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Arthur of Dalriada Revisited

Lathe, Richard (Edinburgh)

The Heroic Age, Issue 7, Spring (2004)

The case that the historical King Arthur might be the Dalriadic prince Artur, or Artuir, has been re-examined recently. Ziegler (1999) concluded that there is no compelling reason to believe that this individual was Arthur. However, I argue here that a more likely Dalriadic contender is to be found in the figure of King Comgall, the grand-uncle of Artur mac Aedan.

Early Individuals Known as Arthur

From the end of the 6th century a number of individuals were known as Artur or near variants. Barber (1972) highlighted the two most prominent – Artur of the Dalriadic Scots and Arthur of Dyfed, but did not substantiate the case for either. Ziegler (1999) examined the first, Artur of Dalriada, but presented convincing objections. The dates concur with her view: both these individuals lived at the very end of the sixth century, and are unlikely to be the historical Arthur.

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