 1 (2018): 1-22 </ref>. The Welsh author Geoffrey of Monmouth in his history of the kings identifies Tintagel as the site of the conception of Arthur. Tintagel was occupied by the Britons during the Anglo-Saxon invasion and it was the capital of a small Brythonic kingdom and this could have been the basis of for Arthur’s kingdom of Logres. Archaeological excavations have established that it was inhabited during the Dark Ages. Experts have found evidence that it was a centre of trade and learning, which was remarkable for this period when civilization had almost collapsed. Evidence of writing and scholarship in the post-Roman period have been found here. This would indicate that it was like Camelot a centre of learning and religion. In 1998 a stone bearing an intriguing inscription was unearthed by experts. This is the so-called Artognou stone, sometimes referred to as the Arthur stone. This is a stone that was taken from another building and used in the drains of Tintagel. The artifacts bear the inscription in Latin ‘Artognou’. Many scholars believed that this is very similar to the name ‘Arthur’. However, many have rejected this and believe that Artognou was a common Celtic name. Despite the fact that Tintagel was a royal centre in the Dark Ages and its associations with Arthur it seems unlikely that it was the original Camelot.

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