The Arthurian Legend


Joshua J. Mark
published on 09 April 2024

The Arthurian Legend developed in Europe between c. 830, when the Welsh historian Nennius first mentions King Arthur through c. 1469 when Sir Thomas Malory composes Le Morte D’Arthur, the best-known version of the tales, which was published by William Caxton in 1485 and became a best-seller, as it has remained since its revival in the 19th century.

This collection presents a brief overview of the history of the tales and some of the central characters.



Questions & Answers

Who is the first writer to mention King Arthur?

The first writer to mention King Arthur is the Welsh historian Nennius in c. 830.

Who is the Father of the Arthurian Legend?

Geoffrey of Monmouth is known as the Father of the Arthurian Legend for his work History of the Kings of Britain (1136) which first outlines the rough features of the later legend.

What is the most famous work on the Arthurian Legend?

The most famous, and comprehensive, work on the Arthurian Legend is Le Morte D'Arthur (The Death of Arthur) by Sir Thomas Malory, composed c. 1469.

Is King Arthur based on a real person?

The historicity of King Arthur continues to be debated but many scholars believe the legendary character is based on a real person.
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About the Author

Joshua J. Mark
Joshua J. Mark is World History Encyclopedia's co-founder and Content Director. He was previously a professor at Marist College (NY) where he taught history, philosophy, literature, and writing. He has traveled extensively and lived in Greece and Germany.

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