as the Knights of the Round Table, Quest for the Holy Grail and the wonderful tale of Tristan and Isolde.
Our imagination draws from the romantic images of Pre Raphaelite armoured heroes and damsels and the ornate drawing
of Aubrey Beardsley. All these images and words are amassed and eventually stories are blurred and the 'real' facts are forgotten. An example of this is the tale of Arthur's most famous possession, his sword, Excalibur. It is often thought that Excalibur and the Sword (in the Stone) are one and the same, but they are not, they were two separate swords.
The word Excalibur is taken from the Welsh Caledfwlch, even the words meaning is confused in the different stories.
In the early traditional tales of the Arthurian legend by authors such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and Robert Wace, Arthur's sword is called Caliburn which Thomas Malory thought meant to cut steel. Malory wrote that the sword Arthur pulled from
the stone was not Excalibur as he had broken his sword in battle and received a new one, from the Lady of the Lake,
which was named Excalibur. The story of the sword in the stone appears in Robert de Boron's French tale about Merlin who created the sword/stone as a test where only the true king and could pull out the sword.
So was King Arthur really a fifth/six century leader who defended Britain against the Saxon invader or was he just a
imaginary hero of romantic medieval literature.