Here’s an interesting story from a few days back. British newspaper the Telegraph is reporting that historians believe that they may have found King Arthur’s round table, claiming that it isn’t a table at all, but instead a large amphitheater capable of seating over 1000 people.
The Arthurian legend has always said that the round table was a place where Arthur and his knights would gather to discuss their bold deeds, plot strategy, and debate matters of state. Located in Camelot, Arthur’s mythical fortress, the round table has often played a pivotal role in stories about the king who is believed to have ruled at least part of England following the withdrawal of the Romans. But the location of Camelot, and the round table, had remained a mystery. At least until now.
Historians have unearthed a large stone amphitheater built by the Romans in the town of Chester. It is their belief that that structure was occupied by Arthur and his crew, and the theater was used for open forums, with noblemen sitting in the first few rows around the building, while others filtered into the back. They also point to early descriptions of the round table that indicated that it was more like an open room, such as an amphitheater than an actual wooden table as it would later be depicted.
To further support their cause, these same historians say that a monk named Gildas was the first to write about the Arthurian legend and he called the place where the round table was said to be the “City of Legions.” He also said that inside that place there was a shrine to Christian martyrs. When this new Roman structure was uncovered, they did indeed find such a shrine inside.
An interesting story that lends a little more credence to the Arthur legend. I love when we discover thesse kinds of things, and it allows us to hold on to those myths and stories a little more tightly in this modern age.
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