iT IS THE DOOM OF MEN
THAT THEY FORGET
The evening begins with the annual Boar’s Head Feast in Old Hall at Queen’s College, a traditional Christmas celebration.
As the lights go down something goes horribly wrong. A guest is murdered and Chief Inspector for (MIT) of Scotland Yard, Ian John McGregor, is handed an anagram from a waitress that the murdered man wrote on a napkin. Mcgregor, is plunged into the mystery surrounding a religious artifact (the sword Excalibur) worn by Gauis Cassius Longinus, the Roman Centurion who pierced the side of Jesus with his spear while the condemned one hung from the cross. Protected by a secret society (Knights Templar) for two thousand years, the possession of Excalibur, (sought by Adolph Hitler for its paranormal powers), could shake the foundations of Christianity, the British Monarchy, and governments around the world.
“He fed black ravens on the rampart of a fortress
Though he was no Arthur
Among the powerful ones in battle
In the front rank, Gwawrddur was a palisade.”
~Y Gododdin, the Book of Aneirin, (13th Century)
The historical basis for the
King Arthur legend has long been a matter of contention between scholars and Arthur-lore affeciando’s. Recent archaeological finds concur with The Historia Brittonum (“History of the Britons”), a 9th-century Latin historical compilation usually thought to be attributable to a Welsh cleric known as Nennius and the 10th-century Annales Cambriae (“Welsh Annals”) which give date to an Arthur figure existing in The Dark Ages, about 516-539 Anno Domini after the death of Constantinople. A time when the Gauls ruled Europe and Brittany which also links Arthur with the Gauls. The Annals date the battle of Battle of Mount Badon at around 516–518 anno domini, and also mention the Battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Melwas died, with a date of 537–539.
Recent archaeological digs at Glastonbury Tor, known to the Celts as “Island of Glass” and referred to by Mallory in Le Morte De Arthur as “Avalon” suggest a Roman Battle did indeed take place at Mount Baden. Gildas’ mid 6th-century polemic De Excidio Britanniae (“On the Ruin of Britain”), and Bede’s early 8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People mentions the battle of Mount Badon – fought in the years of the author’s birth – but does not mention a figure named Arthur whose name is absent from another primary source for post-Roman British history with mention of Mount Badon too.
One reason for the absence of the name Arthur could be the origin of the name itself. The origin of the Welsh name Arthur remains a matter of debate. Some suggest it is derived from the Latin family name Artorius, of obscure and contested etymology. Others propose a derivation from Welsh “arth” (earlier art), meaning “bear”, suggesting art-ur, “bear-man”, (earlier *Arto-uiros) is the original form, although there are difficulties with this theory.
It may be relevant to this debate that Arthur’s name appears as Arthur, or Arturus, in early Latin Arthurian texts, never as Artorius. However, this may not say anything about the origin of the name Arthur, as Artorius would regularly become Art(h)ur when borrowed into Welsh; all it would mean, is that the surviving Latin references to a historical Arthur (if he was called Artorius and really existed) must date around 516-539 anno domini, the 5th Century.
‘Historia Regum Britaniae’ was written in the year 1133AD by Geoffrey of Monmouth who claimed to have based the work on an ancient Celtic document in his possession. Though Geoffrey was writing some 600 years after the events, his main source is not known. It is speculated that Monmouth’s source may have been the poem Y Gododdin. The date of Y Gododdin has been the subject of debate among scholars since the early 19th-Century. If the poem was composed soon after the battle, it must pre-date 638, when the fall of Din Eidyn was recorded in the reign of Oswy king of Bernicia, an event which is thought to have meant the collapse of the kingdom of the Gododdin. One more piece of evidence that puts the Arthur legend around 516-539.
Though there is no “smoking gun” which would definitively prove Arthurs existence or place him to a certain time in history, there are lots of breadcrumbs in history both archeologically and throughout literature which indeed verify the existence of an “Arthur” legend and seem to portray him as a Roman calvary officer in charge of a band of about 35 horsemen who were sent from the campaigns aginst the Gauls in Europe to defend the retreat of Rome’s legions in Brittany. Ambrosius Aurelianus, aka Emrys Wledig, son of Brittany’s Constantine III (who has been hiding in Brittany since his father’s death during childhood) returns to Britain and drives Vortigern to Wales where he rules Powys.
The Romans left Britain in around 400AD and by 550AD Saxon influence extended over much of the South East of England. As more and more invaders settled, the descendants of Romans and Britons were pushed westwards into Wales and the South West. To the Romanised Britons , these Saxons must have been barbarians. Under the Roman influence of Constaninople, Rome’s first “Christian” Emperor, many of the population south of Hadrians Wall (a stone and turf fortification built by the Roman Empire across the width of what is now northern England, dividing the north (Saxon/barbarians) from the south (Normans/mix of Roman and British ruling class) had become Christians. The pagan customs of the invaders must have added extra impact to the shockwave rippling across the country ahead of their advance. The time was right for a powerful leader to unite the Britons against these outsiders. Arthur’s castle would have been a hill fort, there were many iron age camps on Tors like Glastonbury which could be quite easily fortified by building wooden palisades and gateways. The armour and weapons would have been modelled on those used by the Romans, Archaelogists have found that the troops used actual Roman equipment and weaponry.
During the years 500 – 550AD Roman soldiers appear to have held back the Saxon advance. However, in the following years they were forced back into Cornwall and Wales. The territory held by the Saxons eventually became known as England and the people in Wales were called ‘Welsh’ from the Saxon word ‘weala’ meaning ‘foreigners’. (It’s worth noting that the Welsh called themselves ‘Cymry’ meaning ‘fellow countrymen’ and their country ‘Cymru’.) Now, the importance of this division is that the Saxon conquerors were hardly likely to be interested in the exploits of a ‘foreign’ leader who was successful in holding them at bay. Maybe it is for this reason that Arthur is not mentioned in early English chronicles while his name occurs in Welsh ones.
One last note about the Templars- what began as a noble service to the church protecting faithful pilgrims on their road to Jerusalem from bloodthirsty Muslims, became twisted and distorted after Philip of France, in debt up to his eyeballs, tried to extort money out of the Templars. When they refused, (possibly because the treaure they possessed was not one of a monetary kind but rather one of religious artifacts and thus they could not pay ransom to the bankrupt King of France), and as the Templar war with united Muslims under Saladin’s forces and later Khwarezmi Turks was going badly and Templar losses were great, and Jerusalem ransacked and burned to the ground, Philip conspired with Pope Clement the Vatican to
to take action against the Order, as a way of freeing himsef from his debts.
From the date of October 13, 1307 when scores of Templars were falsely arrested on orders of the church, tortured, mutilated and forced to give false confession of apostasy, idolatry, heresy, “obscene rituals” and homosexuality, corruption and fraud, and secrecy) Many of the accused confessed to these charges under torture, and these confessions, even though obtained under duress, caused a scandal in Paris. After more bullying from Philip, Pope Clement then issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets and Templars being burned at the stake.
Pope Clement called for papal hearings to determine the Templars’ guilt or innocence, and once freed of the Inquisitors’ torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310, King Philip IV blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris.
Since Pope Clement conspired with Philip, King Of France in 1307 to murder those faithful servants to the curch, to this day the Catholic Church and the Vatican continue to defame the reputation of the Templars to hide the Catholic Churches evil doings and responsibility rather than issue an apology to those Templars who were once servants and protectors of the church.
Splinter factions have sprung up within the Templars or Order of the Masons called, “Faction Two” whose main goal is a one world order and a one world banking system which they would control. The EU (Eurpoean Union) and the issuing of one currency (The EU currecny) for all Eurpoean countries is just the beginning of Faction one’s activities. No longer servants of the church, Faction Two has set their sights on destroying the Catholic Church and have aligned themselves with enemies of the Vatican including the Illuminati, Priory of Sion and other factions.
If Faction Two – the international bankers who we call the New World Order – wins, a one world government will be implemented and humanity will become slaves… at least the ones who survive the purge… and I will bet you that you and I won’t be among the survivors! If Faction One wins, there is a plan to take the money that has been stolen from the people of the world, and give it back to the people of the world to be distributed by yet a third faction. These plans are drawn up and can be implemented at any time the funds are released. There is a new faction, one that has labeled itself Faction Three. This new faction is not aligned with either of the two older factions. Some members are the children of Faction One, others are the children of Faction Two. The job of dispersing the money that has been stolen from the nations of the world has been given to Faction Three.
Dan Brown led the way and opened the door for authors like Steve Berry and Raymond Khoury in making the historical thriller “fun” again instead of the stuffy, boring old read it used to be which collected dust on library shelves and went unread. Unlike Dan Brown, I do not pretend that Excalibur is: “99% true. There are many facts and there is much fiction. Fiction is the truth inside the lie. Excalibur is clever fiction just as many claim The Bible was clever fiction, a morality play.
Any historical or scientific inaccuracy is my fault and was most likely done on purpose to drive the plot. The thing about historical fiction is this. Sometimes you have to see where you’ve been to know where you’re going. People seem to enjoy reading historical thrillers like Brown’s DaVinci Code because they learn history and are challeged to interpret events of the past in a new way that may not be conventionally accepted. Dan Brown had the courage to do this with Da Vinci Code and I hope my readers will come to see a pattern in history concerning the connectedness of the Templars, the bloodline of Jesus, the connection of Christianity to the Arthur legend and enjoy these connected events in an exciting historical-thriller.
Unlike Dan Brown’s pretentions that his story The Davinci Code is fact, Brown’s story is fanciful fiction and likewise my tale, Excalibur, is fiction. Rumors have abounded since my childhood of the legend of King Arthur but historians have now determined that there could have been seven different figures throughout history that fit the bill. In fact, there are two varying versions of Excalibur. The sword in the stone and the sword given to Arthur by the lady in the lake.
I hpoe you will like my blending of myth, modern archaeologic fact, politics in a modern retelling of this great story by EB White. I have tried dutifully to keep my tale believeable and did not make Merlin a visiting ET, which in all likelihood, he probably was.