a recording of this lecture will be available to ticket holders for two weeks after the event

Arthur is probably the best-known legendary hero in Western tradition, to judge from the wide dispersal of the stories about him in modern culture, and especially their manifestations on the cinema and television screen and in novels. This draws in turn on his medieval popularity, which resulted in somebody who was originally a Welsh national figure becoming a subject for writers all over Western Europe. Was there, however, a genuine leader behind the later legend? This evening’s presentation looks at the evidence for one in historical texts and archaeological finds, and also at the way in which a general disposition among experts to believe in a historical Arthur in the years around 1970 turned into a general tendency not to believe in him during those around 2000. It will show that despite this, the issue is not closed down yet.

Speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton is a Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He is a leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.