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back to article King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

French historians are risking a visit by gunboats bearing the white ensign after declaring King Arthur an English legend promoted for "political reasons". That's according to the organisers of "King Arthur: A Legend in the Making" - a forthcoming conference and exhibition at Rennes university which will "provide ample evidence …

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Joke

Evidence?

There's about as much evidence for King Arthur as there is for that Jesus fellow. And both claimed they'd be back one day. Let's see who gets here first; my money's on the Brit!

Incidentally, Bernard Cornwell wrote a pretty decent version of the King Arthur story. It's called The Winter King.

REX QVONDAM REXQVE FVTVRVS!

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Anonymous Coward

Does it really matter?

Who cares if its historically accurate or not, it might be, might not be. I like the story as its a good one, it works well alongside Disney and other family movies. So it makes for a nice feel good story. So the reality is irrelevant.

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Flame

English?

Ummm. English king? Fighting the Saxons?

Her general thesis is possibly correct, but I think she is confusing Britain and England. Is she American? The French don't usually confuse "les anglais" and "les brittaniques" in my experience.

Greetings from sunny Wales.

And a flame for all those second homes ...

Peter

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of corse it is

all miths are made for a reasion most miths have verry little truth in them most miths "change" as time gose on (most history as well) and for a lot of the past 2000 years we have been at war with france so they are a logicle target

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Coat

Why not just say "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries"?

NT

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Coat

Welcome to History 101

The same can be said of just about ANY historical figure. Including, I'm sure, any number of French ones.

Le duh.

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Unhappy

Arthur English?

I'm glad that the study was so correct as to put Arthur in the Saxon / English camp!

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Paris Hilton

English?

"Arthur was an English King who united all of the Britons - in the British Isles and in Brittany - against the Saxons."

Saxons = English, some historian. Paris, because there's no Britney icon (Brittany - geddit?)

Coat please.

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Coat

This is a title

he wasn't a mith, he was a mithter...

/coat, for obvious reasons.

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Why are spokespeople nearly always aptly named

So in this corner of France we have Ms Toulouse, the other day on the TV there was a feature about allotments and they spoke to a Mr Onions.

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Arthur Not English at all

As we can see from the article Arthur, if he was anyone, was British but by no means English. The English were the Angles and Saxons he was trying to hold off.

Regards

JFWR

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Spelling

@michael

Is your spelling a throwback to the time of the knights of the round table?

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@Neil

Hate to be a pedant, but The Winter King was about King Alfred, not Arther, who did exisit. Still a dam good book though (alont with the rest of the Uthred & Arther books).

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@michael

are you drunk?

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Happy

Arthur as mythical propaganda.

I can understand the French thinking this. I mean, an alleged English warrior King who *didn't* take a small and heavily outnumbered army to France and kick the crap out of them?

Obviously a myth.

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Silver badge

Over-optimism?

"for a lot of the past 2000 years"

About 150 of them, at most... unless I'm forgetting something.

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the authorian legend was created by a Frenchie anyways

For those interested in it, a certain Geoffrey of Monmouth is widely credited with promulgating the Authurion legend. his reason was to promote the Norman conquest as the final victory of the Britons against the hated Saxon invader. In that way the Normans sought to protect and cement their conquest by portraying it as the final chapter in a age long fight twixt the Saxon invader and the native Briton. Indeed a lot of William the Conquerors soldiers came from Brittany an area populated by the Britons following the Saxon takeover of England in the 700s.

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Irish King Arthur?

Ironically, the film Excalibur was made in Ireland.

Odd that Arthur is seen as an English hero. If Arthur existed, he was a Briton, and would have talked a Celtic language like Irish or Welsh, and would have shared their culture. He would have fought the Angle and Saxon ancestors of the English, and he would view most English as descendants of invaders who had stolen the land of his people

So all you Anglo-Saxons, if Arthur ever returns, better book your tickets back home to where you came from. The Irish and Welsh will be taking over. Please switch off the power, and leave your keys in the latch.

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Stop

She should be more concerned about...

Robin of Locksley, a good and proper God-appointed Anglo-Saxon rightful nobleman who stood up against those bloody barbarian frogs like Guy of Gisbourne who had invaded and stolen their land.

Robin Hood is the *real* propaganda.

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Stop

Re: of corse it is

God the spelling in your message is so terrible, I find it really difficult to tell what you're trying to say.

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English culture?

Arthur fought to keep you lot out - fat lot of good it did!

This French person is probably just upset at the Outrageous Accents of the Frenchies in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

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Black Helicopters

He was a British, not English

Calling Arthur an English king is like saying Cornwall is part of England.

Onen Hag Oll

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very odd

Yes, it does seem rather odd to suggest that the English made up a folk hero whose most important exploit was to beat them up and prevent them from dominating England for a century.

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Coat

Go watch Stargate...

... Arthur and Morgan Le Fay feature in the final series of SG1. Therefore they must be real.

Silly French... dont they watch TV? ;-)

Mines the one with the shoulder harness with P90 strapped to the front.

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Pirate

Oi, Hands off our legends

Looks like Arthur, KING OF THE BRITAINS will have to return from Avalon in this our greatest time of need.

mumble grumble....bloody foreigners... grumble.

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Paris Hilton

Preposterous.

Maybe we should point out that their "Joan and her big French Arc" stories aren't very believable either. The bloody cheek.

Paris because there's no Helen Mirren image.

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Staking a claim?

"However, Toulouse mercifully stopped short of staking a French claim to Arthur, admitting: "It would be out of the question for us to say that.""

It would be out of the question because anyone born in Brittany would be Brittish! We just need to kick out those treasonous French republicans who are occupying the land and get it back under the rule of the legitimate monarch.

Once more unto the breach...

I think they're just pissed because all of their kings were limp-wristed fops.

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@Peter Bradley

"The French don't usually confuse "les anglais" and "les brittaniques" in my experience."

Horseapples. Oh, and one T and two N in "britanniques".

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@Michael - congratulations!

I crown you King of Dyslexia.

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Tim

Another famous Myth

What it rerally comes down to is belief. Do you believe King Arthur existed? I can think of another myth that is even older that Billions believe in of which there is no real proof, only a single book.

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Anonymous Coward

Asterix.

Wasn't real either, so ner.

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Pirate

It's 'cause they're jealous!

Let's face it, the Frogs have no decent legends of their own, so they're reduced to snide sniping from afar (evil grin)

You get a frog to challenge the mythology of this reasonably fair country of ours in a decent traditional English Pub, and the frog'll wind up being used for Longbow target practice that very day, Sunday or not (VERY evil grin)!

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@ michael

Learn how to spell, it's 'myths' not 'miths' and 'logical' not 'logicle'!

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M7S
Bronze badge

The French may or may not be correct, but why bring this up now?

Various theories abound, including that he was a Roman official (but of "local" ancestry) trying to preserve the remains of civilisation when the rest of that Empire contracted. I am surprised however that the French are digging this up now. Perhaps the Horn of Roland hasn't been blowing much recently either or they just think the Entente Cordiale is something you mix with the Cointreau.

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Alien

Erm, Translation required

Could someone please tell me what exactly that michael chap (4th post) is trying to say? One can only assume that someone's let management near the internet and they're running rampant with "reasions" for "miths", although that may be illogicle (sic).

As alien as a spell checker.

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Coat

Bloody tealeafs

They steal our words, our football chants and now our myths!

100 years, not enough.

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@michael

That was brilliant, do it again. Also, you appear to have correctly spelled "years"; please try harder. B+

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Coat

Next you'll be telling me...

That there's no solid archaeological evidence of the Green Knight.

Mine's the one on the side of that horse.

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Coat

Leave King Arthur alone!!!

So what, Napoleon was a midget and and Joan of Arc was gay. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries. Take that, Frenchies.

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Happy

French Taunter

You don't frighten us, English pig-dog! Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person. I blow my nose on you, so-called Arthur-king, you and your silly English K...kaniggets

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@Caff

The spelling is a bit hit and mith.

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Anonymous Coward

I wave my private parts at your aunties.

Given that almost all references to King Arthur are from novels (including Chrétien de Troyes, who added much of the legend) rather than histories I don't anyone can track down a real Arthur. He gets dragged out as a fantasical character to add weight to someones story in the same way as Robin Hood. A far better national hero, in my opinion, would be Hereward the Wake, he after all fought the French.

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Flame

French what more needs to be said

Those darn Frencies are at it again, Just because they are cultural inept bunch they feel teh need to try & lambaste this fine country's heritage.

Invade France again we could do with a few flags to put our red cross of St George onto. they have loads of those white flags they are always waving.

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@Paul

"Hate to be a pedant, but The Winter King was about King Alfred, not Arther, who did exisit. Still a dam good book though (alont with the rest of the Uthred & Arther books)."

Irony, anyone?

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Boffin

He was a Briton...

ie a Cymric/Cornish chief, they never said he was English. What they said was he keeps getting ressurected by the English for political purposes, which is ironic since he isn't English etc etc. Common misperception, that. Like Boudica - I read a thread about Mel Gibson's upcoming Boudica movie, and someone said "Finally a pro-English movie from Gibson"... erm.. except Boudica, like Arthur, was a Briton, 500 years before the Saxons came in, 1000 years before there was notion of an "English". Heck, if the Saxons had came in Boudica's time she would have fought them too.

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IT Angle

King Arthur's legend is just as credible...

...as Jeanne D'Arc being commanded by God.

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Bronze badge

@Paul

What's worse than being a pedant, is being an incrorrect one. Bernard Cornwell's book is a novel about King Arthur. Of course King Arthur was a mythical figure - just as to whether there is a real character it is based on, who knows, If he did exist, he would have probably been Romano-British and dated from the days when there was no such country as England (or Scotland, or Wales for that matter - or at least as currently constituted). The irony here is that it was the work of French romantics in the 12th century that laid the basis of many of the current myths and not a few Hollywood films. Tinsel town knows a good yarn when it comes across it, and has never been known to allow inconvenient historical facts, or a lack of them, to get in the way.

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Re: It's 'cause they're jealous!

No, they do have their own heroes. Like Joan of Arc. Who they burned at the stake as a witch. Uh... Ok, forget that one...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The French may or may not be correct, but why bring this up now?

The French are about to take over EU presidency (for 6 months only, or so they claim) - the Irish have just voted no => "I fart in your general direction".

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@all slating Michael's "speelong"...

I do believe the chap has mentioned in a previous post that he is, in fact, dyslexic. I feel compelled to highlight this because, I too, was guilty of bringing the poor man down a peg or two over his ability to murder the English language before I found out.

Unlike the septics, of course. They murder the English language at will. Rather like Iraq, in fact.

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