Explorations in Arthurian History

The Things




  • Antonine Wall: wall 100 miles farther north than Hadrian's Wall and about half the size. This wall extended 36 and one-half miles from the Clyde River to the Firth of Forth and was ordered built by the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius in 142. The wall was 14 to 16 feet wide and about 10 feet high. As with Hadrian's Wall, a ditch ran on the northern side of it. A series of forts, 19 in all, were built every two miles along the wall. Click here and here for more or see a detailed map.
  • Caliburn: Arthur's magical sword according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. Click here for more.
  • Camel River: river in Cornwall thought to be the river by which the Battle of Camlann was fought.
  • Dozmary Pool: pool in Cornwall said to be the Lake into which Bedivere threw Excalibur after Arthur's trip to Avalon. Click here and here and here for more.
  • Excalibur: See Things of the Legend.
  • Hadrian's Wall: 73-mile wall commissioned by the Roman emperor Hadrian in 122. It ran from Wallsend on the River Tyne west to Bowness on the Solway Firth. Hadrian's plan called for a hill 10 feet wide and 12 feet high, complete with a ditch on the Scottish side, a tower every one-third mile, and a fort (milecastle) every mile. Reality forced the Romans to build a fort every seven miles and reduce the dimensions of the Wall to 8 feet wide. Click here and here for more.
  • Holy Grail: See Things of the Legend.







  • Pillar of Eliseg: memorial stone that traces the kingship of Powys back to Vortigern, further asserting that he married a daughter of Maximus here and here
  • Round Table: first mentioned in Wace's Roman de Brut. The idea was that the table, being round, would have no head, or place of prominence. Arthur's strategy was to reinforce the idea that none of the barons or dukes or other nobles who sat there would be seen to occupy places of importance greater than any other. Click here for more. See also Things of the Legend.
  • Siege Perilous: seat at the Round Table where only the Grail hero could sit without dying. Galahad sat in it.
  • Sword in the Stone: See Things of the Legend.
  • Tristan Stone: stone in Cornwall that is said to prove Tristan's existence in that part of the country. The inscription reads in part "Here lies Tristanus, son of Dustanus." Click here for more.
Other relevant links

Transformations of Celtic Mythology in Arthurian legend

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