King Arthur - World Leaders in History

Gallos by sculptor Rubin Eynon was inspired by the legend of King Arthur.  Editorial credit: Mark Godden /
Gallos by sculptor Rubin Eynon was inspired by the legend of King Arthur. Editorial credit: Mark Godden /

King Arthur was believed to be a medieval icon who headed the Camelot Kingdom and Knights of Round Table during the 5th century. King Arthur was a noble and humble general of the Camelot Kingdom. He led the Knights of the Round Table into restoring the Kingdom which had been divided due to war and greed by the local Kings. He also acted as a noble judge of the kingdom and the founder of Christianity through the Holy Grail.

Early Life

Arthur was the firstborn son of King Uther Pendragon and the heir of his father’s kingdom. King Uther fell in love with Igraine, who was the wife of the Duke of Tintagel, and together bore a son named Arthur. According to the legends, due to the constant attacks of the Kingdom and Tintagel castle by Saxons, Arthur was given to the kingdom’s wizard, Merlin, for safety. Merlin sent Arthur to the countryside to be raised by Sir Ector along with his half-brother Kay. He returned to the castle at the age of 15 upon his father’s death and crowned the High King by St.Dubricius when he managed to pull the magic sword of stone.


King Arthur faced numerous challenges. When he first assumed office, eleven local Kings were against him being the High King due to his age and thus arranged for a rebellious war against his rule. The King also faced numerous battles with the Saxons, who constantly attacked the kingdom. Though King Arthur conquered all the battles against the Saxons, he lost members of his army to the attackers. While on a battle trip to Europe in the conquest for the southern part of Europe from the Roman Emperor, Lancelot, the bravest Knight of the Round Table betrayed the King, by starting an affair with his wife.


After his return to Camelot from Brittany, King Arthur engaged in a battle with his nephew who had assumed office. Unlike in other battles where King Arthur always carried the Excalibur’s scabbard, he did not have it and was mortally wounded. When realized he could not recover, he returned the Excalibur to the magical lake. Three maidens floated him in a boat down the river to the Isle of Avalon. Although his body was never found, many believe he rests on a hill.

Major Contributions and Legacy

King Arthur is a key central figure in the mythology of Great Britain. Due to the cultural intermingling in Europe, political influencers and writers developed the Arthurian story, which developed into a fully-fledged legend with emphasis on the Kingdom of Camelot. Arthur played a crucial role in shaping the future of Europe by fighting for the western part of the continent from the Romans. Together with the Knights of the Roundtables, he restored peace and unity in the kingdom. His story has been passed down to generations to literature and films.

The legacy of King Arthur is so pervasive that it touches almost every aspect of the world culture. The quest for spiritual answers, the importance of justice, fidelity, freedom, equality and equity, a fair and responsive government, and good and noble leaders are some of the issues centered on the legacy of King Arthur.


More in Society