Cornwall in focus

  • Share
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email a friend

    Please enter your own name and your friend's email address below and we will email them a link to this page.


    This email address will only be used this once to send your friend a link to this page. No record will be kept, and the email address will not be shared with any third party.
  • Print this page

Of Arthur and Merlin

Tintagel Castle

As in most subjects, if something is not fully explained or understood it becomes mysterious and fires both the imagination and the need to know more. For instance, was there ever a leader called Arthur? Was he King of the Britons? Was he a Romano-British warlord? Where was he based? What was his kingdom?

Some scholars point to the rise to power of Aurelius Ambrosianus or Ambrosius as the basis for the legend of King Arthur. This Romano-Celtic chieftain was the grandson of Magnus Maximus and son of Constantine. He was only a boy when his elder brother Constans was killed by his own chief adviser - a certain Vortigern. Vortigern married Severa, daughter of Magnus Maximus strengthening his claim to the throne. Meanwhile Ambrosius was hurriedly taken, with his baby brother Uther Pendragon, to Brittany, to the court of their cousin, Budic I for their own safety.

Nicol Williamson as Merlin in Excalibur (1981)

These days, many many things are fully understood and explained by science, backed up by archaeology. In times gone by, that which was not understood was deemed as magical or mystical. How many people nowadays can put their hand on their heart and say that thay believe in a 'Time of Magic' and a warlock or sorcerer called Merlin (or Emrys). If he ever existed, was he purely a wise man, a physician or astronomer, or something more? What did he do that implied he could fortell the future or change events indicating that he was someone special? We can only wonder at what he may have done.

Who were the Celts?

The Rise of Rome & The Fall of Gaul

The Iron Age Tribes of Britain - 1

The Iron Age Tribes of Britain - 2

The Roman Invasion of Britain

Vortigern and the so called 'Anglo-Saxon Invasion'

Celtic Mythology and Belief

The Timeline of Arthurian Britain   

The Cornish Language


The 'Ancient Sites Directory'

Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro


Accommodation Options


Cottage Holidays

Specially selected cottages give you the ideal base for your self-catering holiday

Holiday Parks

Holiday Parks

The affordable option for families seeking fun and entertainment



Lounge in luxury in some excellent locations around the county


Caravan Holidays

Five Star or No Frills - there are sites to suit everyone

Bed and Breakfasts


Explore the South West from these carefully chosen bed and breakfasts

Youth Hostels

Youth Hostels

Independent traveller? Youth Hostels enable you to explore on a budget




About us

Privacy policy



Promote events

Advertising options


Follow us





Related sites

Devon in Focus

Somerset in Focus

Dorset in Focus

A SouthWest in Focus brand
© Shimbo 2000 - 2018

© 2000 - 2018