When WRL began its investigations into the potential natural and historical underpinnings of mythoi associated with tribes surrounding the Mediterranean Sea—notably those that have had the most significant influence on the development of Western thought and culture—we sought to identify tangible connections between them and, where possible, attempted to render them subjectable to measurable scientific testing and endeavored to offer a suitable alignment with accepted figures in history. In the following ongoing research project, WRL will advance an argument for the location of the mythical and highly romanticized Camelot, court city of warrior King Arthur and his beloved Queen Guinevere, that may generate controversy and consternation by many in the united kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales, whose vested interests were built upon its mystique.
Specifically, we will outline a detailed hypothesis that points to a location that is not on the island at all; rather, we will demonstrate that the quasi-historical information available firmly places Arthur’s Camelot in Autun, France. Autun, originally founded by Julius Caesar’s adopted heir, Octavius, who succeeded him as Augustus Caesar, was named in his honor as Augustodonum. Built nearby Mount Beuvray and the ancient Celtic stronghold Bibracte (a location where Julius Caesar was thought to have dictated some of his “Commentairies on the Gallic War”), the city was considered a sister to Rome vested with many of the advanced accoutrements of the capitol of the Roman Empire, closely matching the descriptions of Camelot first written by Geoffrey of Monmouth and embelished by later authors.
Many historians who begin to search for a literal historical basis for the Arthurian legend are quickly turned away in bitter disappointment by the shocking dearth of reliable and datable facts pertaining to our cherished hero. Ancient Celtic, Welsh, Scottish, Bretish, and Frankish storied references to warriors who embody some of the traits we have come to associate with Arthur, such as his brutal battles against the various invading Germanic tribes and even the fleeing armies of Rome, are replete with a vagary of descriptions and estimated timelines that are based on presumed dates for battles that are themselves often associated with the weak memory of the distant reign of a forgotten chief or king.
To be continued…