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König Arthur. Die Entdeckung von Avalon (1985)

von Geoffrey Ashe

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The discovery of King Arthur
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  5083mitzi | Apr 24, 2020 |
Arthur identified as 5th cent. British king Riothanus
  ritaer | Mar 15, 2020 |
The question of the reality of King Arthur has been answered in various ways and Geoffrey Ashe gives his answer in “The Discovery of King Arthur”. One of the most preeminent Arthurian scholars in the world, Ashe’s thesis brought the possibility of a real Arthur to the public by guiding them through the layers of myth and legend.

Ashe begins his presentation by establishing how the Arthur we have come to know in was first widely distributed, through Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “Histories of the Kings of Britain”. Ashe begins dissecting Geoffrey’s account through the lens of various sources during the supposed time of Arthur’s career as well as giving context to the nature of medieval literary work thus gleaming clues to the real events that Geoffrey based his writing on. Ashe’s analysis of several sources from Roman Gaul, sources from Britain closer to Arthur’s time, and history of the last Western Roman Empire together with clues from Geoffrey’s histories help Ashe narrow in on the individual who was the starting point of the Arthur mythos, the Briton High King named Riothamus.

After naming this candidate whose career inspired the Arthur legend, Ashe then details how over the centuries to Geoffrey of Monmouth and afterwards the embellished and fantasies were created about an individual who seemingly revived Roman Briton’s fortunes and was seen on the Continent as someone to help restore the civilization—as the Roman was viewed. Yet, while this information is intriguing in seeing how the mythos was created and expanded Ashe’s somewhat dry writing style makes the last half of the book somewhat less of an engaging read as compared to the first half when Ashe “discovers” the man behind the legend.

This is my first time reading this book in almost 20 years and frankly this book is not how I remember it, frankly I remembered the information Ashe put in the first half of the book in making his case and willing forgot the second half of the book when he discussed the legend building. This can be put down to Ashe converting a scholarly paper into a book for mass consumption, which is telling as it would be expected that the writing style would be more lively for book for public consumption while a more scholarly work would have a different tone. But that doesn’t mean this is not an overall good book, it is but it does have some drawbacks that potential readers should be aware of before cracking it open. ( )
  mattries37315 | Dec 27, 2015 |
A book of controversy, that has engaged the less fiercely British Arthurians. I know of a book about Arthur's origin that places him in North Wales, and another that places his origin in the Scottish Lowlands. Mr. Ashe has started with the few references to interactions between the British Isles and Gaul in the dying days of the Roman empire. From this, he elaborates that Arthur was modelled on the British chieftain to whom Sidonius Apollinaris wrote a letter, Ricomathis. I think he was Uther Pendragon, but more investigation is required. An interesting read. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jan 28, 2014 |
Geoffrey Ashe takes us into a world of medieval Europe in search for King Arthur. Did he exist or is he nothing but a myth? His journey leads to a most intersting outcome. ( )
  vibrantminds | Feb 20, 2010 |
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