Camelot was a mythical castled city, said to be located in Great Britain, where King Arthur held court.
It was the center of the Kingdom of Logres and in Arthurian legend would become the location of the round table that held knights. Stories about King Arthur are known from at least as early as the ninth century. One of the most famous early Arthurian writers was Geoffrey of Monmouth, who lived during the first half of the 12 th century. However, Monmouth — and other early Arthurian writers — made no mention of Camelot. Researcher Norris Lacy writes that the Vulgate Cycle was composed between and by an anonymous author or group of authors.
In these cycles, Camelot would be discussed in detail.
The text says, in translation, that it "was the city most full of adventures that ever was The story of Camelot starts with Joseph of Arimathea, who according to the Bible donated his tomb for the burial of Jesus. According to a Vulgate story, he came to Britain and then to Camelot, finding it to be an Islamic city. Joseph succeeded in converting more than 1, of its inhabitants to Christianity. Its king, a leader named Agrestes, who is described as being the "cruelest man in the world," falsely converted.
After Joseph leaves, Agrestes persecutes the Christians, eventually going completely mad and throwing himself into a fire. Joseph then returns and sees that Camelot has converted to Christianity, "in the middle of the city he had the Church of St. Stephen the Martyr built," the text reads. This building would remain Camelot's largest church throughout the Vulgate cycles with additional, smaller, churches also being built. Of course, Islam didn't even exist in the first century, and why the anonymous author s of the Vulgate cycle claimed that first century Camelot was an Islamic city is unclear.
Camelot was described as a city surrounded by forests and meadows with plenty of open space for knightly tournaments which were held frequently. When a tournament was held, wooden reviewing stands for the ladies and maidens would be set up, one of which is mentioned as running for half a league about 2. The text said that Camelot was a "rich and well provided town" but offers few details as to its layout or exact size.
It was small enough that during a particularly lavish court so many barons and nobles came that "not a tenth of them could be lodged in the city of Camelot, and the others found shelter in the meadowland, which was wide and beautiful, in tents and pavilions," translation by Rupert Pickens. The church of St. Stephen apparently contained a large burial ground as numerous knights are mentioned as being interred there. Indeed, Camelot saw more than its share of wars in the Vulgate stories.
The city's defenses were formidable, surviving a war against the Saxons and another invasion in which Cornishmen aided the Saxons.
The text says that Arthur held court in a castle or a tower as it's sometimes called furnished with a main courtyard, bedrooms, areas for feasting and, apparently, the Round Table. The castle is close enough to a body of water so that in one story Arthur could see a boat coming into Camelot holding what turned out to be a dead maiden.
While tournaments are held frequently, the people of Camelot also enjoyed other, less-violent, forms of recreation. In one story, Lancelot gives King Arthur a fine chess set, knowing that Queen Guinevere is a good player. According to one story, an inscription was found saying that the quest for the Holy Grail a quest discussed at length in the Vulgate must begin years after the resurrection of Jesus.
This gives a rough date for when King Arthur supposedly ruled Camelot.
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The most famous aspect of Camelot is certainly its Round Table, and the Vulgate cycles discuss in detail how King Arthur came to possess it. According to the text, it was a wedding gift from Guinevere's father, King Leodagan of Carmelide, after Arthur asked for her hand in marriage. At the time, there were already knights out of who were members of the table. This led Arthur to ask the magician Merlin to choose the remaining members to bring it to full complement, emphasizing that each must be chivalrous.
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When they were assembled, Merlin said that from "now on you must love one another and hold one another as dear as brothers, for from the love and sweetness of this table where you will be seated there will be born in your hearts such a great joy and friendship that you will leave your wives and children to be with one another and to spend your youth together," translation by Martha Asher.
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