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Camelot
Idylls of the King 3.jpg
Gustave Doré’s illustration of Camelot from “Idylls of the King”, 1868.
Arthurian legend
Notable people King Arthur, Uther Pendragon, Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, Igraine, Merlin

Camelot is the most famous castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur. Absent in the early Arthurian material, Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances and eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur's realm and a symbol of the fabulous Arthurian world. The stories locate it somewhere in Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, though more usually its precise location is not revealed. Most scholars regard it as being entirely fictional, its geography being perfect for romance writers; Arthurian scholar Norris J. Lacy commented that "Camelot, located no where in particular, can be anywhere".[1] Nevertheless arguments about the location of the "real Camelot" have occurred since the 15th century and continue to rage today in popular works and for tourism purposes.

Contents

Early appearances

The castle is mentioned for the first time in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, dating to the 1170s, though it is not mentioned in all the manuscripts.[1][2] It is mentioned in passing, and is not described:

A un jor d'une Acenssion / Fu venuz de vers Carlion / Li rois Artus et tenu ot / Cort molt riche a Camaalot / Si riche com au jor estut. [3]
Upon a certain Ascension Day King Arthur had come from Caerleon, and had held a very magnificent court at Camelot as was fitting on such a day.[4]

Nothing in Chrétien's poem suggests the level of importance Camelot would have in later romances. For Chrétien, Arthur's chief court was in Caerleon in Wales; this was the king's primary base in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae and subsequent literature.[1] Chrétien depicts Arthur, like a typical medieval monarch, holding court at a number of cities and castles. It is not until the 13th-century French prose romances, including the Lancelot-Grail and the Post-Vulgate Cycle, that Camelot began to supersede Caerleon, and even then, many descriptive details applied to Camelot derive from Geoffrey's earlier grand depiction of the Welsh town.[1] Most Arthurian romances of this period produced in English or Welsh did not follow this trend; Camelot was referred to infrequently, and usually in translations from French. One exception is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which locates Arthur's court at "Camelot";[5] however, in Britain Arthur's court was generally located at Caerleon, or at Carlisle, which is usually identified with the "Carduel" of the French romances.[6] It was not until the late 15th century that Thomas Malory created the image of Camelot most familiar to English speakers today in his Le Morte d'Arthur, a work based mostly on the French romances. He firmly identifies Camelot with Winchester, an identification that remained popular over the centuries, though it was rejected by Malory's own editor, William Caxton, who preferred a Welsh location.[7]

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Etymology

The name's derivation is also unknown. Some have suggested it is similar enough to other Iron Age and Romano-British place names such as Camulodunum to suggest some historicity; that particular locale was the first capital of Roman Britain and would have significance in Romano-British culture. Indeed John Morris, the English historian who specialized in the study of the institutions of the Roman Empire and the history of Sub-Roman Britain, suggested in his book The Age of Arthur that as the descendants of Romanized Britons looked back to a golden age of peace and prosperity under Rome, the name "Camelot" of Arthurian legend may have referred to the capital of Britannia (Camulodunum - modern Colchester) in Roman times. If historical the first part of it, Cam, could also reflect the Celtic word meaning "crooked" which is commonly used in place names as seen in Camlann. Given Chrétien's known tendency to create new stories and characters, being the first to mention the hero Lancelot and his love affair with Queen Guinevere for example, the name might also be entirely invented. [1]

Description in the romances

The romances depict the city of Camelot as standing along a river, downstream from Astolat. It is surrounded by plains and forests, and its magnificent cathedral, St. Stephen's, is the religious centre for Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. There Arthur and Guinevere are married and there are the tombs of many kings and knights. In a mighty castle stands the Round Table; it is here that Galahad conquers the Siege Perilous, and where the knights see a vision of the Holy Grail and swear to find it. Jousts are held in a meadow outside the city. In the Palamedes and other works, the castle is eventually destroyed by King Mark of Cornwall after the loss of Arthur at the Battle of Camlann.[1] However maddening to later scholars searching for Camelot's location, its imprecise geography serves the romances well, as Camelot becomes less a literal place than a powerful symbol of Arthur's court and universe.[1]

The romancers' versions of Camelot drew on earlier descriptions of Arthur's fabulous court. From Geoffrey's grand description of Caerleon, Camelot gains its impressive architecture, its many churches and the chivalry and courtesy of its inhabitants.[1] Geoffrey's description in turn drew on an already established tradition in Welsh oral tradition of the grandeur of Arthur's court. The tale Culhwch and Olwen, associated with the Mabinogion and perhaps written in the 11th century, draws a dramatic picture of Arthur's hall and his many powerful warriors who go from there on great adventures, placing it in Celliwig, an uncertain locale in Cornwall. Although the court at Celliwig is the most prominent in remaining early Welsh manuscripts, the various versions of the Welsh Triads agree in giving Arthur multiple courts, one in each of the areas inhabited by the Britons: Cornwall, Wales and the Old North. This perhaps reflects the influence of widespread oral traditions common by 800 which are recorded in various place names and features such as Arthur's Seat indicating Arthur was a hero known and associated with many locations across Brittonic areas of Britain as well as Brittany. Even at this stage Arthur could not be tied to one location.[8] Many other places are listed as a location where Arthur holds court in the later romances, Carlisle and London perhaps being the most prominent.

Identifications

The romancers' versions of Camelot draw on earlier traditions of Arthur's fabulous court. The Celliwig of Culhwch and Olwen appears in the Welsh Triads as well; interestingly, this early Welsh material places Wales' greatest leader outside its national boundaries. Geoffrey's description of Caerleon is probably based on his personal familiarity with the town and its impressive Roman ruins; it is less clear that Caerleon was associated with Arthur before Geoffrey. The later French romances make much of "Carduel," a northern city based on the real Carlisle.

Malory's identification of Camelot as Winchester was probably partially inspired by the latter city's history. It had been the capital of Wessex under Alfred the Great, and boasted the Winchester Round Table, an artifact constructed in the 13th century but widely believed to be the original by Malory's time. Malory's editor Caxton rejects the association, saying Camelot was in Wales and that its ruins could still be seen; this is a likely reference to the Roman ruins at Caerwent.[7] Malory associated other Arthurian locations with modern places, for instance locating Astolat at Guildford.

In 1542 John Leland reported the locals around Cadbury Castle in Somerset considered it to be the original Camelot. This theory, which was repeated by later antiquaries, is bolstered, or may have derived from, Cadbury's proximity to the River Cam and towns Queen Camel and West Camel, and remained popular enough to help inspire a large-scale archaeological dig in the 20th century.[8] These excavations, led by archaeologist Leslie Alcock from 1966-70, were titled "Cadbury-Camelot," and won much media attention, even being mentioned in the film of the musical Camelot.[8] The dig revealed by far the largest known fortification of the period, with Mediterranean artifacts (representing extensive trade) and Saxon artifacts.[8] The use of the name Camelot and the support of Geoffrey Ashe helped ensure much publicity for the finds, but Alcock himself later grew embarrassed by the supposed Arthurian connection to the site. Following the arguments of David Dumville, Alcock felt the site was too late and too uncertain to be a tenable Camelot. Modern archaeologists follow him in rejecting the name, calling it instead Cadbury Castle hill fort.[9] Despite this, Cadbury remains widely associated with Camelot.

The fact there were two towns in Roman Britain named Camulodunum, Colchester in Essex, and Slack in West Yorkshire, deriving from the Celtic god Camulos has led to the suggestion they originated the name. However, the Essex Camulodunum was located well within territory usually thought to have been conquered early in the 5th century by Saxons, so it is unlikely to have been the location of any "true" Camelot. The town was definitely known as Colchester as early as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 917.[10] Even Colchester Museum argues strongly regarding the historical Arthur: "It would be impossible and inconceivable to link him to the Colchester area, or to Essex more generally", pointing out that the connection between the name Camuloduum and Colchester was unknown till the 18th century.[11] Other places in Britain with names related to "Camel" have also been suggested, such as Camelford in Cornwall, located down the River Camel from where Geoffrey places Camlann, the scene of Arthur's final battle. The area's connections with Camelot and Camlann are merely speculative.

Later uses

Camelot has become a permanent fixture in interpretations of the Arthurian legend. Modern versions typically retain Camelot's lack of precise location and its status as a symbol of the Arthurian world, though they typically transform the castle itself into romantically lavish visions of a High Middle Ages palace.[1] It lends its name to the 1960 musical Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, which is based on T. H. White's literary version of the legend, The Once and Future King. The musical was adapted into a 1967 film of the same name, which starred Richard Harris as Arthur, and which featured the Castle of Coca, Segovia as a fittingly opulent Camelot. The symbolism of Camelot so impressed Alfred, Lord Tennyson that he wrote up a prose sketch on the castle as one of his earliest attempts to treat the Arthurian legend.[12] Some writers of the "realist" strain of modern Arthurian fiction have attempted a more sensible Camelot; inspired by Alcock's Cadbury-Camelot excavation, writers Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mary Stewart, and Catherine Christian place their Camelots in that city and describe it accordingly.[8]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lacy, Norris J. (1991). "Camelot". In Norris J. Lacy (Ed.), The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, pp. 66–67. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  2. ^ "Camelot". From the Camelot Project. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  3. ^ Lancelot Ou Le Chevalier De La Charette
  4. ^ Lancelot, vv. 31-32.
  5. ^ Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 37.
  6. ^ Ashley, pp. 612-3.
  7. ^ a b Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, p. xvii.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ashe, Geoffrey (1991). "Topography and Local Legends". In Norris J. Lacy (Ed.), The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, pp. 455–458. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  9. ^ Alcock, Stenvenson, & Musson, C. R.
  10. ^ Place Names
  11. ^ Official Response to linking Arthur and Colchester
  12. ^ Staines, David (1991). "Alfred, Lord Tennyson". In Norris J. Lacy (Ed.), The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, pp. 446–449. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.

References

  • Alcock, Leslie; Stenvenson, S. J.; & Musson, C. R. (1995). Cadbury Castle, Somerset: The Early Medieval Archaeology. University of Wales Press.
  • Ashley, Mike (2005). The Mammoth Book of King Arthur. London: Running Press. ISBN 0-7867-1566-9.
  • Lacy, Norris J. (Ed.) (1991). The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  • Malory, Thomas (1994). Le Morte D'Arthur. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-60099-X.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Camelot (film) article)

From Wikiquote

Camelot is a 1967 film about the marriage of England's King Arthur to Guinevere, played out amid the pageantry of Camelot.

Directed by Joshua Logan. Written by Alan Jay Lerner, based on his play.
The Most Beautiful Love Story Ever!taglines

Contents

King Arthur

  • Merlyn, why have you never taught me love and marriage?
  • Proposition: It's far better to be alive than to be dead.
  • [singing] And -what of teaching me by turning me to animal and bird,
    From beaver to the smallest bobolink!
    I should have had a -whirl
    At changing to a girl,
    To learn the way the creatures think!
  • Merlyn told me once: Never be too disturbed if you don't understand what a woman is thinking. They don't do it often.
  • I dreamed ... I dreamed.
  • All we've been through, for nothing but an idea! Something that you cannot taste, smell, or feel; without substance, life, reality, memory.
  • I love them and they answer me with pain and torment. Be it sin or not sin, they betray me in their hearts and that's far sin enough. I can feel it in their eyes, I can feel it when they speak, and they must pay for it and be punished. I shall not be wounded and not return it in kind! I'm through with feeble hoping! I demand a man's vengeance! [Calming down] Proposition: I'm a king, not a man. And a civilized king. Could it possibly be civilized to destroy what I love? Could it possibly be civilized to love myself above all? What of their pain and their torment? Did they ask for this calamity? Can passion be selected?
  • The adage, "Blood is thicker than water," was invented by undeserving relatives.
  • Merlyn! Merlyn, make me a hawk. Let me fly away from here!
  • [singing] Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story;
    And tell it strong and clear if he has not:
    That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
    Called Camelot.
    Camelot! Camelot!
  • [to Mordred] Far more seasoned rascals than you have polished their souls, I advise you, get out the wax. Better to be rubbed clean than rubbed out.
  • [angrily] Mordred, I must remind you that I am a civilized man. With occasional lapses.

Guinevere

  • Just when I reach the golden age of eligibility and wooability. Is my fate determined by love and courtship? Oh, no. [Bitterly] Clause one: fix the border; Clause two: establish trade; Clause three: deliver me; Clause four: stop the war; five, six: pick up sticks. How cruel! How unjust! Am I never to know the joys of maidenhood? The conventional, ordinary, garden variety joys of maidenhood?
  • [about Mordred]' The one thing I can say for him is that he's bound to marry well. Everybody is above him.
  • Must we talk about Mordred? This is the first time in a month that he's not coming to dinner and not having him makes it seem like a party!

Lancelot

  • C'est moi!
  • I am irritating. I always will be. All fanatics are bores, Pellinore, and I'm a fanatic. Even when I was a child I irritated the other children. I wanted to play their games, but I knew I could not. Even then I was filled with a sense of divine purpose. I'm not saying I enjoy it. All my life I've locked the world out. And, you know, when you lock the world out, you're locked in.

Others

  • Pellinore: Forgive the interruption. Anyone here seen a beast with the head of a serpent, the body of a boar and the tail of a lion, baying like forty hounds?
  • Mordred: [to Arthur about Guenevere] What a magnificent dilemma! Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be, Arthur? Do you kill the Queen or kill the law?
  • Company: [singing] Guinevere, Guinevere.
    In that dim, mournful year
    Saw the men she held so dear
    Go to war for Guinevere.
  • Company: [singing] Guinevere, Guinevere
    Oh, they found Guinevere
    In the dying candle's gleam
    Came the sundown of a dream.

Dialogue

Arthur: But even the thought, "I'm not thinking a thought" is thinking, isn't it?
Merlyn: Yes, and thinking is the sort of thing you should get into the habit of doing as often as possible.

Arthur: A thousand pardons, Milady. Wait! Don't run. [She stops and looks at him coweringly] Please! I won't harm you.
Guenevere: You lie! You'll leap at me and throw me to the ground.
Arthur: I won't do any such thing. [He takes a step toward her. She takes a step backwards. He stops]
Guenevere: Then you'll twist my arm and tie me to a tree.
Arthur: But I won't.
Guinevere: Then you'll sling me over your shoulder and carry me off.
Arthur: No, no, no! I swear it! By the Sword Excalibur! I swear I won't touch you.
Guinevere: [Hurt] Why not? [Sudden rage] How dare you insult me in this fashion. Do my looks repel you?
Arthur: No. You're beautiful.
Guinevere: Well, then? We're alone. I'm completely defenseless. What kind of a cad are you? Apologize at once.

Lancelot: The next time you traffic with me, remember... you challenge the right hand of King Arthur!
Arthur: I am King Arthur!
Lancelot: What? You... are the king?
Arthur: Almost the late king...

Arthur: But for what purpose? Might isn't always right, Jenny.
Guinevere: Nonsense, dear, of course it is. To be right and lose couldn't possibly be right.

Lancelot: Dap, you are older than I. You know this Earth better than I. I only fell upon it a few hours ago.
Dap: What are you talking about?
Lancelot: Guenevere!

Arthur: We must arrange for your knighthood.
Lancelot: No, sire! Invest me because of deeds, not words! Give me an order!
Arthur: Now?
Lancelot: This moment! Is there some wrong I can right, some peril I can face, some quest I can undertake?
Arthur: Well... actually... there's not much going on today. The Queen and some of her court have gone a-maying.
Lancelot: Gone... a-maying?
Arthur: Well, it's a sort of... um... picnic? They pick flowers and chase young...
Lancelot: Picnic?
Arthur: It's a custom we have here. This is England, you know. And this is the season for gathering flowers.
Lancelot: Knights? Gathering FLOWERS?
Arthur: Well, SOMEONE has to do it!

Arthur: Wrong or right, they have the might, so wrong or right, they're always right, and that's wrong... right?
Guinevere: Absolutely.

Lancelot: If the king grants you clemency, you shall be banished. If not, you hang.
Arthur: Clemency is granted.

Lancelot: Jenny, I - I love you. God forgive me, but I do.
Guinevere: Then God forgive us both, Lance.

[Arthur is trying to teach Pellinore about his new court system]

Arthur: Let us say you are accused of burning down a farm.
Pellinore: Whose?
Arthur: Er...let us say, a farmer named...William?
Pellinore: Well, can't see it happening, but get along.
Arthur: Now, Pelly, you claim you haven't. What does he do then?
Pellinore: Well, he keeps his mouth shut if he knows what's good for him!
Arthur: No, Pellinore. He takes you to court.
Pellinore: Ah! And we fight there!
Arthur: No, Pellinore. Look, in the court, there is a prosecutor for Farmer William and a defendant for you.
Pellinore: Oh, I see! I see! And they fight!
Arthur: No. In the court there is also a jury, who decides whether you are guilty or not guilty.
Pellinore: Well, what's the jury got to do with it? None of their damn business in the first place! Any jury finds me guilty, I'll have a whack at every last one of 'em!
Arthur: Then you'd be charged with murder, Pelly!
Pellinore: Well, the ruddy thing's endless! Another jury finds me guilty, and I'll have to have a whack at them! And so on and so on, and whacking and whacking--
Arthur: Oh, Pellinore, forget it! You will never burn down a barn, you will never know a farmer named William and you will never, ever be found in a court!
Pellinore: Not while I've still got my sword I won't!

Taglines

  • The Most Beautiful Love Story Ever!
  • A whole new world of magnificent musical entertainment.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also camelot

English

Proper noun

Camelot

  1. The stronghold of King Arthur in the Arthurian legend

Anagrams


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Camelot Software Planning article)

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Camelot Software Planning
Image:Camelot logo.gif
Type Private
Founded 1990
Headquarters
Products
Parent Company
Website http://www.camelot.co.jp/

Camelot Software Planning is a developer most famous for their Mario sports games. They developed games for the famous Shining Force series such as Shining Force III. Besides these Sega Saturn titles, Camelot also developed, to lesser fanfare, Beyond the Beyond for the Playstation.

Lately, Camelot has been working as a 2nd party to Nintendo on exclusive titles, such as the two critically acclaimed Golden Sun games, along with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Power Tennis.

Developed Games


This article uses material from the "Camelot Software Planning" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

File:Idylls of the King
Camelot picture by Gustave Doré, 1868.

In the legends of King Arthur, Camelot is Arthur's castle. In fiction about the Middle Ages, Arthur rules England from Camelot and holds feasts at his round table. The round table which has no legs or head symbolized the idea of a good king because every knight who sat at it had an equal place.



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