Celtic Mythology

King Arthur

How did the youthful Arthur reveal his power and importance?

When Uther Pendragon died, the kingdom was threatened by disorder. To prevent chaos, Merlin arranged a meeting of nobles at Canterbury to decide who should be king. A sword suddenly appeared in a churchyard stone. On the stone was a statement: “Whoever pulls out this sword is the lawfully born king of Britain.” Many knights tried and failed to remove the sword. When Sir Ector was travelling the scene with his son, Sir Kay, with Arthur acting as Kay’s squire, Sir Kay asked Arthur to return to their camp to bring him a new sword. Arthur returned without having found the sword, but noticed the sword in the rock and easily pulled it out and took it to Kay. Kay recognized the sword and decided to claim it and the throne, but his father demanded that he replace it in the rock and remove it as proof of his worthiness. Kay failed in his attempt to remove the sword and admitted what he had done. After Arthur again removed the sword from the rock and Merlin revealed his parentage, he was accepted as king.


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