Lucius Artorius Castus was one of the most famous people in the History of Briton, but he was also a legend and and that he really existed. Some say he was King Arthur, the real warrior king whose legend inspired the Roman armies. He was first mentioned by a Welsh cleric named Nennius in his Historia Brittonum in the 9th century. But the most comprehensive account of Arthur is known from ‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, which dates back to the 12th century.
Pages from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the British Kings (left) and Nennius’ History of the Britons. Taken together, passages from these works reveal the man behind the Merlin myth.
Arthur was unsurpassed in power and in his diplomacy. Arthur was a great warrior in the 1st century who fought and claimed the thrown for Rome in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Brittany, Normandy and Gaul, but that didn’t stop the world from falling in love with him.
The sarcophagus inscription, which was broken into two pieces at some point prior to the 19th century and set into the wall of the Church of St Martin in Podstrana Croatia.
Anthony Birley translates this as:
“To the divine shades, Lucius Artorius Castus, centurion of the Third Legion Gallica, also centurion of the Sixth Legion Ferrata, also centurion of the Second Legion Adiutrix, also centurion of the Fifth Legion Macedonica, also chief centurion of the same legion, in charge of (Praepositus) the Misenum fleet, prefect* of the Sixth Legion Victrix, commander of two** British legions against the Armenians, centenary procurator of Liburnia with the power of the sword. He himself (set this up) for himself and his family in his lifetime.”
Arthur was born in Pen Ychen in South Wales in 482. The Roman name was Bovium; now Cowbridge in Glamorgan. His domain was Ynys Prydein Cymru (Welsh) Wales once included Devon & Cornwall + North & West England + Brittany).
Some say Arthur was a mythical king, his legend was based on a real person from history. Theories suggest that Arthur was really a Roman commander named Lucius Artorius Castus who led 5,500 Sarmatians in Britain at the end of the second century. Despite it all, there was a coming together; the landing of Rome to the British Isles with the people from all its territories, came a convergence of many cultures and languages under one rule; so I believe it is a possibility, and that language makes it possible that Arthur really once was a Warrior King who ruled over the Britain’s.
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King Arthur was Lucius Artorius Castus (fl. mid-late 2nd century AD or early to mid-3rd century AD) was a Roman military commander. A member of the gens Artoria (possibly of Messapic or Etruscan origin), he has been suggested as a potential historical basis for King Arthur.
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5. Olli Salomies: The Roman name. Studies on the Roman naming. Helsinki, 1987, p. 68
6. Herbig, Gust., “Falisca”, Glotta, Band II, Göttingen, 1910, p. 98
7. Pflaum, H.-G. Equestrian Careers procuratoriennes under the Roman Empire, 3 vols. Paris, Librairie Orientalist Paul Geuthner, 1960, pp. 535 ff.
8. Ritterling, E. “Legio”, RE XII, 1924, col. 106.
9. Gilliam, J. Frank. “The Dux Ripae at Dura”, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 72, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1941, p. 163.
10. Pflaum, p. 535.
11. Birley, p. 355.