Battle of Mons Badonicus *Legend of King Arthur

Introduction

Beginning in the early 4th century, Anglo Saxons began to arrive in Britain in a bid to settle and colonize the region. Britain was previously ruled by the Roman Empire and inhabited by the Celtic Bretons. However, the Roman Empire no longer had any control over the province any more and the Bretons now had to fend for themselves.

Anglo-Saxons arrived in Britain in multiple waves, settling several lands in the East, West, and further inland. It was at this time that the legendary Battle of Mons Badonicus took place. The details surrounding this battle are derived from legendary sources which are not verified, so whether or not the battle actually took place is speculative.

Background

By the end of the 4th century, Anglo Saxons had subdued several British territories. They were also steadily expanding their territories to take on more and more Breton lands.

According to unverified sources which were penned several centuries later, it was around this time that the legend of King Arthur was born. King Arthur led the Celtic Britons in a glorious stand against the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Mons Badonicus and scored a decisive victory.

Who was King Arthur?

King Arthur was a legendary figure in the history of Celtic Britain. He apparently rose to prominence when Anglo-Saxons began to invade Britain. Although we don’t know for sure whether or not he existed, some historic sources point to a Roman-born leader Ambrosius Aurelianus as the likely person who fits Arthur’s legend. Aurelianus apparently rallied the Bretons and bravely fought off the Anglo-Saxons.

King Arthur

The Battle of Mons Badonicus

The Battle of Mons Badonicus, also known as the Battle of Badon, was fought by Anglo-Saxons on one side and the Celtic Britons on the other side. It is not clear who led the Anglo-Saxons in this battle and when or where was it fought. Some historians have proposed that the battle was fought at modern-day Bath in England.

Battle of Mons Badonicu

Battle of Mons Badonicu

It has also been proposed that the battle was fought around 500 A.D. although this isn’t known for sure either. Legendary sources state that during this battle, King Arthur displayed an exceptional degree of valor.

King Arthur The Legend

Some have also mentioned the Siege of Mount Badon as the same as the Battle of Badon. This could mean that the battle took place when Arthur tried to lift the siege of Badon by the Anglo-Saxons.

Result and Outcome

In the battle, Arthur and his men were able to kill a large number of Anglo-Saxons. The victory was decisive for the Bretons so that Anglo-Saxon expansion and incursion into Celtic lands was halted for several decades.

Arthur himself came to lead a kingdom of the Bretons which became legendary for its peace, and the glory and chivalry of its knights. The kingdom eventually disintegrated when the ruling nobility indulged in iniquitous acts, leading to civil wars and mutual fighting. This kingdom may be one of the Breton kingdoms in England which survived long after the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the Isles began.