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Return to Book Page. Preview — Arthur by Beram Saklatvala. Get A Copy. Published first published March 21st More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews.
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Arthur Roman Britains Last Champion by Saklatvala Beram
Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Jun 11, Stuart Aken rated it really liked it. For a man without any positive identity or even, perhaps, existence, this is quite an achievement. Those who recognise the ancient British hero as either the mythical demi-god or the possibly real last leader to stand against the invading English, will be familiar with the works of the past. In his studious and careful re-examination of known facts, scholarly conjecture and outright fable, Saklatvala has brought together these know sources and added many less familiar works to the canon for an in-depth examination of the possible reality.
However, I applaud the scholarship displayed along the way. The memorial plaque, which was discovered not far away from the first inscription and was also broken at some point prior to the 19th century, reads:. An undated, unprovenanced inscription on a stamp, supposedly discovered in Rome but recorded as being in Paris in the 19th century  reads:.
Without further information on the inscription, we cannot say whether or not it refers to our Lucius Artorius Castus, or simply another man of the same name. The first unit mentioned on Artorius' inscription is the legio III Gallica — for most of the 2nd and 3rd centuries the unit was stationed in Syria. Artorius held the rank of centurion in this legion — most Roman soldiers only achieved the rank of centurion after about 15—20 years of service, but it was not unknown for some politically connected civilians of the equestrian class to be directly commissioned as centurions upon entering the Army, though these equestrian centurions known as "ex equite Romano" were in the minority.
From the middle of the 2nd century until at least the early 3rd century the legio VI Ferrata was stationed in Judea.
From the early 2nd century onward the legio II Adiutrix were based at Aquincum modern Budapest and took part in several notable campaigns against the Parthians , Marcomanni , Quadi and, in the mid-3rd century, the Sassanid empire. The legio V Macedonica was based in Roman Dacia throughout the 2nd century and through most of the 3rd — the unit took part in battles against the Marcomanni , Sarmatians and Quadi ; it was while serving in this unit that Artorius achieved the rank of primus pilus.
Artorius next acted as Provost Praepositus of the Misenum fleet in Italy. This title generally given to Equites indicated a special command over a body of troops, but somewhat limited in action and subject to the Emperor's control. The unit was removed briefly to Lugdunum Lyons in AD by Clodius Albinus , during his doomed revolt against the emperor Severus , but returned to York after the revolt was quelled — and the unit suffered a significant defeat — in AD. They acted as third-in-command to the legionary commander, the Legatus legionis , and senior tribune and could assume command in their absence.
Artorius could have overseen vexillations of troops guarding Hadrian's Wall , but his inscriptions do not provide us with any precise information on where he might have served while in Britain.
It has been suggested by the author Linda Malcor that he was stationed at Bremetennacum with a contingent of Sarmatians originally sent to Britain in AD by emperor Marcus Aurelius ,  but there is no evidence to support such a conjecture. Given his duties as Praefectus Legionis , it is reasonable to assume that he spent some — if not all — of his time in Britain at the VI Victrix's headquarters in York.
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It is interesting that the title is spelled P RAEFF on Artorius' sarcophagus — doubled letters at the end of abbreviated words on Latin inscriptions usually indicated the plural often dual and some legions are known to have had multiple praefecti castrorum. If not, then Artorius was probably one of two prefects of this legion. Before finishing his military career, Artorius lead an expedition of some note as a Dux Legionum , a temporary title accorded to officers who were acting in a capacity above their rank, either in command of a collection of troops generally combined vexillations drawn from legions  in transit from one station to another or in command of a complete unit the former seems to be the case with Artorius, since the units are spoken of in the genitive plural.
Martin in Podstrana; the mutilated word falls along the broken right-hand edge of the first fragment of the inscription. The regional names Armoricani or Armorici are not attested in any other Latin inscriptions, whereas the country Armenia and derivatives such as the ethnic name Armenii and personal name Armeniacus are attested in numerous Latin inscriptions.
Armenia, on the other hand, was the location of several conflicts involving the Romans during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. He became procurator centenarius governor of Liburnia , a part of Roman Dalmatia , today's Croatia. Nothing further is known of him. Other Artorii are attested in the area, but it is unknown if Lucius Artorius Castus started this branch of the family in Dalmatia, or whether the family had already been settled there prior to his birth if the latter, Artorius might have received the Liburnian procuratorship because he was a native of the region.
No dates are given in either inscription, making it difficult to offer a precise date for them, no less Lucius Artorius Castus's floruit. The late French epigraphy expert Xavier Loriot suggested that Lucius Artorius Castus's expedition against the Armenians as he reads the main inscription could have taken place in AD, under the reign of emperor Caracalla , or perhaps later, in AD, under the reign of Severus Alexander when P.
Cambi proposes that Lucius Artorius Castus' career can be dated to the late 2nd century AD and his death to the late 2nd, or perhaps early 3rd century AD.
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In , Kemp Malone was the first to suggest the possibility that Lucius Artorius Castus was the inspiration for the figure of Arthur in medieval European literature. More recent champions have included authors C. Scott Littleton and Linda Malcor.
Arthur: Roman Britain's Last Champion - AbeBooks - Beram Saklatvala:
The hypothesis has been heavily criticized by prominent Arthurian scholars. The careers of the historical Artorius and the traditional King Arthur do have certain differences. For example, Artorius was not contemporaneous with the Saxon invasions of Britain in the 5th century CE. The possibility, however remote, is nonetheless real that Artorius was remembered in local tales and legends that grew in the retelling.
No definitive proof, however, has yet been established that Lucius Artorius Castus was the "real" King Arthur.
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